I was there in 1990 when Laura Palmer was found wrapped in plastic. What I remember, thinking back was being perplexed.
Some context is required. In 1990 we had five television channels. There was no cable tv, and definitely no streaming services. Just five television stations and the video store down the road. There had been nothing like Twin Peaks on television before (let me know if you disagree!)
New Twin Peaks is coming. Being obsessed with not just the storytelling, but the evolution of storytelling I know I am going to have to go there. Which means a revisit to the old.
Oh course, now I can stream Twin Peaks on Stan. Thank you technology and Dan my Internet Man for giving me these choices.
As I said, I remember being perplexed by Twin Peaks. David Lynch is a surrealist after all. On rewatching I found I had forgotten the melodramatic soap opera of it – oh, the crying in the first 30 minutes of episode one. It is fantastic.
I am also struck by the cinematic qualities – these are elements modern viewers take for granted when viewing television these days.
Watching the first episode one might think this is a straight murder mystery, but as the episode unfolds, the offbeat humour and eccentricity slowly reveals itself. In the background, a boy dances across the school hall. Then Agent Cooper turns up enthusiastic like a boy in a lolly shop.
It has been 27 years and memory fades, but when characters make an appearance there is instant recognition and an OMG moment that makes me smile. Like meeting an old friend!
It is not until the last scene of the first episode that there is a hint of some supernatural to this story. I feel like I need to watch the next episode. That is how I should feel about the first episode of anything. Keen for the next one. But I wonder how long it will take before I feel lost again. I wonder if I will get lost again. I wonder if on a second viewing, with a few decades of deciphering I will ‘get it’ this time. Maybe no one is ever meant to get it. I will have fun trying or maybe I will toss the whole second viewing out as a bad idea.
POSTSCRIPT: I have finished season 1 and found it eminently watchable. There are not nearly so many strange dream sequence as I remember. It looks like season 2 might be the test of my fortitude.
POSTSCRIPT AGAIN: Waiting all week for the next episode to come! Having so much fun. Instead of sewing together the loose bits of the story, we keep getting more and more story questions. It is like a frayed piece of chiffon. Glamorous and impossible.