Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:28 am

I put down some thoughts on the Mr. Robot finale over on Hap’s Diner, if anyone wants to bite: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=4145
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby LateReg » Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:21 am

Thanks for reading and commenting, Reindeer, Axxon and Earle. Nice thoughts on Paranoia Agent!

Agent Earle wrote:What has me completely flabbergasted when reading LateReg's lists (not just the top-ten one, but everything he mentions in the preceding paragraphs) is how on Earth one finds the time to watch all this stuff - some of it more then one time, if I understood correctly... Me, I'm lucky if I manage to go through 2 multi-seasonal shows (I try to watch a couple simultaneously) in the space of, say, 6 months (it depends on how many seasons and episodes there are, with the average being around 5 seasons of about 10 eps) - some of it is to be contributed to the fact that I'm a slow watcher in a sense that I like to take time watching the story unfold, so I can live with the characters, ponder the situations and savour the dilemmas for a long time, particularly if it's the show I like (and there really hasn't been any from the age of Peak TV that I disliked, or even had any major issues with them - apart from The Return, that is :) ). So even though the tempatition is huge, I avoid binging because I feel I'm doing myself and the material a disservice if I race through whatever was meant to be taken in over a period of few years in a week or two.

I yearn for the days of my misspent youth, when I seemingly had all the time in the world to indulge in obssessing over whatever held my attention in the world of TV/movies, computer games (point-and-click adventures mostly) and literature; part of it is that everything that would interest me was far from being available, especially in my country (I remember it literary took years to get my hands on some of the movies I read and fantasised about), so I was free to pore over the material I did have infinitely. Of course, the Internet revolution changed all that, but the instant availability of practically anything one's heart desires has - as greater minds than mine have noted - very much proven to be a double-edged sword.


You bring up some profound facets of life/watching here. It is true...I have watched many of these things multiple times. I've seen Sopranos, The Wire, Mildred Pierce and Olive Kitteridge three times; Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Deadwood, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Atlanta, American Crime Story (both seasons), Veronica Mars, Firefly, Luck, Stranger Things, The Little Drummer Girl, Top of the Lake, Homecoming, GLOW, The Americans, The Shield, Too Old to Die Young, America to Me, Mosaic, Wormwood and Game of Thrones twice. I must have watched Enlightened, Hannibal and Leftovers four times, the first two seasons of Fargo four or five times, The Office like ten times, and Twin Peaks at least a dozen times...I know that I for sure watched The Return in its front to back entirety 11 times (my last viewing was in July 2018).

Which is to say, when you really think about all those hours spent rewatching, it is A. a lot of hours and B. a lot of hours that I could have been watching something I hadn't seen before. And I do have a ton of blindspots. But I love revisiting, and one day I hope to get to a point where I can just settle in, caught up on much of what I've missed, and simply watch only the things I truly want to watch, to just sit back and luxuriate in the things that are really worth digging into over and over, as you would a piece of music. Some stuff just has that powerful pull where I feel like I'm wasting time by watching something new if it's not as good as something I already know is worth watching on repeat. This goes hand in hand with your second paragraph. Back when I had seen less, I could revisit more often and pore over the few things that I deeply cared about. I want to get back to that place eventually...the days of my misspent youth, as you put it, but this time with the knowledge of what I really want to pore and obsess over because I've already seen it all, rather than just because I've seen fewer things. Because some of these things more than others are really worth obsessing over.

And the way that you watch things - taking them in slowly rather than bingeing - is very admirable. It's probably the right way to do it, and certainly the classical way to consume TV as it was aired. But I didn't really start watching TV obsessively until around 2013. And to this day I still almost never watch it week to week. My interest was always film, so I could never deal with commercials, and I also was prone to just waiting until something had aired in its entirety to watch as a single piece, spread out over a few days or weeks, on Blu-ray. This is a totally different experience than watching weekly, and the way that you're watching some things is somewhere in between the classical way and my way, with a focus on the experience of the former. I think there's definitely something to doing it the way you're doing it that makes sense to the intent of the medium, and intent is very important! It can effect the way you see or feel things. I really like how you've put it, and the thought you put into it...and your restraint! I remember getting Fargo: Season 1 on Blu-ray, and watching the first four episodes before bed, only to wake up in the morning and watch the next six. There was no helping that!

Also, I forgot to mention Fanny and Alexander in the "Cinema Masterpieces" category. A day late, but the first part of that film is my favorite Christmas film of all time.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:01 am

There was a time when shows that I truly wanted to luxuriate in I would ration myself to one episode a day. I caught up on Lost after the first two seasons were complete, and I watched those two seasons at one episode a day. Same for Mad Men, which I caught up on after the first season ended. Even one a day is kind of quick, and I got much more out of those shows watching them live and having a week to process what I’d seen and experienced in each episode. That first four-hour dump of TP:TR on 5/21/2017 was incredible but also mentally and emotionally exhausting. I was glad to have two weeks before the next part to process and rewatch those first four hours.

Unfortunately, like Earle, my viewing time is very limited now, and there’s so much to watch. I watched both seasons of Fleabag in two days, and that’s really a show I would have liked to spend more time with. When you binge something, it becomes a little bit of a blur. Individual episodes don’t stand out the same way as when you pace yourself. I applaud Earle’s technique. On the other hand, shows like Jessica Jones and Stranger Things, and even to some extent Orange Is the New Black—all of which I really like—feel designed from a story/episode standpoint to feed off the Netflix model, and I don’t feel at all guilty or like I’m particularly missing anything by binging. On the OTHER other hand, Bojack Horseman is a Netflix show I do binge just because it’s so enjoyable and because I can (and also, again, the constant pressure of limited viewing time), but I always feel guilty and a little sad at the end of the season that I didn’t mete them out and appreciate each episode more, because that show does create mini-masterpieces that deserve the added attention.

I just got Disney+ as a Christmas gift, so I haven’t watched it yet, but I do appreciate that Disney is slow-dripping The Mandalorian on a weekly model. I think it’s a great business decision to keep people engaged and build word of mouth, and it seems to be paying off. Maybe other streaming providers will start playing with that model.

And yeah, the “rewatch something I adore or experience something new” dilemma is always a constant presence. I recently did rewatches of Hannibal and then The Leftovers at a pace of one episode a week, so I could really luxuriate in each episode, and it also didn’t interfere terribly with my other viewing. (The Hannibal one was especially fun because I did a full sequential reread/rewatch of all the books and films before diving into the series. It’s really beautiful all the lines and imagery and themes from the books and movies that Fuller repurposed brilliantly. I’d definitely recommend doing this at some point.)
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby LateReg » Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:25 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:There was a time when shows that I truly wanted to luxuriate in I would ration myself to one episode a day. I caught up on Lost after the first two seasons were complete, and I watched those two seasons at one episode a day. Same for Mad Men, which I caught up on after the first season ended. Even one a day is kind of quick, and I got much more out of those shows watching them live and having a week to process what I’d seen and experienced in each episode. That first four-hour dump of TP:TR on 5/21/2017 was incredible but also mentally and emotionally exhausting. I was glad to have two weeks before the next part to process and rewatch those first four hours.

Unfortunately, like Earle, my viewing time is very limited now, and there’s so much to watch. I watched both seasons of Fleabag in two days, and that’s really a show I would have liked to spend more time with. When you binge something, it becomes a little bit of a blur. Individual episodes don’t stand out the same way as when you pace yourself. I applaud Earle’s technique. On the other hand, shows like Jessica Jones and Stranger Things, and even to some extent Orange Is the New Black—all of which I really like—feel designed from a story/episode standpoint to feed off the Netflix model, and I don’t feel at all guilty or like I’m particularly missing anything by binging. On the OTHER other hand, Bojack Horseman is a Netflix show I do binge just because it’s so enjoyable and because I can (and also, again, the constant pressure of limited viewing time), but I always feel guilty and a little sad at the end of the season that I didn’t mete them out and appreciate each episode more, because that show does create mini-masterpieces that deserve the added attention.

I just got Disney+ as a Christmas gift, so I haven’t watched it yet, but I do appreciate that Disney is slow-dripping The Mandalorian on a weekly model. I think it’s a great business decision to keep people engaged and build word of mouth, and it seems to be paying off. Maybe other streaming providers will start playing with that model.

And yeah, the “rewatch something I adore or experience something new” dilemma is always a constant presence. I recently did rewatches of Hannibal and then The Leftovers at a pace of one episode a week, so I could really luxuriate in each episode, and it also didn’t interfere terribly with my other viewing. (The Hannibal one was especially fun because I did a full sequential reread/rewatch of all the books and films before diving into the series. It’s really beautiful all the lines and imagery and themes from the books and movies that Fuller repurposed brilliantly. I’d definitely recommend doing this at some point.)


I remember that 4-hour journey of 5/21/17 vividly...I remember a post-Peaks depression, as a friend of mine termed it! I could barely cope with those two weeks! Especially since I just had no idea what to truly feel about the series at that point! It was wrenching for me. But...that was undeniably part of the journey of watching The Return. The Return is one of the few things that builds that wait time into its narrative - in both its pacing as well as the time spent with Dougie waiting for Cooper to return - but all of that was compounded by the week-to-week journey of the series.

On that Entertainment Weekly podcast discussing Twin Peaks and Watchmen, Jeff Jensen points out that if Twin Peaks wasn't aired in weekly fashion, that he's not sure it would have taken quite the hold in the obsessives that it did. Of course, it would have, strictly in the sense that it's one of Lynch's defining works, but not in the same way, and it was certainly, in retrospect, both more frustrating and the absolute right move to filter the thing the old fashioned way, even more slowly than the narrative evolves.

Jensen also mentions that he sees - not because of The Return, but coinciding with it - the return of the old-fashioned way of releasing TV, and he specifically cites The Mandalorian as something that is really gaining popularity because of that model, because people are really looking forward to watching it with their families every Friday night. Is it any wonder that Stranger Things season 1 seemed like a genuine phenomenon, with viewers trickling in over the course of a few months, but, coinciding with what Jensen/I said about The Return above, the second two seasons of Stranger Things seemed like they were only talked about for the first weekend in which it streamed?

And yes, the week to week model is a way to take everything in and fully enjoy and interpret it, but my advantage/ignorance in having never felt a loss by not doing so is that A. I never really watched TV in that way in the first place and B. that I also happen to despise recap culture. So, while I wouldn't claim to be taking things in at the same exact level or as purely as a week-to-week viewer, I'm also thinking of these things more as a division of film, and in that sense taking them in with a different kind of purity - no commercials, no bad cable streams, etc. It's a weird debate I've had in my head for a long time. Individual episodes are part of the art form of TV, and to a certain degree you have to approach the art form as its own form, and I do that as part of any analysis. And even bingeing, I can still spot the super-standout episodes in shows like Bojack, and even use one of those as an excuse to take a breather. But the reason I feel that I haven't been negatively affected by watching a season of TV in a week-long span, or, as in the case of True Detective: Season 1, in a single day, is because I was so used to watching film and NOT watching TV that to watch week-to-week was something that actually negatively affected my viewing because I simply wasn't used to it! I recognize this is a wholly different way of seeing TV than most people. But a huge part of the reason I couldn't grasp the finale of Lost on my live first viewing was because I was used to watching the episodes after they aired (weekly in that case, but on ABC's streaming thing or whatever it was at the time) and I could not deal with the poor picture quality of standard TV nor could I stomach the commercial breaks! For network TV, it's such a strange thing: Commercial breaks and week to week airing are part of how the show was created (cliffhangers and such), and so that is part of the purity of the program. Yet, that's an impure version of purity if there ever was one because obviously, in another sense, the purest form of an episode would be to watch it without interruptions in the highest quality possible, like a film. So, for Hannibal or The Americans, for example, I would actually watch week-to-week, or save a few to watch at a time, but only after downloading them without commercials in 1080p. That makes me a purist...and also not a purist? TV, man.

So yeah, nowadays streaming is mostly good quality and some important shows I will do week to week. But I still generally like to store them up so I can watch a few at a time as the season nears its completion, as I did with Watchmen and Mr. Robot. And then I watch most things multiple times, so that's when I pick up on elements that I might have caught the first time. Anyway, that's my method and how it works for me.

Re: Hannibal, that's one thing that's so fun about it! All the ways it reinvents and recontextualizes the lore isn't just something clever to do, and not even just something that keeps those in the know on their toes, but somehow part of the fabric that raises the level of its art.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:36 pm

I don’t even have cable anymore and watch most things via streaming. So I’ll get annoying ad breaks on some shows like Mr. Robot, but they’re shorter than on TV usually. There’s a part of me that feels nostalgia for the days of watching network TV with commercials as a kid, but the film purist in me is so glad that we’ve moved past that, and I could never imagine going back. Even with Lost, my preferred method of “live” viewing was to DVR it, and start watching the show about 17 minutes after it began, so I could fast-forward the commercials, and finish the episode right around the same time as the live broadcast ended. I think the finale was one of the few episodes I watched live-live.

There is something to be said for the traditional act-break structure of network TV, which can be both a blessing and a curse for storytelling, but definitely adds a certain rhythm. My favorite was Mad Men, where Weiner made his show with a view only toward the eventual way the show would be watched in posterity, and didn’t give a shit about act breaks, leading to some truly weird, hilarious, and anticlimactic act-outs. (One of my favorites was Don playing jai alai and breaking the ant farm, and he says, “Bill it to the kid.” Aaaand, commercial!) That, and the terrific “Next week on Mad Men” segments that would just be completely random clips because Weiner refused to spoil anything (Roger: “I always liked chocolate ice cream but my mother made us eat vanilla”). I almost wish they’d collected all those on the Blu Ray. The irony of a show about advertising basically giving the finger to advertising is so delicious, and sort of perfectly sums up the push-and-pull between my nostalgia for old-school network TV and my desire for perfect viewing conditions.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby AXX°N N. » Fri Dec 27, 2019 3:34 am

I barely have time for films or TV (I've always been more of a reader, and there's hardly enough time for enough of that) so binging is this totally alien thing to me, because I've always felt it was an event to be planned (as in, going to the theater), or designated viewing time, because I grew up on TV guides and my favorite series after TP was Lost, which almost quintessentially relies on the gap between episodes to let your brain go into exploration mode. I'm extremely grateful I was able to start watching it on a week by week basis towards the end of its first season. But even series where I come to them late, I space them out, perhaps too much. For video games its even worse; I've been known to finish games 3 or 4 years after beginning them. Maybe 20 minutes a weekend!

Now that you guys mention it, the 4 episode dump on that first night of the Return was ... a mistake. I really don't like how Showtime handled that, looking back. I actually cried that night out of sheer pressure, because I was so dog tired by the time I had finished 3 and 4 was awaiting, and I knew there was no way I wasn't watching it all, but just could not contain or parse everything, and I spent the next 2 weeks, as was said, frought by how I didn't know how to think about what it was I had just watched, and had been delayed by Showtime for twice the usual length before I got another installment... the only way I coped was that I spaced it out as much as I could, rewatching 1/2 on 1 night a week later, 3 a couple days later, 4 a couple days before the new episode. Despite the carte blanche Lynch was given, I think this weird dump is owed to Showtime rather cowardly feeling that the Dougie stuff gets started too slow.

It doesn't help that although I think 1/2 pair so well I hardly ever watch them separate, and no wonder it was shown at Cannes in this way, quite the opposite I find it baffling they combined 3 and 4 because there's nothing about that that makes sense to me at all. It leaves us with a long musical sequence in the middle and it doesn't feel 'standalone' in the way 1/2 do. It's just tracking Cooper's progress into Dougie, but I feel like his full transition into Dougie occurs at the workplace. When I watch season 3, it's always in these chunks: 1/2, 3/4/5, 6/7/8, 9/10/11/, 12/13/14/15, 16/17/18. So you could say that, in my rewatching, I find the filmlike nature of the show essential but obviously, unable to be attended to for 18 hours straight. So I take a modified approach, and these groupings just feel 'complete' to me in terms of how they begin, what they comprise of, and where they leave off.

But this is to say, that the week by week experience (although I'm still resentful I never got to experience this, ideally, with 3 and 4 on their own weeks...) was something I would not trade for anything.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby LateReg » Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:36 am

AXX°N N. wrote:It doesn't help that although I think 1/2 pair so well I hardly ever watch them separate, and no wonder it was shown at Cannes in this way, quite the opposite I find it baffling they combined 3 and 4 because there's nothing about that that makes sense to me at all. It leaves us with a long musical sequence in the middle and it doesn't feel 'standalone' in the way 1/2 do. It's just tracking Cooper's progress into Dougie, but I feel like his full transition into Dougie occurs at the workplace. When I watch season 3, it's always in these chunks: 1/2, 3/4/5, 6/7/8, 9/10/11/, 12/13/14/15, 16/17/18. So you could say that, in my rewatching, I find the filmlike nature of the show essential but obviously, unable to be attended to for 18 hours straight. So I take a modified approach, and these groupings just feel 'complete' to me in terms of how they begin, what they comprise of, and where they leave off.

But this is to say, that the week by week experience (although I'm still resentful I never got to experience this, ideally, with 3 and 4 on their own weeks...) was something I would not trade for anything.


This is a whole other debate that we aren't having, but I've said this many times in pointless internet debates by those who adamantly claim that The Return is NOT a film, and I'm not arguing one way or another, but: At the very least the first 8 or 9 parts flow exactly like a film, give or take a few bumps such as the musical sequence that ends Part 3 (which makes more sense to the flow once you see that a musical sequence occurs in the middle of Part 8). All the adamant "not a film" types don't even consider how those parts really do seem to end mid-thought and resume directly within the same scene. So, given that, I'm curious why you end up stopping at Part 5 when it flows so beautifully into 6? I'm just wondering if there's a specific reason, or something that you noticed in the way it feels to stop there?
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby AXX°N N. » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:42 am

LateReg wrote:
AXX°N N. wrote:It doesn't help that although I think 1/2 pair so well I hardly ever watch them separate, and no wonder it was shown at Cannes in this way, quite the opposite I find it baffling they combined 3 and 4 because there's nothing about that that makes sense to me at all. It leaves us with a long musical sequence in the middle and it doesn't feel 'standalone' in the way 1/2 do. It's just tracking Cooper's progress into Dougie, but I feel like his full transition into Dougie occurs at the workplace. When I watch season 3, it's always in these chunks: 1/2, 3/4/5, 6/7/8, 9/10/11/, 12/13/14/15, 16/17/18. So you could say that, in my rewatching, I find the filmlike nature of the show essential but obviously, unable to be attended to for 18 hours straight. So I take a modified approach, and these groupings just feel 'complete' to me in terms of how they begin, what they comprise of, and where they leave off.

But this is to say, that the week by week experience (although I'm still resentful I never got to experience this, ideally, with 3 and 4 on their own weeks...) was something I would not trade for anything.


This is a whole other debate that we aren't having, but I've said this many times in pointless internet debates by those who adamantly claim that The Return is NOT a film, and I'm not arguing one way or another, but: At the very least the first 8 or 9 parts flow exactly like a film, give or take a few bumps such as the musical sequence that ends Part 3 (which makes more sense to the flow once you see that a musical sequence occurs in the middle of Part 8). All the adamant "not a film" types don't even consider how those parts really do seem to end mid-thought and resume directly within the same scene. So, given that, I'm curious why you end up stopping at Part 5 when it flows so beautifully into 6? I'm just wondering if there's a specific reason, or something that you noticed in the way it feels to stop there?

It sure is! Sorry to derail the topic by dipping a toe in those contentious waters.

I like ending at Part 5 because it's a meditative moment. Most of the endings to episodes are abrupt, so it just makes sense to give him some breathing room there with his statue. By the time we pick up next episode, day has turned to night, so it's a quite lengthy passing of time. It's also a sensible ending point to me because over the course of 3/4/5, all of Dougie's regular haunts are set up, casino/home/work, and starting with 6, he begins to go through them again. That and that in 5, Jade from 3 is resolved and we never see her again. Lots of little things that make it feel right for me.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby LateReg » Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:25 pm

AXX°N N. wrote:I like ending at Part 5 because it's a meditative moment. Most of the endings to episodes are abrupt, so it just makes sense to give him some breathing room there with his statue. By the time we pick up next episode, day has turned to night, so it's a quite lengthy passing of time. It's also a sensible ending point to me because over the course of 3/4/5, all of Dougie's regular haunts are set up, casino/home/work, and starting with 6, he begins to go through them again. That and that in 5, Jade from 3 is resolved and we never see her again. Lots of little things that make it feel right for me.


That's great! Makes a lot of sense.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby Hester Prynne » Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:26 pm

Have been enjoying some of the Twilight Zone marathon on the SyFy network. Just watched “Mirror Image” basically about doppelgängers and parallel universes. There’s even a scene where a man is chasing his doppelgänger like Coop being chased in the Red Room! I can imagine a young Lynch or Frost being inspired by these shows when they were younger.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:04 pm

Not a TV show per se, but I was just reminded of David Firth’s intermittent web series of animated shorts, Salad Fingers. He has cited Lynch as an influence, and I absolutely adore the weirdly sad, hilarious, disturbing world he has created.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby AXX°N N. » Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:05 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:Not a TV show per se, but I was just reminded of David Firth’s intermittent web series of animated shorts, Salad Fingers. He has cited Lynch as an influence, and I absolutely adore the weirdly sad, hilarious, disturbing world he has created.

I've been a big fan of Firth for a long time. He was basically his own argument to me for why the internet at the time was a promising host for creativity. Unfortunately, the situation today is so far removed from that, thanks in due part to the politics of Youtube monetizing and the overall homogenizing of the web into 3 or 4 major websites in terms of overall traffic. And at the end of this year, Flash will be officially discontinued.

He wasn't my entryway to Lynch, but I know he was for a lot of people, and he was my entryway to Aphex Twin, who is now my favorite musician of all time.

Last year, when Firth got to work with Lynch in a somewhat official capacity, animating him in the Lynch/Flying Lotus collab track, that must have been so surreal for him.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:03 pm

Interesting, didn’t realize Firth was a Lynch “gateway drug” for a lot of people, but that makes sense. Oddly enough, my Lynch “entryway” was a 1991 episode of the Disney cartoon Darkwing Duck called “Twin Beaks.” It was maybe 60% Peaks spoof and 35% Invasion of the Body Snatchers (with a 5% dose of Far Side references for fun). To 7-year-old me, it was sufficiently creepy and odd to really spark something, and it was always in the back of my head after that to pick up the actual TP, although it was a few years before I worked up the nerve.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby AXX°N N. » Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:39 am

My introduction was actually channel surfing and on IFC (back when they were waaay better) the Lynch 1 doc was playing. I had been shown the Red Room scene by a theater friend, and looking back after the fact, it was obvious how integral TP and Lynch were as inspiration for many things I already liked, but it took the dude himself just being himself, and how intriguing that was to a young me, for me to dive into his work. Plain as day, just mucking around in his studio, totally liberated. Lynch often describes an 'ah-ha' moment I know you're familiar with, with Toby Keeler and finding out his father's a painter, and it was totally like that, this sense of, here's an artist, this is what an artist can be like. It opened my eyes wide.

I find it so interesting how widely distributed TP references are. Theres probably more references to it in kid's toons than anything else. I mean, surely one person was turned onto it by the Sesame Street segment? :o
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby Agent Earle » Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:11 am

LateReg wrote:
2. The Office (UK) - It has the advantage of running for only two short seasons and a Christmas Special, but this is the most perfect series I've ever seen; Fleabag is similarly brief and perfect, but I prefer The Office. Though the fact that I haven't watched it in at least five years gives me pause, it had thoroughly amused and deeply affected me with both its humor and unexpected bursts of emotion that hit like tragedy and got my heart beating heavy every single time I've ever watched it within the ten year period that I'd show it to countless friends and family.


Hello, LateReg. Just wanted to say that I followed up on this title on your list and gave it a chance over the Christmas holidays. I was a bit hesitant since I'm generally not very big on sitcoms (though I have two - You Rang, M'Lord (UK) and Mother and Son (Australia) - included among my top 10; of the others I've enjoyed consistently over the years are Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The New Statesman (UK)), but its British origin, mockumentary set-up and an office evironment with which it dealt were big pluses for me beforehand so I jumped in and, what can I say, I ended up devouring the series in 14 days to the point where it's now a serious contender to enter my list of best ever TV work! What a powerhouse of well-informed heartbreaking/heartsoaring moments, cleverly and insightfully written life-like characters, and stupendously poignant realisations! David Brent (Ricky Gervais) has got to be one of the quintessential sitcom creations in history hands down (if Gervais never again contributes anything remotely like The Office's worth, he should die a happy man for having a hand in coming up with the concept)! And, always the mark of a great sitcom for me, you never know whether to break out in laughter or smile bitterly/choke up at what was displayed on the screen. Much obliged for bringing this total delight to my attention, sir! I have the US version/remake at hand, but I'm a bit wary of it, as I don't want it to taint the equisite taste the UK original left in my mouth, plus 200 or so episodes that it containts seems like such a big chunk of my time and energy... What are your thoughts on it, if you've seen it? Is it worth it?

Let me thank you with a recommendation of my own: British comical series Detectorists (2014-2017), which is a bit like The Office in its gently funny and delicately measured portrayal of the very British slice of life; it's about two regular chaps devoting their time and efforts to looking for valuables with their metal detectors, but is more about life, its shades and nuances, than it is about some banal treasure-hunting quests. The leads are great: Toby Jones is the older and Mackenzie Crook (Gareth Keenan from The Office) the younger of the duo, with Crook also the creator and director of the series. It shouldn't take up too much of your time, as it's only three 6 episodes-long seasons and a Christmas Special long.

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