Monday, May 22, 2017

twin peaks is the only thing that matters

I watched exactly one episode last night, and all I know is Coop looks like Glenn Danzig died and got reanimated by a malevolent tanning bed. What the heck is going on?!???! My twitter seems divided between people who love the new episodes and people who are unimpressed with the people who love them. The latter are dead to me.

David. Motherfucking. LYNCH. Fundamentally, that's a guy who just gets it. I'm a huge rube when it comes to movies but I have so much affection for this man. I know TV revivals are a dime a dozen these days, but I honestly can't believe I get to watch 18 new episodes of this show. How am I supposed to keep living my life for the next four months while it's on? All I want to do is watch Twin Peaks and think about it and watch it again and maybe stare at some pictures of David Lynch's perfect haircut. Have you ever seen an old-ass man with a haircut that good? That being said...four episodes? Are you fucking kidding me? I don't have the time management skills to watch this show. I can't figure out why Showtime would do this--it's almost certainly against Lynch's wishes--except that maybe the show is so elliptical they thought just two episodes wouldn't make enough of a splash? I'm probably the one fan on earth who resents this.

I'm old enough to have watched the original Twin Peaks when it was broadcast, though I was awfully young at the time. Maybe too young. I've rewatched it a few times since (though not recently), and it was quite surprising to me, as an adult, that it's still just as scary. I'm a big fan of scary stuff in theory but the problem is I can rarely find things that legitimately frighten me - and I think that's partly because Twin Peaks scared the bejesus out of me at a tender age. I guess it could've been worse. I was having dinner with an English friend a few months ago who told me that he could never get into David Lynch because back in his day, BBC2 syndicated Twin Peaks at like 6:00 in the afternoon on weekdays, so this whole generation of English children inadvertently watched Laura Palmer get got with their families right after tea because that's just what was on. This anecdote is especially amusing if you know anything about the tone of British television, which is exceptionally silly. Or at least it used to be - I guess they have all those top-shelf murder shows these days. Luther and whatnot. When I lived in London all English programming was basically like if Japanese game shows were more boring and uptight. Lots of man children. Almost every UK reality show is hosted by at least one unhinged manchild. Based on my last few visits to the UK I'd say roughly half its programming still involves either a manchild host and/or some random 1970s foodstuff. Anyway you always hear about how Twin Peaks was really shocking for network television in the U.S. at the time, and it was--but its psychological impact over in the UK must've been truly bananas.

What impressed me about the first episode of the new Twin Peaks was how frightening it was. Tonally, the opener felt very consistent with the original series, and I think that's because it sort of translated the old tone instead of replicating it. You know, it keeps you guessing in a way that wouldn't work if it was too close to the original. Lynch has this incredible ability to pick up where he left off, and I think the last four years of television history, with all its warmed-over revivals, speak to how truly impressive that is. This is technically the second time he's revived Twin Peaks...if there's any one moment in his career that I'd point to as masterful, it would be the way he came back and fixed the end of the original series. The show had gone to absolute shit, it was Japanese gameshow-level inanity, but trying to be super sinister and serious...and Lynch came in out of nowhere with (what was then) a series finale that was dead on. Just picked it right back up and it was perfect. Anyway, watching that first scene in the Red Room last night I had full-body chills. I really believe all the stuff Lynch talks about with the subconscious because his stories tap into something that's shared and visceral and wordless and authentic in a way that the adrenaline rush you get when you watch too much 24 or whatever just doesn't. Very, very frightening. Anyway I think that opener is maybe the most creeped out I've been watching something since Robert Blake called Robert Blake in Lost Highway.

So far I quite like the approach the show is taking to blending old and new. I really wondered how that would go. I was freaking out a little before the show started, seeing all the promos and how much the cast had aged. It's not often you see the ravages of time on an entire group of people like that, most of whom have been out of the public eye for 25 years, you know? Years ago I saw Audrey on Gilmore Girls and seeing those promos was the feeling I had watching that, but a lot more intense. Like it's bad enough we're all going to die without the part where you suddenly look like you ate your younger self, without managing to absorb any of your younger self's powers. Had a bit of a moment during the Log Lady's scene...I hadn't heard that she'd filmed anything for this, so for me it was a surprise. Last night I came across a statement that David Lynch made back when she died in 2015:
I don't know, I just find this statement perfect. "Solid gold." What did the world ever do to deserve David Lynch? So I have nothing intelligent to say about any of this. I'm just very grateful for that rare perfect feeling I get when it feels as though the world has conspired to give me a special treat. I can't wait for episode 2.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more, I sincerely hope you'll give my appraisals of each episode (or block of episodes) a look, parts one and two are here :
    and three and four are here :