Joyce Carol Oates ‘Baffled’ by Jane Campion’s ‘Atrocious’ ‘Top of the Lake: China Girl’

“Greatly admire Jane Campion’s work, but we were baffled by atrocious script & acting, overwrought plot, silly comic relief,” Oates tweeted

Last Updated: September 15, 2017 @ 9:09 PM

Joyce Carol Oates is one of our greatest writers — so it’s hard not to pay attention to the National Book Award winner and five-time Pulitzer Prize finalist criticizing the acclaimed TV drama “Top of the Lake.”

Oates herself seemed surprised at how much she disliked Jane Campion’s drama, “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” and said she has given up on the show.

“Greatly admire Jane Campion’s work, but we were baffled by atrocious script & acting, overwrought plot, silly ‘comic relief’ of new Top/Lake,” Oates tweeted today.

“Top of the Lake” stars Elisabeth Moss as a detective in Sydney, Australia trying to find the killer of a prostitute while trying to reconnect with her estranged daughter. Oates especially took issue with one of the show’s supporting characters played by “Game of Thrones” star Gwendoline Christie, a rookie cop serving as Moss’s partner and friend. In the show she jokes about her height and carries on an affair with another officer on the police force.

“Wondering how many viewers winced as we did at the ungainly, unfunny, insulting (?) comedy hinging upon an awkward rookie female officer,” Oates asked on Twitter. “First season of ‘Top of the Lake’ strained credulity at times but no one cared about the characters, to a degree. New season, no. Have given up.”

The first season of “Top of the Lake” won a Golden Globe for Moss and was nominated for Best Miniseries or Motion Picture made for Television. “China Girl” first premiered and earned strong reviews out of the Cannes Film Festival.

TheWrap said the new season was even better than the original, writing that it “puts the show’s themes above the mystery without sacrificing any of the action, tension or subversive touches.”

A representative for the show did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

“Top of the Lake: China Girl” premiered this past Sunday on SundanceTV in a three-night special presentation.

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