Twin Peaks

Last night we finished up the TV run of Twin Peaks. It was a lot of fun, even as it lost its way. The sprawling cast meant that even if I was currently stuck in one of the particularly terrible sub-plots, it wouldn’t be too long before we were somewhere else.

Once again I’m struck by how long American TV seasons are. Season two seemed to last forever, and not just because it had that James Hurley or Andrew Packard stuff in it. Season one is only eight episodes and zooms on by. How many stories can stay fresh and interesting for twenty-two hours?

I included a photo of Dale and Audrey because they’re far and away the best characters. Oh, there are other good ones, but those two are the champs. When Audrey first appears she seems like a reckless, dreamy femme fatale, but she unexpectedly swerves into being one of the most clear-headed, practical people around. Cooper gets sort of an opposite treatment, starting out as seeming like a crazy man trying to unravel an even crazier mystery, but whose boundless enthusiasm and unorthodox methods get him by. As the mystery winds down, so does Cooper, and it’s the biggest disappointment. Towards the end of season two, when both are shoved into heatless romances with bland nobodies, one feels the most painful longing for what could have been.

I actually don’t know what could have been, to be honest. There’s only so long the Laura Palmer mystery could be strung along, and it’s unlikely the effect could be repeated with a different mystery. Certainly the Windom Earle stuff isn’t half as interesting. Maybe the solution would have been two short seasons, ending with the revelation of the killer? I guess that for all the innovations the show brought to TV drama, the idea of a finite series wasn’t one of them, and probably should have been.

Naturally, Netflix doesn’t have the movie on Watch Instantly, so we’ll see that whenever it arrives.

I’m really glad to have finally visited Twin Peaks, even all the way through the end. It was a grand time.

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