On The Shore On The shore — 01 February 2014
Top pick from the video room: Top of the Lake

If you like going to worlds strange and beautiful, especially when there’s a sinister mystery unfolding, you may want to visit New Zealand in Top of the Lake. Shot on location in Queenstown and Glenorchy, the series pairs breathless natural beauty with some pretty menacing locals. Call it Twin Peaks down under. Starring Elizabeth Moss (who plays Mad Men’s ad-woman Peggy) and co-directed by Australia’s Jane Campion (The Piano), the series follows the investigation of the disappearance (and pregnancy) of a 12-year-old girl named Tui.

Moss is brilliant as detective Robin Griffin, plus there’s some brilliant writing, directing, and cinematography to recommend the seven-part mini-series. But we are also treated to the bizarre side-story of a neo-Hippie encampment headed by a “wise woman” played ever-so memorably by Holly Hunter.

The series, with nudity and steamy sex, was first shown in its entirety (with breaks) at the 2013 Sundance film festival. Sundance paired with BBC Two and UKTV in Australia, to produce it. It is available on Netflix streaming and on-demand cable networks.

­—John Dolen

 

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