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Category Archives: TV

Twin Peaks: The Return – Parts 3 and 4


If David Lynch was going to return to Twin Peaks, one thing was clear, it was going to be on his terms.  Lynch nearly walked away from the project early on when Showtime didn’t approve his budget.  But ultimately the eccentric auteur got his way and for better or worse, the new season of Twin Peaks reflects Lynch’s singular vision.  Showtime gave David Lynch a pile of money and complete creative control.  If nothing else, it will be interesting to see what he did with it.

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Twin Peaks: The Return – Parts 1 and 2


Twin Peaks is back.  The show’s opening moments remind us how long we have been waiting.  In a clip from the final episode from its original run, Laura Palmer tells Special Agent Dale Cooper that she will see him again in twenty-five years.  It’s actually been twenty-six years for us, but who’s counting?  We had Fire Walk With Me to tide us over.  That conversation took place in the mysterious Black Lodge where Agent Cooper still resides.

Flashbacks remind viewers of the show’s infamous second season cliffhanger in which our hero was trapped in the Lodge while his evil Doppelganger took his place in the real world.  I wondered if Lynch and company might sidestep this dangling plot thread but the new episodes offer no easy solution.  Coop is still trapped and his Doppelganger is a terror that needs to be stopped.  This is the story I have waited a quarter century to see completed and Twin Peaks didn’t disappoint.

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Movies that were supposed to launch franchises (but didn’t): Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me


It’s happening again.  That show I like is coming back in style.  I am of course referring to the cult sensation, Twin Peaks, which after twenty-five years has been revived for a third season on Showtime.  But this isn’t the first time Twin Peaks was given a second chance.  In 1992, just one year after the show’s cancellation, director David Lynch brought his creation to the big screen.

Showtime’s revival has been met with joyous celebration, but Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me opened to booing at the Cannes Film Festival, jeers from critics and ambivalence from audiences.  Even the show’s few remaining fans didn’t seem to know what to make of the big screen version of Twin Peaks.   A quarter century later, the movie, like the show, has enjoyed a critical reappraisal with many now viewing Fire Walk With Me as an under-appreciated gem.  That may be true, but as an attempt to extend the life of Twin Peaks mania, it was a critical and commercial failure.

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The Walking Dead: The First Day of the Rest of Your Life


The stakes were sky high for the season finale of The Walking Dead.  No, not so much for the characters.  They were just involved in a poorly plotted skirmish with Negan and the Saviors that wouldn’t actually resolve much of anything.  No, the real stakes were for the show itself.  The sixth season finale ended with an infuriating cliffhanger that alienated much of The Walking Dead’s loyal fanbase.  Since then, AMC’s crown jewel has been shedding viewers.  This season needed to end with an episode that didn’t send viewers into a rage.  The result was an overlong episode that mostly chased its own tail but at least it didn’t actively troll its audience.  That counts as a win, right?

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The Walking Dead: Something They Need


When the Oceanside community was introduced, it was obvious that sooner or later Rick was going to show up and take their guns.  It was the only reason for them to exist.  Episode after episode, we were reminded that Rick needed guns.  Conveniently, here was a community with guns to spare but without the will to use them.  Sure, Tara promised not to reveal their location.  But that promise was never anything more than a stalling tactic.  She may as well have promised to keep their location a secret until the penultimate episode of the season.

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The Walking Dead: The Other Side


Well, at least we got that out of the way.  Ever since The Walking Dead arbitrarily created the Sasha-Abraham-Rosita love triangle, the show set itself on a path towards an episode in which the two women work through their feelings.  It all feels less urgent since the meat in the Abraham sandwich got his brains splattered all over Negan’s bat in the season premiere (which feels like a lifetime ago) and the truth is this story arc was never that interesting to begin with.  But at least the show’s writers have played it out and we can theoretically all move on to not caring about Enid.

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The Walking Dead: Bury Me Here


It’s appropriate that an episode titled “Bury Me Here” includes a couple of characters dying.  I’ll hold off revealing their identities until after the jump.  One of these characters went to the trouble of digging his own grave in advance and posting a sign so as to make the purpose of the hole clear.  Signs are a theme of the episode as Morgan flashes back to the days when his grief turned to madness which resulted in him posting warning signs all around him.  The writers of The Walking Dead have been posting signs too.  Every episode is loaded with signs spelling out exactly what is going to happen before the season finale.  If anything that happened in this episode surprised you, you haven’t been paying attention.

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The Walking Dead: Say Yes


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It’s date night on The Walking Dead.  For Rick and Michonne (“Richonne”), that means hanging out at a nearby fairground with Greg Nicotero and a bunch of extras in zombie make-up.  Wacky, gory hi-jinks ensue.  The show’s writers managed to milk an hour-long episode out of that thin premise.  Let’s see if I can get a 500-word article out of it.

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The Walking Dead: Hostiles and Calamities


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Imagine a TV show based on the Wizard of Oz.  On this hypothetical show, the audience watches the Cowardly Lion overcome his fears and cheers as he discovers his courage.  Almost immediately afterwards, the character reverts to being a sniveling coward seemingly at random.  Viewers watch the Lion repeat the same story beat over and over again.  That’s what’s happening on The Walking Dead with Eugene playing the role of the Lion.  He even has the mane.

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The Walking Dead: New Best Friends


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The Walking Dead has been ridiculous for a long time now.  But lately, the show seems to be in on the joke which has made the last couple of episodes much more enjoyable than the first half of the season.  When The Walking Dead takes itself seriously, it just keeps hitting the same depressing notes over and over again leaving viewers little choice but to focus on the glaring flaws in the narrative.  But when you’ve got an episode focusing on a group right out of Mad Max complete with a Thunderdome battle between Rick and a zombie in spiky armor, there’s enough entertainment value to not sweat the small stuff.

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Starlog Archives: Tom Baker


Tom Baker is best-known as “the fourth Doctor” on the long-running British sci-fi series, Dr. Who.  Baker portrayed the time lord from 1974-1981.  With seven years of time travel under his belt, Baker holds the record for the longest tenure on the series.  When Starlog caught up with Baker in February of 1987, he didn’t have a lot going on.  But he hadn’t faded into obscurity either.  In fact, Baker remains active to this day having returned to Dr. Who in 2013 for the show’s 50th anniversary.

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The Walking Dead: Rock in the Road


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As we move into the back half of the seventh season, our “heroes” are in trouble.  No, I’m not referring to Rick Grimes and his scrappy band of apocalypse survivors.  I’m talking about Scott Gimple and the gang responsible for creating the top-rated show on cable.  Over the first half of the season, The Walking Dead‘s ratings have been in decline.  While the show remains popular, this is a trend that needs to be reversed and the show-runners know it.

For years, they have shouted down any and all criticism of the show.  But in the face of slipping ratings, they have changed their tune.  Producer Gale Anne Hurd has acknowledged that the show will be toning down the violence.  Apparently she attributes the decline in ratings to the over-the-top violence in the season seven premiere rather than the show’s numerous creative failings.  Whatever the case, the message was clear.  “We’re righting the ship.”

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Starlog Archives: Ted Cassidy


You may not know his name, but you know Ted Cassidy’s work.  The 6’9″ in actor was best known for having played Lurch on The Addams Family.  He also gave memorable performances on Star Trek, I Dream of Jeannie, Lost in Space and The Six Million Dollar Man in which he took over the role of Bigfoot from Andre the Giant.  The February 1987 issue of Starlog included an interview with the “legendary big man”.

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