Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

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Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby TwinPeaksFanatic » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:28 pm

Being that today is Lost's 11th anniversary, I wrote this retrospective piece comparing Lost to Twin Peaks. I also think Lost is a good case study for how social media effects television today. Will fans be as divided at the end of new Twin Peaks as they were when Lost ended?

http://twinpeaksfanatic.blogspot.com/20 ... peaks.html

:D
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby Shloogorgh » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:45 pm

No way Lynch and Frost create something the mark as much as the final season of LOST. If it's divisive, it'll be because general audiences weren't ready for it, much like Fire Walk With Me.
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby N. Needleman » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:21 pm

I recently read Javier Grillo-Marxuach's very long piece about his time at Lost. I know some of his other work, and both there and in his essay I admired his talent, passion and imagination. I came away from the read thinking the show was staffed by a number of really creative, driven people in the writers' room, and I had a new appreciation for their dedication. But I have to say that after losing interest in the show early on, I watched Lost for its latter three seasons, and I just never came to like it. (As for why I watched it that long, let's just say I was really bored.)

I had been very enthused about the premise when it was first announced, but I thought it ran afoul of the same problems as another Bad Robot show, Alias - all sizzle but ultimately too little steak, and bog-standard TV character drama to fill the blank spaces. I felt it was purposely meandering trying to fill its long episode orders per year, and ultimately had very little original to say. I thought it was a number of great ideas on paper that were almost immediately boxed in by conventional network television mediocrity, along with a demand for too many shows per year, too much cozy human interest, and not enough payoff. In some ways I think the principal minds behind getting the show on the air were part of what kept it bland to me.

History may well be against me on that, as many people love and venerate the show today, so you may well mark me as a young-skewing-old crank. You could potentially argue that Lost's longevity (and its more network-friendly handling of ongoing mystery) made it possible for TP to come back. I'd just rather not.
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby MasterMastermind » Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:22 am

TwinPeaksFanatic wrote:Being that today is Lost's 11th anniversary, I wrote this retrospective piece comparing Lost to Twin Peaks. I also think Lost is a good case study for how social media effects television today. Will fans be as divided at the end of new Twin Peaks as they were when Lost ended?

http://twinpeaksfanatic.blogspot.com/20 ... peaks.html

:D


Excited to read this! Lost and Twin Peaks are perhaps my two favorite shows, but find them fairly hard to compare. I'm pretty sure most of us at dugpa will be satisfied with Twin Peaks' ending, but the public at large will be polarized. Lost was much the same way, many in the fan communities I was part of were pleased with the ending, whie others were not.
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby sneakydave » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:29 am

I adored Lost when it aired. The only show that has ever come close to Twin Peaks for me (and I watch a LOT of TV). It had the same air of mystery about it and a fantastic group of characters. I would spend hours on fan forums between episodes reading theories and discovering all the easter eggs in the episodes. Overall though, the last season let it down. It just wasn't up to the same standard as what had come before. I don't really have an issue with the ending per se (I absolutely bawled my eyes out to be honest) but the season 6 journey, especially the flash sideways, just wasn't thrilling enough. I've probably watched seasons 1-5 about four times each. I don't think I've ever rewatched season 6. I think that says it all.

I still class it as my second favourite show of all time, though. So many good memories from being a fan of that show.
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby TwinPeaksFanatic » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:49 am

It was hard to compare them lol

My thinking was how can I justify talking a lot about Lost on my Twin Peaks blog, so I did my best to find connections between them.

I think what come out of it was that Lost is a terrific example of mysteries getting too convoluted and what happens when a show is subjected to the critiquing of social media.
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby Shloogorgh » Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:17 am

sneakydave wrote:I adored Lost when it aired. The only show that has ever come close to Twin Peaks for me (and I watch a LOT of TV). It had the same air of mystery about it and a fantastic group of characters. I would spend hours on fan forums between episodes reading theories and discovering all the easter eggs in the episodes. Overall though, the last season let it down. It just wasn't up to the same standard as what had come before. I don't really have an issue with the ending per se (I absolutely bawled my eyes out to be honest) but the season 6 journey, especially the flash sideways, just wasn't thrilling enough. I've probably watched seasons 1-5 about four times each. I don't think I've ever rewatched season 6. I think that says it all.

I still class it as my second favourite show of all time, though. So many good memories from being a fan of that show.


I definitely agree that it was less the ending that was the problem than the last season as a whole. The finale was actually a highlight of a terribly plodding season. Island stuff felt like it was spinning its wheels instead of moving to wrap things up. When it did kill off characters it felt obligatory rather than organic conclusions. And the flash sideways felt like fan service that never tied in in any meaningful way.

I loved the show, especially the fan community around the show, but the last season soured my opinion so much that it's hard to rank it among my favorites. Maybe one day I'll go back and watch it and it will rekindle my early interest, but for now it's a tale of what could have been.
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby TwinPeaksFanatic » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:49 am

I agree that season 6 was a big let down, but my love for Lost was so feverish and seasons 1-5 were very good, that it's still one of my favorites. For me Lost truly ends with the season 5 finale and the "incident".

I own the season 6 DVD set but never unwrapped it. Like you guys, I probably watched seasons 1-5, five or six times but can't bring myself to there again with season 6. Maybe one day.

Regardless how bad Lost was at the end, season 2 of Twin Peaks had some awful moments too. I think Evelyn Marsh might be the worst plot on any show ever. That is my opinion, but I think most fans agree. The Diane Keaton directed episode is TP's lowest point for me, yet Twin Peaks is my favorite show of all time.

Any show can go wrong. And I agree that new Twin Peaks will probably delight the die hard fans, but will turn off those who tune out of curiosity. :|
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby Jonah » Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:16 am

I loved LOST - never to the same extent as I love Twin Peaks, but I was definitely hooked, and I'm not someone who watches many TV shows. I remember giving up at some point early in Season 3, but coming back to it again a few months later and sticking with it until the end.

But like many here, I was very disappointed with Season 6 - and though I remember much of it quite well, it's the ONLY season I never rewatched, even though I bought it at the time on DVD. Maybe some day I'll rewatch the show, and include that last season, but I wouldn't be surprised if I stopped at the end of Season 5, with the scene of Juliet hitting the bomb. It just never really surpassed itself beyond that point, IMO.

Season 6 had its moments, I suppose, but they were few and far between and overall it was very weak. I loved the opening scene - the island underwater - but after that the whole concept of the flashsideways just felt off to me. As someone else here commented, very much like fan service almost. I wasn't entirely disappointed about the lack of so many answers - but I was a bit bothered by the haphazard way some of them were handled ...

(EDIT - NOTE: SOME SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T SEEN SEASON 6. COULDN'T ADD SPOILER TAGS BELOW.)

....the whispers revelation in particular (with Hurley just conveniently and suddenly going "hmm, I think I know what these are") was dire, and the tacked on "New Man in Charge" felt out of place too and should have been melded into the final few episodes. The very end itself didn't entirely bother me - I thought Jack's scenes on the island were quite poignant, though I'm torn on the church scene, a part of me feels it was beautiful and I'm definitely someone intrigued by and open to the idea of an afterlife - but another part of me thought it was all a bit cheesy, at least the way it was handled, as one reviewer at the time put it - to paraphrase - like a bunch of beautiful Hollywood actors grinning at each other at a wrap party.

Overall, I think they could have done a lot more with the show. I would actually have liked a Season 7. Or to have seen a version of LOST that ran on a cable channel and had only 12 episodes a year.
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby TwinPeaksFanatic » Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:03 am

I agree with you totally Jonah and laughed at the "wrap party" comment.

Personally I hated the church scene, but not because I'm not interested in the afterlife. To me, I think Lost would have been better off ending in a more science fiction type of way. The church scene was too conventional for Lost.

Twin Peaks dealt with questions about the afterlife, spirit life, etc. too, but it was told in a very unique way. The dugpa mythology, doppelgangers, lodges, etc. its so intriguing and especially for it's time, the ideas were fresh. Plus David's surreal style can not be outdone by anyone.

Lost had a freshness as well, but it just seemed like the writer's didn't know what to do with what they had at the end and went for a cliche'.
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby Jonah » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:40 pm

Yes, absolutely. I think also they created too many mysteries more for the sake of generating mystery than for atmosphere. I certainly didn't want everything answered - I love ambiguity - but nonetheless LOST always felt like a bit of a long con or cop-out to me. Especially how they suddenly said it was "all about the characters" at the end - but they had spent most of the run focusing on "tune in, to get your questions answered", stringing the viewers along. I think they should have been more transparent about their intentions, and should have made the mysteries more organic to the show, rather than just to get people to watch the show. I loved all the early seasons, though - all the stuff with the hatch, Dharma, etc., was great. And I quite enjoyed even the time travel elements of Season 5, and all the island back story too. Overall, I think it's a mixed bag of a show, but it could have concluded in a better way.
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby MasterMastermind » Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:01 pm

I'm not sure I agree with this. ABC sold the show that way and the writers tried to answer as much as they could (which was really nearly everything, sometimes awkwardly blunt, sometimes brilliantly subtle), but the show was pretty clearly about a group of people more interested in trying to move on with their lives than anything else. It wasn't Twin Peaks or The X-Files where the characters were actively trying to solve an ambiguous puzzle, it was more like The Prisoner, where most of the characters were actively trying to leave the puzzle alone.
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby Jonah » Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:23 pm

I can see the argument about the characters being important absolutely - but the inherent mysteries, strangeness of the island, and all the multitude of increasingly convoluted plot elements and mysteries began to appear from that very first episode ("mysterious island", "something in the jungle"- smoke monster) then The Others, Dharma, etc. etc. ad infinitum. Maybe the characters were trying to leave the puzzle alone - but the writers sure weren't, they overloaded the show with hundreds of mysteries. So it just felt like a bit of a cop-out narratively, structurally, and creatively to suddenly say "it was all about the characters" because it wasn't. And from a creative point of view, I just feel they kind of copped out on that. They didn't need to answer all the mysteries, but I feel they shouldn't have overpiled them, and should have tried to give the plot as much attention as the characters. The characters were important - their existential crisis, their backstories, their hopes, dreams, fears - but it wasn't ALL about them. From day one, it was about the characters AND the mysteries. But that's just my take on it. As I said, I can see the other point of view, I just feel it's not balanced. There was a great article actually by one of the former writers and I think he addressed some of these things, can't remember his name or the article now though. Edit - I think it was this one:
N. Needleman wrote:I recently read Javier Grillo-Marxuach's very long piece about his time at Lost.
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby N. Needleman » Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:44 pm

MasterMastermind wrote:I'm not sure I agree with this. ABC sold the show that way and the writers tried to answer as much as they could (which was really nearly everything, sometimes awkwardly blunt, sometimes brilliantly subtle), but the show was pretty clearly about a group of people more interested in trying to move on with their lives than anything else. It wasn't Twin Peaks or The X-Files where the characters were actively trying to solve an ambiguous puzzle, it was more like The Prisoner, where most of the characters were actively trying to leave the puzzle alone.


I mean, I just don't know why I should've engaged with a show about people trying to move on with their lives when these people were also trapped on a dangerous island surrounded by monsters, crazy people and possibly world-ending machines. To me, the latter situation was the thrust of the show. It was when they tried to say it was really about human interest backstory drama (which I largely found to be very old hat) and 'their journey together' that I turned off of it. And I did that almost by the end of the pilot. The show was sold and built on Gigantic Mysteries, but the writers seemed to spend so much of their time trailing breadcrumbs and leavening out the rest of the bulk of the scripts with maudlin personal stories, weepy musical strings and slow-motion montage. It was, I felt, a clear example of bait and switch. I felt they didn't often know how to fully incorporate organic drama from the very dire situation, so they kept looking inward to buy time. Instead it felt ludicrous to me that these people were moping around. You are trapped on an island! There's a smoke monster!
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby Jonah » Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:50 pm

Agreed. I think it was a bait and switch too. It was written in such a way that the mysteries and bizarre elements were always central, then they turned around and said - no, no, almost none of that mattered, it was about the characters all along. Please. They should have made a better job of balancing both. For example, Lynch has always been transparent about being vague at times, leaving things up to the viewer's interpretation, but he wouldn't turn around and say "it doesn't matter what the Red Room was/is - it was ALL about the characters". I just felt that standpoint was disingenuous and a bit insulting. I'd rather they hadn't even attempted to explain ANY of the mysteries, than try to make out it was always all about the characters.
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