And so it came to this. After five weeks (or five hours if you’ve been watching it on the BBC’s iPlayer streaming service) of strangeness, Top Of The Lake: China Girl came to a close. Like any good finale, we were asking ourselves whether there would be a satisfactory conclusion to a series that started – lest we forgot – with the body of a young, Thai prostitute called Cinnamon, bundled into a suitcase and cruelly cast out to sea. Would Cinnamon get some form of justice?
I’ve read quite a few reviews saying that this second series of Jane Campion’s Top Of The Lake is an unholy mess – characters are unlikeable, scenes are cringe-worthy and the male characters are all heinous brutes. But I really enjoyed the first two episode, which showcased an intriguing and very dark murder plot and some interesting character progression. In episode three however, things went off the rails in a big way. Continue reading Review: Top Of The Lake: China Girl (S2 E3&4/6), Thursday 10th and 17th August, BBC2→
There’s no doubt about it, Top Of The Lake: China Girl is an extraordinary examination of femininity and motherhood (more on that later), as well as a graphic and explicit indictment of the way men view and treat women, both in the workplace and in society as a whole. I’ve read some reviews of the first episode that stated that it was preposterously pretentious and yawnsome, but I just didn’t see that – I thought it was beautifully paced, often beautiful to look at, superbly and uniformly well performed, and featuring a story that was brimming with quirky, interesting characters and supreme darkness. Yes, Robin Griffin is the type of tortured female detective that we’ve seen a lot of in crime drama during the past five years, but I don’t mind watching another one go on her journey – as long as her reasons for being traumatised are believable and not just tacked on for effect, I’m fine with it because these are stories that still need to be told.
We’ve had some heavyweight crime offerings this year – Broadchurch, Twin Peaks, Fargo et al – but perhaps the most eagerly awaited returning crime drama in this house is Jane Campion’s Top Of The Lake, now subtitled China Girl for its second series. Series one was just utterly wonderful – a dream-like procedural the likes of which we’ve never seen before. Elisabeth Moss (who’s been doing some tremendous work recently) returns as Robin Griffin, the Australian detective, who has now returned to her home city, where the body of an Asian sex worker is waiting for her. Judging by this series opener, it’s great to have it back. Continue reading Review: Top Of The Lake: China Girl (S2 E1/6), Thursday 27th July, BBC2→
Saying Elisabeth Moss is doing good work at the moment is like saying chocolate is only quite nice. Since mad Men, Moss has starred in series one of Top The Lake – Jane Campion’s dream-like New Zealand-set crime drama – and, more recently, the astonishing and harrowing The Handmaid’s Tale. Now she’s back for series two of Top Of The Lake, subtitled China Girl, and it’s another fantastic piece of work. It starts this week, and we managed to get hold of an interview with Moss, which you can read after the jump. Continue reading Interview: Elisabeth Moss, Top Of The Lake: China Girl→
This year has been a pretty big year when it comes to crime drama, not least because some of the heavy-hitters have returned to our screens. Unforgotten, Broadchurch, Twin Peaks, Fargo et al have all been very welcome, and now another big hitter, Jane Campion’s Top Of The Lake is now back among us. The dreamy first series aired in 2013 – just before this site’s time – and surely would have won that year’s Crime Drama Of The Year. Now we know when the follow-up, Top Of The Lake: China Girl, is due to start. Continue reading BBC reveals Top Of The Lake: China Girl transmission date→
One of the crime dramas I’m most looking forward to in 2017 is the second series of Jane Campion’s Top Of The Lake. The first series was a strange, almost hallucinogenic story told in verdant Kiwi countryside; lakes shimmering, mountains encircling, forests enveloping, and eccentric folk doing strange things. It was a stunner. We know that for series two Elisabeth Moss returns as Robin, and Campion has managed to lure Nicole Kidman to the cast. Now we get our first look at the award-winning actress. Continue reading BBC shares first image of Nicole Kidman from Top Of The Lake 2→
Jane Campion’s Top Of The Lake was a stunner. Set in the impossibly beautiful New Zealand wilderness it was the heart-rending story of a pregnant, 12-year-old girl who disappeared after trying to kill herself. Tasked with finding her was detective Robin Griffin (Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss), and along the way she came across some eccentric, sinister characters. It was a masterpiece, so when the news broke that it would be returning for a second series, I was thrilled. Now the BBC has released the second series’ first image, which you can see after the jump. Continue reading BBC reveals first-look image from Top Of The Lake season two→
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again – 2017 is shaping up to be quite a year for crime drama. One of the expected highlights is Jane Campion’s superb Top Of The Lake, which is set to return next year in an all-new location, with now an all-new suffix and all-new megastars as part of the cast. Suddenly Top Of The Lake might just have leapfrogged Twin Peaks to the, ahem, top of the must-watch list. Continue reading Nicole Kidman and Gwendoline Christie sign up for season two of Top Of The Lake→
Two-thousand-and-thirteen’s Top Of The Lake was one of the better crime dramas in recent years. Created and directed by Oscar-winning director Jane Campion, the series was shot in beautiful New Zealand and this landscape produced a sublime, complex and dream-like series. It starred Mad Men actress Elizabeth Moss as Detective Robin Griffin, an Australian police woman called in to investigate the disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old girl. It also featured unforgettable performances from Holly Hunter, David Wenham and Peter Mullan. News has been floating around of a second series for a while now (see here for our original news story), but now we know that Moss will be returning for series two. Continue reading Elizabeth Moss returns for season two of Top Of The Lake→
Dissecting the best crime drama on television and radio from around the world