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Why does "Twin Peaks" get a pass but "Lost" does not?

Let me just preface by saying that despite my frustration with all the unanswered questions I did enjoy watching Twin Peaks: The Return.

Why does “Twin Peaks” get a pass when it comes to loose threads but “Lost” does not?

So, my question today isn’t intended to shit on TP. I’m posing this question as a fan.

As I was ruminating on the finale I realized that I was feeling a very similar emotion to how I felt following the finale of Lost. Both shows highly intrigued me with their enigmatic characters, mysterious forces, and deep lore. Both shows were shows I watched religiously and endlessly speculated about. Yet, I seem to recall there being great angst and criticism towards the writers of Lost following the finale for introducing so many mysteries that didn’t even come close to being answered and plot threads that dropped off and went absolutely nowhere. It was considered at the time to be sloppy writing and a half-assed attempt to retcon previous inconsistencies.

So, that leads me to my question. Why does Twin Peaks get a pass for arguably doing the same thing? If this is supposedly the finale of the series (no confirmation yet on a S4), why does Lynch get off the hook for introducing so many characters, scenes, and questions which go almost totally unanswered? Examples would be the “119” drug addict, the weird black box, “the cow jumped over the moon” message during the prison riot, Jerry Horne’s freakouts, the introduction of Beverly Paige’s sick husband, Audrey’s entire plotline, and the Sarah Palmer/Judy connection. The general consensus I get from people is either “what did you expect from David Lynch?” or “he left it up to us to interpret.” Regarding the former, I guess I expect some sort of coherent storytelling and a reliable narrator so the audience can follow the plot, even if it is very unorthodox. Regarding the latter, I too like it when some things are left up to us to imagine, explore, and play with as a community. However, there are so many unanswered and unexplored things which are only briefly introduced that we are left to exegete and interpret almost every scene with wild speculation. I feel like a PhD in Lynchian studies is required to even begin to crack this.

Overall, while I must admit there was some brilliant television in this season (ep. 8 in particular), I feel the unanswered questions go beyond mystery and intrigue and end up being downright frustrating and/or disappointing for the audience. I can’t help but feel Twin Peaks gets a pass when Lost didn’t because of the pedigree of David Lynch, not because there is some key to unlocking the mystery buried deep in the lore.

What are your thoughts?

Twin Peaks
American drama series
A crime drama mixed with healthy doses of the surreal, this series is about FBI Agent Dale Cooper, who travels to the small logging town of Twin Peaks to solve the murder of seemingly innocent high schooler Laura Palmer. Almost nothing is as it seems, however, and the show’s sometimes eerie visuals, oddball characters and wild dream sequences drive the point home.
First episode date: April 8, 1990
Theme song: Falling
Director: David Lynch

chadqnormie: First and foremost thing here is Twin Peaks probably has a 1/10th of the viewers LOST had.

Mainstream audiences will rarely appreciate a non cut and dry ending. However with LOST it was a little different. It wasn’t like the Sopranos with a non cut-dry ending because you realized you had been X-files’d where the writers were just throwing things against the wall and seeing what stuck, where as Twin Peaks is much more someone’s vision, a vision that just happens to be mysterious and have no intention of answering questions in a satisfying manner.

I just feels disappointing when you realize they were just writing mysterious things to be mysterious (and has honestly tainted the legacy of the show a bit)

Honestly I’m not sure why you would even begin to compare these two shows especially if you’re a fan of TP this ending shouldn’t really be that big a surprise.

Maninhartsford: Basically, the creators of LOST assured everyone for years that everything would come together at the end, and that was a lie. Lynch, on the other hand, is notorious for hating closure — remember, with twin peaks alone he (a. didn’t end season 1 with the end of the “season-long” mystery. (b. ended season 2 on a cliffhanger even though they were, at that point, airing on Saturdays and almost assuredly cancelled. And (c. was given the chance to make a followup movie to wrap up the cliffhanger and made not only a prequel, but a prequel that reminds you of the cliffhanger every 20 minutes.

I guess what it comes down to is with Peaks it’s hardly a surprise.

MC_Carty: Lynch and Frost are a totally different beast. Also, the show ain’t done yet and Lynch isn’t the type to give you answers for everything. He tells the story the way he sees fit and the rest is on the viewer.

And, personally, I really like thinking for myself and taking something away from it that maybe someone else doesn’t see. I also never had a real problem with Lost until they hamfisted explanations in that just seemed like it was to appease people too dumb to think of something themselves.

I’d love answers, of course, but I’m okay having to think a bit and connecting things that aren’t stated as fact. And TP is so damn trippy that giving a straight answer seems almost impossible. It’s definitely not a show for everyone. I only know a few people personally that love it and the rest seem to hesitate when I say that it’s difficult to explain and make any sense of it if they aren’t keen on having to sit and think.

RadBadTad: Lost was a puzzle, and the entire premise of the show was solving it.

Twin Peaks is a weird experience, where the focus is on the experience, rather than on solving all the weirdness.

icount2tenanddrinkt: i started watching twin peaks last night, wanted to wait until series had finished, as i knew if i watched it week by week i would have forgotten what had happened.
So did first 2 last night, didnt know first 2 were 2 hours, anyway less than 45 min in to it. I dont know whats going on, cant remember the original series and im confused.
But its just so watchable, havent a clue whats going on, and i dont mind, its entertaining me, and im enjoying it. Now having read a couple of reviews about it today, and they seem to say what i was thinking ….. what the fuck is this all about…. But im happy with that, sometimes its nice just to watch something that has been put together with such beauty and feeling.

Im hoping the rest of the season keeps me interested even if i dont understand it, heck there are lots of things i dont understand that i like, my cats, how the internet actually works, the rules of spelling, the list goes on. And includes what Lost was all about.

Plan on watching 3 episodes tonight.

OccupyGravelpit: Lynch is going for a tone and a feeling where reality unravels, whereas Lost set us up to expect an Agatha Christie style mystery explanation (whether it be sci fi, religion, all a dream, etc.) that ultimately clarifies what came before.

So it’s just a question of expectations. Certainly there were people in the 80s who watched Twin Peaks and were disappointed that there was a mystery that ultimately wasn’t solved. But anyone who is watching the new series in 2017 already knows not to expect closure.

olddicklemon72: Such things have come to be expected from Lynch. Season 2 got no such pass, but now it’s just not that surprising that it’s more about the “art” of the project than the narrative.

When Lost concluded, the creators had no such reputation to temper expectations. In turn though, Lindelof got much more leeway with the ending of the Leftovers in part because of Lost we knew not to expect something entirely tidy.

RahulBhatia10: With Twin Peaks, the unpredictability of all its events is probably what keeps is so fulfilling although we dont receive clear cut answers. And its style is very different from Lost, where they almost had to appease to the cravings of fans and technically change some of their original plans.
However, with Twin Peaks, Lynch was fulfilling his show to the max. Everything is realized in the way he wanted, Showtime let him do what he wants too.
You have to consider the difference in viewership between both shows as well, and what audiences they are striving to serve. So, the reaction to plot threads and cliffhangers also differs between the different fan communities.
Two wholly separate beasts.

DaveSW777: Lost pretended it was a smart show that would answer all these question. Twin Peaks isn’t about answering questions, it’s about making you guess.

sample_size_of_on1: Feel free to downvote this and make it disapear. I didn’t watch Lost, but I think Twin Peaks the Return is the best thing to happen to TV in years.

My understanding of the criticism of Lost is that people felt that the writers were winging it and had maybe gotten in over there head.

I don’t feel that way about Twin Peaks at all. I feel like David Lynch was firmly in control the entire way and it ended exactly how he wanted it to end.

To me Twin Peaks is an example of a master at the top of his craft being allowed to do what he does best.

rooney815: Personally I’m a huge fan of lost and loved the ending. It’s still some of the most moving scenes I’ve ever seen on television. That being said it appears it was the promise of questions being answered that split people. Especially considering on Lindelof’s next show, The Leftovers, they promised nothing would be answered and that series finale is pretty much universally praised as one of the best series endings in recent television (even though it had many similar elements to Lost’s finale).

I think there is a lot of “questions” that have been answered that people don’t realize (polar bear) or that can be figured out with clues and hints (smoke monster mom). I’m okay with the latter since I am really into open ended and up to your interpretation non-answers because they’re almost always more satisfying and thrilling in your mind before you get an answer (the whispers).

There’s also the unfair advantage of airing your limited series show in shorter seasons on a cable network compared to not knowing when you’re going to end on a broadcast network but that’s another story.

TheEvenDarkerKnight: Expectations

Wowbagger1: >Twin Peaks gets a pass when Lost didn’t because of the pedigree of David Lynch

Lost had a ton of viewers on ABC back in the day. I’m betting that show is the most popular drama to air on the three letter networks in the last 15 years. They had multiple 20 season episodes and promised the viewers a satisfying conclusion.

This season of TP was on Showtime and didn’t do well with viewers. The critics have been outspoken but the show didn’t really hit mainstream like the first two seasons did.

MaoTseTrump: The Audrey thing is perfect Lynch. He left her where she always played best; In our imaginations of her. As for the loose ends. I want to take note for everyone here to watch at different times when Gordon Cole speaks, it is actually David Lynch talking to the audience. “Albert, I couldn’t do it..” Albert responds, “you’ve gone soft in your old age”
Then Cole says, “not where it counts”
We all probably want to think about Cole’s boner, right? Like the boner is just a memory now. Go ahead to that boring cul-de-sac. Lynch is actually saying he will not give the audience everything, and it is said from a position of strength, not a lack of ability to deliver such a package.
Also, in the original series when he made out with Madchen Amick. That was him telling the audience to fuck off about putting love scenes in the show. “Get a good look buddy, it’s going to happen again!” Not to mention every line that Cole speaks is YELLED AT US.

SonicWeaponFence: I strongly disagree with anyone who uses the fact that much of LOST was written as they went along as a criticism. So was most of Breaking Bad. So is almost every show. It’s not a novel that you can go back and polish. It’s a group effort with plenty of limitations.

Lynch with Twin Peaks has a very clear vision. The reason people cut him more slack here is that we knew he was going to do this. LOST’s narrative was way more traditional despite it’s weirdness. The main plot turns on an ancient Roman who plotted escape from imprisonment using a shell game that involved prescience and time travel, but there was a beginning, middle, and end. And plenty of people did not like and in many cases did not understand the ending.

It recalls very strongly people’s reactions to the end of The Stand, which makes sense because The Stand was HUGELY influential on LOST (as was Twin Peaks).

Furshake: Lynch did everything on purpose. Lost creators stumbled their way through the show, unsure of what they were doing from the start.

MareliMovieGal: It really comes down to… Lynch is Lynch. He’s a well known figure in the film community and ever since he started he’s been known for loose ends, and more questions than answers. We can’t begin to expect it from him, so I think everyone has accepted that fact when they watch new “Twin Peaks”.

Another, simpler answer might be network vs. Showtime. On ABC (if I remember right), “Lost” could only get away with so much before executives would step in and be like, “Yeah, please answer this”. On Showtime, however, Lynch is given free reign with his vision.

mickeyflinn: Twin Peaks doesn’t get a pass from me on any level. It has its apologist but I find it to be a mess.

> I can’t help but feel Twin Peaks gets a pass when Lost didn’t because of the pedigree of David Lynch, not because there is some key to unlocking the mystery buried deep in the lore.

Yep. The only defense you ever hear of the show is how the master, mastered. Twin Peaks is a mess. It was a mess 27 years ago it is a mess now.

sweetpeapickle: There are plenty of shows that don’t tie up loose ends. The “larger than life” shows just seem to get talked about more. When you watched either of these shows, were you watching because you liked them, or just to see the ending? Most people watch shows episode by episode. If there’s a great mystery to go with it…well that makes it even better. As the series or seasons go on, viewers will drop off. Those remaining, for the most part, are still watching because they like the show. Those who are only watching for the ending are few, no matter how much one might disagree. Doesn’t mean viewers liked the ending. But out of all the series that have been on tv, it’s rare for everyone to like the finales.

dollwithdrawl: What are the loose threads in LOST, out of curiosity?

dissident87: It’s all about expectations. LOST was a fairly coherent mainstream show on network television produced by JJ Abrams. There was an expectation that it was all going somewhere worthwhile and the wait would be worth it.

Nobody is expecting coherence from anything David lynch does. That’s not why people tune in to his things

sb1729: In case you weren’t aware, Fire Walk With Me was absolutely demolished by the critics. Everyone hated it (ironically for the same reasons people didn’t like this finale) but the tide eventually turned. He is “getting a pass” now because now people pretty much know what to expect from Lynch, so I guess they weren’t as surprised by the apparent lack of closure. That and the fact that Lost had a far greater viewership and thus a far greater amount of casual watchers. The majority of the people who watched this season of TP to the end were huge Lynch fans who, I assume, loved the finale. I know I did.

Hillary1947-2017: Because Abrams and Damon Lin are not Lynch.

beebop222222: not everything in twin peaks is a mystery to be solved, or a problem that requires an explanation. Lots of things you talk about fall under this category (such as the drug addict and jerry). That being said, it is disapointing we didnt get closure with audrey or sarah palmer.

EdKord: 1) You’re not even sure that it truly is over. A 4th season is not impossible.

2) Even if there’s nothing more in TV, there’s a book coming next year that will reveal more.

3) Only Audrey’s story wasn’t finished. Cooper and Laura’s story might be interpreted as finished. It wasn’t an happy ending, but it might have been an ending.

4) At no point you see Lynch backed into a corner. Everything seemed to be coming to a conclusion and to have an answer. At this point, it simply seems he decided not to answer everything. Do I like it? No. But he didn’t do it for lack of talent or capacity, it was a choice. I mean, Cooper’s story could perfectly well be wrapped up with a few hugs after the fight with Bob and Audrey could’ve been shown to be in a coma. That would answer everything. Lynch decided not to take the easy root in the very last episode. Most of the questions that came up during the show were answered, he simply added new ones in the end and left them unanswered.

staymad101: Bandwagoning.

captaindunbar: because Lost blows

tenillusions: I think it was the constant “it’s not purgatory” and “everything happens for a reason” from the Lost writers.

Burningheart1978: Who says TP gets a pass? It fucked up for me exactly the same as LOST did; the creators disappeared up their own asses.

They bought in to the mystique that surrounded their shows. For LOST, it meant seeing through the silly “flash-sideways” and realising the creators were saying “Ha! Aren’t we clever, we fooled you LOLZ” (the public whining saying “Go watch NCIS” didn’t help). For Twin Peaks, it meant an overindulged, dreary ego trip for Lynch which was more “About the mystique of an old hit” than the *actual Twin Peaks show*.

TV_PartyTonight: Because Peaks is done by David Fucking Lynch, one of the greatest artists of our time. Anything he didn’t answer, is because that was his vision.

Lost was made by fucking hacks, that were just making shit up as they went along.

MarsShadow: If you went into Twin Peaks (by David Lynch) expecting everything to be handed to you on a silver platter then you’re beyond saving.

MaoTseTrump: Because Lynch could film Catsup dripping from a bottle and it would cause you to discover the meaning of your soul. That’s why.

oharabk: I was wondering the same thing. it’s frustrating to be honest. I’ll defend Lost till the day I die, and I’ll also be shitting on Lynch for the immense waste of time that is Twin Peaks.

dbroberts2008: “Shit on TP” hahaha…

I’ll leave now.

lvl99weedle: The Twin Peaks finale felt like watching the whole show was a waste of time for me. Sucks that it will most likely not get a 4th season to tie things up.

withcomment: Lost tied up loose ends like a champ compared to Twin Peaks. I guess Lynch has more “Secret” books and networks to scam out of money to “finish” the story.

Jaywearspants: Twin Peaks has a cult following and many fewer fans. Personally I think lost is infinitely better of a tv show.

Kyle MacLachlan says you shouldn’t hold your breath for more Twin Peaks

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The Twin Peaks revival turned out to be so much more than fans of the original could have hoped for—it was as strange and wild a ride 27 years later, one that star Kyle MacLachlan was happy to take again. But if the finale or the simple fact that it was happening again made you think David Lynch’s return to Twin Peaks would be an extended stay, Agent Dale Cooper has some bad news for you. In an interview with Deadline, MacLachlan says “there are no discussions for more Twin Peaks. That’s where that is.”

Despite the new and renewed interest, no one involved is thinking about making more episodes just yet. The actor’s still absorbing the last few episodes, including one moment from the finale that he calls “traumatic.” “How to interpret that is open to so many possibilities, I feel. I’m not even sure where I am on that,” MachLachlan tells Deadline about the ending. “We filmed it very early and coming back to it now, it’s incredibly powerful—particularly with Sheryl Lee and that fantastic blood-curdling scream in the middle of the night in a small neighborhood in Seattle.” At least we’ll always have Dougie (and, to a lesser extent, Wally)…Source

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