Twin Peaks Usenet Archive


Subject: Twin Peaks Post-Mortem
From: kem@csri.toronto.edu (Kem Luther)
Date: 1990-05-20, 14:19
Newsgroups: alt.tv.twin-peaks

	No matter how this wraps up, we are surely going to see some
post-mortem analysis about what made this so watchable.  Let me jump 
in early, since my comments don't depend on who gets nailed for the murder.

	(1)  The initial impression from the pilot that everyone in
town was eminently certifiable was unique.  Standard evening TV
casebooks say that quirky people are either funny or dangerous.  Casting
them as normals made them anti-normal, anti-soap.  TP thus became strong
social comment and intelligent viewing, since ordinary tube fare is neither.
Did anyone else notice how much TP felt like a book instead of a TV
program?  The medium and the message were not aligned.	It took a TV+VCR
to see it correctly.

	However, the series was destined to lose most of this edge-of-
reality feeling, if for no other reason than it had to keep going,
speaking from a little box, and protecting its market share.  TV
consumes all.  If it is renewed as a series it will not be a victory
for creativity; it will be a signal that another challenge to video
mindlessness has been met and conquered.  Let it die.

	(2)  The character of Dale Cooper was the show's highlight for
me.  It has been pointed out several times that he seems to have super-
detective capabilities.  This is not correct, if the word 'detective' is
defined by the models of modern detectiveship.	Conan Doyle launched the model
with Holmes.  The perfect sleuth is the perfectly rational person, applying
logic to analytic observation.	So Poirot, so Maigret, so Sam Spade, so all.
A Clouseau is funny because he solves cases even though he is absolutely
imperfect. But Cooper does not work within this model. His weapon is intuition
and his method is receptivity.	He believes that the crime solves itself,
that all the solver has to do is to accept the revelation.  When all the facts
are collected, Holmes can follow the deductive thread.	Cooper, however,
assembles the evidence to evoke the dream.  The solution to the crime is the
interpretation of the dream.

	Lynch didn't invent this model.  It is the work of Douglas Adams,
as far as I can tell.  Cooper is Dirk Gently.  But Cooper is, I think, a
more effective example of this model than Gently, perhaps because Gently is
(to this point) confined to books, where the presuppositions of normality
are not so strong as the visual medium.

	If the TV mohguls are listening, how about bringing Cooper back
in a series of Gently-style stories.  The rest of Twin Peaks can be moved
to the afternoon, where it (increasingly) belongs.


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