Amelia has hooked Dr. Funk in to the one TV season of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, broadcast ABC in 1990. There is function/law abiding, there is dysfunction/unlawful, and then there is the stuff that falls even further outside the laws of humanity- what would one call this? The occult? The mysterious “other”; it is the aspect of humanity, the thing, that is beyond category because it is so extreme. This show holds up to the test of time. I am struck by how well Lynch has mastered the act of turning dysfunction into seeming “normal” or relatively tame, by placing it beside “really really messed up posing as normal.” I didn’t make the connection between Special Agent Copper, and the surreal Orson, on Desperate Housewives. So much lost in 20 years time, but Orson did always feel perfectly cast, almost familiar, as the gentleman who had killed many but acted the most normal and well-educated in the suburban landscape.

I have been chatting with people about revisiting a TV show after 20 years, because college students are speaking of Twin Peaks/my young adulthood years, as “retro.” Feelings toward “old” emerge. One friend says, “I had a severe addiction all those years ago to Twin Peaks. I remember many ‘deep’ discussions about the meaning of all the symbolism.”

Last night as the midget quaked in the corner of the red room, Dr. Funk said “This might be the weirdest thing I have ever seen on a TV show.”Genny says “I watched EVERY episode and taped them, too. I am a Lynch fanatic and have even STUDIED Twin Peaks. There are several good books out on Lynch and one collection of scholarly essays on Twin Peaks alone.”

Amelia’s first viewing: ABC prime time 1990. York Harbor, Maine with M (now U of Glasgow) and Kev (now CUNY Graduate Center); while writing entries for the National Endowment for the Humanities book about the Colonial Revival and living feet from the sea.

Twenty years go by.

Second viewing: DVD 10pm Jersey, on much better TV/sound system, with Dr. Funk (NJIT) and we don’t have to wait a week to know what’s next. This “new way of watching” must reduce dialogue or certainly compress it. Don’t have to watch commercials (ideal); ok, watched series while writing proposals to billionaires to start a museum/cultural education center, and publishing major new text about digital poetry for world distribution.

Full of Secrets: Critical Approaches to Twin Peaks (Contemporary Film and Television Series)


Amelia says, “Agent Coop- excellent! Women/Girls- all mixed up. Men/Boys- all mixed up. Secrets everywhere.”