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SilverStormm

Top Of The Lake

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Ok, someone help me out.  I watched episode one.  It was okay...didn't LOVE it but some shows burn slowly, so I tried ep 2. Couldn't finish it.  Does it get better?  So far I don't like a single character, including, sadly, Tui. 

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Did anyone hear that Nicole Kidman will be appearing in the second season?  I heard that on a podcast called TV Rewind. First of all, I didn't even know they were doing a second season and secondly, I'd think NK would be cool to see on this show. I'm not a huge fan or anything but  I think it's interesting casting and she is a good actress.

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I just discovered this gem and I guess I'll add it to my list of strange TV series I like. I knew who did it episode 1, but the series made me second guess it with all the weird characters and blind alleys. I also knew it was the German Shepard buried near the cabin and kept wondering why they were belaboring the reveal.

In case this a spoiler

Spoiler

I'm personally not happy that Nicole Kidman has been added for season 2. I just hate what she's been doing to her face for 10+ years. There's no mention of Thomas Wright, and I really liked that actor

.

I haven't watched much with Elizabeth Moss and this is how she should be playing the Handmaid, not the over wrought performance she's giving now. But, that's just my opinion.

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Watched it all this weekend:

Enjoyable, but not as good as S1. Moss is still great though, and Gwendoline Christie is a good addition to the cast, but the annoying teenager aspect dragged it down for me.

The massive coincidence at the center of the season bugged me, and I found it hard to get past:

Spoiler

Moss is just starting to make contact with the daughter she gave up for adoption, whose much-older boyfriend just happens to be a major part of the prostitution ring at the center of the case Moss is investigating. It's weird.

I've liked Alice Englert in other roles, but "awful teenager who makes terrible decisions" is a pretty thankless role. She's not bad, and her scenes with Moss were usually pretty good, but most of her storyline didn't appeal to me much.

Nicole Kidman is pretty much wasted too. She has a few decent scenes as the adoptive mother of Moss's daughter, but disappears for long portions of the season, and I sometimes forgot she was in it.

Still worth watching, but a bit of a disappointment for me after the first season.

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I loved it, despite not understanding Mary's attachment to Puss and despite how interconnected everyone was with the crime.

I am not a big Elisabeth Moss fan, but really enjoyed her this time around. 

I found the Miranda character confusing until E5 and then it all made sense. I should have guessed what was going on. 

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Good golly, that was awful! I really felt that too much of the plot hinged upon the audience being able to understand Mary's motivations, even if not relating to them, and for me that was impossible. There was nothing magnetic or intriguing about Alexander, though I thought perhaps the show was trying for a Manson-a-like, and just didn't get there. There was nothing particularly awful about her parents, except maybe the pretentiousness, but that's to be expected as one matures. There is no guarantee that a birth mother (or father) might ever show up, contact you, or be what you expected.

  Also, just a minor point but in a forget which episode, curtains in buildings like that (looked like my old lecture hall) are made to be flame retardant.

 The beach shooter looked RIGHT out of Game Of Thrones! I noted that, even with a gay couple as somewhat prominent, none of the couples purchasing surrogates was same-sex. Seemed an odd omission, considering that the inability to conceive is built-in. Too many contrived coincidences all the way around.

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Oh my God, that was (a) terrible on any measure and (b) an enormous disappointment after the first very good of a little flawed series. Did Jane Campion really work on this?

The script and direction were laughable - ludicrous conceits, multiple coincidences, inconsistent storylines, appalling lines. And that despite having really difficult, under explored and important topics to work with, in the form of prostitution and illegal surrogacy.

The acting was just as bad. I'm glad I enjoyed Elizabeth Moss so much in Handmaid's Tale and Nicole Kidman so much in Big Little Lies, because their performances in this mess made both look like the hammiest of thespians. The other actors did nothing to save it, with some of the Miranda scenes being laugh out loud excruciating.

And as a relatively small complaint, there was the damage done to the first series, especially the vandalism done to Johnno's character. Partly that came from using a different actor who was nothing like the original but largely the ridiculous reworking of his character. And what the hell was Robin doing, becoming a loyal member of the Mitcham Clan? Seriously?

I really enjoyed the first series, and I would happily acknowledge that there were a few bits in the second series that were genuinely original (some of the brothel scenes, for example), but I'm just going to have to cordon off the appalling second series to prevent it contaminating my thoughts of that earlier work. 

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I've also just discovered this gem and I watched it all in three days. Felt like a long movie, with wonderfully crafted characters.

I had never been more impressed with Elizabeth Moss than in this. And I've seen her in Mad Men, the Handmaid's Tale, and at least one movie. But this is the first time she's actually moved me every second she was on screen.

I've mostly liked the atmosphere of this series, the constant menace in the air, the secondary characters that add so much to the story. 

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I had this whole tirade planned; how much I disliked both plot and all characters; how nothing made sense; how storytelling disappeared under a preachy, screetching mess of a message, but I'm just too tired. Also, @George B. took the words right out of my mouth.

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On 8/4/2017 at 11:48 AM, feverfew said:

how nothing made sense;

I finally faced the fact (around the end of episode 5) that nothing about season 2 made sense. I thought it was me, thought I was just not getting it. Disappointing.

Also I'm really annoyed that Miranda had to get shot and they ended without a resolution. I really liked Miranda of Tarth even if she was kinda weird.

While I'm here I'll ask - once they identified the dead girl as being from that brothel why would they not raid the place and consider it a crime scene? Why was everyone just tip-toeing around? And drinking and having sex.

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I’ve been marathoning China Girl this week. (I had also rewatched S1 in June when I heard that there would be a sequel.)

I found S2 compelling and looked forward to binging the next episode as I watched… but there was definitely something less primal about it, and more contrived and sensationalist. The scene where David Wenham’s character attacks Robin stood out as massively implausible—the moment he locked the door, she should have put the table between them and planned her escape. And/or hit record on her cell phone. Instead? She stood there like she has no survival instinct and isn’t a trained cop.

On 7/31/2017 at 1:49 AM, NorthstarATL said:

I really felt that too much of the plot hinged upon the audience being able to understand Mary's motivations, even if not relating to them, and for me that was impossible.

Mary’s manipulativeness and immaturity got on my last nerve, as did the way that her 3 parents were cowed by her, but I was ultimately able to see her underlying teen-rebellion motives. There was a fear of rejection in a fair amount of her actions, coupled with massive self-delusion about Puss.

That was actually part of what I found compelling: how messy the characters were. Robin, Mary, and the others don’t just make one wrong decision, they make a series of flawed, emotional decisions.

I also liked that the ending didn’t devolve into a simple good/bad dichotomy. To side with exploited sex workers seems natural. But to side with the sex workers who are already pregnant surrogates is to devastate and defraud families desperate for children.

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I did enjoy this but if you think about it too much none of it makes sense. The main problem I thought was that all the characters seemed to be doing things that were very unrealistic.

The police chief who is having an affair with a subordinate decides to go through the IVF process and use an illegal surrogate despite knowing the law would give him no rights if she changed her mind.  He was so unprofessional. Not only was he having an affair with his subordinate but he showed her preferential treatment and was working a case where he had a conflict of interest. Also I couldn't believe he let Robin work her daughter's kidnapping. 

I think Mary made more sense if you consider her as someone with severe mental problems. It's common for teenage girls to fall for unsuitable men that they know will annoy their parents but when he smacked her and left her on the street to turn tricks I can't believe she went back to him. I think maybe she has invested so much into the relationship that she couldn't admit that she was wrong about him. She clearly needs therapy. 

I found the resolution very disappointing. I was expecting another episode but maybe they'll do another series. To be honest I thought the first season was poorly written, overrated and only redeemed by the atmospheric scenery and the acting but transplanting the show to Australia means they lost one of the only things about the show that worked.

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Aren't we getting episode threads?

Since I only just watched episode one and six episodes are out at the moment I just scrolled over the other posts as to not get spoiled.

Just wanted to say that I can understand that police cadet not being able to contain his laughter. That accent Elisabeth Moss put on was horrible. I don't know about New Sealand accents, but I can tell an overplayed accent when I hear one. It seemed to get better throughout the episode, or maybe I ust got used to it.

Love seeing Gwendolin Christie in this. That was a nice surprise. Though her little alien spiel was a bit weird, considering how little those two know each other imo. And then the question regarding the biological clock? I get that she is supposed to be awkward but that gets into some severe social problems...

 

Edit: So episode 2.

I know Robin's fiance was a fuckup, but he seemed to have a good heart and like he loved her very deeply last season. So I don't buy that he would cheat on their wedding day. Like, at all. I guess the writers threw him under the bus to have their main character free and broken again, for this season, that was never planned in the beginning. But I guess it fits with the motive of this show that all men are pigs. Can't wait to see who her current boss has killed...

Robin really took a while to find out that the "china girl" was a surrogate. That was my first thought when the pathologist said that the DNA of the fetus didn't match her. I chose to believe that he figured that out instantly, too but that he wanted to give Robin a win. Otherwise he is literally the worst at his job.

 

Edit: Episode 3.

So Gwendolin Christies character does seem more and more unhinged. Slowly wondering if that might have been her baby in the china girl. She said her fetus was around the same age and she continues smoking like she isnt't pregnant (we all know that on TV everything is forshadowing). I think at least she has a bun in some illegal surrogate somewhere and that's how she is connected to all this.

Also in the first episode I had the impression that Robin's brother was gay? Did I misread that? Or is everybody on this show bisexual?

 

Episode 5

Guess I was right regarding Gwendolin Christie and her surrogate.

I'm wondering now if Robin's daughter killed Cinamon. It doesn't seem to make sense, since she's asking questions about her. But on the other hand she does seem to have some mental breaks sometimes. So I could see her being the killer. Everybody else would be a really unsatisfying conclusion. Her boyfriend is too obvious and the two people who got rid of the body certainly didn't do it.

Alternatively I'm guessing Dr. Campbell, after he got a bit of a bigger role this episode.

Edited by Miles
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I understood what happened to Mary. This creep found her and exploited her chaotic home life and her insecurities. As she became more detached from her parents, he stepped in to take their place. He was grooming her from the beginning, reinforcing the idea that her parents wanted to put her in a box and he was the only one that wanted her to be a free thinker. He made himself the hero. He set himself up as a victim himself so that the more the parents objected, the more she defended him. That's very cult like. And of course this was only made easier because of her obvious emotional/mental issues. 

 

On 8/9/2017 at 6:00 PM, weyrbunny said:

The scene where David Wenham’s character attacks Robin stood out as massively implausible—the moment he locked the door, she should have put the table between them and planned her escape. And/or hit record on her cell phone. Instead? She stood there like she has no survival instinct and isn’t a trained cop.

 

I didn't understand that either. It seemed out of character for her not to try and get out of that room. Although, she may have known it had a camera in it and maybe she thought she could get him to admit what he had done to her. (I'm searching for an explanation)

 

Robin's boss, her new partner and her birth child all tied to the surrogacy ring seemed a little too coincidental to me. But I'm glad they didn't make their involvement something sinister. I really liked Gwendoline Christie in this role. I'm not familiar with her other work so it came as a nice surprise.

 

Overall, I liked season 2. I would love to have another season. Hopefully we won't have to wait for 4 years!

Edited by HollyG
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Spoilers for all episodes ahead, as I just watched the final two this weekend.

The lack of professionalism from the cops on this show got on my last nerve: all the thick guys making dumb jokes and the one guy constantly hitting on Robin; Adrian and Miranda's boring relationship bleeding over into their work; Miranda and Robin continuing to work on a case when they were ridiculously compromised by their respective close connections to the brothel and surrogates; and did Miranda burst into tears on the job every single week or did she just cry twice in some episodes to make it seem that way? Her tears were understandable when she was pregnant (because hormones). When it transpired that she wasn't pregnant, I wondered what the fuck was wrong with her and how that would possibly be acceptable behaviour for a cop working a murder case. You know it's bad when Robin is the most professional one of the bunch.

The character of Alexander/Puss went right past unlikable and all the way to repugnant. And there was just so much of him! I didn't mind him in the first three episodes because I could take him in small doses. And he was effective at creating dramatic family scenes, at home and in public. But by the end of episode four I'd had an overdose of the most repulsive fictional character I've come across in a long time. He had no redeeming qualities! He was like an internet troll brought to life. He got worse as the show progressed and there was more of him in every episode, until I was sick to death of the sight and sound of the fucker. Sweet jesus, he was awful to listen to.

I bought Mary's attachment to him. I agree with HollyG above that he groomed her and preyed on her. And in any case, I believe that you could persuade a super smart teenager with no common sense that rain isn't wet and that the day after Monday isn't Tuesday, as long as your argument is pretentious enough and you make the teenager feel smarter than the rest of us "sheep". By the end of the season, it was actually a little hard to buy her ability to finally break away from his hold, given that she'd stuck with him through every terrible thing until then. Maybe she was more scared of leaving the country than of leaving him? I don't know.

I thought Nicole Kidman was fantastic and her character was kind of wasted. Julia was a more interesting character than her attractive husband, so I didn't understand why the show focused so much more on him, while she went under-used. But it's likely because he's a love interest for Robin.

Julia's gay partner amused me with her academic nonsense, but I was glad Julia had her support. Can you imagine if your adopted child's younger, more beautiful birth mother came back into the picture after 18 years to mother your child and sleep with your husband?! That could make for a psychological horror movie all its own.

Pyke and Julia had a beautiful home. But their parenting was so liberal it made me angry. Also, the coincidences in the story were laughable.

And can someone explain stuff like "Puss" biting Robin's face. What the fuck was that? Why include the scene? I already wanted him to fall into the ocean and drown before then. I guess it was to make Pyke rush to her defence? Or why the bizarre circus that was last season's villain attacking Robin in a room in the police station? It's a strange show and in the end I had to make myself finish it.

Edited by Kirsty
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Not reading the above comments since I just watched the first ep of the new "season"  

I was no digging this at all.  I hated, HATED  the scenes with all the guys sitting around the table with their laptops talking about I don't even know what, something about girls on dating or porn sites?  I couldn't even follow it because I was so disinterested.  At first I didn't even think the scene was apart of the show, I was like,...is this a commercial for some other show? It went on way too long. Waste of time, IMO.
And I really disliked Robin's/Kidmans's daughter. The character was grating.   the way she spoke....etc.   I just don't have really anything good to say about it so far.  Oh, the tall actress from Game of Thrones was kind of humorous,  That's it.

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9 hours ago, Valny said:

Not reading the above comments since I just watched the first ep of the new "season"  

I was no digging this at all.  I hated, HATED  the scenes with all the guys sitting around the table with their laptops talking about I don't even know what, something about girls on dating or porn sites?  I couldn't even follow it because I was so disinterested.  At first I didn't even think the scene was apart of the show, I was like,...is this a commercial for some other show? It went on way too long. Waste of time, IMO.
And I really disliked Robin's/Kidmans's daughter. The character was grating.   the way she spoke....etc.   I just don't have really anything good to say about it so far.  Oh, the tall actress from Game of Thrones was kind of humorous,  That's it.

I accidentally fast forwarded through the students looking at porn/prostitute sites, thinking it was a commercial!!

I liked (paraphrasing):

Tall, blonde cop: The door is bolted shut! It's locked!

Robin's brother: Reach into your pocket--

TBC: Reach into my pocket? But I'm a leopard--

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I've not made it far enough into the first episode to make a comment, other than to say this: Nicole Kidman looks GREAT with gray hair.  For years I've thought that her pale strawberry blonde hair makes her look too washed out. I always thought she should just go back to a darker red, but MAN, I think that steel gray looks gorgeous on her!  She almost--ALMOST--inspires me to let my gray grow out.

That's all I've got . . . except to add that I'm thrilled to death that this show is back.

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I wasn't a big fan of season one, but it was mesmerizingly weird and kept me watching. This season, however, has really doubled down on the unpleasantness. I'll see it through because it's only two more nights but from reading spoilers, I don't think I'll enjoy it. So many characters are so repellent. That said, I'm sort of enjoying Puss, because he's just so awful and doesn't GAF. The actor really nails that particular blend of slime, envy, and insecurity.

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I tried not to read too man spoilers. Saw the first episode on Sundance, which may have been two or three episodes for others.  I was largely bored. It certainly did not live up to my anticipation. I liked the first season, but it was not without its flaws. So far this one just seems even more disjointed and Robin is not really someone that I am rooting for. 

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Well, I for one, loved loved loved the first two episodes of the new series. I could even stand Kidman in this. I like it just as much if not more than the first series. I am such a huge Elizabeth Moss fan. God, nearly all the men in this series are totally worthless so far, SO NASTY....Barf.  Anybody else actually like this show but me?  Come on folks! It's slow, I know, but it's Champion, however you spell her name, that's her style. 

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I hate every character in the show, yet I can't stop watching.  It's surreal - please tell me that NZ police and men in general are not this icky. Mary's "father" isn't completely detestable, but he's kind of a wimp too.  Mary's a typical spoiled rotten brat who's now a stupid Manson girl -  lovely parenting all around!

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11 hours ago, Razzberry said:

I hate every character in the show, yet I can't stop watching.

LOL, I know. This is me. Everyone is awful in his or her own way. 

The Pyke/Julia/Isabel (I think that's the name of Julia's girlfriend) dinner with Alexander was hilarious. Whenever Puss starts his pathetic attempts to épater les bourgeoisie, it always cracks me up. He's that terrible college boy who's gotten his first taste of radical politics and can't STFU about it.

The father/daughter dance creeped me out. It's cute when it's for younger girls (when I was in second or third grade the Girl Scouts did one, and I loved it), but WTF are high schoolers—seniors!—doing with that? At that age it reminds me too much of those gross purity dances. And again comes Puss with his class contempt, yet he's desperate to be accepted.

I'm almost afraid to watch the final two episodes, as the crazy just keeps piling on.

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Holy cow, is this bad. The Robin/Al fight was Clouseau/Cato levels of hilarious (except, unlike C/C fights, not supposed to be funny... I think). Poor man's Russell Brand trying to eat Robin's face... rape daughter begging Robin *not* to press charges...

Are we sure this wasn't meant as a comedy? How did we get from the beauty of season one to this dumpster fire?

Edited by CaliCheeseSucks
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I'm just finishing up the Father-Daughter Dance in Chapter Four, so I'm not reading any of the other posts yet.

But, umm, what are the Child Protection Service laws like down there?  Because I would have knocked Mary into the middle of next week if she'd been my daughter, in any capacity.  Hellooo, all you adults:  that helpless hand-wringing is Big Fail.  Your kid is going down for the third time; you have to do something besides fret, indulge, fret, indulge.

[ETA:  Well, I should have waited for the rest of the episode, eh?  Turns out the Father-Daughter Dance was nothing.]

 

In other news, I'm sorry Gwendolyn Christie has taken such a turn for the sour, because her jumping down and holding out her arms to catch her new boss was adorable.

Edited by candall · Reason: premature posting
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9 hours ago, dubbel zout said:

The father/daughter dance creeped me out. It's cute when it's for younger girls (when I was in second or third grade the Girl Scouts did one, and I loved it), but WTF are high schoolers—seniors!—doing with that?

LOL  I hadn't even thought of that, but you're right, it's just more creepiness piled on.   And as if that wasn't enough, the Head Creep from season 1 is wheeled out for a death match with Robin.  That was entertaining, I'll give them that. 

I'm looking forward to the finale for some perverse reason.

Edited by Razzberry
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Well, I loved the death match between Miss Moss and that creep in a wheelchair. Yeah, it was over the top, but I love it when a gal cop is bad ass, I just can't help myself. Setting that room on fire was genius. And, yes, I am dying to see the finale tonight. But I just fast forward through half the creepy guys in this show....if I want to deal with that, I can just walk across the street to my strip mall and experience in real life. 

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This show left me feeling gross and the ending was totally bonkers. I thought I had it figured out but how the hell could anyone figure that ending out? The problem is that I love Elizabeth Moss and will watch her in almost anything. But because I love her I hate to always see her in peril. Need to watch some final season Mad Men episodes to see her get a win.

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Well I saw the ending.  What in the hell happened? Good God from Zion, what a mess. Yeah, I watched it because of Elizabeth Moss as well, and because I love a bad ass cop or as she would say, a super detective. 

Spoiler

Her partner didn't make it did she? And, that creep German guy got away with IT ALL.  I mean, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Do you think she will continue with Pike? Help!

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Ugh. I love Elisabeth Moss. I thought Nicole Kidman was great. But this screenplay was bizarre.

Who buried Brett in the sand? Mary? And why? Why wouldn't Miranda draw her gun in advance of moving the box?

Why did Cinnamon/Patma hang herself? 

Why would a married man and his girlfriend pay so much money for an embryo transfer into a surrogate when the man hasn't even told his wife he wants a divorce? And why would Miranda bother wearing a baby bump, since they're secretive about their affair?

Why did they move Bootie's (?) body outside after Brett shot him?

What do they plan to do with all those babies when they're born? Sell them?

Edited by hoodooznoodooz
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I had to laugh when Isadore (Julia's girlfriend) sternly told Pyke, "We don't do the hysterical parent thing here." And when she was talking about Mary and her hero's journey, I nearly lost my eyes in the back of my head. No wonder Mary is a mess. All of the adults in her life are hopeless and refuse to give her any boundaries.

2 hours ago, hoodooznoodooz said:

And why would Miranda bother wearing a baby bump, since they're secretive about their affair?

Why was Miranda faking her pregnancy in the first place?

After Mary was taken, why was there no police car at any of the houses she might have shown up to? And why couldn't the police call the airport and get that plane turned around? I'm willing to suspend some disbelief for this show because it's not really a police procedural, but COME ON.

I don't really regret the time I spent watching this, but there were way too many WTFs and dropped plot points.

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I just finished watching this. It really didn't start to get good until about episode 4 or 5.

Unbelievable that nearly every single guy in that town was a dirtbag. I think there might've been one or two who were descent. The rest were horrible, and the women were objectified and oppressed. Maybe one or two had some power, the rest were at the mercy of the horrible men that ran that town. 

Overall, it was an interesting series, mainly because it was so different from what we see on US TV. 

I'm not sure yet if I'll watch Season 2.

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I had to laugh when Isadore (Julia's girlfriend) sternly told Pyke, "We don't do the hysterical parent thing here." And when she was talking about Mary and her hero's journey, I nearly lost my eyes in the back of my head. No wonder Mary is a mess. All of the adults in her life are hopeless and refuse to give her any boundaries.

OH MY GOD THIS.  Seriously.  THIS.  I get that if you have a rebellious 17 yr old who is out of control, sometimes you tiptoe around them a little because you know any day now they will be old enough to reject you outright.  I GET that because I WAS that teen, and at a certain point my poor parents did some tiptoeing.  But the way all the parental figures on this show behave is completely absurd.

Even the reactions of these parents when their kid was kidnapped was... weird.  Even when Mary turned up at home, Julia's reaction was so muted - her relief read more like "you said you'd call at 3 and it's now 6, I was worried" rather than "you were kidnapped by a murderous gunman and we've been looking for you since last night".    WTF?

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I am about half way through the season, and while its definitely not capturing the eerie intrigue of the first season, I am still enjoying it for the most part. I miss the isolated New Zealand setting, it was so unique, whereas this seasons setting does not stand out much at all. 

I was also really weirded out by the flashback to the end of Robins relationship with Johnno. I knew he was a bit of a bum and low level crook, but I didn't see him as a guy who would cheat on Robin with some random women. If they want Robin to be single and bitter in the city, why not say that just broke up because of the whole paternity issue? I know they turned out not to be related, but its still a pretty messed up situation, and I can see their relationship not surviving it, without dragging Johnno through the dirt. 

Also, Al attacking Robin was unbelievably silly. Why would Robin not back away when the creepy rapist guy starts wheeling towards her? Why would she let him touch her? And, more pressingly, why would Al try to strangle her right in the middle of a huge building, where she is about to testify against him? Did he think people wouldn't know he did it? What was the plan after he killed her? Say he found her like that? Or was he just angry and desperate and wanted revenge? No idea. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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9 minutes ago, dubbel zout said:

The entire attack was caught on camera!

Exactly! What exactly was step 2 in your master plan, dude? Announce that you did everything you were accused of while cackling maniacally over Robins corpse? Say that Robin somehow started it and doctored the camera? What?!?!

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My God, that was bleak. And I was so excited about this at first. I like Elizabeth Moss (except for the Scientology thing. We could never actually be friends). I wish this had been spaced out more. That was a lot of time in a short period to spend with such dour, miserable people. I have the same questions as you all. Why was that guy buried? Was he going to execute everyone at the beach? Why? Obviously he was off his rocker but still, why? And there were a lot of people there so why not get that going sooner? What!? with the baby bump. Who was knocking at the end? I hate when kids have all the power over their parents. My parents weren't super disciplinarians or anything, but you damn well be certain if I was acting like that with a boyfriend like that they would have called the cops or a counselor or SOMETHING! Not just "Eh, I'm gonna lose her if I try anything." Why are all the men there so skeezy? Why is everyone so miserable? Why would Mary hold onto a negative pregnancy test (because she's super adult and stuff like?)? How did Robin have that epic throw down with the guy in the wheelchair and, like, nothing came of it?

So, things we know (which is shorter than things we don't)....Mary is OK. And while Julia was a total bitch about it, it does sound like she and Mary are closer due to this experience and the balance of power has shifted back to Julia some (for now). It seems that Robin and Pyke/Pike (seriously?) could be a good thing and continuing thing. Brienne of Tarth is probably dead. The head cop guy is going to take his relationship with Brienne of Tarth into the open, no matter what (even though she's probably dead?) because the baby is the most important thing? (And they mean the surrogate baby, right, she definitely wasn't pregnant herself...yeah?). Puss' cat is OK living at the Stasi restaurant (I was worried about it). (And Stasi? As in East German secret police?)

Is there anything else we know for sure or pretty sure?

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I know this wasn't a police procedural, but it wasn't supposed to be a comedy either.   I was rolling when Alexander jumped on Robin and attempted to bite her face off.

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1 hour ago, BookThief said:

My God, that was bleak. And I was so excited about this at first. I like Elizabeth Moss (except for the Scientology thing. We could never actually be friends). I wish this had been spaced out more. That was a lot of time in a short period to spend with such dour, miserable people. I have the same questions as you all. Why was that guy buried? Was he going to execute everyone at the beach? Why? Obviously he was off his rocker but still, why? And there were a lot of people there so why not get that going sooner? What!? with the baby bump. Who was knocking at the end? I hate when kids have all the power over their parents. My parents weren't super disciplinarians or anything, but you damn well be certain if I was acting like that with a boyfriend like that they would have called the cops or a counselor or SOMETHING! Not just "Eh, I'm gonna lose her if I try anything." Why are all the men there so skeezy? Why is everyone so miserable? Why would Mary hold onto a negative pregnancy test (because she's super adult and stuff like?)? How did Robin have that epic throw down with the guy in the wheelchair and, like, nothing came of it?

So, things we know (which is shorter than things we don't)....Mary is OK. And while Julia was a total bitch about it, it does sound like she and Mary are closer due to this experience and the balance of power has shifted back to Julia some (for now). It seems that Robin and Pyke/Pike (seriously?) could be a good thing and continuing thing. Brienne of Tarth is probably dead. The head cop guy is going to take his relationship with Brienne of Tarth into the open, no matter what (even though she's probably dead?) because the baby is the most important thing? (And they mean the surrogate baby, right, she definitely wasn't pregnant herself...yeah?). Puss' cat is OK living at the Stasi restaurant (I was worried about it). (And Stasi? As in East German secret police?)

Is there anything else we know for sure or pretty sure?

Dang. I forgot Elisabeth Moss was a Scientologist...

I was actually glad I could watch 6 episodes in 3 days, because I would have resented wasting any energy being in suspense or wishing the week would go by more quickly, after realizing TotL: China Girl was such a disappointment.

17 minutes ago, Razzberry said:

I know this wasn't a police procedural, but it wasn't supposed to be a comedy either.   I was rolling when Alexander jumped on Robin and attempted to bite her face off.

I felt as if the Puss actor decided to play the back of the chess cafe/kitchen scene as a comedy. 

Edited by hoodooznoodooz
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23 hours ago, Enero said:

I just finished watching this. It really didn't start to get good until about episode 4 or 5.

Unbelievable that nearly every single guy in that town was a dirtbag. I think there might've been one or two who were descent. The rest were horrible, and the women were objectified and oppressed. Maybe one or two had some power, the rest were at the mercy of the horrible men that ran that town. 

Overall, it was an interesting series, mainly because it was so different from what we see on US TV. 

I'm not sure yet if I'll watch Season 2.

I watched this a long time ago and can't remember.  Who was the guy that she was supposed to marry?  

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For a while they thought they might be half-siblings, but that was blessedly not the case. Also, he was a witness to her gang-rape as a teenager. He somewhat ineffectually tried to get the other guys to stop. Not exactly a shining example of humanity, but compared to most of the men we saw in season 1, Johnno is a prince.

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You know who Alexander reminds me of? A face eating, alternate universe Tommy Wiseau, complete with vague accent, stringy gross hair, pasty skin, and a tendency to ramble on about stuff they think is deep, but is actually nonsense. 

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I tamped down my doubts about Eps 1/2 and 3/4 and was really looking forward to 5/6, when all the answers would be provided. 

Then 60% of the last installment was spent with drunk/hungover Detective Birthmother searching high and low for her derpy daughter . . . who was, somehow, fine except for being really hungry.

Meanwhile the former minor character who has suddenly become the focus of the show's big setpiece manhunt is brilliant for hiding in plain sight on the beach, where "he only needs a t-shirt and a towel to disappear."  Uh-huh, except the whole time he and his handy sawed-off shotgun were "hidden" in the sand with a beer box over his face and one shoe lying nearby.  Really?  No cheapie motels in the Bondi Beach area?

Brief mention that eponymous China Girl hanged herself.  MKthanx.  Couple of minutes spent on the sort of interesting ideological sex worker/surrogate mystery.  Unresolved cliffhanger for Brienne of Tarth and her nonsensical storyline.  A minute or two for Nicole Kidman to finally unsheathe her dramatic claws. The "Someone's At The Do-ah" conclusion (TM American Gothic) had me checking the program guide for another episode.

 

Jane "Angel at My Table" Campion--what was your vision here, my darling?

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I watched the face-biting scene again just for laughs, but it's just dumb, and out of left field.   You can't just go around biting people, a human bite is nasty and potentially lethal.   Then instead of getting her mother help Mary starts making excuses for him and hitting herself on the head to the point people were comforting HER.  Why wasn't he arrested - afraid of Mary's reaction?    I wanted to throw something at the TV.

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On 9/14/2017 at 1:57 PM, Lemons said:

I watched this a long time ago and can't remember.  Who was the guy that she was supposed to marry?  

I had also forgotten who she was supposed to marry but was reminded in the flashbacks shown early in season 2 that it was Johnno.

 

On 9/14/2017 at 4:05 PM, dubbel zout said:

For a while they thought they might be half-siblings, but that was blessedly not the case. Also, he was a witness to her gang-rape as a teenager. He somewhat ineffectually tried to get the other guys to stop. Not exactly a shining example of humanity, but compared to most of the men we saw in season 1, Johnno is a prince.

I had a similar impression in the first season, but

Spoiler

"prince" may be going too far in light of the flashbacks.

(spoiler tagged even though my comment is vague)

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I appreciate the season's theme - parenthood, especially motherhood in all its forms - but the execution was surprisingly bad. Half the time I didn't know what the heck was going on. I raced over here after viewing the last episode to see if there were more episodes, because the thing didn't seem finished.

I enjoyed seeing the Tarth actress again. I believe Nicole Kidman's vanity usually ruins her acting choices, but in this case she let some of the vanity go and good for her. It was good to see glimpses of how the sex shops work, less we forget the misery endured there. I thought those actors were the most realistic.

I'm just gonna ignore the laughable nose-biting scene, the wheelchair-throttling-and-curtain-fire, Tarth flinging off her baby bump, and other very unfortunate directing choices.

Despite all the drama near the end, all I could think about was that Robin got drunk, had sweaty sex, vomited...and then ran around for two days, including traipsing around a hot sandy beach, without showering and a change of clothes. Surely she reeked.

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I just find it so bizarre how the whole face biting thing is just kind of glanced over, even when Robin was confronting Alexander at the end! How is anyone's first sentence to him not "why would you try to bite my nose off you fucking weirdo!?!?" it was just so out of left field. I mean, Alexander did crazy weird stuff the whole season, but that was just so crazy, it stopped being intense and was just silly. 

So, this season is by far inferior to the second half, but I dont think I wasted time watching it. I liked the theme of parenthood, the acting was mostly on point, and I left the season wishing we had spent more time on the sex workers/surrogates, they were very interesting characters, and it seemed to be kind of saying something about the morality of surrogacy by poor women to more upper class couples, but it didn't really go anywhere. Really, the show had a lot of good elements, it just didn't end up going anywhere. I kept checking to see if I missed a final episode, but this is all we get. 

I do think I ended up getting a good beat on most of the new characters this season (adopted mom and dad are pretentious but insecure, Alexander is bitter and filled with envy) but I never really connected with Mary. I sort of felt bad for her a few times, and she did seem to come to her senses by the end, but she was mostly just a typical prestige drama teen girl who exists to create drama for the main character, who is usually her parent. I think they tried to say she had mental health problems, and was angry about her parents divorce, but she took it to such an extreme, it made it hard to really understand her. Not that I find it unbelievable that a troubled teenager would fall under the spell of a nasty but somewhat charismatic asshole who makes them feel special, but if they are going to spend so much time on her, I would like to get more into how we got here. 

Robin just cant stop messing around with men she has a weird familiar relationship with, can she? First Johnno, who was fine at first, but then she tried to sleep with him AFTER finding out they were half siblings, then her biological daughters adopted father! 

Really, the show could never really capture the eerie magic of season 1, which was so built around its setting and the story of Robin dealing with her traumatic past. Here, we still have Robin dealing with her issues, but with a more bland setting. Give me communes of weird hippie ladies over idiot geeks streaming porn and hookers in a cafe any day of the week. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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2 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Really, the show had a lot of good elements, it just didn't end up going anywhere.

Agreed. There was a lot going on, and also a lot of dropped ideas.

2 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I think they tried to say she had mental health problems, and was angry about her parents divorce, but she took it to such an extreme, it made it hard to really understand her.

For me Mary's biggest problem was that her parents were utterly hopeless as parents. They seemed totally unwilling to do the work parenting requires. The divorce didn't help, of course.

Edited by dubbel zout
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