Twin Peaks Usenet Archive

Subject: Re: The Dance Music
From: (Dan Parmenter)
Date: 1990-12-27, 13:34

In article  joe@zitt (Joe Zitt) writes:

> >   1) The stuff I watch TP for (aka The Weird Stuff) takes up maybe 10% of 
> >   the show. The rest is soap, and goofs on soap.

How on earth do you determine what is and isn't "weird stuff"?  For
example, the affair between Ben and Catherine in the first season was
pretty standard soap-opera fare, but was interrupted with odd stuff,
like Ben's "little Elvis" comment.  Was that a 10% concentration of
weirdness in an otherwise boring plotline?  What about Albert?  He was
an interesting character all along, though not particularly "weird"
until his speech about non-violence; however, that speech put all of
his earlier actions into an entirely different context which became
quite odd when you thought about it.  So where does that fit into your
percentage?  How about Dr. Jacoby?  He's basically a sleazy
psychiatrist who attaches almost mystical attachment to sleazy Doctorish
pursuits like golfing.  10% weird or not?  How about Audrey?  There's
nothing particularly odd about her first season vamping and general
spaciness - until you realize that she's actually Nancy Drew with a
tight sweater.  And what about Sheriff Truman?  He seems like one of
the best examples of a seemingly *very* straightlaced character whose
weird quirks have been slowly revealed - his membership in a secret
society, his slightly kinky antics with Josie, his gradual acceptance
of Cooper's quirky methods, etc.  

Furthermore, what I find so fascinating about the show is the way the
ordinary soap-opera story plays off of the weird stuff and comes
across even odder by comparison.  In the bizarre reality of the first
two episodes of this season, the storyline of say, Norma and Hank, was
almost a welcome "reality check" against all the other stuf that was
going on.  The "weird" and the "normal" complement each other
perfectly, and occasionally even interact.  No matter how "normal"
events seem, they are in the context of a world where bow-tie wearing
giants and one-armed men are everyday reality.

> >   2) At several points (such as at the party welcoming the Icelanders) 
> >   events are interrupted by sudden old dance music that precipitates The 
> >   Leland Shuffle. However, noone is seen starting the music, and noone 
> >   seems surprised that the music has started up all by itself. Who started 
> >   the music? A DJ? The party band? (If so, I think Ben woulda immediately 
> >   fired them.) An owl landing on the stereo?

What difference does it make?  Maybe Angelo Badalamenti was present.
There's no point wondering what the source of that music is.  How come
when Maddy, James and Donna were singing we heard bass and drums?  No
one was playing them. They were just there.  You might as well ask
why one can't see the musicians who play background music in musical
comedies.  You say you like the "weird elements" in TP, but you then
seem bothered by the fact that no one at the party seems surprised
when music starts up out of nowhere.  Isn't that a "weird element"?
Or do only dancing dwarves qualify is "true" weirdness?

> >   3) The show >does< hold together quite well seen in this compressed 
> >   format. It evolves much as (as some have called it) a video novel would, 
> >   with surprisingly few (though not zero) glitches.

I agree wholeheartedly.  Even with the continuity lapses and all,
watching episodes one after the other is very rewarding.

- Dan

|"The revolution will not be         |Dan Parmenter, wealthy young man about  |
| televised" - Gil Scott-Heron       |town                                    |