TCA Winter ’15 (BLOG): ‘Peaks’ and geeks

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Talk about a damn fine surprise

Someone once said that my favourite gum was going to come back into style and while I struggled to believe it at the time, I can actually say it’s true after attending TCA on Monday.

I went into the slew of panels hosted by Showtime with a goal to find out a bit more about the previously announced Twin Peaks reprise. I figured there might be some talk of it on the executive panel with David Nevins, but I didn’t imagine it would be a main focus given that the show isn’t set to debut until 2016 and there are a number of other series still running right now. I even doubted its involvement in the proceedings when a short clip of the show’s original opening was featured in the pre-sessions sizzle reel. But Showtime had something wonderful and strange waiting for me and the rest of the room all along.

I am still unsure if I dreamed this, but after some short introductions, Nevins was interrupted by surprise guest Kyle MacLachlan, damn fine hot coffee and impish grin in tow. As I detailed in my news story posted yesterday, MacLachlan was there to confirm that his Twin Peaks character and my ultimate crush, Special Agent Dale Cooper, will be back for the continuation of the show. Suddenly the table full of donuts and lack of tea at the hot beverage table made total sense. Suddenly I was glowing like Audrey Horne before Dale came into his bedroom and turned her super sexy under-the-sheets seduction down.

I can’t say I wasn’t fangirling the moment I saw MacLachlan on stage (says the girl who refuses to delete her phone interview with him off her recorder because she thinks having it makes her Diane), but as my fellow former TV Guide Canada editor Amber Dowling can confirm, I was definitely in some sort of state. It was just the pick-me-up I needed to be able to power through the afternoon and a reminder of why I love writing about TV and attending TCA. Although there are plenty of series not to write home about, there are the few that really connect with you and always will, no matter how many years have passed. And even if these new episodes don’t make up for the second half of Twin Peaks Season 2 being all over the place, I am just happy to know it’s being given a chance to come back into style and in style.

I think I missed most of the Penny Dreadful panel in my Agent Cooper haze, but I’m okay with it because I don’t think Josh Harnett spoke to the iconic legacy of The Faculty at any given point. I did, however, quite enjoy the Sexuality and Television panel later that afternoon, which featured female producers and stars from lady pleasure-ful shows like Shameless, Masters of Sex and The Affair. Although a lot of my peers were a tad annoyed by the panelists’ insistence that we stop saying “strong female characters” and just focus on “strong characters,” I was pretty excited to see a group of successful women stand up for themselves and equality on TV. It’s not often that you get to see a TCA panel completely filled with females, let alone ones whose opinions are challenging and interesting. That’s not to say that there aren’t great individual female guests (there are a wild bunch, really), but this was a unique opportunity and that alone perhaps suggests that while we are making progress in terms of representation, we can and should still strive for more.

The Showtime panels were the end of the traditional cable portion of the tour for now (this morning we got limited time with Yahoo, Reelz and Crackle, and we’ll be back with FX on Sunday) and I have to say, I’m ready for some network-ing. This includes some time to catch up with my fellow critics (see: last night’s “Canadian Cocktail Night”), as well as some presentations from the core four networks. Today I head to the sets of CBS and CW shows (Scorpion and Jane the Virgin) and tomorrow I’m covering the ABC portion of tour, including a highly anticipated panel for Agent Carter. And in between all that I have to actually catch up on my shows, including tonight’s final season premiere for Parks and Recreation.

Yep, sounds like it’s about time to have another cup of coffee and get to work. Coop would be proud.

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The ladies of Showtime’s second sexiest panel

 

Emily is covering the 2015 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour live from the Huntington Langham Hotel from January 9 – 18. Tune in every day for new pieces and follow her tweets at @Cinefilles and @emilygagne

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