TV: Top of the Lake – Season 1

Premiered: March 18, 2013

On: BBC Two

Starring: Elisabeth Moss, David Wenham, Peter Mullan, Tom Wright, Holly Hunter, Kip Chapman, Jay Ryan, Jacqueline Joe, Robyn Nevin, Calvin Tuteao, Alison Bruce, Georgi Kay, Lucy Lawless, Genevieve Lemon, Robyn Malcolm, Oscar Redding, Luke Buchanan, Edward Campbell & Mirrah Foulkes

Despite stellar cinematography and a compelling performance by lead actress Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake falters a bit to rise above the rest.

While tending to her ailing mother (Robyn Nevin) in New Zealand, Sydney detective Robin Griffin (Moss) is called into overseeing a case featuring a 12-year-old pregnant girl named Tui (Jacqueline Joe). When she goes missing, Robin suspects Tui’s father, Matt (Peter Mullan), of a crime.

Several storylines seem to go unanswered or disappear from the show. The main issue is Holly Hunter’s character GJ. Though she does lead the safe haven that plays a central role, the character adds little value to the show and often generates a sigh from the viewer.

However, the action surrounding Tui is intense and will have you gripping an armrest as you continue watching.

Final say: Just below the surface. ★★★☆☆

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