Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Psych! A Twin Peaks Gathering

Last night I attended Psych! A Twin Peaks Gathering at the Paley Center. They showed us the upcoming episode of Psych, "Dual Spires", and afterwards was a discussion/Q&A with the cast of Psych and Twin Peaks moderated by Craig Tomashoff from TV Guide Magazine.

Cast of Twin Peaks in attendance (who also guested in "Dual Spires"):
Robyn Lively: Lana Budding Milford --> Michelle Barker
Catherine E. Coulson: The Log Lady --> Woman with Wood
Lenny von Dohlen: Harold Smith --> Sheriff Andrew Jackson
Sheryl Lee: Laura Palmer --> Dr. Donna Gooden
Ray Wise: Leland Palmer --> Father Peter Westley

There were two other Twin Peaks alumni who were in the episode, but they were unable to attend:
Sherilyn Fenn: Audrey Horne --> Maudette Hornsby
Dana Ashbrook: Bobby Briggs --> Robert Barker
He is apparently very sick with the flu and was unable to fly from New York.

Cast of Psych in attendance:
James Roday
Dulé Hill
Maggie Lawson
Timothy Omundson
Corbin Bernsen

Producers Chris Henze and Kelly Kulchak were also there along with Andy Berman. Co-writer of Dual Spires, Bill Callahan, was in the audience as well.

The evening started off with the screening of the episode, of course. And because this episode is James' love letter to THE love of his life, Twin Peaks, the episode is actually longer than any others! Psych's usual running time for their episodes is 42 minutes, but this episode is 49. And when it comes out on DVD, it will be the director's cut and clock in at 56 minutes! I can't wait to see all those additional scenes, which James had hyped up for us :)

It was so great watching the episode with this audience because I was able to pick up what bits and pieces of the episode were homages to Twin Peaks. Everyone applauded every time a Twin Peaks alumni first appeared on screen, and there was always unanimous laughter anytime something Twin Peaks-y happened. And even for someone like me, who ashamedly must admit had never even heard of this show before James revealed his obsession with it, it was such an enjoyable episode. Seriously.

Afterwards the moderator came up and introduced the cast as they came up and took their seats. He then led the discussion, asking questions about how this episode came about, what was it like working on Twin Peaks versus "Dual Spires", etc. Obviously most of the questions were Twin Peaks related and usually directed to the Twin Peaks alumni. Every now and then someone would poke fun at James for being so utterly obsessed and in love with the show, but it was clear that the Twin Peaks alumni were grateful that someone like him existed -- and pulled something like this off.. successfully. The TP alumni were full of praise for the Psych cast and crew (and made me extremely jealous of everyone that gets to work with them).

The chemistry between the cast members was wonderful. They all got along so well and were laughing the entire time. But Ray Wise and Sheryl Lee pretty much stole the spotlight. Hearing the audience's reactions to the TP parts in the episode and witnessing the TP alumni interact with each other and discussing TP, it almost makes me want to watch the show. Almost. I have too many TV shows on my plate to add this one. But I have a very positive outlook on it despite my ignorance.

Sheryl shared the story about how she was cast. When TP happened, she had never acted in TV or film, just theatre for a couple of years. But David Lynch apparently saw her headshot somewhere and decided that she looked like a dead girl. Isn't that a lovely compliment? So they had Sheryl come in and meet with him, and she was so nervous that she had to sit on her hands so he wouldn't see them shaking. She answered a few questions and that was it. Done. She's the dead girl. They shot the pilot, a couple months passed, and then he called her asking her to move to LA. She didn't understand because, well, her character was dead. But he told her to not worry about it, he would figure it out, she just needed to come to LA. And the rest is history.

Catherine had quite a different story. She and David had worked together on a film years before TP and somehow he came up with an idea for a film revolving around a log. I no longer remember what the title was going to be, but it was long and funny. Something about the log.. of wisdom? I could be making that up. Moving on, it was going to be about her taking this log around with her and finding out information about the log. She would take it to the dentist, who would place the blue "bib" thing around the log, and use his instruments to investigate the rings and find out information about the log. Sounds interesting, no? But nothing happened. Then one day she gets a call from David, saying that he shot the pilot for Twin Peaks and he wants her to be in the TV show. And lo and behold, you get The Log Lady. Catherine actually owns The Log now. They gave it to her after they shot the last episode and she has kept it ever since, despite getting several requests to sell it.

Ray had a completely different story to tell. He shared the story about how he found out [SPOILER ALERT! Does it still count as a spoiler if the TV show was from 20 years ago?] that he was the killer. It was the night of the Emmys (which Ray was quick to point out TP did not win, although Corbin did with L.A. Law) and David called Ray and Sheryl into an office. An office with no furniture. But apparently it had brown carpet. David (and someone else, I don't remember who) was sitting on the floor, cross-legged. Ray and Sheryl joined him. Then David reached over, put his hand on Ray's knee, and said, "It's you. It has always been you." Ray was horrified. He had a young daughter, two years old, and he couldn't fathom being someone who had killed his daughter (on TV). But David convinced him that the reveal scene (which they were going to be shooting in a couple of days) was going to be great. So there you go. Ray's the killer.

Later, when fans got a chance to ask questions, a guy brought up Fire Walk with Me, which was a film prequel to the show that came out a year later. He asked Ray what it was like filming that film since it was much darker than TP and Ray admitted that that was really difficult for him as a father. So give the man props for doing such a great job with something that he really struggled with.

We also learned that the cast occassionally attends Twin Peaks festivals -- and that there are hardcore Japanese and European fans! Awesome. Catherine had just come back from one in Europe. So if you want to meet them, go check out those festivals. You are bound to see a TP alumni someday. And if you see them, send them cherry pie. Apparently that happens a lot to the TP alumni.. except for Sheryl.

There were not many Psych-only questions so there wasn't much to learn. Dule did say, however, that the show is not going to end with a Shawn-Gus wedding. Darn.

After the event was over, the cast stayed behind a while for photos and autographs.

{James Roday}

{Timothy Omundson. He noticed my shirt! ^^}

{Ray Wise}

And that's all folks! I do want to say, however, that watching this episode made me really want to eat that cinnamon pie. They make it seem so full of delicious flavour. Would anyone like to make one for me?