Lost in the Movies: THE ARCHIVE Chapter 39: Rise and Fall of the Grand Plan (September 2021 - January 2022)

THE ARCHIVE Chapter 39: Rise and Fall of the Grand Plan (September 2021 - January 2022)


I thought that going public with my Lost in Twin Peaks podcast would be easy, since the material was already recorded for patrons over the past three years - it just needed to be divided into smaller episodes and accompanied by an illustrated companion full of screenshots and timecodes. To my surprise, that challenge proved so consuming that I spent the weeks of mid-autumn falling behind and eventually dropping one goal or side project after another...until, prior to the season one finale, I had to pause the podcast itself (returning to wrap just that single season as 2021 came to a close). This was the last gasp for an organized "Path to Journey Through Through Twin Peaks" after years of trying to fix particular deadlines, falling short, and re-inventing my schedule so from this point forward, I'd have to let the work take as long as it took, and see where that got me.

During the anticipatory lead-up to my October bust I recorded a fresh review on the a time-twisty sci-fi of Arrival; even while struggling to meet certain deadlines, I debuted my Twin Peaks Conversations podcast by turning the table on guests who'd hosted me many times - and would soon have me back to explore the abandoned Ronnie Rocket - and launched my standalone Twin Peaks Cinema feed with the "What's in a name?" miniseries (including Vertigo both for the overt character references and its much broader network of connections to Peaks); and once I finally stalled in my public output, I caught up with long-delayed Patreon obligations by loosely linking the whimsical baseball fantasy of Field of Dreams to a certain woodsy mystery show.

Since my work on the episode-by-episode Peaks podcast defined this period, I'll highlight LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #1: The Pilot S1E1 podcasts & illustrated companion (+ #0: introducing show format) above all else for diving into the show's background, establishing the podcast template (though there would be some tweaks going forward), and turning up new, interesting historical tangents even at this late stage in the process.

SEPTEMBER

An uneasy holiday in Hawaii bridges '67 and '68 for a new season of Mad Men

3 new podcasts: LOST IN TWIN PEAKS / TWIN PEAKS CINEMA / LEFT OF THE MOVIES - a teaser (LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast bonus)
Boldly announcing a few of my many new projects (but the political podcast will be cancelled before it can even begin)

Mad Men - "Collaborators" (season 6, episode 3)
The Dick Whitman flashbacks return after several seasons, as Don appears to abandon any last pretense of a moral code

Arrival (LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #31 - bonus)
My first brand new review for the public podcast, on an eerie, provocative, and moving sci-fi film from Denis Villeneuve in the mid-teens

Fall 2021: status update
As summer ends, I optimistically (if a bit nervously) lay out my ambitious schedule for autumn

TWIN PEAKS CONVERSATIONS podcast #1 w/ Ben Durant & Bryon Koszycka of Twin Peaks Unwrapped (YouTube & extended Patreon)
A new podcast endeavor: interviews with other Peaks commentators, half on YouTube and half on Patreon, launched by podcasters who had me on their own show many times

Mad Men - "To Have and to Hold" (season 6, episode 4)
The late sixties cultural shift is virtually a fait accompli, with even Joan visiting a psychedelic nightclub - but Don ping-pongs between progressive sophistication and reactionary domineering

Blade Runner 2049 w/ guest Max Clark (LOST IN THE MOVIES #32)
My Villeneuve coverage continues by re-presenting an already twice-released discussion (the planned podcast trilogy will be aborted next week when I realize that I miscalculated Dune's release date; by the time it does come out, my schedule is already disintegrating)

OCTOBER

LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #1: The Pilot S1E1 podcasts & illustrated companion (+ #0: introducing show format)
The public premiere of my in-depth Twin Peaks podcast opens with dozens of screenshots and details on a week's worth of episodes covering the pilot, each dealing with a different aspect of the moody whodunit (and the historical context, including celebrities mourning Ryan White)

TWIN PEAKS CONVERSATIONS #2 w/ David Bushman, author of Conversations with Mark Frost & Murder at Teal's Pond (YouTube & extended PATREON)
Looking back on Bushman's great series of interviews with Peaks co-creator Mark Frost, as well as forward to his upcoming true crime mystery about the murder that inspired Laura Palmer, we also discuss the complicated Lynch/Frost relationship in season three

Mad Men - "The Flood" (season 6, episode 5)
Martin Luther King is assassinated, and the show's almost entirely white ensemble stumbles through a series of complex and conflicting reactions

John Carpenter's Halloween (LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #33)
In the first of many compromises, I curtail some of my projects to share thoughts on a meat-and-potatoes (or pumpkin?) holiday classic

LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #2: S1E2 (Traces to Nowhere/"Episode 1") podcasts & illustrated companion
A new week, another seven podcasts on a single episode - this time the first regular hourly (and non-Lynch) entry, with the surrounding TV context including the wacky cop show Max Monroe: Loose Cannon

September 2021 Patreon podcasts: LOST IN THE MOVIES #83 - Twin Peaks Cinema: Eraserhead (+ my Eraserhead archive w/ Paris Belongs to Us, Twin Peaks Reflections: Gordon, Harry, Cooper, Owl Cave, Bookhouse, Cooper and Annie/Season 3 Part 3 & more) plus kicking off Twin Peaks Conversations
Belatedly rounding up the previous month's Patreon podcasts (already shared piecemeal on the site) - including extensive study of Lynch's debut

Mad Men - "For Immediate Release" (season 6, episode 6)
A competition turns into a collaboration and Peggy finds herself at the center of yet another agency re-shuffle

Laura as TWIN PEAKS CINEMA #6 (podcast)
As Twin Peaks Cinema gets its own public feed, the "What's in a name?" series kicks off with the film noir that inspired Lydecker, Waldo, Jacoby, and of course Laura herself

LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #3: S1E3 (Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer/"Episode 2") podcasts & illustrated companion
The legendary dream episode gets its due with an aside for historical context including a basketball brawl

Mad Men - "Man With a Plan" (season 6, episode 7)
Power dynamics with dramatic reversals play out in bedroom and boardroom alike in the days before another Kennedy is taken down

A Revised Schedule - continuous status update on various projects
In one more desperate attempt to maintain a crowded itinerary, I lay out my priorities

LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #4: S1E4 (Rest in Pain/"Episode 3") podcasts & illustrated companion
Laura's funeral centers this episode, which aired on ABC the same night as a news special about U.S. involvement in Cambodia

Mad Men - "The Crash" (season 6, episode 8)
One of the most memorable episodes of the series sends the agency on a speed-fueled lost weekend in which Don navigates a current crisis by re-tracing past traumas

LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #5: S1E5 (The One-Armed Man/"Episode 4") podcasts & illustrated companion
An underrated midseason gem launches the investigation in earnest as Cooper and the cops follow clues to different locations (meanwhile the top-rated Cheers ends its season as NBC's counterprogramming)

NOVEMBER

Mad Men - "The Better Half" (season 6, episode 9)
Despite a notable if temporary re-kindling, relations are strained or broken between numerous duos (romantic, professional, and familial)...even Megan's soap opera performance splits in two

Alan Clarke's Elephant (LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #34)
Offering up not just my own reaction to this avant-garde TV film about the Troubles, but also discussions with a listener and between other critics

LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #6: S1E6 (Cooper's Dreams/"Episode 5") podcasts & illustrated companion
Into the woods for Laura's mystery and off to a Great Northern party for the town's intrigue (while the historical context episode dips into Howard Stern's contemporaneous antics)

Mad Men - "A Tale of Two Cities" (season 6, episode 10)
Los Angeles is caught between Reagan conservatism and Hollywood hashish while battles over clients preoccupy New York, but there's also a third city on everyone's TV sets: Chicago, where the Democratic convention dissolves into a police riot

Plan for Journey Through Twin Peaks & more (keeping track)
Finally I officially abandon the "Path back" schedule which was crumbling for months, in order to set a simpler approach going forward (although one last collapse is forthcoming)

LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #7: S1E7 (Realization Time/"Episode 6") podcasts & illustrated companion
In my last consecutive week of Lost in Twin Peaks, the top-notch penultimate episode crystallizes three investigations into Laura's life - Cooper's criminal, Audrey's social, and Donna's psychological (and in my historical context coverage, the long-running soap Falcon Crest comes to an end)

Mad Men - "Favors" (season 6, episode 11)
The Draper neighbors try to keep their son out of Vietnam, and Sally is shocked by what she sees in their apartment

Vertigo as TWIN PEAKS CINEMA #7 (podcast)
"What's in a name" continues by using Madeleine, Ferguson, and, of course, Judy as springboards into one of Twin Peaks' richest connections and this podcast's longest episode

Mad Men - "The Quality of Mercy" (season 6, episode 12)
Rosemary's Baby inspires Peggy but her ad concept is caught in the crosshairs of Ted's infatuation and Don's manipulations; meanwhile, Pete gets Bob Benson'd

Pausing Lost in Twin Peaks, catching up with Patreon & shifting my approach to upcoming projects
Finally even the Twin Peaks podcast falls apart (for the moment), re-defining my goals one last time and forcing a slower, less ambitious pace to wrap up long-awaited work over the coming year and a half

Mad Men - "In Care Of" (season 6, episode 13)
A Hershey meeting provides Don's moment of truth (brutally and memorably so) as Peggy rides a romantic roller coaster that hinges on that breakthrough - or breakdown

DECEMBER

The Devil Rides Out & Brawl in Cell Block 99 (LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #35)
Pairing a couple genre pieces - a posh sixties horror movie and a grungy twenty-first century prison flick - to round out a tumultuous season of podcasts

TWIN PEAKS CONVERSATIONS #3 w/ John Thorne, creator of Wrapped in Plastic (YouTube & extended PATREON)
Cross-posting a chat uploaded back on Halloween, in which I tangle with the great Peaks scholar's theories about what's really going on in - and outside of - season three


Iowa cornfields meet Washington woods as I link these two mystic works from the same period (alongside a discussion of the Peaks mythology) for my first entry in this patron podcast after two and a half months of distraction

Mad Men - "A Day's Work" (season 7, episode 2)
Valentine's Day '69 reveals racist reshuffling at the workplace and, perhaps, the makings of a father-daughter reconciliation on the road

Sunset Boulevard as TWIN PEAKS CINEMA #8 (podcast)
The last of the "What's in a name?" trilogy seeks Peaks parallels in a movie star's delusions, which may have given Lynch's work a Norma and a Desmond, as well as a Max Von's and, of course, one Gordon Cole

TWIN PEAKS CONVERSATIONS #4 w/ PeaksChatz authors Allen Ibrahim, Magellan Pfluke & Ryan Persaud (YouTube & extended PATREON)
Returning the favor from a few months back, I invite these podcasters to discuss their ongoing work on season three and their reflections on the earlier seasons/prequel film they'd just covered

Mad Men - "Field Trip" (season 7, episode 3)
A return to the office captures a phenomenon I'm not sure I've ever seen captured so palpably before: the feeling of no longer belonging to a place or an experience or a group where you were once completely at home

LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #8: Season 1 Finale - S1E8 (The Last Evening/ Evening/"Episode 7") podcasts & illustrated companion
Just under the wire at year's end, I return to wrap up the first season with Mark Frost's solo finale (and the last pre-Gulf crisis historical context discusses Bush's Chief of Staff Sununu)

Twin Peaks Unwrapped - A Very Ronnie Rocket Holiday Special (w/ John Thorne)
Guest appearance on a returning podcast to discuss this strange Lynch artifact - a never-produced screenplay about an electrified Franken-teen and a seemingly unrelated detective's odyssey (Ben and Bryon also invite "unseen players" to re-enact many scenes)

November 2021 Patreon podcasts: LOST IN THE MOVIES #85 - Twin Peaks Cinema: Drugstore Cowboy (+ Twin Peaks Reflections: Windom, Maj. Briggs, Airfields in Twin Peaks & Oregon, Audrey and John Justice Wheeler romance /Season 3 Part 12, Elephant archive reading & more) plus TWIN PEAKS CONVERSATIONS
Another '89 classic fuels patron Peaks comparisons - this time closer to home than Field of Dreams, since Gus Van Sant's junkie opus unfolds in the Pacific Northwest too (and shares a few cast members)

Mad Men - "The Monolith" (season 7, episode 4)
Clever riffs on 2001: A Space Odyssey surround a supercomputer's arrival at SC&P and Roger's visit to his daughter's hippie commune

JANUARY

With a new Fire Walk With Me book on the horizon for the thirtieth anniversary, we explore Scott's personal relationship to the film and some of his issues with season three

A computer messes with Michael's mind (and body) while Don heads to California expecting to find an old friend but several surprises are in store

Amidst all my conclusions and catch-up, there's also this fresh beginning - a loosely themed season focused on a trio of directors, starting with Jane Campion's most acclaimed work as it makes its Criterion debut

Ending the old year and kicking of the new with one of the closest films to Fire Walk With Me, plus finally offering some brief thoughts on Denis Villeneuve's Dune months after abandoning my rollout for the "new release" podcast

Peggy second-guesses her family-friendly approach to a fast food commercial so Don - brooding after a wistful, melancholy visit from Megan - joins her for a classic, boozy brainstorming session

Don's nine lives appear to be up while pitching hamburgers with Peggy in the Midwest (meanwhile, a Midwesterner lands on the moon)

(in which I conclude my Olympic Series, Mad Men viewing diary, and long-time Patreon format, making room for two big projects in the spring)


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