Perspectives on Season 3 in relation to the old show

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enumbs
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Perspectives on Season 3 in relation to the old show

Post by enumbs »

I was listening to a podcast from Scott Ryan of the Blue Rose magazine recently, in which he said that while he liked much of the revival, he is only really able to view it as a separate entity from the old show. I’ve seen this sentiment expressed by a lot of detractors and fans of the new series, with some describing it as a Lynch movie with the Twin Peaks title slapped on it for commercial reasons, and others saying that this is the “real” Twin Peaks that Lynch/Frost were never able to make on 90s network television. I recently expressed some of my thoughts regarding this on a thread here:

“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 was just wonder what other posters thought about the connection between the original series and season 3. Which season do you think about when you hear the words Twin Peaks, or when you hear the name of a character? For me it’s totally of a piece, but I understand that the stylistic and tonal differences mean that this will not be the case for everyone here. Fascinated to hear people’s thoughts!
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Pinky
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Re: Perspectives on Season 3 in relation to the old show

Post by Pinky »

Season 3 feels like both a completely different thing and the definitive Peaks to me now. FWWM shifted everything up a level as well as centering the Blue Rose FBI angle more, and that's what i'd wanted more of in those twenty five years between it and S3, so when we knew FWWM was going to figure in S3 it was good news to me. While there are a few issues with it, I liked where it went and blowing the story out further felt like a natural progression. Certainly, if they'd gone back to S1 style Peaks i'd have found plenty to like about that, too, but it would feel kind of a backwards step after FWWM. Hard to go back to that vibe after we get the added dimensions introduced in the film. Feels equally natural that had we gotten a S4, it would have lent itself to a much smaller, ad hoc kind of production maybe more like IE, with a small cast and crew but more than enough time and less pressure.
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AXX°N N.
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Re: Perspectives on Season 3 in relation to the old show

Post by AXX°N N. »

Interesting idea for a topic, and one I've put a lot of thought into over the years since S3 aired.

I do tend to divorce it from the old series, but I actually have also always divorced the series into different segments. To me, there's six or so 'versions' of Peaks:

The ideas explored in the Pilot script but not quite cemented in the pilot itself
It's not that I think the Pilot is a failure, but there's a particular feeling the script gives me that the Pilot only gets close to, and that's this feeling of fluidity, where characters and tones bubble up and froth over and then slip and segue into the next scene, but without feeling incoherent, as if there's a sure but gentle thrust to the water current. I don't know why it's more intense for me in the script itself, but perhaps it has something to do with certain sections having been dwelled on or expanded in the end product through filming; in the script, things feel more like equally-sized vignettes.

The Pilot and its grounded, self-contained nature
Although I think it's more 'concrete' than the script, it's still way closer to the style of the script than the series proper. Think about how many scenes are spent on characters we not only never see again in the Pilot, but in the series itself. A lot of the cast of the Pilot is made up of Teachers, Principals, Mill Workers, Nurses, etc. And who is or isn't going to be a major or minor character is up in the air at this point, so everyone is kind of on a more even playing field as part of the town crowd. Although the absolute glut of minor characters & extras & short or non-speaking roles of S3 was off-the-wall at first glance (as a cast list of 200+ can only be), the Pilot was also stuffed with human beings on-screen.

S1, still grounded and largely colored by the touch of episode directors and the dialog & plot writing of Peyton et al
This is where the subplots kick in, certain characters become regular and part of concrete interpersonal dynamics, motifs are established, etc. Much more conventional in that there's episodic scene structure, and very enjoyable in the same way more conventional episodic television narrative can be.

S2, wildly ungrounded, even more colored by Peyton et al
The paranormal aspect becomes more overt, the plot intensifies and then resolves, subplots start to go threadbare, new characters are injected to make up for haphazardly abandoned plotlines, things don't go how they were originally envisioned due to network pressures, etc. But all nosedives aside, the conventional structure persists here too.

Lynch's episodes post-Pilot & FWWM
These are interesting in that while they're clear authorial visions, they come with big concessions to surrounding material. Lynch's episodes are always the most interesting to me in how he chooses to incorporate or add his own spin on what subplots he & scriptwriting partners find themselves needing to momentarily acknowledge. Think about the scene in Episode 14 where Bobby finds the tape in Leo's shoe; I'm not sure this is a scene he would ever draft in a vacuum or otherwise find its way into his films, but he manages to get an interesting mood going when he's saddled with the scene. I also think about the jettisoned Black Lodge scenes in Episode 29; interesting things develop from the fact that he's working in reaction to how the trajectory of the storylines have been going, whether that involves drawing what he can out of the material or outright omitting it. As for FWWM I think of his quote in the Rodley book, to paraphrase: "It's the most free I could get within limitations."

S3
I can understand why some view it as Lynch first, TP second. I was as thrilled to see familiar TP elements crop up as I was to see (much to my surprise) elements of Ronnie Rocket and One Saliva Bubble, but to me the most satisfying thing was the nature of the narrative structure, and how it felt like it was going back to the promise of the founding vision of the Pilot script. Characters come and go without getting static or frozen into episodic dynamics, and there's that feeling of collage, or mixture or medley. In this way it feels to me less like a somewhat irrelevant-to-TP departure, and more like a long-standing buried element of the franchise that went unfulfilled and has now actually seen light of day, much of its existence owed to the unconventional amount of creative liberty Lynch was afforded.
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LateReg
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Re: Perspectives on Season 3 in relation to the old show

Post by LateReg »

Geez, Axxon. Talk about a perspective. Very unique approach and eye-opening, especially the way the thoughts flowed full circle to lead from the pilot script all the way back to The Return, and everything in between, perhaps homing in on the specifics of what Lynch may actually mean when he says that the pilot is Twin Peaks to him and his journey to get back to that purity.
enumbs
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Re: Perspectives on Season 3 in relation to the old show

Post by enumbs »

Yeah, a great post indeed. I’ll have to take a look at the pilot script one of these days. It’s amazing how much of the show can be traced back to the beginning, from the roadhouse as a space for musical interludes and unexpected violence, to the convenience store as a dwelling for demonic entities.

On a slightly separate note, I sometimes wonder how Mark Frost felt when having diligently attempted to make sense of the mysterious elements in the pilot ending/episode 2 dream sequence (e.g. the convenience store being the place where twine was bought, the red curtains being a connection to Jacques’ cabin),Lynch would go on to ignore these explanations entirely in favour of his own.
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