20 Best Miniseries on Netflix UK

20 Best Miniseries on Netflix UK

May 26, 2024

Share:

twitter
facebook
reddit
pinterest
link

Audiences in the UK might be used to the programming of short and sweet miniseries by local networks—typically around six episodes or less, released years apart from each other. But for those who are craving even more self-contained stories that are longer and boast higher production values, Netflix UK is a strong place to start looking for alternatives. The miniseries that are available here may not normally be exclusive to British subscribers, but that doesn’t change how varied and how interesting many of these limited shows are, truly blurring the line between cinematic vision and long form television storytelling.

11. Unorthodox

best

8.5

Country

Germany

Actors

Aaron Altaras, Alex Reid, Amit Rahav, Aziz Dyab

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Mini-series

This excellent new miniseries is a drama that takes place in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish family. Esty, a nineteen-year-old girl who is unhappy in her arranged marriage, escapes this community and travels from New York to Berlin in hopes of starting a new life.

Like all good realistic dramas, there are no truly bad people in Unorthodox. Everyone is trying to do what they think is right, which still makes for very complicated situations. Esty is played by Israeli actor Shira Haas and I know this word is overused but she really is a revelation.

12. Cigarette Girl

best

8.5

Country

Indonesia

Actors

Ario Bayu, Arya Saloka, Dian Sastrowardoyo, Putri Marino

Moods

Character-driven, Dramatic, Emotional

Netflix is no stranger to adapting novels, nor to period dramas – Cigarette Girl is one of many, but it’s one from Indonesia that stands out due to its unique premise and excellent execution. Based on the novel by Ratih Kumala, the show is a slow-burn, smoldering period romance set amidst Indonesia’s kretek cigarette industry, booming in the 1960s, but it’s framed within the 2000s, where the man’s family uncovers his lost love before he dies. The alternating timelines keep the mystery fresh, as each new revelation uncovers what really happened between the two, as well as what would happen with the fate of their families. This intriguing structure, along with excellent writing, and stunning sets and costumes, make Cigarette Girl a compelling show to watch.

13. Baby Reindeer

best

8.5

Country

United Kingdom

Actors

Alexandria Riley, Amanda Root, Danny Kirrane, Hugh Coles

Moods

Challenging, Character-driven, Dark

Baby Reindeer is a tough watch, starting out with out of kilter comedy that eventually and unrelentingly reveals its darker and darker sides. But not only was this a hard show to watch, this story is genuinely difficult to tell, because of how entangled all the threads of Donny’s trauma gets– it’s not a straightforward story about going through one traumatic incident and then immediately moving to logical forms of healing. It’s about one traumatic incident keeping him stuck and leaving him and his loved ones vulnerable to even more abuse. It’s a terrifying situation. And it’s terribly, terribly honest.

14. Lost Ollie

best

8.4

Country

United States of America

Actors

Gina Rodriguez, Jake Johnson, Jonathan Groff, Kesler Talbot

Moods

Dramatic, Emotional, Lovely

The Netflix four-part miniseries Lost Ollie is a bit like if Toy Story was adapted into a live-action dramedy. You’ll recognize the premise immediately: lost toy comes to life and loyally sets out on a journey to find its kid. But stuffed in between those points are poignant moments and reflections about life, family, and being.

The film isn’t also afraid to touch on darker themes, so if you’ve always wished for a slightly more mature but still kid-friendly version of this narrative—and if you’re a fan of the likes of Paddington the Velveteen Rabbit—then you’ll enjoy Lost Ollie.

15. Youth of May

best

8.4

Country

South Korea

Actors

Geum Sae-rok, Go Min-si, Lee Do-hyun, Lee Sang-yi

Moods

Character-driven, Discussion-sparking, Dramatic

Youth of May is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a straightforward spring-set coming-of-age drama where young adults chase after their dreams, if they have any, and try to figure out what they want otherwise. Like plenty of other K-dramas, this usually involves a romance. But in between the ordinary romance, life strikes. Students fight for democracy, and at the time, the government cracked down on them brutally, but because the show spent time getting to know Myung-hee and Hui-tae, the consequences of these events make it all the more poignant. Youth of May reminds us of the humanity behind the brave students that fought for South Korea’s democracy, and the lives that have been tragically cut short for it.

16. Bodies

best

8.3

Country

United Kingdom

Actors

Amaka Okafor, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Kyle Soller, Shira Haas

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Challenging, Character-driven

Based on the DC Vertigo comic, Bodies is an intriguing crime thriller with a unique twist – one body, in four separate time periods, being solved simultaneously all at once. While the show is triggered by the same body, the mini-series feels like four separate shows at the same time, marrying the classic Victorian detective mystery, war-torn film noir, and modern day police procedural through post-apocalyptic science fiction. And the four separate detectives take the helm of their respective side of the case, as well as how they deal with the discrimination against them. With four excellent strands to the same mystery, Bodies is an exceptional adaptation that demonstrates how even though details change, some things still remain the same.

17. The Staircase

8.2

Country

France

Actors

Jean-Xavier de Lestrade

Moods

Gripping, Mini-series, True-crime

The latest addition to the murder mini-series genre is the incredible thriller “The Staircase.” It originally aired in 2004, but the producers took the same director and allowed him to add new episodes in 2018 to complete the story. 

The plot: A famous American novelist’s wife is found dead, and he is accused of killing her. His life comes under scrutiny as everyone asks whether she died in an accident or was murdered. If you liked their other hit, “Making a Murderer,” you will love this. You should also definitely check out “The Keepers” or Netflix’s binge-worthy crime documentary, “Evil Genius.”

18. Formula 1: Drive to Survive

8.2

Country

UK, United States of America

Actors

Charles Leclerc

Moods

Docu-series, Gripping, Mini-series

There are only 20 seats in Formula 1 each year, meaning that drivers are not only racing to win but to be kept on the roster. With the big stars, Ferrari and Mercedes, habitually shrouded in secrecy, Formula 1: Drive to Survive focuses more on the back of the grid. Lewis Hamilton, the five-time world champion, is rarely seen, for example, giving more room for other stories to unfold, including that of Günther Steiner, the Italian team principal of the Haas Formula One Team. That is not to say there are no big reveals. Even if you think Formula 1 is a decadent, testosterone-driven sports for rich Europeans, Drive to Survive might be welcome crash course into what makes this sport so appealing for many and might also have the potential to change your mind. If not, it is still a very well-made, slick, and engaging docuseries that will have enthusiasts and newcomers thoroughly entertained.

19. The Last Dance

best

8.2

Country

United States of America

Actors

Dennis Rodman, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Steve Kerr

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Easy, Gripping

There’s no point denying it: Michael Jordan is one of, if not the greatest of all time. What he did to place the Chicago Bulls on the map, to inspire his teammates to a three-peat championship, and to constantly reinvent himself and grow his name as a currency—all that continues to be a template for NBA stars across generations. The Last Dance is a fittingly grand docuseries that captures Jordan’s once-in-a-lifetime shine. 

Even if you know little to nothing about basketball, the miniseries does an impressive job of making every detail about Jordan and his game compelling. We follow him from his early days in college basketball up to his nonstop rise in the Bulls to his stint in baseball, and we end at a dramatic high, as the title suggests, during the Bull’s triumphant 1997-1998 series—Jordan’s final season with the team. 

But the series isn’t all Jordan. In clever and comprehensive ways, we get to learn more about his teammates (especially defense rockstar Dennis Rodman and reliable ally Scottie Pippen), his coaches, and his closest friends, all of which makes for a well-rounded and truly riveting watch.

20. PLUTO

best

8.2

Country

Japan

Actors

Hidenobu Kiuchi, Hiroki Yasumoto, Koichi Yamadera, Mamoru Miyano

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Challenging, Character-driven

Reimagining a children’s classic as a mature serial killer mystery, PLUTO already had high expectations for its anime adaptation. The limited series adds an additional challenge, with only hour-long episodes dedicated to each of the series’ eight volumes, which follows not only Gesicht’s own investigation, but also in-depth stories of each of the remaining Great Robots. However, the anime, now showing on Netflix, is able to meet this challenge with its deep understanding of the source material. It’s not just a straightforward police procedural, or just futuristic dream of how AI and humans can co-exist. PLUTO is a robot series that strikes at the heart of what it means to be human.

Comments

Add a comment

Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw

© 2024 A Good Movie to Watch. Altona Studio, LLC, all rights reserved.