The Search for a Damn Fine Podcast (Part 2)

Last week I reviewed five of the podcasts I found that reviewed The Secret History of Twin Peaks, along with a few extras.  This week I finish off my podcast search with six more.  My head is now so filled with Twin Peaks history and mystery, I fear it’s gonna explode.  So without further ado, and in no particular order, here is the latter half of the list.

Twin Peaks Peeks

  • Episode: The Secret History Of Twin Peaks (12/19/2016)

OK, spoiler alert, I like this podcast.  Think of this as the more cerebral Twin Peaks podcast.  Show hosts Matt Olson and Ashley Brant were not even born when the show originally aired, but these young ‘uns know their stuff.  They have some really insightful conversations that dip into other literature (Ashley is an English major), TV series and movies.  They have good rapport with each other, and both have a sardonic, dry wit about them that appeals to me.  Like a lot of Twin Peaks podcasts, they started in June 2015 with the reboot announcement, working their way through the series, FWWM, the Missing Pieces, and now Secret History.  If I were going to pick a podcast to listen to their episode recaps, this would probably be the one (maybe someday when I have the free time).

They found the book enjoyable, with the usual frustrations not just with regard to the continuity inconsistencies, but also with the structure of the book and all the ways it could have been better.  They view book as valuable for insight into how Mark Frost views his contribution to the show, and for that it’s a worthy addition to the Twin Peaks universe.  Also, it did give Ashley an opportunity to pitch Matt on her interest in Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard.

One thing to note, there have been no episodes in the 4 months since the Secret History episode.  Matt had moved to NYC between the Missing Pieces episode in May and this episode in Dec, and as a result they left it a bit up in the air as to whether they were going to be able to continue when S3 started.  Let’s hope they don’t give it up.

  • Banter: 10/10
  • Knowledge & Research: 10/10
  • Analysis & Theories: 9/10

The Brad Dukes Show

  • Episode 31: Mark Frost (The Secret History of Twin Peaks) (10/18/2016)

Brad Dukes is the author of “Reflections, An Oral History Of Twin Peaks”.  His podcast is primarily an interview format, though like the Red Room Podcast, not all guests are Twin Peaks related.  His Secret History episode, however, is an interview with the man himself, Mark Frost.  Brad asks some good questions, mostly reaching back into the original series.  He’s obviously been well prepped by Mark’s publicist to avoid S3 content questions, but Mark even dodges answering how the idea to reboot started, save to reveal that he called David, not the other way around.  (To be fair, Mark says it’s David’s direction to keeps things so tightly under wraps, and he doesn’t seem to necessarily agree.)

If you like interview format podcasts, this is probably the one for you.  Given Brad’s experience in the world of Twin Peaks fandome, he’ll have the pull to get good guests.  He and Mark actually banter a bit about Brad’s book, already having known each other.  Personally, I’m looking more for analysis and theories, and while I’m sure Brad has his, I don’t know how much of that will come out in this format.

  • Banter: 8/10
  • Knowledge & Research: 10/10
  • Analysis & Theories: 7/10

Twin Peaks Unwrapped

  • Episode 72: Mark Frost on The Secret History of Twin Peaks
  • Episode 74: The Secret History of Twin Peaks

The first Secret History episode on this podcast is an interview with Mark Frost (the other of only two in my search).  Although the hosts, Byron and Ben, are obviously star struck having Mark on their podcast, they still ask some really good questions.  Mark, of course, continues to avoid answering anything about S3.  Ah, well.  Still, good stuff.

The second episode is a panel discussion of the book, in which they are joined by Joel Bocko (another Twin Peaks supernerd, creator of the “Journey Through Twin Peaks” video essays).  There’s a very good depth of knowledge with all of the participants.  Lots of history, lots of theories.  I like it.  Having only started two years ago, they are already up to episode 99, so they’ve been very prolific, and they have a broad spectrum of Twin Peaks related topics.

  • Banter: 9/10
  • Knowledge & Research: 10/10
  • Analysis & Theories: 10/10

The Sparkwood and 21 Podcast: A Twin Peaks Recap

  • Episode: The Secret History of Twin Peaks (2/24/2017)

This one started in Nov 2014, before the reboot announcement (I believe).  They started out with a rewatch, of course, including FWWM, but then they moved on to do all of the books.  However, what really stands out are the discussion episodes with listener guests and episodes dedicated to listener feedback (on top of a normal feedback segment at the end of regular episodes).  These guys apparently have a good and active listener base, and they take good care of them.

The podcast is part of the No Ship Network, so the hosts, Steve and Em, have experience podcasting about TV shows.  However, they really are true fans of the show.  The structure of the episode is loose, with the hosts just allowing the conversation to wander where their thoughts take them (it’s not as incoherent as that may sound).  While there were parts of the book they enjoyed, over all they were disappointed with the inconsistencies, especially in light of Mark Frost’s flippant comments about not caring about “canon”.  They talked of maybe revisiting Secret History after S3 to see if there were hints at the new content in the book all along.

One thing of note, due to Steve’s job, they are not going to be able to get episodes out until Friday evening (S3 is airing on Sunday nights, in case you somehow didn’t know that).  This could be a really good thing.  You’re not going to get the quick turnaround analysis and theories from the hosts with this podcast.  But what you *are* going to get is probably the best listener feedback content, since listeners will have had 4 days to absorb the episode and discuss it on social media.  That’s going to make this podcast a stand out from the crowd, I predict.

  • Banter: 9/10
  • Knowledge & Research: 9/10
  • Analysis & Theories: 10/10

Twin Peaks the Gifted and the Damned

  • The Secret History of Twin Peaks: Pages 1-65 (11/3/2016)
  • The Secret History of Twin Peaks: Pages 66-141 (11/17/2016)
  • The Secret History of Twin Peaks: Pages 142-238 (12/1/2016)
  • The Secret History of Twin Peaks: Pages 239-301 (12/15/2016)
  • The Secret History of Twin Peaks: Pages 302-End (1/12/2017)

These guys have probably the most polished podcast, being part of a “professional” podcast network (Double P Podcasts).  They put their feedback segment up front, which very different from what I’m used to, but kind of brilliant.  These five episodes on the Secret History are some of their first ones for the podcast, so there’s a lot of pimping of their own product that you have to wade through.  Also before they get into the main segment, they’ve been sharing personal stories of encounters with Twin Peaks actors in the L.A. area (which they are from – both work in the business).  The banter between the hosts, Bubba (yes, Bubba) and Mork (yes, Mork), is just the best, for my tastes.  Yes, it’s schlocky at times, but they’re just having so much fun that you can’t help but laugh along.

For all their goofing around, these two really know their stuff.  They do their research.  They bring up the Access Guide, message board theories, and even “COOP” (if you know what that is, you’ve dated yourself).  Taking five episodes to break down this book could have been extremely painful, but they keep it moving and keep it interesting.  If you didn’t want to read the book and only had room for one podcast to listen to about it, this would be the one.

  • Banter: 10/10
  • Knowledge & Research: 10/10
  • Analysis & Theories: 10/10

Bickering Peaks: A Twin Peaks Podcast

  • Special Episode #1: The Secret History of Twin Peaks (10/30/2016)

The hosts, Aidan and Lindsay, are a husband and wife team from Edmonton, Alberta, which makes for the “bickering” part of the title (you’ll give the banter +1 if you’re married).  They’re both English majors with philosophy minors, which they joke is why they started a podcast.  Lindsay is the Twin Peaks “superfan”, she’s the one hanging out on the message boards and doing the research.  Aidan is just a regular fan, having been introduced to the show by his wife.  They’re almost done recapping the original series, with a bunch of “special” episodes for the books, fanfic, S3 news, and special topics.  In 7 months, they’ve put out 44 episodes – so they’re really cranking them out.

They discuss the book content in more detail on the initial historical parts, then more briefly on the character backstories / updates.  They go through most of the major inconsistencies and review some of the current (at the time) fan theories regarding them.  As they point out towards the end of the episode, Twin Peaks has never been and never will be a show that presented us easy answers on a silver platter.  The point is that here we are 25 years later debating brand new Twin Peaks material.  This is a dream come true.

  • Banter: 9/10
  • Knowledge & Research: 9/10
  • Analysis & Theories: 9/10

The fact is, every one of these podcasts is damn fine, and the reality is probably that I’ll listen to each and every one of them through the Season 3 run.  After all, who needs sleep?

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