Or why does that gum I like need to come back in style?
A few years ago, I discovered Twin Peaks. Having not been alive very long when it originally aired I didn’t really have a chance to see it, but a few years ago I got a text from my sister simply saying: “Theres a box set in the Charity Shop, it looks weird but you’re weird and you’ll probably like it.” So the next day I went down to that Charity Shop and what do I see? The complete Twin Peaks on VHS.
Being a smug teenager I didn’t really look much into Twin Peaks, I just got it and watched it. Down the line getting the film: Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me to watch after I finished the series. But I never finished the series. Not the VHS box set any way. Now it’s strange because I think series 1 is 8 episodes long and series 2 is something like 22 and I got so into that first series and a little into series 2 that I went a little overboard. I bought a t-shirt and I even booked tickets to a Twin Peaks event. That’s right, a Twin Peaks event. It was called ‘Twin Peaks: Into The Night’ a back to back screening of series 1, series 2 and the film Fire Walk With Me. I thought yeah this is going to be great! A nearly 32 hour experience of pure Twin Peaks fandom with Coffee and doughnuts provided for free.
In hindsight I perhaps should have finished the series before dedicating an entire weekend to it.
Heads Up-Spoilers ahead. Twin Peaks Spoilers in case you were wondering. I’m going to present this in some sort of order, otherwise I may just ramble.
Its a nostalgia fest
When Twin Peaks first aired it was considered the first of its kind. It opened with Laura Palmer already dead and the rest of the series followed Special Agent Dale Cooper as he strives to find out who murdered her. Twin Peaks is often crowned with creating the format of modern television as it took one plot line and spread it across an entire series. Unlike other detective shows were the murder and the resolution would be resolved in one episode or a possible two parter. This dragged it out and became revolutionary television.
And man is it awesome. The first 18 episodes or so of Agent Cooper trying to figure out who did it using his kooky Tibetan techniques. I mean its funny, interesting and weird and to start with a lot of fun, despite it’s tragically dark undertones. But when I say it’s a nostalgia fest, I mean that, all these cool icon things happen within the first couple of episodes. You get what everyone’s talking about before the end of series one and after that people only talk about the iconic cliffhanger ending (more on that later). So I guess what I mean is that, by being nostalgic, you’re only gathering the few remnants of good in a series that is predominantly bad. It felt as if, like me, the whole world watched until the killer is reveled and then went nuts for it and hoped that no one would notice the train wreck it becomes.
A Prequel Wasn’t what we wanted
Throughout this article I’m avoiding actually telling you who killed Laura Palmer. Contrary to what this article might come across as. I do love Twin Peaks. That’s whats so heart breaking about it and I’m not sure why it has effected me this much but one thing I do not love is Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. A Feature length prequel to the television series. Which is terrible. Its bad because if you’re interested in getting into Twin Peaks, it spoils who the murderer is and even if you’re a fan of the series its nothing like the series for fans to appreciate. Obviously there are some die hard Lynch fans who love all that he does.
I am looking forward to this new series of Twin Peaks because a sequel was what was necessary. The prequel adds nothing to the arc that isn’t already mentioned in the series and it also does the annoying thing of not understanding the characters. This is were a comparison between Lynch and George Lucas could be drawn. I sat through a lot of FWWM just thinking “That character wouldn’t do that” or “That’s out of character” or “Why are there no fucking subtitles in this night club scene?!”. Apparently a few of the actors didn’t return for the film because they didn’t see a fair comparison between their TV characters and their Cinematic Characters. But I do recommend people see Twin Peaks or at least just series 1 and half of Series 2. You may miss some awesome moments between Miguel Ferrer and Sheriff Truman but is the rest of it worth it.
Maybe, just maybe.
Towards the end of the series it does delve into a strange surrealism that it didn’t dive into previously but the prequel is a chance for David Lynch to indulge himself in nonsense. It doesn’t work as a good prequel, a companion to the series or as a piece of worthwhile cinema. You can’t end the series how it does and try and sell us a bizarre self indulgent prequel. For my review, head here.
After this experience with Twin Peaks it has caused me to spend an average of 20 minutes explaining my tale of woe every time somebody asks- “What do you think of David Lynch?” Which is more often than you’d think.
I do like some of his films. For example Elephant Man, Mullholand Drive, I think are great. But the parts of that I don’t like are the odd surrealist bookend sequences and I’m not entirely against surrealism, I just seem to be against Lynchian surrealism. He also plays a character in the series. Gordon.
Gordon is Dale Cooper’s 99% deaf, FBI supervisor. He starts of hilarious. Really strange but hilarious and then he kind of disappears and then he comes back towards the end and it’s a little weird, in a kind of creepy uncle kind of way and it’s these little bits that make me think of Lynch as this self indulgent ‘artist’. The stories I’ve heard about David Lynch as well. Like with Elephant Man, he decide he was going to do the make up for John Herrick instead of a professional and it failed miserably for Lynch so a professional took over. I think, in the end, I just don’t get David Lynch.
It got cancelled after 2 seasons
The whole plot resolves around who killed Laura Palmer. When we find out who killed her about half way into series 2, the series kind of goes into a limbo of, what now? Laura Palmer’s death does uncover hidden things about the town and the infamous Red Lodge but at this point you know, they don’t know what they’re doing. A few episodes in that feel like filler episode until they realize what they are doing. Another FBI agent that has some history with Dale Cooper comes into Twin Peaks. Mainly to let the show last a little longer. But it’s just convoluted. Half way through series 2 there is a sub plot about a character you don’t really expect to have an independent sub plot, which even the hard core ‘Peakers’ at ‘Into the Night’ all agreed was an opportune time to take a nap during a Twin Peaks Marathon.
A campaign, entitled COOP (Citizens Opposed to the Offing of Peaks), started in an attempt to save the show from cancellation and was successful! As in the studio agreed to air the last 6 episodes instead of just nipping it in the bud immediately. Keep this in mind if you ever watch the last 6 episodes because it reaches a point where you just know it’s going no where. One of the best characters in Twin Peaks was Audrey Horne.
For obvious reasons.
She is imidietley transfixed by Dale Cooper when he comes to Twin Peaks and even goes undercover at a brothel in order to impress him. But as she is too young Dale Cooper tells her he can’t be with her. A perfectly fine reason, ignoring the personal issues off set, but watching it you know how you want this relationship to end. Either they eventually end up together or they end up with no one. This isn’t what happens.
The personal issues off set that I alluded to by the way are the fact that the actor who plays Dale Cooper requested that his character not end up with Audrey, possibly because he was dating Lara Flynn Boyle who played a some what less loved character on the show and Kyle MacLachlan is whipped, we can only speculate. Any way, they introduce new characters for them to be with. Dale Cooper gets a waitress played by Heather Graham who actually looks younger than Sherilyn Fenn (Who plays Audrey) but hey it’s not as bad as who Audrey gets.
Fucking Billy Zane!
And that’s exactly what she ends up doing. But its a bit weirder than that. Before he leaves on his private jet to leave Twin Peaks she blurts out “I’m a virgin”. Obviously the Zane-myster can’t resist and they have sex on his plane, not knowing if he’ll ever see her again. Now the weirdest thing about this is the line “I’m a virgin”. It kind of suggests that they didn’t want Audrey to actually end up with anyone just to lose her V card. Which isn’t what such a great character deserves. She’s been through hell at this point in the series and now shes a timid little girl? She then goes mental anyway.
Speaking of what great characters don’t deserve…
Another great character I forgot to mention is a man who’s first scenes will always be remembered.
Among all the sub plots in the final episode one causes this man and his friend who we don’t care about to go into a bank to get something from a safety deposit box. Oh I also forgot about the Miss Twin Peaks beauty pageant that happens, this is were characters just start changing for what reasons?! I don’t know. But Audrey is suddenly obsessed with the environment. Not sure why but on there way into the bank who just so happens to be in the bank hand cuffing herself to the vault in protest? Audrey. Sweet sweet Audrey. Also this bank has never featured in the show before. Twin Peaks is seen as a small town and this bank is a pretty large bank probably in the city. So you’ve got all these characters in the bank that they probably drived to and what happens? Firstly a security guard answers his phone and shouts “I’m a dad!” Then Perculator fish man opens the safety deposit box and BAM! The bank explodes. Killing two of the best characters and some unknown security guard who’s child is fatherless and wife is widowed, this is just dark humor thrown in but putting all those characters, or two character, in the bank just to blow it up is the worst. Most peoples ideal sequel would feature Audrey Horne as a the new detective investigating the new murder. But no that would have been to nice. But this is Twin Peaks, so if she came back no one would be to angry that she died . There are also characters that are just left with spiders on their heads so it would be nice to have some closure there.
It is also as if that security guard rejoicing in the news of his child are the fans of Twin Peaks. We’re like “Yeah! I’ve found a new favorite show! Everybody check it out!” Then BAM. Disappointment.
I don’t know why this annoys me so much or why it’s made such an emotional scar on my life. I think it may be because everyone still has love for it. I mean, everyone references LOST when they’re talking a bout a show that loses it and becomes really confusing but Twin Peaks was the original in bizarre TV shows that start great and end bad. But fortunately, I suppose, Twin Peaks is coming back for a third series…
“I’ll see you in 25 years”
It may answer all those important questions like how is Annie? And it will be interesting to see who’s actually going to be in it from before. Hopefully not Billy Zane and as Lara Flynn Boyle’s face no longer operates emotions I doubt she will return. But the real question is- has this been the plan all along? According to the internet Lynch and Frost knew they were going to end it on a cliff hanger once they knew they were being cancelled. But did they really think in 25 years they would get the chance to finish their story?
The other question is, What will the story be? We don’t know yet. I just hope it doesn’t end with all the characters going into a bank that’s set to explode. Or to steal a line from another popular show about murder and spanning across different decades, Maybe time is a flat circle and everything we’ve done or ever will do, we’re bound to do it again.
If enough people demand it. Yes I will go through Twin Peaks again and review each episode.