The Double R Diner in the fictional town of “Twin Peaks” was home to the best cherry pie around. In fact, for visiting FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), it became a regular routine. Of course, this slice of heaven wasn’t the only thing that drew hungry patrons to the quaint dining establishment. It helped that the young and very pretty waitress Shelly Johnson would always greet customers with a smile. You couldn’t help but be a little smitten by the cheerful young lady. Thanks to the absolutely alluring actress Mädchen Amick who brought Shelly to life, this character became one of my favorites in this offbeat and groundbreaking series created by David Lynch and Mark Frost.
This isn’t the first time we looked back at the iconic series – you can check out what’s up with Sheryl Lee here – but it’s always a good time to look back at the luminous Ms. Amick. Plus it gives me another excuse to return to one of my favorite television series of all time. The moment I saw this charming little waitress I fell in love. As much as I adored this character, it was certainly easy to question her taste men. From her abusive – and criminal – husband Leo (Eric DaRae) to her far too immature lover Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook), she seemed to be a glutton for punishment. However, this delightful actress gave Shelly such warmth and charm, she could get away with anything and I’d still of been a fan.
Her work in “Twin Peaks” made me an instant admirer. So much so that when I found out about a little flick she did with the great Dee Wallace and Anthony Perkins, it was a must see. In the 1990 Tobe Hooper directed “I’m Dangerous Tonight,” the charismatic actress was a delight even if this made-for-cable flick was far too safe coming from the legendary director of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. With all its faults, my fandom of this lovely actress continued to grow from it. Of course, it was always great to see Mr. Perkins in a quirky role. With this, and another season of her wonderfully wacky series, it was clear that we’d be seeing quite a bit more from this talented young lady.
In the early 90’s, Mädchen appeared in a couple of thrillers. In Stephen King’s SLEEPWALKERS (1992), she portrayed a young innocent terrorized by a strange and supernatural mother-and-son looking for a virgin. This was a bizarre flick and one that I saw specifically because of Amick – although Alice Krige is always pretty terrific playing nutty. I’ve heard a few people say they enjoyed this Mick Garris directed flick – the screenplay written by King himself – so maybe it’s worth a re-visit. It didn’t thrill me on first viewing.
That same year, Amick returned to that cozy little Washington town in TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME. The prequel explored the events which led up to the murder of Laura Palmer and yes, that perky waitress Shelly was back. The film was met with mixed results, yet in many ways this felt more like your typical David Lynch story than even the series did. If you happen to visit this series again, I recommend giving this weirdly terrifying flick another shot. After all, that shot of “Bob” in Laura’s bedroom is one of the creepiest images I’ve ever seen. Don’t know why, but that shite messed me up.
I love an actress who isn’t afraid to put her genre on, and thankfully Mädchen often delved into the dark side. In 1993 she appeared opposite James Spader in DREAM LOVER. Aside from the quirky Spader taking the lead, I remember very little about this flick. Of course after checking out the trailer she once again charmed the hell out of me. Sure it looks shockingly dated and more than a little goofy, but sometimes you need a little bit of nostalgic cheese in your cinematic diet.
While her movies didn’t seem to light the box office on fire, the small screen definitely had plenty of work for the actress. In the 90’s she appeared on a number of series including “C.P.W.”, “Fantasy Island” and “Dawson’s Creek.” In fact, throughout her career she worked on a massive number of shows ranging from sitcoms like “Freddie” and “Joey” to dramas such as “ER”, “Gossip Girl”, “Mad Men” and “Damages.” Her resume is filled with dozens of shows ranging from guest starring roles to series regulars. After looking at her IMDB page it was clear to me that since I haven’t been aware of some of her non-genre work, there is plenty of catching up I have to do.
At this point when I beg the question where in the horror is Mädchen Amick, it is pretty obvious she hasn’t gone very far. While her early days of big screen thrillers seem to be gone, she has returned to the genre on the Lifetime series “Witches of East End.” The supernatural drama – based on the book written by Melissa de la Cruz – has found enough success to return for a second season premiering this coming July 6 on the popular cable network. While I’ve never been under the spell of the series, I have discovered that the actress seems to only get more and more beautiful… She is simply stunning here.
Not only is she back on a weekly series, but fans of “Twin Peaks” have something to be very happy about as well. The iconic show is finally getting a Blu-ray release that includes nearly 90 minutes of never-before-seen deleted and alternate scenes from FIRE WALK WITH ME. This fantastic set will be available on July 29th and I for one can’t wait. As an old fan of Ms. Amick, I’m happy to say the next couple of months look to be good ones for the actress. To see what else she has been up to you can follow her on Twitter. And who knows, maybe we can convince Lynch to return as well as bring her back in some way to one of my favorite little mysterious towns.