Top Of The Lake

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 126 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 97 out of 126
  2. Negative: 18 out of 126

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  1. Feb 3, 2014
    4
    Jane Campion is a champion of the weird and freakish. It was therefore with trepidation that I followed this mini-series. Turns out, my apprehension was well founded. In a nutshell, Robin is back to her New Zealand hometown of Laketop to visit her sick mother. She is coming from Australia, where she moved and became a cop of some sort.

    The local police get in touch with her when Tui,
    Jane Campion is a champion of the weird and freakish. It was therefore with trepidation that I followed this mini-series. Turns out, my apprehension was well founded. In a nutshell, Robin is back to her New Zealand hometown of Laketop to visit her sick mother. She is coming from Australia, where she moved and became a cop of some sort.

    The local police get in touch with her when Tui, a 12 yo girl turns up at the station, suicidal and pregnant. This is just the beginning of the most bizarre investigative procedure I have seen on screen. Tui is interrogated by Robin (a “specialist” in dealing with kids). Despite the unpleasantness of the situation nothing much comes out of her mouth (was it rape? was it something even more sinister?) Whatever it was, during her interrogation, Tui manages to look merely annoyed, rather than scared or shocked.

    Completing the female cast is a bunch of women camping on the lake shore and “guided” by GJ – one of the most obnoxious characters ever. Tui goes visiting their camp, then she goes missing and everybody in creepy Laketop gets involved to find her (or what remains of her body). During the very loose and badly coordinated search, we get to know all of Robin’s dark secrets.

    If the female cast is unpleasant more grief comes from the male side. We have Matt, the local bad guy, involved in criminal activities and apparently father of almost every youngster in Laketop. He is also Tui’s father, although their relationship is left mostly unexplored. Then we have Al, the lieutenant, too creepy for words. Potential (and actual) rapists/misogynists fill the local bar, together with Johnno, yet another of Matt’s offspring (or maybe not) who could (or not) be the only good guy around. But he also has his share of quirky behaviors, such as sleeping in a tent, for reasons I could not quite grasps.

    The denouement of the whole plot turns out as one of the most anti-climactic ever. Somebody gets shot, Robin discover a dark plot (of the type already explored and exploited much better in Twin Peaks), Tui goes back to normal life, still managing to look supremely bored and completely detached from all the tragedy around her. The end.

    Not a single character in the series was likeable or engaging, although I suppose main character Robin was meant to elicit some sympathy. The biggest let down was Tui, who played her character either catatonic or bored. Also extremely puzzling the GJ character. I just cannot figure why anybody would follow such a rude person to the end of the world, thinking she has a “teaching” or enlightenment of any sort to impart.
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  2. Apr 12, 2013
    5
    If you are a man hating woman this show is for you. The amount of emotional intelligence to find the show interesting precludes it mostly to women for starters. The fact that EVERY SINGLE MAN in the show is a hatful, spiteful, rapist, woman beater, dirty cop, child molesterer, drug dealer, bum, drunk or merely insensitive clod with the one exception of course of the romantic interest ofIf you are a man hating woman this show is for you. The amount of emotional intelligence to find the show interesting precludes it mostly to women for starters. The fact that EVERY SINGLE MAN in the show is a hatful, spiteful, rapist, woman beater, dirty cop, child molesterer, drug dealer, bum, drunk or merely insensitive clod with the one exception of course of the romantic interest of the main character. While every woman in the show is an emotionally sensitive, understanding, moralistic, high champion of justice and what's right, makes the show somewhat single faceted in its' diatribe. The show is compelling in terms of the acting and general plot, but the awful one sided message seems to override the plot as a premise for the story at times. You really have to wonder at the writing and directing of Jane Campion here. Expand
  3. Mar 26, 2013
    5
    Interesting albeit extremely quirky and fairly involving so far. It could really use subtitles as the accents are sometimes completely incomprehensible.
  4. Aug 14, 2014
    4
    I was led to this show by the positive review scores and the chance to see Elisabeth Moss in something other than Mad Men...and sometimes the reviews lie....A sort of a Killing, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo thing going on...Definitely not sympathetic to men...whilst the female cast is a bit holier than thou.....Beautiful New Zealand background but the rest ...Nah...Holly Hunters band ofI was led to this show by the positive review scores and the chance to see Elisabeth Moss in something other than Mad Men...and sometimes the reviews lie....A sort of a Killing, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo thing going on...Definitely not sympathetic to men...whilst the female cast is a bit holier than thou.....Beautiful New Zealand background but the rest ...Nah...Holly Hunters band of happy woman living apart from man..What was the point of them??? apart from having Hunter on the credits...The love interest..just didn't gel either..It had a little something but all in all...very unsatisfying.. Expand
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Jace Lacob
    May 30, 2013
    90
    Numerous story strands--Robin’s dark past, the venomous Mitcham and his ne’er-do-well sons, a New Age women’s camp run by the mysterious guru GJ (Holly Hunter)--all coalesce into a taut and provocative thriller about damage, vengeance, and escape.
  2. Reviewed by: Jeanne Jakle
    May 29, 2013
    80
    The miniseries is full of striking characters, some brutish and scary, others vulnerable with painful secrets.
  3. 100
    A triumph of writing, directing, and acting.