Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

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Agent Earle
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Agent Earle » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:47 am

powerleftist wrote:
It's the same with Annie: everybody must know what happened to Cooper's girlfriend. It is not a mystery. It is a manufactured, cheap mystery designed to keep viewers watching; everybody, I repeat, everybody in town knows this information, and still it is kept from us.

This is not how a good screenwriter creates suspense.


Couple that with the fact the show concludes without us ever getting the answer to that question and you can't help but feel that these two particular screenwriters split with a giant F-U to the audience. If that's not contempt for their viewers - or rather longtime fans, to be precise -, I don't know what is.
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future's past
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby future's past » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:08 am

I love you guys, but if you really think that Frost and Lynch are writing to specifically piss you guys off, then I reckon you're way off. They are not. Wonderment is cool and it's not all about the payoff.
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Kilmoore » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:52 am

powerleftist wrote:Things like Richard being Audrey's son worked as mysteries only because such basic information was hidden from the audience.

future's past wrote: Wonderment is cool and it's not all about the payoff.

Wonderment of a mystery is cool, wonderment of basic plot elements is poor writing.
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby AhmedKhalifa » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:04 am

Joe McCluskey wrote:Like many others in this thread, I have been pretty underwhelmed by this new season. I recently made a brief video talking about David Lynch's self-indulgence in THE RETURN, particularly when it comes to the character of Gordon Cole. Here's a link to the video if you have any interest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVy51xrDzpk :wink:


Thanks for this. Well done, and calls out Lynch for some truly cringe-worthy moments and decisions.
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby AhmedKhalifa » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:11 am

Agent Earle wrote:
powerleftist wrote:
It's the same with Annie: everybody must know what happened to Cooper's girlfriend. It is not a mystery. It is a manufactured, cheap mystery designed to keep viewers watching; everybody, I repeat, everybody in town knows this information, and still it is kept from us.

This is not how a good screenwriter creates suspense.


Couple that with the fact the show concludes without us ever getting the answer to that question and you can't help but feel that these two particular screenwriters split with a giant F-U to the audience. If that's not contempt for their viewers - or rather longtime fans, to be precise -, I don't know what is.


If you think about it, they basically left us at almost exactly the same place we were 25 years ago: We don't know sh*t about Annie, we have no idea what happened to Audrey, and Coop is left in limbo. We're left hanging, with the addition of a bad taste in the mouth after all the crap we've had to swallow over those 18 hours. Even if it's not a F U to the audience, it's at least cruel and unusual punishment for being lifelong fans.
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Eva Marie
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Eva Marie » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:07 am

"We're left hanging, with the addition of a bad taste in the mouth after all the crap we had to swallow over those 18 hours. Even if it's not a F U to the audience, it's at least cruel and unusual punishment for being lifelong fans."

Yep. Although I'm so, so glad that Lynch's willy is doing OK. I can now sleep at night knowing that. Far more important information than how Annie is, amirite? :roll:
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Eva Marie » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:09 am

I've actually been on a binge of feel-good material to wash out the terrible taste left by TR. :cry:
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby AnotherBlueRoseCase » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:07 am

Cipher wrote:If I can weigh in on why I don't have a problem with this, while believing Laura's abuse narrative to be at the heart of Peaks, it's because the monster responsible for that isn't dispatched by a green glove. He's in the Red Room at the beginning of the season, asking Cooper to find his daughter.

Bob is a great symbol and shorthand for cruelty, but he's also a cartoonish externalization of it. At the very least, he has the capacity to be (and I think the exposition surrounding the Lodge mythos and Blue Rose cases this season transitioned him into that realm; hell, maybe 25 years of iconography and fan theorizing had done that on their own). I'd take issue with it if he were still given the same weight as an externalized evil -- or if a greater and more enigmatic darkness didn't take his place by the end of the story, or if we ended on the simple pulpy triumph of episode 17, or if the narrative didn't return to Laura's character at the end, with all her complications.

But all of the above happened. I think we were owed some sort of closure with Bob, as the cliffhanger the series gave us 25 years ago, while at the same time believing it would be disingenuous to send him off if he were still the series' singular totemic evil. We get both; he's sent off, but he isn't -- we still have the dark sides of Leland, and Cooper, and the greater negative presence of Judy.

Speaking only for myself then, Bob's resolution went down perfectly well. I didn't think it was as simple as "Laura's abuse gets defeated in a cartoonish way, so bad art."

Camp amorality? Maybe; but only then as setup for episode 18 and a re-examination of the series' heart separated from all the demystified Lodge mythology the previous 25 years had layered onto it unavoidably. More like a shaming of camp amorality, if anything, I thought.

I think I'd agree with you entirely if, after Bob's defeated, the series didn't have another ninety minutes to go.

That is a more intellectual angle than Peaks usually goes for, though, as opposed to its standard emotional ones, so I think of any critique of the series, yours is one that holds weight. I don't find it ruinous, or even ineffective, but I can see why someone else might.


“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in…” :-)

Hi Cipher.

TBH when first reading your comment I saw it as just another clever defence of the indefensible, of a type that probably wouldn’t be made if Lynch weren’t involved. But of course it was more nuanced than that, especially this:

That is a more intellectual angle than Peaks usually goes for, though, as opposed to its standard emotional ones, so I think of any critique of the series, yours is one that holds weight. I don't find it ruinous, or even ineffective, but I can see why someone else might.


It’s good to find a TR fan acknowledge stuff like this, i.e. at least acknowledge that some rationale is needed for the apparent flaws. Good honest debate.

The following response to your comment is a reach, no doubt, but the standard defences of The Return’s flaws have been unconvincing IMO. So this is my simplest explanation for what I see as the systematic shoddiness. It also has the benefit of relating to the actual story, and in this regard it leans on David Auerbach’s justly popular interpretation of the finale and his emphasis on Judy.

https://www.waggish.org/2017/twin-peaks-finale/

Apologies for the length below. As you’ll see, though, the idea needs explanation.

One neat aspect of The Blair Witch Project was the apparently deliberate use of ”shoddy” acting to advance the story. Much of the acting was so bad it called into question the sincerity of the characters being played, which in turn drove the suspicion they were all playing nasty headgames with each other. It was as though the filmmakers acknowledged beforehand that the acting would be bad and said, “Right, how can we use this to advance the story?”

And who knows, maybe something similar happened with Lynch and Frost. Imagine they got fifty pages into writing the script together and found they just weren’t making progress. The story, characters and dialogue were poor and they knew it. “We’re not the writers or craftsmen we once were,” they might have concluded. “We’re both old men, after all. We haven’t worked together or in the medium in decades – no wonder this script sucks. But we still want to make The Return. So might there be some way to make our deterioration a feature and not a bug?” In other words, they saw that the series might turn out a mess and decided just to work with this, the kind of wacky idea that might appeal to Lynch in particular.

So taking the Blair Witch approach they come up with Judy as a Big Bad so negative she touches everything. The world of the show is presented as one where everything is tainted – relationships, how ugly things often look, entire scenes tinted certain colours, eerie boring silences, time itself, sincerity, development, resolution, and all the other things this thread has trashed about this world. It seems not just damaged but infected, right? So far, so standard TR commentary. This radiated tainting of TR’s world by the Judy inside Sarah is widely accepted.

But now imagine that L&F know they’re not the craftsmen they once were and are looking for some kind of Blair Witch-type get-out. Also consider for the moment that The Return as we know it now isn’t just a near miss artistically but so exaggeratedly bad that it feels like some kind of point’s being made.

So maybe here was L&F’s solution: yes, Judy taints everything, not just the world of the show but the show itself. She taints the very portrayal of that world.

Poor judgement, incompetence and confusion appear widespread, not just among the show’s characters but also its creative team. Rampant bumbling about. Almost everything is off in some way, not just in terms of content but technique as well. Cinematography, editing, music, and so on go to shit, both deliberately and otherwise, actors act like shit, deliberately and otherwise (Chrysta Bell is perfect casting in this scenario), most aesthetic rules are broken or ignored because everything is tainted. L&F don’t want to let anyone or anything off the hook, so everything gets infected by that spray of Judy vomit from part 8: cast, co-creators, their own previous works, sacred TP moments such as Laura’s death, hence the retcon. Green Glove v BOB is an obvious misjudgement, a desecration of the central TP narrative – because Judy’s influence has tainted everything.

Told you this was a reach. But as you seem to imply, it may the most cartoonishly awful aspects that indicate something else is happening below the surface. On which note…

Even Lynch himself is tainted. Here we really are granting him the benefit of the doubt, but if the above were true it might explain the ludicrous way he’s presented. Allowing himself to be seen as a pathetic, preening lech way too concerned with his filmography, davidlynch.com silliness and his willy because this badly taints him – this really would be taking one for the team. Judy taints everything, is the point, even the men who dreamt her up. (But in one way L&F may also have have got themselves off the hook for their own artistic shortcomings. And as with The Blair Witch Project’s creators, they may have found an elegant solution).

All this would mean that the posters in this thread haven’t been wrong. The show really was bad/ugly/tainted on every level, and really was that initially confusing mix of deliberate “shoddiness” and actual incompetence. You may disagree with this, Cipher, but it’s has long been evident to me that the one group who’ve completely misunderstood this series are those Ultras claiming it has few such troubling aspects, the dialogue has been not just convincing but Mad Men-grade throughout, their suspension of disbelief has been uninterrupted, they’ve been there every single enthralling moment in the insurance office, identifying completely with every Emmy-worthy performance, ducking behind the couch whenever RussellBrandCoop smoulders, and so on.

But maybe the series was so awful because the creators didn’t want to let us off the hook either. We needed to be tainted too. So maybe we were never meant to enjoy it, or find it aesthetically satisfying in the normal sense. That is, we were never meant to have anything like episode 14 or FWWM, which for all the horror Maddie and Laura went through were still, let’s admit, fantastic viewing because the artistic standards were so high and we personally were untainted by events. But of course L&F were at their peak back then and so had no need for any Judy-taints-everything get-out.

This suggestion of a get-out is just speculation, obviously. But for anyone who’s read that Auerbach piece is it really such a leap to imagine L&F thinking “Let’s have Judy taint not just the entire world of the show but the very techniques used to convey it”? Or “Imagine The Return’s key influence in content and form were not Lynch and Frost but Judy. What would such a show look like?” One of Lynch’s core projects has long been Eastern-style non-duality and other boundary erasing, both in general and especially between content and technique (see counterpaul’s inside-out characterisation idea). And there does appear to be something totalising about this series. It does feel like it coheres in content and form, in its very taintedness. [Needleman: you can nick that for your next signature, if you like, but you must include the last four words. ;-)]

However they may have come up with it, if indeed they did, there’s a tidiness about this solution, one that’s also impressively radical and brave. And IMO something must account for the deliberate “shoddiness”. Even a brilliantly detailed proposal like Auerbach’s is incomplete at best if it ignores flaws so glaring and central they seem part of the overall conception. Features and not bugs.

Although even this is guesswork. The possibility remains that The Return is just shoddy without quotemarks, without any intention on the part of the creators, who for all their cleverness and deep patterning simply blew it when it came to more important aspects. Maybe the above is guilty of the same denial we’ve accused the Ultras of. The last three hours were so shoddy in their implications that I just can’t accept this was down to plain incompetence.

And even if the above is true in any way, it’s still not a valid defence for Green Glove v the monster who tortured Laura. There are no circumstances in which that’s not beyond the pale IMO.

TLDR The profound disappointment was intentional. Judy tainted not just the world of this show but its portrayal, not just Twin Peaks but Twin Peaks. Maybe.
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Cipher
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Cipher » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:35 am

You've dropped a bomb on me above that I'm unfortunately not much able to respond to beyond saying that I think we're basically on the same page in believing that, if the Bob scene is to be taken as something that works, it must have an intentional element of dissatisfaction to it for one reason or another. (I'm of the belief that it does and does, respectively, though the latter is different from the specific Judy-centric theory posted above, especially if it subsumes the whole of the show rather than just the camp of the Bob scene.)

I also think we're on the same page in that I can see how this might be an indefensible element for some, as it is for you.

You may disagree with this, Cipher, but it’s has long been evident to me that the one group who’ve completely misunderstood this series are those Ultras claiming it has few such troubling aspects, the dialogue has been not just convincing but Mad Men-grade throughout, their suspension of disbelief has been uninterrupted, they’ve been there every single enthralling moment in the insurance office, identifying completely with every Emmy-worthy performance, ducking behind the couch whenever RussellBrandCoop smoulders, and so on.

Ah, well, that gets a little complicated. I'd tell anyone who cites this season for stellar dialogue in the conventional mode that they're off their rocker. (Much as I love Mad Men to death and would still consider it my favorite show over Twin Peaks, I'd also be remiss to not point out that its dialogue occasionally goes a bit over the top as well, though that's rare. It's mostly really, really good in terms of both characterizing and establishing a believable but self-consistent style.)

I haven't seen many people make those claims, though, because Lynch's aura of off-kilter artifice is so strong. Most of the dialogue in The Return is of a piece with his films, occupying the same, effective, uncanny place -- simultaneously serving as a reminder that you're watching something filmed, and, in a seemingly contradictory way, that conversation really is full of off-kilter oddities that we rarely force ourselves to listen for or confront. It's posed; it's bizarre; it's clumsy.

But, to make sure I'm responding fully and honestly to your comment, I do think The Return contains some of Lynch's least effective dialogue, relative to his own style rather than that of completely different types of fiction. (Mad Men is stylized realism; The Return is most certainly not.) These mostly occur during expository moments with Cole's group or the sheriff station gang, and I don't love them. They're not as bad as they would be in a piece of realism or even something less confidently stylized, but there are moments that don't seem to have been given proper love, where dialogue doesn't characterize as well as it should even in his typically stilted mode.

So I agree with you but also don't. I think there's an issue there, but it's neither as severe as you're making it out to be nor because of the comparisons you're offering.

In summary, Mad Men is a very good show. Maybe we can just shake hands on that.
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby AnotherBlueRoseCase » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:49 am

Cipher wrote:
In summary, Mad Men is a very good show. Maybe we can just shake hands on that.


Indeed. All the best, Cipher.
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby bowisneski » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:03 am

I've tried writing this post three or four different times, but my words always end up becoming some sort of weird mush because of all the different ways I feel about this series. I actually loved it very much, yet still feel disappointed with it. And the reasons for that feeling are contradictory and don't lead to any sort of real conclusion. More just an airing of my thoughts, though I will try to keep it to focus most on disappointments and keep my love brief.

I thought it really failed on a plot level. It feels like this comes directly out of the back half of Season 2 where the mythology is truly fleshed out and the Red Room becomes a real place even though there was no real mythology in place before that. This causes you to actually have to deal with this stuff, instead of focusing on the mundanity of a world inhabited by evil that may or may not be real. I feel like there are at least three different Twin Peaks, not talking about multiple dimensions. There is the Pilot through Episode 15, Episodes 16 - 28, and Episode 29 - Part 18, with FWwM trying to tie all three together. Up until Episode 16 the supernatural is not explicit. Yes we have BOB looking back at Leland in the mirror in 14 and 15, but we don't really get BOB as an actual inhabiting spirit until Episode 16 when he leaves Leland. I know this is all open to interpretation, but I feel this is where the failing, from a straight plot non-interpretive perspective, of the Lynch/Frost collaboration comes about and continues through TR. That's not to say I don't like the mythology and supernatural stuff, it just becomes something different when the world now exists through a supernatural forces lens that makes it different and no longer the Twin Peaks of memory. I also think, and mean no disrespect, that this pulls it a little bit out of the realm of Lynch and what he does best. There is this fight between the mythology and plot of Frost and the surrealism and intuition of Lynch.

There were a lot of plot things that could've been done better this season, but I think Episode 29 truly made it so we could never go back to Twin Peaks in the way that I think even those that are in love with the whole of TR would have liked to without feeling hollow and same-y. Which is why I don't think we should have seen any of the town of Twin Peaks until at least halfway through, if not later. This is no longer the story of the town of Twin Peaks, it is the story of Dale Cooper and Laura Palmer. Those should have been the through lines. I would never want the following thing cut, because they helped the mood of the thing as a whole that I loved, but there is a stronger show there from a plot perspective if you cut Ed, Norma, Nadine, Jacoby, Shelly, Becky, Steven, and Beverly and Tom, and replace Diane with Annie and Tammy with Diane. It's sort of like watching the released cut of FWwM and the Missing Pieces separately vs watching the Q2 edit of FWwM. The story of FWwM suffers in the Q2 edit, but you get more of what most people wanted which is more of the people and the town and the feeling of the original. If all of the Twin Peaks vignettes with those characters had been cut and put in to Missing Pieces on the bluray and the show we actually got was just Vegas, Buckhorn, the sheriff's department/Richard Horne stuff in Twin Peaks, and the travels of Mr. C, you would have the stronger through line and this would have been Cooper's FWwM.

I disliked the lack of music in the Twin Peaks scenes overall. I feel like the actual Twin Peaks-y music shouldn't be used outside of Twin Peaks, and I don't think it was besides the theme when Cooper wakes up. But, it should have been used in more of the scenes set in the town. Yet I loved the music and the sound design that we got. It was rich, layered, and mood provoking without hitting you over the head like the music in the original series did(even if it was in a way that I enjoyed).

I was not happy with it being shot on digital, as I prefer the look of film.

However, I loved the experience of watching and can't wait to do so again. I just want to steep in this series, even though I wasn't really engaged by the main thrust of the plot. The atmosphere and world are so clearly Lynch and Frost and provided me exactly what I wanted out of the series in those regards. There's something about the earnestness and care with which it was all presented that makes me appreciate it more on an experience level as well. Overall I wanted something new, something different, something to make me ponder, something to make me feel genuine emotion outside of a return to comfort(which is all most reboots have made me feel) and this show provided those things in spades. But the thought of all of those things with a stronger plot that would have eschewed some of what I love is what leaves me in a space where I am both in love with the show and disappointed.

In the end, the paradox is that I think TR failed at returning to the Twin Peaks of old feeling wise, especially of the Pilot - Episode 15, but succeeded as a return to the world/universe inhabited by the town of Twin Peaks, Dale Cooper, and Laura Palmer. It's why I think, like with FWwM, we got the title of Twin Peaks with a subtitle below it because it is no longer truly Twin Peaks. Yet, I felt that the very last scene returned us to Twin Peaks in feeling and clearing the baggage of the existing mythology while still being related.

Thanks to all the posters in here who were willing to engage in dialogue and fully laid out their issues in coherent and rational thought out ways. I'm also sorry to all of you that are truly profoundly disappointed by the entirety of TR. It makes me sad to see any lover of Twin Peaks left feeling hurt by TR/having their experience of the original tainted.
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Saela » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:50 am

The most tangible thing Mr. C wanted was to get rid of Cooper, and in Part 2 he showed Darya that card with Judy on it and says: "This is what I want". Later we learn that Judy is an extreme negative force, so I think it's safe to say Evil Coop's big goal was to unleash this negative force onto Twin Peaks and the world, which would obviously be an atomic bomb-level catastrophy. I admit that his motivations could have been more defined, but I was so focused on finding out when and how Cooper would wake up, that I didn't mind Coopelganger's lack of a clearly stated goal.

Also, I think the main reason why so much time was spent with the Mitchum Brothers and Janey-E (and to a lesser extent the woman at the Casino and others) was to show how much joy and positivity DougieCoop brought to the world, in stark contrast to everything the doppelganger did. (Not to mention the fact that the Mitchum's got the good Dale back to Twin Peaks just in time :wink: )
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Agent Earle » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:28 pm

Eva Marie wrote:I've actually been on a binge of feel-good material to wash out the terrible taste left by TR. :cry:


Can you recommend something? :)
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Rialto » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:38 pm

@AnotherBlueRoseCase - I can't decide if you're a genius, or if TPTR has broken you :lol:
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Rialto » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:43 pm

For those who are truly, profoundly disappointed, I highly recommend the last edition of The Twin Peaks Podcast. Not for those who loved it with reservations, but personally I found it hilarious: https://itunes.apple.com/ie/podcast/the-twin-peaks-podcast/id432749455?mt=2&i=1000392072773

It's probably the most enjoyment I've derived from the whole season...

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