Here we go, then. It’s time for the crème de la crème, the dog’s bollocks, the grand fromages – the top five crime dramas of the year, and the ones that really stood out for us. This year has seen plenty of quantity but perhaps not the overall quality of previous years, but these top five are all superb pieces of work in their own ways. And the unifying theme? All bar one are from America, and the other is from Canada – sadly there were no British crime dramas aside from Unforgotten in the Top 10 this year. If anything, 2017 proved that American crime drama was back with a vengeance. Let’s have at it.
Twin Peaks: The Return has been one of the television events of the year, no question. Its dizzying, surreal, visceral, infuriating, terrifying, stunning brilliance not only confirmed that David Lynch is still one of the most creative and notable auteurs of both the 20th and 21st centuries but also… there’s still nothing out there like Twin Peaks. During the weekend, the eighth annual Twin Peaks UK Festival took place at the resplendent, Modernist Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre in north London, complete with cabaret, film screenings and Q&As with cast members old and new. It was quite the weekend.
A warning: this is going to be the longest review I’ve ever written. Twin Peaks, as regular readers of this site will know, is one of my favourite shows of all time and affects me like no other – then and now. The characters, the setting, the lore, the layers of consciousness explored… it has all added up to something wonderful and beguiling, and something that has stayed with me and will stay with me for the rest of my life. It’s also going to be a long review because of the sheer amount of things that transpired in this two-part finale, some easy to understand, some not so. I could talk about it for a long time, but I’ll try to be as concise as possible, which probably won’t happen. It’s best to strap in and get the coffee on.
Despite it being frustrating and hard going at times, I’m greatly enjoying the third series of Twin Peaks, David Lynch’s cross-dimensional crime drama, which finishes with a two-part finale on Monday 4th September. Throughout the 16 parts so far, we’ve caught up with old favourites, found out how they’ve been created, met new characters and have been plunged into new mysteries. One of the absolute delights, though, has been spending more time with FBI Deputy Director Gordon Cole (Lynch) and FBI Special Agent, Albert Rosenfeld (the late, great Miguel Ferrer). They’ve crucial roles as the the splintered personality of Agent Dale Cooper has slowly resolved itself, and the more I’ve thought about it the more a spin-off series featuring these two would make sense. So David Lynch, if you’re reading…
This third series has been a sometimes thrilling, sometimes viscerally terrifying and sometimes infuriating journey. Throughout 15 episodes we’ve waited and waited until Agent Dale Cooper – our beloved FBI man – snapped out of his fugue and take back the identity that had been locked away for so long. No question about it: we’ve all needed saintly patience to get to that point. Ultimately, this is what this third series has been about – the search for identity. It’s been so different in tone and structure to the first two series that I know many friends have been turned off by it, but I’ve seen this as another detective story but not in any traditional, rational or step-by-step procedural sense. No, this series of Twin Peaks has, among other things, been about shattered identities and characters searching for who they used to be. And, after so many false dawns, Dale Cooper – the Dale Cooper we knew and loved – looked for all the world to have found himself again.
Yes, I’m a bit late with this review of part 15 of series three of Twin Peaks, but I couldn’t leave it be. I’m so engrossed in this new series – even though, on the surface of it, it doesn’t make much sense – that I really do think it’s having as much of an effect on me as the first two series did. Which is saying something.
Any long-time viewers of Twin Peaks will have been at once beguiled, terrified and intrigued, as well as frustrated, by this extraordinary third series. We’ve been waiting patiently through all the errant, seemingly innocuous and scattered scenes and new characters, hoping that Good Coop is finally revived from his catatonic state and that Bad Coop is returned to The Black Lodge. Finally, finally, by the end of part 14, things looked as though they were on the move.