Lost in the Movies: THE ARCHIVE Chapter 30: The Spring of TV (March - July 2018)

THE ARCHIVE Chapter 30: The Spring of TV (March - July 2018)


With my tenth anniversary approaching, I concocted a few forms of celebration: once a week, I included an "Opening the Archive" series on my podcast running down each of these chapters; once a day, I posted something - a film or TV episode review, visual tribute, interview, status update, or Patreon round-up - on Lost in the Movies; and ten times a day I tweeted pieces from my backlog in chronological order. The second commitment was particularly challenging, allowing me to finally share viewing diaries I'd been writing behind-the-scenes for several years...but also forcing me to finish them under the gun! As a result I covered the first seasons of Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Veronica Mars, The X-Files, and The Wire, novelty episodes or related films for Star Trek, The Clone Wars, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and both seasons of the short but dense Danish series The Kingdom.

Subjects with a Lynchian flavor include a review and visual tribute devoted to David Lynch: The Art Life, an interview about a Twin Peaks fan film, a trio of Lynch features, a discussion focused on a stretch of four season three episodes, and a Return rewatch in which I recorded responses to each episode around the first anniversary of its airing with guests joining for the big one - Part 8 (a part of the conversation was made public on YouTube).

My highlight for this period is Patreon update #15: Twin Peaks pilot & Eyes Wide Shut w/ Andrew Cook (season 3 rewatch prologue begins, the Frankenstein legacy, my short film Class of 2002 & more) because it not only ended up being a strong episode but also the only one immediately and entirely available to all would-be listeners.

MARCH

New entries every day (until the 10th anniversary in July)
Announcing my commitment to daily posts (eventually all viewing diaries or podcast episodes)

Viewing diary: first season of Breaking Bad begins tomorrow
The first of my "season 1 viewing diaries" for 2018, focused on one of the most popular cable dramas of all time

Breaking Bad - "Pilot" (season 1, episode 1)
A high school chemistry teacher finds a new line of work

Breaking Bad - "Cat's in the Bag..." (season 1, episode 2)
The sloppy partners in crime have a couple big problems

Patreon update #11: David Lynch's Cinema - Connecting Eraserhead & Inland Empire, bonus: Blue Velvet (+ Diane Evans in Twin PeaksEverything Sucks!Frontline on Iran & Saudi Arabia, The Wind in the Willows & more)
My podcast couples the first and last Lynch films, with another one as a bonus

Breaking Bad - "...And the Bag's in the River (season 1, episode 3)
A slyly clever flashback prepares us for one of Walter White's dramatic turning points

Breaking Bad - "Cancer Man" (season 1, episode 4)
Walter and Jesse wander into separate stories after their big adventure

Breaking Bad - "Gray Matter" (season 1, episode 5)
Old friends re-open old wounds

Breaking Bad - "Crazy Handful of Nothin'" (season 1, episode 6)
The iconic Heisenberg emerges

Breaking Bad - "A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal" (season 1, episode 7)
Concluding the first season as business settles into a groove

FINAL WEEK - What will I watch? Until 4/1, 2nd tier patrons pick a film I'll cover on my podcast
Wrapping up the "select a film" reward on my Patreon after three months

Patreon update #12: Pi (+ Parts 17/18 as Frost/Lynch versions of the same story, Academy Awards, film vs. TV expectations & more) and Images from "4 Ways to Watch Fire Walk With Me"
Aronofsky's debut feature becomes the first solo film subject of my podcast since the second episode

Viewing diary: first season of Mad Men begins tomorrow
Introducing the second viewing diary of spring 2018, the season of Mad Men set in 1960

Mad Men - "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" (season 1, episode 1)
A typical day at the office for Don Draper and the very first day for Peggy Olson

Mad Men - "Ladies Room" (season 1, episode 2)
Now that Don's family is part of his story, we split time between the advertising and domestic worlds

Mad Men - "Marriage of Figaro" (season 1, episode 3)
The Drapers throw an afternoon party in the suburbs

Mad Men - "New Amsterdam" (season 1, episode 4)
Pete and Betty both feel unmoored

Mad Men - "5G" (season 1, episode 5)
Haunted by family ghosts in the bright light of day

Patreon update #13: Spirited Away (+ announcing The Return rewatch series, two perspectives on Twin Peaks' meaning & more)
My podcast gets lost inside Hayao Miyazaki's fantastical world





APRIL

Mad Men - "Babylon" (season 1, episode 6)
Peggy's career at Sterling Cooper takes a surprising turn

Mad Men - "Red in the Face" (season 1, episode 7)
Alcohol and oysters (and age) provide Don with an edge over Roger

Mad Men - "The Hobo Code" (season 1, episode 8)
Alternating between the Great Depression and the early sixties

Mad Men - "Shoot" (season 1, episode 9)
Don's golden opportunity and Betty's poignant Coke campaign

Mad Men - "Long Weekend" (season 1, episode 10)
Crisis hits the office late at night

Mad Men - "Indian Summer" (season 1, episode 11)
Don and Peggy rise together, in different ways

Patreon update #14: A Man Escaped (+ Top 15 Twin Peaks music, political podcasts, narrators of Citizen Kane & more) and preview of "Fire Walk With Me in season 3"
My podcast focuses on one of the most meticulous World War II prison escape movies

Mad Men - "Nixon vs. Kennedy" (season 1, episode 12)
From Dick to Don - the story finally gets told (and intercut with a crucial presidential election)

Mad Men - "The Wheel" (season 1, episode 13)
The first season closes quietly and effectively, with a fantasy bidding farewell to the fifties dream and the soundtrack hearkening to the sixties ahead

Rewrapping Twin Peaks: discussing the pilot w/ Twin Peaks Unwrapped (+ J.C. Hotchkiss & John Thorne)
Revisiting the episode where it all began, twenty-eight years ago...

David Lynch: The Art Life
This documentary weaves together Lynch's personal memories and reflections with footage of him working on his paintings, clips from his early films, and snapshots/home movies of his youth

Living the Art Life
Screenshots from a vivid, vibrant Lynch doc

Star Trek - "The Cage" (unaired pilot)
Trek's unusual beginning, with a different captain and a premiere not released until after many episodes, films, and spin-offs

Patreon update #15: Twin Peaks pilot & Eyes Wide Shut w/ Andrew Cook (season 3 rewatch prologue begins, the Frankenstein legacy, my short film Class of 2002 & more)
Pilot is prologue for my Return rewatch, and I invite a guest to discuss Stanley Kubrick's last film on my first public podcast episode

Leading up to The Clone Wars: 5 "prologue" entries, starting tomorrow
To pave the way for my eventual Clone Wars viewing diary, I share reviews/discussions of the pre-series films/shows

Star Wars: The Clone Wars prequel prologue - The Phantom Menace
A much-maligned Star Wars that was generally well-received at first - how does it prepare us for The Clone Wars?

Star Wars: The Clone Wars prequel prologue - Attack of the Clones
The prequel film that leads directly into The Clone Wars - what can the show continue, and what can it improve?

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Genndy Tartakovsky's Clone Wars microseries
Before The Clone Wars, there was Clone Wars - gorgeous stained-glass windows in the church of Star Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars
The worst-reviewed Star Wars film by far is actually the 2008 cartoon, but viewed as a pilot for the series it's pretty effective

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - discussion w/ Bob Clark on the feature film (& more)
My former Evangelion conversation partner, who is a big Clone Wars fan, joins me to explain and analyze the film and its style of animation, as well as the series that sprang from it

Patreon update #16: Twin Peaks season 1 & The Piano (+ Lynch/Frost/Cooper & more) and preview of Red character study
Re-visiting Jane Campion's arthouse hit twenty-five years later, plus surveying the first season of Twin Peaks for my podcast

The Kingdom viewing diary
Introducing a complete episode guide for the short Danish horror series

The Kingdom - "Unheavenly Hosts" (episode 1)
A grouchy Swedish doctor is introduced to a strange hospital alongside the audience

The Kingdom - "Thy Kingdom Come" (episode 2)
Haunted ambulances and basement corridors compete with bizarre misanthropes to foster a weird vibe

The Kingdom - "A Foreign Body" (episode 3)
Amidst the gothic spookiness, Lars von Trier incorporates screwball comedy

The Kingdom - "The Living Dead" (episode 4)
The first season races toward its unexpected final moment

The Kingdom II - "Death on the Operation Table (episode 5)
Although created several years later, only a few hours have passed onscreen as the second season begins

Patreon update #17: Twin Peaks season 2 & Séraphine (+ cartoon classics & more)
My podcast explores season 2 as a single unit (but also at three very different points) while focusing on a film about an early outsider artist

The Kingdom II - "Birds of Passage" (episode 6)
Glimpsing a spare, haunting vision of the afterlife

The Kingdom II - "Gargantua" (episode 7)
Decoding a mysterious painting to determine the spiritual structure of the Kingdom hospital

MAY

The Kingdom II - "Pandemonium" (episode 8)
And so we must be prepared to take the 🕇 with the 😈

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: the film
The TV phenomenon began life as a movie

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (unaired pilot)
Although never officially aired (or even released?) this "episode" has been widely seen and discussed by fans

How's Annie? (interview with Cameron Cloutier & Amy Ostbo, director & actor from Queen of Hearts, a Twin Peaks fan film)
An ambitious production, shooting at the Twin Peaks locations themselves, makes for a great conversation with the Obnoxious & Anonymous host (we also dive into Cameron's Golden State Killer project)

Patreon update #18: Mark Frost's connection to Fire Walk With Me & film in focus: Holy Motors (+ Korean peace talks & more) and preview of Vivian/Phyllis character studies
How does Frost intersect with the film he mostly stayed away from? Plus, my podcast finally catches up with one of the most acclaimed films of the decade...

3 First Seasons: Veronica Mars / The X-Files / The Wire
Aside from my weekly podcast, three first season diaries dominate the last ten weeks leading up to the site's tenth anniversary

Veronica Mars - "Pilot" (season 1, episode 1)
Kicking off a murder mystery in a divided Southern California beach town

Veronica Mars - "Credit Where Credit's Due" (season 1, episode 2)
Wait, is that (*squints*) Paris Hilton? Veronica Mars' parade of uber-zeroes guest stars has begun...

Veronica Mars - "Meet John Smith" (season 1, episode 3)
Veronica helps a student track down his missing parent (between the iMac and the DVD rental store, the top image is very much of its time)

Veronica Mars - "The Wrath of Con" (season 1, episode 4)
Going undercover as a gamer to bust a college student's scam

Veronica Mars - "You Think You Know Somebody" (season 1, episode 5)
Veronica investigates her own boyfriend - as well as her dad's new girlfriend

Patreon update #19: Twin Peaks in the In-Between Years/1992-2014 & The Lobster (+ getting back into Twin Peaks & more)
What once seemed to be the post-Twin Peaks era is, in retrospect, the inter-Twin Peaks era...my podcast breaks this down alongside a very unusual dystopian romance

Veronica Mars - "Return of the Kane" (season 1, episode 6)
As political fever sweeps Neptune High, Veronica both embraces and questions the populist candidate

Veronica Mars - "The Girl Next Door" (season 1, episode 7)
One of my favorite episodes explores the apartment community where the Mars live, featuring Jessica Chastain as a troubled young woman whom Veronica wants to help

Veronica Mars - "Like a Virgin" (season 1, episode 8)
Veronica's attention is drawn to a controversial website (shades of the work that put Mark Zuckerberg on the map a year earlier)

Veronica Mars - "Drinking the Kool-Aid" (season 1, episode 9)
The detectives' deep dive into a cult proves...surprisingly pleasant

Veronica Mars - "An Echolls Family Christmas" (season 1, episode 10)
The holiday party thrown by a movie star becomes even more dramatic than you would expect

Veronica Mars - "Silence of the Lamb" (season 1, episode 11)
Our emphasis shifts to another Mars as a serial killer prowls Neptune and the police grudgingly invite their ex-sheriff back to help out

Patreon update #20: My questions before Twin Peaks season 3 & film in focus: The Devil Rides Out (+ making Journey Through Twin Peaks & more) and preview of Josie charater study
In the last prelude to the Return rewatch, my podcast regards a Hammer horror classic and re-visits questions I posed beforehand to see how they were (and weren't) answered

Veronica Mars - "Clash of the Tritons" (season 1, episode 12)
Neptune High has its own secret society - is that creepy, or just goofy?

Veronica Mars - "Lord of the Bling" (season 1, episode 13)
While her dad investigates a music industry kidnapping (maybe), Veronica tries to help a grieving classmate figure out his mother's fate

Veronica Mars - "Mars vs. Mars" (season 1, episode 14)
Veronica sticks up for a teacher accused of taking advantage of a student, while her father is hired by the student's parents

Veronica Mars - "Ruskie Business" (season 1, episode 15)
Rarely has a quasi-pun title covered so many bases: this episode features an eighties dance, a Russian bride, and an actor named Tom Cruz

Veronica Mars - "Betty and Veronica" (season 1, episode 16)
A cross-town rivalry gets serious when the teams kidnap each other's mascots; Veronica goes undercover for her own community even though she sympathizes more with the underdog Pan High

Veronica Mars - "Kanes and Abel's" (season 1, episode 17)
While sleuthing for a harassed honors student, Veronica returns to the scene of her friend's death (this entry features my first big guess about the killer's identity)

Patreon update #21: Twin Peaks season 3 rewatch (public video) - Parts 1 & 2 / film in focus: Radio On (+ Josie Packard as a character, my video essay Learning to Look & more)
The Return rewatch begins on the one-year anniversary of the premiere (rounded up here a few days after my podcast published on Patreon) - I cover Parts 1 and 2 alongside a British rock film

Veronica Mars - "Weapon of Class Destruction" (season 1, episode 18)
Nineties darling JTT pops up for a guest appearance full of surprises, as Veronica pursues a potential school bomber

Veronica Mars - "Hot Dogs" (season 1, episode 19)
One more relatively light high school mystery before the season heads into its dark, dramatic final stretch

Veronica Mars - "M.A.D." (season 1, episode 20)
Taking on a case of sexual jealousy and humiliation, Veronica is led to disturbing discoveries about her own life as well

Veronica Mars - "A Trip to the Dentist" (season 1, episode 21)
This time, Veronica the detective is working for Veronica the client - it's her own mystery she needs to solve

Veronica Mars - "Leave It to Beaver" (season 1, episode 22)
And finally, who killed Lilly Kane?

JUNE

The X-Files - "Pilot" (season 1, episode 1)
The X-Files opens with a light rather than a darkness in the woods

Patreon update #22: Twin Peaks season 3 rewatch - Parts 3 & 4 / film in focus: Swing Time (& more) and preview of New Mexico Townspeople character study
The joy of Dougie pairs with the joy of Astaire-Rogers in my podcast

The X-Files - "Deep Throat" (season 1, episode 2)
The mythology really kicks in, as does the iconic theme song

The X-Files - "Squeeze" (season 1, episode 3)
Shifting gears to the urban and the (quasi-)human

The X-Files - "Conduit" (season 1, episode 4)
Mulder connects deeply with a UFO case that reminds him of his own lost sister

The X-Files - "The Jersey Devil" (season 1, episode 5)
Urban legend meets rural folklore as The X-Files splits an episode between city and country for the first time (but definitely not the last)

The X-Files - "Shadows" (season 1, episode 6)
Mulder and Scully take a backseat to a secretary whose boss may be trying to tell her something...from beyond the grave

The X-Files - "Ghost in the Machine" (season 1, episode 7)
Going into nineties tech thriller mode, though the hook feels even more relevant decades later

Patreon update #23: Twin Peaks season 3 rewatch - Part 5 / film in focus: The Wrestler (+ my 2016 video essays, Anna Karina & more)
Snapshots of two troubled blondes, one looking up, one looking down: my podcast continues the Return rewatch and tackles a new film in focus, in both cases exploring lives haunted by a big event in 1989

The X-Files - "Ice" (season 1, episode 8)
Drawing (pretty directly) from The Thing - or rather its source material - the agents are locked away in an Alaskan science station with a dangerous parasite

The X-Files - "Space" (season 1, episode 9)
Not a popular episode, but I love the part cheesy, part creepy effects in the tale of a possessed ex-astronaut

The X-Files - "Fallen Angel" (season 1, episode 10)
Mulder goes rogue and connects with an amateur enthusiast who knows his reputation

The X-Files - "Eve" (season 1, episode 11)
One of the best early episodes of The X-Files uses a striking color palette and chilling performance to evoke seventies supernatural thrillers

The X-Files - "Fire" (season 1, episode 12)
Brits set fire to America once again, as the FBI pursues a psychic pyromaniac and Mulder rekindles a less literal old flame

The X-Files - "Beyond the Sea" (season 1, episode 13)
My favorite episode of the first season introduces Scully's dad (a familiar face for Twin Peaks fans) and offers an unforgettable Brad Dourif performance

Patreon update #24: Twin Peaks season 3 rewatch - Part 6 / film in focus: Before Sunrise (+ Homeland & centrism, listing favorite films & more) and description of Laura character study, pt. I
My podcast pairs a dark, violent episode with a warm, romantic film

The X-Files - "Gender Bender" (season 1, episode 14)
Sharp contrast between metropolitan decadence and quasi-Amish simplicity


The X-Files - "Lazarus" (season 1, episode 15)
Two hearts beat as one - The X-Files dips into police procedural mode (with a twist of course)

The X-Files - "Young at Heart" (season 1, episode 16)
An old case re-emerges for Mulder when a supposedly dead killer taunts him

The X-Files - "E.B.E." (season 1, episode 17)
Mulder and Scully plunge deeper into the UFO lore than ever before, racing cross-country to track a mysterious truck

The X-Files - "Miracle Man" (season 1, episode 18)
Deep South preacher and faith-healing protégée ring X-Files alarm bells

The X-Files - "Shapes" (season 1, episode 19)
Searching for a werewolf-like killer on a Native American reservation

Patreon update #25: Twin Peaks season 3 rewatch - Part 7 (+ The Rolling Stones early albums & more)
Taking a break from films in focus (with one upcoming exception), my podcast centers an unusually plot-heavy Return episode and offers an overview of the sixties Stones

The X-Files - "Darkness Falls" (season 1, episode 20)
Loggers and environmentalists grapple with a primeval foe deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest

Patreon update #26: "Gotta light? HOLY SMOKE!" - guests Em & Steve of No Ship Network/Sparkwood & 21 discuss Twin Peaks season 3 rewatch - Part 8 & the final film in focus...for now (+ Too Many Cooks, podcast recommendations, my Return viewing diary & much more)
My guests are two veteran podcasters as my  podcast reaches the most iconic episode of the new Twin Peaks and a Jane Campion film about a cult deprogrammer (part of the Part 8 conversation is public)

The X-Files - "Tooms" (season 1, episode 21)
For the first time a monster-of-the-week comes back for seconds

The X-Files - "Born Again" (season 1, episode 22)
Mulder and Scully shuffle off to Buffalo, pursuing a ghost cop and psychic killer kid

The X-Files - "Roland" (season 1, episode 23)
For the last time, one of the first season's favorite devices: a single person occupied by two different presences

The X-Files - "The Erlenmeyer Flask" (season 1, episode 24)
The X-Files goes big for the mythology-heavy, high-stakes season 1 finale

The Wire - "The Target" (season 1, episode 1)
A run-of-the-mill murder acquittal (after a witness backs off) launches an investigation with a much larger target, a tale told from two points of view throughout the season

JULY

The Wire - "The Detail" (season 1, episode 2)
The Daniels detail settles into an abandoned basement, where it seems both the police and the dealers are hoping they'll fail

Patreon update #27: Twin Peaks season 3 rewatch - Part 9 (+ Bob Dylan's Pretty Saro music video & more) and description of Laura character study, pt. II
My podcast on a quiet Peaks episode and melancholy Dylan montage

The Wire - "The Buys" (season 1, episode 3)
Omar bursts on the scene, figuratively and literally (he robs the stash house)

The Wire - "The Old Cases" (season 1, episode 4)
"It's a thin line between heaven and here."

The Wire - "The Pager" (season 1, episode 5)
The battle between Omar and the Barksdale organization turns deadly

The Wire - "The Wire" (season 1, episode 6)
Wallace experiences a crisis of conscience

The Wire - "One Arrest" (season 1, episode 7)
Can the season continue to divide its perspective without appearing to take a side?

The Wire - "Lessons" (season 1, episode 8)
The cops get more than they planned for with a new informant

Patreon update #28: Twin Peaks season 3 rewatch - Part 10 (+ Chilean Revolution, my spring viewing diaries & more)
The Return rewatch reaches another dark, violent episode; elsewhere my podcast examines events in early seventies Chile

The Wire - "Game Day" (season 1, episode 9)
Basketball as the backdrop for a much bigger game, in which Avon isn't merely on the sideline

The Wire - "The Cost" (season 1, episode 10)
An episode thick with snitches

The Wire - "The Hunt" (season 1, episode 11)
The aftermath of a big event has negative ramifications for both sides of Baltimore's battle

The Wire - "Cleaning Up" (season 1, episode 12)
With one episode to go, I wonder what's left for the season - and the show

The Wire - "Sentencing" (season 1, episode 13)
Police and dealers experience jarring ups and downs as the case and season conclude

Rewatching Parts 5-8 of Twin Peaks season 3: a conversation w/ Lindsay Stamhuis on 25 Years Later
As part of a longer series, this Peaks community invited me to discuss four episodes leading up to the big one - all kinds of interesting new questions and ideas arise in the midst of our conversation

(I covered this period on Episode 27 and Episode 28 of my Patreon podcast)

Next: An Extended Anniversary (July - September 2018)
(in which I finish looking back at both Twin Peaks and my site for my 10th anniversary)

Previous: Packing the Podcast (January - March 2018)

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