Tuesday, 16 August 2016

In Defence of Donna

"I'm having the most beautiful dream...and the most terrible nightmare, all at once."

For a small town Twin Peaks is teaming with glamorous, beautiful and stylish women and as fans we cannot get enough of them. Audrey and Shelly seem to be very firm favorites among the online fan community and rightly so - their characters were mesmerizing and the actresses continue to indulge our Peaky obsession with regular appearances at the festivals and great online interaction with the fans.

But I never hear much, if anything at all, about Donna or actress Lara Flynn Boyle who portrayed her in the series (not to be confused with Moira Kelly who played Donna in prequel film Fire Walk With Me). In fact, the few tweets I have seen have predominantly been to share recent unflattering photos of the actress, trolling her about plastic surgery. It's been confirmed that Lara Flynn Boyle will not appear in the new series coming in 2017, yet this does not mean that Donna has been written out, and part of me hopes she might still be around, although I fully trust in Lynch and Frost.

I think it's a real shame that you don't see very much Donna love online... She was an absolute babe in the original series, a compelling and essential character as the deceased Laura's straight laced BFF and some of her scenes are unforgettable. The moment she realizes something terrible has happened to Laura in the classroom in the pilot is so haunting.

I did some probing and must say thank you to followers who promptly responded. I know a lot of you do have a fondness for Donna but overall she does not seem regarded as an essential character and won't be missed much in the new series. @TwinPeaksRevolution said they felt in a minority for liking Lara Flynn Boyle's Donna and hope the new Mark Frost book will shed some light on what has happened to Donna in the last 25 years if indeed her character does not resurface and I do agree - it would be nice to have explanations if main characters do not return. Whilst another TP fanatic @chaffro said Donna annoyed the hell out of him in Season 2 when the Harold plot line became convoluted. A fair point but I found Donna's investigations leading her to Harold the shut in and the bizarre Mrs Tremond and her magician son, some of the oddest and most riveting scenes. It was touching to see the risks Donna was willing to take to find out the truth about her best friend.

For me Donna helped humanise Laura Palmer. Laura wasn't just a troubled, drug addict nymphomaniac with nobody to turn to. Beneath the darkness was a normal teenage girl and even if Donna didn't know all about Laura's secrets, she did know the sweet, innocent Laura and she loved her in the way girls do love their friends growing up. The BFF bond is such an amazing one!

I just think Donna needs a little more recognition and love thrown her way. Lara Flynn Boyle had some great scenes and looked flawless in that black shoulderless cocktail dress with the red bow in the penultimate "you're my daddy" episode. It was one of my favourite outfits seen on the show.

I've been reading the recently published 'Twin Peaks FAQ' and love their summarisation of Donna:

"...her courageous willingness to confront the darkest aspects of humanity is all the more heroic when one considers her cozy, cloistered, wholesome upbringing. Donna's a good girl for sure, but she's not a drag..."

I don't like to dwell on the behind the scenes gossip and I know James and Donna's romance was sometimes too frothy to stomach but overall I think Donna was brilliant and we should all take some more time to recognise that!

What do you think? Was LFB a better Donna than Moira Kelly? Are you sad she might not be included in series 3? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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