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So… how about that Twin Peaks revival, huh? February 26, 2019

Posted by sjroby in TV.
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It’s about a year and a half since the Twin Peaks revival ended, and I’m still not sure what I think. I’ve watched most of it only once, as it aired, and I know some reactions will firm themselves up or dissipate with a couple more viewings of the whole season. But I think it’ll always boil down to this: it’s a terribly self-indulgent mess that was rarely less than compelling, and a show that lost the original series’ essence by spending so little time in the location the series is named after.

If there is anything the 2017 series makes clear, it’s this: David Lynch was much more interesting in following up Fire Walk With Me than much of anything in the second season of the original show. It’s also clear that this isn’t Blue Velvet Lynch, it’s barely even Mulholland Drive Lynch. This is all over the place Lynch. I know Mark Frost was involved, too, but his two tie-in books… well, they tied in a lot less than I expected.

There are things that don’t fit perfectly well together in the old series and FWWM, so it’s not too surprising that a filmmaker whose work has been becoming steadily more hard to follow wouldn’t be consistent or tie things up neatly. The books might have helped in that respect. They didn’t. But it now seems like we now less about Bob and Mike, the Black Lodge, and all the other supernatural elements of the show than we thought we did. Meanwhile, we also have new supernatural elements that don’t quite fit in or seem, frankly, goofy, like Freddie’s glove.

Then there’s the whole Dougie thing. Episode after episode of Dale Cooper not being Dale Cooper, though at least we had two not-Dale Coopers to watch.

There’s also just not enough Twin Peaks in Twin Peaks: The Return. The original series generated a wave of quirky series set in quirky towns, and while there was a lot more to the show than that, it gave the show a unique atmosphere to set its genre-mashing in.

There’s a lot to be frustrated about. And yet… I was glued to the screen, utterly fascinated by what was going on. There are some outstanding performances. It looks great. It does often progress in a reasonably linear manner, enough to generate suspense about what’s coming next. And there are moments of alien beauty in the other realms. The final episode raises way more questions than it answers, but the final scene, with Laura’s doppelganger Carrie hearing Sarah calling Laura (I heard it, but some people apparently missed it) and screaming was genuinely chilling.

I doubt we’ll get any more. If we do, I doubt it’ll give us any answers. Do we need it? Maybe not. But I’d watch it.

 

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