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Return to Twin Peaks

David Lynch is a genius. I'm watching Twin Peaks again to prepare for the panel I'm doing on it at DragonCon, and I'm just astonished at the deliberate and conscious artistry. I notice new things each time I watch it, but this time I've been taking notes on a legal pad for each episode . . . it's just remarkable what was being set up from the very beginning: layers upon layers. It's also interesting to note who comes in contact with the color blue, and when . . . the number of references to dreams . . . I won't say more than that, because while I don't feel any hesitation about writing spoilers in my own LJ, I do know that at least one person who's reading it has never seen the series . . . actually, I think it's two people.

As much as I've read about the symbolism in the show, I still don't have a clue as to what the square black shadow that sort of flies from left to right across the red curtain actually means. It's obviously done with purpose, but I don't know what it means. Then again, as Lynch expressed in Lynch on Lynch, we're not supposed to know everything, because there is a certain innate value to mystery.

However, I'm thinking there's a proportional formula, here: the better the show is, the shorter the amount of time it's able to survive the Clueless Media Execs. Twin Peaks was two seasons. Babylon 5 had to fight for its existence with fan petitions every single season, and the last one was so close that there's a compelling argument as for why the fifth season isn't of the caliber of the previous four. They really thought they were gone, so JMS had to wind it up in #4, then didn't have anywhere to go, really, in #5 because they'd ruined his pacing. I wish it could've been otherwise: I would have loved to see the story told the way he originally envisioned it, but I'm grateful for what we got, at least.

Lynch, though . . . Lynch is an artistic visionary, and I mean that in the full sense of visions and dreams.

Why are the best ones always thwarted? Why is it that on US television, we have yet to have a pure, unadulterated one get out alive? I swear, Lynch fans perhaps ought to set up a David Lynch Fund so that the man can make what he wants to make - we could just buy up all the commercial space, on the condition that they not mess with it. The networks would get paid, and we'd get to see what we want, untrifled-with. Or he could just release it directly as a DVD serial. That would work, too.

Television executives never learn: they did it again, and worse, with Lynch's Mulholland Drive. Idiots. Idiots, idiots, idiots.

Despite all this, what we do have of Twin Peaks remains astonishingly rewatchable. It's not dated at all - partially, I think, because it always had sort of a place-out-of-its-time feel to begin with, like a really dark version of Brigadoon. There's a certain Fifties feel to it.

I have to stop writing this rant 'cause we're contemplating dinner. ;)


Aug. 20th, 2001 03:50 pm (UTC)
The fifth season of B5 could hardly have been worse than the first, based on the episodes I saw.

Now I know we have similar tastes, and I do tend to trust your judgment -- and I almost want to go and watch B5 again, to see what I'm missing.

But then I remember how awful and cheesy the episodes I did watch were, and I still can't get past that.
Aug. 20th, 2001 05:49 pm (UTC)
If you do watch it, watch the entire series run. It's better that way.

Banshee, when I eventually visit, you'll have to sit me down and have me watch Twin Peaks. :)
Aug. 21st, 2001 01:00 am (UTC)
I would really, really love that, Ferret. It would be a true pleasure for me to watch it with someone who was seeing it for the first time, to watch the mystery unfold for them and seeing the sparks as they drew conclusions. ;)

Aug. 21st, 2001 01:24 am (UTC)
The fifth season is worse, but you may not realize it until you rewatch the series.

I say this because after everything has been unveiled and you start again from the beginning, the first season becomes much more enjoyable because you can marvel at how many little pieces of the puzzle were inserted as far back as the very first episode. Watching the craftsmanship unfold enhances the first season.

Don't watch until the DVDs come out. :) Rumor has it they start issuing on December 4th - coincidentally, the same date as the Twin Peaks DVDs.

I'm thinking it's going to be a DVD Christmas at our house this year. :D


Twin Peaks: Snoqualmie

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