This Just Makes Me Miss Twin Peaks

With Lost ending soon, ABC’s really pushing their next big mystery-drama series, Happy Town. What’s it about? Well, the short version is: a Twin Peaks wannabe (the trailer even mentions “From the network that brought you Twin Peaks“—which by the way premiered on ABC ten 20 years ago this month…oops, as you can see, math is not my specialty). The series takes place in Haplin, Minnesota, a quaint small town where everyone is…you guessed it! happy. Except, there are some folks that are not. Apparently, some of the local citizens have gone missing in the past, due to someone named The Magic Man. Or maybe not. No one seems to know quite what’s going on. And voila you have a TV show.

Based on the first few minutes of the premiere episode (click here to go to ABC’s website to watch), I’m already skeptical. First of all, they take being cheerful to obscene levels. I know what they are trying to go for, but the overkill is a bit distracting. Second of all, they’ve injected way too many Twin Peaks-esque details that it’s nearly impossible not to feel that you are simply watching a rip-off. For example: the similar plot points (both shows include murder mysteries); both shows take place in small towns with dark secrets; and both shows feature quirky absurd moments (Twin Peaks: Agent Cooper eating donuts while going through a crime scene; Happy Town: the sun shining through the hole in a dead guy’s head).

Given Twin Peaks’ enormous cult-success and that legendary filmmaker David Lynch was the genius behind the show, I imagine Happy Town will never measure up. And for that, why bother? Why not just go for something completely original, rather than imitate and hope it’ll work out? I’m excited that ABC has taken programming risks and gone for edgier series, but I’m annoyed that in this case they went for something so similar to a beloved classic.

Despite being annoyed, I’m still going to check out the first few episodes. I’m curious to see where they go with it. Happy Town premieres April 28 on ABC, here’s the trailer…


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    inafutureage said,

    Twin Peaks and David Lynch are two of my favorites; I have seen the series more than a dozen times. I watched the premiere last night and also noticed the efforts to evoke Lynch’s masterpiece. I did enjoy it, I hope it will be its own show. Sam Neil’s character, among other aspects, immediately hooked me. I don’t doubt that this show will be more grounded, and more wrapped around the mystery itself; it will be more conventional. Lynch is in a different ballpark, he created a masterwork, despite all of the show’s flaws.

    It seems clear to me that the network and the show’s creators intentionally evoked TP. However, I am curious to see where the show goes from here. The acting from Sam Neil and Francis Conroy is an immediate plus. This won’t dominate the water coolers like TP did, but the television universe is much more segmented, and TP already changed the TV universe for good (i.e. Lost)

Comment RSS · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: