Twin Peaks season review: Far too long and slow, but with some delightful moments

Yesterday I wrote about the season finale of the Twin Peaks revival series and now I’ve processed that (only just!) I can reflect on the whole series.

I wrote quite a lot of episode reviews in the beginning because it was new and exciting and I couldn’t wait to see how David Lynch and Mark Frost would follow up their original show.

Like the first few episodes, there was a lot of weird shit, but it was more the slow pace and lack of anything significant happening that stopped me tuning in with excitement and writing about it each week. I still watched an episode a week but I would be days late and I’d have such a ‘meh’ reaction it seemed pointless to write anything. You have to feel passionate to write something and it wasn’t leaving me inspired.

The show really didn’t need to be 18 episodes. You could have probably reduced it by one if they sped up the pace alone. It is all so quiet at times, no one speaks, so I must admit I fell asleep many times during it, even the finale (Dale and Diane’s car ride was long OK?!)

It was also full of content that apparently didn’t mean anything or go anywhere. There were so many characters, storylines and seemingly random pieces of information that it was hard to keep track of all the tidbits and recall them when they actually became relevant, hours down the road. Many of the storylines were left unanswered, much like the main Coop/Laura Palmer one and it makes you wonder why Lynch/Frost bothered spending time on them at all.

The rest of my more-specific thoughts are best presented in bullet point form:

– I really hated that Audrey had become this annoying, whiney wife. She was such a smart, sexy young woman before. Luckily, the last time we saw her it seemed like she was in some sort of purgatory, and that showed promise, like she would finally get more to do, but we never saw her again.

– I wanted good Coop to return way before he actually did. Dougie Jones was so annoying!!! I wish he had come back earlier than episode 16 and we got a bit more of his chipper personality cause Dougie outstayed his welcome for a long time

– I lost track of all the goings on with Gordon, Albert and Tammy so not sure if their investigations all tied up. What about that headteacher’s death? What happened there? While I’m still quite confused about what we learned about Major Briggs, their investigation were probably my most enjoyable part of the show. I love Gordon and they offered some explanations along the way

Laura Dern was a fantastic addition to the cast and her sex scene with Coop was weird AF. She had probably the best female role

– There were so many cameos that meant nothing. Ashley Judd working at the Great Northern? Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tim Roth as assassins? Wonder if they shot more than we saw

– loved that Norma and Ed got together, and Amanda Seyfried‘s Becky was Shelly and Bobby’s daughter

– I loved any time the old score was used. It popped up so rarely that you seriously paid attention when it came on and Laura’s theme gives me the chills every time

– a lot of the original cast had nothing to do, like James Hurley, Ben Horne. The best returning cast members (outside of the FBI) were the Log Lady, Deputy Hawk and Andy and Lucy Brennan

– I wish Naomi Watts had more to do with her storyline. Janey-E just gushes after Dougie and ushers him along everywhere. Really wasn’t bothered that they were given a replacement Dougie

Comments

  1. Hmm. I agree with most of what you said. I think I probably enjoyed it more than you, maybe I just more receptive to Lynch’s particular style of drawn-out weirdness. I think the main difference is that while I was sometimes confused or frustrated, I very rarely felt bored. Even when nothing much was happening, like in the long driving scenes in the last episode, I felt there was always a tension that something horrible or bizarre *might* happen.

    The various dropped plots were annoying. If it were any other TV show, the obvious answer to everything would be that another season was planned, but everyone seems very insistent that this is it. I’d really love to know how much of it was a result of a deliberately fragmented narrative, Lynch’s metaphorical rejection of the need for “resolution”, any how much was just a result of budget or time overruns. We know there was some conflict over budget, as Lynch quit the project over it at one point. Perhaps he simply didn’t have the money to film everything he wanted, so had to make do with what footage he had.

    Apparently Mark Frost is writing a (second) book about the secret history of Twin Peaks, which will be published in October, and will apparently explain what happened to each of the characters during the intervening years, so I guess we will get some closure on Audrey’s story, at least.

    • Hannah Wales says:

      Definitely sounds like you were into it more than I was! I was bored and frustrated with it often and lost concentration regularly. I knew we wouldn’t get full resolutions with Lynch but the dropped storylines were still annoying. I’m interested in reading this book!

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