Presentation on theme: "ENGL 6310/7310 Popular Culture Studies Fall 2011 PH 300 M 240-540 Dr. David Lavery ENGL 6310/7310 Popular Culture Studies Fall 2011 PH 300 M 240-540 Dr."— Presentation transcript:
ENGL 6310/7310 Popular Culture Studies Fall 2011 PH 300 M Dr. David Lavery ENGL 6310/7310 Popular Culture Studies Fall 2011 PH 300 M Dr. David Lavery
Twin Peaks “She’s dead, wrapped in plastic.”
Twin Peaks Cooper’s Dream The famous dream sequence in Episode 2 of Season 1
Paratext: “Throughout this book, then, while I will occasionally use the above terms as context deems appropriate, I will more frequently refer to paratexts and to paratextuality. I take these terms from Gerard Genette, who first used them to discuss the variety of materials that surround a literary text. A fuller definition of these terms will be offered in chapter 1, but my attraction to them stems from the meaning of the prefix "para-," defined by the OED both as "beside, adjacent to," and "beyond or distinct from, but analogous to." A "paratext" is both "distinct from" and alike—or, I will argue, intrinsically part of—the text. The book's thesis is that paratexts are not simply add-ons, spinoffs, and also-rans: they create texts, they manage them, and they fill them with many of the meanings that we associate with them. Just as we ask paramedics to save lives rather than leave the job to others, and just as a parasite feeds off, lives in, and can affect the running of its host's body, a paratext constructs, lives in, and can affect the running of the text. (6)
Forthcoming: Books on Joss Whedon, TV Finales, The Sopranos, Supernatural, Television Art (a text book), TV Auteurs Forthcoming: Books on Joss Whedon, TV Finales, The Sopranos, Supernatural, Television Art (a text book), TV Auteurs Lavery Paratexts
Television Paratexts Contributed To
Dr. David Lavery Founding Co-Editor, Co-Editor (2001- )
Full of Secrets: Critical Approaches to Twin Peaks Edited by David Lavery Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1994 Contributors Acknowledgements Introduction: "The Semiotics of Cobbler: Twin Peaks' Interpretive Community | David Lavery Bad Ideas: The Art and Politics of Twin Peaks | Jonathan Rosenbaum The Peaks and Valleys of Serial Creativity: What Happened to/on Twin Peaks | Marc Dolan "Do You Enjoy Making the Rest of Us Feel Stupid?" alt.tv.twinpeaks, the Trickster Author, and Viewer Mastery | Henry Jenkins Family Romance, Family Violence, and the Fantastic in Twin Peaks | Diane Stevenson "Disturbing the Guests with This Racket": Music and Twin Peaks | Kathryn Kalinak The Canonization of Laura Palmer | Christy Desmet Lynching Women: A Feminist Reading of Twin Peaks | Diana Hume George Double Talk in Twin Peaks | Alice Kuzniar Infinite Games: the Derationalization of Detection in Twin Peaks | Angela Hague Desire Under the Douglas Firs: Entering the Body of Reality in Twin Peaks | Martha Nochimson The Dis-order of Things in Twin Peaks | J. P. Telotte Postmodernism and Television: Speaking of Twin Peaks | Jimmie L. Reeves, et al Appendix A: Directors and Writers Appendix B: Cast List Appendix C: Abbreviations Appendix D: A Twin Peaks Calendar Appendix E: Twin Peaks Scene Breakdown Bibliography
Henry Jenkins (1958- ). Comparative media theorist. "Do You Enjoy Making the Rest of Us Feel Stupid?" alt.tv.twinpeaks, the Trickster Author, and Viewer Mastery | Henry Jenkins
“The series that will change TV.” Rodman, Warren. "The Series that Will Change TV." Connoisseur, September 1989: Watch Promos
Twin Peaks Generic Allegiances: Frost once described Twin Peaks as "a moody, dark soap opera murder-mystery, set in a fictional town in the Northwest, with an ensemble cast and an edge” A mystery (“Who killed Laura Palmer?” drove the story for its entire first season and nine episodes into the second) A soap opera (it even contained within it another soap opera, Invitation to Love an FBI drama (Malach) a detective story (Hague, Nickerson) a sensation novel (Huskey) a western (complete with a “Doc” right out of Gunsmoke and a Sheriff in a cowboy hat) a coffee commercial (Reeves, et al)
Ancillary Texts / Commodity Intertexts Peaks Paratexts
The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, written by Lynch’s daughter Jennifer Peaks Paratexts
The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life. My Tapes Peaks Paratexts
Diane: The Twin Peaks Tapes of Agent Cooper Peaks Paratexts
Welcome to Twin Peaks: Access Guide to the Town Peaks Paratexts
Wrapped in Plastic, a Twin Peaks fanzine Peaks Paratexts
Major Characters Annie Blackburne (Heather Graham) Deputy Andy Brennan (Harry Goaz) Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) Major Garland Briggs (Don Davis) Denis(e) Bryson (David Duchovnay) Gordon Cole (David Lynch) Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) Windom Earle (Kenneth Welsh) Laura Palmer, Maddy Ferguson (Sheryl Lee) Philip Gerard (One-armed Man (Al Strobel) Donna Hayward (Lara Flynn-Boyle) Dr. William Hayward (Warren Frost) Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) Jerry Horne (David Patrick Kelly) James Hurley (James Marshall) Big Ed Hurley (Everett McGill) Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie) Dr. Lawrence Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) Norma Jennings (Peggy Lipton) Hank Jennings (Chris Mulkey) Leo Johnson (Eric Da Re) Shelley Johnson (Madchen Amick) The Log Lady (Catherine Coulson) Man from Another Place (Michael J. Anderson) Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie) Pete Martell (Jack Nance) Lucy Moran (Kimmy Robertson) Josie Packard (Joan Chen) Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) Leland Palmer (Ray Wise) Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) Albert Rosenfeld (Miguel Ferrer) Sheriff Harry S. Truman (Michael Ontkean)
“Never before, in the history of television, had a program inspired so many millions of people to debate and analyze it deeply and excitedly for so prolonged a period.... Twin Peaks generated the kinds of annotated scrutiny usually associated with scholarly journals and literary monographs....” David Bianculli, Teleliteracy
At 10:01 p.m. Thursday, April 19, the telephone started like a tribal drum. Everybody in the continental United States--including my children, my editors, my enemies--wanted to know about the dwarf. What did the dwarf mean? Why was he talking backwards? In Cambridge, Massachusetts, in Madison, Wisconsin, and in Berkeley, California, there are Twin Peaks-watching parties every Thursday night, after which... Deconstruction. About the dwarf: Like, wow. Bunuel was mentioned, and Cocteau, and Fellini. John Leonard, "The Quirky Allure of Twin Peaks"
“I have never been able to sit through a whole episode of Twin Peaks. It's a postmodern soap opera, which means that every time someone on screen eats a piece of apple pie, you can hear a thousand students start typing their doctoral dissertations on ‘Twin Peaks: David Lynch and the Semiotics of Cobbler.’” Libby Gelman-Waxner, Premiere magazine
Fandom. Twin Peaks was one of the first television series to inspire active fan participation and heavy investment in a current series. At water coolers around the nation and on alt.tv.twinpeaks and elsewhere, avid followers of the show speculated endlessly about the significance of minute visual details (often captured and rewatched on their VCRs) and narrative developments in the series (Jenkins). Interest in the series was not limited to the United States: Twin Peaks was a cultural phenomenon in the UK, in Europe, and, especially in Japan. Even after the show’s cancellation, Japanese flocked to the Pacific Northwest to tour the “actual” sites of the series: the Double R Cafe, the Great Northern Hotel, the location where Laura Palmer’s body was found, “dead, wrapped in plastic.”
Twin Peaks DNA: “dreamy, cinematic (rather than televisual) style, slow pacing, extreme violence, emotional excess, disturbing sexuality, strung-out narrative, accentuation of subtext, controversial subject matter, lush scoring, uncanny dream sequences, the demand for complete attention it placed upon television viewers accustomed to distraction, its reliance on “a particular kind of irony where the very macabre and the very mundane combine in such a way as to reveal the former’s perpetual containment in the latter” (David Foster Wallace)
Lynchian. David Foster Wallace on Lynch’s style as a filmmaker: “both extremely personal and extremely remote” “the absence of linearity and narrative logic” “the heavy multivalence of the symbolism” “the glazed opacity of the characters’ faces” “the weird ponderous quality of the dialogue” “the regular deployment of grotesques as figurants” “the precise, painterly way scenes are staged and lit” “the overlush, possibly voyeuristic way that violence, deviance, and general hideousness are depicted”
Legacy. Though Twin Peaks did not, as predicted, radically alter television, it did have a lasting influence. Northern Exposure ( ), Picket Fences ( ) and The X-Files ( )—whose star David Duchovny played a transvestite Drug Enforcement Administration agent in Twin Peaks—both colonized television territory Twin Peaks had opened up, as did, less successfully, such flops as Eerie, Indiana (1991), American Gothic ( ), Murder One ( ), and Wolf Lake (2001). Though post-Twin Peaks television has often seemed designed for a viewership with Attention Deficit Disorder (Peyton), some of the medium’s most important contemporary creators now think of the series as a television touchstone: both Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) and David Chase (The Sopranos) speak of Twin Peaks in hushed tones. And the name itself has become part of the language: to evoke “Twin Peaks” in relation to any narrative or any sequence of events is to label it as strange, inexplicable, unique.
Deny All Knowledge: Reading The X-Files Edited by David Lavery, Angela Hague, Marla Cartwright (Middle Tennessee State University) The Television Series, Edited by Robert Thompson Syracuse University Press, 1996 TABLE OF CONTENTS Contributors ix David Lavery, Angela Hague, Marla Cartwright, Introduction. Generation X: The X-Files and the Cultural Moment (1) Jimmie L. Reeves (Texas Tech University), Mark C. Rodgers, and Michael Epstein, University of Michigan), Re-Writing Popularity: The Cult Files (22) Susan J. Clerc (Bowling Green State University), DDEB, GATB, MPPB, and Ratboy: The X- Files’ Media Fandom, Online and Off (36) Allison Graham (University of Memphis), “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?”: Conspiracy Theory and The X-Files (52) Michele Malach (Fort Lewis College), “I Want to Believe” in the FBI: The X-Files as an FBI Drama (63) Leslie Jones, “Last Week We Had an Omen”: The Mythological X-Files (77) Rhonda Wilcox (Gordon College) and J. P. Williams (Georgia Southern), “What to You Think?” The X-Files, Liminality, and Gender Pleasure (99) Lisa Parks (University of Wisconsin), Special Agent or Monstrosity?: Finding the Feminine in The X-Files (121) Alec McHoul (Murdoch University, Australia), How to Talk the Unknown into Existence: An Exercise in X-Filology (135) Linda Badley (Middle Tennessee State University), The Rebirth of the Clinic: The Body as Alien in The X-Files (148) Elizabeth B. Kubek (Syracuse University), “You Only Expose Your Father”: The Imaginary, Voyeurism, and the Symbolic Order in The X-Files (168) Episode Summary (207) Works Cited (211) Index (221)
Trust No One: Reading The X-Files Edited by David Lavery, Angela Hague, Marla Cartwright (Middle Tennessee State University) The Television Series, Edited by Robert Thompson Syracuse University Press, 1996 With a preface by Chris Carter and David Duchovny [Not]
The degree to which The X-Files became in the last decade part of our cultural vocabulary can be demonstrated by an exchange from a first season episode of the WB series Angel in which Kendrick, an obviously sexist male detective, hassles female detective Kate Lockley (Elizabeth Rohm), who has come to believe in the reality of vampires. The following dialogue ensues: Kendrick: "Come on, Kate. Everybody knows you've gone all Scully. Anytime one of these weird cases crosses anyone's desk you're always there. What's going on with you?" Kate: "Scully is the skeptic." Kendrick: "Huh?" Kate: "Mulder is the believer. Scully is the skeptic." Kendrick scratches his head: "Scully is the chick, right?" Kate: "Yes. But she's not the one that wants to believe."
The Cast Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick) Associate Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) Deep Throat (Jerry Hardin) Agent Diane Fowley (Mimi Rogers) Alex Krychek (Nicholas Lea) The Lone Gunmen (Dean Haglund, Bruce Harwood, Tom Braidwood) X (Steven Williams) C. G. B. Spender/The Cigarette-Smoking Man (William B. Davis) The Well-Manicured Man (John Neville)
Chris Carter Creator of The X-Files
John Mack’s Abduction
“I found it fascinating to hear this,” Carter said. “This man [Dr. John Mack of Harvard] in the highest levels of academia and a scientist using rigorous scientific methods had come up with something quite astounding. So I thought that was a wonderful entry into explorations of the paranormal. And so I came up with Mulder and Scully, the FBI, and this fictional investigative unit called the X-Files. from Paula Vitaris, “X-Files: Filming the Fox Show That Has Become a Horror and Science Fiction Sensation”
“The series that will change TV.” Rodman, Warren. "The Series that Will Change TV." Connoisseur, September 1989: The Watergate Hearings, 1973
The X-Files’ Multiple Generic Allegiances. Paula Vitaris has noted that XF was “akin to one of its own mutant characters, with its own eclectic genetic heritage,” “part police procedural, part suspense thriller, part action adventure, part medical drama, part science fiction and part horror”). XF, James Wolcott observes more simply, is actually “television’s first otherworldly procedural (98).
Fandom. Devoted fans (known as ‘X-Philes’) turned their obsession with the series into inspired Websites that helped newcomers to the series to get caught up and acclimate themselves to the X-Files universe. One ambitious, meticulous X-Files Timeline, to site but one example, provides a chronology of the series’ Mythology that runs to over seventy pages in length (see Marek, 2002). Some prominent fans even came to write for the show: cyberpunk founder William Gibson wrote two episodes and horror master Stephen King one.
The X-Files was one of the first shows to flourish on the Internet: self-styled "X-Philes” accrue mountains of data about the show, discuss it live online, and write to the producers, who carefully note their comments. (In 1995 Fox began sponsoring X-File conventions in attempts to create Star Trek-like longevity and fan following.) The show's progress from obscurity to cult favorite is in pointed contrast to that of 's ill- starred Twin Peaks.
Websites like The David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade (DDEB) and Gillian Anderson Testosterone Brigade (GATB) promoted the show’s stars as sex symbols. Slash fan-fiction also coupled Mulder and Scully (in the show’s actual nine year run, the partners never did more than kiss, and the series’ UST - Unresolved Sexual Tension - was never relieved) and even Mulder and Skinner. Fans did more than write and talk about the series, of course; thanks to Fox’s skillful vertical integration of their franchise show, they would have the opportunity to spend millions of dollars a year on official books, novels, trading cards, coffee mugs, T- shirts, DVDs, and action figures.
“[E]very time you pronounce it creatively dead, it comes back to life like the ghouls that Mulder and Scully have been investigating these eight odd years. Every time you think the show has fallen into irreparable self-parody, Chris Carter has a marijuana-induced epiphany, rolls off his chaise on some remote Hawaiian beach, and videophones in an idea that shakes new life into it.”--Kinney (2002)
Memorable Episodes “Humbug” (2.20). Mulder and Scully investigate a murder in a circus freak show wintering in Florida. Written by Darin Morgan
Memorable Episodes “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” (3.4). Mulder and Scully track a serial killer with the help of a psychic (played by Peter Boyle) able to predict how people will die. Written by Darin Morgan
Memorable Episodes “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space” (3.20). A famous writer investigate a Mulder and Scully investigation of an alien abduction in the state of Washington for a book of “non-fiction science fiction. Written by Darin Morgan
Memorable Episodes “The Musings of a Cigarette-Smoking Man” (4.7). The life-story, perhaps fictional, of the malevolent Cancer Man (who appears to be Mulder’s real father),who may have assassinated both JFK and Martin Luther King and be friends with Saddam Hussein.
Memorable Episodes “Small Potatoes” (4.20). Five unrelated women in a small town give birth to babies with small tails. The prime suspect is a man who can shape shift into whomever he wants. Starring Darin Morgan
Memorable Episodes “The Post-modern Prometheus” (5.5). A letter to Mulder from a woman who has become twice pregnant through strange circumstances, brings the agents to her small town. There Mulder and Scully discover a mad scientist who has been doing experiments with humans and animals. Among these experiments they discover a modern-day Frankenstein's monster, who may possess the answers to their current investigation.
Memorable Episodes “Bad Blood” (5.12). While investigating bizarre exsanguinations in Texas, Mulder kills a teenage boy whom he mistakes for a vampire. Awaiting a meeting with Skinner, Mulder and Scully attempt to get their stories "straight" by relating to each other their differing versions of what happened during their investigation.
Memorable Episodes “Triangle” (6.3). Inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s experiment in shooting without cuts in Rope (1948).
Memorable Episodes “The Unnatural” (6.19). Mulder uncovers a story involving a Negro baseball player in the 1940s who played for a minor league team in Roswell. When in a photograph he sees the Alien Bounty Hunter it is assumed that Josh Exley, the baseball player in question, might just be alien himself.
Memorable Episodes “X-Cops” (7.12). Mulder and Scully find themselves in the middle of an episode of the Fox reality show Cops (1989 – ) in what becomes a kind of X-Files mockumentary.
Memorable Episodes “Hollywood A.D.” (7.19). The partners become consultants on a movie version of an X- File, in which comic Garry Shandling plays Mulder and Tea Leoni (Duchovny’s wife) does Scully.
“The secret of life is to die at the right time.”--Friedrich Nietzsche The same might be said of television series.