andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
Andraste ([personal profile] andraste) wrote2017-05-23 10:55 am
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That gum you like is back in style ...

A bit more than twenty-five years later: finally, more Twin Peaks!

I have been preparing myself since November by slowly rewatching the previous twenty-nine episodes. You know, I don't think it was until I was watching the first few in the wake of horrible US election news that I really understood the emotional appeal of horror. I've read/watched various horror things over the years because they had some aspect that interested me, but I've never been that interested in the genre itself. And yet, I was somehow deeply relieved to be watching a show where all kinds of awful things happen and many of them are scary but none of them have anything to do with federal elections. (Not that Twin Peaks isn't deeply political, in the sense that it shines a light on a lot of American ideals. But it's not political in a way that's really connected to who's sitting in the White House.)

Having dragged myself through the back two thirds of Season Two over the course of several months, I finally got around to watching Fire Walk With Me on Saturday. I thought it was great while also seeing why it was panned on release - the people who liked the TV show obviously wanted it to be like that, and people who hadn't seen the TV show must have been completely bewildered. It's a very different beast to the TV episodes, entirely without the charm that relives the horror there - because this time we see the town through Laura's eyes, and why the hell would she be charmed by Twin Peaks, given what it's allowed to happen to her? I've long thought that the big problem with the later part of Season Two is that we lose Laura as a character once the question of her murder is resolved, and despite being dead she was the most complex and interesting person in the show. So I appreciated seeing this story that puts her back at the centre of things, even though it was extremely harrowing to watch. I don't know that I'd say I enjoyed it, exactly, but I certainly admired the hell out of both Lynch's direction and Sheryl Lee's haunting central performance.

My only real problem with it was the subplot about Bobby shooting the Deputy/drug courier that wasn't hinted at in the TV show and will probably never get followed up now. The scenes themselves are terrific, but that's an awfully big character moment for Bobby that is never discussed again. (Not to mention that there a bunch of scenes that got cut out of the film which apparently clarify that the cocaine is fake, something that confused me until I consulted the very useful fan wiki after I'd watched the movie..)

So all this brought me up to yesterday, and the first two episodes of Season Three. And make no mistake, this is Season Three, not any kind of soft reboot. The first two episodes are a magnificently weird (almost) two hours of television - maybe weirder than the original show, maybe the weirdest television I have ever seen. To quote someone on Reddit, "I don't know what the fuck I just watched, but I want more of it."

(But not for another week. I've decided to stick to stealing the episodes that have actually been on TV, so as to follow the proper schedule and not have to wait three weeks for more. I'll be trying to dodge spoilers for Episode Three and Episode Four for a bit.)

I have no idea what anyone who last watched the first two seasons a couple of decades ago will make of any of this, let alone anyone who hasn't seen them at all - but it's obvious that Lynch and Frost have decided that they don't care. I hope Showtime knew what they were buying, but I guess you don't let David Lynch direct eighteen episodes of anything if you expect it to have mainstream appeal?

Anyway, a few specifics from those first two hours.

Despite appreciating all the new people and things, I'm impatient to see the rest of our old friends. There are at least ten returning characters we haven't seen yet, and Bobby didn't have any lines! Please bring back Audrey right now! Still, it was nice to see those who have appeared again, especially Margaret, who brought a tear to my eye.

As for what they're up to: of course Jerry Horne now sells weed-infused food to his brother's spa customers. Of course he does. What else would he possibly be doing in 2014? It's perfect.

Meanwhile, belated congratulations are in order for Andy and Lucy's wedding and the birth of their son. "He didn't even send us a Christmas card!" cracked me up. No, Lucy, I don't think they have a reliable postal service in the Lodge. Or Christmas cards. Or Christmas.

... and then I got sad about all the things Cooper has missed, because oh god, twenty-five years without Christmas cards. Or coffee or pie or fir trees or hugs or a conversation where the other person didn't speak backwards, where half his life slipped away from him in a moment and a horrible thing with his face did evil out in the world.

Speaking of which, Evil Cooper is much more controlled and somber than I'd have expected of BOB, especially given the last scene of Season Two. Maybe he's just tense about his deadline and usually has more fun than this when he's killing people? BOB always seemed to enjoy his work more than this in the past.

Finally, turning the Man From Another Place into a bunch of nerve endings works, in a Black Lodge logic sort of way. "Next time you see me, I won't be me" indeed. (I was initially disappointed that Michael Anderson wasn't returning, but they I read the stuff he said about David Lynch and decided that he deserved to be replaced by a talking tree.)

Some time towards the end of Season Two, I realized that I just really want everyone (well, all the people who are people and not evil murder spirits) to be OK. I am probably not going to get that. But probably I will get sixteen more episodes of really interesting television.