FINAL POLL!!!!!!! Your Reaction to The Return as a Complete Work

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Which option best describes your overall reaction to The Return as a complete work?

Poll ended at Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:09 pm

Like or Love
228
65%
Heavily Mixed, Leaning Towards Like
41
12%
Heavily Mixed, Leaning Towards Dislike
44
12%
Dislike or Hate
40
11%
 
Total votes: 353
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Novalis
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Re: FINAL POLL!!!!!!! Your Reaction to The Return as a Complete Work

Postby Novalis » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:07 pm

mine wrote:I want to go back to something I asked above. At which point does one conclude projecting/confirmation bias or any similar psychological mechanism outweighs what is conceivably actually there more or less intentionally? I think it's in a way an unanswerable question but it seems extremely relevant when it comes to this particular subject.


It's a really good question. And I think it's the right kind of question to ask up front too -- how far are we willing to go with a charitable reading. It's become clear to me over the last few months, from reading polar opposite reactions on this forum that could not be further apart, that there are vast differences in what people were expecting and what people were prepared to bring to the table. Myself, I like to get stuck in and talk it all out in company with others. In fact I enjoy this knock-on effect almost as much as I do watching the show. But if I'm the last one still talking and surrounded by stony faces then I usually take that as my cue to reign it in. :) So I do see a line, a point where I would stop and think, I'm giving too much thought/credit to something. But then a week later, someone else comes up with a new angle on things and it can all start up again. Presumably at some point material is completely exhausted of things you can say about it. Some groups of people have probably gone as far as they would like already, while some of us haven't. I don't think it's always determined by how gifted or not we feel the creators were; I happen to think a lot of creators get lucky, whereas others can't seem to get anything done. This is not to say that I don't believe in genuine talent and hard work though. I also think that the marketplace is as fragmented as the Return is, full of little bubbles, specialisms and niches, and there's no way to please a massive majority in that situation. We're often left feeling we've lost a sense of the universal, even when we're stimulated by something and sharing it in our little social cells of appreciation. I don't think that can be easily fixed -- I mean that would be something super revolutionary if it came about though a TV show. I wasn't really expecting that though. So as far as it goes, I'm well aware that those of us who really went for the Return are 'geeking out' over it to an extent that others might well find nauseating and even pretentious, but some of us have held it in quite a while I guess. I really wanted to love this, and although in places I didn't love it quite as much as I wanted to, in others I felt it really brought the goods. Holding up those moments and admiring them from as many angles as possible might seem a bit hammy, overblown and triumphalist to disappointed others, but I guess that's just how some of us enjoy a thing.
As a matter of fact, 'Chalfont' was the name of the people that rented this space before. Two Chalfonts. Weird, huh?
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The Gazebo
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Re: FINAL POLL!!!!!!! Your Reaction to The Return as a Complete Work

Postby The Gazebo » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:22 pm

Novalis wrote:So as far as it goes, I'm well aware that those of us who really went for the Return are 'geeking out' over it to an extent that others might well find nauseating and even pretentious, but some of us have held it in quite a while I guess. I really wanted to love this, and although in places I didn't love it quite as much as I wanted to, in others I felt it really brought the goods. Holding up those moments and admiring them from as many angles as possible might seem a bit hammy, overblown and triumphalist to disappointed others, but I guess that's just how some of us enjoy a thing.


I'm a bit late to the party here, having joined the scores of people returning to their everyday lives and dropping by the forum from time to time, but I thought this bit was interesting. Your post show a wherewithal to those of us on the 'other' side which I find refreshing. If I had loved The Return, I'd probably have been discussing the significance of Cooper bending his torso 10-15 degrees in the final scene, and what that would imply through the reading of 17th century texts from the Ottoman Empire. As it is, I ended up in the 'heavily mixed, leaning towards dislike' category, and therefore most discussions - to me - seem uninteresting, insignificant and pretentious. They become almost a confirmation (in my own mind) about the consumption of Kool-Aid by the fans, where the things I would expect born-again Peakheads to be concerned about, aren't discussed. Just check the page for how few threads there are about the audio/visual aspect (which is why many people fell in love with the show in the first place) - and verbalization of personal experiences - on this forum. It's mostly all about the mythology, or theoretical musings about the 'plot' or 'symbols' that wouldn't convince a gullible 5-year old. That's probably one of the things which convinced me that the show wasn't really my cup of tea, just by looking at the topics that concerned and engaged fans.

(P.S. I'd like to take this opportunity to compliment you on your contributions here throughout the summer and beyond - half of what you write is far too educated and nuanced for my tiny brain to comprehend, but occasionally I'm tuned in and learn something valuable from your writings :) )
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Re: FINAL POLL!!!!!!! Your Reaction to The Return as a Complete Work

Postby mickeyfickey » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:18 pm

The Gazebo wrote: Just check the page for how few threads there are about the audio/visual aspect (which is why many people fell in love with the show in the first place) - and verbalization of personal experiences - on this forum. It's mostly all about the mythology, or theoretical musings about the 'plot' or 'symbols' that wouldn't convince a gullible 5-year old. That's probably one of the things which convinced me that the show wasn't really my cup of tea, just by looking at the topics that concerned and engaged fans.


There may not have been threads on it, but there were plenty of posts singing the praises of the visual aesthetic and the sound design. Especially the sound design. I don't consider it a surprise that there are people on here going overboard and dissecting every single detail to try and make S3 fit into a neat narrative, but that was happening on here well before The Return was even around. That level of detail doesn't in and of itself mean The Return was substandard: People are going to obsesses and make zany theories regardless.
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Re: FINAL POLL!!!!!!! Your Reaction to The Return as a Complete Work

Postby LateReg » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:25 am

Novalis wrote:
mine wrote:I agree that there isn't anything wrong with writing (or creative process in general) being easy. But in this case the specific easy approach seems to have been picked out of convenience and rationalized into having some superior artistic value by default. It was merely a convenient choice and I believe that the jury is still very much out as to weather it worked or not.
I don't think much would have to be sacrificed for a more coherent narrative around at least one theme or character as was the case with the original show and FWWM. It's just that tweaking even part of the elements so to get the narrative at a level close to the previous incarnations of Twin Peaks would require putting in an effort that the creators couldn't have been bothered with. Lynch himself doesn't exactly deny that. Every time he's asked about explanations he all but confirms they aren't there as far as he is concerned. I don't think this is an issue per se but it really isn't the best approach to an 18 hour season based on a well established narrative/universe.


I think the highly compressed nature of the filming schedule, shooting and editing the equivalent of nine feature films in the time it usually takes to do one, is something we need to keep sight of here. It may be that the limitations and accidents of this schedule placed great pressure on the written material, or it may be that the written material was in any case more of a very flexible and rough guideline that could be freely adapted to circumstances. We don't know much about so many factors involved in what must have been at times a very hectic production process, beyond what Sutherland has revealed about there being very little cut. Is your complaint, then, not so much that the 'easy way' has been taken, but rather that long-term planning might have been thrown out the window on lots of occasions in favour of lots of short to mid-term plans? You seem to be echoing a number of people who have voiced concern over a lack of 'connective tissue', as if the season lacks something like a spine that can articulate all the smaller pieces into one organically connected mass that moves more or less in symphony.

I agree with the view that there are many vignettes in this season, but not that it lacks a thoroughgoing sense of narrative. However, as I see it, many of the connections to this backbone (Dale Cooper's epic -- and tragic -- 'Odyssey' as others have aptly described it) are implicit, operating often on a subliminal or barely conscious associations. A case in point: the 'side stories' of Jacoby, Nadine and Big Ed can be viewed both as self-contained mini-arcs with no connection to Cooper's voyage home, and can also be seen as dealing with deeply sympathetic or resonant themes to what is happening for Cooper. Even miniscule fragments like Hailey Gates' "one-one-nine!" woman or the frantic mother and her puking daughter in the traffic jam outside the RR bring to bear an acute situational urgency to what is going on in the main trunk of the story. Long, wide, lingering shots of slow activity like painting shovels and sweeping floors have a similar, but opposite effect: for me they beg us to dwell on those resting places or plateaus of tension in the overall dramatic envelope. And sometimes these Lynchian conventions are used in surprising ways, as when in pt. 15 some very wide shots of Gersten and Stephen in the woods creates a very stifling, heady and restive atmosphere that feeds as much into the highly dramatic conclusion (Cooper electrocuting himself) as does Ruby crawling across the roadhouse floor or Chantal petulantly munching away while pointing out the planet Mars to Hutch. True, I will not claim that each part has a certain theme (in the manner of a Sesame Street episode -- brought to you by the letters a,b, and the number 2) and the story proceeds only in this blocky, brick-by-brick nature; dramatic tension and release also works through contrast and counterpoint, after all, and parts which were each saturated through with their own tonality would not work except as mood pieces. But I am claiming that there is an overall structure to the beast, which articulates its many limbs and allows it to rise up and walk.

My argument here is that the tendons and muscles of this beast are not so much written, as you yourself observe, but are produced by the direction (and the editing! we must not forget the editing!). The connective tissue is something that wouldn't easily show up in a script, I'm claiming. It's something that can be felt, however. While this might seem to some who are eager to accuse the team of copping-out on the narrative front, the onus or burden of discovering the connective tissue has been placed on the equipment of the viewers, on their sensitivity to the variety of ways that different scenes and mini-narratives can chime or 'rhyme' with what is going on in the main trunk, accentuating it or in some cases throwing different lights on it. Now, to me, this way of working is in fact deeply continuous with Twin Peaks S1 and S2, which I finished rewatching in full just days ago. In fact the theme-of-the-week feeling, which I dismissed as too simplistic here, is probably more true in the case of the old seasons: when certain events happen to one set of characters it generally happens to another character group in a slightly different way, on a per-episode basis, particularly in the more Lynchian episodes. There, the thematic threads that run through entire episodes were often much more overt. Lynch has become subtler, perhaps, or has adapted his way of working from the episodic soap format of S1 and S2 to the more cinematic ambitions of S3. It's often said that what has to be spelled out on TV can be told in the curl of a lip or blink of an eye in film -- I think this difference also amounts to there being a greater interpretive onus placed on a cinema audience. Does this mean that film-makers are inherently lazy when compared with the writers and directors of TV shows? I would say no; they still have to do the hefty and substantial work of capturing on film those telling gestures of lips or eyes.

I suppose I'm not saying much -- just that the 'low bar' view when it comes to narrative connections may be looking in the wrong place for them. As comprehensive as an overarching narrative might be in tying things together for an audience, assigning each tributary its place and value within the whole, I think that it will always still depend in the last instance on the effort of the viewer to meet it halfway. In this respect, Lynchian work has always been far more demanding. It's not that we have to put meat on the bones of a disconnected skeleton -- this beast is meaty enough -- but that we are purposefully being challenged to feel our way around with little to go on other than how we feel and what 'rings true' for us: as in life, there's no assembly manual. Not because Lynch couldn't write one even if he wanted -- I don't believe that, and I'm pretty sure he has his own pet theories about what goes where and why (and very precise ones I bet). But because he, like some others artists of his generation and spiritual proclivity, doesn't buy the 'intentional fallacy' that just one person (or even one production team) has a special, privileged key that will unlock all the mysteries of an artwork.


I just wanted to say that I agree with nearly every word of this wonderful post, Novalis. And, unfortunately, disagree with almost everything that Mine has written.

I don't believe this was a lazy way of writing or an easy thing to write, unless Lynch once again got supremely lucky. There's so much connective tissue throughout; 5 viewings in and there isn't anything that doesn't seem connected in some way, while also being wide open to interpretation, and miraculously open to read from many different characters' perspectives, psychologically mapped onto the screen. As you said, the tissue is more implicit than anything, but it's all there, functioning like beautiful internal rhymes as the narrative spills outwards, off the frame (rather than forwards, like every other TV show ever made), giving the illusion that these people exist beyond what we're seeing onscreen.

Somewhat unrelatedly, I just want to state something that I feel is very obvious, but which no one has specifically mentioned, regarding Mr. C. So many people are disappointed and claim that Mr. C was aimless, that we never knew what he wanted so he failed as a villain, etc. But, clearly Mr. C's journey is primarily existential. That still might not sit right with some people who would have liked for him to do more than look for coordinates, to have a twistier plotline, to have greater bearing on the actual plot of The Return, to be more deeply developed, etc. But those coordinates he's looking for matter most for the irony that they lead him directly to his doom. I don't believe this is at all a flaw, and I believe it was one of the primary intentions of the depiction of his character.

Similarly, regarding the complaints about Diane being there to prop up the men around her, I also disagree. Then again, I also don't see the gender problem at all in The Return. First, we must figure out the proper angle to view the work, through whose eyes and which themes to process it. In the case of Diane, a woman who may actually only be a thoughtform and whose existence has always been a mystery, Lynch/Frost find a way to keep her that way. Did we ever see the real Diane? If this is Cooper's story, and one with a slippery reality at that, then it makes perfect sense that, in the end, she is there to serve his character. That said, I find her character insanely complex. And on a realistic note, of course it makes more sense for Cooper to make the final journey with Diane, who had been Cooper's confidant for years, rather than Audrey or Annie, both of whom he knew for just a matter of weeks.

To answer the question of this thread, I do believe that The Return is work to be reckoned with, and which will grow in stature over time. It makes everything else look small and formulaic. I don't know where it sits in Lynch's filmography, but it's certainly as great a work of art as I've ever seen on television. It's deeply personal, political, powerful, and profound. An audio-visual marvel, a truly ambitious work of art unlike anything else that works on the level of dream (collective dreams and projections), subjective subconscious journey (psychologically mapped onto the action), reality (a reflection of the real world and the rhythms of real life) and meta-reality (actual reality of The Return's making/existence) all at once. And the finale makes the thing. I can't believe people say that it ruins or sidesteps or makes inconsequential everything that has been building. It does the opposite, linking up the major themes of identity, trauma, time, aging, returning and reviving. Cooper's Richard makes me view every Cooper character differently via rewatch, demonstrates that Mr. C and Dougie were indeed on display as aspects of Cooper's identity throughout, and solidifies one reading of The Return as a trip through Cooper's subconscious. That truly makes this his odyssey, after all.
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Re: FINAL POLL!!!!!!! Your Reaction to The Return as a Complete Work

Postby pinballmars » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:54 pm

Off-hand, I can't think of ANY movie or TV series that provoked such extreme reactions as this one. The people who love it think it's one of the most amazing, audacious, unpredictable brilliant things they've ever seen (that's me). The people who hate it are ANGRY and SAD and gnashing teeth over it. I'm not seeing a lot of glib dismissals of the new TWIN PEAKS. Nearly everybody who watched it all seems to be breaking a sweat over this one.

Sounds like a future cult classic to me. Controversy is the soil from which things like that grow. (ERASERHEAD and BLUE VELVET are brilliant films, but you can't recommend them to just anyone.)

I listen to the two new soundtrack albums a lot and on the album with the Roadhouse songs on it, a theme emerges. Several of those songs are about the same thing: You can't go back to past. The past is gone. There's nothing there. "Shadow", "Out of Sand" and "No Stars" are explicitly about this. "She's Gone Away". It's right there in the title. "Mississippi" is about this, too, if you squint. Even the nostalgia favorite "The World Spins" is about this. When Julee Cruise sings "Love/ Don't go away", you get the feeling that it IS going away. Still, the world spins.

There is no light in the past. "No stars". It's the wrong direction to take.

That's what the soundtrack album is about.

That's one of the things that the new series is about.

And that's what much of the "Profoundly Disappointed" thread is about, even if they don't know it.
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Re: FINAL POLL!!!!!!! Your Reaction to The Return as a Complete Work

Postby Kilmoore » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:48 am

pinballmars wrote:Off-hand, I can't think of ANY movie or TV series that provoked such extreme reactions as this one.

That is true, but I think it might have something to do with the popularity and status of the original series, and the contrast with expectations from TPTR.

I still adore the original, but it has taken a hit since TPTR apparently wipes it out into non-existence. If Lynch and Frost don't care, my caring does diminish as well.

That said, I keep having Twin Peaks dreams. They haunt me. I want answers. So, no TV show has fucked my mind quite like TP, both the original and TPTR. Whether that's a good thing remains to be seen.
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Re: FINAL POLL!!!!!!! Your Reaction to The Return as a Complete Work

Postby The Gazebo » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:39 am

LateReg wrote:To answer the question of this thread, I do believe that The Return is work to be reckoned with, and which will grow in stature over time. It makes everything else look small and formulaic. I don't know where it sits in Lynch's filmography, but it's certainly as great a work of art as I've ever seen on television. It's deeply personal, political, powerful, and profound. An audio-visual marvel, a truly ambitious work of art unlike anything else that works on the level of dream (collective dreams and projections), subjective subconscious journey (psychologically mapped onto the action), reality (a reflection of the real world and the rhythms of real life) and meta-reality (actual reality of The Return's making/existence) all at once. And the finale makes the thing. I can't believe people say that it ruins or sidesteps or makes inconsequential everything that has been building. It does the opposite, linking up the major themes of identity, trauma, time, aging, returning and reviving. Cooper's Richard makes me view every Cooper character differently via rewatch, demonstrates that Mr. C and Dougie were indeed on display as aspects of Cooper's identity throughout, and solidifies one reading of The Return as a trip through Cooper's subconscious. That truly makes this his odyssey, after all.


Not trying to start a war here, but from my perspective you're making a whole lot of qualitative assumptions about the show as if they were facts carved in stone. But assuming you're right, and this is what they really wanted to achieve, it's certainly raises a few new questions:

Is this the reading that the majority of viewers (even fans) will make? I don't really subscribe to Lynch's general notion of making one's own interpretations (as though they are all equally valid). Eventually, one should aim to reach some kind of consensus, backed up by some level of evidence. Otherwise, one could say that The Return was an aging man's way of coming to terms with his own erectile dysfunction, and expect this opinion to be taken equally seriously.

Do highly complex themes automatically transmit themselves into good television, no matter how they are presented? While it might be easy to dismiss the opinions of the disappointed crowd as lacking a tiny bit of sophistication (not in any way accusing you of doing it - just the way criticism of the show has been met in general on various social media), there are enough people well versed in challenging art who just haven't warmed to this show at all.

All in all, interpretations in social sciences have a tendency to begin with the conclusion and rationalize it from there on. Not saying it's unethical or anything - we often experience gut feelings of good/bad or right/wrong, before trying to explain why we view it this way. But there is no doubt that we very often read far too much into works, ascribing meaning and significance where none may exist in the first place (coded messages in airplane windows, anyone? :D ).
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Re: FINAL POLL!!!!!!! Your Reaction to The Return as a Complete Work

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:32 am

The Gazebo wrote:
LateReg wrote:Is this the reading that the majority of viewers (even fans) will make? I don't really subscribe to Lynch's general notion of making one's own interpretations (as though they are all equally valid). Eventually, one should aim to reach some kind of consensus, backed up by some level of evidence.


While I agree that a lot of fans, critics and academics get rathered carried away in their analyses of DKL’s art, projecting their own agendas onto the work (not accusing LateReg of this!), I disagree with your premise stated here that there should be one agreed-upon “consensus.” Art is deeply personal, and the subjective, ambiguous dreamlike quality of DKL’s style has been a huge part of his popularity stretching back to Eraserhead. Forty years on, there still isn’t an agreed-upon interpretation of THAT film, but it remains a haunting masterpiece for me and many others. I don’t need (or even want) to know what the Man in the Planet or the Lady in the Radiator “mean” beyond an intuitive level. For me, to even try to articulate psychological or narrative rationales for a lot of the film cheapens it, but I understand why others feel the need to search for articulable meaning. For DKL as an artist, the appeal of film is the ability to express thoughts, feelings and ideas that cannot be explained in words.

I think part of what makes TP S3 maddening to many (even to me, to some extent) is that it seems to stride the line between being an ambiguous Eraserhead-style dream at certain points (a lot of the Sarah material, Audrey, the last 90 minutes) and being a completely straightforward face-value narrative (like the original series). And so extrapolating an interpretation from the “ambiguous” portions and projecting it onto the more straightforward stuff with Buckhorn, Becky, Mr. C and the FBI doesn’t feel entirely right (although I do agree with a lot of what LateReg expressed and think he’s onto at least part of what DKL was getting at). Maybe what we’re ultimately left with is a work resembling the classic Last Year at Marienbad (which is possibly the Lynchiest film that Lynch never made, and itself a contemplation on the elasticity of time): a work that presents itself as mystery box to be solved by offering clues and repetitions, but which is ultimately a fragmented mood piece that can no more be explained than a fever dream that seems more logical than anything you’ve ever experienced while you’re in it, but melts into incoherent madness when you try to describe it.
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Re: FINAL POLL!!!!!!! Your Reaction to The Return as a Complete Work

Postby The Gazebo » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:11 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:While I agree that a lot of fans, critics and academics get rathered carried away in their analyses of DKL’s art, projecting their own agendas onto the work (not accusing LateReg of this!), I disagree with your premise stated here that there should be one agreed-upon “consensus.” Art is deeply personal, and the subjective, ambiguous dreamlike quality of DKL’s style has been a huge part of his popularity stretching back to Eraserhead. Forty years on, there still isn’t an agreed-upon interpretation of THAT film, but it remains a haunting masterpiece for me and many others. I don’t need (or even want) to know what the Man in the Planet or the Lady in the Radiator “mean” beyond an intuitive level. For me, to even try to articulate psychological or narrative rationales for a lot of the film cheapens it, but I understand why others feel the need to search for articulable meaning. For DKL as an artist, the appeal of film is the ability to express thoughts, feelings and ideas that cannot be explained in words.

I think part of what makes TP S3 maddening to many (even to me, to some extent) is that it seems to stride the line between being an ambiguous Eraserhead-style dream at certain points (a lot of the Sarah material, Audrey, the last 90 minutes) and being a completely straightforward face-value narrative (like the original series). And so extrapolating an interpretation from the “ambiguous” portions and projecting it onto the more straightforward stuff with Buckhorn, Becky, Mr. C and the FBI doesn’t feel entirely right (although I do agree with a lot of what LateReg expressed and think he’s onto at least part of what DKL was getting at). Maybe what we’re ultimately left with is a work resembling the classic Last Year at Marienbad (which is possibly the Lynchiest film that Lynch never made, and itself a contemplation on the elasticity of time): a work that presents itself as mystery box to be solved by offering clues and repetitions, but which is ultimately a fragmented mood piece that can no more be explained than a fever dream that seems more logical than anything you’ve ever experienced while you’re in it, but melts into incoherent madness when you try to describe it.


You make a very valid point about art being highly personal and subjective. Being a disgruntled alumni of the social sciences, I suppose my disdain paves the way for wanting to reach a kind of consensus as found in the natural sciences. And of course, we sometimes lack the language or terminology to talk about abstract subjects that may mean different things to different people. However, allowing for this nebulous aspect inherent in art criticism, there is one thing we could do:

Treat every subject equally. We should not elevate any work a priori, just based on who the creator is.

Now, I'm the first to acknowledge my own hypocrisy here. When people throughout the years asked me why I rated this show as one of the best ever, my response was often along the lines of "Well, it was made by one of the finest filmmakers of this generation, and he introduced the art of cinema into this proletarian medium, and this show was...oh, you haven't heard of him? Well, I suggest you watch his movies, and then consider how he [insert all kind of pseudo-intellectual bullshit], and tell me what you think." Now, of course, the shoe is on the other foot, and I'll do my best to discredit the man himself by thinking: "Well, The Return was always a load of pretentious bollocks catered to hipsters who'd reject any kind of conventional storytelling just for the sake of it."

Having said that, if art is such a personal experience, how can anyone say that The Return is any better than Dallas or Dynasty (or any work of art being better than anything else altogether)? I suppose what I'm getting at through my ramblings here is that there must be some kind of common ground as to what constitutes good art, if we at any point should make value judgements (and I realize that I'm moving back in time towards the ideals of Modernism here as opposed to the current Postmodernist angle). Why am I right in preferring Captain Beefheart to Justin Bieber? This is, in my view, a complete failure of the social sciences in general, trying to be the arbitrers of taste or right/wrong, but deliberately not putting their necks on the line as far as creating a consistent framework for it, thus always leaving the space open for some artwork to be (rightly or wrongly) elevated into the pantheon, whatever its actual merits. Just as a science experiment should yield the same results in Santiago as in Vladivostok, so should an artwork be viewed (mostly) the same in Oslo as in Paris. It might turn out to be ultimately impossible, but in my view, the social sciences haven't even tried.

Now, as for The Return itself, you touch upon the dichotomy of dreamlike vs face-value narrative, and the difficulty in "reconciling" the two. I agree. For all my disappointments with the show, make no mistake - I don't think there has been anything like this on television - ever. And that is in itself my own tribute to the show. However, I've read criticisms of other works of art throughout the years, labelling them as too sprawling, too ambitious, too incoherent, too fragmented, etc. All of these are criticisms that could have been aimed at The Return. So, in essence, why should I give this show a second chance, when other shows haven't been given the same leeway? (Just for the record, I yearn for the rest of the show to talk to me the way individual scenes have done, and the way it clearly has done for a lot of you out there).

Spoiler:
Phew. Note to self: If you want people to read your posts, stay off the sauce when you're trying to make clear, concise and coherent arguments. :)
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Re: FINAL POLL!!!!!!! Your Reaction to The Return as a Complete Work

Postby Rhodes » Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:41 pm

Although I'm (still) firmly in the "The Return was absolutely brilliant camp", after rewatching Inland Empire tonight for the 10th time, I must say that the latter is much, much scarier.

The Monica Belucci scene, the Audrey-plot and the last episode and a half gave The Return a lot of depth and mystery (The Return is defenitely much better than season 2 or even season 1), but I think that Inland Empire achieves more in terms of emotional impact in 3 hours than the Return did in 18 hours.

It would be very cool if season 4 would adopt the Inland Empire style even more than The Return did. The world of Carrie Page might be ideally suited for complete disorientation and nightmarish atmospheres.
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Trudy Chelgren
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Re: FINAL POLL!!!!!!! Your Reaction to The Return as a Complete Work

Postby Trudy Chelgren » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:33 am

Inland Empire, despite being heavily made-up as it went along, feels so much more cohesive than The Return. It's much scarier and more disturbing; the scene with the homeless people, the "hole in her vagina wall", and the final kick of it (maybe) being just a movie. The Phantom, too. It's extraordinary. The Return couldn't touch Inland Empire, or even Lost Highway for that matter, in being scary. Even the scene in The Straight Story where Alvin loses control on the hill was scarier than much of The Return. It had terrifying moments; the Experiment in the glass box, the doppelganger's interview, the tension in Part 17.

But what The Return had that Inland Empire didn't was heart, and an emotional truth. I believe that The Return was definitely aiming for the 'you can never go back theme'. There's a quote from Dr. Jacoby in The Secret History that illustrates that this theme was certainly on Frost's mind:

"When tragedy strikes we need to sit still and rock in place, wailing, keening, or crawl on our hands and knees gnashing our teeth the way native people yield absolutely to their grief. Embrace it, take it into your soul until it breaks and remakes you. There are no words, no lasting comfort to be found in avoiding pain. It's a primeval, painfully physical, animal process and you'd best get about it until it's done with you. You'll know when. At which point you have to say fuck analysis.

...But the truth is Laura's death has broken me. My own belief system - the fantasy that I could hold these two worlds in balance - inner life, outer reality - and bring the truth of one closer to the other... is shattered. What a hapless fool I've been. Actions have consequences."

It's from Jacoby, but to me perfectly reflects Cooper's odyssey too. This is where The Return was at it's most majestic and eloquent.
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Jasper
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Re: FINAL POLL!!!!!!! Your Reaction to The Return as a Complete Work

Postby Jasper » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:41 pm

Voting is now locked on this poll, which means it's been ten weeks since the airing of the final two parts.

Thanks to everybody for voting. With a big turnout of 353 votes I think we really maxed out on regular users, and then some. The next biggest turnout was for the first poll, which dealt with the first four parts and had 313 voters. The poll has been static for a while now. I feel confident that anybody who was ever going to vote did in fact vote.

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