The reason I find writing this Twin Peaks blog so rewarding is predominantly because it allows me to completely indulge in my greatest passion. But I also gain immense gratification from being part of the Twin Peaks fan community, which is made up of amazingly warm, welcoming, intelligent and supportive people. There seems to rarely be much argument and very little hate amongst the die-hard fans. But there is one topic of discussion that more often than not sparks some usually playful, but occasionally malicious, negativity: James Hurley.
I do have a sense of humour and find some of the memes and expressions of cringe hilarious but I feel compelled to make a case for why James Hurley is great and let you know why I love him.
First of all, he is a teenage dream. The actor who plays James Hurley, James Marshall, was unknown before Lynch plucked him from obscurity and cast him in a Calvin Klein perfume advert he directed. It’s easy to see why – those chiselled cheekbones and brooding brown eyes make James Marshall swoon worthy. So no wonder Lynch picked him to play Laura Palmer’s secret biker boyfriend.
And when I was a young teenager watching Twin Peaks for the first time there was nobody hotter (well, Cooper, Truman, Bobby and Hawk were all babes but James definitely stands out!). A beautiful boy in a leather jacket, who rides a hog and has a sensitive side is perhaps a stereotypical crush but for good reason. It’s because of James Hurley that I have ‘ride on the back of a hot guy’s motorbike’ on my bucket list and still, as an elderly mid-twenty year old, I regret never having had a James in my life.
Many find James’ falsetto song ‘Just You and I’ horrendously cringe worthy but I adore its absurdity. The unusual vocals and simpering sweet melody relaxes the viewer into a false sense of security and at the same time causes great unrest. You hear it and think, this is bloody awful, is it supposed to be? Why is it continuing? When will it end?! What follows is forever imprinted in my mind … I couldn’t get to sleep after seeing BOB creeping towards Maddy, staring directly down the camera lens and straight into my soul. If it weren’t for James’ unforgettable tune I don’t think this scene would be so devastatingly disturbing.
Although he was naïve, James brought some comfort to Laura in her last days on earth. He truly loved her and wanted to save her but being so deep into the darkness and addiction she wouldn’t allow it. I think knowing that James truly loved her, although she mocked him for it, meant a lot to the ‘real’ Laura. The innocent, sweet, teenage girl who was fighting with BOB’s increasing control over her.
When James flees town, after brutally ditching Donna, to then inexplicably hook up with Evelyn Marsh, I was baffled and felt extremely sorry for Donna. But at the very same time, I adore the over the top drama that ensues. It is pure Dallas meets Twin Peaks – glittering jewellery and red hot lipstick, bitch slap, illicit affair and double identity galore. It’s not the reason why we continue to adore Twin Peaks but I enjoyed it nonetheless and someone had to leave that crazy town at some point.
We know that James Marshall, who is still as handsome as ever, is returning to Twin Peaks for the new season. I hope James Hurley, 26 years later, will continue to ride the open road, to brood, to wear leather and to have a sweet, romantic soul…