The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

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enumbs
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Post by enumbs »

Kilmoore wrote:
4815162342 wrote:I don't think digital was the problem, it was rehashing old material. The good part of Season 3 (I acknowledge no marketing terms from Showtime) was Part 8, the purple place, etc, and used a lot of CGI and digital photography, but it was NEW, and I think Lynch was more excited about it than the old stuff. I've been thinking that it might have been better to just make a new TV show with that material, a limited series called something else.
My theory is that this is what Lynch wanted to do, but couldn't get the budget. So, he had to reluctantly slap some thin links to Twin Peaks, so he could sell it as a Twin Peaks -project.
I find this view fascinating. The Return is so integrated with the rest of Twin Peaks to me, to the point where I struggle to view it as an independent entity. The whole resonance of Dougie’s predicament lies in the fact that we knew him as Cooper, and the pervasive air of sickness throughout the show stands in direct contrast to the inviting tone of the original run. And if the relationship to the old Twin Peaks wasn’t already clear enough by the final episode, the hour concludes with Cooper and Laura brought together outside the Palmer House, with the trauma at the heart of the show reverberating across dimensions. It is not for nothing that Frost and Lynch insist the revival is simply titled Twin Peaks, with no subtitle or embellishment required.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Post by Kilmoore »

Or maybe the emperor is actually naked
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Post by enumbs »

Kilmoore wrote:Or maybe the emperor is actually naked
I’m not sure what this adds to the discussion. I suppose it is possible from your perspective that me and everyone else who loves the show is willingly deluding themselves. Maybe the original Twin Peaks is a naked emperor too, and all its fans are deluding themselves in thinking it has any merit.

Personally I think it’s better to engage with other people’s opinions rather than just glibly dismissing them as idiots gawking at non-existent clothing. I believe you when you write that you do not like the new show and can’t see any connection with the original series. It shouldn’t be too hard for you to extend the same courtesy to admirers of season 3, even if you don’t acknowledge the same qualities we do.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Post by LateReg »

enumbs wrote:
Kilmoore wrote:
4815162342 wrote:I don't think digital was the problem, it was rehashing old material. The good part of Season 3 (I acknowledge no marketing terms from Showtime) was Part 8, the purple place, etc, and used a lot of CGI and digital photography, but it was NEW, and I think Lynch was more excited about it than the old stuff. I've been thinking that it might have been better to just make a new TV show with that material, a limited series called something else.
My theory is that this is what Lynch wanted to do, but couldn't get the budget. So, he had to reluctantly slap some thin links to Twin Peaks, so he could sell it as a Twin Peaks -project.
I find this view fascinating. The Return is so integrated with the rest of Twin Peaks to me, to the point where I struggle to view it as an independent entity. The whole resonance of Dougie’s predicament lies in the fact that we knew him as Cooper, and the pervasive air of sickness throughout the show stands in direct contrast to the inviting tone of the original run. And if the relationship to the old Twin Peaks wasn’t already clear enough by the final episode, the hour concludes with Cooper and Laura brought together outside the Palmer House, with the trauma at the heart of the show reverberating across dimensions. It is not for nothing that Frost and Lynch insist the revival is simply titled Twin Peaks, with no subtitle or embellishment required.
I meant to respond to all this a week ago and then time got away from me. I agree with what enumbs said, but I was initially going to say something else, too.

The notion that only the new seeming stuff is good doesn't work with my interpretation of the series, at all. The warm, human parts - such as a man selling blood to live or the scene with Ben thinking about his grandson, reminiscing about his father, and giving Frank the Great Northern key - or the slow, aggressive diversions such as the man sweeping, Audrey's introduction, or the roadhouse randos - are all equal parts of the whole to me.

All of these moments reflect the central themes, including the contrasts and sickness that enumbs speaks of. But mainly, the idea that Lynch just slapped some thin links to Twin Peaks...I'm not sure how that works when the most prevalent themes of the series are related to time, aging, nostalgia, returning (the possibility/impossibility of which is right there in Dougie's storyline), etc., all of which are practically built-in to revisiting an old property. So, either Lynch/Frost wanted to explore those elements and then figured that Twin Peaks would be the best way to do so, or they decided to make Twin Peaks and then thought about how best to honestly go about revisiting it. Either way you cut it, those themes are naturally front and center in a 25-years-later exploration of a property that both creators are most known for. For that reason, even if you want to ignore what the creators themselves have said about how they went about making the work or the fact that they've always treated Twin Peaks as a playground for whatever they want it to be, I think you have to largely toss out the idea that Lynch/Frost actually wanted to make something else than what they made with The Return.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Post by AXX°N N. »

Agree with you guys, not to dogpile onto Kilmoore.

Quite the contrary to the notion that Lynch slapped TP onto S3, the way I see it is rather that if you went into S3 with some kind of surgical knife, cut out the 'thin threads' to TP and looked over what you had left, it would fall apart completely; anything non-TP you would reinsert as a throughline would be the actual meaningless slapping on of a band-aid. From every remark Lynch & Frost have made regarding how strongly they felt they needed a 'way back in' that made sense and justified itself, I think it's apparent whether you like what resulted or not that it grew out of considerations of what makes Twin Peaks Twin Peaks, and that if that's not what it feels like, L/F just have a different idea of what that was and is. Plus, just from the vantage point of narrative as an art form, especially when considering experimental works, being unable to reconcile things that might seem wildly unrelated or totally tangential doesn't make them so.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Post by 4815162342 »

AXX°N N. wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:07 am Agree with you guys, not to dogpile onto Kilmoore.

Quite the contrary to the notion that Lynch slapped TP onto S3, the way I see it is rather that if you went into S3 with some kind of surgical knife, cut out the 'thin threads' to TP and looked over what you had left, it would fall apart completely; anything non-TP you would reinsert as a throughline would be the actual meaningless slapping on of a band-aid. From every remark Lynch & Frost have made regarding how strongly they felt they needed a 'way back in' that made sense and justified itself, I think it's apparent whether you like what resulted or not that it grew out of considerations of what makes Twin Peaks Twin Peaks, and that if that's not what it feels like, L/F just have a different idea of what that was and is. Plus, just from the vantage point of narrative as an art form, especially when considering experimental works, being unable to reconcile things that might seem wildly unrelated or totally tangential doesn't make them so.
I don't think the TP stuff makes the season coherent, it's a disjointed mess. If you took it out, you would have at least some coherent parts: Dougie's story, part 8, FBI procedural, etc.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Post by AXX°N N. »

4815162342 wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:51 pmI don't think the TP stuff makes the season coherent, it's a disjointed mess. If you took it out, you would have at least some coherent parts: Dougie's story, part 8, FBI procedural, etc.
That's not exactly what I was implying. I don't think the TP stuff is a major thread, it's just one of many. The elements you listed are for sure more concrete and is where autonomous plot momentum occurs; in comparison, TP is just characters living, some of which are following in a meandering way the vague clues of Briggs, or spiritual observationists like the Log Lady and, briefly, Andy.

What I mean is that the season is diminished if you take the TP stuff out. Contrary to what you're implying, I think it has a function, at the very least a contrastive and tonal one, but I do think a thematic and narrative one as well.

Here's one example. If you took out TP, you'd be taking out the brief scene where Maggie at the Sherrif's Department is frantically answering 911 calls. Without that scene, there's no sense of our idea of TP, an idyllic small town we're intimately familiar with, evolving over time into something both more advanced and capable but also more frequented by crisis. Without that, there's less contrast and generality to the scenes in Buckhorn regarding the scandal of a High School principal allegedly comitting murder, and the scenes in Vegas and Montana showing crime syndicates. All of these elements contribute to the feeling that whatever evil Cooper's double embodies, the world has gone darker with it.

The style of S3 is highly digressive, discursive, allusive, scrapbooky, etc., but I think it's wrong to think narratives of that nature can't function on their own terms without being merely disjointed. It's a touch cynical, and surely makes for uninteresting viewing, to just assume Lynch & Frost spent zero time as they wrote asking themselves, "does this have a point?"
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Post by 4815162342 »

AXX°N N. wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:49 pm
4815162342 wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:51 pmI don't think the TP stuff makes the season coherent, it's a disjointed mess. If you took it out, you would have at least some coherent parts: Dougie's story, part 8, FBI procedural, etc.
That's not exactly what I was implying. I don't think the TP stuff is a major thread, it's just one of many. The elements you listed are for sure more concrete and is where autonomous plot momentum occurs; in comparison, TP is just characters living, some of which are following in a meandering way the vague clues of Briggs, or spiritual observationists like the Log Lady and, briefly, Andy.

What I mean is that the season is diminished if you take the TP stuff out. Contrary to what you're implying, I think it has a function, at the very least a contrastive and tonal one, but I do think a thematic and narrative one as well.

Here's one example. If you took out TP, you'd be taking out the brief scene where Maggie at the Sherrif's Department is frantically answering 911 calls. Without that scene, there's no sense of our idea of TP, an idyllic small town we're intimately familiar with, evolving over time into something both more advanced and capable but also more frequented by crisis. Without that, there's less contrast and generality to the scenes in Buckhorn regarding the scandal of a High School principal allegedly comitting murder, and the scenes in Vegas and Montana showing crime syndicates. All of these elements contribute to the feeling that whatever evil Cooper's double embodies, the world has gone darker with it.

The style of S3 is highly digressive, discursive, allusive, scrapbooky, etc., but I think it's wrong to think narratives of that nature can't function on their own terms without being merely disjointed. It's a touch cynical, and surely makes for uninteresting viewing, to just assume Lynch & Frost spent zero time as they wrote asking themselves, "does this have a point?"
Fair point, of course. Since your name and profile comes from Inland Empire, I will say that I think much of latter day Lynch has this same quality - especially that film. Maybe it started with Mullholland Drive (which was only that way by accident, since the pilot was not picked up)? It seems to me like he's in love with the moments, the atmosphere, and maybe maybe maybe occasionally a touch of character development or plot, but I don't think he's been very focused or interested in clear narrative arcs since Lost Highway/The Straight Story. The TP investigation stuff went nowhere (to be fair, the same is true of the FBI, Dougie, Mr. C's adventures, the road house stuff, etc.).
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Post by Agent Earle »

4815162342 wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:25 am
AXX°N N. wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:49 pm
4815162342 wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:51 pmI don't think the TP stuff makes the season coherent, it's a disjointed mess. If you took it out, you would have at least some coherent parts: Dougie's story, part 8, FBI procedural, etc.
That's not exactly what I was implying. I don't think the TP stuff is a major thread, it's just one of many. The elements you listed are for sure more concrete and is where autonomous plot momentum occurs; in comparison, TP is just characters living, some of which are following in a meandering way the vague clues of Briggs, or spiritual observationists like the Log Lady and, briefly, Andy.

What I mean is that the season is diminished if you take the TP stuff out. Contrary to what you're implying, I think it has a function, at the very least a contrastive and tonal one, but I do think a thematic and narrative one as well.

Here's one example. If you took out TP, you'd be taking out the brief scene where Maggie at the Sherrif's Department is frantically answering 911 calls. Without that scene, there's no sense of our idea of TP, an idyllic small town we're intimately familiar with, evolving over time into something both more advanced and capable but also more frequented by crisis. Without that, there's less contrast and generality to the scenes in Buckhorn regarding the scandal of a High School principal allegedly comitting murder, and the scenes in Vegas and Montana showing crime syndicates. All of these elements contribute to the feeling that whatever evil Cooper's double embodies, the world has gone darker with it.

The style of S3 is highly digressive, discursive, allusive, scrapbooky, etc., but I think it's wrong to think narratives of that nature can't function on their own terms without being merely disjointed. It's a touch cynical, and surely makes for uninteresting viewing, to just assume Lynch & Frost spent zero time as they wrote asking themselves, "does this have a point?"
Fair point, of course. Since your name and profile comes from Inland Empire, I will say that I think much of latter day Lynch has this same quality - especially that film. Maybe it started with Mullholland Drive (which was only that way by accident, since the pilot was not picked up)? It seems to me like he's in love with the moments, the atmosphere, and maybe maybe maybe occasionally a touch of character development or plot, but I don't think he's been very focused or interested in clear narrative arcs since Lost Highway/The Straight Story. The TP investigation stuff went nowhere (to be fair, the same is true of the FBI, Dougie, Mr. C's adventures, the road house stuff, etc.).
That's an awfully good description of what's going on in The Return and could be quite an adequate explanation as to why I mostly dislike it (as I do much of Lynch's later-day opus and Eraserhead). Or at least I did during the initial and so far the only viewing 4 years ago.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Post by Histeria »

The second viewing is shockingly more coherent, to the point I was constantly asking myself whether I was even lucid the first time round.

Give it a go.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Post by AXX°N N. »

4815162342 wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:25 amFair point, of course. Since your name and profile comes from Inland Empire, I will say that I think much of latter day Lynch has this same quality - especially that film. Maybe it started with Mullholland Drive (which was only that way by accident, since the pilot was not picked up)? It seems to me like he's in love with the moments, the atmosphere, and maybe maybe maybe occasionally a touch of character development or plot, but I don't think he's been very focused or interested in clear narrative arcs since Lost Highway/The Straight Story. The TP investigation stuff went nowhere (to be fair, the same is true of the FBI, Dougie, Mr. C's adventures, the road house stuff, etc.).
I'm liable to chalk that up to preference. Just because something doesn't have overt character development coached in dialog, doesn't mean it's absent--it could be that it's manifested in other places, like visuals, or to put it another way, that it might be more implicit and subliminal. Inland Empire for instance to me has a high degree of character development--The Nikki at the start of the film is a totally different person by the end, and not just because she literally becomes other people. In fact, the still-frame in my icon I've always taken as the exact moment in the film she undergoes spiritual growth and catharsis, but it's only conveyed by the light and the awe on her face.

Many of my favorite narratives can be said to "lack character development," but I think it'd be more accurate to say that they transmute certain things conventionally covered for by didactic plot and dialog into a living tone and environment.

As for the investigation going nowhere, isn't there the possibility it was intentionally futile for thematic purposes? What can an investigation do to erase the trauma that occured to Laura? Where would a successful investigation lead and what would it accomplish? Cooper's obsession can't be fixed just because he's found earlier by Gordon. I always took the portrayed helplessness of Hawk & anyone with a procedural job as being just as melancholy and in some cases hopeless as it is in real life. Isn't that what's being expressed when Bobby looks into the screaming woman's car during all that tumult?
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Post by missoulamt »

I agree with the comments saying that it would be hard to identify this as TP if you removed the TP references. Hutch and Chantal shooting at a man in Las Vegas suburbia for example. Doesn't have much to do with TP, does it? The Return is basically 17 hours of ideas that Lynch fell in love with and decided to film. The scrapbook feel is a result of this. Can't help but wonder how much input Frost had on this or if Lynch simply had free reign. The Return has more in common with Inland Empire than TP. But it's likely easier to land a deal when you market it as TP rather than IE.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Post by 4815162342 »

AXX°N N. wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 12:41 pm
4815162342 wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:25 amFair point, of course. Since your name and profile comes from Inland Empire, I will say that I think much of latter day Lynch has this same quality - especially that film. Maybe it started with Mullholland Drive (which was only that way by accident, since the pilot was not picked up)? It seems to me like he's in love with the moments, the atmosphere, and maybe maybe maybe occasionally a touch of character development or plot, but I don't think he's been very focused or interested in clear narrative arcs since Lost Highway/The Straight Story. The TP investigation stuff went nowhere (to be fair, the same is true of the FBI, Dougie, Mr. C's adventures, the road house stuff, etc.).
I'm liable to chalk that up to preference. Just because something doesn't have overt character development coached in dialog, doesn't mean it's absent--it could be that it's manifested in other places, like visuals, or to put it another way, that it might be more implicit and subliminal. Inland Empire for instance to me has a high degree of character development--The Nikki at the start of the film is a totally different person by the end, and not just because she literally becomes other people. In fact, the still-frame in my icon I've always taken as the exact moment in the film she undergoes spiritual growth and catharsis, but it's only conveyed by the light and the awe on her face.

Many of my favorite narratives can be said to "lack character development," but I think it'd be more accurate to say that they transmute certain things conventionally covered for by didactic plot and dialog into a living tone and environment.

As for the investigation going nowhere, isn't there the possibility it was intentionally futile for thematic purposes? What can an investigation do to erase the trauma that occured to Laura? Where would a successful investigation lead and what would it accomplish? Cooper's obsession can't be fixed just because he's found earlier by Gordon. I always took the portrayed helplessness of Hawk & anyone with a procedural job as being just as melancholy and in some cases hopeless as it is in real life. Isn't that what's being expressed when Bobby looks into the screaming woman's car during all that tumult?
Well, I'm not sure much of anything in the film "happened" as it all seems framed as a story told by the Zabriskie character, but I guess within that there is a story happening. Nonetheless, it has the "bloat" for lack of a better word of Season 3 - tons of scenes that contribute little to plot, character or (in some cases) even atmosphere. It's fine to have some of those, of course, but when they start to outweigh the main point of the thing, it starts to feel like there is no point. I would actually say that IE is clearer and more focused than Season 3 in that way. At least the story leads somewhere! Season 3 feels like a ton of roads to nowhere, with little connection between them aside from the superficial Twin Peaks elements.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Post by mtwentz »

4815162342 wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 11:08 am
AXX°N N. wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 12:41 pm
4815162342 wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:25 amFair point, of course. Since your name and profile comes from Inland Empire, I will say that I think much of latter day Lynch has this same quality - especially that film. Maybe it started with Mullholland Drive (which was only that way by accident, since the pilot was not picked up)? It seems to me like he's in love with the moments, the atmosphere, and maybe maybe maybe occasionally a touch of character development or plot, but I don't think he's been very focused or interested in clear narrative arcs since Lost Highway/The Straight Story. The TP investigation stuff went nowhere (to be fair, the same is true of the FBI, Dougie, Mr. C's adventures, the road house stuff, etc.).
I'm liable to chalk that up to preference. Just because something doesn't have overt character development coached in dialog, doesn't mean it's absent--it could be that it's manifested in other places, like visuals, or to put it another way, that it might be more implicit and subliminal. Inland Empire for instance to me has a high degree of character development--The Nikki at the start of the film is a totally different person by the end, and not just because she literally becomes other people. In fact, the still-frame in my icon I've always taken as the exact moment in the film she undergoes spiritual growth and catharsis, but it's only conveyed by the light and the awe on her face.

Many of my favorite narratives can be said to "lack character development," but I think it'd be more accurate to say that they transmute certain things conventionally covered for by didactic plot and dialog into a living tone and environment.

As for the investigation going nowhere, isn't there the possibility it was intentionally futile for thematic purposes? What can an investigation do to erase the trauma that occured to Laura? Where would a successful investigation lead and what would it accomplish? Cooper's obsession can't be fixed just because he's found earlier by Gordon. I always took the portrayed helplessness of Hawk & anyone with a procedural job as being just as melancholy and in some cases hopeless as it is in real life. Isn't that what's being expressed when Bobby looks into the screaming woman's car during all that tumult?
Well, I'm not sure much of anything in the film "happened" as it all seems framed as a story told by the Zabriskie character, but I guess within that there is a story happening. Nonetheless, it has the "bloat" for lack of a better word of Season 3 - tons of scenes that contribute little to plot, character or (in some cases) even atmosphere. It's fine to have some of those, of course, but when they start to outweigh the main point of the thing, it starts to feel like there is no point. I would actually say that IE is clearer and more focused than Season 3 in that way. At least the story leads somewhere! Season 3 feels like a ton of roads to nowhere, with little connection between them aside from the superficial Twin Peaks elements.
There is a little bloat in TP:TR no doubt, but so what?

You literally have some of the finest filmmaking, highest art in television, if not cinematic, history.

For the record, I can't imagine Quentin Tarantino making anything as good as the Mauve Room scene, or episode 8, or even episode 11.
We live inside Dougie's dream....
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