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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.

 

It is happening again… May 21, 2017

Posted by sjroby in Life in general, TV.
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Less than half an hour to go, and I have no coffee, no cherry pie, no donuts. But I’m otherwise prepared. I’ve watched most of Twin Peaks and I’ve read some books on Twin Peaks. I watched Mulholland Drive again in case the Silencio rumours are true. I’ve read Mark Frost’s Secret History. I’ve also read David Lynch’s comments about not having watched the original show again, and not having read Frost’s book, so I don’t know if doing that even matters.

I didn’t watch Twin Peaks when it originally aired. I had my first real job, my first real girlfriend, my best friend from years before and miles away had moved to town, I was going out several nights a week. I saw a few minutes of one episode and figured I was coming in too late to make sense of it so I might as well not bother. I bought Julee Cruise’s Floating Into the Night, though, having heard a song on the radio and loving it.

In 1995 the new cable channel Bravo started airing daily repeats, and that’s when I got into the show. (I’d broken up with the girlfriend and the best friend had been transferred out of town, so I had plenty of free time again.) Waiting through the weekend for the next episode on Monday was an unbearable hardship. Just as well I didn’t watch it the first time around, with the long waits. I bought Fire Walk With Me and the pilot movie with the European ending on VHS. I bought Blue Velvet on VHS and loved it, too — it’s not directly connected, but it feels like it could be. I tracked down a couple of the books. I watched the show again a few times, bought soundtracks, a few issues of Wrapped in Plastic magazine when I found them, bought more books, upgraded to DVD, etc.

And I never expected the show to come back.

I got into Star Trek when it was off the air, and it came back. Same with Doctor Who. But Twin Peaks isn’t the same kind of thing and bringing it back in a way fans would recognize and respect as the real thing seemed like too much of a long shot to even consider.

And now here it is. Thirteen minutes away.

I have no idea what to expect. FWWM was significantly different from the TV series; so is Frost’s Secret History. But they’re both back with a lot of the original cast so I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen.

Wish I had some cherry pie, though.

Review: Angelo Badalamenti’s Soundtrack from Twin Peaks by Clare Nina Norelli February 9, 2017

Posted by sjroby in Book reviews, Music.
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cover103893-mediumYes, it’s another Netgalley review, written from a free advance e-copy.

A necessary addition to the growing Twin Peaks bookshelf, this short but informative book does a lot in its limited space.

It’s not just a look at the soundtrack album. Like many 33 1/3 books, this one puts the album in context, in this case as part of Angelo Badalamenti’s work, as part of David Lynch’s world, as part of a cult television series, and as music. Moving beyond the soundtrack, she writes about how the show used different versions of recurring themes and motifs linked with moods and characters. She includes the music from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, and the many pieces of music made available in recent years through the Twin Peaks Archive soundtrack project, which released a couple of hundred tracks that did not appear on the commercially released soundtrack albums.

More than the coming revival of the TV series, it’s the release of so much music from the original series that makes this such a timely book. Not that you have to be a fan of the TV series to love this music; as Norelli comments, the Twin Peaks soundtrack stands on its own. It’s not a grubby cash-in, nor is it a collection of music that doesn’t stand up to listening without the visuals. Overall, a good addition to both the 33 1/3 line and the small body of books about Twin Peaks.

(And, speaking of the Twin Peaks Archive, I don’t know how long this deal will be available or how much economic sense it makes, but you can get a lot of this music dirt cheap, legally, and legitimately. If you’ve read this far and don’t have this already, what are you waiting for?)