The first season of Top of the Lake aired in the U.S. in March of 2013, so the wait for Season 2 has been a long one. Despite all of the many, many hours of TV I have watched (and forgotten) since then, Top of the Lake remains clearly emblazoned in my mind. It was a strange, beautiful, dark, and deeply atmospheric series that explored the nuances of a remote and rural area of New Zealand, and uncovers a crime ring that has poisoned the whole area with its evil acts.
The series focuses on a Sydney detective, Robin Griffith (Elisabeth Moss), who in the first season returned to her home in New Zealand and not only discovered the aforementioned criminal activities and their source, but also learned some disturbing new facts about her own life (and, most pointedly, who she was related to and how). In the new season, titled “China Girl,” Robin has returned to Sydney and is trying to rebuild her life when a young Asian girl washes up on Bondi Beach, and Robin again must work to find her killer.
The first image for the new season reveals co-star Nicole Kidman, who is described as an Australian mother named Julia “whose story will intersect with Robin’s.” Check out the image below:
Kidman’s look here is reminiscent of Holly Hunter’s in the first season, with long, flowing grey locks. Jane Campion, who created, co-wrote, and co-directed the first season, has a very feminist point of view with her visuals in the series, specifically showing women in their most natural state, proud, and powerful as they sometimes must band together against abuse. Some of those scenes in the first installment were practically archetypal, and I’m looking forward to seeing where Campion takes things in the new season.
It’s also interesting to note that in both seasons the victims have been young Asian girls, which is surely another part of Campion’s social commentary on racial relations between the Asian and white communities in Australia. We don’t know much more about the plot yet, and maybe it’s better we don’t — this kind of story is best experienced as it unfolds on its own terms.
Top of the Lake: China Girl will air on SundanceTV in 2017.