David Lynch: Solving Laura Palmer’s Murder Killed ‘Twin Peaks’
Twin Peaks returns to TV on May 21st, after a brief, 26-year break off the air. Back in 1990, the dreamy, psychological drama was a surprise hit for ABC, being one of the top-rated series of the year. Viewers intently watched each week trying to unravel the mystery of who killed Laura Palmer.
Although the internet was just emerging as a source of mass communication at the time, co-creator Mark Frost says that “halfway through airing of the first season someone came in and dumped on my desk maybe 500 pages of internet chatter about the show.” He told magazine Little White Lies, “Here were these entire forums dedicated to exploring just one aspect of plotting, something that had taken maybe 15 minutes to think up.”
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In the same article, star Kyle MacLachlan remembers being shocked that ABC was giving a TV series to an unconventional auteur like David Lynch: “We saw it as the inmates overrunning the town, and we knew it would be fantastic, but we didn’t think it would get picked up because it seemed so incomprehensible.”
But after a short, successful season of 8 episodes that had fans devouring cherry pie like it was going out of style, and sorority houses staging mock funerals for Laura Palmer, ABC made one enormous demand before they’d greenlight a second season: The show had to reveal who killed Laura Palmer. And as Lynch put it, this was ABC “killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.”
After the Season 2 reveal, Lynch and Frost both moved onto other projects, and Twin Peaks was left in the hands of guest writers and directors, who tried to keep the series going. Still, ratings plummeted, and the series was shoved into a Saturday night graveyard slot. Lynch made a last-ditch effort to save the show by rewriting and directing the Season 2 finale, but it was too late, the dream was dead… Until this May when the show returns with much of the original cast and crew!
Twin Peaks premieres May 21st at 9 p.m. on Showtime.
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Tell us what you think! Are you excited for the return of Twin Peaks? And do you think the show could have survived if they hadn’t revealed the killer so soon? Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or leave your comments below. And check out our host, Khail Anonymous, on Twitter.