Tuesday, 6 June 2017

"Twin Peaks: The Return" is terrific - and so is David Lynch's choice of music

The Everly Brothers-soundalikes are The Cactus Blossoms, and they're performing "Mississippi". Shiver-inducingly gorgeous. Equally shiver-inducing - but extremely ungorgeous was...

..."Snake Eyes", the instrumental which closed episode 5 (which is where I'm currently up to). The band performing this menacing, sleazy, slightly deranged Link Wray-style number on stage at the Bang Bang Bar are called Trouble, and it was so effective I'll happily overlook the fact that one of the band members calls David Lynch daddy:
They'll be dancing to that at wedding receptions for decades, I reckon. 

I was chatting with my son the other day about the rise of multi-part, binge-watchable American TV drama series (he's just finished watching the whole of The Sopranos). The '70s brought us Roots, of course, and the mini-series adaptation of Irwin Shaw's Rich Man, Poor Man. But the first truly modern example I can recall (high production values, a single, defining creative vision, and just as good as - in fact better than - almost anything you could see at the cinema) was the original Twin Peaks, broadcast in 1990, which I adored. The 1995 series, Murder One, memorably featuring Daniel Benzali as an aggressively bald defence attorney and creepy Stanley Tucci as one of the main  suspects, was the next real gripper. 

The first series of The Sopranos, broadcast in 1999, seriously raised television's quality threshold - and is probably, for my money, the greatest American television drama series ever made. Pretty soon, thanks to Tivo-style hard disc recording technology - most notably the Sky+ service, which launched in 2002 - you no longer had to remember to record a programme in order to watch it later. Then, of course, there was The Wire. More recently, we've had the glorious first series of True Detective, and the opening episode of the latest series of Fargo (the drama closest in tone to the original Twin Peaks, including the occasional nods to science fiction) suggests it could be just as impressive as the first three outings. But, despite all the top-rate competition (including Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Mad Men and the first two series of Homeland), Twin Peaks - the wildest, weirdest, most innovative, least predictable, most pioneering of the lot - will always retain a special place in my affections. It's a great relief that David Lynch (judging by the first five episodes) has done nothing to tarnish this true fan's love of the one true original - and what a relief that he has kept faith with Angelo Badalmenti's sublime theme music:
I've downloaded episode 6 of Twin Peaks: The Return, so that's my evening's entertainment sorted.

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