Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Twin Peaks | My take on the original

This past weekend my husband and I decided to watch the original Twin Peaks since:
  • we've both never watched it
  • they have revived the show
  • Psych had parodied it
  • we like weird shows
  • ...or so we thought
Guys, this show is weird. And not weird like cool weird like Legion or Fargo. It's... disjointed as Neil likes to joke with me because that is the word my parents use to describe modern shows they can't follow because there are too many woven story lines. But it's an appropriate term here. This show tries to be a soap opera with over the top dramatic moments and strange characters, infidelity running rampant, film noir with the throwback wardrobes, mysterious characters, smoking, and deadpan dialog, slapstick/sitcom with the silly background music and dopey physical comedy... so many tropes that just feel smashed together and make no sense. If they maintained an overall tone, or music, or something... You can have serious shows with funny moments, or funny shows with serious moments...but this is neither and both and just ugh. I kept "yelling" at the TV: I CAN'T TELL IF THIS IS SATIRE! SOMEONE HELP ME. It's like every actor had a different idea of how to approach the show and the director was like, you do you. So I'm slogging through it.

And, of course, I had to get to the internet and figure out why this show ever made it past the pilot episode. What I found was the reason Twin Peaks became so popular despite it's "weirdness" was because it was weird. There was nothing else like it on television. It was new and different, and people were desperate for something other than the typical family sitcom and whatever other junk was on tv at the time (because let's face it, television was junk for A LONG TIME). We are spoiled now with our choices and the quality. Though I made the argument to Neil that if people wanted "weird" and different television that was actually good, there was this show Red Dwarf on BBC at the time, ha. 

We owe perhaps to this show that other weird shows like the X-Files and also just the faster paced and more complicated plots we are accustomed to today were ever created. I don't think that people didn't have good ideas for shows back then, I think they just didn't want to risk making those shows thinking people wouldn't tune in. So maybe Twin Peaks wasn't good (and it really isn't), but it set the groundwork for modern television and let producers know that there was an audience out there for something other than the formulaic sitcom. So thank god for that.

And guys, Audrey Horne's wardrobe is FABULOUS. Well, aside from those stupid business casual pumps they thought were sexy in the 90's (and they show her shoes a lot. Like, did Quinten Tarantino direct those scenes???). BUT OTHER THAN THAT. Her hair, makeup, and clothes I would say really stand the test of time. It has seriously tempted me to think about cutting my hair, but I have to remember that my hair WILL NOT LOOK LIKE THIS. NOT EVER.

I'm interested to see what they do with this material for the reboot. Is it a reboot? Or a sequel or whatever they would call that for television shows?* Either way, I will give the new show a try despite this trainwreck of a show. Because although my husband and I make our snotty comments about the show, WE ARE STILL WATCHING IT. 

*I looked it up: and it's a continued storyline with THE SAME ACTORS. WHAT. Some of them have not aged well and some look like very little time has passed. 

Have you watched Twin Peaks and/or the new one? And if you watched the original Twin Peaks, did you watch it when it first aired? I feel like that makes a difference to your interpretation of the show.


  1. I was in high school when this came on, and I was obsessed, of course, because it was different and weird and I thought I was different and weird and I had two friends who liked it, a girl and a boy, and we would have geeky viewing parties with doughnuts way before people did stuff like that. I designed my sophomore year Fall wardrobe around a combination of Audrey and Winona in Heathers (there were a LOT of plaid skirts!), I owned all of the soundtracks and tat they sold (I believe there were like Secret Diary books and I think I even had a cassette of Cooper's messages to Diane! I wrote the network a letter when they cancelled it, full of teen angst and drama I am sure. Looking back I realize season 2 went way off piste into cuckooland, I haven't rewatched it in a long time, I was sort of planning on it and now it's back and from what I've read it makes the first series seem logical and staid it is so wackadoo and self indulgent and Lynchian and husband ain't got time for that apparently so I want to binge it sometime in a few sessions if I can stand it all. I can see how it would be less impressive in light of everything that came since, but it really was like a magical unicorn on t.v. in the early 90s. :-)

    1. Ha, I love that you watched it with doughnuts!!! That's amazing, I wish I were friends with you in high school! I only heard of Twin Peaks from the show Psych and I was like, wait what show is this that they are playing homage to??? ha. I have big gaps in my pop culture knowledge ;)