Public Service Announcement 30 of 2017: Top Of The Lake – China Girl; Ozark; Midnight, Texas; The Last Tycoon

I’m in two minds about whether to watch the second season of Top Of The Lake, because I was in two minds about the first one: amazing scenery, amazing Elizabeth Moss, and a decent enough procedural struggling to get out; but overlong and unhelpfully pretentious as well, particularly that commune living in the shipping containers. Season 2 relocates the action to Sydney, and adds Nicole Kidman and Gwendoline Christie, while – crucially – retaining Moss, who even in a crowded marketplace has genuine claims to be one of the very best TV actors of her generation. The first episode is being shown on broadcast TV, and immediately thereafter the whole thing will be on the iPlayer to (ew) “binge”, which I suppose is in line with current viewing trends, but makes it less likely that people will be talking about it (tonight, 9pm, BBC Two).

Netflix’s latest is the interesting-sounding Ozark, in which Jason Bateman plays a financial advisor who has been laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel, and who suddenly finds that there is a pressing need for him to relocate from Chicago to a summer resort in the Missouri Ozarks with his wife Laura Linney. It’s been reasonably well-received, and were I not so busy I might be tempted to give this a go (available now).

I’m less interested in Midnight, Texas, which seems to be some supernatural nonsense based on some novels by Charlaine Harris, the author behind True Blood. Commendably, we’re only a few days behind American transmission, so well done Syfy UK; unfortunately, the reviews suggest that it may only be of interest to those who are, well, interested in this sort of thing. Which I’m not (tonight, 9pm, Syfy UK).

And I’m unable to see Amazon’s The Last Tycoon, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s unfinished last novel, and starring the unfairly handsome Matt Bomer, who is Unpopcult royalty and our CJ’s future husband, did he but know it. Kelsey Grammar and the wonderful Rosemarie DeWitt are also in the cast. Unfortunately the critics, overall, haven’t been particularly impressed by this either (tomorrow, Amazon Prime).


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