Saturday, September 19, 2015

"That gum you like is going to come back in style" - Discussion Thread for the September/October 2015 Monthly Marathon

In a town like Twin Peaks, rock it 'til you grok it.
We're back marathoning and rockin' the Twin Peaks like we've been stuck in the Black Lodge for the last 25 years!

Between now and the end of October, the curriculum consists of:


  1. Rewatching the pilot tonight...
    - In the mid 90's during my anime phase, I tried to write a Twin Peaks/Ranma 1/2 fanfic. The only relevant part of which was that I watched the first 30 minutes repeatedly to get the beats and dialogue down. I can't wait til I get past that all into some script I didn't have as thoroughly memorized once.
    - Hate Josie, LOVE Pete... It's all coming back now.
    - I love that Sheriff Truman is in a wood-paneled room, next to a painting of a tree. It seem somehow more absurd now than I ever remember that image being.
    - Are Josie and Catherine wearing Douglas furs? (See what I did there?)
    - What the hell happened last year in Mr. Blodgett's barn?
    - After all these years, Sarah Palmer shrieking through the phone is still one of the most gut-wrenching moments I have ever seen on television.
    - People in this high school seem to smile a lot more at each other first thing in the morning than I remember.
    - Love Bobby's fingerpop during his library interrogation.
    - Half an hour in and we finally get our man Cooper. Woot!
    - Bobby is an asshole, but he's a "cool" kind of asshole and I like his style. Mike is just an asshole asshole.
    - That's a hell of a zoom on that video camera.
    - From wacky Norwegians to serial killer train car torture scenes and barking jocks. I can't for the life of me imagine what someone watching the first broadcast of this in '89 could possibly have made of it...
    - I LOVE the windswept lonely stoplight as a segue motif...
    - Harriet is like something straight out of a John Hughes movie. But I love Donna's hair like that way back when too. You don't see that look so much these days sadly.
    - Lucy sets up the doughnuts every night. But there are only, what four people in the station usually? Do the old donuts get re-used or thrown out or do they seriously eat all those?
    - As Cooper goes to bed at the Great Northern at the end of the first day, so must I. Eager to get back into this masterpiece of the weird all over again though finally...

  2. Starting regular episodes1 and 2... God that music brings me back. and the brown on electric green of the title cues seems so wrong yet so comforting at the same time.
    - Never noticed before how the waitress is fiddling with her pen and most assuredly NOT writing down Coop's breakfast order.
    - Audrey evidently grew her hair out a lot overnight...
    - I'll go on the record to say Doc Hayward is probably one of the great dads in TV history.
    - After all these years, I still can't decide if James is supposed to be a cool guy or a doofus.
    - Wouldn't it be awesome and totally meta if Lynch/Frost solved the Donna casting controversy by using Zooey Deschanel in the new Showtime season?
    - The "fish in the percolator" line still makes me laugh out loud and I have no idea why.
    - "Try not to upset her." Cue nonsensical shrieking. Yup.
    - So where was the one-armed Mike going? Oxygen storage or the morgue? Wtf Hawk?
    - Major Briggs is smoooooth. And I swear Coop is flirting with Shelly. Why didn't they go anywhere with that.
    - I wonder if there is some symbolism of the image system at play in Leo and Shelly's unfinished house. Especially compared to the homeyness of the Hayward's house in the very next scene. Must be an intentional juxtaposition I think.
    - Dammit, Jerry, now I want a brie baguette.

  3. Fell asleep during episode 2, so I recapped the tail-end dream sequence before kicking off #3 tonight. Love Coop's morning after after hair.
    - Watching the Log Lady intros are usually an exercise in inscrutable metaphor, but seemed to take on a new melancholy with the death of Catherine Coulson this week.
    - The morgue scene seems like such an odd place for Ben Horne to show up. I sure do love Albert though.
    - The father/son chat dynamics and nonverbal acting between Bobby and Major Briggs are just a goldmine.
    - "Look. It's trying to think."
    - I get why Nadine is there for story reasons, but I feel like she just sucks all the life out of the show every time she has a scene.
    - Dana Ashbrook continues to surprise me. Love his delivery at the funeral. Were there no Emmy nominations for Twin Peaks at all ever?
    - For some reason, Shelly describing the funeral to the nameless lumberjacks reminds me of early Buffy episodes where the nameless girls laugh at Cordy's stories and jokes.
    - Damn... Leo is smooth. That's a shitty hiding place Shelly's gun though
    - I'll say it again, hate Josie, love Pete
    - Deputy Hawk borders on obnoxious stereotype, but damn he is one of the most consistently cool characters on the show. But if he's as good a tracker as they say, how did he lose the one-armed man back in eps1/2?
    - And that's a depressing way to end an episode. Oy, Leland.
    - Gordon! Finally!
    - Damn, Hank is such a shit. But he doesn't have the menace of a Leo or the style of a Ben Horne.
    - Bobby's shirt in his scene with Shelly here is incredibly telling.
    - I once had a passport picture taken where my hair looked exactly like Andy's.
    - Cooper spouting folk wisdom is often reminiscent of Ulysses Everett McGill in "O Brother Where Art Thou". "It's a fool who looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart."
    - Speaking of Leo and Ben... And speaking of the human heart, I never got the point of the necklace.
    - Aaaaaaaaaand there's a big old owl.
    - Ugh. Hank and Josie. In a Dutch angle no less. Throw in Nadine and I'd have an excuse to go start watching Seinfeld re-runs instead.
    - If I had a nickel for every time I was woken at 4am by loud Icelandic singing...
    - Is The Smoke Room at The Great Northern where one goes to smoke, where one goes to buy smokes or where they smoke dinner?
    - I had a girl give me a leg of lamb once too. I think you're on to something truly special there, Jerry...
    - Didn't Deputy Andy notice the breakfast table set for two?
    - Dammit, Coop, now I want a donut.
    - The sincerity with which James wants to get Maddy a Cherry Coke is astounding. "You GOT it!" Had to rewind the scene to catch Hank sitting down in the next booth behind them to eavesdrop but it seems insane no one else in the room noticed.
    - And she didn't even touch her Cherry Coke...
    - Another powerful Bobby scene. Dana Ashbrook continues to surprise.
    - Why would they being Doc Hayward out with them to find Renault's cabin?
    - "Fire is the devil hiding like a coward in the smoke." I like that line. I am going to have to stew on that for a while.
    - Pete at the party with a stein of milk and calling his wife "Cathy" is priceless. Audrey's role in the end is pretty heartbreaking though.

  4. #6
    - I'm sure that the Coop Friendzone was one of the most anti-climatic cliffhanger resolutions in the history of TV. At least til he got to the malts and fries. Then it was ok.
    - Love Doc Hayward's diagnosis on the grapes. Also, Coop hates birds. That's probably important.
    - Did Shelly wait 8 hours to call Bobby or did he take 8 hours to get there. Either way there is a lot of downtime between this scene and when Leo was shot.
    - So Audrey's hiding in the closet... Why does she light up a cigarette?
    - I'm shocked no one has tried to film an "Invitation to Love" webseries
    - The incredible difference between Cooper's tux and Big Ed's getup is priceless... Just waiting for the wig.
    - I love Catherine's gameface when she finally figures out what's going on w/ the insurance agent and decides she has a few T's left to cross of her own. "Are you an ambitious man, Mr. Neff?" "One likes to think so." "One never knows..."
    - Nothing loosens a myna bird's tongue like donuts. Or rifles.
    - Welcome to TV immortality Hester?
    - Bobby's capacity for the doublecross is impressive. But wouldn't the doc have heard James' bike? Also, why didn't Donna stay with Maddy? And why does she still have the wig on?
    - According to Wikipedia, this episode tied for 40th place in the weekly ratings with that week's Family Matters. Wtf America?
    - I suppose it's a good thing Donna went because James is a freaking idiot.
    - Poor Dr. Jacoby. You shouldn't be alone at night in that neighborhood in that shirt.
    - Doesn't every girl that goes to One-eyed Jack's pick the queen of hearts?
    - Why is Jacques drinking two beers in this scene?
    - Do people really wash their hair like that Shelly?
    - So now I feel guilty for saying Nadine was sucking the life out of the show. Sheesh. Literal much?
    - This show has an amazing ability to move characters back and forth on the likability curve over their arcs in the series. This episode is where Catherine gets to be a relatable root-able-for character.
    - This episode also would seem to confirm Dep. Andy doesn't shoot blanks. You know. When he shot Jacques.
    - Pete looking for the ledger = Me any time I try to clean the house.
    - The Bobby and Leo scene reminds me of the parking lot scene in Go. Both very good out of left field twists.
    - "I can't hear what you're saying, you have a THING in your mouth."
    - I'm not sure I get all the Ghostwood double-crosses or how exactly Ben figures on getting the land with Catherine dead. But like a Bond movie, I'm just letting it wash over me.
    - What the FRAAAAAAAK was the deal with that hunchback?
    And so ends Season One with many many cliffhangers. I CAN'T BELIEVE THERE'S REALLY GONNA BE A SEASON THREE. WOOT!

  5. Starting Season Two with Episode #8. This is the first episode I ever watched in "real time" back in 1990.
    - Everybody likes room service. Looks like Coop's vest caught two but one got through? We'll see what Doc Hayward says once the bellboy gets his act together. How did Coop get so far away from the door?
    - I suppose the new Showtime episodes being commercial free will be technically longer allowing more time for batshit weirdness like this guy that makes everyone think Lynch is certifiable. Incidentally, I sense Cooper's awkwardness by the end of that conversation is much like that I feel in 90% of conversations with strangers.
    - And here's the giant's 3 things. "The question is 'Where have you gone?'" I have no memory of the part about Leo. Locked inside a hungry horse? Wtf?
    - Audrey's up next on the cliffhanger countdown... Vixen. Needless to say, I didn't get this scene much more than the last one the first time around.... Context is everything, huh?
    - I thought Blackie and Jerry were buds? This seems like a pretty different relationship all of a sudden...
    - I like Ben but he's more than a little skeezy in that scene.
    - Ah, a wood tick. That explains it. The Diane technique is a clever way to bring out Coop's internal monologue. But the ring IS gone...
    - THAT'S gotta get infected.
    - And now Lucy with "Last Night On Twin Peaks". The bruising on Coop's torso above the bandage is a nice touch. Not sure if I ever noticed that before. "What's there to smile about..." Poor Lucy.
    - For some reason Doc Hayward's reference to the Elks Club fire of fifity whatever reminds me of the jazz club fire in It.
    - How could I not have liked Leland with an entrance like that? This one scene is more charming than all of season one for his character.
    - Sheryl Lee. She has a tendency to be so incredibly over the top in her many meltdowns.
    - The Great Northern has to be in the Top Ten places to work with those kinds of shenanigans going on. And yes, I would eat ivy too.
    - Agent Rosenflower? Andy's gonna have to sit out the rest of the game on concussion watch though.
    - That would be such a fun town to live in. If they had a good movie theater.
    - Wow, Donna seems to have matured since last night. And there's a weird vibe between her and Maddy now. Surely they can't feel that guilty about nearly killing Amber Tamblyn's dad?
    - Wait... Does that mean I'm supposed to wash my hair or not?
    - Why on God's green earth would someone chew pine tar?
    - Albert... WINNING. (Woof.)
    - Hungry Horse, Montana. Makes perfect sense.
    - "Laura said a lot of nutty stuff." True dat. Did James' hair change color?

  6. Ep 8 continues...
    - Wow. Who seriously wolf-whistled Donna in the police station lobby. And she sure is smoking a lot in public places. Big attitude change from last season. No wonder I was smitten. Plus... that thing with her mouth. And the ... bars.
    - "Hey kids, look through this porn for work purposes." Awkward.
    - That was a gloomy prognosis of the hospital tray. But funny.
    - Nice detail Coop thanks. I am guessing the Doc would have recognized that though.
    - Is that the first reference to the scorched engine oil? I wonder how they came up with that connection. Food for thought.
    - Doctor Bobby looks a bit like he got a tan over his summer vacation... last night. Lucky bastard.
    - "I guess"? Wtf Bobby? Soooo not convincing.
    - Albert's review of the hospital coffee is as perfect as all Coop's other coffee reviews.
    - THE SMILING BAG. Blink and you miss it. Love the non-verbal dialogue between the Sheriff and Albert.
    - Someone has a serious axe to kind against hospital food.
    - Jelly donuts DO go without saying.
    - Norma as a character never did all that much for me, but on this watch-through I really love her relationship with Shelly. It's very sweet. Sisterhood, yo.
    - Oh yeah. Work and school. People still do that. Major Briggs is such an incredibly bizarre character. Log Lady level. But I love his delivery. "I had a dream we hugged. Let's shake hands on it."
    - Jesus Andy. "Roserfelt"... Lol.
    - Is the Blue Pine Lodge on a river or a lake? I'd love to see a map of the official geography of Twin Peaks.
    - Pete's speech about Catherine is simple but moving. Did Jerry just say "the entire head"?
    - "With Leo, how could they tell?" "Chopping wood? INSIDE?"
    - With skin that white in an outfit like that, Audrey's definitely gonna bruise.
    - Damn, this must be a double-long ep... Just keeps going on.
    - It's probably easy to be picked as the fairy in the school play, Christine, when your brother is the Kwisatz Haderach.
    - Nice poem, Harriet. Hard-hearted harbinger of haggis...
    - Did I get both "aces" and "woof" from this episode way back when?
    - Leland is about a hairsbreadth away from a psychotic break here. Oh, wait. Right.
    - "Sleep deprivation is a one-way ticket to temporary psychosis. And I'm working on a three day jag."
    - Audrey's dream-prayer is not as good a cheat as the Diane recordings.
    - And the giant's back. That was a weird-ass special effect.
    - Shit. No wonder Ronnette was in a coma.
    - Hey... That's not Mendelssohn.
    - And we're at the still images "Next on..." Cool. I like the teasy effect of that.

  7. Settling in for episode 9...
    - That Albert... One of the Happy Generation. Senor Droolcup indeed.
    - Wow, I had no idea they dropped Wyndham Earle's name this early. They could have dwelled on it a little more.
    - The Meals on Wheels. I never got the Tremond connection. Maybe it will make more sense this time. That kid looks like a 12 year old David Lynch though. J'ai une ame solitaire.
    - That seat instructions thing is utterly absurd but possibly the most true to life moment I've seen in the series so far.
    - I never made the connection between Jerry and food before this viewing.
    - Good God that throwaway moment with Dep. Andy and the Scotch tape is priceless. Ten bucks says Maj. Briggs was just plotting to have the Log Lady killed for dabbling in "classified" affairs.
    - Andy likes wells? What? Ah, Ben noticed his kid is gone.
    - I really have a hard time seeing Leland working full time with the Horne brothers. Even before he went batshit crazy.
    - I have a hard time seeing Audrey's intended endgame here. Also, I thought her room was locked?
    - That's some pretty badass and creepy exposition there Major. The space signals want Coop to waste the owls. Considering the... Oh my God.... Where did this scene with James and the Laurettes come from? So many questions. Are they recording that? Is it a first take? Where did the bass and drums come from? Did he make his voice do that on purpose?
    - Why is it you can never hear the other person's voice on the phone but you can hear the ringtone when they hang up.
    - What's the deal with Maddy having visions? Maybe it runs in the family I guess?
    - Seriously... Is Audrey thinking through ANYTHING she does?

  8. So Episode 10 opens with Ronette getting the fingernail treatment with dye. But why? I don't think that's ever explained, given all the things we find out later... At least it gives Coop a chance to get the giant story off his chest.
    - Boy, Harold Smith sure isn't a creepy guy, is he?
    - Albert seems more and more like the one sane one on the team. I love that deep focus shot of him in the conference room.
    "Albert's path is a strange and difficult one." One of my favorite lines.
    - And here is Dick Tremain... What teeth... "Robot".
    - Hawk cites the height of the Great Northern ceilings with the wonder of a native folk legend.
    - Leland says Bob lived in a white house? Shouldn't it be a black one?
    - Lucy and Dick ordered the exact same lunch. How did Andy not know about this guy?
    - Flashing back to the weird video music. It makes perfect sense that there would be some weird tension between Donna and Maddy over James, but all the seems it's shown in seem so awkward and poorly conceived...
    - Baaaaaaaad plan, Shelly. Bad plan.
    - The One Armed Man is always a trip in this. Unclear if he got his medication in that scene.
    - Are we supposed to think that Asian guy was the one who shot Coop?
    - Ben Horne's fatherly threats are actually kind of weirdly charming.
    - Oh great... The other Renault. I don't know which brother's accent was the most off-putting.
    - Guess that's a no on the medication. I totally tuned out that conversation about Josie btw.
    - Speaking of things to tune out. On Top Of Old Smoky? Really?
    - Doctor Jacoby knows how to convalesce. I laughed out loud at that one... I feel like I knew this episode pretty well but I have no memory of this scene whatsoever.
    - Is the owl eavesdropping on Donna? Seriously James, don't mess with Uncle Leland's shit.
    - That's kind of an ominous reference to "those summers at Pearl Lakes" from Leland. And Donna runs to Harold? Wtf?
    - Aaaaaaand there's the secret diary.

  9. Well there goes my Episode 11 comments. Screw it. I'm not retyping it all. That sucks since this episode had some of the great lines of the series...

  10. Back into it finally with Episode 12:
    - Lucy trying to explain things is like when my daughter tries to tell me a story.
    - Squiggy is Mr. Pinkle the crane salesman. Somehow fitting.
    - In a town like Twin Peaks... court is held at the roadhouse bar.
    - Oh God, Harold is such a creep. Quid pro quo Clarice... That scene could have been improved though if his skin had actually started bubbling as soon as the sun hit it.
    - Van Dyke Parks as Leo's defense attorney. And one of the great throwaway lines there: "Objection to the word 'normal'." "He's close enough!"
    - I want to try a Black Yukon Sucker Punch now though.
    - Hank sticking his head through the secret door in Ben's office is like something out of a Laugh-In sketch. I like the headless horse reference though from Jean.
    - Dep. Andy on the phone as Lucy's temp is priceless. Also a whole damn town.
    - The scene with Donna narrating is bizarre, not least of which because Harold ISN'T WRITING ANYTHING DOWN. Creep.
    - Coop and Harry storming One Eyed Jacks made me think of the Ping Island attack from Steve Zissou. I like the trick with the (racquet?)ball though. Will have to remember that if I ever need to assault someone.
    - I have a vastly bigger respect for Jean Renault now that I know who Michael Parks is.
    - If Harold is a shut-in, how does he get his hair feathered into that sweet semi-mullet?
    - Sheesh, corporate politics at One Eyed Jacks is as bad as Game of Thrones. Hank is fucked by that little twist though. Nicely played.
    - Jesus, Maddy, weren't you listening at all in the meeting?
    And straight into #13 because I want to see how Harold explains what he did to his face.
    - I like that he used the word "unclean".
    - Cool to get another look at the bookhouse, but why wouldn't they take Audrey to the hospital?
    - Lara Flynn Boyle should have gotten an Emmy for managing to act as though she has sexual tension with James.
    - Not one of Ben Horne's finer scenes or moments. Ouch.
    - Hey Mr. Pitt! Can Leo come to the phone?
    - Gordon! Woot! "There's the one-armer now!"
    - They brought Ben Horne to the Bookhouse? That seems unwise...
    - I'm making a determined effort not to talk about Nadine or her whack-ass storyline. But I guess I just did. Oy.
    - Can random Asian assassin just go ahead and kill Josie and leave Sheriff Truman alone?
    - Sheesh Maddy & James are either talking in poetry or Hallmark cards.
    - I do like the symmetry of Ben & Josie's stalemate. Just dislike the fact Josie is in it.
    - Leo's kazoo. So perfect. I miss Madchen Amick. I hope she comes back for the new season.
    - Gordon and Coop are so perfect together. "I just want you to know we can hear everything you're saying out in the hall."
    - P-K4
    - Leland grabbing the hairs off the stuffed fox made me look up what a vicuna was. No relation. I love his semi-awkward non-hug with Ben though.
    - Ben strikes me as the kind of guy who would know not to light a cigar with a lighter. Leland has a beautiful sing voice though.
    - I love the performance of MIKE... "He is Bob, eager for fun. He wears a smile... Everybody RUN..."

  11. Kicking off episode #14. A pretty pivotal one as I recall...
    - I do love the technique of careening wildly back and forth between ominous and ridiculous, particularly in that opening scene with MIKE and the various agents, prepping for the day. And sailors dribbling balls evidently.
    - Poor Harold murdered his orchids before doing himself in. Donna has that effect on people. I mostly feel bad for Hawk trying to pick through all those papers. Classic Lynch using the flashbulbs to accentuate the scene.
    - Cracks in the Bobby & Shelly facade here.
    - Audrey and Ben having a long overdue heart-to-heart. Aaaaaaaaand there the penny drops. Nowhere to go from up but here Ben. Wait, does he really have a picture of Laura on his desk? No one else noticed that til now? Wouldn't that seem odd to, I don't know... anyone?
    - Norma and Shelly make an awesome girl gang.
    - All signs are certainly pointing to Ben. But we know it can't be that easy right?
    - Ah, Tajimora. Sorry about what I said before Ben. There's still a ways down to go before the rebound.
    - I thought for sure Pete was gonna drop the milk. Oh wait, never mind.
    - I remember watching this episode with one or two other people in the bedroom of a house with a high school party going on. It had been announced that the killer would be revealed. The reception was terrible and staticey and definitely gave a "dark and stormy night" feeling to it all. To say things in the Palmer house got twisted that night is an understatement. It was chillingly sobering and the last 15-20 minutes of this episode really bring me back to that night, a handful of diehards clustered around a snowy screen, and most assuredly NOT in a mood to go back to the party afterwards.
    - I do love the Julee Cruise appearance though. This is probably her finest moment on the show. Especially when Donna sings along. With the pathos that follows, this was the most gut-wrenching episode of the series. Maybe. And the music is integral.
    - Seriously though. Wtf is up with all the sailors? Twin Peaks is nowhere near the coast.
    - I think we know the burning smell is the portal to the Black Lodge by now, though it's never explained why. I wonder what the point of the spotlight is though? Other than Lynchian weirdness. And is BOB's motive ever really explained here? Other than being "eager for fun"?
    - Good God the transitions in this sequence are disturbing. Twistedly psycho-sexual. I never heard that line clearly before now. I always thought he told her she'd never make it back to Missoula. Interesting.
    - Tension and release. Now begins the denouement. And such a beautiful grief-ridden song from Julee Cruise. Even Bobby knows some shit is up.
    - Curtains for Maddy. Literally.

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