Wow, Bob, wow. I’ve posted in the past on Twin Peaks, especially in the early days of this blog, but darn it, if it isn’t that time of the year when you just need a post on Lynch’s special slice of pie, with or without a damn fine cup of coffee. The occasion? The imminent release of Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery Blu-ray. I’d heard about this one before, and so far I hadn’t even been on the fence: I am the proud owner of the slightly tacky-looking complete Twin Peaks TV series on DVD, so why upgrade an early ’90s series shot for television to a storage medium that, more likely than not, wouldn’t make it look or sound all that much better?
Cue this preview for The Missing Pieces, which is exclusive to the new release. Now, the following may not be particularly exciting or indeed mean anything much to non-fans of the series, but I remember in the early days of internet coming upon a newsgroup FAQ of Twin Peaks, and that FAQ outlined the many, many scenes that had been cut from Lynch’s follow-up/prequel to the series, Fire Walk With Me. When the film came out, many fans complained that there wasn’t enough of, well, Twin Peaks in it: many series favourites were relegated to mere cameo appearances, if indeed they were in Fire Walk With Me at all. The Missing Pieces doesn’t completely remedy that, but it comes close: it consists of 90 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes from the film, edited by the mad man himself.
If anyone had asked me a month ago if I was excited for the show’s Blu-ray release, I would have found it difficult to muster more than a profound “Meh.” I like the series, but with more than twenty years since it originally came out (and with absolutely packed DVD/Blu-ray shelves covering 1 1/2 walls of our living room), I thought that I’m absolutely okay with what I have on DVD. And then came the preview video, and it hit me right in the talking log. The circle of sycamores. Leland Palmer stomping through his living room like an ogre. The Little Man jiving it up. Agent Dale Cooper blowing someone (his eternally unseen assistant Diane, perhaps?) a kiss.
The funny thing is, there are things about Twin Peaks that is deeply iffy, first and foremost the acting. Some of it works in that stylised, surreal way that Lynch’s characters have. Some of it is middling at best. And some of it is downright painful. Yet somehow, to Pavlovian me, that doesn’t even matter so much, and that is probably exemplified best by Laura Palmer. When the series came out and I first watched it in my late teens, was I in love with poor, doomed Laura? Quite possibly a bit, as much as one can be in love with a character who is dead by the time the series begins. Not for me the lure of sexy Audrey Horne, the all-American beauty of Shelly Johnson or the more mature charms of Norma Jennings: no, for me it was all about the girl wrapped in plastic – which may explain a thing or two about my romantic history.
I don’t know what exactly I’m expecting from The Missing Pieces, and it’s unlikely the added pixels will reveal anything more about what exactly Bob is or what fate has in store for Agent Dale Cooper. Twin Peaks, even in HD, is the opposite of high definition: it gets blurrier the closer you look at it… but in the static, you may just see the sycamores swaying in the wind. And you may just see me in the branches that blow.