The “Twin Peaks” experiment at Showtime is not working out. Sunday’s ratings for the big two hour comeback were terrible– just 506,000 total viewers. A small percentage of them were in the key demo–just 0.2.
Among scripted shows, “Twin Peaks” was substantially outranked by “the Leftovers” on HBO and “American Gods” on Starz.
What a mess. There are 16 more one hour episodes coming. I’ve watched the third and fourth installments and they are no better than the first two, even with guest appearances by David Lynch, David Duchovny, and Ray Wise as Leland Palmer.
Showtime didn’t show press advance episodes or provide anything other than stories about the “cult” of “Twin Peaks.” It was all shrouded in mystery and depended on people remembering what happened 25 years ago when the show was cancelled.
But what everyone involved forgot was that “Twin Peaks” was cancelled for a reason: it got bad fast. The original series about Laura Palmer’s death was perfection. But once that mystery was solved, the show just became a joy ride for weirdness. It ended in smoke and ashes.
The new “Twin Peaks” so far is notable for style only. The plot, if there is one, makes no sense. For long term viewing there is nothing to hang your hat on, no hook. It’s simply bizarre. As I wrote Sunday night, what we’re missing is a real incident like Laura Palmer’s murder, the arch characters, the banter, the off kilter ornamentation of cherry pie. And fun. There is no fun in the new “Twin Peaks.” Just people talking backwards.