She pulls him across the threshold into their home.
The screen door slams shut.
Inside the house, a boy is crying.
A man failing to hold back tears of his own.
Three people entangled in a fierce embrace with no letting go in sight.
And outside, at the exact moment the streetlamps cut on, a noise begins somewhere in the hedges that grow along the porch, repeating at perfect intervals, as steady as a metronome.
It is the sound of a cricket chirping.
by Blake Crouch
On April 8, 1990, the pilot episode of Mark Frost and David Lynch’s iconic television series Twin Peaks aired on ABC, and for a moment, the mystery of Who Killed Laura Palmer? held America transfixed. I was twelve at the time, and I will never forget the feeling that took hold of me as I watched this quirky show about a creepy town with damn fine coffee and brilliant cherry pie, where nothing was as it seemed.
Twin Peaks was ultimately canceled, the brilliant director and actors went on to do other things, but the undeniable magic present in those early episodes still haunts me two decades later. Shows like Northern Exposure, Picket Fences, The X-Files, and Lost occasionally veered into that eerily beautiful creepiness that defined Twin Peaks, but for the most part, for this fan at least, nothing else has ever come close.
They say all art—whether books, music, or visual—is a reaction to other art, and I believe that to be true. As good as Twin Peaks was, the nature of the show, in particular how abruptly and prematurely it ended, left me massively unsatisfied. Shortly after the show was cancelled, I was so heartbroken I even tried to write its mythical third season, not for anyone but myself, just so I could continue the experience.
That effort failed, as did numerous other attempts as I matured, both as a person and a writer, to recapture the feeling my twelve-year-old self had experienced back in 1990.
Pines is the culmination of my efforts, now spanning twenty years, to create something that makes me feel the way Twin Peaks did. In no way am I suggesting that Pines is as good as Lynch’s masterpiece, or even something that is likely to take you back to the feeling of that series. The show was so utterly its own thing that any attempt to recreate its aura would be inherently doomed to fail. But I feel the need to express how much Pines is inspired by Lynch’s creation of a small town in the middle of nowhere—beautiful on the outside, but with a pitch-black underbelly.
Pines would never have come about, and I may never have become a writer, if my parents hadn’t let me stay up late on Thursday nights, that spring of 1990, to watch a show the likes of which we will never see again.
So thanks, Mom and Dad. Thanks, Mr. Lynch and Mr. Frost. And, of course, the inimitable Agent Dale Cooper.
Pines is not Twin Peaks, not by a long shot, but it wouldn’t be here without it.
I hope you enjoyed my show.