Small Towns  

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(@charlie)
Roadhouse Regular

I've had this opinion for some time, but been hesitant to share.  I have always rolled my eyes a little bit over Frost and Lynch's attempt to portray small town USA.  I am sure most of us are familiar with the fact that the show is/was really set in a town of about 5,120.  Having lived and worked in several small towns (less than 5,200 most my life), I can tell you the show does have the feel of being made by someone not overly familiar with towns in that range of size.  I may be wrong here but not knowing were most of you are from I thought I would share the thoughts of someone that has lived in that size of community and either directly or indirectly a civic-involved person since I was born.

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Posted : 26/07/2017 4:46 pm
(@badalamenti-fan)
Roadhouse Regular

Lynch was born in Missoula (population 15,000 in the 1940s)  but his family moved to Sandpoint, Idaho (pop. 7,000 today) when he was 2 years old and subsequently moved to Spokane, WA (pop. approx. 100,000 in the 1940s) and, finally, Boise (pop. approx. 35,000 in the 1950s).... then, Alexandria, VA. 

So, your point is well taken. It's not clear D. Lynch had very much--if any-- experience in a town as small as Twin Peaks.

What do you feel he misses/misunderstands about small-town experience?

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Posted : 26/07/2017 6:28 pm
(@johnavidduncan)
Town Visitor
Posted by: Charlie

I've had this opinion for some time, but been hesitant to share.  I have always rolled my eyes a little bit over Frost and Lynch's attempt to portray small town USA.  I am sure most of us are familiar with the fact that the show is/was really set in a town of about 5,120.  Having lived and worked in several small towns (less than 5,200 most my life), I can tell you the show does have the feel of being made by someone not overly familiar with towns in that range of size.  I may be wrong here but not knowing were most of you are from I thought I would share the thoughts of someone that has lived in that size of community and either directly or indirectly a civic-involved person since I was born.

I don't know what makes you think this?  It is not abnormal for small town to have shows like NIN, Rebekah Del Rio and regular Indie groups performing on a regular basis. 😉

It is a TV show.  Anything could happen.  Even if the small town is located in Washington State, it could be plague with problems like having a roaming herd of venomous kangaroo or pellet stove leaguing themselves together to set houses on fire.  On both count it would be very annoying for its resident.

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Posted : 26/07/2017 6:53 pm
(@samxtherapy)
Detective

I guess it's as accurate as Eastenders or Coronation Street are accurate portrayals of English towns.

Coppula eam se non posit acceptera jocularum

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Posted : 26/07/2017 7:04 pm
(@b-randy)
Chief Moderator

Twin Peaks has over 51,000 occupants. A tad bit larger than 5,120.

I lived in Wenatchee, WA in part of my childhood.  It had 30K people and I FAR from knew everyone or where everyone was or what was going on.  It's small in comparison to cities, but hardly the small town that I've also live in such as Chelan (under 5K).

 

Image result for twin peaks sign

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Posted : 26/07/2017 7:22 pm
(@charlie)
Roadhouse Regular

Brandy,

And I don't claim to be an expert here, but my understanding is that the story was written as if twin peaks was a town of 5,120 but the tv brass had a fit.  So to satisfy them, the sign was changed by adding a 1 on the end.  If this is true, everything about the show was designed to represent a town of around 5,000.

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Posted : 26/07/2017 10:46 pm
(@karen_paynter)
Deputy

It was going to be 5K plus, but ABC demanded they change it to 51K because "tv viewers won't relate to such a small town."

Fire Walk With Me

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Posted : 26/07/2017 11:16 pm
(@badalamenti-fan)
Roadhouse Regular
Posted by: Charlie

I've had this opinion for some time, but been hesitant to share.  I have always rolled my eyes a little bit over Frost and Lynch's attempt to portray small town USA.  I am sure most of us are familiar with the fact that the show is/was really set in a town of about 5,120.  Having lived and worked in several small towns (less than 5,200 most my life), I can tell you the show does have the feel of being made by someone not overly familiar with towns in that range of size.  I may be wrong here but not knowing were most of you are from I thought I would share the thoughts of someone that has lived in that size of community and either directly or indirectly a civic-involved person since I was born.

I'm still eager to hear what OP finds lacking in Lynch's and Frost's portrayal of a rural community (whether 5,000 or 50,000)...   Charlie, can you develop this for us?

I, for one, grew up in a city of half a million people, so I'd benefit from hearing firsthand from others about what facets of small-town life TP might neglect... 

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Posted : 27/07/2017 11:50 am
(@b-randy)
Chief Moderator

Everybody knows everybody and everybody's business.

One thing that struck me odd about it in the original was the arrival of Maddy.  This would have been absolutely  no surprise to anybody if A. Maddy and Laura had spent a lot of time together in their childhood in twin peaks, and B. Half the town would have known she was there (the laura lookalike, OMG!) by the time she reached the Palmer's front door. Thus nobody would have been surprised to see her and Jacoby would have know what was up when the trio duped him out of his office.

Ok, maybe I take back that last one a little.  Jacoby might not have known.  But anyone else in town would have known.

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Posted : 27/07/2017 2:03 pm
(@matthew_gladney)
Roadhouse Regular
Posted by: Karen

It was going to be 5K plus, but ABC demanded they change it to 51K because "tv viewers won't relate to such a small town."

Oh my goodness, thank you so much! This is illuminating!

For so long I have blamed Lynch/Frost for this. Now it is good to know that it wasn't their issue, but the network's (makes a lot of sense).

The population size vs. the depiction of Twin Peaks has always bothered me. So, during the original 1990-91 run, it was definitely depicted as being a small town. I found this incongruous with a town of roughly 51,000 people. When I asked my husband about it (he's the real Twin Peaks fan in the family), his response was: "It's what coastal network executives probably think of as a small town."

Truthfully, a population of 51,000 isn't really "small town," but it is also not enough to be a small city, either. It seems like The Return is going a little more in the direction of the 51,000 mark, though. Anyone else think that?

What I've noticed is the expanded police department (whose size seems more sensible for a town larger than just 5,100 people), along with a couple of things I noticed in Part 11. For instance, when Shelly and Red and Red turn the corner from the RR, the streetscape behind them seems pretty nice. Perhaps a little nicer than something you'd find in a town of 5,100. And then the scene out in the street, when Bobby goes to investigate the gun shots: That's a straight-up traffic jam. Uh.... you're not going to have a traffic jam like that in a small town of just 5,100 people. Now, a town of 51,000? More likely.

Anyhow, it's good to know the background for the population/depiction discrepancy!

 

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Posted : 27/07/2017 3:44 pm
(@charlie)
Roadhouse Regular

Bad,

On Kentucky Bourbon trail with wife next few days.  Be happy to detail my thoughts after a fresh blood exchange (Monday). 

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Posted : 27/07/2017 4:02 pm
(@mj_gilbert)
Deputy

It has been said repeatedly over the years that there is a decimal point missing, and that the actual population is 5120.1 - might even be in one of the books. I will check the access guide tonight. It is a surprisingly illuminating read.

 

No way TP ever had 51,000 people. Always found that off-putting.

I AM the FBI.

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Posted : 27/07/2017 4:16 pm
(@badalamenti-fan)
Roadhouse Regular
Posted by: Charlie

Bad,

On Kentucky Bourbon trail with wife next few days.  Be happy to detail my thoughts after a fresh blood exchange (Monday). 

Terrific-- thanks! 

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Posted : 27/07/2017 4:25 pm
(@b-randy)
Chief Moderator

It just never felt either 5K or 50K to me, but somewhere between. I don't know where that is. It always felt intimate enough to be small(ish), but with enough detachment among the residents to be much larger than a measly 5K.

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Posted : 27/07/2017 6:38 pm
(@myn0k)
Deputy

It never felt important to me and I never considered it an issue. Maybe it's because I'm a non US resident. To me, twin peaks just seemed like a slightly smaller than average town. Certainly not tiny, as it had its own industry. 

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Posted : 29/07/2017 2:30 pm
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