Of course, I had to give in to the hype and watch the renewed Twin Peaks.
I am glad to say that I was not disappointed. The show still had the roots of the story but Lynch has expanded his story universe. In fact, it seems now that little Twin Peaks was just the genesis of something altogether different. Lynch won a score by turning his seminal TV show into a Prequel!
We follow action around the U.S., apparently Evil Cooper has been very busy. The real Cooper is still stuck in the other world having nonsensical conversations with spirits, demons and angels. That was the key story line, everything else? I really couldn’t say. Lynch style was in abundance but it lacked the gonzo humor that he once had as a younger man. I’m not saying he has lost his sense of the absurd, what I am saying is that he now has a tighter control over it. He releases it carefully. In fact this new version of Twin Peaks harks back to Eraserhead more than it does Wild at Heart or even the original show. We do get some funny moments but these are not really bizarre. They are in fact entirely real life reactions and actions. This is good because when Lynch does show the supernatural it is all the more shocking and frightening. I also think this restraint was imposed because everyone in Hollywood has cribbed the man’s notes in the intervening years. Everything from True Detective to Stranger Things has that old Lynchian look and vibe. He probably decided, rightly, to switch up his game and throw curve balls.
Since the show was very controlled in tone humor wise, this led to a refined sense of dread that hung over the first two new episodes. Even when there was nothing frightening to behold. The camera angles were awkward, some shots were held too long or too short, character reactions were a bit too slow or too fast, there was a strange, almost industrial ambient whine in the background of many scenes. All of this added to a extreme sense of discomfort. That the whole of the world inside this story is askew and just plain wrong because of evil Cooper’s presence.
In terms of actors, it seems Lynch has cast (in addition to his originals) almost every Indie scene actor that he has admired over the years from Jennifer Jason Leigh to Matthew Lillard. Matthew Lillard! If anyone was perfect for a Lynch film, he was it. It is amazing that it has taken this long for them to work together. Most of the main characters were in their mid-30s and up. I can’t say what a joy it was to watch adults carrying the story. Yes, Lynch did cave to the “younger demographic” that the entertainment suits love so much. But in true twisted humor, they get taken care of very early in the series. It felt as if Lynch was given a list from the powers that be, he checked them off within the first 45 minutes of the show, then threw it away. As if to say, “DONE! Now lets get out back to the adults!”
All in all, I’m intrigued and I can’t wait for the next episodes to unfold. The premiere promises drollness and dread in enormous amounts.