Miniseries have become one of the most popular storytelling formats in recent years, all thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix. At a time when social platforms like Tiktok make us consume media very quickly, our brains are much more sensitive to binge-watch series that don’t require much of our free time. There’s an overwhelming number of new movies and TV shows coming out every month, which is why we’re more likely to choose a limited series to watch next, in order to keep up with everything.
In this regard, Netflix is one of the leading providers of binge-worthy miniseries. Indeed, each month, the streamer continuously adds new TV series as quickly as it cancels them. As such, there’s hardly any shortage of things to watch. Let’s take a look at the Netflix miniseries you should definitely watch next, if you haven’t already.
8/8 Wednesday (2022)
It’s been a few weeks since its release on Netflix, and Wednesday has already managed to overtake Dahmer’s streaming numbers as the second most popular English-language series on the platform. Based on the Wednesday Addams character from The Addams Family, played by Jenna Ortega, this time coming-of-age mystery horror series was created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. Four of the eight episodes are directed by Tim Burton. The plot follows the titular character as she attempts to solve a monster mystery at her new school. Ortega has already earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in the gothic series.
7/8 Seven Seconds (2018)
Based on the Russian film The Major, Seven Seconds is a crime drama series created, produced and broadcast by Veena Sud. The plot follows the tensions that have followed black citizens and white cops in Jersey City, after one of the cops kills a teenager in a hit-and-run accident. Clare-Hope Ashitey plays Assistant District Attorney KJ, who wants to prosecute “the accident” as a hate crime. But the longer the case drags on, the more tense the situation becomes. Jersey’s thick accent will be stuck in your brain by the end of the miniseries, and there’s a good chance you’ll cry every other scene, but the watch is worth it.
6/8 Rising Black Earth (2018)
Written and directed by Hugo Blick, Black Earth Rising is a British television series which later started streaming on Netflix. The story centers on Kate Ashby (Michaela Coel), a Rwandan-born English legal investigator, who is also the survivor of the Rwandan genocide. When her adoptive mother Eve takes on a case following the prosecution of an international war criminal – a Rwandan militia leader – the story becomes personal for Kate. The miniseries takes a holistic approach to race, injustice, and personal integrity. It’s a wonder the series hasn’t swept all European and American awards shows.
5/8 Without God (2017)
Written and directed by Scott Frank and starring Jack O’Connell and Michelle Dockery in the lead roles, Godless is a western drama. Set in 1884, the Netflix miniseries follows a young outlaw on the run from his vengeful ex-mentor. He somehow ends up in a remote New Mexico town populated almost entirely by women. The series was named one of the top 10 of the year by The Washington Post and Vanity Fair. Even if you’ve never watched a western before and your only motivation is O’Connell, you’ll probably enjoy the miniseries a lot.
4/8 Unorthodox (2020)
Unorthodox is the first Netflix series to be primarily in Yiddish. It is a German drama miniseries inspired by Deborah Feldman’s 2012 autobiography Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots and directed by Maria Schrader. The story follows 19-year-old Esty, who lives among the Satmar sect of the ultra-Orthodox community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Unhappy in her arranged marriage, she decides to flee her family to Berlin, but the past always seems to catch up with her. It features acclaimed actors you’ve probably never heard of, such as Shira Haas, received overwhelmingly positive reviews from major magazines, and ended up receiving eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations. In other words: you should drop everything and watch it now.
3/8 When They See Us (2019)
Based on the events of the 1989 Central Park jogger case, when a white woman was assaulted while jogging, When They See Us is a crime drama series created by Ava DuVernay. It spans a quarter of a century and follows five young men who have been falsely accused of the crime. It centers on their lives, their fight for justice, exoneration in 2002, and ultimately the settlement reached with New York City in 2014. The cast includes all Emmy nominees and winners, such as Jharrel Jerome, Asante Blackk , Jovan Adepo, Michael K. Williams and Logan Marshall-Green. What’s admirable about telling the real events is that the real Central Park 5s were involved in the process of telling their own story. The five men were later interviewed by Oprah Winfrey herself in a Netflix special.
2/8 Amazing (2019)
Based on the 2015 news article “An Incredible Rape Story”, Unbelievable is a true crime drama mini-series starring Toni Collette, Merritt Wever and Kaitlyn Dever. It’s about a series of rapes in Washington and Colorado, specifically a teenage girl who reports her rape and then backs out because no one believed her. Two female detectives take on the case and do their best to reveal the truth. The amazing thing the miniseries did was create a compelling cop show without giving the attacker any acknowledgment. She argues that the pathology of male psychopaths is not as interesting as the burden of trauma on the victims.
1/8 Alias Grace (2017)
Based on Margaret Atwood’s 1996 novel of the same name, Alias Grace is a Canadian miniseries directed by Mary Harron and written by Sarah Polley. It follows the character of Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), an Irish immigrant whose job is a maid, as she is convicted for the murder of her employer. When a psychiatrist arrives to assess his mental state, things get complicated. The question of whether she should be pardoned for insanity enters into the matter. What’s interesting is that as we devour the show, we also realize that Grace is a very flawed and complex main character, who is an extremely unreliable narrator and remains an enigma until the very last scene.