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Twin Peaks A-Z

April 08, 2010 By: Category: TV

According to walking-David-Lynch-encyclopedia Mike Segretto, today marks the 20th anniversary of the first episode of Twin Peaks. In honor of the occasion, he has posted an extremely thorough and throughly extreme overview of the groundbreaking series on his blog, Psychobabble. Whether you’re a casual fan or a Twin Peaks diehard, you’re guaranteed to learn something from Mr. Segretto’s fascinating piece. To wit:


David Lynch and Mark Frost shared a love of pop culture that thoroughly informed the show they created together. “Twin Peaks” is rife with post modern allusions to cinema and television to the degree that listing them all would probably double the length of this article, but some of the most prominent ones are:
• Laura Palmer’s forename was nabbed from Otto Preminger’s 1944 noir Laura, in which the memory of a murdered woman haunts those who loved her and the detective investigating her death.
• Laura Palmer’s cousin Madeline Ferguson got her name from the two main characters of one of David Lynch’s favorite films: Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, which starred Kim Novak as Madeline Elster and Jimmy Stewart as John ‘Scottie’ Ferguson.
• In episode 18, Peggy Lipton and Clarence Williams III share an exchange for no other reason than their history as co-stars of “The Mod Squad”.
• The scene in which Cooper has trouble adjusting his stool in Ronette Pulaski’s hospital room is an homage to a similar scene in which Humbert Humbert struggles to open a folding cot in Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita, another favorite film of Lynch.
• Dancing fool Leland Palmer was named after the actress and dancer of the same name who appeared in Bob Fosse’s 1979 film All That Jazz.
• Gordon Cole, the hearing-impaired FBI Regional Bureau Chief played by Lynch, was named after an unseen character in yet another of his favorite films: Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard.
• Sitcomy couple Lucy and Andy owe their monikers to sitcom pioneers Lucille Ball and Andy Griffith.
• In keeping with “Twin Peaks’” notorious sweet tooth, brothers Ben and Jerry Horne allude to a famous duo of ice cream makers.
• Schizo one-armed man Phillip Gerard/MIKE is a reference to both the police lieutenant of the same name and the murderous one-armed man in the classic TV drama “The Fugitive”.
• In Black Edward’s excellent 1962 chiller Experiment in Terror, Lee Remick is terrorized in the (real) town of Twin Peaks, San Francisco. And the terrorizer’s name? Red Lynch.

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The Awkward Movie Challenge: The Best Movie of the ‘00s

January 06, 2010 By: Category: Greatest Hits, Movie Reviews, The Awkward Movie Challenge

movie-challenge-header

According to Netflix, Mike and Jeffrey agree with each other on movies 84% of the time. In their weekly feature, The Awkward Movie Challenge, they search valiantly for that sweet 16% that results in big arguments and big laughs.

However, this week Jeffrey and Mike will be jettisoning one of the key elements of their “Awkward Movie Challenge” to commemorate the end of the decade: the “challenge” part. Instead of explaining to each other why they’re such huge assholes for not liking the same movie (or electronically making out because they love the same one), each fellow will discuss his personal favorite film of the ‘00s.

Mike:

I did not watch “Twin Peaks” during its initial run, when the “Who Killed Laura Palmer?” question received as much airtime on the nightly news as The Gulf War and the Queen of England was ducking out of Paul McCartney’s command performance rather than miss the latest episode. But several years after it went off the air, I was flicking through late night T.V. and landed on Bravo where I was halted by the image of a man picking stones out of a bowl held by a cop wearing oven mitts. He then tossed each stone at a glass bottle as some sort of Tibetan deductive detecting technique he”d learned about in a dream. I’d stumbled across a rerun of episode two of “Twin Peaks”, written and directed by the show’s co-creator, David Lynch. I’d never seen anything so goofy yet genuinely funny, so weird yet comfortably ordinary on television, and I’d already been a regular viewer of the goofy, funny, weird, ordinary “Northern Exposure”. After watching my first episode of “Peaks”, “Northern Exposure” seemed relatively trite. Everything else on T.V. seemed like a massive heap of cow dung.

Agent Dale Cooper solves Who Killed Laura Palmer with a little help from a pair of oven mitts on "Twin Peaks".

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