Tuesday, September 01, 2015

My Log Has Something to Say About This: Twin Peaks . . . again

 So . . . this began over the weekend. And you know that I was happy to oblige, as watching Twin Peaks was a defining moment in my high school life.

I'm happy to report that things are going well. We've watched four episodes so far--which takes us approximately this far in the story:

  • Laura Palmer's body is found by Pete Martell near the Packard Mill.
  • We get reactions from all of the main players/story characters in town.
  • FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper arrives in Twin Peaks to investigate the murder and connect any possibly similarities to a previous murder in a different location. He also ties in the abduction and escape of Ronette Pulaski. Cooper's ongoing investigation reveals that Ronette was kidnapped along with Laura and was in danger of being murdered as well. There appears to be some connection between the perfume counter at Horne's Department Store (where Ronette and Laura worked) and working at the Canadian brothel One-Eyed Jack's.
  • Agent Cooper has revealed that a.) he is deeply enamored with Twin Peaks and its citizens and b.) he is very comfortable using non-standard investigatory procedures to solve crimes. For instance, in episode three he reveals to the TP police department that he is swayed by dreams and mystical practices of Tibetan monks. (At the end of that same third episode, he experiences his first dream visit to the Red Room and sees the dancing man from another place. He also first learns of Mike, the one-armed man and his murderous friend, Bob.)
  • Laura's body is buried in episode four and Leland Palmer's mental state continues to decline. He throws himself on Laura's coffin and later pleads with someone to dance with him at the Roadhouse dance hall.
  • Cooper is also introduced to the presence of the Bookhouse Boys (so far shown to be Sheriff Truman, Deputy Hawk, Big Ed Hurley, James Hurley, and Joey Paulson. Cooper is warned by the Bookhouse Boys that Twin Peaks owes much of its idyllic nature to the countervailing presence of some sort of evil out in the woods.
  • Bobby--Laura's former boyfriend and all around bad boy--is just generally acting like a jerk all around town. He seems very committed to being a complete HS stereotype of a bad-boy . . . but he doesn't quite know how to pull it off.
  • The Bookhouse Boys also tell Cooper about the drug-running that is taking place across the Canadian border, through One-Eyed Jacks. This is being facilitated by Jacques Renault and his gang. More to come on that later.
Sarah has taken to the show in good faith. I was concerned that the slow pace of the scenes and each individual episode would be too much for her.* And she seems to be really like the odd quirkiness of the characters.

There are still many episodes to go in the (good) first season and then the (disappointing) second season. And we haven't seen much of Bob yet. (I am afraid of how she'll react to some of the upcoming Bob stuff--some of which is a bit intense.) But I am enjoying watchng the show again as well.

It is hard to get back to the headspace I was in in 1989 and 1990 when this show meant everything to me. Television is so very different now and the variety of voices and styles is so much greater now than then. So I intellectually understand how radically Twin Peaks stood out to me then. It is much harder to accomplish that today. Even as a fan, I see the limitations of the acting and am frustrated by the glacial plotting of the show as it was back then.

Just don't expect me to recap every episode. Because you know how THAT would turn out.

* I was also wondering if she might be terribly confused by the intense melodrama surrounding Laura's death. The characters do seem to lose their shit over her death really fast. (Sarah noted that Laura seemed to be the only thing holding these people together.) And I thought she might be confused by that because she has--unfortunately--lived her formative years in a time of increased mass shootings and teenage deaths. I thought she wouldn't understand what all the fuss was about?

What I didn't consider was that this melodrama was Lynch's style for the show. He wanted this to be very soap opera-y . . . at least in some of these early episodes. As a parent, I was trying to interpret how my child's lifestyle might affect her interpretation of something. I should have thought like a media critic and discussed the collective vision of the artist.

And it probably shouldn't matter anyway. She spent some of her early childhood years watching Disney Channel and other "kids" shows that seemed to specialize in 1000% personalities that emoted through lots of shouting. That is pretty Lynchian.

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