Or: The good, the bad and the ugly of refusing the audience’s expectations
Coop wants coffee, gets congealed oil. Audience wants bizarre irrational drama, gets poorly written and confusing soap opera.
Twin Peaks is probably one of the best TV shows that totally deserved to be cancelled. Despite hysterical hype, the first series– and parts of the second– was beautiful, bonkers, perfectly plotted, brilliantly cast and played, a one-of-kind triumph of weirdness over rationality, both diegetically and in the harsh real world landscape of American television. It’s taken me nearly a year because I have a life as well, but I recently made it all the way through the DVD set from the pilot to the last episode. It took me nearly a year despite the fact that I skipped and fast forwarded a lot after the hasty, premature and garbled wrapping up of the Laura Palmer murder plotline, i.e. the whole bloody point and raison d’etre of the show, a mystery that creators/producers Mark Frost and David Lynch never wanted to solve but found themselves obliged to wrap up swiftly when they were overruled and edged out by the network.
From then onwards the show mostly wobbles erratically between being an embarrassing but still occasionally entertaining parody of itself and being totally unwatchable because the writing, storylining, acting, direction and random, gratuitous guest actors are all so horrendous. Lara Flynn Boyle goes from a passably plausible senior high school student to dressing like an old lady and behaving like some deranged cougar in a soft porn movie. Her erstwhile boyfriend pretty much does randomly end up with a deranged cougar in a soft porn movie scenario that isn’t even in Twin Peaks, and certainly has nothing to do with anything else that’s going on. Sherilyn Fenn follows an opposite but equally crap trajectory, going from strangely hilarious and disturbingly arousing idiot-savant jailbait…
(UPDATE: Video removed “due to a copyright claim by CBS Media”, the petty twats. Try searching for Audrey Horne, One Eyed Jack’s, cherry… but as always, do so at your own risk and be prepared for some messed up results.)
… to… er, a rather sensible and therefore boring manager of a hotel, where she has absolutely no adventures whatsoever and certainly has no need for the kind of oral dexterity demonstrated above. Joan Chen goes AWOL, becomes a French maid, then turns into a wooden knob, all for no good reason. Meanwhile Piper Laurie seems to get drunker and more slurred every week, though I’d probably self-medicate too if I was forced to act some of the dialogue she’s lumbered with. Continue Reading