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If you loved The Handmaid's Tale, then you need to watch Top of the Lake.

Praise be! Just when we were starting to have Elisabeth Moss withdrawals, we remembered the haunting crime mystery miniseries that came before The Handmaid’s Tale.

Introducing your new obsession: Top of the Lake. 

This week on The Binge podcast,  host Clare Stephens admitted that she was a little bit confused about the show. Clare’s mum is obsessed with it. Mamamia Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik is obsessed with it. So why is everyone so enamoured with this miniseries?

Listen to Laura Brodnik explain why everyone needs to watch Top of the Lake on the latest episode of The Binge podcast. 

If, like Clare, you’re yet to discover the magic of Top of the Lake, this is what it’s all about.

Set in a remote mountain town in New Zealand, the show centres on the disappearance of 12-year-old Tui, who is five months pregnant.

She is last seen standing chest deep in a freezing lake, and now all attention is focused on inexperienced detective Robin Griffin [Elisabeth Moss], who leads the investigation in the same town where she endured traumatic events years earlier.

Not only must she find Tui, but Robin also embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Her limits are tested amid clashes with Matt, the missing girl’s father and local drug lord, and GJ, a guru at a local women’s camp.

Despite the difficult themes of sexual violence dealt with in the series, The Binge host Laura Brodnik says none of the violence is gratuitous. Instead it drives an incredible plot. And while it is at times difficult to watch, there are an impressive community of strong women at the heart of this story.

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“The acting is amazing, the location’s are amazing by this lake, I feel cold watching it. It’s so cold and brutal and just so uncomfortable that I actually have to put a blanket on to watch it.”

So is this Elisabeth Moss at her best?

“If you’ve known her as Peggy Olson in Mad Men or you’ve known her as Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale, this is a completely different side to her. She’s still very compelling and she’s such a scene stealer, but Top of the Lake is a very intense, brutal, upsetting, hard to watch TV,” Laura says.

“She has a very ethereal other-worldly quality.”

If all that mysterious goodness and the promise of Elisabeth Moss at her finest isn’t enough to entice you, season two is out soon and will feature stars Nicole Kidman and Gwendoline Christie.

Season two is set four years after the events of season one, as Robin investigates the death of an unidentified Asian girl found at Bondi Beach. The new episodes are set and filmed in Sydney, so look out for some familiar locations…

The first season, which consists of seven episodes, is available to watch now on Foxtel, and the new season of Top of the Lake: China Girl drops Sunday August 20 on BBC First and Foxtel.

So you’ve got three weeks to catch up on this gripping story.

Listen to the full episode of The Binge here:

To subscribe to the show go to apple.co/mamamia where you can also buy any book mentioned on our shows. 

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