Skip to main content

The Relaxed Reassurance of Twin Peaks


I've been enjoying Showtime's revival of Twin Peaks this past month. We are now seven episodes in to an eighteen-episode season, and I am actually looking forward to a Sunday evening for a change. The mood created within the world of David Lynch's creation can at times be mesmerizing, and the plot is progressing, albeit slowly. It's that slowness that is perhaps one of the key reasons I'm enjoying the show so much.

We live in a fast-moving age. Our Internet connections move in the blink of an eye. The service industry caters to an ever-increasing society that is on-the-go. Movies and TV shows have all but done away with opening credits, fearing that a viewership with short attention spans won't want to wait through such tedious trifle. Camera shots in film and television are so fast now, down to low-end single-digit seconds. And the hype machines are out in full force. I never remember producers being interviewed about the shows they were in charge of, explaining what certain episodes of a TV program were about. Nowadays it is commonplace.

How refreshing, then, that we have in 2017 an eighteen-episode TV show that does none of the aforementioned things that are expected in today's pop culture landscape. David Lynch and Mark Frost do not sit down for interviews to explain what each week's episode of Twin Peaks is supposed to be about. They let the work speak for itself. Online magazines do not have their episode recaps ready to go mere seconds after a new episode ends. They are not given advanced copies, like they are with countless other shows. No, they watch it at air time like everyone else. We have been given no spoilers, so, just like in the old days that are just a couple decades ago, we don't know what to expect.

The pacing of the new Twin Peaks is very much welcome. True, some scenes are quick, harsh and terrifying, but most are slow and deliberate. We are required to pay attention. Some scenes, such as the one in episode six when Dale Cooper/Dougie Jones is filling-in insurance paperwork, are almost hypnotic in their languid pace. This is television that is not made of quick-cuts, that doesn't just cut to the chase. This is television that is confident in what it is doing and, if there is any one point that about season three of Twin Peaks that is the most reminiscent of the first two seasons a quarter-century ago, it is its pacing.

I recently watched the movie Indiana Jones and Last Crusade on the big screen again, a late-night special feature at the local art house cinema. It was great to see it again, but I was struck by how gradual it felt, compared to today's films. Here was a movie that, when it came out in 1989, constituted a summer blockbuster. And yet, amidst the action, adventure and amazing set pieces, it featured many scenes where characters just talked. The movie allowed itself room to breathe. We don't have scenes like this as much in today's blockbusters, and it's something I can never put my finger on, but always feel is missing from them.

So, if you're thinking of checking-out the new season of Twin Peaks, I highly recommend it. Just go in knowing that it's a throwback to another time, and I mean that in a positive way. Sometimes we forget how to just slow down and take our time with life. It is nice to be reminded of it with this show.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …

Third Death

My father has had three funerals. The third (though perhaps not final) one, was last night.
In reality, Lewis died in 1997. Cancer. Aged 52. He had a real funeral. I was there. The next two funerals occurred only in my dreams, yet they seemed real at the time, and their impact during the waking hours was keenly felt.
You see, during the intervening nineteen years, Lewis has come back to life in my dreams, many times. It is more than simply having a dream about him. During these nighttime images, it is noted that Lewis shouldn't be there, that he died of cancer and is resting six feet under. How, then, could he be alive and, seemingly, healthy?

Thoughts on an Election

Before I get started on the ruminations of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, I'll begin by saying I really have no clue as to who our next president will be. I've always fretted over the outcome of elections, regardless of the polls, and this year is no different. Especially this year. A good case can be made as to why Hillary Clinton will become our 45th president. All one has to do is look at the polls. Clinton has a comfortable lead in many states, enough to make one think that she will win handily on November 8th.
Of course, polls can be wrong. 538 gives Clinton's changes of winning in the low-mid 80 percent range. Several polls would seem to agree. Many Republicans are jumping ship from Trump. The race looks over. But of course, humanity isn't as easily predictable as polling would have us believe. Things happen. People can surprise us. And, for better or worse, I think that Donald Trump may very well become our next president.