Pages: 122 Size: 5x7
Illustrations: 9 black-and-white images
Julie Grossman and Will Scheibel’s enthusiastic book on the television series Twin Peaks takes fans through the world that Mark Frost and David Lynch created and examines its impact on society, genre, and the television industry. Grossman and Scheibel explore the influences of melodrama and film noir, the significance around the idea of "home," as well as female trauma and agency. In addition to this close investigation of the series itself, the authors examine the rich storytelling surrounding Twin Peaks that includes the film prequel, Mark Frost’s novels, and Showtime’s 2017 revival. In Twin Peaks, Grossman and Scheibel argue that the show has transcended conventional binaries not only in film and television but also in culture and gender.
The book begins with a look into the publicity and critical discourses on authorship that framed Twin Peaks as an auteurist project rather than a prime-time soap opera. Despite critics’ attempts to distance the series from the soap opera genre, Grossman and Scheibel explore how melodrama and noir are used in Twin Peaks. Grossman and Scheibel masterfully examine star performances in the series including Kyle MacLachlan’s epic portrayal as the idiosyncratic Special Agent Dale Cooper and Sheryl Lee’s haunting embodiment of Laura Palmer. The monograph finishes with an examination of the adaptation and remediation of Twin Peaks in a variety of different platforms, which have further expanded the boundaries of the series.
Twin Peaks explores the ways in which the series critiques multiple forms of objectification in culture and textuality. Readers interested in film, television, pop culture, and gender studies as well as fans and new audiences discovering Twin Peaks will embrace this book.
In this very smart book, Grossman and Scheibel draw upon their expertise in matters of performance, gender, and genre to brilliantly tap into the ‘electricity’ that charges and animates Twin Peaks and its remarkable Return. Like ‘a damn fine cup of coffee’ this book stimulates and satisfies in equal measure.
– Constantine Verevis, Monash University
This is a wonderfully written and effortlessly rich book. It is illuminatingly detailed at the same time as it broadens the series and its Return through a wealth of film and media historical references. Indeed an inspiring venture into the Twin Peaks and its Return universe—notably an insightful take on the discussion of gender in Lynch and the female characters in Twin Peaks.
– Anne Jerslev, professor of film and media studies, University of Copenhagen
This book is one of the first to investigate all of the Twin Peaks universe, including the recent Showtime series and the many paratexts spiraling from it. Julie Grossman and Will Scheibel create an accessible and vital work that reestablishes how significant this series continues to be in the history of television.
– Lindsay Hallam, senior lecturer in film, University of East London