Yeah, we let you down, here. You're right, and I'm sorry.
Folks on Twitter often talk about a "problematic fave," a book, movie, artist, show, musician etc that they love in spite of their clearly backwards point of view on one element or another. For me, Twin Peaks is the most problematic of my most favorite TV shows. The fact is, it is at times racist and sexist. And while David Lynch is a great example of a person who has challenged himself his whole life, even he would acknowledge that he isn't perfect.
I can enjoy Twin Peaks' masterful balance between the dreamlike puzzle of art and the addictive familiarity of serial television, and still criticize the fact that its lurid misogyny has resurfaced-- not 100%, not as a major theme, but as a part of its texture, and one that should not be ignored eve nay its fans. The show has sexist parts, and the casting is pretty white. The depiction of Jade, the only black character so far with a speaking part, evokes the exotic fetishization of black bodies. Then, seconds later, it shows her to be an intelligent, sensible woman who shows compassion to her client while making sure she keeps herself out of trouble. In the space of two minutes Lynch succumbs to old habits while showing his compassion for what women endure. I forgive the former because of the latter, but i forget neither.
Crime shows, as well, walk a very very fine line, sometimes using murder as a puzzle, sometimes wallowing in the blood, sometimes eliciting titillation of our baser instincts, and often using genre to make pointed critiques about society. What I love about Twin Peaks is that it does one more thing: successfully integrate surrealism into the form of a TV show. Nothing else comes close, and as a person of color who sees almost no one like himself represented in Twin Peaks, I watch mostly for that final thing, that dreamlike puzzle to which I can't help but return.
We're the kind of viewers that analyze every frame, and that means we're going to find some things wanting. That's okay! Critical viewing doesn't ruin art, it helps it fulfill its purpose. I really appreciate that BizzyDQ addressed this issue, and I feel responsible for not bringing it up sooner, even in anticipation to the show.
I hope Chrysta Bell surprises us as Tamara Preston. She's not the first professional woman surrounded by men who simultaneously respect her work and indulge their eyes and minds. As the agent who's dig deepest into the secret history of Twin Peaks, perhaps she'll put the pieces together in a way that no one could before, like so many brilliant women do.