Top of the Lake: Season 1 (2013)

SEASON:

Season 1
Top of the Lake

Critics Consensus

Absorbing and deeply atmospheric, Top of the Lake takes edgy, disturbing content and delivers powerful performances with lasting impressions.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 37

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 636
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Episodes

1
Air date: Mar 18, 2013
2
Air date: Mar 18, 2013
3
Air date: Mar 25, 2013
4
Air date: Mar 25, 2013
5
Air date: Apr 8, 2013
6
Air date: Apr 15, 2013
7
Air date: Apr 15, 2013

Top of the Lake: Season 1 Videos

Top of the Lake: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

The first season of this New Zealand crime drama from Jane Campion follows Detective Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss) as she investigates the disappearance of pregnant 12-year-old Tui Mitcham (Jacqueline Joe), who is the daughter of local drug lord Matt Mitcham (Peter Mullan). Back in her home town to visit her sick mother (Robyn Nevin), Robin becomes determined to find Tui, despite encountering roadblocks from local police and the girl's tight-knit and tight-lipped family. Her search leads her to cross paths with GJ (Holly Hunter), a spiritual leader who has set up a camp for troubled women, and her high-school sweetheart Johnno Mitcham (Thomas M. Wright). As she digs deeper into the case, she unearths town secrets and realizes she must face dark truths from her own past. David Wenham and Jay Ryan also star.

Cast

Elisabeth Moss
as Robin Griffin
Peter Mullan
as Matt Mitcham
David Wenham
as Det. Sgt. Al Parker
Thomas M. Wright
as Johnno Mitcham
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Top of the Lake: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Top of the Lake Season 1

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (24)

Evolves into a rich portrait of hard lives and the possibility of healing.

Sep 13, 2013 | Full Review…

The acting draws us in.

Sep 13, 2013 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Elisabeth Moss anchors the film as Detective Robin Griffin, a tough cop and restless woman whose curt manner suggests she has secrets.

Sep 13, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Creepy and cockeyed, unholy and unnerving, Top Of The Lake is riveting stuff.

Sep 13, 2013 | Full Review…

The more we learn about Robin, the more interesting she is, and Moss is really outstanding here as a character shaped by a past we gradually learn about.

Sep 13, 2013 | Full Review…

The series did what independent cinema once did best: take a familiar format and fold it in on itself like origami, until what remains is both totally unexpected and deeply beautiful.

Sep 18, 2013 | Full Review…

Top of the Lake will leave you on the edge of your seat, begging to learn more about the strange characters, Tui's secrets, and Robin's mysterious past.

Oct 5, 2016 | Full Review…

Campion's treatment of the material is commendably savage, never letting it become anything close to weepy. It's a complex portrait of a woman who wants to break away from where she's from at the same time she can't help but be part of its evil streak.

Oct 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Auteurs looking to make the leap: This is how you do it.

Jul 2, 2018 | Full Review…

The dialogue is measured and never preachy or overwhelming. Events unfold and secrets are unearthed without breaking the peace that hides the corruption and depravity of Laketop.

May 31, 2017 | Full Review…

The mystery hangs over the entire six hours but the story revolves around the characters and the unsettling atmosphere of the community as she churns up the uneasy frontier existence with her investigation.

May 4, 2017 | Full Review…

Here's the truth: we should all be screaming about Jane Campion's masterpiece Top of the Lake all day everyday, because it's some of the best television to come out of New Zealand ever.

Jan 14, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Top of the Lake: Season 1

  • Sep 10, 2019
    I find it very interesting. Although the "name" I understand the first season; however, once the actress is back to her job, she is no longer on top of the lake.
  • Jan 17, 2019
    Absorbing and deeply atmospheric, Top of the Lake takes edgy, disturbing content and delivers powerful performances with lasting impressions.
  • Jan 07, 2018
    Couldn't make it through the whole season. I don't know what it was, but it just didn't grab hold of me like other crime shows. Going to try Season 2 on the strength of its Golden Globe nomination.
  • Sep 15, 2017
    This show tries really, really hard. It's like that hip, shabby restaurant you have a hot tip about. You get there and the portions are super small, the interior isn't worn down, and the service isn't great. You invest the time and money but there's the nagging feeling it wasn't all that. On the positive side is it's beautifully shot and has an authentic feel. Most of the acting is right on. What keeps it from being really great is it relies far too much on cliches and obvious twists, wrapped in this 'real' packaging. The themes of masculinity, femininity, etc are very mature but it can't really see it through. Ultimately it doesn't work. The middle episodes are by far the worst as the show tries to find its way.
  • Sep 12, 2017
    A compelling, edgy, eccentric treat, featuring fine performances by Elizabeth Moss (of The Handmaid’s Tale) and Holly Hunter (of Broadcast News). Moss plays a detective driven by personal history zealously to investigate the rape of a 12-year-old girl in New Zealand. The setting is gorgeous. The series has much in common with the fine 2011 television series The Killing. although it has less crime-scene violence and more explicit sexuality.
  • Apr 18, 2017
    Nearly good. But weak structural direction. The support actors are stronger than the lead. Most frustratingly uneven performance. Her accent sometimes hints at a past USA TV hit. Sigh.... watch it for the intrigue and beautiful New Zealand. Mourn for the strength that did not arrive in time.
  • Jan 26, 2017
    Dark secrets in a small town, top notch writing and direction from Jane Campion, with some intense performances in the backdrop of spectacular New Zealand. Absorbing watch.
  • Nov 19, 2016
    Highly overrated series imho. A woman returns to her hometown, gets involved in a police case that incidentally triggers old memories and an unresolved past. So far, so boring. The case she is involved in isn't very intriguing either. With a bit of logic it's quite clear from early on who is involved. And then there is pretty much nothing else left of any interest. A few characters are complete obsolete. The series would work as well without that quirky lady living in those containers in Paradise. This character, played by Holly Hunter, contributes nothing that couldn't be missed. The empty containers woud have been enough. And who has 2 mill laying around to pay for a piece of shitty land only to leave it behind 7 months later? Seriously! Just watch the first episode and the last and skip the in betweens. You'll miss nothing and will have saved yourself a lot of time otherwise wasted.
  • Sep 20, 2016
    one of the best dramas on Netflix. absolutely positively undoubtedly phenomenal.
  • Aug 17, 2016
    Engrossing acting but a slow pace and a mystery that isn't very well set up left TOTL a little empty.

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