Cult TV Revival: Generational Seriality, Recap Culture, and the "Brand Gap" of Twin Peaks: The Return

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By exploring one case study of a cult TV revival after decades off-air—Twin Peaks: The Return (Showtime, 2017)—this article defines and then focuses on generational seriality. I consider how the gap of twenty-six years between 1990s Twin Peaks and The Return has impacted on its resurrection by reading new Twin Peaks for its representations of aging and loss. I further consider how fantastical connotations of dementia via the figure of Dougie Jones/Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) generate a “brand gap” between new and old Twin Peaks. Finally, I address how recap culture has shaped The Return’s generational meanings, separating out “good” subscription TV Twin Peaks from its U.S. network TV predecessor and “quality TV” contemporaries. Although recappers have suggested that Twin Peaks: The Return represents the defeat of TV recap culture, The Return remains equally gothic—marked by doppelgängers and others—in its Showtime text and its recaps.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-327
Number of pages18
JournalTelevision and New Media
Issue number4
Early online date30 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


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