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Sehlat Vie

Twin Peaks General Discussion Thread (spoilers allowed, with warnings...)

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Doctor odd just reminded me that we don't have a Twin Peaks general discussion thread, and with S3 currently airing what better time to start one?   Personally, I never quite got into TP (tried back in the '90s; not my damn fine cup of coffee) but I know we have lots of fans of the show here (including Kenman and Sim) so... voila!

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No discussion limits (other than the usual forum rules, of course), and spoilers about the new season are okay as long as one puts some kind of warning in the post.   

 

Just what the Doctor ordered... :P

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Sim   

Hey Sehlat, thank you very much for starting this thread! Yeah I guess it's a good moment for doing so now.

I've almost finished my rewatch of the old series, and I've seen the first 4 episodes of the new season 3.

Most of all, the show was probably ahead of its time in 1991: It was serialized, told an ongoing story, and I think its mysterious content -- demonic possession, mythical focus -- was something new on network tv back then, too. So often I read this show influences many following shows a lot, especially "The X-Files", and although "Twin Peaks" was very different in tone and concept, I understand it broke the ground for a show like that.

But I think "Twin Peaks" also did something that's still very rare on tv today: It gave the very peculiar artistic vision of an "auteur" a platform on mainstream tv. I'm not enough of a fan to estimate how big David Lynch's influence on the show really was in the end, or to have an idea about the creative processes that led to the end result, but even if Lynch's vision was watered down, the result was more than just untypical for network tv back then, I am sure.

 

I did not happen to see "Twin Peaks" before 2003. I had just bought my first DVD player back then, and only few shows were available on DVD. And I felt like buying a new one I hadn't seen before, one that got some praise under its belt. So I bought "Twin Peaks" for pretty heavy prices by today's standards.

I realized it's a clunky format: It has a very peculiar style, and either you love it, or you hate it. I loved it, at least the moment I mustered the necessary patience to let all the impressions have an effect on me, and to let the show take me where I had no idea where that would be. I struggled very much with the weirdness and symbolism -- all the time while watching, I was never sure if I really understood what I was watching. And my mind desperately tried to identify meaning in the weirdness.

While the upper parts of my mind were occupied with this task, I enjoyed the more obvious aspects of the show: A mix of soap opera and crime thriller, with really weird, but lovable characters. Only when I decided there is not much to understand in the weirdness, but just to enjoy, and I gave up digging, but gave in -- then I truly enjoyed the show.

Which does not mean there is nothing to discover: Numerous websites give information about symbolism and symbolic interpretations and interconnections. But for me? That was too exhausting. What the show told me, was just to give in and let the flow take me were the show wanted; a feeling of confidence in the authority of the author, rather than knowing everything by the numbers, as so many other shows before offered.

This crass mix of different genres and the playing with its expectations resulted in an interesting mix: Part soap opera, part 50s youth movie, part crime mystery, part fantasy -- the mixing of crassly opposed genres would most likely be disharmonous, but Lynch's weirdness tied it together and actually made it a coherent whole. That is IMO an amazing artistic achievement.

 

Now I started with the new 3rd season. It ties in with a line of the original series, when Laura Palmer promises Agent Cooper they are going to meet again in 25 years -- thanks to the gods of pay tv, this promise is being fulfilled now.

The new episodes, so far, appear to pump up the weirdness factor. Even more than the original show, they are much more about scenes which display the visions of David Lynch's weird artistic visions, than a coherent plot. The new episodes are more like music albums, IMO: A collection of losely connected scenes, and if you like two or three of them, but hate the next, you still know it was worth the purchase.

It's amazing so many actors of the original series were reactivated to reprise their old roles. But so far (during the first 4 episodes), I have to say I do miss the soapy elements a little, and the more mundane interconnections between the characters.

But there are still 14 episodes to go in season 3, so who knows? Maybe we'll get that in the end. :)

Edited by Sim

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kenman   

Just finished up episode 5, and I think the little character moments are beginning to shine through a little more. I suspect Lynch knew what people were expecting or looking for, and he deliberately zagged when they hoped for a zig.  It's how he tends to roll.  He did a similar thing with the Fire Walk With Me film.  But he started off in the extra weird, showcasing a bit of what being trapped in the Black Lodge has kind of done to Cooper in a variety of ways, and things are slowly moving back to the town of Twin Peaks...my suspicion is that all these storylines will eventually converge into the actual town, and hopefully Coop will somehow get back to his own self before the series ends. I am loving it so far, as both a fan of the original show and just Lynch in general. 

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Thanks, Sehlat Vie!

So far it feels like we're slowly watching a really long movie unfold.  I love it!

Quote

But I think "Twin Peaks" also did something that's still very rare on tv today: It gave the very peculiar artistic vision of an "auteur" a platform on mainstream tv. I'm not enough of a fan to estimate how big David Lynch's influence on the show really was in the end, or to have an idea about the creative processes that led to the end result, but even if Lynch's vision was watered down, the result was more than just untypical for network tv back then, I am sure.

As a huge fan of Lynch's films, I think the difference between Season 3 and the previous seasons is fairly indicative of how much Lynch was kept on a short leash during the original run.  Season 3 feels like his movies do.

SPOILERS!

That scene with Amanda Seyfried coked out in the car with the music playing was haunting and beautiful.  It reminded me very much of Mulholland Drive.

Also the whole "Mr. Strawberry" bit, and, frankly, everything about BobCoop is so effectively creepy.  I've never felt this kind of fear or disorientation from a TV show.

 

Edited by doctor_odd
wanted to add a quote without posting again. also, so much formatting.

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I guess there's not much interest on this board for Twin Peaks, but holy hell is it just getting better and better.

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Thanks for starting this. 

Ive never seen Twin Peaks. But I started a few weeks ago. Now in the 2nd season. What strikes me is how MODERN it feels. I do not for a minute feel like Im watching a show from 1990. I can also see why general audience would have gotten sucked into the short first season, but turned away in the 2nd. Not that I don't love it but it is basically a long drawn out creepy mystery. Does anyone remember the reception at the time? Why it was canceled? 

Also, it's very scary in parts. But more than this it is very funny. I love the small town immersion.    

Edited by Justin Snead

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On 2017-07-20 at 4:28 PM, Justin Snead said:

Thanks for starting this. 

Ive never seen Twin Peaks. But I started a few weeks ago. Now in the 2nd season. What strikes me is how MODERN it feels. I do not for a minute feel like Im watching a show from 1990. I can also see why general audience would have gotten sucked into the short first season, but turned away in the 2nd. Not that I don't love it but it is basically a long drawn out creepy mystery. Does anyone remember the reception at the time? Why it was canceled? 

Also, it's very scary in parts. But more than this it is very funny. I love the small town immersion.    

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This image explains it, without spoilers.

As for how modern it feels, yeah, that makes a lot of sense! So much of what we take for granted today in television comes from Lynch and Frost's innovation.

When you're done with the show, I strongly recommend you watch the films Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, and Mulholland Drive to get an idea of who David Lynch is as a filmmaker. Then treat yourself to Fire Walk With Me, the Twin Peaks movie. It's an excellent film but it was panned upon release for various reasons, that being said, plenty of critics have come around to it over time.

At that point, you should be primed and ready for season 3, or, "Twin Peaks: The Return", which is so far an amazing experience, and the first 11 episodes all get a "damn fine" rating from me so far.

:D

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maneth   

I enjoyed the original very much, even the panned middle episodes of the second season. So far, I've seen the first five episodes of the third season and my feelings are mixed to say the least. Lynch is a genius in my book, but sometimes the line between genius and crazy is very thin indeed. In the early episodes at least they spend far too much time away from the town of Twin Peaks.

Kyle MacLachlan is proving to be an amazing actor, although his scenes as Dougie Jones make me squirm in my seat. I just want Cooper to be as he was before the Black Lodge...

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kenman   
On 10/22/2017 at 7:02 AM, maneth said:

I enjoyed the original very much, even the panned middle episodes of the second season. So far, I've seen the first five episodes of the third season and my feelings are mixed to say the least. Lynch is a genius in my book, but sometimes the line between genius and crazy is very thin indeed. In the early episodes at least they spend far too much time away from the town of Twin Peaks.

Kyle MacLachlan is proving to be an amazing actor, although his scenes as Dougie Jones make me squirm in my seat. I just want Cooper to be as he was before the Black Lodge...

The thing about Lynch is he was never going to make a show that was fueled by nostalgia and having Cooper talking about coffee and cherry pie.  Personally I loved Dougie, and the delay in the return of Cooper actually makes his return all the more exciting in my book.  

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8 hours ago, kenman said:

The thing about Lynch is he was never going to make a show that was fueled by nostalgia and having Cooper talking about coffee and cherry pie.  Personally I loved Dougie, and the delay in the return of Cooper actually makes his return all the more exciting in my book.  

Not that I'm a particular fan of Twin Peaks but I can see maneth's point.  There is a danger in reviving a property with cult/brand-name potential such as Twin Peaks and then denying the audience what they most want to see; that creates alienation rather than nostalgia, and let's be honest; if it weren't for nostalgia, why revive the brand name at all?   Lynch could've just as easily created a new property.  Maneth's complaint is one I've heard among a couple other friends of mine who watch the show.  I understand the impulse the bring the audience something new (of course; as with any creative endeavor), but if you have the brand name out in front?  You need a little something to appeal to those fans.  I know Lynch generally balks at commercialism, but it's not necessarily a dirty word.

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kenman   
8 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Not that I'm a particular fan of Twin Peaks but I can see maneth's point.  There is a danger in reviving a property with cult/brand-name potential such as Twin Peaks and then denying the audience what they most want to see; that creates alienation rather than nostalgia, and let's be honest; if it weren't for nostalgia, why revive the brand name at all?   Lynch could've just as easily created a new property.  Maneth's complaint is one I've heard among a couple other friends of mine who watch the show.  I understand the impulse the bring the audience something new (of course; as with any creative endeavor), but if you have the brand name out in front?  You need a little something to appeal to those fans.  I know Lynch generally balks at commercialism, but it's not necessarily a dirty word.

In the end though, I think it all made sense in terms of connecting it to the original... and one of the joys I got out of it being so different was that I never once knew what to expect or where it was going. 

I also went in expecing the unexpected, because thats Lynch. He subverted expectations before with the film Fire Walk With Me, why would he not do it again here? And he did so while still picking up where the original show left off, something that the movie did not do. 

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