Top of the Lake

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Top of the Lake

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Mondays, 9:00 PM EST on Sundance Channel, BBC Two
Tracked 3,694 Times
2 Seasons, 13 Episodes
60 Minutes
Buy or StreamAmazonAmazon UK
A twelve-year-old girl stands chest deep in a frozen lake. She is five months pregnant, and she won't say who the father is, insisting it was 'no one'. Then she disappears. Robin Griffin, the investigating detective, will find this the case that tests her to her limits. In the search for Tui she will first have to find herself.

Show Reviews

by TelevisionFanboy

Feb 03, 2016 5:33 PM EST

Top of the Lake is a dark emotional powerhouse. As Elisabeth Moss investigates an unspeakably terrible crime, she begins to uncover a tangled web of complications that make solving it much more difficult. This show is filled with twists and turns, and while not for the faint of heart, Top of the Lake delivers a very engaging story.

by daviswalden

Jan 30, 2015 10:54 AM EST

Exploring a very dark and complicated case, Top of the Lake explores several taboo situations that only make the town in it more and more interesting. With Elizabeth Moss as the lead character, this mystery drama is extremely powerful.

by Industrialcontortion

Dec 13, 2015 4:23 PM EST

It took me a long time (2 years) to finally get around to watching this show. It has strong female leads and is rich in drama. I do feel the editing was a bit shotty, many errors and sometimes timeline issues. I did power watch the entire season in one day, it has some pretty funny moments.

by abeytu

Oct 30, 2014 3:28 PM EDT

Very dark, quite slow, beautiful landscapes versus horrible souls, I really liked this show. I hope there will be a season 2.

by bingewatcher4now

Feb 05, 2016 3:40 PM EST

Unfortunately, even if in so many aspects we have groundbreaking developments in improving our life standards, still no movie,book, study seems to suffice in raising awareness about statuary rape, incest, sexual abuse, pedophilia; where numbers of such crimes soar still. Instead of addressing issues in a focused witty storyline, this show totally fails turning it into a lousy mad lib protest. I was worried before watching the show when I realised it was written and directed by Jane Campion... and sadly,I was right . As a woman I often have difficulty understanding Campion's persistence in portraying female characters as melodramatic, needy, romantic, ubersensitive, anxious to bond at first given chance type of dependant weaklings. Script was very predictable even episodes prior to twists. It had No credibility throughout the season and by midseason it became evident that ending will resemble twin peaks. Elizabeth Moss and scenery were two factors that made it watchable....just about.

by steelsheen

Dec 26, 2015 5:07 AM EST

Everyone involved in this POS needs to be barred from ever working in the entertainment industry.

by steppensquirrle

Jul 03, 2015 4:49 PM EDT

Take most of the positive aspects of humanity you see in Twin Peaks and leave in all of the dark and you get this show. It is very very dark. That said, I really liked it. Beautifully filmed, subtly acted, and very well written with a very relatable protagonist.

by chikayeye23

Feb 23, 2015 8:36 PM EST

This show introduced me to Elizabeth Moss. HUUUUGE star, dark story, great show.

by linkinwhark

Feb 22, 2015 3:58 AM EST

It might be the best mini series I've ever seen. Very good cast, excellent directing and photography, and an extremely shocking script makes it just perfect.

by NomNomTV

Dec 30, 2014 5:06 PM EST

A delicacy among TV series but not of the easy to digest sort. It's not another escapist fantasy. It touches upon the real through the mythical.
Slow-pacing allows to revel in mesmerising sceneries, yet the landscape is not your typical gimmick. It speaks of raw, wild power of creation and destruction as it shines through all women characters in their strenghts and weaknesses.

by tommyboy69

Oct 22, 2014 2:39 AM EDT

great show

by ginanaylor

May 24, 2018 10:49 AM EDT

Firstly, amazing new Zealand landscape! Secondly, please just hurry up and watch this gripping story! I'm in love with the honesty and the rawness of the production.

by Ivsteal

Oct 01, 2017 6:00 AM EDT

This one really messes with your emotions. Beauty, pain, reflection, anger, disgust, triumph of the soul above all odds. It's disturbingly gripping.

by Janette Johnston Savage

Aug 21, 2017 12:14 PM EDT

I didn't know there was a Season 1 off this & just watched Season 2 & it was amazing so going to watch Season 1. I did wonder about Detectives story from her past and why they didn't show it lol.

by Lucy

Aug 13, 2017 3:28 PM EDT

Top of the Lake is a very dark and emotional mini series, with plenty of twists, turns and complications (although a fairly predictable narrative overall) The case of a missing, pregnant minor is explored in beautiful rural New Zealand, with many small town personalities and politics crossing and sparks flying die to the return of Detective Robin (the excellent Elizabeth Moss).

The series spends 6 hours piecing the case together from fragments and slowly working out who could be trusted and who couldn't. What really makes Top of the Lake different from other crime dramas is the stark contrast between how men and women are written. We see things through Robin (and outsider/insider to the community) and she distrusts all the men at some point, for different reasons. They all give her, and the audience, reasons to dislike them and seperating the truth of this from Robin's bias is all part of the drama. The reach and influence of the men in Laketop is incredible and the series shows just how destructive this can be in a very startling way, with bombshells being dropped in the last episode, one after the other. In contrast, the women are shown to be survivers and fighters, from the mothers losing their children to the women in GJ's shelter, caring for each other and standing in solidarity after every horrific event in Laketop.

The series lacks a complete resolution to the crimes in the final episode, and GJ's exit let down her character a lot, but aside from that, there's not too much I can fault in the drama. I enjoyed putting together bits of Robin's past from flashbacks and it solidified her as a flawed, but strong character. Elizabeth Moss plays her with subtly and strength and goodness knows how she got into Robin's mindset, but she does so brilliantly and convincingly.

Season 2 of Top of the Lake is really quite a different beast. Firstly, we were shown the case (no pun intended) and who was behind the missing body, completely deviating from the 'whodunnit' structure of the first season and to be honest making the actual police case far less compelling this time around. Although Robin Griffin is still an excellent character, she is working towards something we already know, and without the tight-knit community of suspects and constant second guessing of who/where/why the case exists the crime drama part of season 2 is definitely lack luster. Although the focus on sex workers and surrogacy was a 'tighter' mystery/case, it was all too predictable and at times frustatrating to watch Robin play catch up.

However, the second season worked as an exploration of Robin's character, especially in coming to terms with her biological daughter, her own estranged family and coming back to a workforce that essentially hates her. Robin's work struggles were written well and reflect an all too real struggle, showing how tough it can be for women in the workplace. Pairing Robin with gawky constanble Miranda worked well for the most part but Robin's struggle at work wasn't always enlightening to watch.

The only real worthwhile watch of the series is how Robin begins to bond with her biological daughter, her daughters family and comes to terms with giving up a child 18 years ago. The character study aspect of the season worked well and definitely provided a strong foundation to explore other aspects of Robin's life (it's just a shame those other aspects were a bit mundane). Her brief reconciliation with Al Parker was a dynamic and charged scene, but it reminded me more of how good season 1 was rather than added to my enjoyment of season 2.

Even the finale wasn't really anything special, mostly predictable and not an altogether satisfying (or happy) ending. It lacked the emotional punch of season 1 and to be honest I missed the scenic forest shots of the lake (New Zealand wilderness is far more captivating than shots of crowded Bondi Beach). I'd recommend watching this season if you're a fn of Robin and want to see her reunite with her child, but if you're looking for dark gritty crime drama again, best look elsewhere.

by Selma Kaynak

Feb 06, 2016 6:39 AM EST

Am I the only woman seriously,... that has a problem with Campion's portrayal of women? Her adaptations of literary classics were understandable though still dreary on my account; but a contemporary story? I confess that I was worried.... worse she proved my worries right! I fail to understand why she insists on portraying women as ubersensitive, melodramatic, needy creatures whose entire purpose in life comprise whining for attention from men....utterly dependant weaklings! Thus rather than addressing such an important and ever growing issue of statuary rape, here we have this cherade of lib protest...a community where all men are misogonists, rapists, pedophiles and women are foresaken underdogs and hysterical incompetents. This show fails to address the issue... more, it seems to exploit taboos as if in desperation of ratings. Very predictable, ending is borrowed from twin peaks..only assets are... incredible Elizabeth Moss and the scener

by PrivateSmallville

Dec 30, 2014 12:24 PM EST

It's on my list has one of the worst shows ever made. It annoyed the hell out of me cause the detective in charge to me her character felt like she had no idea what she was doing. The show in itself should be watch.