Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group

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counterpaul
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby counterpaul » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:02 pm

mlsstwrt wrote:I know this hasn't been developed yet but, if this is the direction this goes in, I HATE the idea of Laura as some sort of supernatural force, Bob's equal of sorts. I loved Laura because she was a human, a teenage girl, nonetheless who was completely and utterly over-matched but still ultimately didn't give in to Bob, even though it meant dying.


I totally understand, and share, your distaste of the idea of Laura being some kind of literal supernatural force. I just really, really don't see that happening.

The key, to me, is to keep in mind that TPTR is Coop's story. Cooper is lost. He's not even sure who he is right now (is he a monster? a schlub? a total shell? does the person he was as a younger man even exist anymore?--it's a terrifyingly open question for Coop at this point in his life), but Laura's presence is hope for him because she fought the darkness and confusion that overwhelmed him 25 years ago.

Laura--a very human, profoundly hurting teenage girl who, yes, was utterly overmatched but still ultimately didn't give in even though it meant dying--is who Coop can look to for strength. It is in this way that Laura is a force--a human, not a supernatural, force.
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Venus » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:49 pm

N. Needleman wrote:I think there is warmth there, though. YMMV.

I don't think there is so I guess we can agree to disagree
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby counterpaul » Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:22 pm

Venus wrote:
N. Needleman wrote:I think there is warmth there, though. YMMV.

I don't think there is so I guess we can agree to disagree


I, too, think there is warmth. But I also think it's obviously clipped and muted at this point in the story. I think that is part what the story is, in fact, because Coop is "far away" from his warm, loving self. He can neither send nor receive warmth except in small bursts, and so neither can the show.

I believe that Lynch is building a structure for the show that mirrors Coop's emotional progress. I think he included that warm and simple and wonderful first scene at the roadhouse right at the close of the first two hours to remind us that, yes, this is where we are headed. The road is long and difficult, but keep the destination in mind. Love stories and family dramas still exist in Twin Peaks and we will get there. As Coop opens up to his surroundings more and finds himself more, we'll get there.

I think that this has started to happen, in fact (see the introduction of Becky and Steven's story, Frank and Doris's story, Ben and Beverly's story, etc.). And I believe this kind of material will continue to take up more and more screentime as the show unfolds.

Now, standard disclaimer: I totally get that if you're not liking this approach to telling the story, 8 hours+ is an awful lot of time to spend on something un-engaging and joyless no matter what the payoff. I agree! To me, there are many visceral pleasures along the way and I find the whole thing exceedingly moving. If I didn't, I would be singing a very different tune.
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby AnotherBlueRoseCase » Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:39 pm

I once spent an hour on LSD with hundreds of different-sized BOBs, from the house-sized to the almost microscopic. He's not too bad when you get to know him.

Hope that doesn't spoil his mystique any.

@ Mr Jackpots:

My view of the series was certainly altered by part 8. I’ve explained this in more detail below.

@counterpaul:

I don’t mind if I’m misunderstanding your inside-out characterisation idea and how it might explain at least some of The Return’s “shoddiness”. It’s been a long wait for a key to unlock this series and this is the nearest I’ve got.

“I really think "shoddy" is just the wrong word for this. It too strongly connotes indifference to effect.”


Look at the examples I’ve listed and you’ll see pretend indifference to effect is fundamental to many of them. That’s part of the real beauty of “shoddiness”.

A definition of “shoddiness”, again: ‘features that might appear involuntary, incompetent and retrogressive but that are in fact meant to achieve an affect otherwise unobtainable and that advances the artform in some way’). And just as “shoddiness” is being used as shorthand, we probably need the same for your proposal. IOC?

Sorry if you or others have already posted the following ideas elsewhere (they do seem to follow logically from your proposal). Once again, they’re just guesses, reaches. God knows what’s really happening with this series.

It’s preferable that the “shoddiness”/anti-narrative be explained by some inventive approach to characterisation than by more abstract stuff like the wasteland proposal discussed above, and especially even more conceptual stuff involving electricity, atomic particles, or whatever. In fact, those earlier mentions of Shakespeare and Joyce may have been more relevant than they appeared, as those two were also adopting techniques that at first appeared “shoddy”/retrogressive, such as garbled grammar in soliloquies or stream of consciousness, in order to give the audience a more direct and realistic portrayal of characters’ subjectivity. A similar kind of breakthrough may well make TP’s “shoddiness” worth risking.

To recap, Dougie’s relationship to Janey at present is that of an infant son to his mother. IOC may therefore account for us hearing an unlikely amount of scolding from her, in that this is how the ‘infant’ Dougie views her, as a scolding (although loving) mother. That Dougie’s relationship with his son seems to be that of a younger sibling may also be relevant.

So here are some elements of “shoddiness”/anti-narrative in the Dougie bits that IOC may explain.

1. Glacial pacing and dead air

An underexplored subject in fiction is the way that children’s experience of time is so radically different to that of adults. Researchers have found that those under the age of five experience time between three and five times more slowly than adults. It so happens that I asked the show’s admirers here and elsewhere if they felt the shovels scenes and Dougie’s scenes in the casino, limousine and office should actually be longer, which led to general chats about the editing of his scenes. My feeling was that they were between three and five times too long.

You can see where this is going. The three-to-five figure doesn’t necessarily matter, but it might be that IOC explains why the Dougie scenes seem much longer than necessary: to convey his subjective ‘infantile’ experience of them, which would be glacially slower than an adult’s. This would also account for the abundance of dead air and the quietness in general. Due to the slower experience of time and perhaps other factors too (see below) dead air is a more prominent feature of infancy than of adulthood.

2. Disconnectedness

This is how reality is experienced by infants, as a series of disparate impressions in the present moment. It’s only as we age and mature that we learn to connect each new impression to others from the past into some kind of pattern. Or put another way, only as we age do we unlearn how to appreciate each present-moment impression for its own sake without compulsively connecting it to past impressions and larger patterns. Dougie’s infantile state, then, is much closer than ours to that meditative state so valued by David Lynch. Anyone who’s ever tried to meditate, to return to Dougie-style infancy, knows that it can be boring and frustrating if we don’t approach it right.

3. The lack of suspension of disbelief

This may be largely irrelevant if all we have access to is Dougie’s infant outlook (another sentence I never thought I’d type). Janey appears as a scold through Dougie’s infant eyes, but what she’s “actually doing in reality” is inaccessible to us and therefore irrelevant, and so audience suspension of disbelief in the world beyond Dougie’s subjectivity becomes irrelevant too. There is no belief or immersion in an ‘objective’ Twin Peaks world to be had here, according to IOC. (“It's the story of a psyche, being told through the language of dream and intuition”). This is pure subjectivity, and an infant’s at that. It’s also a feature of IOC that, if accurate, is a pretty Big Fish. Making suspension of disbelief obsolete: that sounds like a “shoddy” breakthrough.

This won’t be satisfactory, of course, if we can’t suspend disbelief that we’re actually seeing/experiencing the inner life of Dougie. But this may be easier if IOC helps overcome...

4. The lack of emotional connection to the central character

Understanding some of the above does make Dougie’s experience more emotionally affecting, if we can see how IOC helps/forces us to identify with it.

These instances of “shoddiness” are far less evident in part 8, in which Dougie is completely absent, further strengthening the case for IOC. I needed that one highly polished episode to prove, like the floorsweeping scene in reverse, that the “shoddiness” elsewhere was deliberate. Once this became clear the question could switch from “Is this shoddy or not?” to “Yes, deliberately so, so let’s try to find out why.” [Enter counterpaul in his cravat, pale and crosseyed from too much Finnegans Wake ;-)].

But some “shoddiness” has still not been explained by IOC.

1. Some of the dialogue.

Infants do not perceive Oscar Wilde-style wit and sharpness, true, but that really feels a reach.

2. Some of the acting.

3. All the “shoddiness” when Dougie isn’t present. E.g. an infant’s slower experience of time seems immaterial to the glacial shovels and floorsweeping scenes if Dougie wasn’t there. And why are so many older women Dougie’s never met also patronising scolds?

Hard to see anything explaining all this beyond the entire show, the Dougie scenes and all the rest, really unfolding inside one person’s mind, presumably Dale Cooper’s. Are the non-Dougie scenes perhaps Coop’s memories-cum-hallucinations, a jumbling together of what’s “actually” happening to Dougie with Coop’s memories of Twin Peaks, his former job, and so on? So Sheriff Truman’s humiliations by his wife are really an imagined composite of Janey’s perceived scoldings and Coop’s memories of the Twin Peaks police dept. (or something)? This would help account for all those recurring chimes and echoes throughout the seemingly separate storythreads. It also brings us close to Lynch’s favourite film The Wizard of Oz and “We live inside a dream.”

Incidentally, before the premiere a Guardian poster kept insisting that the first two seasons had taken place entirely in Coop’s mind. That wasn’t you, was it, counterpaul?

If this is all too speculative, then thankfully we may have a straightforward way of testing IOC. If as the series progresses and Dougie hopefully ages fast, much of the “shoddiness” above starts to fall away – the pacing speeds up, things start to connect more, etc – then IOC will appear more and more persuasive.

The question would still remain, of course. Was it worth it?
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Rialto » Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:11 pm

First, a disclaimer: I have read the whole of this thread, so please do not use this post as a jumping off point to explain to me how I'm wrong, and I would love TPTR if only I read it like *this* - I am just here to be profoundly disappointed. And maybe seek support.

If you love it, great, fabulous, more power to your elbow. I wish you well in your experience.

To me, TPTR is 'David Lynch's Love Actually'. A shambolic assembly of moments he thought would be cool:

- a young man guards a mysterious glass box, only to be savaged to death by a wraith from within;

- a man flips a penny in the air, only for it to appear in the mouth of the younger man he is menacing;

- a wasted young man attends a job interview, only to be informed the interviewer has invited him there only to berate him...

Etc, etc. One scene after another of people who, for the most part, I have no idea who they are, why they're there, what's going on, or what any of it means.

There's been a lot of speculation as to Lynch and Frost's motives - are they challenging the audience expectations? Are they making a comment on mainstream TV/narrative? Are they reacting angrily against the slow demise of S2?

Personally, I doubt any of the explanations I've seen so far. Lynch and Frost are just doing what they want to do, which seems to be evoking various tones and atmosphere through a series of unconnected vignettes, exploring personal fixations with the atom bomb, 1950s Americana, or aliens, with no regard for audience, narrative or the original Twin Peaks.

Why they didn't just make a series of video art installations and stop trying to tie it to Twin Peaks, I don't know.

I haven't been this bored since I watched all 9 hours of The Cremaster Cycle in one day. At least I went into that expecting no narrative.

Episode 8: like many, I could have lived a long life without seeing a BOB egg come out of the atom bomb. Then a big golden bubble comes out of the Giant's head and I thought 'oh, he's off on a Wizard of Oz tip again'. And indeed, there was Lynch's Glinda, off to bring goodness to the Munchkins of Earth.

And the dancing hobos just looked ridiculous. Like when you watch Ghost again and realise how bad the 'evil spirit' animation is.

I'll stop now. *sigh*
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Adolphus » Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:00 pm

Rialto wrote:...Lynch and Frost are just doing what they want to do, which seems to be evoking various tones and atmosphere through a series of unconnected vignettes, exploring personal fixations with the atom bomb, 1950s Americana, or aliens, with no regard for audience, narrative or the original Twin Peaks.


NOT unconnected- why don't you wait until the whole series is over before making that kind of a judgment- you may find that the whole contains a multitude of parts.
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby AnotherBlueRoseCase » Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:04 pm

One thing this thread has made clear: Venus is genuinely brilliant at disarming aggressive posters.

"That's just rude. Please cut it out."

That's all it usually takes from her for the poster concerned to cop on and start behaving. :D
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby LurkerAtTheThreshold » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:21 pm

I hadn't thought about the Wizard of Oz thing.

But now that I do, I think that is what he's doing isn't it? The woodsman are kind of meant to be some new East coast munchkin...
Lynch can't help himself sticking Wizard of Oz shit in everything.
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby LurkerAtTheThreshold » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:22 pm

Venus wrote:
Nikki Grace wrote:
LurkerAtTheThreshold wrote:

Yeah. Those kind of criticisms of this thread are laughable at best. I doubt any of those people are really taking the time to read any of the posts here anyway.

There's two major currents to Twin Peaks; the warmhearted town, and the dark of the woods. So far this season is failing at depicting both of them well.


But I think you're trying to apply standards to something that isn't there anymore. The warmhearted town isn't a major current anymore in Twin Peaks; by all accounts it isn't a warmhearted town anymore - just look at Chad if you want personification of that! So it's not depicting it well because it doesn't exist.


It could be anything they wanted it to be. It's derived from their script that they wrote. So the warm heart 'could' exist if it had been written.


This is true though
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby LurkerAtTheThreshold » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:27 pm

mlsstwrt wrote:I know this hasn't been developed yet but, if this is the direction this goes in, I HATE the idea of Laura as some sort of supernatural force, Bob's equal of sorts. I loved Laura because she was a human, a teenage girl, nonetheless who was completely and utterly over-matched but still ultimately didn't give in to Bob, even though it meant dying.


It's a really strange choice of the creators.

It's like if Peter Weir made a sequel to 'picnic at hanging rock' where Miranda appears on the planet Venus which is inhabited by singing otters. Hilarious, but not a serious resolution to the unsolved mystery.

I've just got to say, on that note. Whilst it can be fun to poke holes in director styles and it's fair game to say what you don't like about any popular culture,
I have probably been guilty of outright criticising the intentions of the creators at various points. Far be it for me to speak poorly of Lynch and Frost, who I still have tremendous respect for, and I wouldn't want to start a hateful movement in their direction.

I think we have to consider the possibility that neither Lynch nor Frost have deliberately made something which doesn't engage on many levels.

It may just be that Frost and Lynch gave this their all, but they just aren't as flexible and vibrant as they used to be.
It's worth remembering that we're not really dealing with your average director, who would have hundreds of films in their filmography, or writer, who may also have tens of scores of productions in their credits.

Frost and Lynch are niche auteur's who rose to fame from one great narrative over twenty years ago. Frost was straight off Hill st blues at the time, and brought that police drama enthusiasm with him. I'm the air was already a bit more on the nose, since then Frost has written a few conspiracy novels. Lynch meanwhile rose his success with a signature brand of surrealism, Mullholland drive and Wild at Heart showed what he could do at his height. His last movie, made aeons ago now, Inland Empire, showed a director losing focus on pulp fiction/Hollywood glam narratives, and become insular and introspective.

Making a film is a hard enough achievement for anyone. Making an 18 hour movie is ambitious beyond scope. The fact that Lynch and Frost have such unique histories allows them a freedom to explore, and to take risks where other, more rounded directors might know better.

Maybe it is wrong to criticise this show too much, we all had high expectations. But whatever is here, it might be worth considering that Lynch and Frost aren't out to mislead us, they most likely gave everything they have to create something entertaining and powerful.

If it turns out to be a lacklustre series at the end, well obviously people are going to express their genuine feelings. In the meantime, I'm going on to try and give the creators the benefit of the doubt, and get as much out if the next ten episodes as I can
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Adolphus » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:30 pm

LurkerAtTheThreshold wrote:
mlsstwrt wrote:I know this hasn't been developed yet but, if this is the direction this goes in, I HATE the idea of Laura as some sort of supernatural force, Bob's equal of sorts. I loved Laura because she was a human, a teenage girl, nonetheless who was completely and utterly over-matched but still ultimately didn't give in to Bob, even though it meant dying.


It's a really strange choice of the creators.

It's like if Peter Weir made a sequel to 'picnic at hanging rock' where Miranda appears on the planet Venus which is inhabited by singing otters. Hilarious, but not a serious resolution to the unsolved mystery.

I've just got to say, on that note. Whilst it can be fun to poke holes in director styles and it's fair game to say what you don't like about any popular culture,
I have probably been guilty of outright criticising the intentions of the creators at various points. Far be it for me to speak poorly of Lynch and Frost, who I still have tremendous respect for, and I wouldn't want to start a hateful movement in their direction.

I think we have to consider the possibility that neither Lynch nor Frost have deliberately made something which doesn't engage on many levels.


It's been engaging me in various levels since it began- but I can understand why it isn't everyone's cup of tea.
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Adolphus » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:32 pm

LurkerAtTheThreshold wrote:
Venus wrote:
Nikki Grace wrote:
But I think you're trying to apply standards to something that isn't there anymore. The warmhearted town isn't a major current anymore in Twin Peaks; by all accounts it isn't a warmhearted town anymore - just look at Chad if you want personification of that! So it's not depicting it well because it doesn't exist.


It could be anything they wanted it to be. It's derived from their script that they wrote. So the warm heart 'could' exist if it had been written.


This is true though

It's also true that they are examining coldness and warmth- and that the " warmth " may come back in the next half of the season. I guess we'll have to wait and find out.
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby LurkerAtTheThreshold » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:52 pm

Adolphus wrote:
LurkerAtTheThreshold wrote:
mlsstwrt wrote:I know this hasn't been developed yet but, if this is the direction this goes in, I HATE the idea of Laura as some sort of supernatural force, Bob's equal of sorts. I loved Laura because she was a human, a teenage girl, nonetheless who was completely and utterly over-matched but still ultimately didn't give in to Bob, even though it meant dying.


It's a really strange choice of the creators.

It's like if Peter Weir made a sequel to 'picnic at hanging rock' where Miranda appears on the planet Venus which is inhabited by singing otters. Hilarious, but not a serious resolution to the unsolved mystery.

I've just got to say, on that note. Whilst it can be fun to poke holes in director styles and it's fair game to say what you don't like about any popular culture,
I have probably been guilty of outright criticising the intentions of the creators at various points. Far be it for me to speak poorly of Lynch and Frost, who I still have tremendous respect for, and I wouldn't want to start a hateful movement in their direction.

I think we have to consider the possibility that neither Lynch nor Frost have deliberately made something which doesn't engage on many levels.


It's been engaging me in various levels since it began- but I can understand why it isn't everyone's cup of tea.


For me it's not so much as it's not my cup of tea.
It IS my cup of tea. I'm just wondering why they didn't filter out the tea leaves. As the leaves stick in my throat, I'm forced to ask myself--- "...maybe it's meant to be this way? Am I enjoying chocking on this delicious tea?"
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby mlsstwrt » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:51 pm

counterpaul wrote:
mlsstwrt wrote:I know this hasn't been developed yet but, if this is the direction this goes in, I HATE the idea of Laura as some sort of supernatural force, Bob's equal of sorts. I loved Laura because she was a human, a teenage girl, nonetheless who was completely and utterly over-matched but still ultimately didn't give in to Bob, even though it meant dying.


I totally understand, and share, your distaste of the idea of Laura being some kind of literal supernatural force. I just really, really don't see that happening.

The key, to me, is to keep in mind that TPTR is Coop's story. Cooper is lost. He's not even sure who he is right now (is he a monster? a schlub? a total shell? does the person he was as a younger man even exist anymore?--it's a terrifyingly open question for Coop at this point in his life), but Laura's presence is hope for him because she fought the darkness and confusion that overwhelmed him 25 years ago.

Laura--a very human, profoundly hurting teenage girl who, yes, was utterly overmatched but still ultimately didn't give in even though it meant dying--is who Coop can look to for strength. It is in this way that Laura is a force--a human, not a supernatural, force.


Thanks counterpaul, that's interesting. It will be good to see where this goes.
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Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby mlsstwrt » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:55 pm

Great first post Rialto. Exactly how I feel, like they're just throwing almost random stuff at a wall and seeing what will stick. It does seem like Lynch had an 18 hour dream and decided to recreate it on film.

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