If you’ve been to Netflix and back this past year almost as much as the other person, you must have come across the several “limited series” being showcased on the platform lately. The truth is, limited series has been around for years. Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story and American Crime Story is where the widespread limited series discussions started, and the mystery has only risen since then.
To put it simply, a limited series is exactly like its name suggests: limited. It’s a show that has only one season, and the story of the show starts and finishes in the span of the show. The episodes may vary between 4-10 episodes. These episodes accommodate not just the premise and rising action but also the conclusion to a particular story. Limited series do not typically return for a season. Still, if they do, it must employ different characters (except, maybe, a few popular ones) and explore another dimension and not the same story. Otherwise, it hardly is a limited series.
These limited series aren’t only fast-paced and deeply engaging as a characteristic of script and plotlines. Still, they also are great for people who are looking for shows that require less involvement and time than nine seasons of devoted watching. It’s quick and racy entertainment, which is why their popularity has been booming recently. It’s the perfect marriage of films and TV shows because some people find films too short and some people find TV shows too long.
With The Queen’s Gambit and Maniac’s successes, more and more people have been inching towards the seemingly up-and-coming limited series. Netflix has many limited series on the platform, with no accurate description of what they were.
Now that you’ve understood the technical Hollywood term, you may be interested in finding out the best mini-series available on the streaming platform.
Worry not; we’ve curated for you a list of our favorite mini-series across different genres of all time.
Let’s dive in!
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
If you’ve felt empty inside after all the True Detective seasons following the first one and have been aching to fill that gap, Unbelievable is our top pick for you. It is one of the best productions on Netflix.
It is the story of a girl who is believed to be lying about being raped and includes phenomenal acting by the female detectives played by Toni Colette and Merritt Wever. This thrilling crime show is a must-watch.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
In a fascinating study of orthodox culture, Anna Winger’s mini-series is based on a true story. Its initial release was March 26, 2020, and it has since then garnered appreciation from both critics and audiences.
Esther Shapiro, a nineteen-year-old, is unhappy in her arranged marriage in an ultra-orthodox Jewish family. So, she decides to leave her current life behind and start over in Berlin. This develops an interesting storyline and follows an inspiring and refreshing tale that many dramas fail to deliver.
Wild Wild Country
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Wild Wild Country is one of the most bizarre stories in US History. It’s a Netflix documentary limited series that is about a cult that relocates from India to Oregon. It streamed on Netflix on March 16, 2018.
Even though the story is based on actual events, the story is so bizarre that it’s hard for viewers to believe it actually happened. The cult was led by a guru and garnered a lot of media attention from around the world to its origins in India and the subsequent conflicts that arose in Oregon’s small town. The series is edgy, sure, but one that is memorably edgy.
The Queen’s Gambit
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
With Anya Taylor-Joy in the lead, The Queen’s Gambit is a period drama adapted from a 1938 novel of the same name. The show was seen so widely and loved so much that people say it may have made chess relevant again. It started streaming on October 20, 2020, and has seven episodes. It also won two awards at the 78th Annual Golden Globes.
It follows an orphan girl, Beth Harmon, who has a passion for chess and her journey to become a chess prodigy in the late 50s and 60s.
Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Maniac is a comedy-drama mini-series that streamed on Netflix on September 21, 2018.
There was a lot of buzz surrounding Maniac at the time of its release and even after. Cary Joji Fukunaga of True Detective has directed every episode of this surreal but beguiling sci-fi drama.
This 10-episode show follows the lives of two misfits played by Jonah Hill and Emma Stone, who agree to a drug trial that can allegedly cure emotional pain. What follows is a well-told and creative story that has an exceptional design.
The Last Dance
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
The Last Dance is a documentary based on Michael Jordan’s life and the 1990s Chicago Bulls that started streaming on April 19, 2020. The series is addictive and one that can motivate anyone who watches.
In the fall of 1997, a camera crew followed Michael Jordan and the legendary Chicago Bulls as they prepared for their sixth MBA title in eight seasons. The show does not progress linearly and continually shifts the timeline to brilliantly capture how much the team mattered in this historic sports portrait.
The Haunting of Bly Manor
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
The Haunting of Bly Manor is a follow-up to the first edition of the haunting horror anthology, The Haunting of Hill House. Mike Flanagan’s gothic romance-inspired limited horror series is based on The Turn of The Screw, Henry James’s novella. The series started streaming on Netflix on October 9, 2020. It has nine episodes.
Flanagan takes some of the cast members from the first entry and creates yet another beautiful but harrowing tragedy. It’s an excellent watch for a Halloween night or just on any other night you wish to get the spooks.