Murdered Homecoming Queen Laura Palmer once appeared to FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper in a dream and told him: “I’ll see you again in 25 years.” Remarkably, she actually kept that promise.
During its two brief seasons on the ABC network, David Lynch’s surreal mystery thriller Twin peaks was one of the most amazing things to ever air on television. Sadly, the show burned so hard it couldn’t go on. Although it captivated the world for its first series of episodes, the show lost the majority of that audience in a year and was canceled soon after. The prequel film in theaters Fire walk with me was also a notorious box office bomb in the summer of 1992. Due to these failures, Lynch abandoned any plans to sue the property. For many years he insisted that while it ended without narrative closure, the affair over Twin peaks was closed and he never saw himself coming back.
Over time, however, Lynch eventually softened up on that position. The legend of Twin peaks grows with distance and her fan base has remained passionate. Additionally, many new fans have been drawn in through DVDs, Blu-rays, and streaming, and the cultural shift towards frenzy TV shows has alleviated many of the issues viewers originally had. (In 1990, missing an episode meant losing track of the plot with few opportunities to catch up until reruns that could air months later.) Today’s nostalgia-driven television environment, is so inundated with covers and reboots of other old TV series that, from a network perspective, a return to the town of Twin Peaks must have seemed like a no-brainer. Many of Lynch’s original collaborators, in front of and behind the camera, were also eager to complete what they had started. Sweetening the deal, once Lynch himself got on board, the project ended up on the Showtime network on premium cable, where he was promised complete creative freedom to do whatever he wanted, without being constrained by restrictions on broadcast censorship. As he approaches 25 years since Laura Palmer’s last screen appearance, how could he resist?
Released during the summer of 2017 under the promotional title Twin Peaks: the return, the Revival series is a complete continuation of the original show, not a reboot by any means. Even though he had strayed far from cinema over the past decade, David Lynch has pledged to helm an entire new 18-episode season, and he’s brought back as many former members of the distribution with him as possible. Kyle MacLachlan is of course reprising his signing role as Dale Cooper (and then some). Familiar faces like Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer), Grace Zabriskie (Sarah Palmer), Richard Beymer (Ben Horne), Kimmy Robertson (receptionist Lucy), Harry Goaz (Deputy Andy), Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs), James Marshall (James Hurley), and many others are reprising their old roles as well. Miguel Ferrer and Catherine Coulson, both of whom died of cancer while filming their scenes, gave their last performances (Albert Rosenfield and The Log Lady respectively) for this show and died ahead of its premiere. On top of that, Lynch fought over a monstrously huge list of famous names eager to hang out in front of them to appear in such a legendary series; Their involvement ranges from cameos (Michael Cera as Lucy and Andy’s eccentric son Wally Brando) to major new characters (Robert Forster as Sheriff Frank Truman, brother of former Sheriff Harry Truman). In many ways, the new Twin peaks should be every fan’s dream reunion.
Nevertheless, even though I have been an obsessive Twin peaks fan since the original pilot episode aired in April 1990 and watched each episode multiple times, I entered the late third season with very mixed feelings. David Lynch was in a period of undeniable artistic decline for several years, and his last feature film, 2006’s Inner empire, was a three hour disaster. I couldn’t help but fear that everything Lynch touched today would end up looking more like this than the show I fell in love with.
Sadly, many of those concerns turned out to be confirmed in the two-hour premiere, which may indulge in some of the original footage and trot a handful of former cast members for cameos, but otherwise hardly looks like Twin peaks. The first few episodes have no narrative hook to engage viewers, no clearly defined storyline, no engaging new characters and little screen time for old ones, no emotional involvement, almost no humor. , and almost no action takes place. in the town of Twin Peaks. To hell with the title on the screen, whatever that new show was, it wasn’t the Twin peaks I knew. I was heartbroken watching him.
Fortunately, the next two episodes are starting to turn things around a bit. Part 3 delves deep into Black Lodge lore and takes Agent Cooper beyond the Red Room for the first time. What he discovers is the full-fledged madness of David Lynch at the highest point of the director. It sounds like Lynch’s experimental shorts, told in a cinematic grammar form all his own. No other artist could have done it. Assuming you get there fully on top of the series’ mythology, it’s pretty fascinating.
Episode 4 is the first to spend a lot of time in Twin Peaks itself, and it’s the first episode that decidedly looks like Twin peaks. It brings back some of the quirky tongue-in-cheek humor the show has always been famous for. More importantly, this is the first episode to have of humanity, which has always been the most important central component of the series. Unfortunately, taking nearly four hours to warm up can be a major design failure for the alarm clock, which was to start on a much louder note.
The remaining episodes vary greatly in quality. The majority of them are extremely fragmented and without structure. They are inundated with random characters and plot points that don’t go anywhere and serve no purpose other than to fill up screen time. An extended comedic subplot is fun at first, but quickly overtakes its welcome and drags on, arguably surpassing James Hurley’s infamous road trip of Season 2 as the Most Lost. Twin peaks thread of history. Worse yet, Lynch holds back a beloved original character until the end of the season and completely botches her comeback, turning her into a garish parody of herself and leaving her stuck in a solo story that never fits. with nothing else.
Many times I almost wished that Twin peaks had never returned at all.
And yet, in other ways, the return of Twin peaks cannot be outright dismissed. For all of its frustrations and flaws, the season isn’t just about cashing in on fan service. It rightfully continues an unfinished story for over two decades, providing certain amounts of closure for storylines and characters that never got it the first time around, and further exploring mysteries that never seemed to be solved. Among other things, we get a concrete answer to what the blue rose means! In fact, we meet Diane! We’re talking about Judy!
Perhaps the most important to take away from this new series is the formidable showcase it represents for Kyle MacLachlan, whose character of Dale Cooper is divided into several personalities, allowing the actor to carve out at least six distinct performances. MacLachlan is phenomenal here. This is his decisive role and he is doing everything in his power to do so. The show is also littered with many moments of true brilliance – sporadic scenes or sets (and an entire episode) that are some of the best David Lynch has ever made, which really does mean something.
Without a doubt, the highlight of the season is an episode in the middle that should best remain intact, which plays out as an hour-long abstract art film and a cumulative expression of David Lynch’s entire career against the backdrop of the Twin peaks universe. Watching it for the first time, I felt like Lynch had just set all the medium of TV storytelling on fire and happily dancing around the pyre as it burned to the ground. Love it or hate it (and the episode inspired many types of reactions), the episode is unlike anything that has aired on TV before or likely will be again. That it could spring from the mind of a filmmaker who had indeed been retired for a decade (and who seemed stranded even before that) is incredible. The audacity of it is astounding.
At its best, the new Twin peaks one has the impression of witnessing something totally unprecedented, in which a television station gave an artist – not an “artist” as we speak of everyone in the entertainment industry, but a True creator of challenging and conflicting artwork – Free Healthy Budget Reigns is completely bonkers, delivering his uncompromising vision straight from his subconscious to viewers’ eyeballs for 18 hours. It is incredible, even revolutionary. David Lynch considers the opportunity to be his magnum opus, the epitome of his career, and tears it apart in a way he never could in the original ABC series. What more could a fan ask for?
On the other hand, the long fallows between the good parts often seem interminable. The season could have been condensed to about a third the number of episodes and played much louder. For this review, I reviewed six episodes and I almost can’t imagine wanting to see the others again. The series also ends with a totally crappy ending that feels like an insult to anyone who has been following these characters and this story for 27 years. I can’t even begin to express my disappointment about this.
CBS Films and Showtime Entertainment present the long-delayed third season of David Lynch’s cult TV series on Blu-ray in an 8-disc collection titled Twin Peaks: a series of limited events. The discs are housed inside a smart box shell that appears to open up to reveal the three main faces of Dale Cooper’s character this season. Inside is a beautiful but bulky fold-out digipak. While the artwork is elegant, it is also a fingerprint magnet.
All eight discs have unnecessarily loud menus. Per David Lynch’s frustrating wishes, none of the episodes have a scene selection menu. Fortunately, they are encoded with chapter stops. The Blu-rays of some of his other projects weren’t so lucky.