The living room is not what it seems! There's something...different!
Well, actually, there's a lot of things different. Some day, children, I hope I will have a halfway decent camera to photo-document my living conditions with, but for the time being, here we are in my gracious living room. There's my tension lamp, my couch, my weirdly partially open curtains, my new faux bamboo chair from Goodwill ($25! The big find of last weekend!)...what else do we see here?
|Hint: It's not the shamelessly messy coffee table|
AAAAAH! IT'S LAURA PALMER!
I've had this over-the-top brass frame, which originally came with a holographic picture of Jesus Christ praying at Gethsemane (don't think I don't still have that, just in a different place), for what feels like forever. I was attracted by one key quality, which is-- did you see that tacky hanging electrical cord to the right of the picture? I know these things bother you like they bother me, but OMG, LOOK AT THE REASON FOR THAT:
Yeah, it's a picture frame with a tiny lightbulb in it. It is. And now it's a picture frame with a tiny lightbulb in it it with LAURA PALMER'S PROM PICTURE in it. I'm sorry, but the subtlety of this nod to my deep and abiding love of the surreal prime time soap is actually making me conceited. I said I was sorry, dang it! I found the image online here and had Matthew print it out on cardstock at work. Voilà!
But what had me on a tv Lynch kick in the first place? Well, at the blogger Christmas party I mentioned a week or two back, Lauren from Old Red Boots brought up the 1990-1991 David Lynch helmed television series Twin Peaks by way of explaining that her cat's name is Agent Dale Cooper (!!) and the show was something she was trying to introduce to her boyfriend and get to re-watch all over again at the same time. The roomful of fashionable bloggin' gals just started buzzing about the bizarre semi-coda, semi-post mortem Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me film, the Log Lady, Audrey Horne's innocent-sex-pot fifties' style, and of course B-O-B (shudders at the very thought). I loved, loved, loved the show on watching it in college circa 2003, and again after college in 2007...it seems like these things come around in cyclical kicks, and I'm a year overdue for re-watching it, if that is indeed the case.
Lauren did a neat post on Twin Peaks swag you can get on Etsy these days, and it made me think about how cult-ishly popular the series is even twenty-one years after its last episode. THAT, in a roundabout way, made me wonder what the show's critical and popular reception was like when it originally aired. Did the same people who would watch Dallas of-a-prime-time-night watch a freakin' DAVID LYNCH property? Through the magic of Google books, I found a couple contemporaneous articles from New York magazine, which I've included below. Feel free to click through any of the thumbnails for a full-sized version.
New York magazine Apr 9, 1990:
The gist of this article is very "yeah, neat show, interesting premise". I love the reviewer's description of the tone as "Dark Shadows meets Falcon Crest"...um, sure. Way to be flip about that. Now, David Lynch had already had some commercial success with (no, not Eraserhead, but he had also done Eraserhead) The Elephant Man and Blue Velvet by 1990, but it seems like he might have had a chance at long-term, sustained marketability with something like Twin Peaks-- people are interested enough to keep watching, and surprisingly not "turned off" by all the serio-comic surreal touches that make his presence as creator and sometimes writer/director known.
A month later, Audrey and Agent Cooper rated a cover story! I know the scan is bad, but we work with what we have:
New York magazine May 7, 1990:
April 19th was the dwarf episode, a week after publication of the previous article, which I guess only really reviewed the pilot of the newborn show? I bet that reviewer about ate his own hat! From the tone of the article, as diverse a population as feminists Barbara Ehrenreich and Jane O'Reilly were running home to catch the next episode. Crazy, right? "Like nothing you've seen on prime time-- or on God's earth," mumbled the Time reviewer quoted on the third page below. "What you might find if you dragged Lake Wobegone," says a wag from Connoisseur magazine. Isn't it funny to think about watching the "The birds sing a pretty song" scene, and then having it immediately followed by a lead-in for the 10 o'clock local news and a Doritos commercial? THAT IS INSANE. Not until the cable networks upped their game with shows like Six Feet Under and, much later, Mad Men did we have true "gold standard" successors to this show-- tv that plays like movies you never want to end. And isn't that an interesting concept in itself! A tv show as not just a one-off or a six-off concept, but like a hundred hour movie you never want to quite resolve itself.
NewYork magazine Aug 27, 1990:
Now, this is a 1990 review of Wild at Heart, which may very well be my favorite Lynch movie after Blue Velvet but before Eraserhead in rank, and it's surprising how MEAN it is. Released while Twin Peaks was still on air, the reviewer castigates Lynch's "weirdness", describing the film as "full of self-mocking trash as well as perfervid excitement, and the trash is not redeemed by the jokes." What in hello did this reviewer expect? The unadulterated, for-real vision of Lynch, not adapted for the small screen, not rewritten by other tv writers, is pretty much the essence of Wild at Heart-- pop culture pastiche as seen through a lense darkly, right? Terrifying, surreal things mixed up with kitschy, things-we-can-understand. People as rocks-to-be-overturned-to-see-what-slimy-things-are-underneath, right? And yet the reviewer weighs in that "Lynch may need to work within certain limits, as he has to do when he makes Twin Peaks episodes for network television." It's like he was a little punished for being commercially successful, right?
New York magazine Sep 3, 1990:
Spy Nov 1990:
An article on how everyone in the dingdang world is referencing Twin Peaks to sound fashionable and comparing other things to Twin Peaks. I love it. I left the "art imitates life imitates Elvis" cartoon in there because it's hilarious.
New York Jul 2-9, 1990:
And last but not least, Audreysploitation at its finest for New York's Independence Day double issue. Sherilynn Fenn is so cute, please give me her hair. I know you're not looking at her hair, but you should be.
Are you a Twin Peaks -aholic? When did you first see the show and who or what got you into it? Do you have any strong opinions on David Lynch's movies? What tv show would you like to get back into while you've got your feet up and its Christmas break anyway?
That's all for today...Beware of BOB and I'll see you tomorrow!