The Intertwining Ambiguity and Terror of 'Mandy' and 'Twin Peaks'


#1

Welcome to a brand new Waypoint podcast! In Waypoints, the site's staff and friends will bring something to share with each other and with you: a TV show, art exhibit, movie, album, or other thing from the universe of pop culture. to discuss, dissect, and enjoy.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/kz5bwe/the-intertwining-ambiguity-and-terror-of-mandy-and-twin-peaks-waypoints-podcast-01

#2

Twin peaks talk did not disappoint! You guys so eloquently put why I continue to be obsessed with the show after repeat watchings.

Also Austin would probably enjoy “The Secret History of Twin Peaks” as Mark Frost really indulges the conspiracy theory side of him. The book is a fast read and connects real world stories with Twin Peaks fiction. Really really fun.


#3

I could just listen to the crew talk about Twin Peaks all day. Would love to hear a discussion on The Return when Natalie and Rob get to it.


#4

So help me I am all on board the Callum goes bad train for as long as it can go because I genuinely think that people who see chemistry between Rayla and Callum are clinging at straws while Callum/Claudia is entirely where it’s at.

What? We don’t have a Dragon Prince thread. I have to talk about my ships where I can.


#5

Just thought I’d share a clip from my favorite cooking show.

The talk about propaganda and a lot of the current news cycle always brings me back to comedian Bill Hicks. A lot of his stories and jokes come back the punch line of “go back to bed America.” He is strangely overlooked when talking about the shocking type of comedy. I haven’t listened to his work in a while so I can’t prepare you for how problematic his stand up is except one of his bits is just about Rush Lambaugh getting off to Reagan and George H. W. Bush pissing on him in a bathtub.


#6

The small Twin-Peaks-As-A-Town stuff excites me in the show… and no where else. I don’t want to know more about Project Bluebook. I don’t need to know who said what to Doc Hayward off screen. Which is why I’m probably closer to Lynch than Frost, all said.


#7

I can’t wait to upgrade my TV’s graphics card so The Dragon Prince won’t chug. :smile:

But seriously, I am loving it. The point about Dragon weaponizing the audience’s “wokeness” to make bad people (i.e. Claudia, the King) more sympathetic is absolutely spot on. This is a show that knows you watched Avatar, and seeks to subvert the texture of its predecessors while still existing within the fabric of it. It’s just so damn smart.


#8

Wait, so why do Patrick and Austin hate David Plotz?


#9

I’m really excited to keep checking in with Natalie and Rob’s trip through Twin Peaks. The discussion around themes and structure was already really good and it should get even better as they get through it. I really love that show.


#10

My guess is that is has to do with the way he talked about the Kavanagh - Blasley Ford situation on the most recent political Gabfest. That or the very cavalier way that he talked about the way privileged boys acted growing up in Washington. Just speculation but that episode, of a show that I generally think is a thoughtful dissection of the news gave me very odd feelings. Again just a guess, that may ultimately be a projection of my own thoughts while listening to that specific episode of the podcast.


#11

Love hearing you guys deep dive on waypoints!

Head up, all PS3’s can plays PS1 games straight from the disc! You only need the fat PS3’s for PS2 backwards compatibility.


#12

Don’t take it’s as a slight against yourself but the way you phrase that makes me think I should feel bad for liking these characters. Does every flawed character have to be a problematic fave now?


#13

Well I watched Mandy and … I can’t shake the feeling of seeing a movie with a deeply reactionary subtext. Maybe I’m missing something or some context or just missreading it. I don’t know how I feel and didn’t put all my thoughts together yet, but I still have the “Make action heroes great again” vibe. Some aspects may point to a cautionary tale about right wing extremism … conflicted, but worth a watch, is beautiful.


#14

Apologies if my comment came off as too harsh, it certainly wasn’t what I intended. There’s nothing wrong with liking Claudia (or the King, the Aunt, or the Vizier), just that I find it really neat how the characters are written to be sympathetic while still doing ‘bad’ actions. No problematic faves necessary, I think this is closer to the MCU fandom loving the charming rogue Loki despite his plainly evil actions.


#15

Always happy to hear more from the Waypoint Crew. So pumped y’all are giving us a Wednesday Pod now.

Now I just need Hollow Knight and Dragon Prince spoilercasts!


#16

That brief mention of technological skepticism is interesting, and helps me make sense of some of my negative feelings about the worldbuilding in The Dragon Prince. The crew talk about greed, but the show doesn’t seem to center greed or political power structures as the problem - it pins the source of the blame on the magic being dark, and seems to lay out a situation where if only the humans disengaged, everything would be fine. Greed isn’t the problem, it’s just the thing binding them to the problematic element. There’s something interesting to be said about that soul-stealing snake thing too - those snakes sound like they’re just natural parts of the ecology, so the show seems to write off entire spheres of nature as evil and untouchable.

The whole “once the world was beautiful, and now it’s ruined” narrative is IMO also increasingly problematic. That’s a framework repeatedly used to justify nationalistic, sexist, and inter-generational exertions of power, and I don’t feel great about a kids show that uses that as a premise. It reminds me a bit about the way (old, white, wealthy) homeowners in my city are rallying with astounding vitriol against rental and social housing projects they seem to think will ruin their 50s-style idyllic picket fence lives. Anyone who waxes poetic about a Golden Age in any field is IMO worthy of some deep skepticism.

Compare this to Avatar/Korra, which IMO handled ideas of material change really well - some great stuff happens, some terrible stuff happens, but on balance human power dynamics are what cause suffering, not disruptions of an inherently righteous status quo.

I guess for once I’d like fantasy allegories about people building solar farms and public transit, rather than yet another shallow dig at nuclear weapons.


#17

I’m real excited/concerned for when Natalie and Rob get to (mid-season 2 spoiler) the Tojamura stuff.


#18

Just wanted to say how much I dig this format and the topics covered, I was of course all there for the Twin Peaks reactions, I only came to it much later as The Return was announced, with the main TP inspired media I’ve seen being Deadly Premonition of all things. But I was surprised how interesting it was to hear about fascist propaganda, how it was distributed, propped up, and how it differed from country to country.

The talk also convinced me to finally start The Dragon Prince, I just have to get over the animation style; I’ve seen and enjoyed plenty of stop motion animated films but something about it being CGI makes my brain associate it with a poorly running video game, it’s incredibly distracting.

I wanna see Mandy but as usual there’s no way, yet, to see it in my country.


#19

I think I agree to a large extent. Not that I didn’t enjoy his two books (I listened to them as audiobooks fyi) but I think, ultimately, Frost’s massive “mythos” is better served by what Lynch (and, in the case of the original run, I suppose the team of writers and directors working on it [including, of course, Frost himself]) does to it.

What I do like about having listened to those audiobooks is that, when watching the series again, I can see that a lot of that detail is there in some considered atmospheric sense, without being totally overbearing.

I’m very positive on Twin Peaks right now (first season, a little under half of the second season, and The Return = :+1:) , but I’m warning myself that I’m probably going to - in the next couple of weeks or so - be hitting on the point when James rides off on his motorcycle in a way that suggests he’s going to leave the show for good, except the show seems to forget this fact and then forces you to endure a subplot whose sheer redundant pointlessness comes close to hitting a sort of transcendent anti-beauty, and which culminates in Diane Keaton going hell for fucking leather on crossfade transitions


#20

Mid-season 2 is a chore, generally. The most frustrating thing I always find is that there’s stuff tucked away in there that’s brilliant (moments, for example, when they remember what the themes of Twin Peaks were; and I have a soft spot for Pete seeing faces in the wood, and the Pine Weasel is legit funny, and other stuff that I’ll be encountering soon) so I can’t justify just skipping through that meandering stretch of episodes just to get to the final episode, which is INCREDIBLE and clearly a pretty important point in Lynch’s filmography