Twin Peaks Screen 6 articles

Twin Peaks

1990

Twin Peaks Poster
  • In retrospect, it comes off as one of the harshest Faustian bargains in the history of movies. Lynch got access to a wider audience and a broader narrative span than any filmmaker of his time had. In the process, he became more a filmmaker of the script than a filmmaker of the eye—more specifically, he traded his power of observation for his power of realization, and the heavy hand of imposed order (both visual and textual) has shown in everything that he’s done since then.

  • While it may seem hard to believe that the public was once held rapt by "The Log Lady," a backwards-talking dream, and a woman's obsession with noiseless drapes, the show remains incredibly seductive, tapping into a rich vein of nostalgia for a small-town America that has never existed... Even at its most pedestrian, Twin Peaks insistently pushed the limits of network television, offering a fleeting glimpse of what popular entertainment looks like in an alternate universe.

  • Even Twin Peaks's worst plotlines (Pine Weasel and Evelyn Marsh, I'm looking at you) are made up for by Lynch's final episode. Apparently subject to a last-minute overhaul (see co-creator Mark Frost and company's original, ridiculously literal script here), this uncompromised leap into the subconscious begins by stripping away all the extraneous plotlines (sometimes explosively) until only Cooper is left, navigating his way through the red-curtained Black Lodge, confronting and finally succumbing to his demons.

  • Twin Peaks didn’t break the rules of dramatic television so much as subtly derange them. It slowed down the narrative tempo and destabilized the emotional temperature. It expanded the vocabulary of the small screen, departing from the norm of inconspicuous medium shots with arresting compositions and a rich, subtly stylized color scheme (Lynch is said to have banned blue props).

  • Its longevity would be remarkable under any circumstances, and is even more so because the show fails to meet most of the criteria by which hour-long dramas are usually judged to be Great. Its sense of character development isn’t a patch on, say, what you’d find on L.A. Law... and it exhibits very little of the grand narrative architectonics that we’re told have elevated serial TV to the level of Dickens and Dostoevsky. Its two seasons feel instead like a constant high-wire improvisation.

  • Simultaneously nostalgic and revolutionary, at once emulating and pillorying primetime soaps of the era, with “Who Killed Laura Palmer?” co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost saw, and raised the stakes on “Who Shot J.R.?” Twin Peakstook the piss out of teen dramas like Beverly Hills 90210 by removing the homecoming queen from the board and scrambling the pieces.

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