Serving Up the ‘Twin Peaks’ Premiere … And a Slice of Cherry Pie

Plus: ESPN sends Mayne man to upfront to save cable

If viewers didn’t care to watch Showtime’s redo of Twin Peaks at home, chances are there was a viewing party for the May 21 premiere close to home. The parties, held at restaurants, bars and arts spaces, typically had cherry pie on offer, just as FBI agent Dale Cooper would’ve liked.

Related: Showtime's ‘Twin Peaks’ Premiere Gets 506,000 Viewers

New York had several options, including Brooklyn Bazaar and cinephile hangout Videology. Los Angeles’ parties included one at HM157, a historic Victorian mansion used for artsy events. In Memphis, Tenn., a restaurant known as The Cove, with an assist from the Memphis Film Society, has screened episodes of the original series every Sunday, starting back in early December, with $4 cherry pie and coffee.

Seattle, close to the show’s Washington locale, had several party sites, including ones at Central Cinema, Linda’s Tavern and Timbre Room.

L.A.’s HM157 planned to show the series premiere in the mansion’s backyard, projected on a wall, with people throwing down blankets to take in the fun. Events planner Daiana Feuer told The Wire that 300 people sent in RSVPs to the party’s online listing, and another 1,000 marked themselves as “interested.”

“We expect a real big crowd,” she said a few days before the premiere. “It’s gonna get a little cozy back there.”

HM157 served up cherry pie and coffee, along with brie and butter baguettes, as the series’ Horne brothers loved.

Video: Watch the 'Twin Peaks' Trailer

In New York, Videology has been hosting Twin Peaks bingo for years. As an episode airs, if something happens on screen that a player has on their card, such as an appearance by a minor character, they get a chip. The winner gets a free cocktail or donut. The place was slated to screen the Twin Peaks prequel film Fire Walk With Me on Saturday (May 20), along with other David Lynch films, and then the new series premiere on Sunday. Drink specials included the Fish in the Percolator, an homage to a colorful line from character Pete Martell.

“We’re really trying to turn it into an all-day Twin Peaks event,” said Madeleine Tangney, film and event programmer at Videology, who was expecting the joint’s 90 chairs to be filled Sunday.

Party hosts offer up a variety of reasons as to why Twin Peaks so resonates with viewers. There was nothing like it before it aired, and nothing truly like the surreal series since. It “perverts American iconography,” Tangney said. It’s also a signature work from Lynch and eminently suitable for lively gatherings.

“A lot of people love Twin Peaks,” Feuer noted, “and watching at a party seems like a fun thing to do, rather than watching at home.”

ESPN Sends Mayne Man to Upfront to Save Cable
During ESPN’s upfront on May 16, SportsCenter anchor Kenny Mayne captured the issues surrounding the cable business in his inimitable, amusing way. Wearing white wings as the “Angel of Advertising,” Mayne was lowered 100 feet to the stage, suspended only by what he described as a thin piece of fishing line.

“It’s a metaphor for the strength of cable, look at it that way,” he said.

Mayne said concerns about the future of ESPN and other cable networks were overblown. He pointed to the logos of the leagues and conferences ESPN has deals with.

“These leagues and conferences aren’t going away because every day a new baby is born that might play in one of these leagues,” he said. “Babies aren’t going away. People are going to continue to have sex and lots of it. Why? Because of the seductive commercials you people run during the games that people watch on ESPN. That’s how babies are made. It’s also how we make money.”

Mayne pointed to a chart he said “shows the increase in people signing up for cable subscriptions.” Unfortunately for ESPN and others in the pay TV ecosystem, the chart was circa 1996.

“It’s time we faced the truth together,” Mayne said, addressing the media buyers in the stands. “The total number of people watching television the way they used to watch television might have declined. Minimally. Like a rounding error. I ask you this: Does anybody even buy stuff based on advertising? We’ll go along with that premise, if you’ll go along with the idea that people are still watching television. We need each other.”

Finally, a New Jersey Devils mascot helped lower Mayne into a door in the stage floor, sending him in the direction opposite heaven.

“We’re in this together,” he called out. “I sold my soul to advertising.”
— Jon Lafayette