Am I out of my mind, or are they out of ideas?

So apparently Footloose is being remade. And apparently TNT has ordered a pilot for an updated version of Dallas. Also, At the Movies is returning to PBS — complete with a speechless Roger Ebert. Is there a single original story idea left in the media business? It would seem not. This summer we received The Karate Kid, an original story based upon… The Karate Kid. Even Avatar, This Year’s Greatest Movie of All Time, is essentially Pocahontas Dances with Wolves in Space. Television demonstrates this trend even more:  how many shows use the Law & Order formula? At least seven? As I’ve pointed out before, Fringe is The X-Files for the A.D.D. generation, and ABC tried to similarly recycle Twin Peaks into Happy Town this summer. (Yeah, I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of it.) Sure, the producers latch on to the formulas that make money, but whatever happened to risk-taking? Lost was good for the first two years, until the writers ran out of ideas. House was sort of innovative, but it imitates itself too much. The only really original show currently in production that I am aware of is Mad Men — the only show I watch as it airs.

The current drivel that makes up most television programming may reel in the big bucks, but it doesn’t attract me. Maybe when the History Channel returns to history-centered programs I’ll return. But until then, why would I watch The Universe when I can watch Carl Sagan’s Cosmos on DVD?

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Agate Pass (Twin Peaks, part two)

For part one, click here.

WordPress will still not allow me to use italics in image captions, so please imagine that “Twin Peaks” and “Twin Peaks:  Fire Walk with Me” are italicized.

After my visit to Snoqualmie Valley, I spent a few hours in Seattle, where I visited Pike Place Market. From there, I spent several days touring the North Cascade Mountains, before taking a ferry across Puget Sound to the Kitsap Peninsula. It was here that I found my next Twin Peaks location. Continue reading

In Twin Peaks

WordPress will not allow me to use italics within image captions, so please imagine that “Twin Peaks” and “Twin Peaks:  Fire Walk with Me” are italicized.

I am a huge Twin Peaks fan. It’s my fifth favorite television show, and I’ve seen the entire series at least twice thrice (as of 9 July 2010). I’ve seen episodes one through sixteen (the good ones) at least four times. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen both the show’s pilot and Twin Peaks:  Fire Walk with Me, the 1992 prequel film. Since becoming a fan of the show, I’ve given the name Diane to my tape recorder — and my father’s Garmin Nüvi — and I dressed as Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole last Halloween.

For the uninitiated, Twin Peaks takes place in the fictional Washington town of the same name, in 1989. The local homecoming queen, Laura Palmer, turns up dead, and the investigation into her murder uncovers a web of mysteries and oddities. The show was created by Mark Frost and David Lynch, and the latter left his fingerprints all over it — in a very good way. Twin Peaks encompasses many genres, from crime mystery to dramedy to soap-opera parody. Unfortunately, the executives at ABC demanded that Laura’s killer be revealed during the second season. After this revelation the show fell apart, effectively becoming the sort of soap opera it had parodied during its height. ABC did not renew the show for a third season.

This summer, I have had the pleasure of being able to visit Snoqualmie Valley in Washington, where many exteriors for the series and film were shot. What follows is a record of my trip. Continue reading