M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Wayward Pines’: It’s Definitely Not ‘Twin Peaks,’ Okay?

Matt Dillon and Terrence Howard in Wayward Pines


A government agent who appears without warning in a small, sleepy woodsy town in the middle of nowhere that’s hiding much more than it seems? A town that’s full of weirdos — both the harmless and the probably insane? And all of the action seems to take place around him hanging out in the local diner getting his next batch of information? It sounds familiar because it’s Twin Peaks. But Wayward Pines, a new show from executive producer M. Night Shyamalan, is certainly trying its damndest to convince us that it’s something completely different.

Adapted from “Pines,” the novel by Blake Crouch, the series will arrive on Fox in 2015 to hopefully cleanse the taste of After Earth. And The Last Airbender. And The Happening. And Lady in the Water. And from our mouths as Shyamalan’s assurance that he can still produce something legitimately creepy and bizarre. Is this a comeback? Maybe, and rest assured that he knows that the premise of the series, which follows a Secret Service agent (Matt Dillon) waking up on the outskirts of a town in Idaho with no recollection of getting there  — just a head injury taking care of deleting those memories — and finding himself dealing with a host of strange characters like a wacky nurse played by Queen of the crazies Melissa Leo, a spaced-out diner waitress (Juliette Lewis), a cop that doesn’t really care (Terrence Howard) and a missing woman (Carla Gugino), mirrors David Lynch’s beloved series greatly.

“It struck me as having a Twin Peaks-y vibe,” Shyamalan said, according to Indiewire. “It’s the kind of thing where you have these quirky over-the-top performances that are still resonant.”

Well, at least he’s aware. But the trailer for the series still can’t escape feeling like a parody of Peaks, even if there’s no Laura Palmer to investigate In fact, the woman Dillon’s Agent Burke is supposed to be tracking is still alive, but it seems like he’s going to have a few delays and detours during his investigation, doesn’t it? If anything, the series’ camp factor has been boosted to its highest potential — and that’s said as a good thing. As Burke goes to visit the police chief to figure out what the hell’s going on in his town, he’s asked how he’s feeling. His beautiful, completely serious response: “Better than the guy whose corpse I just found decomposing in a house six blocks from here.”

There may be no Special Agent Dale Cooper scarfing cherry pie, or an Audrey Horne hanging by the jukebox, or a red room (that we know of), but maybe Wayward Pines is the Twin Peaks substitute that we need if we’re never actually going to get that conclusion that we were hoping to watch.

There’s clearly something sinister afoot in this little town that nobody’s allowed to leave.

Check out the Wayward Pines trailer below:

In childhood, Samantha had a Mary Katherine Gallagher-esque flair for the dramatic, as well as the same penchant for Lifetime original movies. And while she can still quote the entire monologue from A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story, her tastes in film have luckily changed. During an interview, director Tommy Wiseau once called her a “good reporter, but not that intimidating if we’re being honest.” She once lived in Chinatown and told her neighbor Jake to “forget it” so many times that he threatened to stop talking to her.

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