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'Top of the Lake' Finale Recap: State of Emergency

Certain episodes of television stand out not only within the course of a series, but within the course of a year. In 2012, it was the eleventh episode of “Mad Men,” titled “The Other Women” (incidentally also featuring a stunning performance from Elisabeth Moss). This year, the finale of “Top of the Lake” achieves that same skin-tingling, harshly heartbreaking, core-shaking status.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 16, 2013 2:27 PM
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  • 23 Comments

'Game of Thrones' 3.3: 'Walk of Punishment,' Recap and Review

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister
Spoilers rule as "Game of Thrones" series co-creator David Benioff directs, picking up the pace in short, tight scenes that bounce us around all over Westeros. He clearly relishes delivering personally the first of the third season's classic Holy Shit moments.
  • By David Chute
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  • April 14, 2013 10:14 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Top of the Lake' Episode 5 Recap: The Body Knows What To Do

This week’s episode of “Top of the Lake” finds its characters combating feelings of helplessness -- from the past, from a seemingly impenetrable mystery, and from death.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 8, 2013 11:00 PM
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  • 14 Comments

Five Striking Similarities Between Elisabeth Moss' Roles on 'Mad Men' and 'Top of the Lake'

A joy of the current TV season is that one of the medium’s finest actresses, Elisabeth Moss, has key roles in two of the finest series in recent memory -- “Mad Men,” now in its sixth season, and Jane Campion’s “Top of the Lake.” While the athletic, hardened Kiwi detective Robin Griffin and sharp-as-a-tack ‘60s Mad Woman Peggy Olson are worlds, eras and professions away from one another, I’ve noticed some striking similarities between the two characters.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 8, 2013 3:44 PM
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  • 5 Comments

'Game of Thrones' 3.2 Review and Recap: 'Dark Wings, Dark Words'

If the opening episode of Season Three of Game of Thrones was mostly talking, Episode Two is mostly walking, though it sets a brisk pace and there's a lot to see along the way.
  • By David Chute
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  • April 8, 2013 3:04 PM
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  • 2 Comments

'Top of the Lake' Episode 4 Recap: A Devastating Revelation, and a Simple "Yes/No"

How do the characters in “Top of the Lake” communicate with each other, and how quickly do they choose to divulge information? This is a central question in this week’s episode, which finds significance in both a harrowing, complex monologue and the two most basic written responses in our language.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 1, 2013 11:00 PM
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  • 3 Comments

'Game of Thrones' Review and Recap, Season Three Episode 1: 'Valar Dohaeris'

As the third season of HBO's epic drama series of back-stabbing ambition and dynastic intrigue, "Game of Thrones," launches on Sunday, it's just possible that the trace elements of generic fantasy in GoT -- a dragon here, some evil sorcery there -- could be jettisoned without much impact on the viewer’s pleasure.
  • By David Chute
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  • March 29, 2013 7:10 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Top of the Lake' Recap 2: Bringing Out the Dead and Missing

While last week's two-hour premiere of "Top of the Lake" dealt with the blunt one-two shock of a pregnant pre-teen girl and then her disappearance, this week's episode deals with the classic detective-story trope of obsession with a missing person. As is often the case, an obsession with the missing brings out an obsession with the dead.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 25, 2013 10:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Review Roundup: 'Phil Spector' a Sinfully Entertaining Treat Starring Wigged-Out Al Pacino

HBO's "Phil Spector" (March 24) directed by David Mamet and starring a tantalizingly wigged-out Al Pacino and Helen Mirren, is mostly receiving praise from critics. Pacino's performance is being touted as "compelling, both despite and because of the wigs," while Mamet's direction is called "sinfully entertaining." But not every outlet is impressed: Variety describes the film as "essentially a Lifetime movie gussied up with an Oscar pedigree." Review highlights below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 21, 2013 12:20 PM
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  • 0 Comments

HBO's Accidental Feminism, From Lena Dunham's Hannah Horvath to Laura Dern's Amy Jellicoe

With the recent finale of the second season of “Girls,” and the “Enlightened” season finale still resonating in my mind, I’ve been thinking more and more about the characters from both shows. The upcoming new season of “Veep” is only a few weeks away, too, and, even though it’s a more stylized comedy half-hour, it’s another example of what I’ve come to think of as HBO’s inadvertent nod to feminist sensibilities; these three shows have female protagonists who are far from lovable -- but we love them. What’s going on here?
  • By Julia Chasman
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  • March 21, 2013 11:37 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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