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[personal profile] froodle
I is for Influence:

During a decade that has seen high-quality shows like “Deadwood”, “The Sopranos” “The Wire”, “Six Feet Under”, “Mad Men”, and “Breaking Bad” dominate cable, and relatively complex and intelligent shows like “Lost” are allowed several-season runs on network TV, it’s easy to forget what an anomaly “Twin Peaks” was way back in 1990. A series co-created and often written and directed by a filmmaker as daring and artful as David Lynch was a major breakthrough in the medium that gave us “Full House” and “The Facts of Life”. The seismic influence of “Twin Peaks” struck immediately. Its critically and culturally vital first season had barely ended when CBS went to work on its own quirky North-Western fantasy. Joshua Brand and John Falsey’s “Northern Exposure” may have dropped the strong sinister undercurrent of “Twin Peaks”, but the series retained the dreamy atmosphere, supernatural elements, off-kilter humor, and little-town appeal. “Northern Exposure” owed such a deep debt to “Twin Peaks” that its creators were moved to acknowledge this via a weirdly tacked-on parody-sequence during the first-season episode, “Russian Flu".

“Northern Exposure” was just the first of the early-‘90s parade of “Peaks”-inspired series. There were “strange things happening in suburbia” exercises like “Picket Fences” and the kid-oriented “Eerie, Indiana”. There was the creepy, rural “American Gothic”, and there was “Wild Palms”, a self-consciously odd miniseries also created by a well-known cinematic auteur: Oliver Stone. Without question, the most successful of these series was “The X-Files”, which picked up on the “FBI Agents investigating weird phenomena” theme of “Twin Peaks”. The X-Files, themselves, are suspiciously similar to Major Briggs’s “Project Blue Book”. The show even starred “Peaks”-alumnus David Duchovny (minus the lipstick and high heels) and featured guest spots by other former TP residents, including Don Davis, Michael Anderson, Michael Horse, Frances Bay, Kenneth Welsh, and Richard Beymer. Still, “X-Files” creator Chris Carter, claimed he was not particularly influenced by “Twin Peaks”. More recent show-creators have been more forthcoming about the influence of “Twin Peaks” on their work. David Chase has often cited the use of dream sequences in “Twin Peaks” as a major inspiration for “The Sopranos”. The British sci-fi series “Torchwood” paid direct tribute to “Peaks” during the “Combat” episode, which featured a real estate agency called “Lynch/Frost”! Other recent shows that most certainly would not exist if it hadn’t been for “Twin Peaks” include sci-fi mystery “Lost”, soap opera-parody “Desperate Housewives” (costarring Kyle MacLachlan; Sheryl Lee was originally cast to play the dead woman who narrates the series, but was replaced by fellow "Peaks" alumnus Brenda Strong), and the upcoming “Happy Town”.
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[personal profile] froodle
If you're looking for some cute pins to Eerie up your jacket, consider heading over to PunkyPins for ghosts, planets and anatomical hearts:


Also they have BeetleJuice and X-Files badges for all your crossover needs:

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It happens every TV season now like clockwork: some cryptic new drama bills itself as being like Twin Peaks. This year, according to its writer Robert Aguirre-Sacasa, it was Riverdale, The CW’s dark Archie reboot. Last year, it was FX comedy Atlanta, which creator Donald Glover touted as “Twin Peaks with rappers.” The list goes on: Wayward Pines, Bates Motel, The Killing, Stranger Things — all marketed, in varying ways, as being Twin Peak-y. The show was cancelled in 1991, but “like Twin Peaks” remains industry shorthand for “strange, boundary-pushing TV.”

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But Twin Peaks’ greatest legacy? It gave TV permission to be weird. The standard narrative arc was eschewed for an auteur’s singular vision: one full of idiosyncratic character studies, a labyrinthine plot, and dialogue juxtaposing the humdrum with the haunting. Never before — and really, never since — had a TV show challenged this many people to such a WTF-worthy extent. Twin Peaks was more about steeping viewers in a Lynchian underworld than solving a murder. Of course, once it became clear closure wasn’t coming, audiences began losing patience. Nervous ABC execs insisted Laura’s murderer be revealed midway through the second season. By then, a disenchanted Lynch and Frost were focusing on other projects, only peripherally involved with Twin Peaks. The show was canned (with a chilling finale directed by Lynch). Soon after, however, other dramas would ape the “supernatural mystery” formula (see: Wild Palms, Eerie, Indiana, The X-Files). We’ve seen countless more shows since centred on uncanny, out-there visions, from Lost to The OA. All have either pilfered from Twin Peaks directly, or were encouraged by what it proved: that TV could be peculiar, ambitious, and radically unique. Well, to an extent — audiences still expect loose ends to be tied. (Stranger Things’ writers promised there’d be “justice for Barb” in Season 2 due to Internet rage over the matter.)

Which is why now, given a carte blanche to realize their vision, Lynch and Frost are about to reintroduce us to a world still unlike anything out there. Sure, we’ve got weird shows today, but they’ll never be this unhinged, this disturbing, this blasé about viewers’ desires. That all makes for damn fine TV. Drink it up.
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The original X-Files? Hopefully without the disappointing second movie, though Eerie's reboot wasn't as well-received as the new X-Files has been.

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Eerie Indiana

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