Today I spent $149 on the blu-ray release of Twin Peaks — an expense unprecedented. But before you start concerning about my sanity — know this: I already knew it was wholly worthwhile, and was giddy with excitement at this brand new adventure into a series that I can almost quote word-for-word.
But when the packaging gifted me this amazing surprise, I was buzzing at an uncontrollable frenzy. If you don’t want to know the surprise — stop reading. And obviously there are other SPOILERS below.
I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but Twin Peaks changed my life. And here is why in list form.
1) SPIRITUAL HOMELAND
Dale Cooper gets shot at the end of what I call “Season 1”. (I divide TP into 3 seasons, though officially it lasts only 2 seasons.)
At the start of “season 2” (half way through official S1) Cooper is laying on the floor of his hotel room at the Great Northern in a tuxedo and bleeding from a wound in his stomach.
It is thoroughly the best episode of the series, in my opinion. Cooper spends almost the entire episode laying there, dying, but crucially philosophising about life. And because I was so young and Dale was the bestest hero I had ever seen on television, I absorbed EVERY word.
And so he talked again about Tibet and how it was his spiritual homeland. So after that episode finished I decided I would have a “Spiritual Homeland” just like him. But because I was young and simple and afraid of travel I didn’t want my “Spiritual Homeland” to be too far away or too exotic. So I picked Tasmania. Ever since I told everyone who cared to listen what Tasmania was. I studied it and dreamt that one day it would become real.
I got to visit Tasmania about 10 years later and it was indeed “spiritual”. It was the very first place I visited on this planet that involved air-travel and was at my own deciding. I felt like kissing the ground just as I stepped off the plane (like the pope does) once I got there — but the abundance of ugly men in lumberjack outies made me think otherwise.
Despite this Tasmania is a place I don’t just revere, it is a place that makes my ears prick up at every mention.
I just loved the sense of humour in the series. The journalists all made a big deal of the “quirkiness”, but I just saw that as jokes. It was so serious, but taking the piss out of itself at the same time. It was a mystery after all. Why not just have this random shot of a ceiling fan spinning around (when it was still super cold outside and it wasn’t even 9am).
3) DALE COOPER
He is such a perfect human. The character is modelled on David Lynch, but I suspect a bit more “pure”.
You should all read his “autobiography” — “My Life My Tapes”. It was actually written by Scott Frost – the brother of the co-creator of TP (Mark).
I have got so much out of this book — and not just in regards to TP. It is like the Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, but just a bit more serious. It delivers so much more understanding to the Twin Peaks world, but it mostly tells a crushingly amazing human story that anyone could relate to.
Conversely, Laura Palmer’s diary, written by Jennifer Lynch (David’s Daughter), is OK but just a bit too flighty. Non of the humour that defined the series. Maybe I just didn’t “get it” but I remember my 15 year old girlfriend shaking her head while telling me how it contained “secret woman’s business” and I really shouldn’t be reading it.
And I should also put down that I was so obsessed with Dale Cooper when he said he didn’t like birds — well I decided at that point I didn’t either. To this day I am still a bit weary of them. This has frustrated my relationship with our chooks — who I thoroughly love — but I still wonder if I should.
And it should be said — climbing tall hills, but of course not too tall — has been an obsession of mine ever since. Both on foot and on bike and it should be said vicariously (reading about mountaineering). It is truly a wondrous activity for both body and mind.
4) ANDY and LUCY
Apart from Dale, I think Andy and Lucy were my next favourite characters. So amazing to see a cop cry. And Lucy has such a great voice. Her 6 little 30 second teaser ads included in the blu ray are a revaluation. Absolutely hilarious.
The scene in episode 8 (my favourite episode) where Andy accidentally steps on a plank and brains himself — and spends a good 3 or 4 minutes walking like a crab trying to compose himself — is comic genius.
ASIDE: watch in the background as Agent Rosenfeld takes his glasses off three times. Count them.
At the end of the second episode proper – after the 2 hour pilot – Dale has a dream in the Red Room.
The whole scene is filmed backwards (only forwards for Cooper’s dialogue) and Laura is there and so is the little man. It was a scene David Lynch filmed for the pilot which was meant to be a “conclusion” to the movie in case it never got picked up by the networks (and thus could be turned into a movie for Europe). It was so good he cut it into the series.
Anyway when I moved out of home and finally had my own place I bought a bunch of red fabric and made my grandma sew me red curtains so my new place could look like the red room.
6) THE MONOLOGUES
Apart from the scene where Cooper is shot and dying, he gets to have a big lot of awesome soliloquies. I love the one where he recounts that dream to Harry and Lucy. “Do you know where dreams come from?” I know that dialogue word for word.
I love the bit where Cooper decides he is going to use “Tibetan Deductive Technique” to throw rocks at glass bottles to determine who Laura was talking about when she mentioned someone called “J” in her official diary. (She had a second “secret” diary too — SPOILER)
7) THE MUSIC
So fucking, fucking good. I doubt a TV series since has come close to delivering such an awesome soundtrack. And it’s 90% without vocals.
Equal bits eerie (Title Theme) and equal bits disturbing (Laura’s Love Theme) and equal bits uplifting and strange (Freshly Squeezed).
“Audrey’s Dance” is probably my fave — maybe mostly because of the scene it accompanies is sublime. But “Dance of the Dream Man” is definitely next (the fade out of the big dream Dale has).
Oh and the liner notes where incredible too — they had a headshot of every single character — including “Diane”.
8) BLU RAY EXTRAS (and did you know Conan O’Brien was in Twin Peaks?)
I really love that 1 hour movie of David Lynch with Kyle and Madchen and that other dude. Absorbing. But I think it was released earlier on the Gold edition of the DVD set. Anyway — the extra scenes in Fire Walk With Me are great and insightful. A must for any TP fan.
I do love the episode Kyle hosted of SNL — not included in this set — where you can see Conan playing Andy (it’s not clear so I am just assuming) and Mike Myers playing the little man from another place (Dream Man).
PICTURES FROM 2010 TRIP TO TP
And here are some pics of Dee and me visiting some Twin Peaks locations — Snoqualmie and the North Bend region in Washington state. The picture of the Owl is sadly the last picture ever taken of it. It was confiscated (and destroyed) at the Australian border when we came home because it had wood content. (sad face).
If your interested I played a game recently – Deadly Premonition – which is heavily influenced by Twin Peaks, especially concerning storyline and characters. Check it out!