Yesterday David Lynch announced on Twitter that he is off the much anticipated Twin Peaks revival in the works at Showtime.
Dear Twitter Friends, Showtime did not pull the plug on Twin Peaks.— David Lynch (@DAVID_LYNCH) April 5, 2015
After 1 year and 4 months of negotiations, I left because not enough money was offered to do the script the way I felt it needed to be done.— David Lynch (@DAVID_LYNCH) April 5, 2015
This weekend I started to call actors to let them know I would not be directing. Twin Peaks may still be very much alive at Showtime.— David Lynch (@DAVID_LYNCH) April 5, 2015
I love the world of Twin Peaks and wish things could have worked out differently.— David Lynch (@DAVID_LYNCH) April 5, 2015
Showtime has countered with this stubbornly optimistic response:
We were saddened to read David Lynch’s statement today since we believed we were working towards solutions with David and his reps on the few remaining deal points. Showtime also loves the world of ‘Twin Peaks’ and we continue to hold out hope that we can bring it back in all its glory with both of its extraordinary creators, David Lynch and Mark Frost, at its helm.
As a lifelong fan of Twin Peaks, I haven't written anything about its revival because I've never known how to feel about it. On the one hand, it sounds like great news that Lynch, Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost and castmembers Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Sherilyn Fenn, Catherine E. Coulson and Dana Ashbrook are all returning to the mysterious and quaint Washington burg, home to some of the best black coffee and cherry pie known to man.
But the brilliance of Twin Peaks is fleeting. To be completely honest, it doesn't even last through the second season. The first eight episodes of the series are as great as television gets, but they were lightning in a bottle, never recaptured. Fire Walk With Me, the series prequel film, is fiercely loved by many, but its own weird magic is very different from that of Twin Peaks'. Despite the shared characters and setting, Fire Walk With Me isn't really Twin Peaks. It's something else entirely.
And maybe that's what Showtime's revival series would have been: strange and spellbinding and sharing the universe of Twin Peaks, even if, by necessity, it didn't quite capture the uniquely perfect tone of the series' first season. And I guess it still could be: though Lynch is no longer directing the series, he wrote all nine episodes with Frost, and the very best episodes of Twin Peaks were written by Lynch and Frost together.
But it's hard getting behind a Lynchless Twin Peaks. Sure, he wrote the episodes, and that matters, but if he doesn't approve of the production, should we? David Lynch is Twin Peaks. Of course so is Mark Frost, but fans of the director see him in every inch of the town, in every odd turn of phrase uttered by its residents.
And even with Lynch involved, the prospect of a reboot was troubling. The worst parts of Season Two did enough damage; with time, fans could reconcile themselves to the good and the bad of Twin Peaks - from Coop's Tibetan method of investigation to James Hurley's married mistress - but what if we got nine episodes closer to "Double Play" than "Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer"? It's possible that not even my love of Special Agent Dale Cooper could sustain that blow.
With Lynch out, whatever the reason, the mild hope I had for Twin Peaks' revival has shrunk to a sliver. I'm rarely this pessimistic about a creative endeavor, but I'm strangely stubborn about Twin Peaks. Though a typical completionist, I often watch only the best episodes of Twin Peaks and pretend the rest don't exist. That might not sound like true fandom to you, but that's the way I choose to love this insane mixed bag of a universe. And it's the way I'll continue to love it, regardless of what happens with the reboot.