HOLLYWOOD – Following six episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return fans are looking forward to it starting.
Twin Peaks: The Return has been back on TV screens for a few weeks now. And hopefully it is going to start soon. Kyle MacLachlan plays a Dale Cooper accidentally mixed with Rain man. His Dougie is one of those magically transformed characters – someone on twitter reminded me of super-powered Nadine in the original show – who test the limits of the world around him.
Of course, that world isn’t real. And the fact that we’re not in Twin Peaks itself for the most part means that the wild at heart and weird on top nature of everything isn’t contained in a township of quirk. Here Las Vegas and New York are just as weird as Twin Peaks. With his new budget, it’d be nice for David Lynch to take us to Paris or London, maybe Cairo as well. There’s no doubting the verve and ambition on display here. Lynch promised the new show to be an 18 hour art movie and that is basically what we are getting.
So far I’ve seen six episodes and here are my thoughts. The darkness is there. Released from the constraints of network television, Lynch and Mark Frost make explicit the violence and brutality that always lurked in the original show and only came out with Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. As with much that is on television today it is disturbing how much of that violence seems aimed at women. It ain’t mitigated by the humor mixed in with the brutality. The soundtrack to a multiple stabbing scene raised a giggle while I was gasping at the murder.
The drip feed return of old favourites is excruciatingly slow, but that slowness seems to be the point. Some fan favorites get one short scene or even a single shot in the case of the long-awaited Diane. This approach defies expectation, teases and frustrates in equal measure. But having endured Better Call Saul recently, I applaud the the freshness here, the refusal to retread. Meanwhile, we’re getting moments of genuine weirdness. We witness the death of a child in a way which was both tense, terrifying and ultimately devastating. The fact that Lynch maintained the strange acting style of hyper-normality made everything even more excruciating. How can you criticise people reacting to the sudden death of a child, because they’re not polished enough in their performances? Not actorly enough?
My guess is that the structure of the show will follow Fire Walk With Me and these episodes are in effect a prologue which will draw is ultimately back to the town. But by now Lynch and Frost have set out their stall. This is the way things are going to work. My guess is Twin Peaks is only now about ready to begin.