View Full Version : Sexual Harassment Undercurrent in "Top of the Lake" season 2

9.14.17, 11:20 AM
We just binged season two of "Top of the Lake" and -- though I know that it's not liked by some on the boards -- we liked it a lot. It's almost as weird as the first season, with plenty of creepy, unpleasant characters, but the story has many strong threads of realness.

It could be the realness component that makes it uncomfortable to deal with parts of the stories. There is no glossing and no explaining and no apologies for showing what real people might actually do in the situations depicted or alluded to.

Couples fall in love and do stuff that falling in love sometimes demands; bending the rules being the least of them.

Workmates do things that fall into gray areas of behavior -- if not full-on darkness -- and one tends to give them slack; if only to avoid friction or hassles.

"Top of the Lake," in both seasons, just puts these things out there. Zero glossing. Zero explaining or apologizing; just out on view for you to see and deal with in your own way.

One of these things is sexual harassment. In both seasons it is stapled and taped all over the story; in the back story and in the present. But it is rarely discussed or treated per se. It just is. And it drives me crazy.

I appreciate it when social issues are brought up in entertainment, but I expect there to be an attempt at teaching about it beyond just observation. I mean, let's face it; too many of us are capable of completely missing the lesson and instead seeing the presentation of bad behavior as an acceptance of it as "normal" or acceptable in real life.

The S2 show takes place in Australia, in suburban Sidney and most of the sexual harassment takes place in a work context. I thought that perhaps Australia doesn't' have laws against it, but it turns out that they do. So just like in America, it's against the law but people do it anyway -- at least on this show (though scanning the news, it's IRL too). But the show doesn't speak to it -- only about it. It exists, therefore we show it; but it's up to you to notice it and form your own thoughts.

No, no, no. I think that it is the duty of the writers and producers to not just show it, but to point it out and make an issue of it, even if just a minor one. If you put it in the story, then you can't just leave it without discussion. Otherwise it becomes a stamp of approval.