Every summer there's that moment when you realize there is nothing new to watch and you're only choices are reality shows or bad pilots--Johnno and I try to use this time to rediscover or find new shows to fill the void. He'd never seen TP all the way through and I hadn't seen it in years so I figured it was a good fit.
Who Doesn't Love a Beautiful Corpse?
It's interesting to watch the show with a virgin--you forget how when you remove all the overly weird things from the show--it really is a show about one basic emotion. Grief. Every character in some way is responding to the death of Laura Palmer--some are obvious like her parents but others like her friends and classmates have much odder and deeper feelings. You are being shown through the first half of the show the power of death, how haunting it becomes--not just the pure shock from the murder aspect but the same little waves that ripple from any death.
In a way-because it is grief that runs the show on so many levels-it makes sense that show doesn't really survive once Laura's death is solved and understood. While David Lynch uses his sense of visual style and twisted dialogue to create a noir heavy universe that is fun, without the very human, very naked emotions that run below the surface the show becomes just a bunch of weird and clever puppets running around.
That said--watching the show is inspires me on so many levels. There is a level of plotting at play that is like a juggling act between the overall story of Laura's death, the various love triangles, drug plots and criminal mischief throughout the town. There are the many unique and strange details that Lynch focuses on--the logging mill, the track housing, the weird mix of 90s and 50s found in the sets, music and costumes. You don't know what you are watching or where it is going but you are pulled in by your eyes, eyeballs and eventually your heart and mind. Even the theme song creates such a strong reaction within me.
Creepy Creepy Creepy
There is something so stirring within just the opening, something that few shows can do with a full episode much less a full minute. I think that is what I take most of all from the show, that while it seems to use obvious tricks, it's a show about layers and emotions that lie beneath.
Well--until it gets super weird.