There are imagined places I know so well that I can close my eyes and walk the halls between the fictional spaces. Sometime ago, I wrote a short essay about Arrested Development and why that show felt like coming home. I suppose it’s no coincidence that Cimpoe Gallery is so completely invested in revisiting the show in fun and intricate new ways. Colouring sheets, stickers, magnets; we were looking at rediscovering what we loved so much about Arrested Development and why others also felt the same kindship with the characters and setting that we did. You have only to mention the staircar, among other AD objects and finds, and people fall over laughing. The report cards, the furs, the wallpaper and inane corporate setting with its standard issue office board room and office chairs; it makes us laugh. The principal model home is a character in and of itself by now, so apt at destroying itself from the inside out, collapsing into its brick and mortar shell like a dying star and not so unlike the Bluth family. With shows like Futurama, King of the Hill and Malcolm in the Middle (among other comedies) and then the more serious dramas like Six Feet Under and Mad Men, the familiarity we feel towards these places is a homely one. It is comfort food at its best and it is filling food. We know and love the rooms. We shut out the world and we transported back to these places with the sort of ease that comes with knowing a home intimately and completely
And so in re-watching the finale of Twin Peaks, throughout those eighteen harrowing and uncomfortable episodes, I was astounded to discover the unraveling of a “home” which had never been a home to begin with. Despite the decades long lore that surrounded Twin Peaks and the fandom that grew in its absence, we had been falsely led to place of complacency and comfort. We thought it was a game. Sure, we knew it was dark. The murder of Laura Palmer was the shadow that infringed on those lighter and more comical parts of the show.!Collectively, I think, we had allowed ourselves to forget how disturbing all this was. I came to the show quite late in my life, all things considered, having been aware of Twin Peaks and it's inhabitants through television osmosis. It was all over The X-Files and countless others incarnations and imitations, both good and bad. Having also been familiar (and huge fan!) of David Lynch, and less familiar with his collaboration with Mark Frost, I got to stand back a bit and imagine that I wouldn’t get fooled by Twin Peaks: The Return. I thought I would be revisting an eclectic place I had only bore witnessed to a little while back. But I was fooled. And I was disturbed, thoroughly and completely. I can better understand what it must have been like to watch the original run of Twin Peaks. There had been nothing like it in the history of TV. And then I watched Twin Peaks: The Return and I got to feel whatever had happened to all those folks 25 years ago. I felt it in my own skin. And it wasn’t like coming home. I have never been more disturbed by house in all my life. When the lights on the Laura Palmer house went out and Cooper took a step forward, speaking “What year is this-" in the familiar and bewildered Dale Cooper tone of voice, we all collectively jumped out of our seats. And then Laura screamed - churning the blood for a whole new generation of fans – and I grabbed my head in disbelief. This was not a home. It had never been a home and it never will be, never again. What had happened ? What will happen? It was done. Like the Laura Palmer’s murder, it could not get undone, despite all those attempts to revisit and breakdown and understand. We weren’t meant to feel at home in this place. Lynch and Frost took it away from us and they had every right to do it. We don’t get to belong in Twin Peaks. We don’t get to go back. Not now. Not ever.