Top of the Lake: China Girl

The second series of Jane Campion’s Top of The Lake (Subtitled ‘China Girl’) will begin tonight on BBC 2, having first premiered at the Cannes film festival in May of this year, only the second TV series to do so. The whole series will be available from ten o’clock tonight on BBC Iplayer.

This series, like the first, will star Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, The Handmaid’s Tale), with additions to the cast including Nicole Kidman and Game of Thrones’s Gwendoline Christie. The events of this series take place after, but not directly following, season one, and it will be set in Australia rather than New Zealand like the first. (If you missed the first season, the whole six episodes can be found on BBC Iplayer or Netflix.)

The first series, for which Elisabeth Moss won a best actress Golden Globe, has received wide critical acclaim since its release in 2013, and this second series is much anticipated. Top of the Lake was quite different to any other television drama, perhaps due to Campion’s influence, and was both visually stunning and continuously gripping. If we can expect more of the same from China Girl, we are unlikely to be disappointed.

It has also been widely praised by feminist critics, for its exploration of rape culture and its vast and varied female cast. Indeed, the second series will follow the murder of a sex worker who washed up in a suitcase on a beach in Sydney, and there is every expectation that this series will also orbit largely around the lives of women and female detectives, altogether a refreshing angle in a genre usually male dominated.