Twin Peaks is a throwback to when artists made media. Game of Thrones is an Applebee’s entree.
I know that Game of Thrones is tearing up the airwaves and some people are not watching Twin Peaks with complaints that it is agonizing, that they are not getting what they want when they want it. They want the characters they loved in the original series to do more of the same things they loved.
That excruciating experience is delicious to me. I am subjugated to Lynch/Frost’s timing and manner. You see, while I like to eat the food I make, I go out to eat so that I can enjoy the food of an expert chef.
Modern film and television is built with the collaboration of market testing and data collection to give you what will give you the most immediate pleasure response. It is carefully timed.
I recently heard an interview with a comedic movie writer. He said that they write and film five times as many jokes as make it into the film then play them for test audiences. What you get is the ones that make the best laughs.
I can’t say that it is wrong to make media this way, but it steps away from what I think of as art. To me, art is composed from a soul and could be read as having a message, the oomph of meaning.
Watching Twin Peaks I have to respond. The characters don’t fulfill my wishes, thye have their own arcs. I get to watch knowing that the story is unfolding the way that the creators think is best, not what will make me feel good.
I prefer it that way. I started watching Stranger Things and at first enjoyed the references and the visual style. Very quickly I lost interest. I got the sense that the plot was driven by an inevitable series of wish fulfillments. It was eerily perfectly suited to my demographic. I felt catered to, and that bored me.
I hope that new auteurs come to the fore and use the new media venues to generate interesting content driven from their thoughts, not their thoughts about what I would like to think.