This afternoon, together with thousands of other people around the world, I watched the pilot episode of my favorite TV show ever, Twin Peaks, and it made me feel more connected with humanity than I have in weeks.
The actor who played main protagonist Special Agent Dale Cooper, Kyle MacLachlan, and the awesome Mädchen Amick who played Shelly, hosted a Twitter feed where impassioned viewers shared their thoughts, questions and responses throughout the episode, with #twinpeakswatchparty as our common thread.
I felt elated to connect with so many like-minded and like-hearted people as we all simultaneously basked in the David Lynch-directed genius. Kyle even answered two of the questions I posed.
KYLE MACLACHLAN READ MY TWEET. I can now tick that off my bucket list.
Afterwards, Kyle and Mädchen met on Kyle’s live Instie feed for an intimate and genuine conversation about the personal and cultural impact of the show, both then and today, 30 years to the day since the pilot first aired on US television. By the time they wrapped up their conversation, I was buzzing, not knowing whether to laugh or cry. So I laughed.
I didn’t watch the TV show when it first aired back in 1990 – my parents deemed me too young for its murder mystery content and late timeslot. Instead, I discovered it at university: we would gather around 11pm, brew coffee and share donuts, and watch until around 4 or 5 in the morning, at which point I’d meander home, my consciousness drifting from the streets of Adelaide to the Douglas firs of the Pacific North West, where Twin Peaks was set.
From the outset I was smitten. I’ve always loved dark, unsettling films and television, and the cinematographic feats achieved in this little TV show shine on decades after its creation. Although the plot went haywire during the second season and caused its abrupt axing in 1991, the legacy of Twin Peaks lingers strong today, evidenced by the immense number of people who watched the communal viewing and shared their passion for the show on social media today. I feel invigorated for it.
In quarantine, this connection with a virtual global community is extra potent. I find myself uplifted not by attending a concert or dancing in a crowd, but by the action of thousands of separate individuals spread across the planet who clicked ‘play’ on Netflix at the same moment and relished all that unfolded. Together.