First time through, I overall really loved it (I was very pro-Dougie consistently, unlike a lot of people) though it was tempered with the odd bit of anxiety re: where is this actually going? Having watched it a second time, what struck me is that it doesn’t feel like a reboot that came 25-years-later, it feels like a properly bolted on third season that just happened to come a quarter of a decade after the previous one.
Also, bc I just heard this part of the podcast… it’s not quite David Lynch’s Kingdom Hearts, but…
So I started listening to this episode this past Friday. I paused it when everyone started talking about the USA Today podcast The City so I could listen to it myself and follow along. I spent the weekend doing just that.
Upon resuming this morning (the morning after the events that took place on Sunday, January 6, 2019 at Soldier Field, mind you) I arrive at the time in the episode where Austin leaves the room while Patrick and Rob wax poetic about the Bears. Knowing what’s coming, at the hands of Austin’s Eagles no less, makes it like listening to an audio log in a post-apocalyptic immersive sim. Every exclamation of the Bears’ greatness makes me gasp in horror. They’re so happy and full of hope, it’s either crushing or hilarious depending on where your loyalties lie.
While Rob and I are arguing that Twin Peaks specifically utilizes the dead language of an era of television since past (and now entirely unknown) to a whole new generation of TP fans, Austin rightly points out that the primetime soap is still alive and well. Yes, I agree, but the modern primetime soap utilizes a new, different language. I won’t say what Power does or doesn’t do differently, because I haven’t seen it, but I’ve seen other modern soaps (largely in hopes I will like them, because I like intensely dramatic television!) and the language of modern television, soaps especially, is a little glossier, a little more carefully crafted, and a lot faster.
Twin Peaks plays upon tropes of pacing and speaking (an important niche detail beyond broader techniques like editing and cinematography, which are also employed) that literally don’t exist any longer, that, without that reference point, makes TP seems significantly more dreamy and surreal, and a lot less purposeful than it actually was. I, too, would love to see a modern TP, a show that comes into the medium and specifically screws with my expectations of a genre.
While Austin doesn’t like later seasons of Hannibal as much as he likes the first, I ADORE the back half of season 2, and the ENTIRETY of season 3 for the same reasons that I respect TP. It took my expectations of a police procedural with an unofficial consultant (Monk, The Mentalist, Psyche (I think?), etc.) and turned it into fucking primetime art house cinema. It’s absolutely unbelievable as a standalone work, but also because of the context of its airing: as a primetime network television show.
Anyway, thanks for citing my post! I loved the discussion, and I guessssss I’ll push through season 2…
I can’t get into my whole Twin Peaks thing tonight - I’ve been driving for ten hours, which I spent with (alongside Blank Check and MBMBAM,) this week’s Waypoint Radio, this episode, the first chunk of the 2018 retrospective of Three Moves Ahead, THEN Patrick and Rob’s top 10 episode, and finally…the first three episodes of The City.
As I started The City, I came upon a sign - 25 miles to Chicago. I live about forty minutes north of the city, in a part of the Northwest Suburbs where Patrick grew up. (Seriously - when he moved back into the area, I started seriously considering what I’d do if I saw him out and about - the towns he’s cited nebulously are within a ten minute driving distance for me.)
But coming into the city today, I’d certainly never been to Lawndale, and I’m too young to have actually known the story of Mount Henry before this show was introduced to me. Within the first ten minutes, I’d punched “Sumner Elementary School” as my next destination. I wanted to see this lot. I wanted to be able to immerse myself in the imagining of this patch of land and what it must have looked like then.
I was midway through “Living In the Shadow of the Mountain” when I found myself between Charles Sumner Grade School and a small overgrown empty lot, trees and grass “growing through” where it had been paved over. I guarantee anyone visiting there without knowing what happened there would even blink twice at that unremarkable patch of dirt. That made listening through the next two episodes so much eerier.
Thanks for introducing me to this show - I’m so ready to dig back into it, and I’m furious that this story got swept up so neatly that I never knew it existed before now. “The machine,” indeed.