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TV gets Lynched…

21 Apr

The TV event of 1990, as far as I was concerned anyway, was the arrival on our screens of what can only be described as “Soap Noir”, David Lynch’s groundbreaking, genre-defying cult classic Twin Peaks.

As I may have mentioned in passing, I’m a massive fan of his work, and the idea of having a slice of Lynch on the TV every week was a film nerd’s dream.
And us nerds, we weren’t disappointed.

As I sat down in my tiny bedsit in Crowborough to watch the feature-length pilot, I was instantly drawn into Lynch-land by the haunting theme, composed by long time Lynch collaborator, Angelo BadalamentI

The series opens with the discovery, by Pete Martell (Lynch regular, Jack Nance) of a body, wrapped in plastic, on the shore from which he is fishing.

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Leaving the body as he finds it, he calls the Sheriff, Harry S. Truman (played by the slow talking, amiable Michael Ontkean) who arrives with one of the show’s first recognisable Lynchian comic creations, bumbling, slow witted deputy, Andy Brennan (Harry Goaz) who, on discovering that the body is that of popular local homecoming queen, Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), repeatedly bursts into tears whilst attempting to photograph the scene.

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The significance of her identity is continually reinforced by each successive character’s reaction to the news. The town doctor/medical examiner, Will Hayward, who arrives to transport the body (twinkly-eyed but world weary Warren Frost) is shocked that the sweet and innocent girl he delivered into the world should turn up so brutally murdered.

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Watch the opening scene here.

The show features many well established actors, as well as a whole host of newcomers made famous by their roles in it. One of the recognisable stars who appears throughout is Grace Zabriskie, known for roles in TV series Seinfeld, and movies such as Fried Green Tomatoes…, and other Lynch projects like Wild at Heart and Inland Empire. She stars as Sarah Palmer, Laura’s mother, and we first meet her when she finds Laura’s bed unslept in, and is ringing round her friends trying to find where she spent the night.

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Meanwhile, we see Laura’s father, Leland, receiving the news of her death from Sheriff Truman, while at work at The Great Northern Hotel.
Unfortunately, his wife has just rung him..

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…and overhears the conversation, leaving her in her default state for much of the series, which can be pretty much summed up by;

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During the following scenes, we see various school friends hearing of Laura’s murder.

Her boyfriend, Bobby Briggs (the swaggering Dana Ashbrook)

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..classmate and best friend, Donna Hayward (wholesome girl-next-door Lara Flynn Boyle)

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…and pouting teen sex kitten Audrey Horne (played with smouldering silver screen vampishness by Sherilyn Fenn)

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Even re-watching the series, as I have many times, the whole Twin Peaks universe seems trapped in a bubble of timelessness, neither of it’s time, nor dated by the passage of time. The presence of so much warm hued pine, used in many of the interiors, lends a comfortable glow to the atmosphere, sometimes at odds with events taking place there.
And it’s this juxtaposition of the cosy, familiar surroundings of small town life, where even the thought of murder is alien to those that live there, that makes the increasingly bizarre story that unfolds in and around their tight knit community all the more shocking.

The Great Northern, located at the top of the waterfall;

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The RR Diner;

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I realise that it seems as if this is going to be, even at it’s most condensed, a very long winded analysis, but I think I should at least try to set the scene, to give those of you new to the strange world that is Twin Peaks, a feel for the ambience of the place which our hero, Dale Cooper is about to enter…

I shall bear in mind the fact that a friend of mine was actually forced to stop watching the show, just to avoid discussing it with me each week (sorry Simon) and rein in my tendency to ramble, as we follow him on his strange trip.

Stay tuned.

Photos – the David Lynch archive.

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15 Comments

Posted by on April 21, 2013 in TV, Twin Peaks

 

Tags: , ,

15 responses to “TV gets Lynched…

  1. Helena Fortissima

    April 21, 2013 at 20:54

    Loved that show, and I liked the movie (Fire Walk With Me) as well. Re: the warm-hued pine, Lynch definitely used ambience like that, and the pink irritating lighting in Eraserhead, to infuse a certain mood into his films. Might have to rewatch the whole series on Netflix or On Demand now.

     
    • dalecooper57

      April 21, 2013 at 20:59

      Aha! My cunning plan worked. I’d recommend the gold edition DVD boxset, with episode introductions by the Log Lady.

       
  2. Menopausal Mother

    April 21, 2013 at 20:57

    I was completely addicted to Twin Peaks. Saw every episode and bought all the videos (DVDs weren’t around yet!) once it went off the air. I had all sorts of memorabilia from the show as well. By far one of the best shows on TV–I was quite distressed when it went off the air. My father, who unfortunately is gone now, used to LOVE the show as well–it was a cool way for us to connect. Whenever I see things like this reminding me of the show, I always think of him. Thanks for sharing this on your site today.

     
    • dalecooper57

      April 21, 2013 at 21:01

      Believe me, it’s my pleasure. There’s plenty more to come. ;~}

       
  3. iancochrane

    April 21, 2013 at 23:26

    Well set up Dale; with you in that tiny Crowborough bedsit.

    Not having seen any TV for many, many years, this is interesting. I definitely find David Lynch interesting; his taste in music also.

    Well presented as always.
    Cheers, ic

     
  4. Charlene, budget bride

    April 22, 2013 at 02:31

    I was in college when it aired, so I was in a bubble. I’m one of the few who never saw it. Funny, I was having a discussion with friends two days ago, they were referencing it and I had no idea what they were alluding too. They were in disbelief that I didn’t know. Lots of ‘booky’ and artistic friends have urged me to watch it for some time now. Maybe the time is now.

     
    • dalecooper57

      April 22, 2013 at 05:40

      Most certainly! Go and find the boxset forthwith.

       
  5. Darmon Richter

    April 22, 2013 at 06:19

    At the risk of incurring scorn, I didn’t ‘get’ Twin Peaks. I found it dry, and that repetitive piano music really bugged me after a while. I’m a big Lynch fan though. I love his films, and I wish Mulholland Drive had become a regular series, as was planned/hinted at one point. Hmm. Maybe I should give Twin Peaks another shot…

     
    • dalecooper57

      April 22, 2013 at 07:14

      I can only gasp in disbelief, that a man of your discerning taste has no love for Cooper and Co.
      However, to each his own. Far be it for me to impose my obsession on others…..

      ..wait, who am I kidding?

      Go out and watch it immediately you fool!

       
  6. Janene

    April 24, 2013 at 15:10

    Man, I was hooked on that show! Like you, it drew me in right away. I admit, I think the first year was a bit better than the second. I think it would have left a much bigger impact on me had it gone with a single season, as was originally intended. But, dang! What a show. Every character was so different and interesting. Loved it, loved it, LOVED IT!

     
    • dalecooper57

      April 24, 2013 at 20:56

      A, excuse me, DAMN fine comment.
      I hope that I can provide you with some fond memories over coming posts. A kindred spirit I believe.

       
  7. adeleinglasses

    May 21, 2015 at 13:37

    I’m so pleased that I found your blog! I think I’m going to have to slow down and ration these posts though 🙂

    I feel like there’s so much to discuss but where do you even start?

    For one, I absolutely love Angelo Badalamenti’s soundtrack, apart from the classic and (rightly described) haunting theme, what are your favourites?

    I love Nightingale, Into the Night, Audrey’s Dance and Audrey’s Prayer – ugh. The latter gets me every time. ❤

     
    • dalecooper57

      May 21, 2015 at 15:04

      Into the Night and Freshly Squeezed are probably my favourites.
      I assume you have the Julee Cruise album, as well as the OST?

       
      • adeleinglasses

        May 21, 2015 at 15:08

        Yes, Floating Into the Night – It’s a must, her voice is so angelic! You should know, you have influenced my soundtrack for this afternoon. Thank you!

         
      • dalecooper57

        May 21, 2015 at 15:46

        I’m glad to have been of service, welcome to my world. ;~}

         

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