August 24th, 2010
05:20 PM ET
It's been 20 years since Laura Palmer's body - "dead, wrapped in plastic," as the script goes - washed up on a rocky beach in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, Wash., and sparked a worldwide phenomenon.
So what better way to celebrate the TV show's anniversary than to venture to the towns of North Bend and Snoqualmie, Wash. (where the series was filmed) for some cherry pie, "damn fine" coffee and a landscape drenched in Douglas fir trees. This is exactly what I did earlier this month, when I had the opportunity to attend the "Twin Peaks" festival.
The event was kicked-off with a screening of "Peaks" co-creator David Lynch's own 35mm copy of the pilot at the Seattle Art Museum, and the remainder of the weekend was filled with tours of filming sites, panel discussions with cast members, a costume contest and the general geeking-out of "Twin Peaks" fans from all over the globe.
There was even a Tibetan rock-throwing competition and a cherry stem tying contest (both references to show events). I myself won fourth place in the costume contest (I dressed up as a donut), and was awarded a wooden eyeglass stem signed by David Lynch himself.
Among the celebrity guests were actresses Sherilyn Fenn ("Audrey Horne"); Kimmy Robertson ("Lucy Moran"); Charlotte Stewart ("Betty Briggs"); Jennifer Lynch (author of "The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer" and daughter of series creator David Lynch); Jan D'Arcy ("Sylvia Horne"); and Kathleen Wilhoite ("Gwen Morton").
The character of Laura Palmer was homecoming queen, volunteered with meals on wheels, helped Josie Packard (local sawmill owner who originally hailed from Hong Kong) with her English, tutored Audrey's autistic younger brother... oh, and she was a prostitute and a cocaine addict.
Thanks to the "Who Killed Laura Palmer?" promotion machine, season one practically defined water cooler talk as viewers learned about the quaint yet eerie town and got to know the sweet, eccentric, brilliant F.B.I. agent sent in to investigate the case: Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan). Ratings plummeted rather abruptly in the second season, though, following the (arguably premature) revelation of Laura Palmer's killer.
The soap operatic murder mystery/police drama was filled with a host of other eccentric characters, including the Log Lady (her log spoke to her and was rumored to contain the soul of her deceased husband), the Little Man From Another Place (also known as the dancing, backwards-talking dwarf), the invisible giant, BOB (who was just plain terrifying), the one-armed man and others.
Clearly, there are volumes more that can be said about "Twin Peaks," and selecting what to include in this blog entry is like picking a favorite child. So, how about you? Did you watch "Twin Peaks"? And if so, what are your fondest memories of the series?
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