Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks Revival: David Lynch Defends His Intense Spoilerphobia, Addresses MIA Donna, Reflects on Polarizing Season 2: 'It Sucked'

“Just a reminder that he will not discuss any character or plot info about the new Twin Peaks.”

The above heads-up was delivered to me last month from a Showtime rep ahead of my one-on-one phone interview with Twin Peaks co-creator David Lynch, and it hardly came as a surprise. The famously tight-lipped auteur has been shrouding his 18-hour Twin Peaks revival (premiering Sunday at 9/8c) in the kind of secrecy that would prompt a “Chill out, dude!” from even Matt Weiner. So what’s a spoiler hound — and self-described Twin Peaks junkie — like myself to do? Line up a bevy of vague softballs, slip in one or two scoop adjacent Qs and hope for the best.

TVLINE | Are you finished editing all 18 episodes?

TVLINE | How long did the process take?
A little bit over one year.

TVLINE | Do you feel a sense of closure? 
I feel satisfied. I can’t tell you any more than that.

TVLINE | Did you feel like you had unfinished business with the franchise?
No, I went into it because I love the world of Twin Peaks. I love the people in the world. And I wanted to go back in there.

TVLINE | You have kept a very tight lid on any/all details about the revival. Showtime is hosting a screening of the two-hour premiere on May 19, two days before the world will see it. Were you reluctant to allow them to do even that?
No, it’s so close to the opening, it’s fine.

TVLINE | What is at the heart of all the secrecy? 
I always say, for me personally, I don’t want to know about something before I see it. I want to experience it in a pure way and be taken into a world and have this experience. I think that’s something that is harder and harder to do these days.

TVLINE | One thing you did release ahead of time was a very lengthy list of all the cast members participating in the revival. Of course, my eyes immediately focused on the names that were missing, like Lara Flynn Boyle. I was a big fan of the Donna character and was disappointed to see that she wouldn’t be in it. Why isn’t she in it?
These days people love strange Hollywood side stories that have nothing to do with the film. You can go talk to Lara Flynn Boyle. This is a story that takes place without her.

TVLINE | Do you have a favorite character? 
No. I love all of them equally.

TVLINE | Is there an aspect of the original series you are most proud of?
The pilot is the only thing I am particularly, extremely proud of. There were great moments along the way. The second season sucked.

TVLINE | Why did you want to direct all 18 hours as opposed to sharing some of the burden with, say, your co-writer Mark Frost?
I wanted it to hold together. I see it as a film. [And you] don’t stop partway through [a film] and have someone else [direct]. It’s got to have a follow-through from the beginning to the end.

TVLINE | How involved was Mark?
Mark and I wrote the script together. And that’s it.

TVLINE | You guys wrote the entire season before you formally received a green light from Showtime, yes?
Pretty much. There was some writing afterwards but, yeah, you wanna know you have the thing.

TVLINE | Were you ever concerned about doing all of this work and then having Showtime — or any other outlet — decide not to produce it?
Sure, there [was] a risk. It would’ve been OK if nobody wanted to do it. [Laughs]

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  1. Gospino says:

    The second season did suck. I appreciate the honesty of that statement. But that first season was like nothing else, so special. And I’m good with the no-spoilers approach. I wish more show runners would use it.

    • Parts of the second season sucked, it is still pretty good overall.

      • Geo says:

        Yeah, I’ve been rewatching the series to get ready for the new episodes, and I’ve been surprised with how much of the second season actually doesn’t suck. The first batch of episodes in the second season hold together well with the first season– it’s only after ABC forced Lynch to “solve” the Laura Palmer case about a third of the way through the second season where things start getting bad for a while (Lynch’s presence with the show was reportedly severely reduced during that period). But the season finale of season 2– directed by Lynch– is as good as anything in the first season. It gives me confidence that with Lynch now fully back in charge we’ll get something really good.

        • Simone says:

          I agree – until the murder is solved a third through the second season, it is quite strong. It then loses itself a bit in senseless local crime drama and the frankly over the top cartoonish Windam Earle arc, but it’s still entertaining. And as you said, it finishes very strongly.

    • Jo Garret says:

      Why would you interview and post an article asking someone questions who doesn’t want to answer them?

  2. Tony says:

    I agree about no spoilers, though I am not a hardcore stickler about it. For some shows, I absolutely want to experience it without prior knowledge. For some others that I have a milder interest in, I don’t mind having knowledge of a detail or two.

    • Alex Breakaway says:

      Exactly, I like spoilers whenever I’m losing interest in the show or when I don’t like a plot

  3. Billy Bob Johnson says:

    Good for you, Michael, that most show producers/showrunners give out spoilers, or you’d be looking elsewhere for employment. I like not having spoilers. It does ruin it for the viewer.

  4. Mike says:

    I think spoilers can help save a show. It depends on each particular show. For something like Twin Peaks, I’d prefer not to have anything spoiled. But I can think of one particular storyline in Chuck where I’m glad I knew it was coming to an end and that good times were coming. It would have been difficult to get through some moments without knowing there was a light at the end of the tunnel

  5. Et Al says:

    He seems a bit snippier than usual (at least in text). But he was probably pretty exhausted at tat point.

    Very clever question about Donna and I’m not sure it was definitively answered.

    I agree with another comment here that season 2 is better than I remembered. And 2 Lynch directed masterpieces take place in it so he can’t really mean it all sucked.

    They deserve a special Emmy for legitimately keeping such a massive production so spoiler-free in this day and age.

    I can’t wait until Sunday. 4 hours! Wow Bob, wow!

  6. Mailer says:

    So excited for this! I have two episode left of Season 2 to re-watch. Agree with other commenters. Once Laura’s killer was revealed things got wonky. The second season is better than I remember it plus I was so young back then. I’m okay with no spoilers for this, we’ve all waited this long what’s a little while longer?

  7. MMD says:

    How refreshing that he admitted that season 2 sucked. It would be nice if others could skip the BS and spin when they know they are producing a lousy product.

    As for spoilers, when the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life was getting close I completely avoided the internet whereas other shows I like the spoilers. It all depends on the show.

  8. Iris says:

    I won’t miss at all the characters who won’t be back, except for Harry Truman/Michael Ontkean and the original BOB. I’m actually optimistic about the revival because those characters won’t be back.

  9. Coop says:

    Sunday can’t get here soon enough!

  10. Much respect to Mr Lynch. He ensured that interview was done his way. I also prefer a spoiler-free life.

  11. I Baca says:

    What a mess I guess I forgot to drop my acid before the show.

  12. “These days people love strange Hollywood side stories” so he’s calling Lara Flynn Boyle and her life strange? Lol:)

  13. FF says:

    Season 2 sucked after episode 9. It was a mess! I used to skip right from the end of 9 and go straight to the finale.

    One day I figured I might be being unfair and forced myself to watch the intervening eps. I doubt I’ll do that again. It was hideous.

    Also, if Lynch is testy it’s because he’s being tested. He notoriously doesn’t do spoilers. It’s like asking for spoilers for an oil painting: as he sees it, these 18 eps are the whole painting. Do you ask for spoilers on the figure in the top right corner of a painting? Well, that is what he’s hearing when people try to get them.

    I think the emotional experience and reaction to the work is to him part of the whole. Compromise that and you are destroying part of the work itself.

    Besides, I can’t even get my head around spoilers for this kind of detail oriented and sometimes quite abstracted work. It’s confusing enough in context! For that I do appreciate Frost’s structure, as much as I appreciate Lynch’s intuitive leaps. I don’t entirely trust either 100% individually but in balance and harmony, it can be good.

    I’m actually enjoying the not knowing right now so I’m glad he’s keeping it on lock.