Character introductions, part 2 - the weirdos

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Character introductions, part 2 - the weirdos

Postby BOB1 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:50 am

Twin Peaks is often valued very highly for its great gallery of unforgettable characters.

And in the artistic process of creating characters a very important factor is -- the first impression. The first impression, the way we are struck by the first appearance of a character, often has a power to determine the way we feel about the character in the whole of the story. And I believe, too, that Twin Peaks offers a number of excellent character introductions and this topic is devoted to these.

Of course it is not always important; sometimes the idea is that the viewer should get a wrong idea of a charater to begin with, so that later he can be led to discovering the true identity. In Twin Peaks a prime example would be Leland Palmer - what do we get from the first impression in the scene with Ben and the Scandinavians? Nothing. A little more from the remarkable telephone scene ("my daughter is dead") because Leland's immediate comprehension of what had happened indicates that there is more to him than meets the eye. Still, it is only later that we start to find more and more about this character. Well, but that is not what this topic is devoted to :wink:, so I'll stick to the point.

Every few days I want to bring up TWO CHARACTERS that for some reason I find similar in the way they were introduced. A few words about how hey were introduced, how I felt about it and if you don't mind - a small poll: which one did you prefer (not the character but the introduction)?
For today:

Laura Palmer and Audrey Horne

Two strikingly beautiful and young girls full of secrets. We see them in a glimpse, actually: a body on the river shore, wrapped in white plastic, ley's-turn-her-around, oh my god it's laura... and this face of hers... stillness (like a formica table alright :wink:), her quite face is so indisputably dead and yet even stronger is a sense of mystery: who IS this girl? and what happened to her?

On the other hand Audrey. Her legs are getting out of the car, than the rest of the girl is shown. She is mesmerising and, again, mysterious: who IS this girl? and what is she going to do? The one thing we have little doubt about is that she is rich, and the second would be that it is trouble. What is she going to do?

I find both these characters perfectly introduced.

I choose Laura's first impression over Audrey's as I found the mystery to be much deeper. From my first viewing of Twin Peaks I knew I could never forget that dead face nor could I stop thinking about her fate.

So what do you say: Laura's face in plastic or Audrey's legs in the car? :wink:
Last edited by BOB1 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Character introductions, part 1

Postby Audrey Horne » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:43 am

come on, Bob! This one is like choosing between oxygen and water. Not fair.

You have to pick two of the most strongest visuals in a Lynch directed episode, or possibly the series. Both are too iconic -the plastic and the saddle shoes.

*but I'll be an Audrey nazi and point out her first appearance is not the shoes, but her sauntering out of The Grange door of the Great Northern for her escort to school.

I'll play your sick twisted game of Sophie's Choice though. I'll have to go with Laura's visage. When first watching the show, that image is the impression that will cast the spell. Lynch presents it like a mysterious bundle of flowers- the folds of plastic arranged just so. He's basically saying here's your gift -unwrap, enjoy and figure it out.

Audrey's is great, but at the initial viewing it was just one of several quirky and striking images of the many characters. And it was not until more episodes came out and going back to rewatch the pilot that her introduction changes from "Who is this brat" to "Yes, there's kickass Audrey!"

So many fantastic introductions and first images in the pilot -Josie, Pete, Lucy, Sarah, Donna, COOPER!
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Re: Character introductions, part 1

Postby BOB1 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:30 pm

Yes indeed! Perhaps I'll come up with some more "Sophie's Choices" (well-put!) - so far I truly appreciate your courage in saying Laura against Audrey... it's almost an act of self-denial, isn't it? :wink:
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Re: Character introductions, part 1

Postby B.. » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:27 pm

BOB1 wrote:So what do you say: Laura's face in plastic or Audrey's legs in the car? :wink:


Without Pete there to say "She's here, wearing saddle shoes," the vote has to go to Laura.
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Re: Character introductions, part 1

Postby Rebel » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:24 am

great topic, hard to choose, but mine would go hmmmm Laura, because Who's That Girl, wrapped in plastic? and when ya find out, she was very well known around town. she was prom queen well known but had dark secrets.
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Re: Character introductions, part 1

Postby BOB1 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:24 pm

I love how everybody reacts to first news about her... and Cooper then hits the nail with a brief "have you ever been surprised before?" (or something around it :wink:).
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Re: Character introductions, part 1

Postby BOB1 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:39 am

How about something smaller this time? Two background characters, introduced in the Pilot as well, both striking the viewer as, well, mentally unstable?

Sarah Palmer and dr Laurence Jacoby

A mother. She's not going to call her daughter for the second time. Oh yes, she is. She seems such a typical mother... for about a minute. Then she becomes a typical neurotic mother. And then, at least that 's my impression, there is a touch of something deeper in her. She is really neurotic and anxious but there is something uncanny about her, too. Like a sense of a deep pit inside her soul, perhaps bottomless. Well, maybe I'm reading too much into these first sequences but I find them really top class.

Well, and an obvious comic relief, at least that was my first impression in this case. But a really comic one alright! Laura was a patient of mine... ha ha ha... doesn't he laugh almost like Amadeus?
And I gotta love Cooper's immediate remark: that guy's a psychiatrist? No comment :D


Which character introduction do you prefer this time? Sarah or Jacoby?


PS. It just struck me that these two appear together in the last "normal" scene of the last episode! I'm in the Black Lodge with Dale Cooper....
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Re: Character introductions, part 2 - the weirdos

Postby Fire » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:29 pm

I remember the first time I watched Twin Peaks I really felt like Jacoby was "in" on what ever was going with Laura way more then the rest of the town. I also felt like he himself had a lot of mystery about himself, especially when it comes to his interactions with Laura.

No, no, but maybe she allowed herself to be killed


In the pilot, Sarah Palmer's reactions to her daughter dying was acted out so well it almost came off as abrasive. Very powerful and I've known some people to be unsettled by it.

I find it hard to choose between the two but Jacoby is such a Twin Peaks character I have to go with him.
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Re: Character introductions, part 1

Postby garethw » Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:24 am

BOB1 wrote:dr Laurence Jacoby


The weirdest part of Jacoby's introduction, to me, was something I had never noticed on my own, but was pointed out to me by a first-time viewer. While he's talking to Cooper and Truman, he's... "fingering"... the skirted hula girl on his tie. It's kind of funny, but creepy as hell under the circumstances of the conversation.

Jacoby is a really great character - and Russ Tamblyn did such a great job with him.

Not sure what just made me think of this, but I'd love to hear him in a therapy session with Pete Martell.
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Re: Character introductions, part 2 - the weirdos

Postby BOB1 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:55 am

Never noticed the "fingering", either. Perhaps next time I watch :)

Still, as an introduction, I prefer the way Sarah is shown. For me it's really powerful, the way her anxiety rapidly grows... why does it? Did she know anyway?
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