Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Would you like some coffee?

As stingy as I am with buying almost anything, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and quit making excuses. I often remember this whenever I go back to my copy of Scott Walker's In 5 Easy Pieces box set, which I picked up from the Tower Records liquidation sale last fall.

I had sampled just a few tracks and read rave reviews, but it was still a rather pricey gamble. But I thought: where else am I going to hear all this material and get it for $25 off the regular price? Plus, being a liquidation sale, it might not be there the following week. So I just shut up and bought it for $40 and some change. I haven't regretted the decision as I've been looping back around to his material as of late (after listening to it almost every week from October to March).

Kind of in the same vein is my decision to pre-order the DVD set people have waiting quite a few years for: the entire Twin Peaks series, including the 2-hour pilot episode and a load of supplemental goodies not found anywhere else. This is probably the best way to enjoy one of David Lynch's masterworks, flaws and all. And I could really give a rat's ass about how the quality of the show dips halfway through the second and final season.

When I tried to get into Twin Peaks last year, I was very discouraged by how the pilot episode was not available on DVD. Due to a rights issue that didn't get resolved until late last year, the pilot had never been commercially released in the US on DVD. But I wasn't aware of that until I rented the first disc of the first season last fall. Starting the first episode with "Previously on Twin Peaks," I thought all that I really missed was the discovery of Laura Palmer's body. I realized how wrong I was as the episode moved forward. I wondered who all these people were and what was really going on. After four episodes, I had to stop and hope that this set would come out sometime in the near future.

Even though I found the pilot on YouTube, I wanted to see the whole series on DVD. As nice and convenient YouTube is, it's no match for having the real thing. In the case of the whole series, the current availability is even more discouraging. Season 1 is no longer available on DVD, but Season 2 is. So, in other words, if you want to see the whole thing in one setting, in the words of Pavement's Bob Nastanovich, you'll just have to wait.

I must say this show is not some easy-breezy show to watch. It's intense and pretty dark. It's not the kind of material that's usually worth watching over and over again. Almost every character is a backstabber and/or having an affair -- all markings of unlikable characters. The overall tone is disturbing. (For me, in particular, what transpires at Laura Palmer's funeral is really disturbing, especially when you find out who killed her in the second season.) Yet I can't help but keep coming back to the show for many other reasons.

Even though lots of other hour-long dramas have learned from the mistakes from Twin Peaks, no other show has come close to what the whole show was. Forever an example of burning a storyline into the ground after a rapid rise, the show still resonates. I say it's better to experience the whole thing than dismiss it entirely. And that, in my opinion, is worth the dollars and spending hours watching the show.

1 comment:

Py Korry said...

I've been a fan of David Lynch since I first saw Eraserhead back in the early 80s. Twin Peaks was a show where Lynch must have had a lot of fans at ABC, because much of what he was able to get away with was really amazing for network TV.

Warts and all, I really admired the work they were able to do on that show and was sad when they had to wrap it up in the vague way they did.

I thought the movie would pick up after the series ending, but it was a prequel that didn't pave any new ground and lacked the humor of the series.