I have mixed feelings about Twin Peaks. On the one hand, it’s an absurd, atmospheric masterpiece that mixes the comically surreal with horror in such a uniquely delicious way. On the other hand its boring and gets lost chasing itself down dead ends.
The way the tone switches back and forth from dull and odd to terrifying leaves you completely disarmed against it. The show’s rhythms are so unpredictable and strange that you never quite feel comfortable with it. It defies the logic that the average viewer might otherwise take some refuge in, and in that way it’s very much like a strange dream that you just know is about to switch into an inescapable nightmare, but you never quite know when. I both love and fear it for those reasons, which keeps me perpetually fascinated.
But really I’m there for the damn fine coffee and cherry pie that’ll kill ‘ya. It’s the characters I’m most attached to; their interactions with each-other and the world they inhabit. Without Agent Cooper and the huge cast of characters he’s surrounded by, the mystery of Laura Palmer’s death would have held no interest for me.
I’ve watched the whole run of episodes and the movie about twice now, and while I’m caught up in the middle of watching through it I end up trying to demonstrate my feelings for the show through art. In fact, the first piece I had done was a direct reaction to the way all but one of my friends laugh at me for finding the show terrifying. They all think it’s quirky and cute, and sure, that’s all there in the show, but I felt like I couldn’t convince anyone that Twin Peaks is at least as disturbing as it is charming, and so I just decided to show them by painting Bob and agent Cooper cackling together in the depths of the Black Lodge. That was the first.
Recently, the Montreal magazine Maison Neuve came across a piece of mine entitled “Cherry Pie With Me” and decided they’d like to use it for their article on Andy Burns new book “Wrapped in Plastic”. I’m pretty thrilled to have my work shown in print, and I’m hoping this cascades into other similar features.
Writing this has actually made me want to go back home and paint something else in this vein. I’m not even sure what, yet. I’m at my usual haunt (an old-fashioned diner called Magpies) – writing from the corner by the window with a damn fine cup of coffee, and I find myself eager to celebrate my inclusion in Maison Neuve with another visit to Twin Peaks.