In my not-so-humble opinion, there’s nothing like a good miniseries. Instead of being subjected to facepalm-worthy cliffhangers, spinoff shows, and year-long hiatuses in your average television show, a miniseries tells a completely serialized story that feels predetermined and fully realized. Since its genesis with ABC’s "The Winds of War," starring Robert Mitchum, there have been countless limited series broadcasted, which is why I am here to present you with the best of the best miniseries you should be watching.
- "Watchmen" (2019)
The best superhero series to date. Disney should just give up because nothing from the Mouse House will ever feel as completely engrossing, innovative and ripe with social commentary as this HBO production. It grabs you from frame one and doesn’t let go until long after the credits roll. A true marvel of serialized storytelling. So, tick tock. Get to watching.
- "Band of Brothers" (2001)
Heartbreaking, heroic and horrific. Based on the book by Stephen E. Ambrose, the true story of Easy Company is a groundbreaking achievement in television that is essential viewing.
- "Show Me a Hero" (2015)
The most recent miniseries I’ve watched. Oscar Isaac is on fire here as Mayor Nick Waciscko, the tragic center of the series, in one of his best performances to date. David Simon (of "The Wire" fame), Paul Haggis, and co. knocked it out of the park by giving Waciscko a true character arc that leans towards martyrdom but also humanism. The show provides a bigger scope outside of the youngest mayor in America because, to quote Simon, it depicts a divided “city that is paralyzed by both fear (of integration) and money (valuations of real estate properties).” Its angles in telling this true story are compassionate, scathing in its criticism of segregated community and certainly full of humility.
- DOUBLE FEATURE: "The Haunting of Hill House" (2018) & "The Haunting of Bly Manor" (2020)
From director Mike Flanagan, these may be the scariest shows ever put to film, err digital. His newest series, Midnight Mass, should be on your radar too.
- "I Know This Much Is True" (2020)
A completely soul-shattering and captivating miniseries with some of the most genuinely raw performances you’ll ever witness with Mark Ruffalo’s Golden Globe winning performance as twins Domenico “Dominick” and Thomas Birdsey. Every episode will make you cry.
- "Unorthodox" (2020)
One of the roughest, most affecting pieces of television you’ll ever find on Netflix. if Watchmen hadn’t been nominated at the Emmy’s last year, then Unorthodox would’ve swept the entire limited series awards, especially for Shira Haas’ extraordinary performance.
- "Mare of Easttown" (2021)
Written and created for television by Brad Ingelsby, Mare of Easttown is the best television series of 2021, thus far. Starring Kate Winslet who won an emmy for her performance as Mare Sheeran this year, the miniseries a captivating redemption story about a the titular detective from Easttown, a fictional suburb of Philadelphia, trying to find the light in life again when a young girl is murdered. Its seven episode run (all directed by Craig Zobel) had me absolutely enthralled and in shambles throughout.
Here’s some other great miniseries to check out:
- "Chernobyl" (2019)
- "Maniac" (2018)
- "Normal People" (2020)
- "The Night Of" (2016)
- "Big Little Lies" (2017-2019)
- "Generation Kill" (2008)
- "We Are Who We Are" (2020)
- "When They See Us" (2019)
- "Devs" (2020)
- DOUBLE FEATURE: "The Night Manager" (2016) & "The Little Drummer Girl" (2018)
- "Escape at Dannemora" (2019)
- "11.22.63" (2016)