A few weeks back my boyfriend and I watched the whole series of Twin Peaks on DVD (he had never seen it, I hadn’t watched it in years) and was reminded again what a deeply, deeply weird show that was.
Last night we finally caught up to the current episode of LOST (They’d been collecting on the TiVo since the season started but we hadn’t had time) and were reminded how deeply weird that show is.
So… which show is weirder?
Twin Peaks, by far.
Lost is, really, a pretty straightforward tale about things which are paranormal and pseudoscientific–which jumbles it, to be true, but still it will all make sense eventually.
Twin Peaks will never make sense since even the creator wasn’t fully certain what the meaning of his various symbolisms were. It’s off-kilter because the person who made it is as well (in a productive way.)
I agree with **Sage Rat.
Twin Peaks by a long shot.
I’ve got good news. The gum you liked is coming back in style."
Michael Anderson outweirds everything. TP by a mile.
That was a damn fine cup of coffee.
The one armed man had such a great voice…
The second season was even more bizarre than the first, getting more and more absurd as it went on - with Leo Johnson catatonic, Windom Earle running around, that whole seemingly-irrelevant subplot with James Hurley and that rich woman with the husband and his Jaguar, and Ben Horne’s outlandish attempt to foil Catherine Martell’s Ghostwood project by trying to save the “Little Pine Weasel,” which subsequently jumps off of the stage during his presentation and causes the crowd to run amok in hilariously over-exaggerated panic, not to mention that “fashion show” at the same presentation with Deputy Andy dressed up in a red plaid suit. And the whole business with the Lodges.
That show really is a surrealist masterpiece. Key word, surrealist. David Lynch is an avant-garde filmmaker first and foremost. LOST and everything else currently on TV or in the movies doesn’t even come within an inch of his stuff in terms of weirdness.
I don’t think there’s anything weird about Lost. It’s just a conspiracy mystery with some quasi-paranormal stuff.
Twin Peaks was a fucking acid trip and a waste of time.
IOW, what they said.
That line just kills me all the time.
I think they’re mirror images of weirdness in some ways. Twin Peaks, at least the first season, was an impenetrable, mysterious presentation of a relatively simple story - the murder of a small town girl by a family member. Lost, which I have only seen the first two seasons of, is the opposite. A clear presentation of a profoundly supernatural event.
I enjoyed Lost a lot, but Twin peaks is in a different street. David Lynch made his name by bringing out the weird, the mystery that lurks in ordinary people. Most of his films / TV have a traumatic event for a plotline, like a murder, but it’s incidental to the real business of throwing back the curtain on the little green men from outer space that lurk in the pscyhes of us all.
The characters in Lost are essentially un-interesting by contrast, which is remarkable given the large segments of back-story devoted to each of them in the show. They’re skillfully drawn and fleshed out, but using very conventional methods. The plot and events happening on the island are the name of the game here, and what makes the show gripping. The weirdness is exterior to the characters - a much less interesting premise IMHO.
The second season of Twin Peaks kind of undermines what I’ve said above. IIRC it went off the rails a little - I’m not sure what Lynch’s involvement was. I need to see it again (can you get it on DVD?) - For the sake of consistency I’m tempted to say that as soon as the show became overtly supernatural with the black lodge (actually being a place you could go to) etc. it reverted to being a show just like lost. That might be stretching things though - thinking back it just got a bit directionless with some baggy writing.
Twin Peaks, by a mile. Or, what everybody else said.
The thing about Lost is that they’re on a supernatural island. If you accept the premise that you’re on a supernatural island, nearly everything that happens seems appropriate. Unusual, weird, but also par for the course. While some odd things happen to the characters in flashbacks, they are almost always things that show they are on the path toward being on Oceanic flight 815 (or in Desmond’s case, shipwrecked on the island). I would also point out that most of the flashbacks show things that are very normal – it’s only occasionally that a flashback involves supernatural-type events.
Twin Peaks is profoundly weird because it’s happening in everyday life. We are seeing these things because someone is investigating a murder, but I have no doubt that Nadine would be working on her noiseless drape runner whether or not Agent Cooper had come to town. The basis of Lynch’s vision (I think in general, not just in Twin Peaks) is that tons of weird stuff is happening all the time, for no particular reason, but we fail to notice it.
Nothing I have ever seen on Lost (and I’m a big fan) has freaked me out as much as the little kid holding creamed corn in his hands.
I don’t see that as being “what they said” at all. Who said it was a waste of time? I loved it, personally.
I generally agree that Twin Peaks is weirder. I started the thread because I noticed myself saying to my boyfriend “this is trying to approach Twin Peaks level weirdness” or something like that, and started trying to compare the two. Some great points have been made here about the essential natures of the shows being so opposite in what makes them weird. I hadn’t analyzed it in that way before.
The Cocky Watchman: Yes you can get the whole thing on DVD now as a boxed set. Woohoo! We watched it over about a …three? week period or so. That was a pretty heavy soaking of concentrated weird. It was interesting to see how many of the subplots I’d forgotten completely about (like the chess game and the whole Nadine/Mike thing) and how many other things I remembered really vividly. My boyfriend hadn’t seen it before so it was fun to introduce him to it.
Twin Peaks. I could actually watch it without being bored.
The owls are not what they seem.
I go along with everyone else TPs was gripping AND thought provoking though the end was disappointing .
Lost started off well enough but it seemed to be including weird for the sake of weird in a very self conscious manner and I got the impression that they’d put in something strange and then try and think of a way to justify it after the event.
Also all of the bad people predictably became revealed as good people.
Apart from that the remote island seems to have as many visitors as Disneyworld and a population approaching that of a small town.
I stopped watching it when it seemed that the writers were making up as they went along .
Er…isn’t that what TV writers do?
Another vote for Twin Peaks. It is deeply, deeply weird, there has never been anything like it on television since, although it influenced a whole generation of producers, writers and directors, including JJ Abrams. Lost, along with a whole host of other programs, owes a debt to TP, but it never ventures far into the truly weird.
Twin Peaks, for sure. The day one of the Losties dies due to magical energy and their soul becomes trapped in a wooden nightstand drawer-pull, I will re-evaluate my stance, but I don’t expect it would change even then.
Ha! I forgot about Josie’s fate. I wonder if David Lynch had an eventual plan for that, or if it just was what it was…
I often wish I knew what kind of things he had planned for the show. I know they canceled it before he was “done” and he was pissed about it.
My log and I agree, Twin Peaks is weirder. I’ve always thought TP should have just been a miniseries. The first season was brilliant, some of the best, most twisted TV I’ve ever seen, but it just went off the rails in the second season. They couldn’t entertainingly and consistently sustain that level of tragicomic, well-crafted weirdness without David Lynch involved, and he wasn’t by then. And then to end it as they did, with BOB and Agent Cooper… well, I can’t bring myself to finish that thought. Just tragic.
=Sigh= Maybe some cherry pie will take my mind off it.
I don’t know where people are getting the idea that David Lynch wasn’t involved in the series to the end. He was involved, just not to the same level he had been. I agree that the series suffered as a result of his reduced involvement but it’s not like he abandoned ship or anything.
I seem to be in the minority in liking much of the second season. The first third of it of course was the conclusion of Who Killed Laura Palmer and I think those several episodes were as good as anything from S1. The second big storyline, with Windom Earle, wasn’t as strong as WKLP and didn’t catch people’s attention, but IMHO most of the American viewing public were and are lazy bastards who were pissed off that Lynch didn’t resolve WKLP in the first episode or two of S2 and so made the decision not to continue with the show once that was resolved (Lynch’s original conception was that Laura’s murder would remain unsolved until the eventual series finale).
Those who bailed missed some outstanding stuff, like David Duchovney as Denise Bryson and the whole Dead Dog Farm storyline and Norma’s dramatic confrontation with her mother the secret food critic. There’s a lot of hate for the James-gets-sucked-into-murder-plot storyline and I agree that it’s weak, but it’s not as heinous as some people make it out to be. The one sub-plot I really hated was Ben Horne re-fighting the Civil War. Very annoying.
I liked the ending both as a season finale and a series finale. Were people really expecting Lynch to tie everything up, not only in a neat little package, but an upbeat one?