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Twin Peaks, Twitter and me ‘n’ Chad in the Woolhouse…

It isn’t every day you get to be at ground zero for the start of an internet phenomenon, let alone claim some of the credit for its creation, but I think I can honestly say that I can for this one.

This weekend we reach season three, episode seven of Twin Peaks, with David Lynch and Mark Frost showcasing their extraordinary flair for surrealism, shocks, uncomfortable subject matter, awkward comedy and oblique plotlines as we are again treated to television as we’ve never seen it before.

By which I mean, the last time a show broke new ground like this was the original run of Twin Peaks back in the early ’90s; credited by so many producers of multi-strand, long arc storytelling since, as thing that made shows like the X-Files, the Sopranos and Lost even worth considering.

Although that isn’t to say it doesn’t have its detractors, even amongst the faithful fans who have waited so long for its return, despite the premiere screening getting a long-overdue standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival this year.

Yes, it can seem impenetrable, even obtuse at times, the way the many disparate storylines initially bear little or no connection to each other.

Yes, the pacing sometimes does make “the world’s most decrepit room service waiter” from season two look like an Olympic sprinter.

And yes, the tone and style of performances, especially in scenes featuring original cast members in the town of Twin Peaks, (as opposed to the many other locations the story takes us, this time round) is strangely melodramatic and the overall feel of the show is far more gritty and even horrific at times.

But this is Lynch we’re talking about here, so nothing should surprise us, and yet he manages to do just that at every turn.

All we can do is be patient with the Lynch/Frost creative gestalt and trust that our faith in their vision is rewarded in due course.

But aside from all that, the Woolhouse has been accruing an impressive array of celebrity followers and admirers, both on our original platform, the official Woolhouse Boys Facebook page (now on Instagram, too) and on Twitter.

Every tv drama has its hate figures; the ones portrayed so convincingly by an actor that they have abuse shouted at them in the street, a position usually held by the lead villain of the piece or wicked anti-hero, of which there are many in the new season. The same goes for favourite characters, of course, the ones enshrined in the great hive mind of fandom as impervious to besmirchment

But this is Twin Peaks fans, most of whom are scouring the internet for new theories and plot interpretations before the end credits finish rolling each week, so the power of the meme now holds sway over logic and sense, fans preferring to set up their own sitting ducks and sacred cows (the long-running James Hurley forehead meme is a good example) and the new shows are no exception.

Chad Broxford is a dick.

There are no two ways about it; Chad is crass, abrasive, obnoxious and arrogant, but worse still, he’s mean to Deputy Andy Brennan and his wife Lucy, a crime in itself to fans of the original series, so much so that he had already garnered a tide of “Fuck you, Chad” posts on the Twin Peaks Logposting®® page, before I made this nerd-baiting meme…

…resulting in a lot of “angery reacts” as the internet vernacular would put it.

Well, that was just a red rag to a troll bull as far as I was concerned, so I set about making as many Chad memes as I could, applying his cynical, sneering face to all sorts of Twin Peaks regulars and/or giving him a Woolhouse makeover:

All of which was most entertaining in and of itself, until it was suggested that it might be a good idea to seek out the actor, John Pirruccello, who does such a great job of bringing Chad to life, via his Twitter account.

I’d say it was cutting a long story short, but I fear I’m too late for that, nevertheless what happened next can best be illustrated by these screenshots from Twitter:

…etc etc etc.

Wow! A real life Hollywood star is on my Twitter feed! 

Not only that, he is a really lovely bloke with a great sense of humour, who not only retweets all the silly Woolhouse nonsense, but my blog posts, too and even a plug for my book.

So, emboldened by our initial success at attracting genuine celebrities into our daft corner of the Wooled Wide Web, I began a campaign of fishing for other Twin Peaks cast members on Twitter. 

And, only an hour or so later, after making a rather neat job of sweaterisation on the mysterious “burned man in the cell” (even if I do say so myself)

…I was delighted to receive a reply from the actor who plays him, the excellent Stewart Strauss:

And so it begins, the Cult of Chad (yes, that’s actually our latest Facebook page) and the mission to induct as many stars of the show as we can into the Woolhouse Boys.

Why not come and join us? It’s the best thing on the internet right now and, in a world where the news is generally bad and celebrities are often vacuous and aloof, it’s great to find that, just sometimes, you can meet your heroes and not lose faith in the magic they create.

Update:

 

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The Woolhouse opens to the public…

You will have read a lot of stuff on here over the last few weeks, about my long obsession with David Lynch’s Twin Peaks and my more recent involvement with the happy, friendly and hilariously bonkers group, The Woolhouse Boys on Facebook.

Well it’s finally time for us to come out of the warm, woolly shadows and step, blinking, into the light of day, because The Woolhouse is now officially open to all. Well, all of you who already inhabit the world of Facebook, anyway.

That’s right, you can now join the formerly exclusive club of John Justice Wheeler knitwear enthusiasts and merry woolen pranksters, allowing you access to the entire woolly wonderland. 

Not only can you enter the main Woolhouse Boys group, but you can also take advantage of the Woolhouse Boys Secrets page, where you will find inside information on the show itself, educated theorizing on plot and character development and all manner of unseen and behind the scenes gems, gathered by our well-connected founding members, not to mention a lot of good company and an eclectic selection of amazing artistic talent.

But it doesn’t end there, because there is now a new addition to our fast-expanding corner of the wooled wide web, the Woolhouse Boys Contests page, where you will be able to take part in fun competitions, with a chance to win Twin Peaks related prizes and Woolhouse Boys goodies.

So come and join in the fun and see what you’ve been missing, use the links below to enter our world, there will be a warm and woolly welcome waiting for you and many yarns to be spun.

***THE WOOLHOUSE BOYS***

***WOOLHOUSE BOYS SECRETS***

***WOOLHOUSE BOYS CONTESTS***

I’ll see you in the trees.

 

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#atozchallenge: Reflections on Peaking in a vacuum…

Hello and welcome to the retrospective Reflections post, wrapping up the #atozchallenge for 2017.

Let me start with an apology.
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t interact with the wider challenge as much as I should have done this year; it has been a busy couple of months and I never seemed to find the time to visit as many other blogs as I would have liked. I did however visit a few and I did appreciate the WordPress link site, which was far easier than having to deal with Blogger.

It didn’t help that, having forgotten which it started, I’d arbitrarily decided to instigate my own personal blogging challenge in March, only realising the day before the first post was due that I was going to be posting for over sixty days in a row!

Now, to some of you out there in blogland, that probably doesn’t seem much of a problem, since i know many of you post daily as a matter of course, but to me that’s a lot of random nonsense to come up with. Especially whilst juggling a full-time job, regular blogging features, additional online collaborations, spending time with Rhonda and Audrey, preparing for our imminent house move and generally having a life in the real world.

But I didn’t want to pass up the chance to take part altogether, (because, busy or not, I still like a challenge) so I created some strange artwork out of nature photos to get the ball rolling and wondered what I was going to do for the rest of April.

Then, later that evening I had a flash of inspiration about what I could do for my second post, prompted by something I’d seen on the Facebook page of one of those aforementioned extracurricular collaborations; the very wonderful Woolhouse Boys.

Which is how B is for Billy (Zane, of course) became the first post in my B to Z of Twin Peaks, synching nicely with the impending new series and the fact I was rewatching the original two seasons at the time.

So I think it only fair that I should tie up this year’s challenge with a taster of season three, via a spectacular bombshell that was dropped by one of the Woolhouse’s founder members a few weeks ago.

This naughty, well connected Woolhouse Boy (I daren’t say who) had somehow got his hands on a treasure trove of inside information, leaked by a recognizable member of the new cast and he was trying to think of a way to share it amongst those who wanted to know more.

Needless to say, a frenzy of requests for clarification was forthcoming from many of the group’s members and a new, private page was set up; Woolhouse Boys Secrets, to which anyone tempted by the forbidden fruit of possible spoilers could request access, at their own risk.

I was one of the many who succumbed to temptation and what I saw before me as I scrolled down the page almost made me spit out my damn fine coffee.

Script pages! With handwritten notes!

Our Brother in the Wool explained to us that because some of the scrawled notations in the margins would easily identify who the script belonged to, he’d had to disguise the pages somewhat. But even so, this was dynamite!

My source has given me permission to share them here, in exchange for a guarantee of his anonymity, which I will do in the pictures below.

Just enough to pique the interest and hint at a storyline or two, not enough to spoil anything, pitched perfectly to give long-time fans like me mild palpitations…

WOW!

Like, WOW!!


I mean, good grief, that’s just…

Wait.

Hang on a minute, what’s the date?
That’s right, it was April 1st.

All the build up, (for weeks before) the agonising over whether he should reveal what he knew, the private page, all one huge prank.

And we all fell for it, hook, line and nerdy sinker, in our lust for secrets from a place both wonderful and strange.

How many of you fell for it? 

What, not even a little bit?

Hmm, well ok, I’ll take your word for it.

Anyway, it was brilliantly done and, aside from some good natured abuse directed at the prankster, the rest of us April fools took it very well, all things considered.

So thank you, Joel Peacock, you wiley Woolhouse Boy, (yes, I think it’s safe to unmask him now) for keeping us on our toes in the run up to Twin Peaks: The Return in less than two weeks time.

#atozchallenge: Reflections on Peaking in a vacuum.

 

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#atozchallenge: Z is for Zabriske…

So, it’s the final post in this year’s #atozchallenge, bringing us to the end of my hastily thrown together B to Z of Twin Peaks and the letter that so often presents a problem in these alphabetical lists, Z.

But not today.

Grace Zabriske plays Laura’s mother, Sarah Palmer, a woman whose life begins to come apart at the seams long before we meet her in the first episode (see also; Fire Walk With Me) and whose default state fluctuates between this…

…and this…

…for the entire series.
So I thought it only fair that she was wrapped in the warm and loving embrace of a Woolhouse Boys sweater.

Ahh, she looks better already.

#atozchallenge: Z is for Zabriske.

*****

{Stream of consciousness Sunday Monday will be with you tomorrow, since it’s a bank holiday and I can.}

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2017 in A - Z challenge, TV, Twin Peaks

 

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#atozchallenge: Y is for Yankees…

For the Y post in the #atozchallenge, I’m pushing my luck again, to crowbar another daft subplot into the B to Z of Twin Peaks.

After living a life of venal ambition and greed, culminating in events so traumatic they prompt a mental breakdown, Benjamin Horne becomes convinced he’s a civil war general.

Yes, he actually thinks he’s in the southern army, fighting against the Yankees, only this time the South is winning and this entire unhinged fantasy takes place in Horne’s office at the Great Northern Hotel.

Hippy psychiatrist, Dr Jacoby enlists the help of Bobby Briggs and Ben’s daughter, Audrey Horne to reenact parts of his delusion, in order to help him regain his sanity.

Here’s a short clip of the surreal role-play therapy in action; take it away boys…

And here’s Ben in typically dramatic pose, flying the flag for The Woolhouse Boys.

#atozchallenge: Y is for Yankees.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2017 in A - Z challenge, TV, Twin Peaks

 

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#atozchallenge: X is for X-Files…

Once again giving new meaning to the word “tenuous”, the #atozchallenge reaches X in my B to Z of Twin Peaks, by way of the fact that one of the characters was (and will be) played by an actor who went on to star in that other paranormal/FBI show, The X-Files.

In his tv debut, David Duchovny plays DEA agent Dennis Bryson, called in by the FBI to help in the investigation. But when he arrives in Twin Peaks, the small town has a surprise in store.

Here is Dennis’s introduction.

I meant Denise, sorry.

#atozchallenge: X is for X-Files.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2017 in A - Z challenge, TV, Twin Peaks

 

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#atozchallenge: W is for Waldo…

I think it’s only fair that non-humans should get a mention in the #atozchallenge, (no, not giants, owls and magical dwarves) so for the W in my B to Z of Twin Peaks, I’m picking another minor character with a small but crucial part in the story.

Waldo is a minah bird who may or may not have witnessed Laura Palmer’s murder.

Given a minah’s uncanny ability to mimic the human voice, often repeating words and phrases picked up from people around them, Cooper wanted to see what he had to say for himself.

So they take him to the sheriff’s station and under Doctor Haywood‘s supervision, feed him grapes until he starts to sing like a canary (if you know what I mean).

Incidentally, Doc Haywood is played by another candidate for the W spot, the late Warren Frost, father of Twin Peaks co-creator, Mark Frost.

In the veterinarian’s office where the police are searching for Waldo’s owner, one of the classic comic moments from the series occurs. It’s only tiny, not even a gag really, just a Lynchian moment of silliness, but it features another scene-stealing animal, which is all the excuse I need to include it here.

#atozchallenge: W is for Waldo.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2017 in A - Z challenge, TV, Twin Peaks

 

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