Saturday, 27 May 2017

Twin Peaks: The Return S03E1 & S03E02

What I thought

First up, a confession. I've not watched ANY of the previous two series of this show, HOWEVER, I am familiar with many of the concepts of the show; the red curtains, dancing dwarf, a giant, murder, mystery, weirdness, Dale Cooper, a lady who talks to logs etc. Even without seeing an episode before, I know all about these bits and bobs (no pun intended) because I'm a sci-fi TV fan, and it's been impossible to get through the last 25 years without hearing and seeing photos/clips from this show. I toyed with watching the first two series on catchup, but life is too short.

I sat down highly excited about this show's return, which, considering I hadn't seen it before, I'm not sure why I was so much in anticipation. However, once I started watching it, it quickly became apparent. Somehow my subconscious knew this was my type of show. The similarities to LOST and especially 2001: A Space Odyssey are uncanny. This is an intoxicatingly hypnotic show, mostly due to the mannerisms of the character's and the way it's filmed. Everything is just plain weird. The characters, the way they behave (which even for the most typical person doesn't seem quite normal) and their dialogue is somewhat a classic lesson on how to say just enough without actually being totally implicitly clear. It's like a lesson on how to be a politician in many ways. They will say and do just enough to plant questions and confusion in you, but never enough to actually enable you to be sure you really know any answers..

Exactly what's going on, I'm not sure. I can take lots of guesses, but I'd probably be shot down by hardcore Twin Peak fans for being totally wide of the mark. How the episode started and everything in the top-floor skyrise apartment building was just mesmerising and so 2001: A Space Odyssey; little to no conversation, not a lot to really make sense of, lots of sitting around, posturing, posing and looking mysterious, but at the same time just looking visually beautiful to observe. Sure, I knew something would eventually happen, and that Tracey was really into that guy. Wasn't quite expecting them to get it on and get mutilated by an entity, but it was a pleasant viewing surprise. In fact, there's another death in this episode and I'm clueness as to how they all relate. This poor high school principal getting pulled in for murder, the double revelation to his wife that they are both cheating on each other and all the confusion as to who knew what and why ... well, every time I thought I knew where that was going, i didn't. I'm still not sure if he knew or not? It seemed he did but then one moment he and his wife were so close and the classic loving couple and the next they were really like worst enemies. Amazing how that turned around. And the body which is of two people? The lady he supposedly murdered? Does that relate to poor Tracy and the lad in the skyscraper? Who knows.

Of course, then we have Dale Cooper's doppelganger wandering about, being all kung-fu, mysterious and murdering people I've no idea who they ever were, but it was sort of entertaining. Why he has to have his hair like that though ... it's just ridiculous. The real Dale Cooper is in the black lodge place with the red curtains, having entertaining and quite frankly odd conversations with random people, including a tree with a brain on the top? What? It sometimes looks a little 1950s sci-fi and then also just feels plain weird and fascinating at the same time. I love everything in that place even though i don't really understand it all. The posturing. The pausing between speaking. The way they walk about. The background sounds. The camera positioning. It's really amazing and captivating to me.

I don't like musical endings to any episode so the last few minutes deflated the experience for me somewhat, and also the fact that I really wasn't totally sure what I'd been set up for. What is the series arc? I guess it's Dale Cooper and his doppelganger but what else? Those murders? We could have done with seeing real Dale out in the real world before the end I think, just so we know where we are starting next episode. I'm also no fan of doppelgangers for the reason that it never feels right or real when the real person and doppelganger are in the same scene. Never quite works for me, although we've not had that in this show yet.

Anyhow, at end of episode, I was reasonably satisfied. It mattered not that I'd not seen the show before, or knew who anyone was aside from a few characters, as it was a fascinating world with so many questions coming to mind and visual delights that I really enjoyed it.

Rating 8/10 - A fascinating and captivating beginning, full of serious weirdness.

A room with a view

Don't drink coffee before sex.

Like an episode of Judge Judy.

Don't be cheeky.

It's a talking tree!

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