A Film with No Director

twin peaks

I was a little late to discovering just who killed Laura Palmer in the 90’s cult series Twin Peaks, seeing it for the first time only after both seasons were placed onto Netflix and after my brother binge watched it and convinced me to do the same. After episode 3 I was hooked and this amazingly bizarre, emotional, and gorgeous show has become an all-time favorite of mine.

Unfortunately, the show was canceled after season 2 due to low ratings and the absence of mystery and character that attracted its audience in the beginning. Although, that dark charm slithered back in near the end and ultimately left viewers with an intense cliffhanger never to be resolved.

About 6 months ago it announced that Twin Peaks will be returning in 2016 on Showtime so that fans can finally have that season 3 and the series can have a proper conclusion.

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Of course, with all great things, there are always complications. The director, David Lynch, has stated that he will not be returning to the show due to conflicts with Showtime. He needs more money to do the series properly (wanting it done entirely on film and shot on location) and the people at Showtime don’t want to go over their budget.

Here’s why they should: A film needs a director.

For Twin Peaks that director is David Lynch. He’s truly the heart of the show and it was only after he left the project halfway through season 2, that the series started to take it’s downfall. That grim charm was suddenly absent. The plots became too bizarre and not in an entertaining way. The show lost it’s core and because of that, it fell apart.

It was only after Lynch returned that the story started to pick up again and it was only because Lynch said he would be directing again in 2016 that fans got excited. Most of the iconic scenes in Twin Peaks were not scripted. The Black Lodge was created while filming and became a vital part of the overarching story. The character of Bob came about because a sound man accidentally placed himself in a shot and Lynch decided to go with it. He saw something in that one mistake and created a pivotal character out of it.

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If you’ve ever seen a David Lynch film, you’ll know that has this distinct aesthetic. It feels like it was meant to be that he and Mark Frost would come together and combine their styles. Frost giving this pleasant and charming facade that the town of Twin Peaks puts on and Lynch creating the darkness that lies beneath. It was this aesthetic that showered the characters and story in an atmosphere unlike any other. To have one taken away would make a continuation this late in the game unnecessary.

The returning actors recently did a video showing their support for Lynch by each giving a line in coordination to their characters. Each one goes by the same formula – Twin Peaks without David Lynch is like a blank without a blank.

Sometimes I wonder if I’d still love the films I do under a different director. I can’t imagine Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas without Terry Gilliam because it’s one of the few films I can honestly say I like more than book and that’s all due to his style. I think of the Wes Anderson films and how much I love them because of the colors, designs, and quirkiness Anderson brings to the table. What would Clockwork Orange or the Shining be without Stanley Kubrick? What would Seventh Seal be without Ingmar Bergman? Annie Hall without Woody Allen? Say what you will about Tim Burton’s talent as of late, but what would Edward Scissorhands be without him? Or the glorious disaster that is the Room without Tommy Wiseau?

Directors have immense influence on their media. Some for the better and some for the worse. With David Lynch being so vital to the way Twin Peaks looks and feels, I’ve never once felt worried that season 3 could ruin the show. I sincerely hope that he and Showtime can reach a deal or that he can find another way to give Twin Peaks the resolution that it’s earned.

After all, Twin Peaks without David Lynch is like a mug without some damn fine coffee.

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