Dailies: Talk Back Tuesday, Or Why We Love…

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I celebrate Halloween for the entire month of October, though my celebrations take a different form each year. For example, I used to “go out” for Halloween and dress up; I don’t anymore, but I see nothing wrong with it: there’s the pageantry, and the general appreciation of things dark and subterranean and slightly anarchical. And isn’t that the essence of Halloween and its associated film genre, hahrah, an examination (sometimes intelligent, sometimes not so much) of the disorderly aspects of life, sometimes operating underneath the surface? This is partly the concern of the Gothic, the literary genre most responsible for influencing cinematic horror: there’s a beautiful ancestral home (say, in an exotic locale of Italy or France) in which reside beautiful residents; but these pleasing exteriors disguise something foul, something rotting underneath.

Which brings me to my other way of celebrating Halloween: watching horror movies or films and TV shows that probe beneath the pretty exteriors, that show us the underbelly of life. (They don’t all do that, I realize.) This is precisely what David Lynch’s Twin Peaks (1990-1991) does… and, you know what? That show is officially the subject of my next “Why We Love…” series. (There were TWO votes, so that clinched it.) And why not? Twin Peaks has all the elements of a modern gothic, not the least because it takes us into the depths of the human psyche, or behind the red curtain (to use an actual metaphor from the show): this is David Lynch’s modus operandus.

I won’t say any more at this point (need to start writing!), except to offer a quick preview of some components of the show I’ll examine:

  • the supernatural

  • the music

  • Kyle MacLachlan (Agent Dale Cooper)

  • comedy

  • puzzles, mysteries

Why do we love this show? Why did Gulf War-era folks dig it so much? These five things are at least some of the reasons.

Feel free to suggest some reasons of your own. The fun should begin later this week.

Have a Happy Tuesday.

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