The 30 Best Miniseries on Netflix Right Now

The 30 Best Miniseries on Netflix Right Now

June 5, 2024

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Movies are too short for some, shows too long for others. Enter middle-ground solution: miniseries. Now that the “movies are dying” articles are the only thing that’s actually dying, and the “it’s the golden age of TV” ones have stopped being news (why does one being in a golden age mean the other is failing?), there is a newcomer to the scene. Perfected by networks like the BBC in the past, the form is attracting growing attention from Netflix and similar platforms. 4 to 8 episodes, one season, done. Creators have more time to express their ideas, but not too long to have to recycle them. Viewers can be exposed to 7 different stories instead of 7 different seasons of Homeland (they made 4 after he died, four). It’s the perfect medium, and provided Netflix and the BBC keep coming out with good ones like the 5 below, it will be the future.

21. Teenage Bounty Hunters

7.9

Country

United States of America

Actors

Anjelica Bette Fellini, Charity Cervantes, Devon Hales, Eric Graise

Moods

Action-packed, Binge-Worthy, Funny

With the deluge of hyper-stylized teen shows everywhere (but especially on Netflix), Teenage Bounty Hunters comes as a refreshing and welcome surprise. Sisters Blair and Sterling, played by Anjelica Bette Fellini and Maddie Phillips respectively, strike the perfect balance between spiky and endearing, creating a chemistry that’s rare to see among TV siblings. There’s friction but also love all around. 

Their interactions alone make the series thoroughly enjoyable, but their coming-of-age hijinks and comedic timing, especially around their reluctant mentor Bowser (Kadeem Hardison), make it an absolute must-watch. If you enjoyed Booksmart but wished it was more action-packed, you’ll surely love this show.  

22. Patrick Melrose

7.8

Country

United Kingdom United States

Actors

Allison Williams, Anna Madeley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Blythe Danner

Moods

A-list actors, Character-driven, Mini-series

A five-part mini-series where the camera rarely leaves Benedict Cumberbatch, enabling him to deliver possibly the best performance of his career. He plays Patrick Melrose, an autobiographical character from renown British writer Edward St Aubyn. A wealthy man who in the first scene of the show hears about his father’s death, Patrick tries to get his act together to go retrieve his father’s ashes. However, a nasty drug habit and a dark past stand in the way of sobriety. This is a fast-paced and impeccably-acted show with a solid supporting cast that includes Jennifer Jason Leigh and Hugo Weaving.

23. Giri / Haji

7.8

Country

Japan, UK, United Kingdom

Actors

Anna Sawai, Aoi Okuyama, Charlie Creed-Miles, Jamie Draven

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Mini-series

This is an thrilling BBC/Netflix show and a Yakuza drama that takes place between Tokyo and London. About half of the dialogue is in Japanese and the other half is in English.

Yakuza families are no longer at peace when a boss’s nephew is assassinated in London. Trying to bring the culprit in without interference from the British police, a Tokyo detective is sent to the UK to try to find him. 

There is an undeniable appeal to seeing the world of yakuza unfold, but the show’s title, which translates to Duty/Shame is a reference to the detective’s own personal conflict: the suspected murderer he’s looking for is his brother. Ouu.

24. The Romantics

7.8

Country

India

Actors

Aditya Chopra, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Uday Chopra

Moods

Discussion-sparking, Inspiring, Mini-series

Bollywood is the biggest film industry in the world, in terms of output. After all, the Indian film industry churns out 700-800 films per year. Because of sheer output, there are plenty of excellent hidden gems from the South Asian country, some of which we try to cover here in A Good Movie to Watch. However, for a fairly comprehensive introduction to the industry, the English-language miniseries The Romantics is a great place to start. There’s no better filmmaker to take notes from other than Yash Raj Chopra, whose media conglomerate shifted the industry for the past 50 years, so the show tackles his legacy through archival footage and interviews from India’s current roster of film stars. Footage of his films alone are already a compelling watch, but director Smriti Mundra keeps an excellent balance between these films’ personal impact, as well as the corresponding political and film history in which his works were released to. It’s an excellent introduction to the colorful and rich film history of India.

25. The Fall of the House of Usher

7.8

Country

United States of America

Actors

Bruce Greenwood, Carl Lumbly, Carla Gugino, Crystal Balint

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Challenging, Dark

The Fall of the House of Usher isn’t an exact one-to-one television adaptation of the titular short story. Instead, the original story from Edgar Allan Poe is used as a frame to introduce a whole Succession-like miniseries, with names and subplots coming from other stories from Poe. Because of this, fans of the author might feel disappointed at the lack of old gothic flair, as the story is set a whole century and a half after, and the tone shifts as the show shifts from character to character. However, Mike Flanagan’s whole ensemble still proves to be entertaining as the Usher family deals with sci-fi mishaps, internal sabotage, and a possible supernatural element haunting the whole brood.

26. One Day

7.8

Country

United Kingdom

Actors

Amber Grappy, Ambika Mod, Essie Davis, Leo Woodall

Moods

Character-driven, Depressing, Emotional

With a film version that didn’t live up to the hype of the original novel, Netflix’s adaptation of One Day released just in time to wreck the fans’ hearts all over again, but this time, it’s a good thing. The expanded runtime allowed Netflix to delve more into the moments in the novel, with each episode dedicated to a day in the year in Emma’s and Dexter’s lives, contrasting their respective worlds and opportunities available to them as different members of London society. And the couple is played beautifully by Leo Woodall and Ambika Mod, with a believable chemistry that isn’t formed in a single spark, but made in multiple moments. If you’re needing a good cry just right before Valentine’s Day, One Day is a superb slow burn romance to let those tears out.

27. Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities

7.7

Country

United States of America

Actors

F. Murray Abraham, Guillermo del Toro, Rupert Grint, Tim Blake Nelson

Moods

Anthology, Binge-Worthy, Gripping

This eight-part horror anthology is curated by the titular director, renowned as a trusted authority in telling tales of the Gothic and in creating wondrous practical creatures. So just like his work for films like Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water, and Hellboy, Cabinet of Curiosities is also filled with frightful beings ranging from reanimated corpses to bloodthirsty aliens—and should make for a staple Halloween binge. Aside from a star-studded cast, the series is also co-helmed by some noteworthy directors, including Jennifer Kent (The Babadook), Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), and Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night).

28. Love After Music

7.7

Country

Argentina

Actors

Gaspar Offenhenden, Iván Hochman, Micaela Riera

Moods

Emotional, Lovely, Mini-series

Like the biopics of other musicians, Love After Music tracks the life of Argentine rock-and-roll musician Fito Páez. From his beginnings as a band keyboardist in 1977 to his 1993 solo concert for UNICEF, the mini-series delves into the themes and inspiration that drive his work through eight episodes. As Páez performs, the series flips between the song being sung and related flashbacks from Páez’s life, implying how Páez feels through images instead of dialogue. This approach can feel confusing at times, but it makes this account of his life a more personal and experiential biopic. Fans of the Latin Grammy Lifetime Awardee would most likely enjoy this series, however, for audiences unfamiliar with the singer, like myself, it’s still an interesting series to watch.

29. Who Killed Jill Dando?

7.7

Moods

Gripping, Mini-series, Thrilling

Looking at a photo of Jill Dando, you’d be forgiven for mistaking her for Princess Diana. Both beloved public figures have the same cut of blonde hair and exude the same girl-next-door warmth. Still like Diana, Jill was suddenly killed in the ‘90s and left in her wake a string of conspiracy theories surrounding her death. This docuseries from Netflix examines those speculations, along with official investigations, and invites us to ask why, despite an abundance of clues and advocates, the truth remains hidden after all these years. It’s a compelling, respectful, and well-made show that humanizes Jill and dramatizes her death in equal measure. And like any true crime series worth your time, it also reveals how slow real cases outside of film and TV actually move. It’s frustrating and heartbreaking, but also quite enlightening. You don’t have to know much about Jill to be gripped by the series, although you do wind up caring about her and the development of the case by the end of it.

30. If I Were Luísa Sonza

7.7

Country

Brazil

Actors

Luísa Sonza

Moods

Discussion-sparking, Intense, Mini-series

Today’s child pop stars have a lot on their plate. On top of the already strenuous touring schedule, they have to deal with the fact that every move they make can be recorded, saved, and spread online just to cause their own downfall. Brazilian popstar Luisa Sonza grew up with the spotlight, and at the ripe old age of 25, has gone through two messy break-ups, a nude leak, and a racist controversy, all while creating two of her most captivating albums so far. If I Were Luisa Sonza portrays her at her most vulnerable– through the creating process, and the team meetings, and the doctor visits– but also at her most defiant, as she turns her scandals into art. The resulting intimate documentary might just be one part of her life, as she declares, but it’s just the precise viewpoint from this generation’s artists that is needed to question what it means to be a young artist in this day and age.

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