Having said that, there is something to this:
I think an issue with critically appraising Lynch’s works, going back to Eraserhead, is that it’s far easier to dismiss them as incoherent/self-indulgent than to articulate reasons why they’re good, beyond “here’s a list of moments that really affected me emotionally,” because they function on a visceral level and often willfully defy conventional structure. The positive aspects are often not something that can be explained intellectually. Think about the Red Room scene from Episode 2 — if someone comes at you and says it’s pretentious nonsense, how do you defend it, beyond describing how powerfully it hit you on a gut level? “It’s unique and it made me feel something” is really the only critical defense. that doesn’t make the scene any less great. Just difficult to defend in words. Either you love it or you don’t.
But remember, I'm not querying why fans haven't praised particular aspects. I'm asking why the reluctance to refute the central criticism from the sceptics. Not the same thing. Though if there's one dugpa poster who has come close to doing this, it's you, sir.
But we still lack anything remotely comprehensive, even from the professional critics, just somebody saying, "Look, here are the main criticisms of the show and here's why they're wrong" -- say, the reverse of judasbooth's posts in this thread. And it's a genuine request. If such a thing exists anywhere, and if it's detailed, closely-argued and doesn't suffer from selective blindness, I'd like to read it.
I think that even trying to refute the critiques is the issue because it seems to have chosen to eschew most things traditionally tied to a tv show on which tv critique is based. This quite possible means Season 3 failed as a tv show, an opinion I agree with. I think it succeeded as a whole and as an experience, but not as a traditional tv show. I don't think any criticism is right or wrong, it is there to guide and help people decide if something would be up their alley or not and to allow for discussion. In the end this is one of those things where I think that you either enjoyed the work or you didn't(I'm not saying you either liked it 100% or disliked it 100%, just that there are very few people who are true neutral on Season 3).
To address your anti-nostalgia point, I didn't find the theme to be anti-nostalgia, but about the fight between moving forward and indulging nostalgia. Sometimes indulging that nostalgia worked for the characters in the world - Big Ed and Norma, and sometimes it didn't - Cooper literally revisiting the past. In the end I think it was more planted in trying to avoid nostalgia, but realizing that nostalgia isn't all bad. It just depends. Mr. Reindeer put it best above with this
Mr. Reindeer wrote:In regards to Lynch simultaneously indulging in and defying nostalgia, my response is...so? Life is full of contradictions. We’re all hypocrites on a daily basis, striving to be one thing but actually acting counter to that ideal out of laziness or selfishness. I prefer it when works take a complex/contradictory approach to a theme. What Lynch did on S3 is far more interesting to me than a straight “nostalgia = bad” theme. The same goes for the gender politics — I think Lynch was consciously confronting his own conflicting artistic impulses, and Part 18 makes pretty clear that the series isn’t endorsing bullshit machismo/chauvinism, even if L/F themselves often find themselves falling into certain unfortunate tropes, and Lynch used Gordon’s character to acknowledge his own shortcomings in a self-aware way.
I love watching things that you can tell were made with love, care, and passion even if they have flaws. One example I can give is Crapoke(crappy karaoke) by Ken Plume( you can listen here
if you really want to). He is genuinely not a good singer, but there is passion and love in each song that leads me to enjoying them. It's the same with Season 3. I can accept that it is a very flawed work, and I totally understand where almost everyone in this thread is coming from(it's the only thread I read during Season 3 because it provided the best discussion that wasn't just about plot, lore, and minutiae) but I think the fact that for me it was a breath of fresh air among a lot of re-makes, re-boots, and continuations that tried to feel as much like their progenitors, whereas Season 3 felt comfortable not conforming to pre-existing requirements and was what it was proudly.
I'm not sure if you saw my posts earlier in this thread, but I agree with a lot of the problems brought up in this thread from both a critical and what I thought I wanted to see standpoint. I think the narrative outside of the Dougie stuff could have been more cohesive and grown out of that main thread better, 15 - 30 minutes of Dougie stuff could've been cut and been spent on the other characters, there are problems with the portrayal of women but I feel it accurately represents the way women are treated in the world we live in, the BOB orb battle with someone not from Twin Peaks "defeating" it, and I wish more music had been in the series.
A couple of other things I disliked that I think were out of the control of the production were shooting on digital(since Lynch originally said he was falling in love with film again and only announced the switch to digital after the standoff, I'm assuming that was a trade off) and it being too sunny in some of the Twin Peaks scenes.
But, after reflection(I wasn't sure where to count myself for sure until a couple weeks after the finale), I realized that none of those things detracted enough from my enjoyment of the mood, feelings, story, and world to end up putting myself in the PDSG. I think if we spent a less time with Dougie, it would blunt that missing Cooper feeling for everyone that is able to watch it after if finished airing. The people that newly discover Twin Peaks from here on out won't have any wait, and I think Dougie was a great way for future watchers to feel that loss and want. Also. the fact that it was something totally different that could be/mean something different to everyone who watches it really stuck with me. I think two or three more expositiony scenes could've tied everything together, but it would have killed the mood and endless ambiguity of a lot of the things that you have to put together for yourself. I love that it is messy and sprawling and that's why it resonated with me.
I know the above is rambly and not exactly what you were looking for, but the above is about the best way I can articulate my love of Season 3 while accepting that it definitely isn't for everyone.