Something's happening on ABC : queerly reevaluating Twin Peaks and My So-Called Life



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This research reconsiders two ABC programs from the early 1990s, Twin Peaks and My So-Called Life, through the frames of queer-theory based textual analysis, press discourse, and fan reception. I begin by arguing that both programs, which emerged in concert with the solidification of queer studies as an academic field, exist as televisual oddities that provided a temporary space for the exploration of queer subjectivities in primetime; this analysis also invokes the non-normative positioning of showrunners David Lynch and Winnie Holzman based on their previous and subsequent work. Secondly, I posit popular press receptions/retrospectives as undermining the queer centrality of both programs by adhering to heteronormative frameworks such as “quality television.” Lastly, I discuss fan reclamations of both programs through slash fiction and collaborative web forums as illuminating the intrinsic queerness of Twin Peaks and My So-Called Life lost through dominant press narratives.