Maybe They Should Turn It Into ‘twinpeaksorsomething’ : Television: Getting the characters in touch with their true feelings may be a way to boost the show’s dismal ratings. Or perhaps the series should solve its problems with romance a la ‘The Love Boat’ . . . .

Ratings for ABC’s “Twin Peaks” remain dismal; it attracted only 17% of the audience watching TV last Saturday night--causing concern among its fans that it’s headed for early cancellation.

That’s unlikely for three reasons. One is that show’s core audience, although relatively small, is dominated by the young, big-spending viewers sought by advertisers. Also, ABC reportedly has promised to relocate “Twin Peaks” should its Saturday night time slot prove lethal. Finally, aborting the series before December almost surely would leave the mysterious murder of Laura Palmer unsolved and, as a result, frustrate and enrage the show’s viewers.

Nevertheless, you do wish there were a way for “Twin Peaks” to ensure its survival. Perhaps executive producers David Lynch and Mark Frost should change their thinking. Perhaps they should make their series more like the rest of television.

Hmmmmm. Just daydreaming here, but perhaps “Twin Peaks” should be more in the style of:


* “thirtysomething.”

The long-haired mystery man known as “Bob,” the singing-dancing little person and the giant who speaks to special agent Dale Cooper have a heart-to-heart, getting in touch with their true feelings.

Cooper, earnest Sheriff Harry S. Truman, deranged Leland Palmer, alluring Audrey Horne, volatile bad boy Bobby Briggs, sensitive biker James Hurly and sincere Donna Hayward loll around in bed on top of the spread, sharing their intimate secrets and talking about their emotional needs. Cooper gazes dreamily, wondering what might have been.

Later, the Log Lady drops by and wonders if her relationship with the log is self-destructive. Donna asks the Log Lady if she uses a diaphragm.


Sheriff Truman and Cooper shoot baskets while exploring their emotional fragility.

For the first time, physically abused waitress Shelly Johnson begins to see a certain vulnerability in her violent trucker husband, Leo, who recovers from his wounds and gets a job teaching English lit at a small but respected liberal-arts college.

Lucy writes a children’s book about a dancing doughnut.

“Bob,” after discovering in analysis that he is a gifted illustrator, does the sensitive drawings for Lucy’s book.


Traumatized Ronette Pulaski recovers and establishes a destructive, unfulfilling relationship with a brilliant but insecure and emotionally immature photographer who wants more from life than he’s getting.

While discussing his emotional needs with Big Ed Hurley, snotty forensic expert Albert Rosenfeld fantasizes that he is Tommy Tune dancing with Diane.

Sheriff Truman considers the possibility that he is unhappy.

All of the characters squeeze into Leland’s kitchen and talk about their needs.


* “Cop Rock.”

Opening the door to his hotel room, Cooper is shot in the stomach by a gunman who breaks into an angry rap song before fleeing. An elderly waiter enters the room, sees Cooper on the floor in a pool of blood and does a delicate soft shoe. Audrey enters, kneels over Cooper and sings a moving torch song.

In surgery, Cooper sings a sensitive ballad about life being as sweet as cherry pie despite the bullet that broke his body and the woman who broke his heart.

Accompanied by a full orchestra, Deputy Andy sobs. Then the entire company dances at One-Eyed Jack’s bordello.


* “The Love Boat.”

Smiling Ben Horne and his daughter Audrey greet guests arriving for the weekend at their Great Northern Hotel. Yes, it’s the arguing Smiths (guest stars Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows), followed by the terminally ill Morgans (guest stars Van Johnson and Ann Miller), followed by the financially ruined Petersons (guest stars George Hamilton and Barbara Eden), followed by the doomed Joneses (guest stars Red Buttons and Charo), who are on a mob hit list.

After a few rough spots, however, a good time is had by all at the Love Inn. At hour’s end, the couples say goodby to their hosts and leave the hotel beaming, their problems having been solved by . . . romance.

* “Cheers.”


Cooper is so in love with the pie and steaming hot coffee at the Double R Diner and the regulars who eat there that he buys the place from Norma Jennings, who stays on as a waitress. The fun comes when that big lug Cooper continually comes on to Norma, only to be rebuffed time and time again. Meanwhile, Deputy Andy helps out behind the counter, making goofy comments to the patrons, and Albert Rosenfeld moonlights there as a waiter, making snide wisecracks to anyone who will listen.

* Jerry Lewis.

Cooper starts to sip his coffee at the Double R Diner, only to have the mug get stuck in his mouth. As Norma bends over to help, Cooper rises, cracking Norma in the chin with his head, knocking her into Sheriff Truman, who falls, losing his service revolver, which slides along the floor to Ben, who sees his chance and picks it up, aims at Cooper and fires. There’s no sound, however.

It’s a water gun.


* Abbott and Costello.

Sheriff Truman: Who is our top suspect?

Cooper: That’s right.

Sheriff Truman: I said, “Who is our top suspect?”


Cooper: Exactly.

Sheriff Truman: Whaddaya mean, exactly?

Cooper: Who is our top suspect.

Sheriff Truman: That’s what I asked. What’s goin’ on here?


Cooper: No, What is already in jail.

* “In Living Color.”

The characters of “Twin Peaks” have heads that resemble human posteriors.