Twin Peaks Usenet Archive


Subject: Re: ny times article
From: tonym@cpoint.clearpoint.com (Tony Matt)
Date: 1991-05-13, 10:56
Newsgroups: alt.tv.twin-peaks

In article <1991May7.175126.11490@grebyn.com> fi@grebyn.com (Fiona Oceanstar) writes:

> >I'll tell you what I really objected to, in that article.  It was the
> >strong statement that Peakheads are elitists--that our interest in the
> >series wanes in direct proportion to how many others are getting
> >involved, that if it's not "hip" to a small select in-crowd, then we,
> >like the avant-garde art scene in NYC, will decamp for unsullied
> >pastures.  Yuk.  Didn't y'all find that comment offensive?

> >							--Fiona O.

I procured a copy of this article this past weekend while at my parents'.  It
is, in my considered opinion, a truly shoddy piece of journalism (and I write
that as both a TP and NYT fan).  I don't have the time to transcribe it for 
you, but will gladly mail it to the first person who promises to post it (I've
already E-mailed Fiona).  Some excerpts and observations follow:

The article got front page in Arts & Leisure - headline 'WELCOME TO TWIN PEAKS
AND VALLEYS  The soap noir that began as 'the seies that would change TV' is
lurching to its demise.  Was it a victim of its own hype?'

The article then goes on to answer that question 'yes', while dismissing the 
show's meaning and citing numerous fallacies.

"...the series suffered from its own initial success.  "Twin Peaks" was hip...
[the drama] came packaged and stamped with an official cult seal of approval.
...highly motivated fans were watching in groups, maintaining disciplined
silence until the last credit rolled, then, in an orgy of interpretation,
analyzing the obscure visual symbols in the show."

How better to denigrate a work than to label its fans as a 'cult'?
Soon we're treated to the first of many assinine quotes:

'"It started out as a wonderful show," says Meredith Berlin, an editor at Soap
Opera Digest, "but they lost sight of two things: story and character.  They
started being outrageous for the sake of being outrageous..." Lynch fans 
didn't mind.  They were content to drift with the slow dream logic of the
series...and not worry too much about cause and effect.'

Right.  And I suppose the myth of Icarus should be trashed because, after all,
you can't fly by attaching feathers to your arms and even if you could it would
get colder not hotter in the upper atmosphere and besides you'd run out of
oxygen long before you got near the Sun - what terrible cause and effect!

The word elitism doesn't appear in the article, but it definitely did put 
forth that the core fans were upset about the general public taking interest.

'But even the Lynchites [I guess that's the name of our cult] could not help
noticing a disturbing trend: far too many of their fellow citizens were 
picking up the show's peculiar frequency..."It's the same thing that killed 
'Miami Vice,'" says Robert J. Thompson, professor of communications at State 
University of New York at Cortland.  "The look of that show defined hipness
for a while.  But once you see your 13-year old sister wearing the clothes,
it's over."'

Thompson offers some more scatology later in the article:

"I think it always appealed to a college-educated group that's taken a few 
literature courses and gets excited when it sees something that looks like
a symbol."

Some of the outright errors in the article:

'Bemused viewers struggled to keep up as new subplots and peculiar characters
- some of them from outer space - proliferated madly.'

COOP is referred to as 'Citizens Outraged at the Offing of Peaks'.

And a few interpretations that are thrown in to reinforce the writing-off of
the show:

Regarding the finale: '...it's a safe bet that many of the viewers who do tune
in will be content to see the series call it a day after 30 episodes.'

'Even diehard fans admit that the show became too complex and bizzare.'

I've got more to say about this, but it will have to wait.  Gotta go...

Tony Matt    tonym@clearpoint.com


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