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Twin Peaks: Part 16 (2017)
Awful beyond belief
The plot: DoppelCoop and Richard Horne drive to where the coordinates lead them (DC has been given three sets of coordinates, one from Ray, one from Diane and one from Jeffries, two of them match, but not the other). DC sends Richard to investigate but it's a trap and Richard dies (it's also confirmed that Richard is his son). In Las Vegas, following his electrocution, Cooper is in a coma but abruptly wakes up, becomes his super capable old self again and immediately sets off to go to Twin Peaks. Subtle. In the meantime, Diane is revealed to be a doppelganger, while Audrey and Charlie make it to the Roadhouse where the whole thing is revealed to be dreamed up by Audrey.
Lol, this is so bad. The story is messy beyond belief. Really amateurish stuff. There are no developed characters, merely stereotypes (Hutch and Chantal) that die and nobody cares. Does anyone remember the junkie who was spouting some random numbers in the early episodes? What was it with that? Nobody knows. Why did DoppelCoop kill Hastings' wife? It was never explained and it had nothing to do with anything. Who was Mr. Strawberry? Pointless. What happened to Becky? Nobody's interested cause the character was superficial. Isn't it awful having a great character like Ben Horne and under-utilizing him to a horrible degree? Yes it is but the fans don't mind. To them it all smells like roses. What about the glass box from episode one? Forgotten. That's not a way to run a TV series. You need coherence, you need structure.
Isn't it cheesy how Cooper just wakes up and immediately is super-duper ol' Coop again? Yes! Won't it be lame if the whole thing ends up being Audrey's dream? YES!! Considering they never bothered to tell us what DoppelCoop has been doing for the past 25 years (which basically makes him as hollow a character as any in this show), and the plot is all about him not wanting to go back to the lodge, wouldn't it have made more sense to have the real Cooper wake up earlier rather than have 15 episodes of tedious back and forth? YES!!!!!!!!!! The whole thing is so ludicrous that parts of it feel like unintentional comedy and, no, I'm not talking about the bits that are supposed to be comedy (which are bad). The direction isn't any better. Did you see the effects when Diane "blew up" in the Red Room? Terrible and cheap looking (I know, I know, it's like that on purpose, lol).
I actually can't believe how poor the new Twin Peaks is. It's really bad. Really really bad. I find it even harder to believe the amount of praise it gets. The fans I can explain. The series has such low viewership figures that literally only the hardcores are watching. Therefore it's to be expected that they'll praise it to seventh heaven. What is not as easily explainable is the preposterous praise it gets from news outlets (thankfully there are exceptions), but that's hipster culture for you. The new Twin Peaks is trending.
Anyway, the way I see it, there are two explanations for what's happening here. One explanation is that David Lynch has gotten senile. It happens, he's 71. The other explanation is that he made a cash-grab and intentionally didn't bother to put any effort either in the writing or in the visual department, in which case the praise this gets is all that much funnier.
Twin Peaks: Part 15 (2017)
Audrey can't escape her house, and (the new) Twin Peaks can't escape being awful
Out of the blue, Nadine breaks up with Big Ed, and thus Big Ed hooks up with Norma. The whole thing was very abrupt and very sloppy, but that's to be expected when dealing with the new "Twin Peaks". In the meantime, DoppelCoop (aka Mr. C) goes to the "convenience store" where he meets with Philip Jeffries, who is a giant kettle now. Woooh, Lynch is such a genius for being weird and all that. All the while, the real Coop (still as Dougie Jones) sticks a fork in an electric socket and gets electrocuted. He seems to enjoy it and it seems to imply that he's finally gonna wake up, who knows, who cares. Finally, the Log Lady dies, Steven along with Gersten are freaking out in the woods (more wasted characters in a series full of wasted characters), Audrey is still debating getting out of the house with husband Charlie (something seems to stop her from doing that, "Exterminating Angel" style), Chantal assassinates Duncan Todd (yet another underdeveloped character), James and his glove-friend get involved in a brawl and end up in prison where Billy still drools, and in the obligatory Roadhouse ending sequence some chick crawls through the floor and starts screaming.
So, all in all, this was another episode where nothing substantial happened. 15 episodes in (3 to go) and we still don't know what's the deal with DoppelCoop, what he's been doing all these years and what are his goals (apart from not wanting to go back to the Lodge), you know, normal things like storytelling and character development. In fact, there hasn't been any character development with any of the characters involved, they all feel as one-dimensional as cardboard figures. But, hey, I know, it's all done on purpose, cause Lynch is a genius. He has to be, he's David Lynch. The new series is god-awful on purpose. It's meant to be awful cause it wants to challenge the audience and their conceptions.
Lol, keep telling that to yourselves, fans.
Twin Peaks: Part 14 (2017)
More eventful but still horrendous
Truman, Hawk, Andy and Bobby finally go to Jack Rabbit's Palace where they discover the eyeless woman from episode three. A vortex appears, sucks Andy into another plane, where he is confronted by the Giant. The Giant implants him with a sort of recap of what has happened/ will happen, then sends him back to earth. In the meantime, James Hurley is working as a security guard in the Great Northern, alongside a British chap who's wearing a rubber glove that makes him freakishly strong (lol?!). Finally, Sarah Palmer goes to a bar where she is, ahem, flirted by a persistent truck driver, but then takes off her face and eats him (literally), in a third-rate horror scene with horrendous CGI that feels like it was taken out of one of the worst "Hellraiser" movies. Is that the best you can do, Lynch?
Anyhow. The story continues to be weak, but because this episode was more eventful, it immediately makes it better than the previous ones. Unfortunately, the lame story exposes yet another of the new series' weaknesses. While it was always the case that a weird story lied at the center of the old "Twin Peaks" (the Laura Palmer mystery initially, the quest for the Black Lodge afterwards), it was interwoven between a noir labyrinth concerning the shady dealings of the town inhabitants, a humane bittersweet small-town drama, and chunks of offbeat soap-opera. These were as central as the weird quasi-mystical, quasi-horror, quasi- sci-fi "main" story lines. The show was called "Twin Peaks" after all, it was about the denizens of Twin Peaks.
One would have hoped that after Lynch made the mistake of ditching all that and focusing entirely on Laura Palmer in "Fire Walk With Me", resulting in a one-sided and mediocre film, he would have learnt his lesson. But no. This new series revolves entirely around the dull doppelganger story, with virtually no subplots, no interesting characters, no television flair whatsoever, uninspired direction (name me one scene that is as poetic as Laura's painting in "Fire Walk With Me"), cold digital feel (superiority of film proved once again), cheap CGI, ludicrous Roadhouse endings that do little more than promote Lynch's favorite hipster bands, laughable horror outbursts like the "Exorcist"-esque kid in the car, and so on, and so on. Let us hope at least that after two unmitigated disasters back-to-back (this and Inland Empire) nobody gives Lynch free reign ever again.
Twin Peaks: Part 13 (2017)
Get it done with already
In one word, awful, pretty much like the rest of the series. The worst offender? There is no story. 13 episodes in and almost nothing has happened. There is a bad Cooper, a good Cooper (still in a quasi-vegetable state), there are coordinates that lead somewhere and, er, that's about it. Everything is so absurd that the suspicion remains that Lynch will eventually turn it upside down Mulholland Dr style and present an alterna-universe, but so what? It will still be an awful series. To add insult to injury, Lynch has forgotten how to direct. His over-reliance on digital technology has created a show with no memorable visual moments. The only interesting scene in this episode was the ring bit. Everything else was so boring that I nearly fell asleep. Gut wrenching tension? Oh please.
Twin Peaks: Part 11 (2017)
As awful as the previous episodes
"Twin Peaks" continues it's slow journey into.. nothing really.
Cole and his troupe go to "the zone", where they encounter a huge Photoshop distort > twirl filter and a bunch of these black demonic hobos (one of them kills Hastings). They also discover Ruth Davenport's corpse, which means they now know the coordinates to Jack Rabbit's Palace, which sets the scene for a showdown between them, DoppelCoop (through Diane) and Truman and co.
In Twin Peaks, Becky has a marital crisis. She tries to solve it the American way (with a gun) but fails, which leads to a family meeting between her, Shelly and Bobby. Following Shelly's brief moment with her beau (the drug dealer Red) and Bobby's obvious jealousy, the meeting comes to an abrupt end when random gunshots occur. Bobby goes outside to investigate, and (long story short) comes across a hysterical woman beeping hysterically and a diabolical child vomiting uncontrollably. Kooky and spooky, woooooh (spooky voice).
Finally, the Dougie Jones saga continues unabated, but it's so absurd I don't see any point going into detail about it. For anyone interested there are a lot of detailed recaps online by way too many websites washing this series with preposterous praise and justifying it with pseudo-academic nonsense.
Twin Peaks: Part 8 (2017)
I'll give this a higher rating than the previous episodes because some the visuals were striking, but basically this episode served as an excuse for Lynch to turn one of his experimental shorts to a full feature. The fanboys who compare this to "2001" and "Eraserhead" are once again missing the point. Both "2001" and "Eraserhead" had extremely strong stories to support the abstract imagery. It was the stories that made them powerful, the visuals merely complemented that. The new "Twin Peaks" doesn't have a strong story. In fact the new Twin Peaks doesn't have a story at all. Eight episodes in and nothing has really happened.
This is why most artists should be kept on a leash. Lynch had already become undisciplined with the adoption of digital technology (i.e. with "Inland Empire"). The additional lack of restraint either from the producer or from the network has brought forth this monumental disaster, one of the finest examples of modern-art wanking that I can think of, up there with Godard's "Week-end". Which leads me to my final point. The old "Twin Peaks" was so successful BECAUSE of Lynch's limited involvement. A series comprised only of episodes like 2x22 and 2x02 (i.e. the Lynch episodes), without the more traditional episodes counterbalancing them, would have been a typical one-sided Lynch-ian nightmare, in other words not as good.
Twin Peaks: Part 7 (2017)
As terrible as the previous episodes
It's extremely easy to recap the last episode of Twin Peaks. Nothing happened. Okay, technically some events transpired on the screen, but for all intents and purposes the story hasn't moved an inch from where it was before. So instead I'll talk about why the new Twin Peaks is such a wreck:
1) There is very little story involved. Seven episodes in and nothing much has happened. Basically all the story until now could be put in two episodes and it would have made for a better viewing experience.
2) What little story there is, is extremely dull.
3) What little, dull story there is, is "told" in an unbelievably tedious "slow cinema" manner by David Lynch. But here's the problem, slow cinema is an extremely difficult genre. Very few directors can make it work. In order to do this, not only you need a story with emotional pull, you also need powerful, meditative images. Tarkovsky can do this, Antonioni can do this (even though they're polar opposites in terms of ideology). David Lynch can't do this. He's just terrible at it. What's all the more mystifying is that never until now has he tried to dabble in said genre. Inland Empire was a mess, but it wasn't slow cinema. None of his previous works were either, let alone his best ones (Eraserhead, Lost Highway).
Whatever. The new Twin Peaks is an unfolding disaster of epic proportions, something which in time will be recognized even by the fanboys.
Twin Peaks: Part 5 (2017)
Some semblance of regular narrative made this episode an improvement over the blithering episodes 2,3 and 4. Unfortunately, the writing remains poor. Not only is the story uninteresting, the pace also remains absurdly slow. Lynch may be influenced by Gus Van Sant's later works but, like Van Sant, he is terrible at doing slow cinema. Of all the side-plots, the Dougie one remains the worst, but none of the other ones are gripping either. The inclusion of random and pointless scenes, like the argument between Truman and his wife, makes the bad story even worse. Lynch also revisits his usual obsessions: drugs, violence, the dark underbelly of suburbia etc etc. Yawn. He generally appears to have lost his edge. The scene where Evil Cooper haunts the prison he's been held, is taken out of a second-rate horror movie. The unexpected highlight was Jacoby's vlog, a disjointed but entertaining scene. But let's face it, this new Twin Peaks has none of the charm either of the old show, or of Lynch's best works.
Twin Peaks: Part 4 (2017)
A seemingly retarded Agent Cooper is mucking about in rambling scenes, which contain a few meta-references (an owl is flying over Cooper before he enters his home, his kid gives him thumbs up repeatedly, he utters a strong reaction when drinking coffee etc). The absurd "humor" in the sheriff's station scene is mind-numbingly dull. In the meantime, Gordon Cole and his staff engage in some of the most formulaic suspense scenes ever conceived on cinema or television, replete with equally formulaic ambient noise (Lynch is credited with sound design). To add insult to injury, the adoption of digital technology has done Lynch no favors. Whereas before he actually had to think about how to make effects work on film, the easy solution of CGI adds to the cheap feel.
Twin Peaks: Part 3 (2017)
This is one of the worst things ever been committed on film, or should I say hard-drive, since everything is digital now.
The ridiculous plot (if you can call this thing plot) feels like it was written by a kindergarten student in a napkin over five lines.
The "experimental" direction of the whole Cooper-in-space bit feels like a failed project by an undergraduate in art-college. If Lynch wasn't the director, and Cooper the protagonist, nobody would care.
The Cooper-in-the-casino scene is even worse.
The joke is on the fanboys who are defending this monumental flop. If Lynch isn't trolling everybody here, there is a real chance that he has gotten senile. In any case, he managed the impossible, he made something worse than Inland Empire.
Wake up! The emperor has no clothes!