Picks up 25 years after the inhabitants of a quaint northwestern town are stunned when their homecoming queen is murdered.Picks up 25 years after the inhabitants of a quaint northwestern town are stunned when their homecoming queen is murdered.Picks up 25 years after the inhabitants of a quaint northwestern town are stunned when their homecoming queen is murdered.
People usually say things are "divisive" when they really aren't. Here, with the new Twin Peaks, we can see what it really means. Even on this review section people absolutely love it or hate it with a passion. Season 3 is nothing what people (including me) expected. If you expect a nostalgic revival akin to modern obsession of bringing back familiar brands or names, trying to capture the old magic, you will be shocked because this is not it. It's not what you think it is, which is exactly what Twin Peaks has always been!
This season is almost like a really long movie. The episodes don't have that central focus to them, so it feels more like a really big puzzle coming together in weird ways, and you're not sure what you're looking at. Nothing about new Twin Peaks is telegraphed to you and simple closures just can't happen. But something gets your attention, and you start to dig deeper. And that's where it shines. That's also where many get angry and frustrated.
It works like this: with its nightmarish, outright weird visuals and cues it evokes something in you, almost at a subconscious level. And the more you give in to the intrigue, the more you start to put together something almost coherent rationally as well. Eventually your reason will only get you so far, and you start to go deeper again. The methods of telling a story can be very obvious, and at the same time far from it. This is what I love about it. It's not just some art crap thrown in there for no reason. There is a reason for most of it (at least for Lynch and Frost) and it's so satisfying to finally make those connections that you already "felt" were there, but couldn't articulate them to yourself before...until it all collapses, and you notice you're running in circles. It's frustrating, but somehow the emotional investment doesn't let up. That emotional resonance is telling of something very real.
I know Lynch won't give us answers, and the events can be interpreted in 100 different ways. While I enjoy the many layers and possibilities, I still want closure. I was sucked in and given the hope of one, but I can't get it. "Closure" is a negative word for Lynch, but not for me. Anyway, let's get to visuals, structure and pacing.
Sometimes the new season looks dull, bright and cheaply mundane (which might be intentional), but most of the time it's beautifully shot with plenty of expression. Long, slowly panning or zooming shots, extreme closeups that make you very uncomfortable, great use of light, attention to detail. Lynch and cinematographer Deming seem to excel at that. There are problems though. While traditional effects and tricks and used well, there are instances where the CGI is just horrible. Some of it is brilliant (episode 8), and other times it's the opposite. If I recall right, Lynch had some troubles with budget at some point which might explain this. Twin Peaks used to look great without CGI. Here, some of that magic is lost, and it's a shame because at times it pulls me out of the experience.
Badalamenti's beautiful, familiar music sadly isn't as prevalent as I'd like it to be. No relaxing jazz accompanying quirky scenes, no constant moody themes to give us that dream-like immersion like before. When we hear the old classics, the songs don't quite match the scenes or the mood. Everything is either disjointed or nightmarish. The main difference to earlier seasons is musically the same as tonally: it's darker and more over the place but also full of long lulls where nothing seemingly happens and you haven't heard music for ages. When the music works, it's not really music anymore but more like pressing ambiance accompanied with Lynch's weird sound experiments. Some of the younger bands/music featured in the show put me off. While Lynch was definitely going for something there involving the big picture, I felt like I was watching hollow advertisements of bands performing to a fake audience full of paid extras. I was taken out of whatever mood I was in, and I hated it.
Most of the actors are very good. Many of them died before or just after the season aired (rest in peace ladies and gentlemen, you were all great). Some only appear as archive footage. There is a sense of death, grief and replacement (some characters are now objects), and I can't fault anyone for it. Perhaps it even works. And while I would've wanted to see more of Sheryl Lee, I'm glad for what I got. She is still phenomenal. Some actors, especially extras, stand out too much. Perhaps it's the intention, but I can't help my reaction.
One thing is certain: The new Twin Peaks feels entirely uncompromised when it comes to artist's vision. I'm sure I will never ever see anything like this again. It's so wonderful to see something like this in the midst of all kinds of pretentious crap and corporate-driven bullshit. Some things bother me, often a lot, but I have to appreciate this truly creative force that defies pretty much anything. Yes, I consider this to be art.
Right now, I feel like my subconscious is holding the answers, both frustrating and freaking me out in the process. At the same time I'm disappointed, excited, confused and utterly fascinated. It's been days after I saw the finale, and I just can't get any peace. This is a lasting emotional impression. For this alone I love it.
Twin Peaks has never been more divisive. And once again, we have to dive into it (and into ourselves) to find the closure instead of getting one. I may love it, but it also tears me apart.
- May 24, 2017