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Tuesday, May 02, 2017

After the Big Reveal

Dark days. I'm currently re-watching Twin Peaks, and I have reached the show's nadir - the run of about a half-dozen episodes in between the big mid-season reveal of Laura Palmer's killer (and the killer's fate) and the return to greatness of the last handful of episodes before cancellation.

This low point features heavy emphasis on storylines no one cared about, including little Nicky, James Hurley's pseudo-noir escapade, and Benjamin Horne's brief descent into Civil War insanity. The hiatus of David Lynch and Mark Frost is keenly felt as the show descends into embarrassing sitcom tropes - not even the actors can save the material, though they try valiantly.

I think I'm through the worst of it now; the offending storylines all wrapped up in the latest episode I re-watched, so that should mean a return to more interesting material, such as the mystery of the Black Lodge and the unfolding plot of Dale Cooper's nemesis, Windom Earle.

I'm amazed by how quickly this show went from masterpiece to embarrassment, then (almost) back again in the space of just a few episodes. Thankfully, Lynch and Frost are fully invested in all 18 episodes of the forthcoming season three, so the new material should be a little more consistent, even if it fails to achieve the greatness of the first season and the better parts of the second season. 

1 comment:

Jeff Shyluk said...

Diane Keaton stands as the signpost at the end of Twin Peak's bumpy road. After that, the show begins to improve again. I recall that the network had little faith in the show and that the Gulf War was causing a lot of grief at the time. The time slot was as fluid as the cherry juice in one of those damned fine Double R pies.

Without knowledge of those things, I would still find it fascinating to watch that portion of Twin Peaks, since the wheels come so thoroughly off of the wagon. I can think of few shows that could have recovered from such a dramatic fall. If they added the Great Gazoo, Twin Peaks would have been better than what it was.

Still, Twin Peaks managed to latch onto that otherwordly zeitgeist that propelled the early seasons of The X-Files: heady stuff indeed, and perfect storytelling for that time. I have no idea if it will work today, though. Judging by X-Files Season X, I would say no. Twin Peaks is not The X-Files, though.