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 ( spoilers for a movie that's more than twenty-five years old. )
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.( Meanwhile ... )