Screen Sirens: Top of the Lake: China Girl and The Handmaid’s Tale reviews


Top of the Lake: China Girl is a UKTV crime mystery story  that finds Detective Robin Griffin recently returned to Sydney and trying to rebuild her life. When the body of an Asian girl washes up on Bondi Beach, there appears little hope of finding the killer, until Robin discovers ‘China Girl’ didn’t die alone.

Are we living in a television golden age? The Screen Sirens discuss why award-winning Kiwi writer and director Jane Campion now prefers to work on TV these days and share their thoughts on the second season of Top of the Lake. The Screen Sirens then compare Elisabeth Moss’ Emmy award-winning role as Offred The Handmaid’s Tale to her part as Detective Robin Griffon in Top of the Lake.

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Emma’s review of The Handmaid’s Tale

I’m still in shock. The TV series The Handmaid’s Tale started on Lightbox last night and I’m haunted by the first two episodes. A friend, also watching the show, messaged to check I was watching and admit she was in tears 20 minutes into the episode. The show, based on the acclaimed Margaret Atwood novel of the same name, is about a handmaid living in the dystopian Republic of Gilead. Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, Top of the Lake) plays Offred, a woman who is forced to become a reproductive servant when fertility rates drop and a military regime overtakes the US government. Although the book was first published in 1985, commentators point out how eerily poignant this is in these times of political uncertainty and the Trump administration.

Yes, it is a fantasy but the story of government surveillance and resurging puritanical values is close to the bone. I’ve mentioned in our Off Topic Book Club podcast that I’m a big fan of the book and this show lives up to Atwood’s original and progresses the story further. It’s one of the most powerful TV shows I have seen in some time, and Elisabeth is simply extraordinary. Viewers can binge watch the nine episodes on Lightbox now.
Emma Rawson


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Alice Englert talks about her mum Jane Campion and Top of the Lake: China Girl

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