Finding out that Twin Peaks was returning was like having the most beautiful dream and the most terrible nightmare all at once. When David Lynch and Mark Frost’s endlessly strange, hugely influential TV show was cancelled in 1991, it left a lot of questions unanswered.
Today, fans everywhere are still wondering which loose ends will be tied up when season three gets underway on 22 May. The secrecy surrounding the project makes it extremely difficult to decode, so to help separate the facts from idle speculation, here’s a rundown of everything we know so far…
The original cast is back (well, mostly)
When the full cast list for season three was released in April 2016, there were plenty of familiar names on the docket: Special Agent Dale Cooper, Shelly, Norma, Bobby, James, Ed, Nadine, Andy, Hawk, Lucy, Sarah Palmer, Ben and Jerry Horne, as well as everyone’s favourite, Gordon Cole. Even David Duchovny is back as DEA agent Denise Bryson.
There are some notable omissions though: Piper Laurie won’t be returning as Catherine Martell, and neither will Lara Flynn Boyle as Donna Hayward (the same goes for Moira Kelly, who played her in Fire Walk with Me), Catherine E Coulson as the Log Lady, and, of course, David Bowie as Philip Jeffries.
Read the full article at Little White Lies →
There’s been a lot of talk over the last several years of television being in a golden age. As with most artistic periods, there isn’t a clear consensus on where it began nor what kicked it all off. While The Sopranos gave us long-form storytelling that managed to be episodic while gradually deepening our understanding of its characters and what they tell us about ourselves and the world we live in, it’s hard to say that all television was purely escapist beforehand when The Twilight Zone was taking audiences to strange new places in 1959 and Star Trek looked forward to a progressive future in ‘66. But one thing that has by its very essence remains consistent and unaltered by an increasingly self-reflexive medium is the sitcom. That brings us to Bojack Horseman, which is itself part of a new surge of adult-orientated animation in the U.S and Netflix-exclusive content.
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The following is an article I wrote about Bojack Horseman last summer after season 2 was released. It was meant to be published somewhere but that kind of fell through, and ended up sitting in my Articles folder for a year. I thought I’d post it here, as with the release of the third season it’s not as pertinent to be hosted anywhere else. I will likely be writing another article on the show in the next few weeks.
Bojack Horseman returned for its second season this year on Netflix, and came back in a big way. The first season was fairly hit-and-miss, only really coming into its own when it engaged with the sad reality of Bojack’s life. The combination of tragedy and comedy, depression and animal puns, was never truly reconciled – until now. Season two does a lot of things right: the treatment of its female characters, its satire of Hollywood, its excellent depiction of bipolar disorder – but what elevates it on a moment-to-moment level is how it handles the tension between its dramatic and comic elements. Too many shows, adult-targeted cartoons especially, tend to land twenty minutes of comedy before one character sums up what they’ve learnt from the events. There are some exceptions – Community follows this structure before deconstructing and poking fun at the trope, while It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia often uses this climactic moment to show that the lesson learned is pointless, or avoided entirely. Emotional stakes tend to reach their peak by the episode’s end here too, but Bojack isn’t scared of injecting pathos into the otherwise ridiculous, or ending a devastating scene with irreverent humour.
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I was a guest on Sean Fallon‘s podcast From First To Last, where he talks to people about the first and last episodes of their favourite shows. I chose Twin Peaks (obviously), and while we mainly talk about the pilot and the series finale ‘Beyond Life and Death’, we also talk about the show in general and David Lynch’s filmography.
You can find it on iTunes now, as well as on Podbean.
At 10:30 AM on 26th March, I entered Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Britain’s oldest cinema in continuous use. At 19:30 PM on 27th March, I left. I’d just spent 33 hours drinking coffee, eating doughnuts, and watching Twin Peaks. I wouldn’t commit myself to a marathon screening of any other show – in fact, up until this point the longest I’d spent in the cinema was to see Nymphomaniac parts 1 & 2 back-to-back. But Twin Peaks is different.
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Season one of Daredevil was brutal and occasionally brilliant, setting up the world of Matt Murdock, lawyer-by-day and vigilante-by-night; a darker side to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The introduction of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk as the antagonist brought things to another level. It was a strange, unpredictable performance that was elevated by some excellent characterisation. Continue reading →
At some point you have probably come across the term “Lynchian.” It’s often used thoughtlessly to explain away weird imagery and seemingly ineffable behaviour in film, but it’s in the popular vernacular for a reason. David Lynch’s particular outlook and cinematic approach has made him the authority on dream-like ambience. The distinct sense of unease in his movies often comes from his interest in the uncanny; a “disturbing unfamiliarity in the evidently familiar.” The abstract concepts he puts on screen inspire fear because they are uncomfortably close to our own reality. In Twin Peaks, the ceiling fan on the landing of the Palmer household is shown at a low frame-rate, as if asking us to focus on the mundane, the ordinary, and wonder what is wrong with the picture presented; objects and behaviour normally associated with normalcy, stability, and positivity are corrupted.
In The Philosophy of Horror, Noël Carroll attributed feelings of horror and the uncanny to apparent transgressions of cultural and conceptual categories. The most effective horror is often that which pushes us beyond the boundaries that give us stability. Even the most intelligent viewers carry their own preconceptions of what a narrative needs to achieve, and what the right emotional response is for a given moment. Examples Carroll provides of these categories are “living/dead,” “me/not me,” and “flesh/machine’,” dichotomies that are common in the horror genre because they challenge the principles that give us comfort, and make the world comprehensible.
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