In less than two weeks, I'll have watched a new episode of Twin Peaks.
Even typing that sentence feels weird and unreal. The new series, (which is due to finally premiere on Showtime on May 21st in the US and on Sky Atlantic on May 22nd in the UK) was announced back in October 2014, so you'd think I'd have had long enough to get used to the idea. But, no. Those two and a half years have passed by in a blur of secrecy, misinformation and, initially, worries that it might not happen after all.
Yet here we are, somehow. Less than two weeks from air-date, and we still know almost nothing. The trailers that have dropped have consisted of old footage or, at most, mood-establishing shots. Even over the last few weeks, David Lynch himself has been reluctant to divulge even the smallest details of the plot.
This approach is incredibly refreshing in an age where trailers sometimes give away most of the third act of big movies, but it has done nothing to dispel the sense of unreality that it is, indeed, 'happening again'.
When Twin Peaks first appeared on TV in 1990, I was 16 years old and studying (loosely speaking) film and TV at sixth-form college. The show rocked my tiny world. It made me laugh, it scared the crap out of me and it made me feel big and clever for 'getting it' in a world that was roughly divided into those who were glued and those who were bemused.
After the show aired, I bought each of the sporadically-released volumes on VHS. I sent away for the t-shirt which was offered as a reward for buying the whole set, and then I used that stack of grainy VHS tapes to introduce a whole load of people who'd missed it on telly to the world of Twin Peaks. I invited friends to endless viewing sessions throughout university, complete with coffee and cherry pie, and lent out those tapes with great care to a select few (making damn sure they all came back intact).
In preparation for the new series premiere, I have of course revisited the whole damn original run. My recent binge-watching has been the first time I've seen Twin Peaks in its entirety for over a decade. Some of it has held up phenomenally well, particularly the original short first season and the first half of the longer second season. There are wobbles throughout the latter half of the second season, but a still-incredible final episode make these easy to overlook. The character moments still resonate, the scares still scare and the whole thing still works: it was so damn ahead of its time, and so influential, that even the original series feels more at home in today's TV landscape than it ever did in 1990.
I'm still not quite sure I'm ready for whatever may unfold onscreen in a few days' time, though. I'm bound to feel the repercussions of mainlining the original run so close to the airdate of the new show. Even the aging of characters in the show-nearly-nothing teasers feels abrupt and visceral after watching their youthful counterparts for so long, so recently. I may just end up in a gloomy spiral, reflecting on how life is just so goddamn short when I should be absorbing every element of the new run.
Basically, I've thought about this for too long. The idea of Twin Peaks continuing in any form has long felt like a pipe dream. To have it continuing in a way that feels this perfect in terms of my wish list (Lynch directing every episode, continuation not reboot, original cast and newcomers) puts such an absurd weight of expectation on it that I'm not sure I'll be able to process it effectively.
And, apparently, no shops sell cherry pie anymore. Couldn't find a single one after hitting four different supermarkets. Running out of days to sort that problem out. The coffee will be easier to source.
We've waited over a quarter of a century, but it is happening again.
See you on the other side.Suggest a correction