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To reactivate oneself as a journal-based presence, or not? That is the question. Let's go with yes.

I signed up back in 2009 when DW first appeared. I posted a few things but made no friends and ended up deleting that stuff a few years later -- it's been so long I can't remember what it was. I'll keep my "interests" though.

Fitting for this journal renaissance, and contributing to an eerie sense of deja vu as I type this, is the fact I started rewatching Twin Peaks today. Back when I was introdued to it, I was living a full Livejournal life, and conducted my fannish behavior as such, so the last time I wrote anything about TP must have been in a journal almost exactly like this. Anyway, the new season approaches, and I figured as this is the only mainly free weekend I have before it, I should refresh my memory. I still consider it my "favorite tv show" after all. And you know what -- I think it remains as such. I mainlined the first season and the first ep of the second today (AND I took the time to go to an involved screening of The Room in the middle of it! Howzzat for pop culture immersion. I bought and threw around red roses in addition to the spoons).

Man, I love this show, like Special Agent Dale Cooper loves his cup of good coffee. I was crazy about TP a decade ago, when I first found David Lynch -- my involvement with him is a longer story -- and while I personally have lost some of the youthful obsessiveness, I was sucked back in again, quickly. There's still something so unique about it, even after all these years of Golden Age Television. If anything, so much of the art direction and the reliance on nigh-cinematic storytelling is so striking that it only serves to underline the fact that much of today's TV visionaries must have had this all carved into their bones as youngsters. And, of course, TP still easily beats many of the modern giants, in my book anyway.

Partly, yes, I mean the visuals -- frame a shot like Lesli Linka Glatter, will ya. Breaking Bad did come close (yes, I'm crazy about BCS, too). Partly, it's the... stuff. The plot, the themes, the sprawling character development, the "black hole moments."

Twin Peaks is cool as fuck, sure, but underneath the now-nostalgic, hipster-friendly surface there is a fucking horrifying story about structural sexual abuse. It's peak Lynch. It's uncomfortable, because it straddles the line between fetishization and true, soul-level horror. It does make me uncomfortable, but in the right way, I think -- it should make you feel anguished, because it's about what adult men do to young women, and everyone is culpable. Like Bobby Briggs screams at the funeral, "You killed her! We all did!" It's not neat or easy, and thus finding out "who" did it doesn't really solve anything. (It'll lose you your audience, though.)

So the strenght of the show is based on the amalgamation of these things -- the gorgeousness and the thoughtfulness -- but there's also that Lynchian quality. That atmosphere or tone that's so hard to capture in words, because it's cinematic and dreamlike, not to do with writing or even words, but something that occurs when certain things align. Critic Robbie Collin said of Mulholland Drive that it's "as if a black hole has opened up in the middle of the movie." He was speaking of the specific scene where Naomi Watts auditions for the movie-in-the-movie, but that black hole moment is a true Lynch thing found everywhere in his works; in TP, it's a scene like the one where Dr. Jacoby coaxes out of Bobby a tearful confession about Laura. Here you have these characters, one the hothead bad boy you might have found fun at best so far, the other a seemingly skeevy comic relief type, and suddenly -- stripped of their previous context in scenes with more characters, there's a moment of contact that feels painfully, embarrassingly real and also somehow existentially gruelling. You don't even want to look at this boy crying, it's too much.

There'd be so much to say about this show, and a lot has been written by better analysts over the years, with much more to come over the next months, I'm sure, but let's end here, for now. To declare the end with a cliche, or not? Let's go with yes: the owls are not what they seem.


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April 2017


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