Top of the Lake
With all the accolades it's been receiving recently, you've probably at least heard of the New Zealand-set, missing-child miniseries Top of the Lake. The BBC (Two), UKTV and Sundance Channel international co-production was nominated for four Emmys (Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries or Movie, Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries or Movie and Outstanding Writing For A Miniseries or Movie), however, award nods aren't always reason enough to watch something. Looking at you, Homeland Season 2. Top of the Lake isn't only deserving of the recognition but also worth your time, especially since the entire run is over in just seven parts.

Co-created by Gerard Lee and Academy Award winner Jane Campion (the latter also directing a few episodes along with Garth Davis), Top of the Lake stars Elizabeth Moss (who should win all the awards) as Detective Robin Griffin who returns to her small home town to investigate the pregnancy and then disappearance of a 12-year-old girl. The visually stunning miniseries (with one of the all-time great title sequences) features an intricate and engaging narrative as well as taking the time to study its fascinating characters played by Moss, Peter Mullan (who's wonderful as always), Holly Hunter, David Wenham, Thomas M. Wright and Jacqueline Joe as the (sometimes) missing child. Top of the Lake offers a refreshingly unique point of view that's unlike any other police series on TV. Make the trip.

It's one of the shows people can't stop talking about and for good reason. In Shonda Rhimes' Scandal, Kerry Washington shines as the beautiful and confident Olivia Pope, a fixer-for-hire in Washington DC. The series blends some procedural elements with more serialized drama as Olivia and her team of "gladiators" tackle scandals from their high-profile clientele, while dealing with their own personal issues. In most cases, the scandals they're trying to manage pale by comparison to the ones they're dealing with in their own personal lives. For Olivia, that includes a steamy, secret relationship with the President of the United States, played by Tony Goldwyn. Will they? Won't they? Yes and yes! Scandal is an indulgence for sure, but it's a good one, and it lives up to the hype. The first season of Scandal is only seven episodes, which makes it a perfect choice if you're looking to sample a great series without a huge time commitment.

Of course, if you love Season 1, you'll want to watch Season 2 and that one's not on Netflix yet, but it is available on Hulu Plus, and well worth watching if you got hooked by the first season. Season 3 is set to premiere on ABC this fall. UPDATE: Season 2 has now been added to Netflix!

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