Halftime Report: TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN

twin peaks 3Have you been watching the new TWIN PEAKS? I have. I just watched the WTFy-est ever episode 8 last night, which some are calling the most groundbreaking night of television in history.

It was certainly groundbreaking in cinematic and conceptual terms: strange, terrifying, sometimes incomprehensible, always gorgeous. It touched on the nature of pure evil and brought us into the heart of an atomic explosion.

But do I want something… more? Call me greedy, but I do.

Look, I have to admire David Lynch’s dogged, uncompromising commitment to putting his own vision out into the world. It’s amazing, really: Lynch hadn’t even made a movie in about a decade, his grosses are have always been in the “art house” scale, not the “blockbuster” scale, and his recent ventures (Inland Empire, Mulholland Drive) left viewers and reviewers simultaneously amazed at his prowess and scratching their heads at the plots. Yet somehow he convinced Showtime to pony up tons of money to fund 18 hours of the Twin Peaks: The Return while giving the network little to go on as to what they’d actually be getting. You’ve gotta hand it to the guy.

Twin Peaks 2And no doubt: much of what he’s putting on the screen is extraordinarily beautiful, even when it’s beastly. Given how much crap there is out there in TV land, it IS kind of marvelous that Lynch is putting out such weird, arty, esoteric stuff – when I look at it one way.

When I look at it another way, though, I find myself disappointed. I know there’s still half the series to go – and I know it’s not fashionable to admit (judging by the rapturous reception by most critics) – but I came back to Twin Peaks mostly to reconnect with the characters from 25 years ago. I hoped I’d see more of them.

And that’s the frustrating thing to me. Most of those actors are actually THERE – at least they’ve been cast in The Return. They’ve been hired! They’re on set! But Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost have shown us precious little of their characters in the first half of the season. We’ve only seen glimpses of Hawk, Andy, Lucy, Norma, Shelly, Bobby Briggs (now a cop?!?!), Mrs. Palmer, Dr. Jacoby… we haven’t even seen Big Ed or Audrey Horne yet. Hell, we’ve only seen a few moments of Agent Cooper himself in all his Agent Cooper-ness, outside of his reawakening self inside the life of Dougie Jones.

Sure, Kyle Maclachlan is doing outstanding work – everyone is, really. And the new additions are great: Laura Dern as Diane and Robert Forster as Sherriff Frank Truman. (I’m amazed that I don’t miss Harry Ontkean / Sheriff Harry Truman more since he was one of my favorites in the original Twin Peaks. It’s to Forster’s credit that Ontkean’s absence isn’t more keenly felt.)

I’m just conscious that this is the last time these actors will probably be together – some of them are already gone: Frank Silva as BOB, Catherine Coulson as my personal favorite, “The Log Lady.” I was just hoping I’d see more stories about the characters I grew to love 25 years ago since so many of the actors have reunited for the series.

Maybe we’ll have more time with them in the rest of the season? Maybe they’ll have more than cameos?
Who knows. Lynch and Frost will clearly do what they want to do, and wh
at they’re doing seems to be more than enough for some viewers.

Me, I’ll keep watching and hoping I’ll get served a bigger helping of coffee and pie in the Double-R Diner along with the metaphysical main course. twin peaks 4

STATE OF THE UNION

crocI wrote this script back in 2006, but it feels right for today, this minute: right NOW.

We are divided more than ever before, and I don’t know how we’ll see things the same way ever again.

STATE OF THE UNION was performed in 2011 by the wonderful Three of A Kind Theater Company of North Hollywood, CA – and it may soon be performed in NYC, if all goes well.

I think you’ll find it particularly meaningful today.
 State of the Union script

10 Deadly Failings of the Media, Election 2016 Edition

In this election, Fox and Breibart and other powerful media sources actively worked to elevate Trump to the Presidency. Much of the rest of the televised and print media proved incapable of fighting this man.

Why I’m For Hillary – proudly.

This Tuesday is Primary Day for the Democratic and Republican primaries. Please remember to vote

…and if you’re a registered Democrat, I hope you’ll consider voting for Hillary Clinton.

 

imageWhy? She’s…

  • Qualified.
  • Experienced.
  • Elected 2x Senator of the huge

“Stayin’ Alive”: Learn CPR on Valentine’s Day!

   
Happy Valentine’s Day! Do something awesome for someone else

St. Christopher Play, for ex-St. Christopher’s Day (Jul 25!)

   
One of my favorite artists and writers, Tomie DePaola, posted on Facebook that July 25th (that’s today, people!) used to be the feast day of St. Christopher, who used to be the patron saint of travelers. (Short version: St. Christopher is to saints as Pluto is to planets.)

In honor of St. C, whose plastic effigy my grandfather kept on the dashboard of his old brown Dodge Dart (and who must have kept us safe when we traveled, saint or no, since my grandpa always reached his destinations safely) – I’m reposting this short play, which I was very proud of. It features a dog-faced saint, a cross-country car trip, and a love-mad, gun-toting lady astronaut straight outta the tabloids. 

The play was performed by the great actors Susan Marlowe and Kyle Felts in Los Angeles back in 2011. It’s a huge regret of mine that I never had the chance to see them perform it. But I share the text of it with you today.

Enjoy. And travel safely, wherever you’re going tonight. (But if you do have trouble on the road, I like to think that even after his sainthood was revoked, ex-St. Christopher is still on the lookout for weary wanderers.)

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Short Play 52: AFTERLIVES OF THE SAINTS 3, or: ST. CHRISTOPHER

The Story About the Iguana

This was a recently rediscovered 2008 email exchange I had with my cousins about an inadvertent and unfortunate iguanacide that was really, REALLY