How Has Twin Peaks Season 3 Been Received So Far?
8 Episodes in, does Twin Peaks ‘The Return’ satisfy its 25 year expectations? ‘Twin Peaks The Return’ is in its mid season break! Left with the horrifyingly beautiful and thought provoking aftertaste of episode 8, we finally have some time to mentally process what we’ve seen over the previous month. Phew!
As part of Twin Peaks hardcore fan base, and in league with the tons of new fans flocking to the strange and uncompromising vision of David Lynch and Mark Frost.. We are hungry for more! So, now seems like a good time as any to roundup all the latest news from the Twin Peaks media-world.
While we’re at it – It’s also a good time for reflection. Has the new season lived up to it’s high expectations? How are new fans, as well as cast and critics reacting and responding to this ‘wonderful and strange’ television we’ve just witnessed?
At BTTP, we had a lot of questions about how the return would be received before it aired. Had it been too long? Would Lynch’s aesthetic carry in his old age? Might ‘The Return’ run the risk of being too ‘self aware’? On that last point, Lynch and Frost have clearly delighted in toying with fans and new viewers expectations this time round. (As we delighted in the fact that Gordon Cole clearly loves a ‘Damn fine cup of coffee’ as much as the next ‘Blue-rose’ agent.)
How has critical reception changed?
506,000 viewers in the US tuned into the premiere, a fairly low number. However this proved nothing to observant critics, as premium cable services often jump up to five times their initial audience after the first month. It’s proved to be a polarising show for some long term fans, with arguments over ‘Does the new series feel like the old Twin Peaks?’ – spilling over Facebook, Twitter, fan forums and indeed— into lounge rooms and offices. But this controversy only seems to be drawing more attention to the show, with Episode 8 attracting record viewer levels, and causing a Twitter storm at #TwinPeaks.
As one Twitter member Charles de Lauzirika (@Lauzirika) commented; “Sometimes, amazing things break the internet. I’m pretty sure tonight’s Twin Peaks just broke the universe.”
Will this trend continue?
The show has managed to garner an overall positive consensus from critics, with a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and 9/10 on IMDB. But the reception is less than unanimous… Mark Lawson at ‘The Guardian’ answers his own rhetorical question with cautious pessimism; ‘A damn fine revival? Not Quite yet.”
Daniel D’Addario at TIME magazine was a great deal more scathing to the dissatisfied fanbase, who some have dubbed ‘the coffee and donuts brigade’. “Oh, did you think this would be a comforting nostalgia-fest?” He wrote, “Did you think you’d get to hang out with Coop and Bobby and Audrey and feel like it was 1990 again? Did you think Lynch would give you an easy ride?”
The Most Polarising Episode so Far
Episode 8 was the most polarising episode of The Return so far, even though viewers had plenty of time to prepare themselves for the abstract nature of it, Frost and Lynch both claimed it would be unlike anything fans have ever seen before, and Lynch was apparently ’working for weeks on this chapter in absolute secrecy’.
It might’ve been too much for fans who were desperate to spend more time in their beloved Washington town, but most embraced the sheer artistic scope. Like Matt Zoller of Vulture, who described the episode as “…one of the greatest hours of television I’ve ever seen……a work that owes as much to expressionistic and surreal painting, musical performance, and installation art as it does to narrative and experimental cinema.”
Comparisons to ‘Fire Walk with Me?
The critical reception to The Return shows how much has changed since 1992, when ‘Fire Walk With Me’ was lauded by critics and booed at Cannes. Some saw this as the artist’s final retribution and recognition, with Lynch getting an opposite reaction at Cannes this time round; greeted by a standing ovation in 2017.
What are the cast and crew saying?
John Thorne attended the premiere screening of Twin Peaks documenting his experience in ‘Blue Rose’ # 2. He records “I came out of the theatre elated. This elation carried over to the party being held a few blocks away.” Thorne describes the reactions of the cast, all of whom were seeing the footage of the new season for the first time. Madeline Zima and Dan Jones (pictured) were ecstatic, according to Thorne, and Robert Forster said he was ‘very happy’ with the new show, as were the other jubilant cast members in attendance.
Since then, it has been exciting to observe the cast and crew watch and react in unison with fans, tweeting their thoughts. Madchen Amick was unanimous in her praise of Lynch’s artistic vision, retweeting: ‘Part 8 was a masterpiece, David Lynch is a damn genius.’ Everett McGill, who portrayed Big Ed says of the return, “It was beautiful and surreal. It’s surreal when you think about the years that have passed.” “It was amazing,” said Dana Ashbrook, who played Bobby Briggs. Co creator Mark Frost has commented on the revival, saying, ”This feels even more magical, in a way, than it did the first time.”
The cast are obviously remaining fairly tight lipped about what’s to come.
Chrysta Bell seems to be embracing the trend of silence“…I’m growing more and more attached to the secrecy… there’s so few mysteries in this day and age with social media and all the information, so to be part of something that’s so delightfully mysterious…. i’m relishing that.”
Kyle Machlachlan still only drops vague hints about the future of his character; ‘….. it went places that…. well… just wait till you see it…’
Fans remain hopeful that the hint of a fully restored Agent Cooper we saw in early trailers will be fulfilled. For those who need a quick hit during the long wait to Episode 9, this recent trailer released in cinemas, also shows some new, as yet unseen footage of Gordon Cole on the telephone; (Yes, we are obsessed).
— Stan. (@StanAustralia) July 3, 2017