‘Twin Peaks’ and the Return of Secrets

‘Twin Peaks’ and the Return of Secrets

There’s something almost charmingly old school about how little we know about the new season of ‘Twin Peaks’.

In an era where entertainment ‘scoops’ can lessen – if not outright kill – any sense of surprise that can come with a new film or show, it’s astounding that so little pre-release information has leaked about what’s arguably one of the most long-awaited pieces of television to hit our screens in decades.

After all, we’re at a point where so much information is out there by the time a film or TV show lands, that most people have already moved on to speculating about the sequel or spinoff. How we got here is up for debate - sometimes, it’s the desire to get clicks and boost readership,  other times it’s just a desire to seem knowledgeable and

be able to scream ‘first’ at publishing or reposting some crucial bit information about an upcoming release. But one thing’s for sure, the increasing shift towards the spoiler hype machine has made it increasingly difficult to get to any major piece of pop culture without knowing who’s been cast, how their role fits into the sequel, which megastar has a cameo and what the post-credit sequence will entail.

While is why the ignorance surrounding ‘Twin Peaks’ season three is some special kind of bliss. With only a few months before the third season debuts, we know who’s been cast (assuming David Lynch and Mark Frost are being completely honest with us... and let’s face it, that’s not a given), how many episodes there’ll be and when it’ll air. That’s… pretty much it.

And, quite frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In part, this absence of spoilers been thanks to the goodwill generated by Lynch and Frost. When eager Peaks fans showed up in Snoqualmie while the show was filming, eager for any new nugget of information, Lynch and Frost urged people not to post photos or ruin any upcoming surprises. In an almost unprecedented show of support, fans complied.

In addition to goodwill, it’s worth noting David Lynch and Mark Frost excel at keeping secrets. They shot alternate versions of the ‘Who Killed Laura Palmer’ revelation to combat leaks and engaged in one of the most exciting bits of deception in television production history with the casting of Fumio Yamaguchi in season two. Interestingly, ‘Twin Peaks’ isn’t the only project in recent times that’s managed to keep its audience blissfully in the dark.

JJ Abrams kept a tight lid on the surprises contained in ‘The Force Awakens’ and it looks like Rian Johnson’s pulled off a similar feat for Episode 8. And while ‘Star Wars’ has always been shrouded in a veil of secrecy, that didn’t stop a couple of angry think pieces bemoaning the lack of on-set dirt about who played who, what happened and how the ‘Star Wars’ universe would expand pre-release. Whether the generally positive response to ‘The Force Awakens’ helped make it easier for Rian Johnson to get the job done is yet to be seen, but the number of genuine surprises in TFA bodes well for those of us who like to know as little as possible heading into a film. More impressive, though, was Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett… who pulled off the seemingly impossible task of filming and ‘Blair Witch’ sequel in total secrecy – even releasing a trailer for the film under the name ‘The Woods’.

In an era where an attempt to sneak in any sort of surprise cameo into a film is virtually impossible (look how long the cameos in Paul Feig’s ‘Ghostbusters’ remained a secret or how long it took for word to leak on casting for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2’) it’s nice to know there’s still capacity for film and television makers to withhold information so that audiences can experience actual surprise when they sit down to watch a movie or TV show. Sure, there’ll always be the desire to know more ahead of time. It’s human nature, and it’ll be a trend that’ll never stop altogether. But could we be witnessing the start of a trend, where we get to enjoy something without knowing half or more of the story ahead of time? I sure hope so, because quite frankly, as an avid watcher of film and television, I’ve found there’s no better feeling than being genuinely surprised by the events I’ve seen unfolding on the screen in front of me.

Now, if you don’t mind, there’s a ‘Twin Peaks’ trailer that consists of nothing but David Lynch eating a donut that I’ve only watched a hundred or so times that needs my urgent attention.

Anotherfilmnerd's earliest cinematic memory was seeing Don Johnson throw up all over a suspect in John Frankenheimer's 'Dead Bang'. Ever since, he's devoted his life to searching out cinema that's weird, wonderful and features vomit in the most unlikely of places.