General Discussion on Season 3 (All Opinions Welcome)

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LateReg
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Re: General Discussion on Season 3 (All Opinions Welcome)

Postby LateReg » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:35 pm

stro wrote:I'm not sure they accomplished their goal of being revolutionary TV again, only because so many prestige shows over the past 10-15 years were already heavily influenced by TP and the mystery box aspect with maybe different timelines, maybe different universes, flash backs you don't know if they are or aren't flashbacks has been a regular occurrence for quite a while now. It's almost a cyclical thing of TP influences a generation which then influences the next generation of TP.


Well, I'd say the one thing that is undeniable about The Return is that it is revolutionary. Nearly all critical discourse about it discussed how much it differed from other programs, and it was called the most groundbreaking season of TV ever by several publications. I think its easily as revolutionary as the original series, for the way it tears down the last 25 years of TV and stands well apart from the pack.

I think its mystery box element pushes what you just spoke of to the extreme, going far beyond what other shows have done, not even revealing what its really about until very late in the game, and even then never really did. But even if you discard that element, the season looked, felt and especially sounded like nothing else in Prestige TV, subverted expectations to a degree hitherto never even considered, and defied every established narrative convention, destabilizing the viewer over and over again. The mixture of loose narrative - making room for full live performances and random comedic asides - and tightly structured plot is unprecedented, as are the narrative threads that are introduced never to be returned to in order to give the illusion of life happening outside the frame, as is the way it breaks the fourth wall and demands and predicts audience participation, as is its focus outside the titular town. Its use of duration was unheard of in bringing slow cinema to TV, and the way it approached the elderly, sick and dying felt truly unprecedented. Even its use of credits to conceal and reveal information was unique. And there's a lot more.

But especially when you take into account how it defied the trends of reboot culture and how it interrogated nostalgia rather than offering it as comfort food, it becomes readily apparent how revolutionary it was in its approach to a comeback. Not to mention the way it approached older beloved characters, not forcing them into the central plot, instead simply eavesdropping into the current state of their lives as though bumping into them 25 years later. And above all, it was the most avant-garde season of dramatic TV ever seen in America. Part 8 alone qualifies it as revolutionary, and there are plenty of other purely experimental passages of all different sorts, including its use of special effects that emphasize their unreality. And its revolutionary mostly because it's largely a non-narrative affair, focused mostly on mood and themes rather than plot, which is the opposite of basically ever TV show ever, which is precisely how it breaks the mold of every mystery box show in existence.
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boske
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Re: General Discussion on Season 3 (All Opinions Welcome)

Postby boske » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:06 am

stro wrote:I rewatched recently, on a full series rewatch (including TSH and TFD), first time since The Return aired. My initial viewing of The Return was a lot of disappointment and confusion, and my second viewing with the whole series much fresher in my mind as I didn't do a rewatch of seasons 1/2/FWWM before The Return, I'm still not satisfied and still confused. My initial viewing, the big take away was the lack of music making everything feel so weird and off, but now I think it's actually the cinematography and lighting that is a bigger issue to missing the feel of the original run and FWWM. The all digital, all bright, even lighting makes it look cheap and sterile. The few flashbacks to FWWM or the original series highlight how much warmer and lived in the world of Twin Peaks seemed. It all feels like a set in The Return. Of course the dodgy green screening, intentional or not (and I have a hard time believing how bad the phones/tv screens chroma keying was was intentional, or how bad either chroma keying or projection in nearly all the driving scenes wasn't a time/budget issue) draws attention to this, and due to the equipment and lighting, there are many scenes that LOOK like cheap green screen but actually were real.

But ultimately I think it's lacking the humanity that made people fall in love with TP, and that's because most of that came from Frost, who seems to be overshadowed and overruled on all things TP when it comes to the Frost/Lynch partnership. All the quirky warmness is replaced with misery and grossness or weirdness that goes unexplained. The quote from Frost about something like "we can't just keep throwing weird mysteries and not solve them" implies to me that Lynch doesn't care about the mysteries or where they lead or how/if they can be solved, but how they make the viewer feel. I think this can be seeing going back to FWWM where Lynch pretty significantly changes the characterization of various characters and events that don't really line up with the show, because it made for a better feel in that particular story he was telling even if it didn't add up perfectly. So then we get The Return and it's a bunch of mystery boxes that I don't think there's an intention to be solved from Lynch, but Frost feels there has to be something concrete and so writes the books that Lynch isn't involved with and won't read or comment on.

I guess what I'm trying to say is The Return FEELS like it's really missing Frost's voice and characterization that defines the original run (to me) and instead it doubles down on Lynchian coldness and disorienting dreamy mysteries that you can't solve because there is no answer to them to begin with. And just a general misanthropic vibe. It's like the entire vibe was flipped upside down, where what used to be a show about a quirky small town with darkness under the surface is now a dark miserable cesspool with a handful of bright spots if you dig deep enough. Which is just...never going to be satisfying for me.

Great post, I think I could sign under what was written here completely, and I have written almost exact sentiments in the disappointed thread originally, personally coming from that angle. Although, unlike when I first saw it, I now think there is definitely much more Frost in S3 than I originally speculated.

S3 is bleak, the camera does not hide it, it reinforces it. It is also chaotic, also on purpose, nothing really gets done or resolved, which is one way of looking at chaos and its lack of order and unpredictability. So overall, I hate(d) S3, but I guess I have been meant to.

So what is S3 then? I think it gives a natural progression of TP, it is where it is now. As much as we hoped for the original TP, that place no longer really exists as such, and where it does, it is simply overrun by time and its various events. It is not a contrast of FWWM, where we had Deer Meadow as a dark sibling/reflection of TP, this time it is TP itself that has evolved into something bleak, unemotional, distant.

"You better hurry, my mother is coming". So the mother is coming, should we run for the hills, can she be stopped at all? If not, then S3 is right on target. Remember: "It is in our house now" and maybe even more importantly, "It cannot be said aloud now".

In part 17 discussion I mentioned how what happened closely followed steps of Jungian individuation process: sublimation of the shadow (which may not have been successful), followed by a union of Animus and Anima (Dale and Diane), and finally meeting with a wise old man (Gordon Cole). At the end of it, a seemingly complete Cooper individuality is then crossing a threshold and meeting his guardian angel (Phillip Gerrard). One of famous Jung's students, Erich Neumann has devoted a complex work on the subject of mother archetype, and part on the "The Negative Elementary Character" fits very well in the framework of S3, but it would be a mistake to ignore other aspects of the archetype. Is this figurine from the Neolithic the experiment model?

Mother.jpg
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Thus, there are other archetypes that are being looked at in S3, this title below may have the jumping/trickster man too, along with the hand (remember the Fireman) and the ladder. What I am getting at is that if we look at S3 from a different point of view, not of the original S1 and S2, but where it is now, what it has progressed to (or more precisely regressed into), and what archetypes it is analysing, then S3 not only becomes watchable, but starts making sense, and can be more fairly evaluated.

Four Archetypes.jpg
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stro
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Re: General Discussion on Season 3 (All Opinions Welcome)

Postby stro » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:31 am

Yeah maybe. On the other hand, I also don't think that any of the series revivals in recent years have hit the mark. Be it TP, The X-Files, Gilmore Girls, Arrested Development, 24, Roseanne, Murphy Brown, The Clone Wars, etc. It just never recaptures the feeling, spirit, or mindset of the original work.
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boske
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Re: General Discussion on Season 3 (All Opinions Welcome)

Postby boske » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:19 pm

Maybe they tried it, and quickly realised they couldn't do it, and then simply gave up. Or, more likely, they chose not to do it on purpose, as critics would have a field day with it as "boring, predictable, uninspiring, outdated, way past its prime", and who knows what else. Nonetheless, I always go back to FWWM as an example. We all knew what was going to happen there, and yet the movie was captivating until the very end. I have not been a fan of "subvert the expectations" approach that was clearly at work in S3, as it gets old rather quickly and defeats its original purpose.

Aside from that, I think they wanted to repeat the "grounbreaking" element, which is what 18-piece film was mainly about.
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AXX°N N.
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Re: General Discussion on Season 3 (All Opinions Welcome)

Postby AXX°N N. » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:07 pm

There's also the option that, purely from a narrative perspective, this is what they saw as compelling material that justified itself thematically. I don't really see either of them as preoccupied with what critics think or audiences expect, and from what I've seen of how Frost phrases things (eg he's always talking about how they 'found a way back in,' and wouldn't have done anything new unless that were true) the angle seems to have always been about storytelling elements for their own sake.
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Re: General Discussion on Season 3 (All Opinions Welcome)

Postby LateReg » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:11 pm

AXX°N N. wrote:There's also the option that, purely from a narrative perspective, this is what they saw as compelling material that justified itself thematically. I don't really see either of them as preoccupied with what critics think or audiences expect, and from what I've seen of how Frost phrases things (eg he's always talking about how they 'found a way back in,' and wouldn't have done anything new unless that were true) the angle seems to have always been about storytelling elements for their own sake.


Right. Everything is so perfectly intertwined from narrative to themes to aesthetics to whatever else that I don't see this as anything but the exact STORY they wanted to tell. That story encapsulates not just plot, but really a whole feeling, especially as it relates to time, which itself encapsulates so much about the creators, America, TV, old friends, expectations and remembrances and looking back and returning in so many senses of the word and on and on and on. The narrative itself isn't conventionally satisfying, so I get what boske is saying about "subverting the expectations" getting old rather quickly, but that element to me is simply part of the overall story - perhaps born of the creators looking back and seeing what had arisen since their original creation (their own looking back perhaps becoming the story itself in many respects) - which is to be enjoyed on a level beyond story, so that aspect doesn't get old for me as it is so interlinked with everything else. Lynch has been quoted as saying something about how you have to stay true to the idea, and if you do everything kind of rhymes, or harmonizes (I can't remember the exact phrasing). And that's what I think they went for and achieved here, and why I think it's really a non-narrative work that truly lives on a thematic and mood-based level.

Case in point: In another thread we talked about Mr. C being an audience surrogate when he asks about Judy. One of the great subversions of the series is that the mysterious thing Mr. C is doggedly looking for the whole time - those coordinates - are the thing that leads him directly to his doom. To me, that irony is the central purpose of his storyline. In that sense he's like the viewer again, who is looking for the way back to Twin Peaks, but is subverted upon arrival. Everything is layered and tied together in that way, serving the central ideas of the piece. An endless loop in an endless loop.
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Re: General Discussion on Season 3 (All Opinions Welcome)

Postby stro » Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:49 am

I don't think that type of meta narrative is anything David Lynch does with his works.
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Re: General Discussion on Season 3 (All Opinions Welcome)

Postby LateReg » Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:39 pm

stro wrote:I don't think that type of meta narrative is anything David Lynch does with his works.


Twin Peaks has always had a meta-aspect about it, beginning with Lynch as director of the film and Cole as director of the FBI, and The Return is a very playful piece of cinema in that way. There's Rancho Rosa and plenty of other examples.

But I think you're taking too literal what I said. I'm not saying Lynch designed every or even many elements in that way. I'm saying that he was true to an idea, and so a lot of it ends up rhyming, whether intentional or not.
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Re: General Discussion on Season 3 (All Opinions Welcome)

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:33 pm

LateReg wrote:
stro wrote:I don't think that type of meta narrative is anything David Lynch does with his works.


Twin Peaks has always had a meta-aspect about it, beginning with Lynch as director of the film and Cole as director of the FBI, and The Return is a very playful piece of cinema in that way. There's Rancho Rosa and plenty of other examples.

But I think you're taking too literal what I said. I'm not saying Lynch designed every or even many elements in that way. I'm saying that he was true to an idea, and so a lot of it ends up rhyming, whether intentional or not.


I agree that Lynch does not often engage in meta-narrative. But I’d also say that perhaps no one in film history has engaged in a more layered meta-narrative than the scene of Cooper seeing Cecil B. DeMille playing himself in Sunset Blvd., in a scene talking about getting the old team back together (in an ironic away, expressing that it’s actually not possible to recreate past creative successes), where DeMille mentions Gordon Cole’s name, leading directly to Cooper’s awakening. I don’t see how anyone can watch that scene and deny that there is any meta-narrative at play in TR. You may not feel that it’s appropriate or that it’s executed well, but it’s there.

(And it just occurred to me that FWWM was produced by the French company CIBY 2000, which in French is pronounced as the intentional pun CIBY (C. B.) Deux Mille! I’m not sure that particular reference was intended in terms of the Sunset Blvd. clip, but man...layers upon layers.)
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Re: General Discussion on Season 3 (All Opinions Welcome)

Postby mtwentz » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:24 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:
LateReg wrote:
stro wrote:I don't think that type of meta narrative is anything David Lynch does with his works.


Twin Peaks has always had a meta-aspect about it, beginning with Lynch as director of the film and Cole as director of the FBI, and The Return is a very playful piece of cinema in that way. There's Rancho Rosa and plenty of other examples.

But I think you're taking too literal what I said. I'm not saying Lynch designed every or even many elements in that way. I'm saying that he was true to an idea, and so a lot of it ends up rhyming, whether intentional or not.


I agree that Lynch does not often engage in meta-narrative. But I’d also say that perhaps no one in film history has engaged in a more layered meta-narrative than the scene of Cooper seeing Cecil B. DeMille playing himself in Sunset Blvd., in a scene talking about getting the old team back together (in an ironic away, expressing that it’s actually not possible to recreate past creative successes), where DeMille mentions Gordon Cole’s name, leading directly to Cooper’s awakening. I don’t see how anyone can watch that scene and deny that there is any meta-narrative at play in TR. You may not feel that it’s appropriate or that it’s executed well, but it’s there.

(And it just occurred to me that FWWM was produced by the French company CIBY 2000, which in French is pronounced as the intentional pun CIBY (C. B.) Deux Mille! I’m not sure that particular reference was intended in terms of the Sunset Blvd. clip, but man...layers upon layers.)


When Dougie says in Episode 6, 'make sense of it', is that considered 'meta'? (it took like the 5th re-watch to realize Lynch was making a statement about his audience's relation to his work)
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Re: General Discussion on Season 3 (All Opinions Welcome)

Postby AXX°N N. » Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:16 pm

I always took that in that way, yeah. The maddeningly long scenes of him doing what we perceive at the time as nonsensical doodling then turning out to contain deeper meaning feels like some kind of near-satire of himself, even.
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Re: General Discussion on Season 3 (All Opinions Welcome)

Postby LateReg » Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:06 pm

AXX°N N. wrote:I always took that in that way, yeah. The maddeningly long scenes of him doing what we perceive at the time as nonsensical doodling then turning out to contain deeper meaning feels like some kind of near-satire of himself, even.


Yeah, and Bushnell's "you've really given me a lot to think about" is hilarious. It's just hard not to read a lot of it as reflecting back on itself on some level(s).
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Re: General Discussion on Season 3 (All Opinions Welcome)

Postby boske » Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:54 am

Yes, I found it "meta" too (I actually watched parts 6 and 7 yesterday). So what did Dougie do? He was simply connecting some dots that were highlighted by some higher forces, in a nutshell he was working with his intuition only. His other facilities (speech, logic, reason, complex motor skills) were still absent. It was as if he were an empty database (tabula rasa), and all he could was base his answers on a subset of what he had collected in it in the meantime (words, phrases). Thus "make sense of it" could be looked at as "you, the viewer, connect the dots using your intuition".

Although, I do not recall that Dougie had heard "you're lying" before he said that to Sinclair. So what are we to "make of it"? Dougie, in his base capacities, going off on intuition alone, is able to spontaneously and instantaneously tell truth apart from falsehood. When all his facilities are present that may not be the case, but using the intuition alone (or one's higher facilities where Phillip Gerard can be regarded as Cooper's guardian angel), when one's reason is silenced or subdued, one can thus spontaneously and without any deliberations know the truth.
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Re: General Discussion on Season 3 (All Opinions Welcome)

Postby LateReg » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:15 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:
LateReg wrote:
stro wrote:I don't think that type of meta narrative is anything David Lynch does with his works.


Twin Peaks has always had a meta-aspect about it, beginning with Lynch as director of the film and Cole as director of the FBI, and The Return is a very playful piece of cinema in that way. There's Rancho Rosa and plenty of other examples.

But I think you're taking too literal what I said. I'm not saying Lynch designed every or even many elements in that way. I'm saying that he was true to an idea, and so a lot of it ends up rhyming, whether intentional or not.


I agree that Lynch does not often engage in meta-narrative. But I’d also say that perhaps no one in film history has engaged in a more layered meta-narrative than the scene of Cooper seeing Cecil B. DeMille playing himself in Sunset Blvd., in a scene talking about getting the old team back together (in an ironic away, expressing that it’s actually not possible to recreate past creative successes), where DeMille mentions Gordon Cole’s name, leading directly to Cooper’s awakening. I don’t see how anyone can watch that scene and deny that there is any meta-narrative at play in TR. You may not feel that it’s appropriate or that it’s executed well, but it’s there.

(And it just occurred to me that FWWM was produced by the French company CIBY 2000, which in French is pronounced as the intentional pun CIBY (C. B.) Deux Mille! I’m not sure that particular reference was intended in terms of the Sunset Blvd. clip, but man...layers upon layers.)


Obviously I'll never get tired of thinking about that scene. Great pickup on the CIBY FWWM connection, too.

Reflecting more on this, let's not forget that Lynch's previous two films are actually meta-narratives, set in Hollywood, about the processes of filmmaking and performance. They may not explicitly involve Lynch calling direct attention to himself, but there's no reason not to see The Return as a logical extension of those evolving interests, especially since its meta-nature is partially used as another level of reality or plane of existence, which is what the actual narrative is partially about: lodges, dreams, the "real" Twin Peaks, the world of the peripheral characters just outside the frame and the main characters in the 25-year gap, etc.; the incorporation of the real world in which the series is made is simply the next step, or depending on your point of view, nothing but another level of existence that we vaguely inhabit. (That the series is heavily about the notion of "returning" also spans layers that provide the seamless intersection of various levels of plots and themes I've always touted: Cooper returning to himself and to the town of Twin Peaks, the creators returning to their world, Lynch returning to his core set of actors, and on and on.) Of course, in Part 14, the one right before Part 15's Sunset Blvd reference, Lynch, recounting a dream he had with a famous actress playing herself as Lynch looks back to see a younger version of himself (dreams, reality and films all intersecting), overtly asks the audience to ponder "who is the dreamer?" and at least suggests that beyond any characters it may be Lynch himself, if not also the audience. This is central in tying together the multiple strands of reality in the series - the actual (meta) reality in which the series was made very clearly becoming one of them in this moment, and increasingly throughout the remainder of the series (Coulson's heartbreaking "I'm dying," Sunset Blvd., "Audrey's Dance," Edward Louis Severson, "See you at the curtain call," Mary Reber, etc.).

Here's another tidbit that is perhaps relevant to the idea of meta, or perhaps not (I think it is), but it is interesting either way. While seeking out Glenn Kenny's thoughts on the series, I found and listened to a podcast about Part 12, which if you'll recall had the reputation of being the series most frustrating part, and I was reminded of two things: 1. That everyone was excited because it was titled "Let's Rock." And 2. That, similar to the pre-airing of Part 8, Showtime and possibly some cast members were hyping Part 12 as a MUST-SEE. I had totally forgotten about that, but it all came flooding back as soon as I heard it. I know Lynch wasn't naming the Parts himself, but this combination of events hyping the Part, mixed with the Part's aggressively frustrating content (the (beautifully) drawn-out conversation between Truman and Ben Horne with the Room 315 key in plain sight, Berenice Bejo in the hotel, Audrey's 10-minutes of confusing namedrops followed by Roadhouse Randos doing the same) can't simply be serendipity, and I take it as further evidence that the series was very conscious about engaging with its audience's expectations in very active ways that one would customarily deem "meta."
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Re: General Discussion on Season 3 (All Opinions Welcome)

Postby TwinsPeak » Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:28 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:
TwinsPeak wrote: I like Lynch's weather updates but I would prefer some new Peaks.


Speaking of unresolved mysteries, what is up with those tinted glasses!






LOL... he's got to wear those glasses from smoke and golden sunshine glare, its fun being able to see into Lynch's home Workshop/Hotbox room. And his thoughts ofcourse. I'm lovin his youtube channel.

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