Next year, May 2013, will mark the twentieth anniversary of the 5-part television mini-series Wild Palms, which was conceived by Bruce Wagner and which ran on ABC. The show was made possible and overshadowed by David Lynch’s Twin Peaks (which also aired on ABC in 1990 and 1991), and in some ways it was a more radically disjunctive series, a truly sunny and nightmarish postmodern nightmare, with references and allusions to everything from David Cronenberg’s films to Wallace Stevens to Philip K. Dick to Walt Whitman. Episode 3, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, has perhaps the strangest mix of pacing and image as anything ever shown on television.
In an era of super-polished, aesthetically tyrannical, ruthlessly flawless shows like Mad Men, it’s nice to look back on Wild Palms, which dared not to ask to be loved. Here are two images, as well as a clip.