20 Miniseries You Won't Regret Finishing In A Weekend
February 14, 2018|María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards
If you're tired of watching the same things but don't really have time to engage with long TV shows, you're going to love these amazing miniseries.
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by the end of the week or your day that you just want to go straight to bed and lose yourself on your television or your computer? I bet you have. It has happened to all of us, and now it’s the best time to be alive, since we have access to an endless catalog of films and series. Then, it’s easy to really let our mind dive in the many narratives at our disposal. Now, as Sheldon Cooper claims in an episode of The Big Bang Theory, deciding to watch a new series comes with an engagement on our part that sometimes we can't really fulfill because we don't have the time to do that.
Perhaps I’m exaggerating but sometimes I end up watching the same things because I can only watch stuff to rock myself to sleep during the week, and I can only devote some of my weekend free time to watch new stuff, but that isn’t really enough isn’t it? My solution came in the form of miniseries, which I can devour in a weekend without being anxious of what happens next. So, if your agenda sounds similar to mine, here are 20 series to lose yourself for a weekend.
The Pillars of the Earth (2010)
This adaptation of Ken Follet’s novel with the same name is set in a fictional town called Kingsbridge in Medieval England. The narrative focuses on five main characters and how their stories intertwine with the construction of the town’s cathedral, as well as lots and lots of intrigues.
The Night Of (2016)
John Stone is a lawyer that is in charge of investigating a young Pakistani student accused of murdering a woman. While we accompany Stone in his investigation, we’ll see that more than the crime per se, the story focuses on cultural and political issues that shed light on today’s current racial prejudices.
Top of the Lake (2013)
With Elisabeth Moss in the lead role, Top of the Lake tells the story of Robin Griffin. After visiting her sick mother in her hometown of Laketop in New Zealand, Griffin, a detective specialized in cases related to children, decides to investigate the case of a 12-year-old pregnant girl who has disappeared mysteriously.
With ironic and blunt comedic hinges, Fleabag tells the story of a complex woman trying to survive modern life in London. She’s a kind of angry, unfiltered, and bitter woman who wants to start over and heal, but on her own conditions, so she generally pushes away everyone who is willing to help her.
American Horror Story: Asylum (2013)
I’d basically include any season of the series, since they all focus on particular stories, and there isn't really an important connection between them. The second one takes us to a mental institution during the sixties and the eerie and shady events that take place in this asylum.
The Pacific (2010)
The series focuses on the story of Robert Leckie and Eugene Sledge and their memoirs as marines during World War II. These characters were marines belonging to the 1st Marine Division, so they engaged in different battles against the Japanese empire in the Pacific Ocean.
Mildred Pierce (2011)
Based on James M. Cain’s 1941 novel of the same name, this series tells the story of Mildred Pierce, an overprotective single mother dying to gain the love and respect of her child. Set during the Great Depression, Mildred, interpreted by Kate Winslet, will have to work hard to make her restaurant work while juggling with her love life and her daughter.
Olive Kitteridge (2014)
With Frances McDormand in the main role, the series tells the story of Olive, a strict woman who has basically become a misanthropist after retiring from her job as a school teacher. Throughout the series, we learn that for the past twenty-five years she has been suffering from severe depression that has caused terrible frictions with her family and friends.
As you might have guessed, this four-part series tells the story of Harry Houdini, the man who became the most important and famous magician and escapist of all times. It not only focuses on the biography of this man, interpreted by Adrien Brody, but also on how he created and designed his stunts, all of which are still considered unique performances.
Bonnie and Clyde (2014)
Just like the previous one, this series focuses on one of the most fearsome couples of criminals in history during the Big Depression. Divided into two parts, we learn the story of Clyde and how his path of criminality started when he was just a child. Then he met and fell in love with Bonnie, a wealthy young woman who dreamt of becoming the greatest movie star in Hollywood and ends up turning into one of the most dangerous female criminals in American history.
Inspired by the iconic 1977 series, which is also an adaptation of Alex Haley’s 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family, the series tells the story of Kunta Kinte, a young warrior of an African tribe that is captured and taken as a slave to America, where he’s forced to work in a farm. After trying to escape untiringly, without any success, he falls in love with another slave with whom he has a little daughter. The series focuses on this generational story of resilience and fight for their rights.
Set in early-seventeenth-century England, the series deals with the famous episode in English history known as the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to murder King James I and all his court. The series centers in Robert Catesby, who was basically the mastermind behind the plot, and Guy Fawkes’ role in the failed plot.
Mixing present and past, the series centers on two main characters, Alaïs Pelletier du Mas, who lives during the Crusades in Medieval France, and Alice Tanner, a woman living in modern times. After discovering the remains of two people in an archaeological excavation in France, she decides to delve into that, which will take her on a quest to find the Holy Grail. At the same time, we’re told the story of Alaïs, a woman who has been sentenced as a heretic in her natal town, and how she and her father have been protecting some books that reveal the truth of the Grail.
This Austrian dark comedy tells the story of a pathologist and his complex and complicated relationship with his colleagues, his former wife –who happens to be in a relationship with his professional nemesis–, and his daughter, who has fallen in love with his new apprentice.
The Red Tent (2014)
This miniseries inspired by the Old Testament, tells us the story of Dina, one of Jacob’s daughters, whose life isn’t that described in the Bible. We’re shown her life from her childhood to her adulthood, emphasizing the “Red Tent,” a place that’s only occupied by the women of the tribe when they’re on their period. Throughout the series we see that women use their tent to keep their former religious traditions, rendering cult to their goddess, and keeping this in secret from their Israelite husbands, who can’t enter the tent.
Produced by the Discovery Channel, this series focuses on the relationship between the explorers Bill Haskell and Byron Epstein on their journey to Northwest during the gold rush in Klondike, Canada. The series shows us how these people endured so many difficulties and obstacles to fulfill their ambitions.
American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson (2016)
As one of the most popular series of 2016, the series goes back to one of the most controversial cases in the modern history of criminology in the US: the case against football player OJ Simpson. The series focuses on the investigation and the heated trial of Simpson, which became the most broadcasted case in history.
Sons of Liberty (2015)
Sons of Liberty tells us the story prior to the Revolutionary War of America showing the main historical characters and events that lead to the Independence of the Colonies from Great Britain. Although it’s only one of the many series and films portraying this major historical event, there’s no doubt that this last production shows a more realistic and less fictionalized account on what might be the most important episode in American history.
Created by Ryan Murphy, one of the minds behind American Horror Story and American Crime Story, Feud shows us the passionate and intense ego-war between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. More importantly, it shows how their issues increased when they starred together in the 1962 film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
The Honourable Woman (2014)
After taking over her family’s business, Nessa Stein, an Anglo Israelite woman, is acknowledged for her determination to achieve peace in the Middle East. However, it all gets complicated when one of her commercial partners allegedly kills himself. This forces her to postpone an important measure in her plans, but this won’t be the only obstacle in her apparently successful life.
These are only a few of the many great productions that have been created in the past years, and obviously only a small fraction of what’s coming in the future of this format that has proven to be an effective way to lose ourselves in a good story despite our always rushed lifestyle.
Take a look at these for more series: