'Top Of The Lake: China Girl'
(Elisabeth Moss, Gwendoline Christie, David Denick, Ewan Leslie, Alice Englert, Holly Hunter, Nicole Kidman, et al / 2-DVD / NR / 2019 / BBC Home Entertainment)
Overview: Five years after the shocking events that rocked her hometown in New Zealand, Detective Robin Griffin has returned to Sydney and is trying to rebuild her life. When the unidentified body of an Asian girl washes up on Bondi Beach, there appears little hope of finding the killer, until Robin realizes ‘China Girl’ didn’t die alone.
DVD Verdict: As much as the first one of these shrilling beyond all belief, I never dreamt that a follow up would ever exists - and one that would blow the original series out of the water (no pun intended!)
But that's exactly what Top Of The Lake: China Girl does, for my money. As aforementioned in the Overview, five years after the shocking events that rocked her hometown in New Zealand, Detective Robin Griffin has returned to Sydney and is trying to rebuild her life.
But, and rather quickly thereafter, an unidentified body of an young Asian girl washes up on Bondi Beach and with little evidence to go on, let alone a name or a home address, it suddenly all falls on Detective Robin Griffin's shoulders to get to the bottom of it.
Meanwhile, haunted by disturbing dreams of the baby girl she gave up years ago, Robin reaches out to the family of her now teenage daughter. Like her birth mother, Mary is just as stubborn and just as passionate about life.
Meanwhile, like all the best side kicks you can think of, Officer Miranda Hilmarson (played by the awesome, if not lurching at times, screen giant herself, Gwendoline Christie - looking strangely more albino than I've ever seen here before on screen before!), is herself having major issues (she's knee deep in the throes of a romantic attachment to a dangerously charismatic older man), but is more than willing to help Griffin whenever possible (even if it means losing her job).
But, sadly, and with all that is going on it her life, Griffin, herself overwhelmed by a mother’s love, quickly discovers the anguish of trying to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped (both within her family and the list of potential suspects unwilling to be of any help whatsoever.
The case of the China Girl takes her into the city’s criminal underbelly, and closer than she could have imagined to the secrets of her own heart. But it's what she discovers at the end of this journey that becomes the single most shocking finale to a TV series that I've come across in many, many a year.
Inclusive of star turns by both Nicole Kidman and Holly Hunter, Top Of The Lake: China Girl is, without a shadow of a doubt, a show full of vulgarity, profanity and crude violence. Which is why so many people in our culture today like it, I guess. But here, cinematically, it just all seems to fit the tale being told rather damn perfectly. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Making The Series
Finale On Bondi Beach
Robin To Elisabeth Moss
Meet The Directors