Spring has sprung and television is finally getting its act together after some serious winter blahs, with some returning favorites (“Game of Thrones,” “Mad Men”) and a couple of remarkable premieres, one of them being Monday night’s debut of Sundance Channel’s eerily beautiful and meticulously structured “Top of the Lake,” a seven-part mystery miniseries set in New Zealand.
Co-created and co-written by filmmaker Jane Campion (“The Piano”), “Top of the Lake” stars “Mad Men’s” Elisabeth Moss as Robin Griffin, a police detective who specializes in cases of missing and abused children. (At last, an American actor is doing a down-under accent, instead of the other way around.)
While visiting her dying mother in Queenstown, Robin is asked to help with the case of Tui Mitcham, a 12-year-old rescued while wading, Virginia Woolf-style, into the frigid waters of Lake Wakatipu. A medical exam reveals that Tui, who lives on a compound with her menacing father and older brothers, is five months pregnant. After Robin launches an investigation into how Tui got pregnant, the girl vanishes.