Top of the Lake is a 7-part BBC crime drama staring Elisabeth Moss (of Mad Men). The story begins with a school girl named Tui attempting to kill herself in a frigid New Zealand lake. She’s spotted walking into the lake by a teacher and taken to the school nurse, who discovers that 12-year-old Tui is 4-5 months pregnant.
Moss’ character Robin is a police investigator specializing in rape cases who is brought in to lead the investigation. Suspects are many but focus on the girl’s patriarchal family, led by her father Matt, a drug maker/distributor who employs many of the townsfolk. Brilliantly played by Peter Mullan, we quickly learn that Matt has his hands in everything going on in the small New Zealand town, including its police force.
Things get even weirder. A women’s guru named GJ (played by Holly Hunter) and her followers occupy land owned by Matt, declaring the guru bought the land fair and square. Matt says he had no intention of selling the land, is quite pissed at the real estate broker who pushed the deal through. With the help of his sons, Matt ends up killing the broker by leaving him to drown in the middle of the frigid lake.
Meanwhile, 12-year-old Tui ends up running away and stops by the Guru’s encampment. They nudge her back home, but Tui ends up making a detour, heading into the New Zealand bush.
So sets the scene for this pleasingly complex mini-series. I thoroughly enjoyed the Top of the Lake.