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Twin Peaks is a bizarre murder mystery and comic soap opera, attracting huge TV audiences. Lynch parodies the soaps, giving the characters absurd idiosyncracies and relationships, although sticking to emotional realism in the family and neighbourhood dramas depicted. But everything hinges on the mystery of the naughty teen queen’s murder. The convoluted plot keeps fans of detective stories alert, identifying with FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle Maclachlan). As before, the series can be read in terms of the main character’s fantasies. Only Cooper has more than two dimensions - ace detective, father figure, scientist, masculine ideal, bureaucrat, all-American WASP, new man, philosopher and mystic, government representative, tourist, pervert, angel - you name it! In his desire to master truth, fight evil and control his world, he embodies the middle class ambition for domination via knowledge and individual merit. Displaying superhumanity, he charismatically enrols the entire community to his agenda, so that by the end they all inhabit what amounts to his imaginative world. Crucially, Twin Peaks shows that the whole project must fail - the narrative, the TV concept and the worldview. Neither Lynch nor Cooper, nor the reign of science and middle class values, can run the show or solve the problems - the nearer Cooper thinks he gets, the more the Twin Peaks community falls apart. That Twin Peaks needed to go to such extremes to reach this conclusion bears witness to the power and fascination of those myths.
David Lynch, Contemporary Cinema and Social Class (2000). Film review – Tom Jennings | libcom.org (via flatguy)
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