Friday, 4 April 2014

Peaking late

I'm a great enthusiast for Netflix - partly in terms of the range of interesting TV available (we're currently working through the original Swedish/Danish version of The Bridge, and Last Tango in Halifax for light relief) and just because of the impressive way it just works to do something that is quite amazing, when you think about it.

Recently, though, I've dipped a toe into what used to be Lovefilm Instant, which I now get free through Amazon Prime. One of the advantages of watching Netflix is I can do so on a proper TV, using an Apple TV box, but that doesn't support Amazon's offering - luckily, though, our Blu-ray player does (ah, the wonders of modern technology). To be honest there's not a lot in the free stuff on Amazon I wanted to watch, but I was delighted to see one thing. When I first got Netflix, I'd noticed the classic David Lynch TV show, Twin Peaks was on there and duly put it on my 'to watch' list. To my horror, by the time I got round to it, Twin Peaks had dropped out of the library. But joy etc. - there it was on Amazon.

So over the last couple weeks I've had a Twin Peaksathon, watching both seasons with some serious binge viewing, something TP is ideal for. For those of you who remember it, it's still just as weird and wonderful as everyone said it was at the time - and holds up very well to the modern eye, apart from the 4:3 ratio. It's remarkable how much of a buzz it caused back then - even though I never watched it, I could remember from 1990 that the murdered girl was called Laura Palmer. For those who didn't see it, this starts off as what appears to be a straightforward murder mystery, featuring a very strange FBI agent (played wonderfully by Kyle MacLachlan - whatever happened to him?) - but ends up with strong elements of fantasy and downright strangeness.

I know the show was cancelled, so the ending might not have been exactly what Lynch would have hoped for the whole enterprise (and there is a movie prequel/sequel, though it sounds as if that doesn't exactly tie up loose ends), but it did illustrate for me the classic 'great urban fantasy issue.' I'm a huge fan of fantasy writer Gene Wolfe, not for his off-Earth stuff that seems to have made most of his money, but for the superb fantasies set in a not-quite-right real world like Castleview and There Are Doors. But if Wolfe has one flaw it is that he builds up such a weird and wonderful and intriguing complex scenario that the end of the book is almost always a disappointment. I suspected this would be the case with Twin Peaks... and it was. In spades.

Nonetheless, there are many characters in there I'll treasure (though I could have done without the one played by Lynch himself) and a story and setting that will haunt me for a long time. If you have access to it, and didn't see it first time around, I'd recommend giving it a go.

For fans, here's the theme music:



Image from Wikipedia

No comments:

Post a Comment