Let's Rock! The Twin Peaks Character Countdown (70-61)
IT IS HAPPENING AGAIN! Yes, I have returned yet again to continue the countdown from worst Twin Peaks character to greatest Twin Peaks character. Today, we continue to make our way through some of the more less interesting (to put it kindly) characters from the show, though there will be a few positive things to say. Just a few though; can’t use all the good energy on the below level characters when there’s so many richly drawn ones to talk about! But enough wasting time, I’ve got places to go. Hell, I’ve already gone places. Dammit, not the time to get Lynchian Cult. LET’S ROCK!
70. John Justice Wheeler
In perhaps the least surprising moment of this list (you know, beyond James Hurley scraping the bottom of the barrel), here’s Billy Zane to take up the last spot in the 70s. I’ll be honest, there’s few things in life I enjoy more than Billy Zane; whether it’s whatever he was doing in The Phantom, that hilariously gonzo over the top performance in Titanic (“I put the diamond in the coat…I PUT THE COAT ON HER!!!”) or the show stopping Zoolander cameo, the man is always good for a laugh. As John Justice Wheeler though, no he’s not. Wheeler is pretty much what you’d get if you sucked out all the charisma from Ben Horne and all the coolness out of Dale Cooper; basically, you’re left with Hayden Christensen, and that’s never a good thing. Worst of all, Wheeler ended up being the love interest for Audrey Horne instead of Cooper. Yes, just like fellow black hole of charisma Annie Blackburn, Wheeler is in Twin Peaks to pretty much keep Cooper and Audrey away from each other. I think I’ll let my main man Bryan Danielson sum this one up.
69. Dr. Jim
Remember in the pilot of Twin Peaks where Cooper, Harry and that random doctor are down in the room where the light keeps flickering, leading to the doctor revealing his name is Jim (even though he was never asked)? That’s this guy right here! I know what you’re thinking; this guy made this list, but not Joey Paulson? Yes he did, and here’s why. Joey Paulson may have had a tad more to do, but who the hell remembers him? You frankly don’t deserve to make a list if James Hurley was more memorable than you (the James hate is strong with me today!). This guy though; he was memorable, even though it came from a botched line and was kept in because, let’s be real, David Lynch is a really strange dude. The lesson, as always; work with David Lynch if you can. You never know when he’s going to decide that the weird thing you’re doing in between takes just tickles his fancy.
68. Sylvia Horne
One of the things Twin Peaks was not very good at was developing the wives of some of our main male characters. Sure, you had Catherine and Shelly, but each of them, there was a Sylvia Horne and a Betty Briggs. Sylvia is the worst of the bunch, mainly because she only appears in about two scenes total and does less in those moments than Alex Rodriguez does come the MLB playoffs. Hell, even the deleted scenes of the character don’t help her cause. There was in fact going to be a plot point somewhere in season two where Sylvia blamed daughter Audrey for her son (the soon to be talked about) Johnny Horne’s health issues, stemming from an incident in their childhood. That scene never was shown outside of DVD releases, and THANK GOODNESS! I already don’t care for this woman; now she’s going to be one of those people that blames the kids forever because why the hell not? Seen that plot point, haven’t cared about it in years. Unless it was on South Park I suppose.
67. Evelyn Marsh
I’ll give Evelyn Marsh this much; she was pretty attractive and she wasn’t around long enough to fall lower on this list. That’s pretty much where the nice things end. And look, I don’t mind the supposed doldrums of Twin Peaks season two (specifically the middle portion). There are some legit really funny and interesting moments. That whole love/murder/soap opera square involving Marsh, her largely unseen husband, #66 on this list and the blandest man that ever lived (James Hurley) was not one of those moments. Put Evelyn with say, Bobby Briggs in a similar arc, and she and the rest of her motley crew might actually be higher. Alas, this is the struggle of being near James Hurley. Man, I may have to write the most negative Cult Tribute about that character someday.
66. Malcolm Sloan
Did you read everything above about Evelyn Marsh? You did? Than pretty much just copy and paste it to this section in regards to Malcolm (minus the attractive note), the fake brother/secret lover that no one ever wanted or asked for. Not to continue the James Hurley hatorade train here (okay, twist my arm), but isn’t it telling that he somehow got mixed up in this? Say what you will about all the other pitfalls the citizens of Twin Peaks found themselves in, but they at least all knew what they were getting into. How did James not see that this whole Evelyn/Malcolm thing wasn’t going to be a problem? Bobby would’ve figured it out and then done it anyway. Ditto for Hank Jennings, Ben Horne and even Jerry Horne; choose whichever seedy male character you want, and they would’ve figured it out “This shit’s no good.” James Hurley, not so much.
65. Pierre Tremond/Chalfont
The lowest rated members of the Black Lodge clan take up spots 65 and 64. And well, it’s deserved, and I say this as someone who loves most of the Black Lodge citizens. The problem with Pierre here is that, not only does he really not add anything, his only quality is annoying brat who speaks French. What the hell am I supposed to do with annoying brat that speaks French? Take away that goofy Lynchian aspect and the kid probably slides in right below his grandmother on this list. Alas, we’re moving on to her now.
64. Mrs. Tremond/Chalfont
Unlike her annoying grandchild, Mrs. Tremond isn’t annoying. The problem is there’s nothing else there, which is what greatly separates her from the rest of the Black Lodge brigade. As weird as that group was, we all knew who they were and what their role was. BOB is the psycho killer/maniac; MIKE is the former psycho killer/maniac turned voice of reason; The Giant was the benevolent messenger trying to help Cooper; The Man From Another Place was Mike’s arm reincarnated as a dwarf who loved to dance and, for my money, may have been the mastermind of this whole damn thing. What granny and her grandson add to the group is still a mystery to me. Maybe they bring them the creamed corn? Are they groupies? I’ve taken way too much time trying to figure this out.
63. Betty Briggs
Hey, yet another example of a wife/mother character in Twin Peaks that isn’t nearly as interesting as her husband or son. I told you this was a weak point for the show! Unlike the unpleasant and uninteresting Sylvia Horne however, Betty at least gets to be a warm and cheerful, which makes her screen time more than tolerable. Unfortunately for her on this list, you’re going to need to be more than tolerable when you’ve got a cocaine addicted problem child football player (who never plays football) on one side and an old school, slightly off kilter, likely black ops G-man on the other. That’s like putting Zack Ryder in a room with CM Punk and John Cena and expecting him to be something more than the annoyingly chipper dude in the corner. The good news for Betty; I wouldn’t doubt she gets a chance for some shine in the revival, provided Lynch hasn’t decided to off her as well as her husband (Rest in Power Don Davis. Rest in Power).
62. Vivian Smythe Niles
You know what the only thing worse than a food critic is; a double secret food critic. Seriously, have you seen these people in film and TV? They’re like a cross between every mustache twirling villain from the 1950s and the people that actually sent John Oliver semen on Last Week Tonight two weeks ago. Low and behold, Norma Jennings’ mother is one of those evil food critics and to the shock of no one, she’s not very likable. In some ways that’s a good thing, as Vivian doesn’t seem to be someone that I should be rooting for. At the same time, I’m pretty sure I and millions of other fans shed no tears when she went away. It’s one thing to be a food critic, hell it’s another thing to try and sully the name of the wonderful Double R Diner; but to do all of that while having the most over the top snooty name in the history of time? I’m sorry; you aren’t making it past the sixties in this list. By the way, how the hell did Vivian not like the Double R?! I can understand having issues with your daughter and wanting to stick it to her, but damn, everyone liked that place. I’m pretty sure BOB even snuck in a piece of pie there every once in awhile.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s now once again time for Jack Nicholson to make an appearance in this column.
Well Jack, that’s a very good question, and to be honest, I don’t really know. All I remember of Jones (who is in fact a woman) is that she was a bodyguard for Thomas Eckhart, a much more interesting character who was obsessed with Josie Packard and strangely looks like the guy who played Billy Zane’s manservant in Titanic (spoiler alert; it’s the same guy. You’re soon going to realize there’s a whole lot of Twin Peaks, Titanic connections). Oh, she also attacked Harry, got sent to prison, and may be from South Africa. Admittedly, that and the fact that she’s a bad ass bodyguard does give her some points. Unfortunately, it’s not getting her much higher than this.
That’ll do it for now good people! I’ll be back later with 60-51 of this list, perhaps even later tonight. Depends on my mood. Till next time, hit us with some knowledge COOP!