Mrs Stroke Bloke and I finished binge-watching the two original seasons of Twin Peaks last night. Don’t worry, I’m not going to get into the minutiae – you know, spoilers. you’ve either seen it or you haven’t. And if you have, the odds are you probably got as far as we did back in the Nineties. i.e., not very far.
[Killer BOB politely suggests that you plough on through this blog post, though.]
Nevertheless, the odd, dreamlike quality of that first season was enough to have Young Stroke Bloke (1991) seek out David Lynch movies like Blue Velvet and Wild At Heart in the video store, and a showing of Eraserhead at one of the local arthouse cinemas.
All this Lynchean activity took place as a time when I was particularly impressionable, and the auteur‘s oeuvre was most concerned with the seedy underbelly of suburbia and The American Dream. Perhaps this is why the (arguably) two most unremittingly bleak stories I’ve written, Saint Nick and The First Time are set in American suburbia, among the cheerleaders and the churchgoers. Places and people that, nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed when I’ve visited.
The reason we went back to Twin Peaks was because the 2017 revival appears to have been getting good notices, somewhere on the periphery of the collective Stroke Family consciousness. So we’re getting up to speed first.
I’m guessing the time is ripe for the Twin Peaks revival. I mean, people who were impressionable at the same time as me are probably pretty far up the TV ladder these days. The American Dream is represented by The Elephant’s Nelly/King Ubu/The Donald, who’s a hard-scrabble type who’s made his way up the ladder with nothing to his name but an inheritance and some psychopathic tendencies tied up in a handkerchief on the end of a stick.
A gunman’s recently opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip, leaving 58 people dead and 546 injured, and nothing’s gonna happen except everyone’s gonna buy a bunch more guns. America’s seedy underbelly is now America’s seedy overhanging belly.
Now, I’m not saying things are any better over here. In fact, the repeating surrealisms of modern Britain have a nightmarish – did I say dreamlike? – Lynchean quality.
And Theresa May recently rebranded The American Dream as The British Dream at the Conservative Party Conference. I may be in favour of Scottish independence, but I sure as hell know where scoundrels find refuge.
Industrial hormone-soaked meat farming so we can almost afford to grill at the weekend and think we’ve “made it”? Sounds about right. #CPC17 pic.twitter.com/wL8oQHeA4L
— Ricky Monahan Brown (@ricky_ballboy) October 4, 2017
In fact, when the recent Las Vegas mass murder went down, it was also noticeable that staid, old BBC Radio 4 was not particularly keen to come out against it. I’d really be interested to know what their reasons were.
Hi @BBCPM. Finding it “difficult” today to evidence gun control/public safety link? Here’s a handy visual. R=dead Y=injured #LasVegas (1/10) pic.twitter.com/A3ZxVPuuQg
— Ricky Monahan Brown (@ricky_ballboy) October 3, 2017
I mean, Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland have recently been very keen to play down the danger of bullets being propelled from semi-automatic rifles, as well as the import of peaceful protests and state violence in Catalonia.
And people on the Tweetie Box have been sharing investigations suggesting that the two stations have been using folks funded by a weird combination of Marxists, Christian Evangelicals, and the tobacco lobby to bring some balance to their discussions of whether grown men should be allowed to beat little kids in light of a member’s bill being lodged in the Scottish Parliament to give children equal protection under the law.
But I wouldn’t like to think that grubby politics or grubby money was part of the issue. There must be some other explanation. Me? I’m going for the influence of a demonic entity from the Black Lodge, a realm of pure evil which exists on an alternate plane of reality. It’s the only rational explanation.
4 thoughts on “Twin Peaks”
So I’m sitting here in a jury waiting room seeing if I’m going to be empaneled or not and your tinyletter came across asking for the best tv theme song.
This one has, in my mind, a clear winner. But perhaps not the winner you expect.
I think the best tv theme song is the theme song from the unbreakable kimmy schmitt (she’s alive damnit!).
There is nothing about this theme song I can find fault with.
It is produced so well. That drum sound! It is so cleverly tied to the show. The intro seconds before you get into it. The punchy ending. This is what 14 seconds of perfect theme music sounds like. It is just great.
And I mean there are other contenders. Like the Simpsons theme and all the ancillary music in the first 9 seasons or so (mono-DOH); or the South Park theme which is so obnoxious. Or hell the music from jeopardy. All good candidates. And you can go nostalgic too and remember Hawaii-five-o or green acres.
And I mean the various Delia d and the beeb variations on the doctor who theme are important.
But none of those have that same punch as uks. Without a doubt that’s the winner for me
Maybe not what I expected. But correct, dammit! It is great, and works with the visuals, too.
As we crash into the age of no intros, the age of truncated credits also seems problematic. But I suspect that’s nostalgia talking. I mean, when they extent the opening credits of Twin Peaks in season 2, I can’t get through them fast enough.
I mean, you’ve got 14 seconds. Deal with it. I mean the New News Newsroom guy pulled it off.
Jury waiting room, eh? I’ll expect some choice snippets of dialogue…
Best TV theme song? Doctor Who, of course! Preferably the ‘70s Tom Baker version. I grew up watching the Doctors Pertwee, T. Baker, and Davidson on PBS, usually Friday nights, with no commercial breaks. No wonder I became a really weird kid.
Speaking of weird… I also saw Eraserhead and Blue Velvet at a very impressionable age. The surrealist horror of Lynch, and predecessors such as Buñuel, have somewhat prepared me for the bizarro world we live in. Let’s call it the American Nightmare (and the British Nightmare for those across the pond).
And this is why Paul is wrong, dammit! Scraping piano strings, collaboration, all the right sorta buzzwords. Did you ever catch Delia Derbyshire’s 1960s pre-Orbital Orbital number on here? Incredible that it could have existed.
And those enmovied full-stories-in-one-sitting PBS numbers. Man, I’d guess some of that could get pretty Lynchian. Castrovalva, anyone?
I’m going for British Horror Story.