celebrating season 2

Discussion of Twin Peaks and Fire Walk With Me

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sloclub
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Postby sloclub » Thu May 03, 2007 4:11 am

Audrey Horne wrote:I like talking about it and dissecting it -behind the scenes as well. It's just like any great literary work.

I kind of like that there are problems with it too -to me it seems still open ended and not a completed piece, so plenty to talk about. I find the problems that face the second season kind of fascinating.


okay, open ended and incomplete, fascinating- that makes sense. You had me worried there Audrey Horne. I, too, wonder about the behind the scenes. I've heard different stories about what DL or Mark Frost were doing and who was in charge during part of season 2 but don't know what to believe.

I haven't finished watching season 2 yet, but maintain that it isn't as bad as critics, fans and American cultural memory make it out to be. I was watching ep 25 tonight which opened with one of the most scary and intense moments in TV history. And dang if Coop and the Bookhouse Boys didn't find something interesting in Owl Cave. Now, if had been me, I would have camped out up there to study, watch it and guard it. Instead Coop was camped out at a bar studying Annie. Okay, Coop has his priorities straight. But still I would have left Truman at Owl Cave to sober up or something. But that's just me.
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Postby sloclub » Thu May 03, 2007 10:14 pm

I posted this under the ep 29 compression problems thread. It is more appropriate here.

Thanks for the support Red Room. At least some of us are open minded enough to trust the show as a whole to entertain and maybe even enlighten.

I disagree that this writer or that director "ruined" TP. I think what happened was that the mass audience got put out with a story that wasn't "logical" enough for them. Remember the zeitgeit, TP was a totally new and overwhelming experience for most people conditioned to respond to Murder She Wrote, or Hart to Hart, or Spenser For Hire. Those were detective shows to them, the mass market. Think of the truly poor writing- no plot hole too big, the music- usually disco or something to evoke cosy type mysteries, the way the shows looked. Now image what it was like when something original came on- Twin Peaks! Everything from the characters, the music, the events. And most of all, it was a show about people with all their faults and foilibles. Characters not only mourned for Larua Palmer, they mourned for themselves through her death. That was deep.

I think it was hard for the mass audience to put into words what they thought. So they and the lazy critics put the "quirky", "illogical" and I can't remember what other labels but people started panning the show. And most of them blamed David Lynch. Unfortunately he took the brunt of the blame for people not understanding something so different.

What happened to us, the fans, is that in an effort to make excuses for more people not loving TP the way we do, some of us, the majority perhaps, started blaming others; network suits, Mark Frost, anyone but Lynch.

I think it's time to reevaluate TP on it's own merits. First let's put our shared cultural memory aside and take a fresh look at TP. The first people to benefit will be us, the fans.
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Postby Audrey Horne » Fri May 04, 2007 7:19 am

oh no, no, no -my problem with parts of the second season (or giant chunks of it) is that it actually was becoming too logical, and much like the shows that you are saying it wasn't. Nice easy, by the books storylines -sitcom punchlines, fairly easy to read/define characters that come off as charicatures of their former selves. Even if the main storyline of Audrey and Cooper hadn't been nixed (the next driving force sited by Peyton, along/coupled with Windom Earl's plot) the need to rush and fill a quota of episodes for the season still would have given it a different feel than the earlier episodes.
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Postby Red Room » Sat May 05, 2007 7:34 am

sloclub wrote:Thanks for the support Red Room. At least some of us are open minded enough to trust the show as a whole to entertain and maybe even enlighten.

No need to thank me Slocub, as I'm simply giving my view (as are others) - but thank you anyway... :-)

Clearly there are some (many?) here who strongly disagree with me, but that's the nature of these types of places... I don't mind a debate - but I do mind being told that my considered view is "wrong".

Ultimately, I've decided that it's just not worth trying to convince people that Season 2 can be enjoyed for what it is without the need to focus on everything that is (apparently) wrong with it. If someone already feels that it was a horrible mistake, then they're unlikely to change that viewpoint, which is abolutely fine by me - however I won't trawl through these Season 2 threads anymore, as the level of nitpicking potentially spoils my future enjoyment and brings me down somewhat...

I come to these boards as a fan of David's work. I haven't the time or energy to spend hours looking for minute differences in framing, etc. Sure, there are some things I feel work better than others, but ultimately I love the work, otherwise I wouldn't be here.

I am also sensing that there is a hint of a clique, of which I'm not necessarily part of I don't post on numerous Lynch sites, only this one, (despite being a huge long-term fan of David's work across various mediums), as I haven't the time or inclination ' This seems to have 'some' bearing on the level of attention one's posts can receive... ;-) ;-)
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Postby sloclub » Sun May 06, 2007 10:24 pm

Audrey Horne wrote:oh no, no, no -my problem with parts of the second season (or giant chunks of it) is that it actually was becoming too logical, and much like the shows that you are saying it wasn't. Nice easy, by the books storylines -sitcom punchlines, fairly easy to read/define characters that come off as charicatures of their former selves. Even if the main storyline of Audrey and Cooper hadn't been nixed (the next driving force sited by Peyton, along/coupled with Windom Earl's plot) the need to rush and fill a quota of episodes for the season still would have given it a different feel than the earlier episodes.


That makes sense to a degree. I mean, I see your point, up to a point. I agree that some of the story lines that were more Peyton Place could have taken in a truely innovative direction. I don't think there's any harm in starting with a standard story just so long as you show what can really be done with it. Most people thought TP was "weird for weird's sake" and that was what turned them off.

I just finished watching Season 2. I want to go buy one of those plasma TV's and watch it again. I thought the Miss TP Pagent was hilarious. I laughed all through that part. And Lucy's dance was sexy as all heck. If Kimmy Robertson comes back to town when the Alamo Draft House (a local art house theater) does another TP event, and she's not married, I'm gonna take that chick on a date. Well, if she wants to go. Cuz I'm not Windom Earle.
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Postby Audrey Horne » Tue May 08, 2007 8:26 pm

Most people thought TP was "weird for weird's sake" and that was what turned them off.


Of course. But I also think some of the directors and writers of the second season also thought just make it weird to make it Twin Peaks, and were completely missing the point of the original idea. I don't think Frost and Lynch set out to make a weird, zany show. Instead they were exploring things and pushing things that happen in everyday life and not set to the standard expectation of what viewers usually know what happens in film/tv (example: Sarah's grief on learning Laura is dead lingers too long on her screams and sobs. Like in real life, there is no fadeout or cut to the next scene, so her grief transforms into something else, and it becomes truly fascinating to watch.)

Back then, I wasn't really concerned with the dip in quality because myself and everyone else I knew was watching to see what would happen between Cooper and Audrey and let other things slide. But now, looking back at it, I see so many things that are just sloppy writing and seems like laziness -but I kind of don't mind it because it leaves it open ended to me -like the show could still go on and keep living -instead of it being viewed as perfect. I've had talks about where it veers off, and it leads to great discussions, and keeps giving it new life. Does that make any sense?
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Postby sloclub » Wed May 09, 2007 12:08 am

Audrey Horne wrote:
Most people thought TP was "weird for weird's sake" and that was what turned them off.


Of course. But I also think some of the directors and writers of the second season also thought just make it weird to make it Twin Peaks, and were completely missing the point of the original idea. I don't think Frost and Lynch set out to make a weird, zany show. Instead they were exploring things and pushing things that happen in everyday life and not set to the standard expectation of what viewers usually know what happens in film/tv (example: Sarah's grief on learning Laura is dead lingers too long on her screams and sobs. Like in real life, there is no fadeout or cut to the next scene, so her grief transforms into something else, and it becomes truly fascinating to watch.)

Back then, I wasn't really concerned with the dip in quality because myself and everyone else I knew was watching to see what would happen between Cooper and Audrey and let other things slide. But now, looking back at it, I see so many things that are just sloppy writing and seems like laziness -but I kind of don't mind it because it leaves it open ended to me -like the show could still go on and keep living -instead of it being viewed as perfect. I've had talks about where it veers off, and it leads to great discussions, and keeps giving it new life. Does that make any sense?


What you say makes sense and I agree with what you say about DL and MF's intentions for TP. I submit that additionally DL was experimenting with story sturcture. While some writers have bemoaned the perspection that they are bound to story structure-every story has a beginning, middle and an end- which they solve by rerranging story elements, DL took an idea from sitcoms. Technically speaking sitcoms are 2 act plays that don't resolve the central story dilemma so that the Hillbillies stay in Bevery Hills and Seinfeld doesn't find love and so on. DL tried to maintain that circular story structure so that there was a beginning and a middle then another beginning instead of an end. Since this isn't a story structure the human brain can handle it came off as confusing, zany, weird. But if you could go along with TP, it was very cool. If you couldn't, well, yeah. I submit that upsetting expections threw a lot of people off. Taking the rules away was very disconcerting and not just for the casual viewer but for us hardcore fans as well.
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Postby iar » Sun May 13, 2007 3:55 am

Perhaps I can add a view from a slightly different standpoint. I've just finished watching Season 2 for the first time..no time to think it over for years and years...just my first impressions.

I loved the first half of the series, up until around episode 14..there were some great moments and it still retained that undefinable spirit of TP. However, the second half, whilst still superior to the majority of TV programmes, was undeniably inferior to the first series.
I didnt enjoy all of the Window Earle episodes. It could have been great, but the writers and directors of that time turned him into a comic book character. On top of this, there were far too many characters and storylines which didnt seem to fit together comfortably in to the spirit of TP.

The final episode was, however, brilliant. It was frightening, confusing, surreal and the spirit of TP returned.

I dont know how else to explain this than the departure and subsequent return of David Lynch. Whilst I do not want to underestimate the work of other writers and directors and give too much credit to Mr Lynch, he has an undeniable talent for making some good in to something brilliant.

For example, when Windom Earle is leading Annie into the Black Lodge in the final episode, he suddenly becomes a FRIGHTENING character. Why? Because he's understated and more real than in previous episodes. As someone mentioned in an early post, I dont think David Lynch and Mark Frost wanted to make something intentionally wierd. Their aims seem to have been to push REAL human emotion and experience. The writers of the second series seem to have missed the point slightly.

Big question: Why wasn't more made of Mrs Tremond???? Donna in Mrs Tremond's house was one of my favourite parts. I dont think they exploited that, or Harold Smith's potential to its fullest. Any thoughts?

Does anyone know exactly what Mr Lynch's participation in Series 2 was? I understand that he was there at the beginning and end, but what about, say episode 14?

Nevertheless, the whole series was enjoyable and in comparison with other programmes, even in its low points, it was better than most.
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Postby Audrey Horne » Mon May 14, 2007 9:43 am

It's a tricky problem.

For the point of not sounding like I'm just bitching and moaning, Twin Peaks is usually mentioned for every new innovative television show as to how to avoid the trap of failure the further it goes on. Lost is the most obvious example -when it's reported on about losing its audience, Twin Peaks is usually cited. So, I think it's a valid point to debate the second season from that vantage point.

From a subjective, indifferent perspective, could Twin Peaks work at that time to carry on as a successful (ie. nielson viewers) show? I'm not sure that it could no matter how strong the content.

What could hook viewers/average viewers to make them come back again and again? The Laura McGuffin was so strong and it's hard to come up with something else to replace it and not seem like a contrievance.

Obviously, romance is the most logical selling point of most tv shows at the time, and still is -the will they or won't they get together. The Cooper/Audrey relationship was for most fans the constant other than Laura (print ads/the commercials all sold promoted this) -but even this would need something stronger to compliment it.

My gut tells me is to reveal the killer (Leland) but not to have the characters discover this. And let Leland just keep going as a regular character -even lovable, grieving Leland. The tension of when will he snap/strike again could be interesting. Keep going darker with all the characters with no easy out. Ben's dissent into madness is fine but became nothing but comic -keep people still falling into Laura's path of history and leading them into facing thier own pathos. (Donna's meals on wheels meeing Mrs. Tremond) how they can all become/are Laura. Keep this Black Lodge, but what is it really? How one can get sucked into it, and is it a place or just the dark reflection of one's self. Does BOB exist, or is he a part of all of us, we're all capable of anything etc. Windom Earle is good, I think and Kenneth Walsh (god bless him) did great with what he had to work with -but keep it simple and a slow burn for the tension.

A great example to me of simplicity yet speaking volumes is Lynch's last scene with Nadine/Ed/Norma -just a simple triangle- yet it's heartbreaking because it really explored the truth -with no forced contrievences. Just watching human nature.
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Postby sloclub » Wed May 16, 2007 12:23 am

Audrey Horne wrote:It's a tricky problem.

For the point of not sounding like I'm just bitching and moaning, Twin Peaks is usually mentioned for every new innovative television show as to how to avoid the trap of failure the further it goes on. Lost is the most obvious example -when it's reported on about losing its audience, Twin Peaks is usually cited. So, I think it's a valid point to debate the second season from that vantage point.

From a subjective, indifferent perspective, could Twin Peaks work at that time to carry on as a successful (ie. nielson viewers) show? I'm not sure that it could no matter how strong the content.

What could hook viewers/average viewers to make them come back again and again? The Laura McGuffin was so strong and it's hard to come up with something else to replace it and not seem like a contrievance.

Obviously, romance is the most logical selling point of most tv shows at the time, and still is -the will they or won't they get together. The Cooper/Audrey relationship was for most fans the constant other than Laura (print ads/the commercials all sold promoted this) -but even this would need something stronger to compliment it.

My gut tells me is to reveal the killer (Leland) but not to have the characters discover this. And let Leland just keep going as a regular character -even lovable, grieving Leland. The tension of when will he snap/strike again could be interesting. Keep going darker with all the characters with no easy out. Ben's dissent into madness is fine but became nothing but comic -keep people still falling into Laura's path of history and leading them into facing thier own pathos. (Donna's meals on wheels meeing Mrs. Tremond) how they can all become/are Laura. Keep this Black Lodge, but what is it really? How one can get sucked into it, and is it a place or just the dark reflection of one's self. Does BOB exist, or is he a part of all of us, we're all capable of anything etc. Windom Earle is good, I think and Kenneth Walsh (god bless him) did great with what he had to work with -but keep it simple and a slow burn for the tension.

A great example to me of simplicity yet speaking volumes is Lynch's last scene with Nadine/Ed/Norma -just a simple triangle- yet it's heartbreaking because it really explored the truth -with no forced contrievences. Just watching human nature.


Would the show's creative talent followed your advice, TP would still be on today. maybe not in the same form but... If only Audrey Horne were around then.

Wait, you were.
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Postby Audrey Horne » Wed May 16, 2007 8:43 am

:D
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Postby Shelly_Johnson » Fri May 18, 2007 1:27 pm

you know, i half wonder if Twin Peaks were to be brought back as a show made for HBO how many people would get into it, you know it could be something like all the twin peaks characters are all grown up, and now they have kids who get into there own mess of problems. ..... now i have to say, its kinda a cool idea to think about, but if i were to look at it honestly, i dont know it would work, but i would be kinda fun to see who lynch would end up chooseing for mates for everyone. For example I wonder who Audrey ended up with, and if he would have chosen to keep Shelly and Bobby togther, and if he would have kept the Donna/James combo togther.

anyway kinda fun to toy with.......
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Postby Audrey Horne » Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:55 pm

any more season two discussion? God, I bitched quite a bit here.

One thing I'm surprised about is how Leland's death is dealt with -or not dealt with.

Did he go down as reported as the killer of Laura, and if so then how was that dealt with?

If not, was it reported he was possessed and there's a deadly spirit terrorizing the town?

In those ten plus episodes until the finale, could anything be cleared up?
For example the chess game and it's moves are disregarded. It would have been more exciting if the pawns Windom removed were actual "pawns" or people Cooper worked with -real pawns/aids for Cooper (ie. Andy, Albert, Hawk)

I'd keep Ben's rehabilitaion off the table -as it is, we forget that this is a man who has been involved with murder (Bernard) and is in cohoots with his brother in supplying a madame of a brothel with heroin. He was initially too dark to just gloss it over into a feel good arc.

I'd get Audrey out of the great northen -how could she live with that man anymore? and perhaps hiding out -I like the idea of Pete befriending her and holing up at the Blue Pine. Audrey has the dirt on Catherine being in cohoots with Ben and could drive Catherine crazy is she has to put up with Audrey under one roof.

I kind of like Leo staying in his coma for a bit more, but it gets more and more creepy. Things are rearranged the next morning in the area he's in. Is he faking his coma and watching Bobby and Shelly?

If Leland's image is that of a man who murdered his daughter, is there a shift to how Sarah is treated and scorned by the town?

Donna's a really hard one to come up with anything for a full arc that would stem naturally from the events that occurred after Leland's demise. Perhaps she has nothing to hang on to anymore -being good has gotten her nothing -James leaves and she can't deal (Marshall was leaving no matter what, and was always going to be written out of the show)

sorry, my wheels are turning on how to fine tune the show the way I'd want it to go down.
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Postby The Magician » Sat Oct 13, 2007 9:53 pm

Reading this topic made me breathe a heavy sigh of relief. I was getting VERY depressed reading about all the anti-season 2 sentiments on here, but finally I see that some people do appreciate it. Sloclub and Red Room (didn't mean to steal you name...) said it quite eloquently. No matter how superior you find the first half of Twin Peaks, the second half is still incredible and FAR superior to other television.

I also watched it with unspoiled eyes. I recently got the entire series and watched every episode over this last summer. I am holding off a third viewing until the box set comes out, but it has quite effectively become my favorite show, and it would not have had I thought half of it was poor.

What really upsets me is that so many people on this board are so heavily critical of season 2, yet they seem to praise Fire Walk With Me to no end. If anything lost sight of the original ideas, it was that film. Stylistically it feels like an unrelated movie. It completely disregards important story elements, and it has continuity flaws. And does this even seem like the same Laura Palmer character?

I am on this board because of Twin Peaks, not because of David Lynch. I am thankful of him and his work, but Twin Peaks was a collaborative effort, and the stories crafted by Frost, Hayden and Engels are just as worthy (if not superior, judging by Lynch's essentially solo prequel) as Lynch's.

I do not suffer (second season hating) fools gladly...

No, I don't think you are fools, but I just love quoting Rosenfield.
Sometimes things can happen just like this. *snap*

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Postby Jerry Horne » Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:44 pm

I was stunned with season one. Just amazing. But watching season two made me fall in love with the series. So much so that the story arcs that most people complain about did not bother me at all. I guess i'm just one of those dopes that likes it all. Watching the series again is going to be interesting. It's been over 10 years since i've seen a single episode.

:shock:

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