Friday, January 22, 2016

TWIN PEAKS Series Return Will Be Epic Event

It was surprising when the news came that the Nineties cult classic TV series Twin Peaks would return in a new limited series production after twenty-five years. As of now, 18 new episodes will be made, to debut in early 2017 on Showtime network.

The original Twin Peaks appeared in 1990-91 and ran for 30 episodes. Created by iconic film director David Lynch and screenwriter Mark Frost, the setting was a quirky logging town deep within the looming Pacific Northwest woods.

The plot centered around the murder of high school homecoming queen Laura Palmer. But the investigation became a postmodern metaphysical mystery that involved surrealistic dream sequences, the synchronistic connection of events, and the presence of transcendent evil. Nothing like it had ever been done on TV before.

The series had a visionary quality due in great part to the outrĂ© creative genius of David Lynch. In the original series, Lynch directed only six episodes and co-wrote only four. This time, the new production will be more completely his personal vision. Lynch will co-write and direct all of the new episodes.

The new storyline is shrouded in secrecy. Whether it will continue where the first series left off, we don't know. What we do know is that the actors who portrayed FBI Agent Dale Cooper and Audrey Horne will return to reprise their roles. A new cast addition will be Laura Dern. Sadly, the actress who played the Oracle-like Log lady has since died, which is a key loss.

When the new Twin Peaks does appear next year, it's certain to be a major media event. If the new production can recapture the same sinister, dreamy mind-twisting atmosphere of the of the original version, it will become an addictive, must-see experience.

Monday, January 4, 2016

GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB a Worthy Effort

The Girl in the Spider's Web is a continuation of the best selling trilogy that began with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Swedish author Stieg Larsson. Sadly, Larsson died shortly after writing the last novel in the trilogy.

New author David Lagercrantz has now continued the original series with this latest novel. Set again in Stockholm, the novel brings back the striking character duo of investigative reporter Mikael Blomkvist and tough hacker punk Lisbeth Salander.

The plot is a complex web involving cyber-espionage and the theft of valuable industrial secrets. The U.S. spy agency NSA may be involved, along with a team of ruthless killers, and an autistic savant boy who possesses key information.

The novel offers much of the same technical depth and sweeping storyline of the original Larsson books. The character of Mikael Blomkvist is a solidly familiar presence that anchors the story. Where new author Lagercrantz has trouble is in catching the enigmatic character of Lisbeth Salander.  She comes across coldly and remotely, never showing the same fiery, volatile intensity of the Larsson portrayal.

That said, The Girl in the Spider's Web is a worthy effort and an enjoyable read, if only a somewhat diminished echo of the vividly original Stieg Larsson works.