25 Best Mini Series of All Time

Best Mini Series of All Time: Do you love series, but are averse when a format has several seasons with countless episodes? In this case, you are guaranteed to be enthusiastic about mini-series that tell a completed story within a manageable period of time. And so that you don’t have to search long, we’ve put together the 25 best miniseries of all time for you.

25. The Dangerous Book for Boys (2018):

  • Number of episodes: 6

“The Dangerous Book for Boys” is an Amazon-produced series for children that unfortunately only made it to one season. However, this was by no means due to the quality of the series, but to the fact that the production became too expensive due to the many impressive sets – which seems very strange when you look at the salary of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos. 

The six-part mini-series is about the Wyatt brothers (Gabriel Bateman) who, together with his brother and mother, have to cope with the death of their beloved father. 

One day, however, they discover a book he had written before his death called “Dangerous Book for Boys”, which contains innumerable instructions on games and important experiences in a child’s life. Above all, Wyatt dreams himself into many exciting fantasy worlds with the help of the book in order to be closer to his deceased father in this way. A really beautifully told story, not just for small viewers.

24. When They See Us (2019):

  • Number of episodes: 4

On April 9, 1989, 28-year-old white jogger Trisha Meili was beaten, raped and left to die in Central Park. By the end of the following year, five black and Latin American youths from Harlem – Korey Wise, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam and Antron McCray – had been forced to confess and sentenced for carrying out the brutal attack, despite no physical evidence. All of them were eventually acquitted and released, but not before they had spent the final years of their childhood behind bars.

In this painful four-part miniseries about her ordeal, writer and director Ava DuVernay reconstructed one of the most troubling cases of institutional racism in US history, revealing how wrong beliefs can irreparably affect the families and future of children who had done nothing wrong changed. In addition to exposing the mechanics of injustice, When They See Us made sure viewers got to know their characters as individual people. These representations had a direct impact on the real world. After the show appeared on Netflix, the prosecutors involved in the case lost their jobs.

23. The ABC Murders (2018):

  • Number of episodes: 3

Actually, one should assume that no newer production can succeed in staging the character of Hercule Poirot better than Kenneth Branagh succeeded in the 2017 remake of “Mord im Orient Express”. 

But far from it: In the BBC mini-series “The Murders of Mr ABC”, the gifted character actor John Malkovich slips into the role of the world-famous detective who investigated a spectacular murder case in the 1930s. The three episodes are based on the novel of the same name by Agatha Christie and are home to many other well-known actors such as Rupert Grint, Tara Fitzgerald and Henry Hoodman. Exciting from the first to the last minute – have a look!

22. Safe (2018):

  • Number of episodes: 8

In the iconic crime series “Dexter” Michael C. Hall played a bloodstain analyst who enjoys killing people who deserve death in his spare time. In the mini-series “Safe” he now slips into the role of the pediatric surgeon Tom Delaney, who after the death of his wife and his two daughters has retired to a posh residential area.

When his older daughter suddenly disappears without a trace after a party with drugs and alcohol, Delaney goes in search of her – and in the process comes across dark secrets of his neighbors.

21. The end of the f *** ing world (2017-2019):

  • Number of episodes: 16

Strictly speaking, this series is not a mini-series at all, because it has two seasons. However, the individual episodes only last 25 minutes and are therefore relatively entertaining and easy to digest. It tells the weird story of 17-year-old James, who discovered as a child that he was a little psycho – for example, he put his hand in the deep fryer or killed animals for fun. 

Now he wants to “develop” and finally kill a person. As his first victim, he has taken a look at his classmate Alyssa – but instead the two find each other in a weird way. Very black humor and absolutely worth seeing!

20. Pride and Prejudice (1995):

Number of episodes: 6

Last but not least, we have a miniseries to offer that is already a few years old: In “Pride and Prejudice”, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Jane Austen, Colin Firth takes on the role of Mr. Darcy, a wealthy bachelor who is currently building his summer residence near Mrs. Bennet. 

She wants to marry off her five daughters as quickly as possible – and the wealthy neighbor next door suits her. Women with a preference for historical fabrics get their money’s worth with this mini-series from the British BBC, which is also convincing in terms of optics. A real street sweeper back then.

19. Sharp Objects (2018):

  • Number of episodes: 8

“Sharp Objects” is an HBO series adaptation of the novel of the same name by famous US bestselling author Gillian Flynn. It tells the story of reporter Camille Preaker, who returns to her former hometown after a short stay in psychiatry. Your first story is about a murder case in which two little girls were killed.

The case takes her with her in such a way that she soon goes in search of clues on her own – but at the same time she also has to solve her own problems from the past. The title of the series is based on the sharp objects (razor blades) that the main character scratches his arms and legs with – so this series literally gets under your skin.

18. Black Mirror (2001 to date):

  • Number of episodes: 22

While many mini-series offer a season consisting of several episodes, the plot of which is overarching, “Black Mirror” even offers individual episodes that are self-contained. Each episode tells its own story and the actors and even the genre are cheerfully exchanged. 

However, the five seasons of the series have one thing in common: their inventor Charlie Brooker always dares a critical look into an often exaggerated future and impressively shows the dark side of a society that relies almost blindly on its smartphone and every new technical achievement. Highly recommended for science fiction fans as well as for the “conspiracy theorists” who are unfortunately much too quickly referred to as such nowadays.

17. Unbelievable (2019):

  • Number of episodes: 8

This gripping crime series, which can be seen on the streaming service Netflix, tells the extremely sad story of Marie (Kaitlyn Dever), who was only 18 at the time, who was attacked and raped by a masked man in her apartment in 2008. 

Since the girl does not have a particularly good reputation, the police try to brush the incident under the table – it is even believed that she just made up the rape. A short time later, two committed policewomen (Toni Collette, Merritt Wever) investigate a similar case, which soon raises many questions …

Unbelievable impresses with its respectful handling of what is still a very sensitive topic and above all knows how to score with its strong female cast.

16. Watchmen (2019):

  • Number of episodes: 9

While the real-life version of the comic book of the same name met with rather restrained reactions in 2009, the team around Damon Lindelof recently showed us that the Watchmen can be transported to the screen in a really fun way. What immediately catches the viewer’s eye when watching the superhero series is the refreshing, unconventional approach of the producers. In other offshoots of the genre, we can already guess which twists and turns and dramaturgy the show will go through, but not in the case of “Watchmen”.

The show, which focuses on a group of superheroes whose members are repeatedly entangled in actual, historical events, is undoubtedly captivating due to its idiosyncrasy. The series deliberately wants to provoke and break with the expectations of the audience. Combined with crazy characters and a suspenseful story, “Watchmen” becomes one of the hottest irons that has been forged in the TV world in the recent past.

15. Patrick Melrose (2018):

  • Number of episodes: 5

No, this 2018 mini-series has nothing to do with the television series “Melrose Place”. The format is based on several novels from the pen of Edward St Aubyn, in which the British upper class is brought to the fore and takes a look at the life of the eponymous Patrick Melrose – played by Benedict Cumberbatch. 

He is marked by abuse by his own father and seeks refuge in drugs and alcohol. When the hated father dies one day, Patrick decides to change his life completely. There were four Emmy nominations in 2018 for the very emotional and sometimes harrowing series.

14. The Alienist (2018):

  • Number of episodes: 10

The US series “The Alienist” kidnapped the viewer to New York in 1896. Numerous young men who disguised themselves as prostitutes fell victim to a terrible crime. The new police chief (and later US president) Theodore Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty) finally wants to clear up the case and gives secret information about the same to the criminal psychologist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Brühl) and the newspaper illustrator John Moore (Luke Evens). 

Also on board is Roosevelt’s assistant Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning), who has set herself the goal of being named New York City’s first female detective. The top-class series was nominated for an Emmy in the category “Best Mini-Series” in 2018.

13. Bodyguard (2018):

  • Number of episodes: 6

Don’t worry, this series has nothing to do with the smack film of the same name with Whitney Houston. Instead, the viewer gets an insight into the life of bodyguard David Budd (Richard Madden), who is assigned to Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes) of all people. Politically, this stands for pretty much everything that Budd despises – and yet he has to protect her life from now on.

The series, which originated in Great Britain, was a real ratings hit in its home country, which is probably due not only to the immense tension of the plot, but also to the excellent performance of the representation. Anyone who speaks the English language should definitely watch the series in the original language.

12. Alias ​​Grace (2017):

  • Number of episodes: 6

The miniseries “Alias ​​Grace” available on Netflix takes viewers to Canada in the 1870s. Here a doctor named Simon Jordan meets one of the most notorious women in the country: Grace is suspected of murdering both her wealthy employer and his domestic help 39 years ago when she was only 15 years old. 

Jordan, who cannot imagine that the vulnerable woman would have been capable of such an act, opens the case again. Gripping, exciting and cleverly staged series that consciously plays with the feelings of the audience.

11. Chernobyl (2019):

  • Number of episodes: 5

Chernobyl is a miniseries released in 2019 that is a five-episode historical drama. The series follows the massive catastrophe that struck the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986. It’s a dramatization of the Chernobyl disaster, as well as the events that took place after it, when people tried to clean up the area and find a way to deal with the nuclear waste and its impact on the local environment, animals and people.

Although the story of the disaster that struck Chernobyl and changed the area forever is known to many, this series is definitely interesting because of the unique and lesser-known stories that it follows.

10. Big Little Lies (2017-2019):

  • Number of episodes: 14

Lots of blasphemy and a secret about a shocking murder: The HBO mini-series “Big Little Lies” offers all this and much more, which is starred with Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep and Alexander Skarsgård. Everything revolves around a group of young women for whom appearances are the most important thing in their lives.

However, such a picture book life can never be realistically conveyed to the outside, especially since it does not correspond to the truth anyway. Domestic violence, sexual frustration, anger with one’s own children and ultimately a horrific murder, the investigation of which accompanies the viewer throughout the first season, are the almost logical conclusion. “Big Little Lies” won 6 Emmys, including Best Miniseries and Nicole Kidman for Best Actress. Fun fact: “Young Sheldon” actor Iain Armitage can be seen in a supporting role with a shaved head.

9. The Pacific (2010):

  • Number of episodes: 10

The Pacific is an offshoot of the classic Band of Brothers, which tells the story of the USA’s first Marine Division in the Pacific during World War II. You can prepare yourself for intense goosebumps moments, as the action always remains realistic and the soundtrack was composed by none other than Hans Zimmer.

In the 10 episodes all the atrocities of the Pacific War are revealed, with The Pacific concentrating more than its predecessor on the stories of individual soldiers.

8. Band of Brothers (2001):

  • Number of episodes: 10

Although The Pacific was produced about a decade after the Band of Brothers, it can’t beat its predecessor in terms of the quality of the overall experience. Produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, Band of Brothers is now a classic in series history that captures the horrors of World War II from the perspective of an American division.

In the 10 episodes you follow the history of the Allies from the landing in Normandy to the invasion of Germany. The fact that it was the most expensive series of all time until then becomes clear to you at the latest when you see the complex and visually stunning implementation of the battles.

7. Maniac (2018):

  • Number of episodes: 10

In 2018, after the success of “Godless”, Netflix ventured into another miniseries called “Maniac”, which also includes a higher-profile cast with Emma Stone and Jonah Hill. In a total of 10 episodes, the viewer is told the story of two singles who participate independently in a novel drug study in order to finally get the problems in their lives under control. 

In the process, however, an unexpected incident occurs that turns her life all the more upside down. But watch out: if you get involved in this story, you should always do it with full attention.

6. True Detective (Season 1):

  • Number of episodes: 8

A groundbreaking moment for anthology series, “True Detective” was ideally suited for it. Movie stars, a riveting case, and a spooky, ambitious vision – all of these helped make the story of Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) an instant sensation.

But what is usually lost in all the hustle and bustle is the gist of the first season: two seemingly dissimilar cops who find more than they expected when shooting a strange new case. This setup has been used over and over on television, but the conversations between Rust and Marty (mostly in the car) took this duo to a whole new level. They didn’t just exchange family stories; they revolve around the purpose of humanity and its failures as a species. The relationship that emerges at the end of the story makes “True Detective” a permanent phenomenon!

5. The Sinner (2017 to date):

  • Number of Episodes: 8 (Season 1)

In the dark miniseries “The Sinner”, Jessica Biel, probably still known to many as the model daughter in the series “A Heavenly Family”, plays a young woman who seems to stab a man on the beach out of the blue. The investigating detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) does not trust her to do this, but the evidence is almost devastating.

The more he studies the case, the more astonished he becomes.
The said story consists of 8 episodes, in the 2nd and 3rd season Harry Ambrose then investigates completely new cases with a likewise self-contained plot.

4. Godless (2017):

  • Number of episodes: 7

Netflix was able to convince immediately with its first miniseries “Godless” in 2017. The western series, which combines quiet moments with beautiful landscape shots and brutal scenes in an impressive way, is all about Ray Goode (Jack O’Connell), who hid from his former gang in the small town of La Belle in 1884.

His former partner and still crook, Frank macht is already looking for him and soon ends up in the city, which is surprisingly only inhabited by women. Strong mini-westerns that shouldn’t be missed, not just as a fan of the genre.

3. Fargo (2014 to date):

  • Number of Episodes: 10 (Season 1)

“Fargo” is a great black humor film from 1996, but since 2014 it has also been a series on Netflix. There are already several seasons, but the individual seasons each tell a separate, self-contained story. The first season, which basically builds on the original film, is particularly awesome. It tells the story of the insurance agent Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman), who has to be bossed around by his wife because he is a real nut in his job.

When he happened to meet the bounty hunter Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) in an emergency room one day, it should change his life once and for all, because shortly afterwards Lester’s annoying wife is dead – and he is in the crosshairs of a very persistent investigator. “Fargo” is in no way inferior to the cinematic role model in terms of sarcasm and bloody violence and Billy Bob Thornton in particular was probably never seen in a better role – in 2014 it was even nominated for an Emmy.

2. American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson (2016):

  • Number of episodes: 10

If you’re interested in real crime and American history, you won’t be able to get past this powerful miniseries. It tells the true story of world famous NFL player OJ Simpson (played by Cuba Gooding Jr.), who is suspected of murdering his wife Nicole and boyfriend Ron Goldman. A historic judicial process begins, which was modeled as closely as possible on the process of the real case.

For the series with its strong content, in which, among others, John Travolta and “Friends” star David Schwimmer can be seen in important supporting roles, it hailed six Emmys – including for the best mini-series and for the best screenplay of a mini-series. Series.

1. The Queen’s Gambit (2020):

  • Number of episodes: 7

The nine-year-old orphan Beth Harmon is calm, grouchy and apparently inconspicuous. That is, until she plays her first game of chess. Her senses become sharper, her thinking clearer, and for the first time in her life she feels in full control. At the age of sixteen she was fighting for the US Open Championship. But as Beth hones her skills on the professional chess field, the stakes get higher, her isolation becomes more and more frightening, and the thought of escape becomes more and more enticing. Based on the book by Walter Tevis.

It’s Anya Taylor-Joy who plays Beth, aged 13-22, in a seemingly effortless metamorphosis that makes the series work, especially in the way it expresses intimacy, anger, and intelligence . The drama that matters doesn’t take place on the chess field, but on Beth’s face, in her body language and in her heart. And thanks to the stunning teamwork between director Scott Frank and Anya Taylor-Joy, there’s never a doubt about what’s in this heart. With an excellent speed and a sure sense of your own strengths, “The Queen’s Gambit” is a work of art – captivating, brilliant and simply fascinating.

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