Advantages hypnotic, amusing, terrifying viewing with soundtrack to match
Disadvantages EXTREMELY confusing at times
|How does it compare to similar programmes?||Outstanding|
|How good is the story?||Outstanding|
|Is it dramatic?||Full of Tension|
|How good are the characters?||Outstanding|
|How do you rate the overall style and design?||Outstanding|
Twin Peaks was the TV series that spawned countless pale imitations, David Lynch took the small town weirdness theme and gave it his own distinctive twist which the likes of Northern Exposure and American Gothic aped at but did not come close too.David Lynch's world is all about a wafer thin layer of normality over a bubbling cauldron of weirdness and obsession. 'Lost Highway' is similar, average guy with average problems finds out the world is WAAY stranger than what he first thought. TP stretches this experience over nearly 30 episodes, introducing a wide range of characters who seem homely and mundane at first glance but turn out to be far from that on closer analysis. The story follows an FBI investigation into the death of 17 year old high school girl Laura Palmer, whose body is discovered washed up by the local lake. The Bureau send in one of their finest - Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McClaughlin)
'COOP' - I was 13 back in 1990 and 'Coop' really appealled to me. Just like all the characters in Twin Peaks he is a multi-faceted creation, he is the consumate Bureau pro, immaculately dressed, a crack shot, perfect in his conduct and with almost Holmesian powers of deduction and observation. However, he is a textbook study of Lynchian dualism, to be quite honest the guy is a bit weird too! He carries a dictaphone around with him and records even his most intimate moments on it to 'Diane' someone we never see but who Coop drops tantalising hints as to her character. He has an almost ecstatic appreciation of good food and drink and I love the way this is portrayed. The camera sits across the table from him as he contemplates a slice of cherry pie with an almost studious expression on his face. This dissolves into a blissful smile, his eyes rolling backwards as he groans 'Damn fine cherry pie!'. All TV cops/ detectives/ investigators are pretty straightforward characters, some of them are pretty tortured I'll grant you that, but Lynch's masterstroke is to create an unconventional hero with an almost Jilly Gordon like appreciation for the simple pleasure of life. To complete the profile, Lynch adds a sprinkling of strangeness to the character in only the way he can:STRANGENESS: Have you ever watched anything that has left you confused but also terrifying at the same time? Ever see Christopher Walken wearing that silly hat and dancing with ailens in 'Communion'? Well stretch that over nearly 30 40 minute episodesand you've got a flavour of David Lynch's Twin Peaks. There is a tangible sense of unease throughout, low key lighting with lots of browns, greens and reds; even the exterior shots have a vaguely claustrophobic look. The soundtrack seamlessly blends in with the action giving even the most benign verbal exchanges a sinister, ominous air. Angelo Badalementi's understated jazzy stylings are extremely catchy at the same time as being dark and menacing whilst Julee Cruise sounds like Astrid Gilberto singing in a crypt. Beautiful yet a little bit 'wrong'.
PLOT (after a fashion): Where do I start ? For a while the media was alive with the question 'Who Killed Laura Palmer?', reminiscent of Dallas's heyday when we were all asking 'Who Shot JR?' Over the two seasons we got numerous tales of small town life's seedy underbelly: drug running, prostitution, dodgy land deals, countless dysfunctional relationships, the list goes on. There is a slight plot dip when the 'who' in 'whodunnit' is finally revealed (the answer is a real shocker) but the breach is filled by the most captivating small screen baddie I have ever seen. Windom Earle (Kenneth Welsh) is Agent Cooper's mentor, a man who through stresses of his job (and other things) got comitted to an asylum before promptly escaping. The guy is part Hannibal Lecter and part Rumplestilskin and livens up series two by tracking down Coop and making a general nuisance of himself in the neighbourhood. Earle sees himself as slighted by Cooper from previous events (I wont detail them here) and devises a chess game with human pieces to get revenge but also test his protigee. He does have bigger fish to fry however and in a captivating finale to the series leads Coop off to a place called the White Lodge where matters of this world meet those of another. The world which Agent Cooper previously only saw in dreams and visions proves to be very real and very terrifying. Top Stuff....TO END: I left alot out in this, for those who havent had the pleasure of Twin Peaks, I really dont want to give the game away. For a more complete analysis though read 'The Complete David Lynch' published by Virgin Books, it fills in the gaps and provides a few thought provoking titbits for the TP fan too. In the last fifteen years the series has provided us countless imitators: some enticing, others simply laugable - do you remember those X-File style TV ads Vodafone did a few years ago? Most are in the vain of Chris Carters long running series starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson which was a great watch but ultimately answered all the questions soon enough. Twin Peaks turns more towards the idea that 'the truth isnt out there', it is based on mystery and guesswork even right till the end and beyond. If Alfred Hitchcock had been alive in 1990 he would have approved and if you can suspend the 'Whys?', the 'Whats?' and the 'Hows?' the series raises you would be enthralled too. I have been searching for something so enigmatic on the large or small screen since and have found very little to compare, so if anyone has any ideas PLEEASE tell me. I need mystery and the uncanny in my life once again....
Attention, this is the first review from this author
Instead of giving a negative rating, consider:
Help this member by giving your advice
Report fraud (for example plagiarism) or other issue with the review to the Ciao support team
Add your comment