just saw Top of the Lake

I feel shaken to the core.


Elisabeth Moss and Jacqueline Joe are wonderful in the first season of Top of the Lake

I was about to have dinner, with lots of work to finish, when I decided I’ll watch something on Netflix while I eat. I decided on Top of the Lake and thought to myself, “It’s a Jane Campion television show. I might not even like the first episode. If ever I do, I could watch one episode and continue an episode a day.”


That’s what I thought.

Six hours later and I’ve finished the entire season and now I have to stay up to finish the work that I need to do. Thank God I don’t have to be anywhere until later in the afternoon.

That is an amazing show. I can’t believe what I just saw. This is what True Detective season 2 should have been like. It carries very similar themes and it’s compelling and the darkness of the human psyche is truly explored without ever spoon-feeding anything.

I cannot believe what I just saw but it’s amazing. How it deals with trauma and the awful nature of the patriarchy, and rape, and the blind spots that we have as we protect our children.

It’s so dense and there’s so much to unpack and to take out and to sift through. And it’s done with such a wonderful literary device through the character of Holly Hunter, who plays GJ, a sort of spiritual leader figure, who doesn’t really fit into the main plot line, but her character’s importance into the narrative is so vital, it’s quite an amazing achievement.


The phenomenal Holly Hunter in a role that she kills with every fiber of her being 

There are many things that her character says and “teaches” that really hit home for me. I love the way that Campion and Gerard Lee, the show’s creator, has written her character and the world of broken women that she cares for, which really doesn’t do anything for the main storyline, but it is so essential to the piece that it wouldn’t have the same effect without it.


I think about myself, as a writer, and how I do not have the gift to be so playful with my storytelling. Playful is the only word I can really think of to describe it. Daring and bold, are other words. It’s so daring in it’s function. I don’t have the courage to be so whimsical. I don’t believe in myself enough as a writer to be so free with my narrative elements.

I learned so much from this show and I want to be able to teach it to my FILM4TV class next term. I wish I could. It’s only six episodes and there’s so much good writing and good structuring in the whole season.

I wish I were that good. I wish I could be that brave as a writer.


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