Twin Peaks and Watchmen

Discussion of Twin Peaks TV Series, Fire Walk With Me, and Books

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ManBehindWinkies
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Twin Peaks and Watchmen

Postby ManBehindWinkies » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:50 am

There's a thread about Watchmen in Hap's Diner, but one explicit connection between Watchmen and Twin Peaks is that Jeff Jensen is one of the Watchmen writers, and he co-hosted Entertainment Weekly's Twin Peaks podcast with Darren Franich. Jensen co-wrote last night's episode of Watchmen, and they released their annual Twin Peaks podcast episode to coincide with that episode and it essentially doubles as a Watchmen episode. They do discuss quite a bit about Watchmen so there are spoilers aplenty, but he discusses the influence Twin Peaks season 3 had on Watchmen.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/watchmen-walks-into-twin-peaks/id1219263074?i=1000459072982
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Cappy
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Re: Twin Peaks and Watchmen

Postby Cappy » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:45 am

There's obviously a lot of differences between TPS3 and Watchmen, but there has been something vaguely S3-ish about the way
Spoiler:
Watchmen has allowed the Ozymandias plot to blossom patiently without a clear point or endgame in mind. Although last night's episode did a lot to actually explain his storyline, there is something about it that reminds me of the Dougie stuff: Entertaining, mildly frustrating, mysterious, and occasionally funny. If anything, it's possible that TPS3 demonstrated that tv viewers (or a certain set of tv viewers) would be willing to be patient and let a story play out without a clear conclusion in sight. If that is the case, Watchmen is the first series to really take advantage of the expectations of a post-TPS3 viewing audience: not everything needs to be explained right away, and non-sequiturs can line the path to the climax (Ozymandias farting in court, the tomatoes?, etc).

Of course, Watchmen will probably explain itself a great deal more than Twin Peaks S3, but I am still enjoying it a lot anyway.


Watchmen's use of flashbacks and non-linear-ness also call to mind the first season of Bloodline, if anyone has seen that.
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Twin Peaks and Watchmen

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:06 pm

Huh, Jensen mentions an interview in Blue Rose Magazine with Duwayne Dunham where says they played around with opening the show a variety of ways, and the Fireman/Cooper scene was originally meant to be much later. I recall someone talking about this awhile ago, but no one ever provided a source.
LateReg
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Re: Twin Peaks and Watchmen

Postby LateReg » Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:19 pm

Cappy wrote:There's obviously a lot of differences between TPS3 and Watchmen, but there has been something vaguely S3-ish about the way
Spoiler:
Watchmen has allowed the Ozymandias plot to blossom patiently without a clear point or endgame in mind. Although last night's episode did a lot to actually explain his storyline, there is something about it that reminds me of the Dougie stuff: Entertaining, mildly frustrating, mysterious, and occasionally funny. If anything, it's possible that TPS3 demonstrated that tv viewers (or a certain set of tv viewers) would be willing to be patient and let a story play out without a clear conclusion in sight. If that is the case, Watchmen is the first series to really take advantage of the expectations of a post-TPS3 viewing audience: not everything needs to be explained right away, and non-sequiturs can line the path to the climax (Ozymandias farting in court, the tomatoes?, etc).

Of course, Watchmen will probably explain itself a great deal more than Twin Peaks S3, but I am still enjoying it a lot anyway.


Watchmen's use of flashbacks and non-linear-ness also call to mind the first season of Bloodline, if anyone has seen that.


Watchmen most closely resembles Lindelof's own Leftovers in its structure and post-crisis alt-present world, as well as Westworld in its puzzle-box withholding of twists as well as sci-fi topicality. I haven't listened to the podcast yet, but episode 6 of Watchmen seems to be indebted to Twin Peaks: The Return - Part 8, what with the black and white flashback but also explicitly with a sound effect that comes up twice in the episode that explicitly seems to represent a fissure in someone's psyche and sounds very much like the end of "The" Nine Inch Nails performance when Bad Coop wakes up; furthermore, the episode is specifically about nostalgia. Elsewhere, Episode 8 of Watchmen actually uses the song "My Prayer," and it doesn't get any more explicit than that.
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Twin Peaks and Watchmen

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:05 pm

The Angela flashback episode a couple of weeks ago was the Lost-iest thing Lindelof has done since....well, since Lost. I mean that in a good way.

I see the Ozymandias stuff as influenced by the Audrey material in TP:TR, at least in the early going before it’s finally explained where he is and how he got there. Just the strange, removed ambiguity of it all.

HBO has been posting supplementary text pieces (similar to the text pieces in the original comic), and while I generally find them not particularly interesting (certainly inferior to Moore’s stuff), one includes a reference to a TV show called Axxon N., clearly referencing INLAND EMPIRE. And the liner notes for the first soundtrack LP are written in-world and reference “the Nine Inch Nails,” which Reznor and Ross seem to have adopted as their slightly-fictionalized alternate universe persona after their Roadhouse introduction.
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Cappy
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Re: Twin Peaks and Watchmen

Postby Cappy » Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:04 pm

LateReg wrote:Watchmen most closely resembles Lindelof's own Leftovers in its structure and post-crisis alt-present world, as well as Westworld in its puzzle-box withholding of twists as well as sci-fi topicality. I haven't listened to the podcast yet, but episode 6 of Watchmen seems to be indebted to Twin Peaks: The Return - Part 8, what with the black and white flashback but also explicitly with a sound effect that comes up twice in the episode that explicitly seems to represent a fissure in someone's psyche and sounds very much like the end of "The" Nine Inch Nails performance when Bad Coop wakes up; furthermore, the episode is specifically about nostalgia. Elsewhere, Episode 8 of Watchmen actually uses the song "My Prayer," and it doesn't get any more explicit than that.


I hadn't really thought about that sound effect in episode 6 -- I'll have to really pay attention to that when I re-watch.

My first thought upon seeing episode 6 was that it was reminiscent of TP:TR Ep. 8 because of their black-and-white flashbacks, but the more I thought it, a lot of shows and movies do black and white flashback too: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MonochromePast Watchmen and TP might have the two best black-and-white flashbacks that I've ever seen, albeit for very different reasons.

I really wish Watchmen would fully embrace TP:TR's influence even further, and flashback to the initial squid drop with like a 10 minute unbroken shot of carnage and madness, a la the a-bomb that birthed BOB. Watchmen spoiler:
Spoiler:
I guess they missed their chance during Looking Glass' flashback to the squid attack? My prediction is that the finale will have Looking Glass breaking into Veidt's Arctic hideaway and drop either loads of little squid onto the Seventh Kavalry's plans, or a new big one.


Anyway, this might be the best show I've watched since TP:TR. After that Watchmen movie I was dreading this show, but I have been very captivated by every single episode. It's so good, I bet even Alan Moore (begrudgingly) likes it.
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Twin Peaks and Watchmen

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:46 pm

Cappy wrote:
Anyway, this might be the best show I've watched since TP:TR. After that Watchmen movie I was dreading this show, but I have been very captivated by every single episode. It's so good, I bet even Alan Moore (begrudgingly) likes it.


Moore will never watch it. He feels the property was stolen from him. He also refuses to even keep a copy of the comic in his house anymore because he associates it with a lot of ruined friendships, not least with Dave Gibbons. I think if he ever did watch it, he’d have complaints (probably about the show’s many cutesy winks to the comic and the Dr. Manhattan episode being too derivative, maybe he’d feel that Veidt and Manhattan aren’t true to his understanding of the characters), but I think he’d certainly admire certain aspects of the storytelling as well as the core values the show espouses (and conveys in an extremely engaging way), which certainly align with comments he has made throughout the years.
LateReg
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Re: Twin Peaks and Watchmen

Postby LateReg » Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:23 pm

Cappy wrote:
LateReg wrote:Watchmen most closely resembles Lindelof's own Leftovers in its structure and post-crisis alt-present world, as well as Westworld in its puzzle-box withholding of twists as well as sci-fi topicality. I haven't listened to the podcast yet, but episode 6 of Watchmen seems to be indebted to Twin Peaks: The Return - Part 8, what with the black and white flashback but also explicitly with a sound effect that comes up twice in the episode that explicitly seems to represent a fissure in someone's psyche and sounds very much like the end of "The" Nine Inch Nails performance when Bad Coop wakes up; furthermore, the episode is specifically about nostalgia. Elsewhere, Episode 8 of Watchmen actually uses the song "My Prayer," and it doesn't get any more explicit than that.


I hadn't really thought about that sound effect in episode 6 -- I'll have to really pay attention to that when I re-watch.

My first thought upon seeing episode 6 was that it was reminiscent of TP:TR Ep. 8 because of their black-and-white flashbacks, but the more I thought it, a lot of shows and movies do black and white flashback too: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MonochromePast Watchmen and TP might have the two best black-and-white flashbacks that I've ever seen, albeit for very different reasons.


Oh yeah, for sure. But, Gotta Light is the most recent example, and that sound cue is spot-on, and it's specifically about nostalgia, and we know that Lindelof and Jensen are both fans of The Return. Obviously, there's Lindelof's own The Constant, the standout episode from Lost, that one could also reference as a direct influence on this in and out of body experience - as Reindeer said, very Lost-ian. But aesthetically, I think it's possible there's a Part 8 influence. Of course, the black and white also goes hand in hand with the content (the face paint) and makes it work.

I meant to say earlier that I think the main post-The Return shows are Too Old to Die Young, which is the least accessible, most auteur-driven series since The Return, and doesn't give a single shit about its audience. And the 2nd and 3rd seasons of Legion, which in season 2 displays elements that seem either coincidentally (idea bug) or explicitly (that mauve type room with stuttering dialogue and time skips and low hum sound design, I mean what the fuck?) ripped from The Return, and which in season 3 basically literalizes a number of themes that were left more mysterious in The Return. And I suppose you can concretely add Watchmen to that list, given Jensen and Lindelof's admitted admiration and influence of Lynch's opus. But I really do see Watchmen first and foremost as a logical extension of Lindelof's The Leftovers.

Oh, and by the by, I keep thinking of The Prisoner when I watch Jeremy Irons' scenes.
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Twin Peaks and Watchmen

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:48 am

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LateReg
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Re: Twin Peaks and Watchmen

Postby LateReg » Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:13 pm

That was a mostly satisfying finale. I couldn't help but think of Twin Peaks with...

Spoiler:
the glass box to capture a powerful otherworldly entity and the explicit talk of hubris.
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Re: Twin Peaks and Watchmen

Postby LateReg » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:47 pm

Esquire article on the influence of Twin Peaks The Return on Watchmen:

https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/t ... nnections/
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Twin Peaks and Watchmen

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:25 pm



I’ve just found the time to give this release a closer look. Yet another Lynch reference: the Comedian’s theme is called “Crazy Klown Time.”

There’s also a reference to a company called “Owl Cave Music.”

Volume 3 of the soundtrack is packaged as an in-universe lost album by “The” Nine Inch Nails, with liner notes about Reznor become a recluse—titled, “He’s Gone Away.”

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