I nearly made a big mistake this summer because of the Ready Player One effect. I was all set to miss the new Twin Peaks. Thanks, misplaced sense of nostalgia-induced ennui!
New Twin Peaks! My favourite ever thing was back! But wait, there I was struggling to reckon with exactly this kind of long-tail relationship with our cultural near past.
Yep, so sick was I of the zombie culture I’m adjacent to I had it my head to just miss Twin Peaks. A part of me thought: to hell with all this retreading every piece of nerd culture forever. Either I’d miss it for now, avoiding all the hype, to catch up with it later; or maybe – just maybe – I’d let sleeping logs lie.
I realise now that this futile culture-critic discomfort I feel at the Ready Player One effect was fucking with my actual shit.
It sounds trite but Twin Peaks forged a big part of my ongoing relationship with art, such as it is. I stayed up and watched it with my mum first time round, but it was 2001 when I really caught it. I was at university and had discovered David Lynch via the Lost Highway soundtrack. Blue Velvet was next then the just-released Mulholland Drive. I saw he directed the Twin Peaks movie I’d half-seen years previously and, lo and behold, the original show that I remembered seeing with my mum. Hello DVD box sets (actually was series 2 a Spanish VCD, because that was the only available version at that time? I forget).
I guess I had been in exactly the right place for Lynch at that time. He’s been my favourite director ever since and it was Twin Peaks that really nailed it. The show transformed my capability aged 19 of thinking about many things. TV and film as a medium, writing, what directorship is, music, pretty much the relationship of the art to itself and to me as a person.
I know: my abstract critical beef with the pervasive weirdness distilled into Ready Player One was a very poor reason not to watch the new Twin Peaks. I just felt that way. And I didn’t like series 2 much anyway, only watched it once. So the feeling that I might just… leave it alone and let that formative experience lie was not purely due to external factors.
Then I remembered: Lynch is brilliant, I love him, to hell with what other people are doing, I mean come on what were you even thinking? And not only that but Lynch didn’t even like series 2 and always resented the way it went down.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was realising that I had this overthought baggage with the wider culture right now, whatever that all means, but that I was going to watch the new Game of Thrones and I was not going to watch the new Twin Peaks.
What had I become?
I’ve had a quiet word with myself. This post is part of my learning process. The new Twin Peaks is astounding and, as the below account on Twitter has shown (really: check out their other examples), the culmination of a lot of David Lynch’s art.