A Long Reflection...

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A Long Reflection...

Postby WhiteLodge90 » Tue May 08, 2018 5:30 pm

I've watched the new season twice now. Technically three times as I watched each episode twice after it aired throughout the week. Then again this fall with my girlfriend. I''ve waited to compose my thoughts - Unsure of how to best form them without seeming like I disliked the show or being too whiney. However I feel like there's a few things I'd like to get off my chest.

Did I like Season 3? The short answer is yes. Did I like it just because it was simply new Twin Peaks and Lynch could've just had Cooper staring blankly in the red room with "The Dance of a Dream Man" and strobe lights flickering in the background for 18 episodes and I probably would've liked it still? That's also possible... But did it compare to season 1 or the beginning half & last few episodes of season 2? In my humble opinion not even close.

Let me preface with some obvious things that were out of Lynch & Frosts control. The deaths of Major Briggs, Bob, Jefferies, Pete & the declining health's of The Log Lady & Albert really put them in a bind. They were all crucial characters to the show and I commend Lynch for finding a way to use them in anyway he possibly could. I also highly commend Catherine Coulson & Miguel Ferrer for performing with their all while obviously being very sick. It was truly inspiring to witness. However there's no denying he had to overcome some tough odds with those tragic losses.
Two of the biggest losses for the show were completely avoidable if the actors weren't either crazy (Michael J Anderson) or for whatever reason (Ontekean) Had for not being on the show after agreeing to at first. I think out of all the characters not in the new show who had the opportunity to be so because they were alive - These were the biggest holes of the show. It really upset me that we didn't get Harry Truman. Look I'm not going to pretend Ontekean was a world class actor or that his character was very interesting but it was something about him that made him the backbone of the show. The connection to Cooper, the every-man personality that so much represented what the town of Twin Peaks stood for. These all felt lacking without his presence. And again - Robert Forster did a fine job as a replacement to Truman but it sort of felt like when the lead singer leaves the band and they try and pass him off with another front man. Sure the guy's probably talented. But he's not going to give you that feeling you had with the original. It's a true shame they couldn't work something out with Michael. As far as the other Michael... Shame on him for ruining the experience for the fans. Hopefully some day he realizes the error of his ways (But I doubt it).

As far as the characters they did have on from the original, I'd say 95% of them were either grossly mismanaged or criminally underused. The only exceptions were probably Hawk (Who was a solid MVP candidate for the 3rd season) & maybe Gordon Cole who... well we know who he is.

Starting off with the mismanaged category - The Horne brothers. I'll start off easy here. Jerry Horne - He was always a bit of a comedic sidekick but he also had a menacing brilliance to him as well. I didn't get that at all this time. Instead all I saw was a bumbling cartoon character. A strong reoccurring theme for a lot of the OG characters in this incarnation. His big ending payoff? That he somehow ran over multiple state lines to witness the exploding Richard Horne. Really? That whole sequence of him getting lost in the woods lead to...? What? Nothing? Please someone tell me I missed something there?....
Now onto Ben Horne. Richard Beymer did just a fantastic job. I thought he was one of the other MVP's of the new show just in terms of pure acting ability and delivery. However like most of the Twin Peaks characters and sets his scenes felt very impersonal to me. All set in one room that gave me no vibes of the Great Northern. All of his scenes were oddly inter-spliced throughout the episodes in a random order and the only time he interacted with someone is when they came to visit him in his office. No establishing shots of the hotel lobby? Or him interacting with other characters around town? That's a huge complaint for me in general about the show. We hardly ever saw other characters in town interacting with each other in multiple locations or multiple side story lines. It felt very much so like Lynch cast too many people who either wanted to work with him badly or vice versa and so in consequence him and Frost had no time for real character driven storytelling.
I also felt like Ben was a completely different person. I kind of believe this is on Beymer as it's been well documented about his disapproval of Ben's behavior since his refusal to appear in FWWM. Did he completely own his lines? Yes he did. I give him tons of credit for that. But it didn't seem like Ben to me short of the glasses and the office desk.

Next on the list Dr. Jacoby. (Or Dr. Amp) I just didn't understand or enjoy this story line. The only real substance it offered was helping Nadine let go of Big Ed in order for him to finally get the love of his life. Was that it? Was this simply Mark Frost trying to push his own agenda onto the character? I honestly don't know but the repetitiveness of it felt silly and tiresome to me. I feel in large part this character lost his charm after the Laura Palmer case. There was a glimmer of potential with him working with Sarah Palmer in the series final of season 2. I feel maybe they could've used him more in that sense?
Andy & Lucy. (Mostly Lucy) I'll keep this one short. I thought they pushed the dumbness of these two a bit too much this season especially with the whole cell phones bit. And to be honest I think what made some of the comedy not work was the lack of the comedic jazz music that accompanied them throughout the shows original run (But I'll talk more about that later)

Bobby and Shelly - Let's get the first bit out of the way. I thought Dana did a very good job with his drastic character change here. I would've liked a little bit more backstory on his and Shelly's downfall or some oh you know character development between the two but I do wish we could've seen more with these two. With Shelly I liked the idea of her relationship with Becky but with it going multiple episodes at certain times without interaction with them I didn't really find a solid chance to connect with that story line. However I have a bigger bone to pick with her random fling with Red that was literally a wink in the first episode and a kiss outside the Double R. Really? That's it? She's dating a dangerous drug kingpin who may or may not be connected to the black lodge and you couldn't find some way to show more of that relationship? I guess I shouldn't be surprised considering we didn't get any character depth this season. Unless you count watching Dougie Learn how to draw arrows for five minutes to boring new age music.

Now onto the criminally underused...
The biggest and most obvious for me would be Audrey. As one of the few actors who was in every episode of the original you'd think a little more time would be spent on her. I'll admit I was infuriated with the direction of her character at first until I started to realize "The owls are not what they seem" so to speak. It all culminated with a top 5 moment of the new season in the Audrey's Dance throwback. Then all of the sudden a flash of white and there she is in a super bright room looking horrified with two episodes to go. "All right!" I foolishly thought.. I couldn't wait to see what was REALLY going on with Audrey. And just like most of this new season Lynch decided to take what was a very intriguing and potentially memorable moment and turn it into one of those distant dreams you try your hardest to piece together but in the end realize your brain is just super hazy. I felt ripped off by this one.

James Hurley - I know most people hated James and I admit the guy was never one of my favorites either but to put him in that first episode then not again till the very end pretty much completely created a sense of forgetfulness and also left the new development of his character to be lacking. No mention of him and Donna? They couldn't seriously fit in ONE scene with him and Big Ed? How about the Bookhouse Boys?! Did they just evaporate with the absences of Harry & Coop?? You don't have to like James to know his character felt very randomly placed with little explanation.

Big Ed/Nadine/Norma - I'm combing all of these three for time purposes and because their story lines largely intertwined. For the first two we don't see either of them until well into the back half of the season. Unless you count those stupid little cameos of Nadine smiling to Dr. Amps rants that they tried to pass off as new footage and not just different angles of the first one. Big Ed had no interactions with his nephew?! Even though he always had his back in the original and James clearly needed it now... No scenes of him and Nadine except for the big climatic break up. No build up of that relationship and where it was for the last 25 years??
I feel like for Norma at least she got a nice arch with the Double R and expansion. But I got pretty sick of her sitting in that booth working on papers for a few episodes. Couldn't she leave the restaurant and Oh I don't know visit another part of town? Couldn't any of these characters?
The One Armed Man/Phillip Gerard. We got to see plenty of one of these two. I took it as purified version of the one armed man. But what happened to Gerard?? Was he still out there?? Did he die? I was very confused by this part. I also feel like the way his character appeared with the CGI really lacked the sense of creepiness I feel like could've been attained. I think Al did an admirable job filling in for Anderson as Coops "spirit guide" I just don't love those other points I listed about his character.

And finally the Palmer's. I get that Leland was dead but with the lack of the original Red Room inhabitants in this new incarnation you're telling me you couldn't have sneaked him in a few more times?? He's too good of an actor to be used so little. As far as Laura I get her lack of use all though I wish we could've seen more for selfish reasons... Sarah was another character I felt teased by. A great intro to where her character was at this season but very little answers to what was going on in that house. We know she's the little girl in New Mexico but what about all that weird time looping in her living room? Or what about that creepy noise Hawk heard when he went to check up on her? Nothing?? I guess not...
Finally the characters who weren't in it at all... Most characters I feel someone could have a legit argument as to why they weren't asked back. But a few I think really should've been used if even for a cameo are - Annie, Chet Desmond & Josie. All three had very ambiguous endings and I would've really loved to see even just ONE of them make a surprise cameo... Or at least a mention to the advancement of their story line. Annie in particular I felt completely ripped off on.

Going back to the music... When I heard Angelo was going to be back I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. He essentially is Twin Peaks in my eyes. But what I saw through 18 episodes was very little quintessential TP music. There were moments that were just painfully drawn out this season which could have greatly benefited from a little bit of that TP jazz that Angelo used so well in the original. I don't know if this was a style choice by Lynch to leave out the music being used as much or if it's deeper than that but the music on this show was like a main character to me and I thought it was lacking largely. I didn't like Johnny jewel's Windswept and even more so wasn't a fan of how much time was taken up in Vegas. (But I'm not going to talk about that in fact I'm not going to talk about Vegas at all. I'm going to leave it out of it)

In closing this isn't a full dissertation on the entire series because I wanted to save your eyes from reading what could've been an essay if I had the time and energy to do so. I just wanted to focus on what I felt made Twin Peaks so special originally and that's the characters. And I felt betrayed in that aspect as I've listed above.

Hope you all take the time to read this and know I still enjoyed the 3rd season but I have to tell it like it is in my heart and soul.

The milk will get cool on you pretty soon.
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Re: A Long Reflection...

Postby baxter » Sat May 12, 2018 5:50 pm

A considered opinion, and one I respect.

For my part, I wish I had managed to avoid the forum full stop during the run. This was the first time I have experienced a TV show through the lens of interactions with other people on the web, and I definitely changed the experience for me. I felt I had such heavy expectations before the show, that most of watching it was trying to unpack those expectations and actually see what I was being shown. That's a lot more complicated when you are throwing lots of other opinions into the mix. Each week til the next episode would crawl by however, and I had to fill that time! Of course, I also found the forum really valuable, so I certainly don't want to complain about the many excellent conversations.

I can still only view S3 as something completely different to the first show (and even FWWM). I haven't watched any of the first show since seeing S3, but I'm certain I'll find it a completely different show. It really seemed totally uninterested in being conventional in any way. As you say, no establishing shots, little or no context, little or no explanation of major events, etc. My feeling is still that those were written and devised, but Lynch's method involves subtracting that to get the final result (I'm convinced that that is what happens, rather than making it up as they go along, but we can't know for sure). This works in a lot of ways- I have been obsessively trying to unravel the show since it finished, and with a conventional ending I'd give far less of a shit, but it really isn't what the first show was for the most part. I'm sure this was a very deliberate choice, since I don't doubt that either of them can tell a conventional story when they want to.

Did I like S3? Definitely, though I do have this nagging feeling of things I'd like to have seen (I can't let go of the fact that we saw so little of proper Cooper, and I can feel that I'm really forgiving them for the bizarre green glove escapade rather than simply accepting it as entertainment!). I did a partial rewatch up to E9 with a friend after it aired, and found that it was much pacier than I remember though. My full rewatch can't occur til later in the year, when I plan to do FWWM -> E1 -> E29 -> S3. That'll be interesting.

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