EuroTV: New Zealand edition

It seems many of you found The Fall. Not exactly the most cheery thing ever filmed. I hope you are also able to find The Returned/Les Revenants. It is the best thing I’ve seen on telly all year. Stylish French zombie fare par excellence. Luther is also back, so spool that up too, and cover yourself in Cockney bombast.

Recommended this time is Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake, a BBC/Sundance production set in New Zealand (so barely Euro!). You know Campion from The Piano, from which she brings Holly Hunter as one of the lead actors.

I’m only one episode in, so it’s a difficult show to properly describe. Imagine Twin Peaks crossed with The Killing but a little more subdued (at least compared with Lynch). A young pregnant girl goes missing in the remote community of Laketop and cop Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) is brought in to investigate. Hunter plays a Log Lady-esque weirdo who last saw the girl. Etc.

The reviews have been good and Campion’s involvement as writer-producer-director ensures that Top of the Lake succeeds or fails based on her vision. This is no series-by-committee but ambitious long-form drama. So far, me likey.

Interestingly, Australian funding for the show was pulled when Moss’s involvement was revealed. It seems the Aussies don’t like Americans playing Antipodeans. I call it revenge for Russell Crowe making a career out of dodgy accents.

Available on Sundance Channel and BBC2.

4 thoughts on “EuroTV: New Zealand edition

  1. And now, after watching it a bit, I am bound to say that I love Elizabeth Moss and the amazing scenery, but not a lot more. I am finding it a bit hard to pick up on the accents of some of the actors, mostly the actors playing Matt Mitchum and the head detective. I don’t usually have this problem but I think those two are mumbling an awful lot.

    I have to also say that i sympathize with the Aussies who are down on Moss playing a local in this production. While I love her, it seems to me that even to my relatively untrained ear, her accent appears noticeably different than the other actors. For me, that’s all to the good, since I can’t understand some of the others, but I suspect it rings false to the Aussies and Kiwis, assuming any of them are watching.

    Overall, it’s not a bad show though. It does remind me of Twin Peaks a bit, and also of The Returned, oddly enough. Both shows feature beautiful small towns in the mountains on the shore of a mysterious lake, along with the death or disappearance of some of the inhabitants.

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