I was vaguely aware of Twin Peaks when I was in university. A couple of my roommates were very into the series and very into David Lynch in general. I think they watched the series several times while we lived together, but they always seemed to do so in crazy marathon sessions that I always came upon in the middle or couldn’t stay up for. All I knew about it was that it was weird, just like my roommates, and that there was a woman named The Log Lady who carried around a log as if it were a baby.
The first David Lynch film I ever saw was actually Dune if you can believe that. I was maybe 14. I think even David Lynch would like to pretend that he never actually made that movie. To his credit, he did the best that he could do with a very complex storyline. Also to his credit, Kyle MacLachlan and Sting were both very sexy. Oh, and it was a lot of fun for me to realize Patrick Stewart had a life before Star Trek: The Next Generation.
But David Lynch as a director didn’t really click for me until later when I was in university and started learning more about film and about individual directors. David Lynch kept coming up in conversations about film. Eventually, after I had graduated and was living in Portland, Maine, I went on a bit of a David Lynch bender. I was going through a really bad break up, drinking a lot of red wine, and renting a lot of movies. I watched Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, and Lost Highway back-to-back over two or three days.
As a general word of advice: don’t do that. Especially if you’re drinking a lot and are emotionally unstable. I think the only time I ever had stranger dreams was due to a very high fever.
I can’t remember why I didn’t start watching Twin Peaks during that time. Either Videoport didn’t have it or I was too freaked out by the first trio of films to embark on an entire tv series of David Lynch. I suspect I was just too freaked out.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, I started to feel as if I was beginning to live in Twin Peaks based on everything that I’d always heard about the series. The rain and mist. The lack of sunshine. The strange denizens. The cosmic vibrations. It was only a matter of time before I’d finally get around to watching it.
We’re about half-way through the second season and I’m very sad that the show seems to have jumped the shark. I know that the network, in the face of declining ratings, forced the writers to solve the mystery of Laura Palmer’s death. But it almost seems like they just gave up after that episode. I wonder if they knew at that point that they were going to get cancelled and so they just gave up trying.
Watching the series, though, I’m shocked that this was ever on network tv in 1990! It’s so very David Lynch and so very not what I think of when I think of network tv in 1990. Murphy Brown, sure. The Golden Girls, of course. Cheers, most definitely. But a spiritual serial killer, giants, the Log Lady, and David Duchovny in drag? No, not so much.
But, there it was. And here it is still. Preserved forever on dvd. Whatever trouble Agent Cooper mangers to get himself into in these last episodes, I will certainly have enjoyed the ride.
I just hope they eventually explain why the owls are not what they seem.