Tuesday, December 04, 2007

As Your Attorney, Your Friend, And Your Brother… I Strongly Suggest That You Get Yourself A Better Lawyer

Twin Peaks Season 2 Part 1

It's taken a long time but finally the second season of Twin Peaks is out on DVD, and as it happens there's good reason that no one's too excited about it. The first season was a mere eight episodes, all of them taut with tension and mood. It was buoyed along by a mystery driven plot which, while it couldn't be expected to really go anywhere (this is a David Lynch project after all), kept things moving and interesting. The show's best qualities were its moody setting, colourful characters and infrequent but brilliant black humour.

Sadly things rapidly declined in the second season. The plot threads began to wander and the weird gimmicky characters outlasted their welcome. That said there are still many high points to be found, the unique mood of the peculiarly Lynchian isolated mountain town, where the surrounding forest is home to supernatural creatures both wonderous and diabolical, is still showcased frequently. The season's midpoint climax episode (the unmasking and capture of Laura Palmer's killer) is riveting watching, and scattered elsewhere through the season are many brilliant scenes, most memorably this one, probably the creepiest thing I've ever seen on TV (although I'm not sure how well it will come across in a grainy out of context youtube video):

Sadly, I doubt I will bother to get the second part of season two. With no central plot thread remaining after the mystery was solved the story devolved into pointless wandering. But it's still remarkable to see just how much influence this series had on those that followed it, which ranged from The X-Files to Lost and include many others. These shows are quite clearly the direct successors to this one in atmosphere, style and in their deliberately cruel manipulation of their audiences with mysteries that are never truly meant to be solved (I swear they even reuse half the music from Twin Peaks in Lost).

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