Now that you have more time on your hands, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the amount of content available on streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ Hotstar. We recommend that you watch an excellent mini-series online on some days instead of binge-watching because binge-watching has a significant impact on your sleeping patterns. You’ll be engrossed in the story and probably won’t be able to stop clicking the “Next Episode” button, but you won’t be sorry. Most of the titles mentioned here can be binge-watched after you log out of work and before you go to sleep because they have a maximum of eight episodes and no more than one season.
1. The Night Of
This tv-show is an eight-episode series that follows the criminal investigation and trial of a young white girl’s murder, with the main suspect being a Pakistani-American boy.
Yes, the mini-series is only four episodes. But, those four episodes are so good that we couldn’t leave them off the list. Nasir Khan, played by Riz Ahmed, is a homicide detective who finds himself in the middle of a case. We’re still not sure if he’s the killer, but to be honest, we don’t mind if they don’t reveal it in the end. The focus of the show is on the investigation and subsequent legal proceedings. John Turturro plays a street smart lawyer who wants to help Nasir, and his acting is superb as usual. Overall, HBO’s The Night Of is a fantastic crime drama that explores law and order as well as race in America. This can be seen on Disney+Hotstar.
2. John Adams
A seven-part mini-series based on John Adams, one of the United States of America’s Founding Fathers. This magnanimous 7-part miniseries, adapted from David McCullough’s Pulitzer-winning biography, chronicles the life of Founding Father John Adams, beginning with the Boston Massacre of 1770 and continuing through his years as an ambassador in Europe, vice president, and president of the United States, until his death on July 4, 1826. Another example of why Paul Giamatti is one of the most talented actors of our generation.
3. The Pacific
Three American Marines’ stories are intertwined during the Allies’ battle with the Japanese in the Pacific during WWII. From their first skirmishes in Guadalcanal to their eventual return to American soil following Victory Over Japan Day, this 10-part miniseries tells the stories of US Marines Sledge, Leckie, and Basilone. This mini-series was made by the same people who made the classic Band of Brothers. While Band of Brothers is the more well-known of the two, The Pacific is a more somber depiction of war’s dangers. It’s based on Eugene Sledge’s With the Old Breed and Robert Leckie’s Helmet for My Pillow.
4. The Pillars Of The Earth
A story set against the political turmoil of 12th century England about the construction of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge. The Pillars of the Earth stars Ian McShane, Matthew Macfadyen, Eddie Redmayne, Rufus Sewell, Hayley Atwell, and Donald Sutherland and is based on Ken Follett’s novel of the same name, is a story that spans many years in the lives of the people of Kingsbridge. Faith, reason, superstition, and family are all explored in this historical drama.
Waco should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for an action-packed TV miniseries. The 51-day standoff between the FBI, ATF and the Branch Davidians is depicted in this six-episode miniseries (a religious sect founded by David Koresh). Throughout the siege, both sides’ perspectives are explored, culminating in a devastating fire that engulfs the compound. The standoffs are enjoyable, and the cast delivers strong performances, but David Koresh’s sympathetic character may turn you off. Regardless, Waco is your best bet for a weekend of escalating action with a historical backdrop.
What if you could use time travel to literally rewrite history? Hulu’s TV mini-series 11.22.63, based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, is willing to answer that question. Jake Epping, an English teacher, is given the opportunity to travel back in time three years before John F. Kennedy’s assassination in this sci-fi mystery thriller. His growing attachment to the period, however, threatens to jeopardize his mission. While the JFK assassination’s events (and twists) are the show’s highlights, Jake’s personal journey is both tense and touching.
7. Top Of The Lake
It is a thriller set in New Zealand about the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant girl. Top of the Lake is one of those shows that begins slowly, but the silence is actually part of the story. Because what’s about to happen isn’t going to be ordinary. Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) plays a detective tasked with solving the case of a young pregnant girl who has vanished. The next season, which will focus on a different incident, is set to premiere in 2017.
Following Logan, in which he embraced the Neo-Western genre, writer Scott Frank tackled a more traditional and ambitious Western project in Netflix’s Godless. This miniseries, set in 1884, follows outlaw Roy Goode as he flees his ruthless mentor Frank Griffin and settles in a New Mexico town populated entirely by women. Expect spectacular showdowns that pay homage to The Magnificent Seven and The Searchers for Western fans—showdowns that are delivered spectacularly by standout female characters. Godless is a fantastic Western that is well worth your time.
The life and activities of the Venezuelan revolutionary Illich Ramirez Sanchez, aka Carlos, the Jackal, are chronicled in this mini-series. Edgar Ramirez portrays Carlos, the Jackal, the world’s most wanted man from the 1970s to the 1990s, who carried out assassinations, kidnappings, and politically motivated violence in the name of Palestinian liberation. The best thing about the three-part series is that it doesn’t try to portray Carlos as a perfect idealist; instead, it shows him with all of his flaws.
Unorthodox tells the story of Esty, a 19-year-old Jewish woman who is unhappy in an arranged marriage and lives in an ultra-Orthodox community in New York that is hostile to her. Her husband tries to apprehend her as she flees to Berlin to live a more free life. From start to finish, this Netflix series is a fiery slow-burn. You can see the longing in Esty’s eyes as she rejects her family’s traditions in favor of pursuing her musical ambitions. This true-life story hits you square in the gut.
11. Generation Kill
This is a story about the highs and lows of serving in a specific Marine unit at the start of the Second Iraq War. David Simon’s work must be included in any list of miniseries. Generation Kill was created by the same person who gave us The Wire. When the Second Iraq War breaks out, it chronicles the first few days of a marine unit that is part of America’s first line of attack. It discusses uncomfortable topics among men in uniform, such as the true motivation for joining the military and the military’s inherent conservative values.
12. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
The HBO documentary mini-series about accused murderer Robert Durst is riveting. Robert Durst, an heir to one of New York’s wealthiest families, is interviewed by filmmaker Andrew Jarecki about his alleged involvement in the 1982 disappearance of his wife, the murder of writer Susan Berman, and the death of Durst’s neighbor Morris Black in Galveston, Texas. Wait until you see The Jinx if you thought Making a Murderer was a masterpiece. It’ll keep you glued to the screen until the very last second.
13. The Queen’s Gambit
It’s easy to see why The Queen’s Gambit is arguably the most popular mini-series of the past year. Based on a 1983 novel, Scott Frank embraces the source material—a high-stakes chess story—and gives protagonist Beth Harmon a strong redemption arc. Harmon has been a chess prodigy since she was a child, and her abilities have only been bolstered by her addiction to drugs and alcohol. She’s one in a long line of compelling anti-heroes, but Anya Taylor-performance Joy’s is what elevates her and makes her memorable.
14. Patrick Melrose
Patrick Melrose, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is a wealthy Englishman who suffers from a serious addiction to heroin, drugs, and alcohol as a result of his father’s cruelty and his mother’s neglect. As he attempts to overcome his intense vices, a farcical spiral of failures ensues. Melrose comes across as a tragic figure whose personal battles with his inner demons are difficult to watch. Yet, like Don Draper, Walter White, and Bojack Horseman, he easily fits in with other tragic anti-heroes. As a result, you’ll be invested in this mini-series.
Chernobyl is one of HBO’s greatest TV series, depicting the events of the 1986 nuclear plant disaster, as well as the officials’ efforts to uncover the truth and the cleanup efforts. Chernobyl is still haunting two years after it was decommissioned. It never holds back when it comes to displaying the magnitude of the disaster’s consequences. Chernobyl is almost like a horror movie, with every new piece of information being terrifying. The famous scene of workers clearing the rooftop best exemplifies this.
16. Band Of Brothers
The 10-episode series follows the ‘Easy’ Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army, from their airborne landings in Normandy in June 1944—the first U.S. combat operation in Europe during World War II—until Hitler’s death, followed by Japan’s surrender and the end of World War II.
The story is based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose’s nonfiction book of the same name, published in 1992, in which Ambrose conducted research and recorded interviews with Easy Company veterans.
17. The Spy
The Spy is a six-part, six-hour television series based on the true story of Mossad agent Eli Cohen, who went undercover in Syria in the early 1960s. Cohen got deeper and was more successful than anyone expected at a crucial time, eventually becoming Israel’s most famous spy (at least two books have been written about him; this series is based on Uri Dan and Yeshayahu Ben Porat’s The Spy Who Came From Israel).
The series introduces us to Eli, an Egyptian Jew who played a key role in smuggling a number of Jewish people back to Israel from Egypt, but who is currently employed at a mundane department store. Nadia (Hadar Ratzon Rotem, Homeland) is his wife, and she works as a seamstress for a wealthy Israeli couple.
Eli and Nadia are in a good place, despite their difficulties. Eli feels the sting of being both an insider and an outsider as an Arab, which The Spy believes is why he applied to Mossad twice. He wishes to establish his worth. However, the series quickly abandons that viewpoint.
18. Squid Games
The most popular show on Netflix right now is a Korean series with an unusual name. Squid Game is a disturbing nine-episode television series set in a world where children’s games have turned deadly. Squid Game is the first Korean drama to debut at No. 1 on Netflix, only four days after its release. It is now the company’s most successful series launch ever. It’s gory and violent, but it’s also addictive and binge-worthy.
Squid Game, which began streaming on September 17, is about a group of people in South Korea who are deeply in debt. They’re duped into a deadly children’s game tournament, but many of them volunteer to return because they realize the games are their only chance to win the money they need to survive.
19. Wild Wild Country
The mini-series revolves around the Rajneeshpuram community in Antelope, Oregon, and the man who inspired it all: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. He’s also known as Osho, Bhagwan, or simply Rajneesh.
Chapman and Maclain Way (directors of another critically acclaimed Netflix original documentary, “The Battered Bastards of Baseball”) are in charge of the series, which is executive-produced by Mark and Jay Duplass.
20. Big Little Lies
If you enjoy television soundtracks, Big Little Lies has one of the best on the market right now. If the prospect of immaculate kitchens with views of oceanfront landscapes isn’t enough to entice you, the show’s music should.
Big Little Lies is about five women’s relationships in Monterey, California. Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) is a stay-at-home mom with a lot on her plate. Season 1 featured artists such as Leon Bridges, Sade, and Frank Ocean, as well as some serious throwbacks from The B-52s and Jefferson Airplane. Even funnier, the running joke is that Madeline’s equally sassy seven-year-old Chloe is to blame for everything.
Whatever direction Big Little Lies takes in Season Two, viewers can be confident that it will be acted to near-perfect perfection. And don’t expect to be bored: nothing in Monterey stays still for long.
Do you have any suggestions to take out of your binge bucket? Share them with us in the comments down below.