Twin Peaks (series, season 3 2017)

I would be lying if I said that I have been a ‘Peaky’ for 25 years, but it has been certainly more than two decades since I watched the series every couple of years and I have followed Peak-freak groups for many years. These groups, of course, only contained ‘die-hard fans’ when the series had faded from the public eye. Then a while ago there was a stir within the fan base, since, did Laura Palmer not say: “I will see you in 25 years” at the end of the original series? Would Lynch (and Frost) indeed revamp the series? For a while Lynch denied, but either or not persuaded by all the attention, at some point he confirmed that work was done on a new season. Not too much later the filming had actually started, again in Snoqualmie, and people who went there to see what was going on, could see what actors were involved. Actors were confirmed, rumors wandered around the rest and in the end the new season was put out with a massive amount of publicity. Mark Frost even published a book. Suddenly everybody was a Twin Peaks fan and had been one for 25 years.

The series were broadcasted through video on demand and is due to be released on DVD this very day, but in my own country it seems to have been postponed until late March 2018.

Well then, what about this third season? On first watch it does not have all that much to do with the original two seasons. It is not like the story just picks up 25 years later. In a way it does, but not in the way I expected. There are a bunch of completely new story-lines, new characters, but also old characters (and this is where the new season is most fun for old fans). I am (initially) not too fond about some of these lines, but there are also a few great red threads. Lynch seems to have taken the series into his later style. Season 3 in many scenes is more like “Lost Highway” or “Mulholland Drive“. Grainy images, an industrial rumbling soundtrack, weird staccato montage. There are also more ‘normal’ scenes (and complete episodes) which only here and there reach the eerie levels of the first two seasons. Lynch’s weird humor is still present and there are the oddball type scenes. Also there are many elements and story-lines that never recur and which purpose is totally unclear at first sight.

People who are (very) familiar with what happened 25 years ago will have some nice surprises. I do not really think it is necessary to know these seasons to be ‘able’ to watch “Twin Peaks 2017”. Certainly it is so that you better be fan of Lynch dark and weird filming to be able to get your head around the new Peaks. Lynch and Frost certainly did not make a simple attempt to attract new viewers with something easily digestible for the larger public. I even doubt if the new season will raise new fans for the old series, since these are (in ways) ‘easier’ than this new one.

I like Lynch’s dark side and his weird humor. Therefor I found the third season very interesting. I will have to see it again to form a better opinion. My initial take is: interesting, very interesting in some elements, but not of the level of the original series or some of other Lynch’s work. Yet at least. Perhaps a rewatch will make me appreciate some things that I do not really like better. As of now, the suddenly started and suddenly ending of many of the stories in these series may be something I am used to, but it still raises a somewhat dissatisfying feeling. Also many characters and scenes do not really ‘grab me’ as much as the original series. Only in a few scenes Lynch got me by the throat. What is also somewhat disappointing is that largely the music does nothing for me (exceptions available), while Lynch used to be a great ‘picker of music’ to me.

So, if you are a Lynch fan: watch “Twin Peaks 2017”. If you are a ‘Peaky’: watch, but with as little expectations about the story and content as possible. As for myself, I eagerly await the DVD release to watch it again to see what I missed during my first round and if that will raise my appreciation.

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