Last Week In Twin Peaks Podcasts, Week of May 21 to May 27

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It’s unanimous: every podcaster thinks the James Has Always Been Cool line is in there specifically for those of us fans who complained incessantly about how poorly he was portrayed in the series thusfar. Considering I like him well enough in Fire Walk With Me and the episodes Lynch is directing him, I tend to agree with Lynch and Frost that the townsfolk of Twin Peaks thinks he’s cool, and I believe there’s a solid chance at the character’s redemption in our eyes.

Mathew Lillard also got high marks from everyone, often getting compared to Ray Wise’s portrayal of Leland Palmer from Maddie’s murder onward. Lillard’s Bill Hastings is constantly being debated whether he’s actually a murderer or if he’s possessed by a lodge spirit, and always referred to as a great character.

Everyone’s WTF over the fading Chimney Sweep Lincoln in the jail cell that looks like the Mulholland Drive muddy ghoul.

Most podcasts spoke of how some scenes felt Mulholland Drive and some felt Lost Highway, and mostly Eraserhead. About a third of them said it felt mostly like Lynch movies and barely at all like Twin Peaks. About a third of the podcasts noticed the presence of Mark Frost and specifically The Secret History of Twin Peaks and a third of the podcasts thought they saw NONE of Frost or Secret History. As one who can’t help but see the Secret History connections, it intrigues me that so much of the audience is able to miss it. Twin Peaks is still able to be interpreted validly in multiple directions at once, a great foundational trait of the series.

Most people loved Cooper’s Doppelganger as a character and found him properly creepy, but I am shocked that only half of the podcasts make a note of how Bob-like his look is. The debate is afoot whether Bob is inside him or if he’s a lodge spirit causing trouble all by his lonesome (here’s my take) but most agree Kyle McLachlan is killing it in DoppelCoop’s portrayal.

I couldn’t pick a show of the week, by the way. This week was just too special, and the best of the best were so different from each other I couldn’t figure out how to make a pick. This is a good problem to have.

And I didn’t cover your episodes if you covered Episodes 3 & 4 (Sorry, Redroom Podcast & Lodgers). I’ve got 53 podcasts in this week’s column. I’ll catch up with you all next week.

Onto the podcasts:

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Sparkwood & 21 put out an episode each for Parts One and Two, and left their legendary best feedback section in the universe for the end of part two. The hosts posted these on Friday and Saturday but still found a way to have a completely new detail from the other shows: The New York building with the glass box had no windows on it just like MASONIC LODGES. Another turn of phrase I still remember is when Phyllis got shot, the glitch looked “like a tuning fork got hit,” and when Laura opened her face “we’re all made up of electricity and water so maybe that’s all she’s made of up there.” Bob Bob Bob reminds them of Coop Coop Coop, and they’re wondering if the false Jefferies is actually a Future Coop. The hosts don’t miss much of anything, and they still manage to keep the tone fun and community-minded. Eagle Scouts everywhere at Sparkwood & 21, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

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I missed the To The Best Of Our Knowledge from last Thursday but it’s a good one: An interview with Mark Frost about The Secret History of Twin Peaks. Frost explained what he liked about Doug Milford as a leading character, and compared information on the internet to the different sources of material in this book. The interviewer asked him point-blank about why this book goes backward in time despite Frost’s original opinion that he didn’t want Fire Walk With Me to go backward in time, and Frost had an answer for him. A good answer. Well worth a listen, this one.

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Leading RIGHT into the premier, Damn Fine Podcast posted a live episode that covered the Twin Peaks Books in the first half hour (The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, The Autobiography of Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes, The Access Guide, and Secret History of Twin Peaks) and a half hour of plot guesses. An evil Cooper well into his reign as sheriff captured all of their imaginations, but mostly, they all just wanted it to be good and they don’t care how that happens. And on Monday morning the hosts had already dropped a single episode covering the hosts’ impressions of Parts One and Two. They referred to the Evolution Of The Arm as a brain tree nervous system (which I think was an intentional reference in the design even though Lynch is quoted as saying “it’s just a head.”). At the moment of the floating head in the prison, they specifically had the thought “we have spent almost no time in Twin Peaks.” They decided the new stuff is the eat-your-vegetables part of the new series, and noticed Lynch went out of his way to include the Horne Brothers etc. for some level of comfort even though the story Lynch & Frost were telling up to that point did not need Twin Peaks yet.

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Logs, Coffee & Bob is a fast 15-minutes-per-episode recap podcast from Previously.TV. The host, Daniel Roge, is a seasoned recapper who’s got sass coming out of everything and I really enjoyed both episodes he put out on Monday. Daniel actually summarizes the show scene-by-scene, and he does so while framing the scenes within the previous Twin Peaks scenes they relate to or reference. I was prepared not to like this just based on its length, but seriously, this show is insightful as well as coherent and it’s utilitarian fast. You need a catch-up to remember what happened before the newest episode airs? Check this out.

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BBC Front Row’s Monday May 22nd edition had TV critic Matt Thorne on at the 11:54 mark. He said it was compelling to watch despite the plot being so rambling, and that explaining the plot was missing the point. He also said the show’s mood was closer to Lynch’s artwork than his previous output.

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The promising Formica Table posted their meet-the-hosts format first episode where they talk about their overall experience with Twin Peaks. One host saw the international version of the pilot with the closed ending, another host randomly walked into a room as a child and saw Bob looking from the mirror at the killer in episode 14 and was instantly fascinated, and the last host randomly walked into a room as a child and watched Dale run his head into the mirror and was instantly fascinated. They give Frost a heap of credit, and they discuss differences between an unfettered Lynch (Inland Empire) and a fettered Lynch who deals with production adversity in amazing ways. Their first episode of Twin Peaks coverage discussed how the first two episodes felt like Lynch’s greatest hits (where he represented everything of his except Twin Peaks), and the hosts were shocked that the lodge scenes were being thought through rather than felt through. They ask a very important question: Is the lodge’s explicit structure the mitichlorians of Twin Peaks? Despite these thoughts, they were happy overall with what they watched. They obviously love Twin Peaks and have no problem asking tough-love questions. A good sign.

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Dark Mood Woods put out their own meet-the-hosts format episode before the premier. Both hosts appear to be adjacent to the film industry and one of them has guested on the Lodgers podcast. They read all the peripheral Twin Peaks books and they mention Frost by name, so they probably know their stuff. Their crazy prediction: Jim Belushi will steal the show. For their first episode of show coverage, the hosts weren’t expecting any fan service once New York became a setting, and they were okay with that. They noted the quiet languid pace as a late style film of Lynch as an older man. They discussed seeing Lynch create the Evolution of the Arm in Lynch The Art Life, as well as in Lynch’s Nine Inch Nails video as well. They talk in film industry criticism but I like them all the same.

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Sunday morning before the Showtime debut, Investigating Twin Peaks released episodes 4 (Rest in Pain) through 8 (The Last Evening) of their excellent video podcast meant exclusively for beginners. These FIVE episodes wrapped up their coverage of Twin peaks’ first season, and their commentary of it is a reminder of just how far Twin Peaks has evolved over the years.

They also put out a quick ten-minute video podcast later in the week covering their thoughts after they’d somehow attended the premier. They liked how the episodes didn’t hold the viewers’ hands, felt good to be lost again, and feel that for better or worse this will be the ending of Twin Peaks. They interspersed red carpet pictures of the cast and crew over their conversation.

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On Sunday before the debut, the Laura Palmer Is Dead podcast put out THREE episodes, covering episodes 2.20 through 2.22 and Fire Walk With Me. Their research relies mostly on hearsay (for example, the hosts went to Snoqualmie and say they visited the shooting location of the twelve sycamores, but the actual site’s in California), but occasionally make good points (They wanted to be shown more rather than listen to Windom Earle delivering expositional monologues, and speak highly of Fenn and Lee’s emotive abilities as why Lynch goes back to them over and over.) The main host acts confident that every one of her details and emotional arguments are accurate facts but they just aren’t. After a while it ends up feeling like they hit on their good points almost by mistake.

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The Gifted & The Damned has gone into full-on recap mode and boy have they ever found their calling. Instead of letting essay topics float on their own as centerpieces, Bubba and Mork (you get used to their names and the morning radio DJ style) sewed that same thoughtfulness into their discussions and it becomes a layer of how they’re talking about the new episode. If you want a linear scene-by-scene full exploration of the story in progress, this is the most successful of the Monday podcasts.

The guys brought on a third co-host (who they call Catfish. Again, this feels normal after a while) who’d never watched a drop of Twin Peaks in his life. He said he liked the scene between the Horne Brothers best, and didn’t get much else. Then he left. I can’t tell if he’ll ever be back to do a newbie report. I put the odds at a straight 50/50.

During the recap, Bubba mentions how the glass box in New York reminds him of the Nixon section of The Secret History of Twin Peaks and I’ll back him up because that’s exactly what came to my own mind watching that scene. They noticed a symbolic change in Ben’s office: instead of the secret passageway there are now glass doors.

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Twin Peaks Rewatch covered Part One on Monday and Part Two on Thursday. The hosts began with a quick scene-by-scene breakdown, then went into their impressions by categories. The show’s color palate seemed colder to them. They felt Mr. C was assembling people and places around him so that his life resembled the room above the Convenience store Bob was accustomed to. They pointed out that since soap operas are not as front and center as they were in 1990, so is it down in this new Twin Peaks. And they specify that within Twin Peaks, James probably IS cool.

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There’s a  show called Now Peaking that you can only listen to through podbean, and a show called Laura’s Secret Diary you can only listen to through Podbean. I’ve made the executive decision that if I can’t listen to it through my Podcruncher app I don’t have to review it, but give it a try if it works for you. Let me know if they’re as cool as James.

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The inevitable Twin Peaks After Show, from the AfterBuzz network, is what you’d expect from an AfterBuzz show (it has a hype machine tone to it as well as practiced snark), but one of the four hosts genuinely knows his Twin Peaks history and facts, and one of the hosts was a stand-in on the filming set so as the episodes proceed I believe she will share on-set stories. And all four hosts appear to genuinely like Twin Peaks. Which is good for them because it means they’re actually capable of digging into things even though they’ll probably hover near the surface most of the time as they did in their first episode.

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EW’s A Twin Peaks Podcast came out bright and early Monday morning with an episode each for Part 1 and Part 2. The hosts liked how Bill and Phyllis’ hatred toward each other was revealed slowly and discussed whether Mr. C’s comment to Phyllis (“You follow human nature perfectly”) sounds like he’s complimenting a fellow lodger or if he’s looking at her like an ant. Of the Monday podcasts, somehow only this one acknowledged the DoppelCooper Mr. C looks like Bob. Both episodes of this podcast were solid discussions and I’d say it’s a must-listen.

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We’re Not Going To Talk About Judy (a subheading of the Another Kind of Distance podcast) covered Parts One and Two on Monday. You will discover quickly this is the Dissenting Opinion of podcasts, as it only seems to grade Twin Peaks on what is literal and provable and therefore cover it negatively by default. The hosts do not naturally intuit or conjecture anything (they credit Diane Podcast for any comment that involves connecting dots without explicit proof). With the new episodes they noted how a typical lead character is missing from this story, and found no menace to Mr. C. They want to think of this as a regular TV show, and made the statement “Lynch may not want the same thing I want.”

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The hosts of Fire Talk With Me worried about why Laura is going through the torture again, and actively wonder if the ending of Fire Walk With Me meant nothing. They are otherwise open-mindedly happy about what they saw in Parts One and Two. They shot from the gut immediately after watching the episodes while taking zero notes, and they did admirably well for that. Allie made a point to mention how Mike says twice ”Is this the past or the future” and thinks two timelines may be in play.

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The Eagle Scouts over at Bickering Peaks started with a joking tone and went quickly into thoughts of what it is the new episodes appear to be about. They lovingly went scene by scene through parts one and two, covering all the bases well and criticized when warranted. And I had the hardest time writing down many of their insights because I was inspired by them to think through theories on my own. The hosts’ style is to intentionally (and as often as possible) pose questions about what they’re watching, and it in essence invites us listeners to participate with their show in our own thoughts. I want to write a TON about Twin Peaks theories after I listen to them. If you think about it, this is exactly how Twin Peaks itself works with the viewers, so bravo to Bickering Peaks for being extremely and effectively on-model.

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Time For Cherry Pie & Coffee (a subheading of the Time For Cakes and Ale podcast) found Parts One and Two a success for what it was trying to do: establishing a mood that viewers couldn’t stop thinking about after they watched it. They also made a connection from Mr. C’s lifestyle to above the convenience store. They pointed out Mr. C could be looking for coordinates. They dubbed the dark jail cell ghoul Chimney Sweep Lincoln and I’m running with that til I hear otherwise. I like this show’s understated style.

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The Brad Dukes Show had on Pieter Dom of welcometotwinpeaks.com. He and Brad discuss seeing Catherine Coulson at Twin Peaks Fest weeks before this was shot and had no idea she was as sick as she was. They noticed the lack of catch phrases and considered this a tough entry point for the uninitiated. The New York set with the glass box is what Pieter thinks Lynch’s house must look like.

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Emma The Vlog Lady recorded her initial reaction to Parts One and Two on camera and edited it down into what felt heartfelt yet not unlike a gag reel, which to me felt quite like Lynch. She said Wally must either still be a toddler or is dead by the way Lucy and Andy spoke about him. The puzzle will be deciphered before the end of Twin Peaks but the pieces will arrive slowly. She dropped a guess that Phyllis possibly possessed Bill Hastings and made him kill Ruth Davenport. Always good with off-center theories that get more and more correct with time, I’m paying strict attention to Emma.

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After a fantastic sound montage opening the podcasts, knee jerk reactions were the order of the day at Twin Peaks Revival this week. The town stuff has been the fan service/ least interesting part for our host and recurring guest Da Professa. New York didn’t work for them at all, not even the glass/kill scene. It was too disconnected to know what they watched or what even the main plot is. They liked seeing no Gordon Cole quite yet. The show shows restraint and they know it. In a way Da Professa wants Twin Peaks stuff to die off because the genuine story is elsewhere. I can deal with the negativity in this show because it’s insightful, and they’re not railing on the show just to do it. Some things just don’t hit everyone the same way and they get that.

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Dishin’ The Percolator made an episode each for Parts One and Two and had on Jon Lorenz as their guest. Sean almost had trouble pressing play because it was the last time to be on that side of Twin Peaks. I SYMPATHIZE with this. Sean recommended rewatching to us because we can enjoy rather than just have the “I Am Watching This” thought dominating the experience. About the episodes themselves, the guys wonder how has Cooper not been caught? What’s with the shovels? And they feel like Frost hasn’t shown up yet. They can see a world is being built here but Lynch is building it grain of sand by grain of sand. And they really dug into Bob’s new MO and lean toward what that might mean about Mr. C.

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There Will Be Drinking Recaps Twin Peaks jumped in with a live episode for Part One and they enjoyed talking about drones, male and female hotness, They complement Jerry Horne for bringing food. Their sweeping proclamation is Catherine Martell is the mysterious billionaire, or Wally would make a good Next Bob. And somebody started publishing I’m Donna Magazine. Later in the week the ladies were back in the studio covering Part Two and swung in with a Sweeping Proclamation that Ray Wise was going to sweep in and kill DoppelCoop.

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Twin Peaks Peeks started their episode with the quote! “If I’m ever lost, I hope you’re the man they send to find me.”  (And the wind is indeed at Cooper’s back these days isn’t it). The hosts think old fans will embrace this new Twin Peaks, new fans will have extreme reactions, and don’t expect a mainstream embrace. Ashley’s hot take is that Bobby and Shelly will be this Twin Peaks’ Ed and Norma. I love Matt and Ashley. They’re smart Heartfelt millenials who know how to talk their way through television both with its social implications and its story beats.

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Who Killed Laura Podcast put out two episodes for Parts One and Two. The tone was less comedic than I was expecting and it was a bit of a bare bones commentary. They wondered if Tracy herself dispatched the guard in New York.  They went into connections with nature as well as Lynch’s connections with faith when the hosts were talking about Bob.

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Diane Podcast spoke of the harshness of these new episodes but conceded immediately that the original Twin Peaks has developed a softness with handling. They loved this new Twin Peaks. They think the device in New York is a yantra machine or an orgone collector, either way it’s fantastic, and they think the lodge scene with the giant is further in the future. There is a ton of adventure in this twin peaks and they see the Questing vibe everywhere. Philosophical and data-filled as ever, those Eagle Scouts at team Diane. Listen to them at your benefit.

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Peaks TV will appear every two weeks, from the same team who’ve covered Westworld and Game of Thrones. They discussed Twin Peaks in general, Showtime’s promotion efforts, and shock over how well the spoiler embargo held fast. They specifically brought up the possibilities of Bob’s recasting but failed to notice Cooper seems to be the answer. They’re less good in their history and facts than some, better than others, and are aware of this. The show knows what it doesn’t know and works within that.

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Twin Peaks The Return has a poetic way of dealing with the material at hand and got an interview with Sherilyn Fenn for the end of this episode (where she gets inordinately excited for French Onion Soup). The hosts discussed the intricacies of Lynch’s sound design , how the color schemes flattened most scenes overall, and in discussing the new scope of Twin Peaks’ world spoke how the evil of Bob was never going to be able to be contained by the town.

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Twin Peaks Log saw a TON of Wild At Heart in all the Mr. C scenes, down to the Nic Cage vibe from the character. They thought there was an organic evolution from the TV show to the movie to this new incarnation, described it as glacial but compelling, and wondered “was the box watching him as much as he was watching the box?” They also thought Mr. C’s playing card symbol looked like one of the Fire Walk With Me masks, and they really want Lucy’s child to look like Dick Tremayne.

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Twin Peaks Unwrapped delved in to the new episodes with guests Harley Peyton (who gave a wonderful take on the material as an alumni before talking about Channel Zero a bit) and John Thorne (who Frost told “it’s only going to take off from here”). Host Ben’s younger self and older self are satisfied with the new episodes, and Bryon dug it too. Both conversations covered all four new Parts in broad strokes, and I’m left still thinking about how the Roadhouse, as a location, having a certain presence and power that has yet to be explained.

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I’m Worried About Coop covered their pre-watching expectations for the first half hour of this week’s show followed by highlights of what they noticed from Parts One and Two. This podcast is still finding its legs but the hosts show insight and their instincts are great: it’s community minded, they reference other podcasts and credit ideas (which shows good character) before adding their own thoughts to them. The hosts are good searchers and I think as the episodes continue, this will grow.

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The Bookhouse Podcast thinks most of the South Dakota characters are possessed, and think there’s a conspiracy that specifically kept the kids out of the New York monitoring room so Coop could pass through unnoticed. They also noted how there are more mentions of characters with dead actors than there are mentions of characters who have actors listed in the cast. I’m not exactly a fan of the main host but I like how Christian thinks for sure.

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Mr. Podcast stepped away from their normal format to focus on Twin Peaks for three and a half hours. It sounded a lot like a conversation I WISHED I had in college. After a half hour of preamble they dove into the current incarnation of Twin Peaks, and by the end of it they even went into Fire Walk With Me mythology such as garmonbozia and and the convenience store. These guys are pumped.

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Boob Tube Buddies is a podcast that covers multiple TV shows, so the beginning covered normal segments before the hosts covered the general question of how they’d’ve done a new Twin Peaks series before the real one was announced. Then the hosts covered the new episodes as best they could while also bringing on a guest who, among other things, shared that Catherine Coulson was Lynch’s theater teacher early on.

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The Twin Peaks Podcast (the original from 2011) came back trying to process through their pre-loaded expectations that were not exactly met by the slower beginning than could satisfy them. They were soured but not negative (there’s a difference) and I don’t blame them for their feelings one bit. One way they put it: Fans of Twin Peaks and Fans of Lynch, neither one of them were satisfied by these first episodes. Another way is that the clinical approach to the storytelling needed to meet the audience halfway.  They also think the entire South Dakota cast of characters could be possessed and that Laura’s torture should’ve been over at the end of Fire Walk With Me. They noticed something new: that Lucy played solitaire with real cards. And they expect overall that the shock will wear off and they’ll grow into it, they have optimism for that even when they’re still gobsmacked. Their listener feedback section was filled with similar reactionary takes and even some exploration. Give this show two more weeks and it’ll be balanced the way it needs to be to finish the journey.

 

Not on the list but you released a podcast last week? Leave a comment here so I can add you into my listening schedule. The Twin Peaks community needs to know about you!

 

8 Replies to “Last Week In Twin Peaks Podcasts, Week of May 21 to May 27”

  1. Not to add to your burden – which would be pretty hard to do since you’re so thorough here (I even was gonna suggest Red Room Podcast till I remembered you left them for next week given 3&4) – but a couple other suggestions pop to mind though I’m not sure if either qualify. Admittedly I may be a bit biased since I was mentioned on one and guested on the other! I think of Obnoxious & Anonymous/Twin Peaks Thoughts more in the “YouTuber” genre but since you included VlogLady (who’s been on my radar but whose work I haven’t plunged into yet – afaik, she’s just on YT, right) they might merit inclusion. Also, “The Spoil Well” had a short 28-minute episode on Twin Peaks that went up before the premiere of The Return. It offers, I think, one of the most concise and pointed analysis/descriptions I’ve ever heard of how Twin Peaks works and what it means.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh and also, they haven’t dropped their episode yet but in the next week or so “Discourse Collective” will release a discussion on Twin Peaks (again, this is one I was invited to join which was how I found out about them).

      They’re a left-wing cultural/political podcast that will be approaching Lynch and Twin Peaks through that lens. Turned out to be a pretty interesting conversation, though it won’t cover The Return since it was recorded beforehand.

      Bummed that Log Ladies Podcast never came back after making it all the way to ep. 25 in 2015. Thought maybe the revival would do it but no dice. Wonder what happened. Was very pleasantly surprised when Fire Talk finally released their FWWM episode though (and a very good one at that).

      Like

      1. I miss the log ladies a ton too, they just missed the critical mass…I always wonder if it’s because they couldn’t deal with Fire Walk With Me on a soul level (I know I barely can).
        Regardless of that, I’m definitely checking out discourse collective.

        Like

    2. These sound like contenders for sure, thanks for letting me know Joel. Hopefully things’ll be calmer this week and I have some time to stream these.

      Like

      1. Cameron’s videos are pretty prolific and extended so you’ll probably have to pick and choose there. But yeah YouTube’s a whole other arena – lot of stuff popping up there the past few months that I haven’t been able to check out yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If you like egomaniacal doughy guys never really saying anything for hours on end, Obnoxious and Anonymous is a must.

        Liked by 1 person

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