My world changed after I started to watch Twin Peaks. I didn’t know it then, but looking back I have to acknowledge that it had a major impact on my life and, thinking outside the borders, has laid the foundation of me writing posts like these on the site.

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Although we might not realise it when we look in the mirror every morning, television has changed our lives. And I do not point at the fact that we spent hours watching series instead of doing other things we could do with other people like playing games or just having a conversation. I mean there are series that have changed our lives in a way we might not even have noticed. Let me give you some possibilities:

  • A cooking show made you a great chef and as you’re now always entertaining your friends at home, you’ve become the center of the group
  • There might have been a show dealing with a dilemma and later in your life you were helped dealing with a dilemma in the way they treated it in the show
  • After watching a commercial for a game you bought it and never distanced yourself for more than two feet from your game controller again
  • You might be watching Dr. Phil every day and every show gives you a new direction for you thoughts or gives you the idea to talk to your partner about something and your life wasn’t the same after one of those discussions
  • After watching Firefly you’ve become a browncoat and are now campaigning for the return of the series
  • You watched a sports show and liked that sport so much you took it up
  • You watched the lottery show live where you won that million dollar price
  • It might the series that still isn’t on tv but you have been wanting it so much that you married the other person who does
  • Maybe you participated in a reality show?

Looking back, there are a few shows that had an huge impact on my life and for different reasons.

Babylon 5 showed me there is not always only good and bad. All the characters had their own belief system and their own wishes and goals because of that. In our own lives we look at the actions of others through the filter of our own belief system and we judge them because of that system. Babylon 5 showed me that one should try to understand why people do things and what drives them. If you know that, you will be able to understand them and communicate. What I see as bad can be good in the eyes of someone else and vice versa. The central questions of the series: ‘Who are you’, ‘What do you want’, ‘Why are you here’ and ‘Where are you going’, are questions I ask myself many times when I try to figure out why I’m doing something. The extra question the spin-off Crusader had: ‘Who do you trust’ was a good addition.



Lost
brought me in contact with the whole world of television. I had read about it on the internet but it hadn’t aired in The Netherlands yet (it started at least a year later), so I bought the DVD-boxes. After the third season I somehow became more aware of download sites and started downloading the episodes directly after they aired. It was legal in our country and it was the start of downloading more and more series and following them almost immediately after they aired in the US. To get more knowledge on those shows I started visiting the pages on TV.com.



Twin Peaks brought me in contact with fandom. Before we had the internet, we had Fidonet, a store and forward BBS mail system. It could take days for mails to get from one side of the world to another, but we got word about this great series in the US called Twin Peaks. The mails told stories about people sitting together, watching four episodes of the series and eating cherry pie. When BBC started airing the show I noticed mails on the Dutch scifi part of the Fidonet about people coming together to watch the show and I wanted to be part of it. So I just joined a discussion and was invited to come to a viewing evening. I met four guys, one could say nerds, but they were great, I had a wonderful evening and many more have followed. They were active in the Dutch fandom and through them I started going to meetings and conventions and have befriended a lot of great people from all over the world. Some have been friends for over twenty years now.



And on Twin Peaks, it was the first time I was completely hooked. I tried to join a fanclub for the first time (‘The Peak Experience’), bought the accompanying books (like ‘The secret diary of Laura Palmer’ and ‘The autobiography of special agent Dale Cooper’) and read them in English as they were not available in Dutch. From that moment I started to read more and more books in the English language.

I will be doing a re-watch/recap/photocap/review of season 1 of Twin Peaks this summer if there are enough people interested in reading those recaps. Maybe it will be a good reason for some to start watching this great series after all. I know @TrevPlatt will, but I would love to know if more people are interested and would read those posts.

An honourable mention goes to ‘Married with Children’. It showed me that a father can do anything to protect his daughter. I tried to find the scene where he whacked the head of some guy he found with Kelly on the side of the front door, but failed.

Getting back: what were the series that, when looking back, had an impact on your life and why? What was the impact they had?
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