Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Two years ago fans of Mark Frost and David Lynch's seminal 90's TV classic Twin Peaks (1990-91) were thrilled to discover a special reunion was planned for much of the original cast as they guest starred on the comedic police procedural Psych (2006-Present) in Season 5 Episode 12 "Dual Spires," which paid homage to Twin Peaks. Planned in part to take advantage of Twin Peaks' 20th anniversary, the episode turned out to be one of Psych's highest rated episodes, reportedly prompting its producers to plan a follow-up episode that would allow even more of Twin Peaks' original cast to join the party.
For those who were already fans of Psych and Twin Peaks, the combination of the two shows was a dream come true. But for some Twin Peaks fans unfamiliar with Psych previously, like myself, the episode came across as too random and pat when compared to the tone and  themes found in Twin Peaks. I was happy to see many of my favorite actors from Twin Peaks again, but I was disappointed in the quality of the episode itself, which just seemed lightweight by comparison.
But knowing the makers of Psych obviously share my love and enthusiasm about Twin Peaks, I eventually decided to give their show another shot at winning me over. I decided to give Psych's pilot episode a chance on Netflix Instant Watching, and to my surprise, the show won me over. Its good-natured cast of characters and the hilarious set of circumstances that lead the show's main character to pretend to be a psychic to stay out of jail were just too charming to dismiss.
Hogan's Heroes (1965-71) with Sgt. Schultz, Col. Hogan, and Col. Klink
Get Smart (1965-70) with Agents 86 and 99 on their Shoe Phones
Having grown up with classic comedic TV reruns on "Nick at Nite," I was refreshed to discover Psych had a lot in common with some of my favorite shows growing up: Hogan's Heroes (1965-71) and Get Smart (1965-70). Like Get SmartPsych takes a serious genre and subverts it with lighthearted comedic twists. Where Hogan's Heroes humorously explored a group of Americans operating an intelligence cell out of a Nazi P.O.W. Camp and Get Smart had a lark about the shenanigans of some American spies during the Cold War, Psych follows the hijinks of a fraudulent psychic consultant specializing in solving complex murders for the Santa Barbara Police Department.
Psych was a refreshing and original comedy in its first four seasons, but honestly its writing has waned in past couple of years and the show's tone has degenerated a bit on account of it. "Dual Spires" was released during this recent lull, partly explaining why many fans of Twin Peaks probably did not gel with Psych as much as they probably would have if it had been released earlier in the series' run. But those early seasons are exceptionally good and managed to walk a very narrow line between dark murder mystery and lighthearted comedy, which is something most Twin Peaks fans could appreciate. And in those early seasons, Twin Peaks fans will find some familiar faces, some of whom return for the reunion episode in Season 5.
Major Briggs from Twin Peaks, Don S. Davis Guest Stars in Psych's Pilot. He Passed
Away in 2008, Two Years Before the Twin Peaks Reunion Episode in 2010.
Psych's Star James Roday is a Huge Fan of Twin Peaks and He Personally Wrote
the Homage Episode "Dual Spires."
Leland Palmer from Twin Peaks, Ray Wise Guest Stars in Season 4 Episode 04
"The Devil is in the Details... And the Upstairs Bedroom" and Later Reprises
the Same Role in the Twin Peaks Homage Season 5 Episode 12 "Dual Spires"
Although "Dual Spires" was not aired when Psych was at its best, a few things helped me learn to appreciate and even love it for what it is. My esteem for the episode is exponentially higher now than it was before, and I think most Twin Peaks fans will agree with me if they follow a few simple steps outlined below.
Psych's Main Characters Shawn and Gus are Invited to a Strange Small Town
to Help Solve a Series of Kidnappings and Murders
Soon After Shawn and Gus Arrive, They Discover the Town's Homecoming
Queen had been Murdered, Mirroring Laura Palmer's Story in Twin Peaks:
Paula Merral is an Anagram for Laura Palmer
First, watch the other two episodes of Psych that featured Twin Peaks actors: Season 1 Episode 01 "Pilot" and Season 4 Episode 04 "The Devil is in the Details... and the Upstairs Bedroom." Those episodes will help familiarize you with the story, characters, and tone of Psych while helping set up the  events about to take place in the town of Dual Spires. The first five seasons of Psych are currently available on Netflix Instant Watching in the United States, making this relatively easy for most our readers.
Harold Smith from Twin Peaks, Lenny Von Dohlen Guest Stars as
Dual Spires' Multifaceted Keeper of the Peace
The Witch and Bobby Briggs from Twin Peaks, Robyn Lively and Dana Ashbrook
Guest Star as Paula Merral's Grieving Parents
(Extended Cut "Dual Spires." Use Horizontal Stretch to
Compensate for Squish Effect 50 Seconds into Clip)
Second, find and watch the extended cut of "Dual Spires," which runs about 8 minutes longer than the version of the episode available on Netflix Instant Watching. TV is a strange artistic medium, because each episode must run at almost exactly the same length regardless of story and pacing. While this constraint can be a good thing, helping storytellers focus on making the narrative flow at a swift pace, it can also hinder the narrative by speeding it along so quickly that it's detrimental to helping the audience connect to the episode.
Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks, Sheryl Lee Guest Stars as the Town Doctor
and De Facto Coroner Who Helps Interpret the Forensic Evidence
The Log Lady from Twin Peaks, Catherine E. Coulson Guest Stars in a Brief Cameo
with a Familiar Companion from the Show
Twin Peaks was a show that took its time, allowing the audience to luxuriate in its story, world, and characters. Frankly, cutting down "Dual Spires" for rebroadcasts (42 mins.) made it far less enjoyable to watch than its extended version (50 mins.) found on the Blu-Ray and DVD. Speeding up the episode's pace was a serious misstep. Apparently Psych's producers were granted a special dispensation from USA Network to run the episode long on its initial broadcast, but it was subsequently cut down to size for reruns and unfortunately, like with Breaking Bad, Netflix Instant Watching uses these shorter rebroadcast versions of the episodes rather than the extended versions used for their original broadcasts..
Audrey Horne from Twin Peaks, Sherilyn Fenn Guest Stars as a
Sexy Librarian Who Offers Shawn and Gus Some Useful Help
Sherilyn's Brief Cougar-Like Cameo is One of the Episode's Highlights
A Fact Not Lost on James Roday, Who We Think Clearly has a Crush on the
Former Femme Fatale
The Crossover Psych and Twin Peaks Fans Get an Especially Big Pay Off as a
Character Introduced in an Earlier Season Returns for this Episode
Laura and Harold Now Unite Over Something Other than Keeping Her Diary Safe
Near the End of the Episode, Shawn Remarks on the Peculiar Aspects of the Town
Third, relax and do not go into "Dual Spires" expecting the quality and scope of Twin Peaks. That's not happening any time soon. Twin Peaks was essentially an extended miniseries orchestrated by one of the best film directors of all time, David Lynch. It is arguably the greatest show to ever run on television and it was executed with an artistic style that has yet to be matched, captivating audiences across the world with its enchanting spell. Psych is a cute and fun comedy running on a basic cable network. The homage episode would never match the power of the original series, but in its own quirky way, Psych honored the show with the love of devoted fans, and it is beautiful episode for what it is.

Next Article

Note: Any purchase made via our web store or product links throughout the article contributes a small portion to the running of this site. Thank you for your support.

247086_TV episodes & movies instantly streaming from Netflix. Start your FREE trial!

No comments:

Post a Comment