In this week’s edition of The Weekly Set, we discuss the first 6 episodes of Twin Peaks, as part of our Fall 2014 Show Club.
Tyson: This week we will be discussing the first 6 episodes of Twin Peaks. Lets start with our general feelings on the show. Any thoughts?
Kat: I have the benefit of having already watched the whole series, but I think it’s great. I mean, it gets really, really weird (this is David Lynch, after all) – but particularly through the first season, there’s an awesome moodiness that’s pitched alongside the sense of bizarreness. It has such fantastic ambitions about long-term plot and character.
Tyson: I didn’t realize it would be as funny as it is, that there was so much parody in it. There is this strange, almost cheesy aspect to the show that makes it all the more unsettling.
Will: It’s interesting, not sure if I love it but it’s got me interested enough to see it through.
Kat: Dale Cooper might be one of my favorite tv characters ever. Even more impressive, given that he essentially has no flaws (which is a hard thing to pull off).
Will: I love Dale Cooper, He’s just so enjoyable to watch.
Tyson: Lets break down the Pilot. The feature length Pilot episode introduced us to the strange town of Twin Peaks. We met most of the characters, and discovered the dead body of Laura Palmer. FBI special agent Cooper headed into town, investigating the murder as a possible connection to another crime from 1 year before. Laura’s public boyfriend Bobby became the first suspect. Laura’s secret boyfriend James the Biker thinks Laura was afraid of Bobby, and that Bobby might have killed somebody.
Kat: One of the best series pilots ever, in my opinion. For me, it’s up there with Firefly and LOST in that regard.
Will: It was a nice setup for the series, but lacking in traditional Lynch weirdness.
Tyson: I was distracted by the musical cues, as a musician, I had to analyze them, “snappy rockabilly means Bobby acting like a dick. (Laughs)
Will: Oh god the musical cues always sound so cheesy to me. I’m guessing that’s intentional.
Kat: I think so. And I don’t wonder if that might somewhat of a product of its era, combined with the tonal style Lynch was going for.
Tyson: There is a lot to the show that is pretty damn cheesy, but I think that also helps to make it all work. I feel like there is an obvious soap opera parody going on, and that adds to the cheese, but beyond that it helps make the true strangeness of the series a bit covert.
Will: Yeah, late eighties/early nineties television was so different from what we’re used to today.
Kat: Soap opera parody, for sure. This is enhanced by the made-up soap opera that keeps appearing throughout the show.
Tyson: I love shows within shows.
Will: Me too, I want to see more of that soap opera. (Laughs)
Tyson: In the second episode Laura’s secret boyfriend, Biker James, was interrogated. Oddball Psychiatrist Dr. Jacoby seems to have some involvement with Laura, including an, uh, 3rd half of the heart medallion. Scary trucker Leo might have some involvement as well.
Kat: Ah, all the intricate character connections.
Will: It makes me dizzy thinking about it.
Tyson: Can we just nominate Leo as supreme dick of the series so far?
Will: Yeah, He’s the worst.
Kat: Oh for sure. The show does a scary excellent of job capturing the fear in that domestic abuse relationship.
Will: I’m afraid of Leo and I’m on the other side of the TV.
Tyson: I loved it in the pilot when Bobby and Leo’s wife saw the truck and Bobby just slammed the brakes in total fear.
Will: Bobby don’t want to mess with Leo. Also I really hate Bobby.
Kat: Who doesn’t?
Will: Leo’s Wife?
Kat: She’s just in denial.
Will: She has poor taste in men.
Tyson: So episode 3, a trippy dream sequence with a dancing dwarf! Ben and Jerry go out for whores. FBI Agent Rosefield arrives in town. Cooper uses a strange method to narrow down suspects.
Will: Yes I loved the dancing dwarf, That was the weirdness I was hoping for.
Tyson: Probably the most entertaining episode so far.
Kat: I love Cooper’s methods – and I love that everyone just takes them in stride.
Will: Yeah, I love how nobody calls him out or tries to argue with him.
Kat: I think if they did, it would ruin the show.
Will: Oh for sure It’d be annoying if they did.
Tyson: I loved when he hit the dimwitted deputy in the head with a rock and nobody cared. (Laughs)
Kat: The fact that no one calls out the weird for being weird helps the show maintain its tone and illusion.
Tyson: Suspension of disbelief is important. How about that dream sequence?
Will: Loved it. I also love how the dream stuff comes into play in the waking world.
Tyson: I imagine they had the actors read the dialog backwards (phonetic sounds) and then reversed it, creepy.
Kat: Yeah, that’s exactly what they do.
Will: It was very creepy, but also funny.
Tyson: “I’ve got good news.That gum you like is going to come back in style.”
Kat: It’s such an odd way to insert one more disconcerting element into the show.
Will: I feel they’re going to do a lot with Cooper’s dreams.
Tyson: It also marks a point in the show in which the surreal art direction started ramping up. We got our first look at the One Eyed Jack Casino, and apparently cathouse too, with brothers Ben and Jerry (really?) going to let off some steam.
Will: Yes a classy establishment.
Kat: Oh, I forgot about Ben and Jerry. Unintentional, but funny all the same.
Will: I legit lol’ed at Ben and Jerry.
Kat: Ben is one of the most fascinating and aggravating characters on the show. and even more so Audrey.
Will: Audrey is one of the most fascinating characters to me
Kat: Audrey’s awesome.
Will: She seems to just enjoy causing trouble and I kinda want to know why.
Tyson: In the 4th episode, Laura’s father ruins her funeral, and is clearly becoming unhinged. Laura’s cousin comes to town. Cooper learns of a secret society.
Will: Lot’s of cool stuff in this episode.
Tyson: Her dad falling to pieces on top of the coffin as the lowering mechanism malfunctioned was hilarious and kinda disturbing. He just continued to fall apart from that point on.
Kat: Indeed, and that’s kind of the show in a nutshell – disturbing, hilarious, dark, and dramatic. All at the same time.
Will: Oh, the dad is just so over the top, I cringe everytime he’s on screen.
Tyson: any other thoughts on the episode?
Will: I loved the secret society stuff, seemed to hint at some sort of mythology.
Will: I dunno if it’ll be revisited but it was interesting.
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