Top of the Lake v.2 compared to TPTR (spoilers)

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Top of the Lake v.2 compared to TPTR (spoilers)

Postby Framed_Angel » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:25 am

I've meant to point out and invite dialogue on some similarities I noticed as I viewed ToTL S2 "China Girl." I found S1 quite mesmerizing so I was excited about S2, although as with TP, I had reservations how Campion might revisit something that was accomplished in a singular way, artfully filmed, story unfolding with mysteries and characters explored and revealed in their complicated beauty.
If you haven't watched ToTL especially S2 I am going to reference items that could be spoilers FYI.

Overall I was disappointed, mostly with the ending - - and because watching it came close to the timing of my watching TPTR this disappointment struck me as similar because it was nonetheless mitigated by a willful appreciation of what the auteurs had imagined, how they had impacted me with previous works, and the separate components of intrigue actors in various scenes delivered. With S1 ToTL I had been invited to revel in some gorgeous scenery, find interesting quirks in sense of Place with Jonno's tent or the young mute boy's collection of bones in his sanctuary-style "outbuilding." Anyone remember feeling immersed in sense of Place with Twin Peaks S1&2? The woods, the local gathering spots, and the otherworldly all stayed with me.

ToTL S2 brought a new setting and scenario to returning lead detective Robin, and plenty more urban and grimy undercore surrounding the characters in crime, contrasted w/ light airy residences like Mary's adoptive parents', open floor plan and sunlight-drenched. I'd consider how scenes were staged, even in the 1st ep alone there's care taken to give eerie night quality as the couple pushes the stuffed suitcase off the high ledge to the water below; or day-lit view from afar of uniformed law enforcement doing drills, or even the seedy parlor where "Puss" keeps cats and enjoins his Asian girls to sit for "English lessons." Lots of care was put into these settings like in TP the places feel they have a life of their own, and as others have said: you could think of several story-within-the-stories as a "moving painting."

The storytelling I'd reaped from TOTL S1 this time around felt like its creators were visiting anew with an experimental approach in mind. I was enchanted with Gwendoline Christie's mercurial and unpredictable character but her fate by the end had that unresolved "cliffhanger" feeling -- familiar, yes? Then the confrontation between Robin and Al struck terror in me even as the whole improbability felt ludicrous. For a Return to an acclaimed series so highly hyped and anticipated, I came away like I'd been watching its creator just taking the parts and moving them about, like playing with the contents of their dollhouse. Where the question might be "Would you like to get inside Lynch/ Campion's HEAD?" the answers leaped out for this viewer. I sure felt I'd gotten glimpses inside their heads, with less regard for adhering within pre-set boundaries and more inclined to reach with recognized characters for a mix or remix.
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Re: Top of the Lake v.2 compared to TPTR (spoilers)

Postby LateReg » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:43 pm

I'd also noticed a lot of similarities between the two programs, both in terms of themes and especially unpredictability. I've said all year long, or, well, since September, that China Girl is the only thing that approaches The Return's wild unconventionality.

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