18 Best Netflix Mini Series

Netflix is still the go-to for many when it comes to streaming, offering a ton of original shows and movies. The best Netflix mini-series is especially popular, with hits like “Unbelievable” and “Beef” getting lots of love from viewers and critics alike.

What makes Netflix’s mini-series so great? They’re short and sweet, perfect for a binge-watching session in one go. Plus, they’re well-made, with top-notch storytelling and acting that keeps you hooked from start to finish.

These mini-series cover all sorts of genres and topics, so there’s something for everyone. And with Netflix pumping out more of them than ever, you’re never short on options for your next binge-watch session. Here’s a breakdown of the 18 best Netflix Mini-Series that will capture your heart and make you fall in love with them. 

The Haunting of Bly Manor

The Haunting of Bly Manor Movie Poster

‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’

Horror Gothic fictionDramaSuspense
Release Date: October 9, 2020
Director: Mike Flanagan
Cast: Victoria Pedretti, Henry Thomas, T’Nia Miller, Carla Gugino
Runtime: 46-66 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
87%
IMDb
7.4/10

“The Haunting of Bly Manor,” the second installment in Flanagan’s spine-chilling anthology, takes its inspiration from Henry James’ classic novella, “The Turn of the Screw.” In this series, Victoria Pedretti takes the lead as Dani, a young nanny employed by an English family. After starting work, she soon suspects the children are under sinister supernatural entities’ influence.

Critics warmly received “Bly Manor,” praising its cast, storytelling, and eerie atmosphere. While many felt it wasn’t as great as its predecessor, they still recognized it as a gripping adaptation of James’ work, offering a fresh perspective. Pedretti and Oliver Jackson-Cohen’s performances were especially praised, along with the standout role played by T’Nia Miller. Additionally, the series’ haunting conclusion made viewers fall entirely in love.

The Midnight Club

‘The Midnight Club’

HorrorMystery-thriller
Release Date: October 7, 2022
Director: Mike Flanagan, Leah Fong
Cast: Iman Benson, Igby Rigney, Ruth Codd
Runtime: 49-58 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
86%
IMDb
6.5/10

Mike Flanagan, already renowned for his work on “The Haunting of Hill House,” decided to explore new horizons with “The Midnight Club,” now streaming on Netflix. Inspired by the gripping tales of Christopher Pike, the series unfolds in a hospice where eight young individuals facing terminal illnesses gather each night to share bone-chilling stories. These narratives come to life as episodes, keeping viewers hooked with suspense and horror.

At the heart of the storyline lies the storytellers’ belief that they can maintain communication beyond the grave. With ten episodes in total, this best Netflix miniseries has captivated audiences and earned praise for its original premise and spectacular storytelling.

Stay Close

‘Stay Close’ Movie Poster

‘‘Stay Close’’

Crime Drama Mystery Thriller
Release Date: 31 December 2021
Director: Daniel O’Hara
Cast: Michiel Cush Jumbo, James Nesbitt, Richard Armitage
Runtime: 47 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
92%
IMDb
6.9/10

The British mystery series “Stay Close” features Cush Jumbo, James Nesbitt, and Richard Armitage. It revolves around three people: a suburban housewife with a mysterious past, a troubled paparazzo, and a determined detective. Their lives collide when a man disappears.

Adapted from Harlan Coben’s book, “Stay Close” earned rave reviews from critics for its outstanding performances and tense, eerie vibe. Fans loved its rewatchability, making it a top pick for binge-watching on Netflix. In the competitive world of streaming, that’s high praise indeed.

Maniac

Maniac Movie Poster

‘Maniac’

Black comedyPsychological drama science fiction surrealism
Release Date: September 21, 2018
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Cast: Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, Justin Theroux, Sally Field
Runtime: 39 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
85%
IMDb
7.7/10

Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, both famous for their acting talents, lead the cast in Cary Fukunaga’s 2018 Netflix series, “Maniac.” The story focuses on two troubled individuals who decide to take part in an experimental drug trial promising to solve all their mental issues. However, things take unexpected turns, setting off a twisted journey for the pair.

Critics praised “Maniac” for its unique storyline and the compelling performances by Stone and Hill. The series also received acclaim for its visually striking style and its bold exploration of mental health themes that seamlessly fit into the narrative. While “Maniac” may not have received as much attention as some other Netflix series, it remains an adventurous and mind-bending experience worth the viewer’s time.

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

Queen Charlotte A Bridgerton Story Movie Poster

‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’

Historical drama
Release Date: May 4, 2023
Director: Tom Verica
Cast: India Amarteifio , Freddie Dennis , Richard Cunningham , Golda Rosheuvel
Runtime: 345 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
95%
IMDb
7.4/10

“Bridgerton” emerged as a massive hit for Netflix, solidifying its position as a powerhouse in the entertainment world. Naturally, the streaming service seized the opportunity to expand its success with its first spin-off, “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story,” which premiered this year.

The series dives into Queen Charlotte’s marriage to King George, showing their passionate romance and its impact on English high society. While fictionalized, the storyline offers a glimpse into Charlotte’s challenges as she navigates an arranged marriage to a king she hardly knows.

Despite initial setbacks, including George’s retreat on their wedding night, Charlotte and George gradually bond as secrets are revealed, resulting in a beautiful love story. “Queen Charlotte” received praise from critics, with viewers loving star India Amarteifio’s performance and the series’ romantic setting. While not historically accurate, the show offers enough romance and intrigue to earn its place among the best Netflix mini series. 

From Scratch

From Scratch Movie Poster

‘From Scratch’

Romance drama
Release Date: October 21, 2022
Director: Nzingha Stewart
Cast: Zoe Saldana , Eugenio Mastrandrea
Runtime: 58 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
86%
IMDb
7.9/10

In the 2022 limited series “From Scratch,” Zoë Saldaña plays the lead role, drawing inspiration from Tembi Locke’s life story. The show follows Amy Wheeler, an American student studying abroad in Italy, who unexpectedly falls for an Italian chef. Their journey to happiness takes a rocky turn when unforeseen health issues bring them closer together, testing their love in unexpected ways.

While the storyline may follow a familiar path, “From Scratch” stands out thanks to Saldaña’s excellent performance and her undeniable chemistry with co-star Eugenio Mastrandrea. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Italy, the series explores themes of love and resilience with a heartfelt touch, earning praise from critics for Saldaña’s heartfelt portrayal that adds depth to the otherwise conventional plot.

Transatlantic

Transatlantic Movie Poster

‘Transatlantic’

Historical DramaRomance
Release Date: April 7, 2023
Director: Stéphanie Chuat, Véronique Reymond, Mia Meye
Cast: Gillian Jacobs, Lucas Englander, Cory Michael Smith, Ralph Amoussou
Runtime: 50 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
95%
IMDb
6.6/10

In the Netflix limited series “Transatlantic,” Gillian Jacobs leads a talented ensemble cast. The story follows a journalist who, over 13 months in France, aids numerous refugees in escaping Nazi-occupied territory, ultimately helping over 2000 individuals reach safety in the United States. Inspired by the real-life efforts of the Emergency Rescue Committee, the series offers a captivating and stylish portrayal of this historical event.

“Transatlantic” effectively brings the true story to life, delivering an engaging and informative adaptation. Despite positive reviews and a strong cast, the series may have gone unnoticed among the huge variety of content on Netflix.

Lost Ollie

Lost Ollie Movie Poster

‘Lost Ollie’

AdventureDramaFantasy
Release Date: August 24, 2022
Director: Peter Ramsey
Cast: Gillian Jacobs, Mary J. Blige, Lucas Englander, Cory Michael Smith, Ralph Amoussou
Runtime: 50 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
94%
IMDb
7.7/10

“Lost Ollie” follows Ollie’s journey as a toy rabbit who wakes up in an antique shop’s Lost and Found section. With only a few memories of his past, he sets out to find his owner, a kid named Billy. Jonathan Groff voices Ollie, alongside Mary J. Blige and Tim Blake Nelson.

The four-part series received praise from critics for its engaging storyline and animation, drawing comparisons to beloved animated classics like Pixar’s Toy Story. “Lost Ollie” also earned acclaim for addressing adult themes, though some felt it might be too mature for younger viewers. Despite its positive reception, the show remains one of Netflix’s best-kept animated secrets, deserving of more attention from viewers.

The Haunting of Hill House 

The Haunting of Hill House Movie Poster

‘The Haunting of Hill House ‘

DramaSupernaturalHorror
Release Date: October 12, 2018
Director: Mike Flanagan
Cast: Michiel Huisman, Elizabeth Reaser, Kate Siegel, Victoria Pedretti, Timothy Hutton
Runtime: 71 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
93%
IMDb
8.6/10

Mike Flanagan’s debut on Netflix came with the chilling “The Haunting of Hill House,” now one of the platform’s most beloved horror series. Loosely based on Shirley Jackson’s novel, the story unfolds in two timelines, following the Crain family and their eerie encounters in the haunted Hill House.

“The Haunting of Hill House” received widespread acclaim for Flanagan’s direction and intricate storytelling. The cast, especially Victoria Pedretti, Carla Gugino, and Kate Siegel earned high praise, with many fans feeling they deserved Emmy recognition. Flanagan’s unique approach, transforming the classic tale into a family drama, got huge admiration, even earning praise from icons like Stephen King.

Maid

Maid Movie Poster

‘Maid’

Drama
Release Date: October 1, 2021
Director: John Wells
Cast: Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose, Andie MacDowell, Billy Burke
Runtime: 60 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
94%
IMDb
8.3/10

Margaret Qualley soared to fame with her standout performance in the 2021 best Netflix mini-series “Maid.” Inspired by Stephanie Land’s memoir, the show follows a young mother who escapes an abusive relationship and takes up cleaning houses to support her baby daughter. It dives into the challenges she faces as a single mother with a painful past.

Critics hailed “Maid” as one of Netflix’s finest miniseries, applauding its compassionate depiction of abuse and adversity. Qualley’s portrayal earned her nominations for Golden Globe, Emmy, and SAG awards, gathering widespread acclaim. The series’ compelling writing and uplifting message made critics and viewers fall in love with it. 

Unorthodox

Unorthodox Movie Poster

‘Unorthodox’

Drama
Release Date: March 26, 2020
Director: Maria Schrader
Cast: Shira Haas,Amit Rahav,Jeff Wilbusch
Runtime: 54 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
96%
IMDb
8/10

Shira Haas, like Qualley, shot to fame through a Netflix miniseries. “Unorthodox,” inspired by Deborah Feldman’s autobiography, tells the story of Esty Shapiro, a young woman who escapes her ultra-Orthodox Jewish community searching for a secular life in Berlin. When she discovers she’s pregnant, her husband and cousin set out to bring her back.

Critics praised “Unorthodox,” particularly Haas’ outstanding performance, which earned her Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. While the show’s adaptation of the source material was praised, some Jewish commentators criticized its portrayal of Hasidic Jews. Despite this, “Unorthodox” remains a gripping and highly acclaimed Netflix drama, offering viewers an intense and rewarding viewing experience.

Alias Grace

Alias Grace Movie Poster

‘Alias Grace’

Drama
Release Date: September 25 – October 30, 2017
Director: Mary Harron
Cast: Sarah Gadon, Rebecca Liddiard, Zachary Levi, David Cronenberg, Paul Gross, Anna Paquin
Runtime: 45 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
99%
IMDb
7.6/10

“Alias Grace,” based on Margaret Atwood’s novel, stands out as one of Netflix’s top miniseries, earning high praise from critics. Directed by Mary Harron, the series stars Sarah Gordon as Grace Marks, a woman accused of a double murder.

The story unfolds in the 1840s, centered around Grace, an Irish immigrant convicted of the brutal killings of her employer and his housekeeper. Through Grace’s perspective, viewers witness her journey from childhood struggles to her life in prison.

As Grace recounts her experiences, including her friendship with Mary Whitney and the events leading to the murders, the narrative discusses themes of resilience and survival. She maintains her innocence, but despite this, she faces harsh conditions and psychological challenges behind bars.

“Alias Grace” received acclaim for its compelling storytelling and Sarah Gordon’s performance. The ambiguous ending adds to the series’ intrigue, leaving Grace’s guilt or innocence open to interpretation. With a stellar critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes and strong audience reception, “Alias Grace” remains a standout in Netflix’s miniseries catalog.

The Queen’s Gambit

The Queen's Gambit Movie Poster

‘The Queen’s Gambit’

Coming Of AgePeriod Drama
Release Date: October 23, 2020
Director: Scott Frank
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Camp, Marielle Heller, Marcin Dorocinski
Runtime: 67 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
96%
IMDb
8.5/10

Anya Taylor-Joy’s star was already rising, but “The Queen’s Gambit” propelled her to international fame. The seven-episode period miniseries follows Beth Harmon, a fictional chess prodigy whose career soars while battling intense alcohol and drug addiction.

Regarded as one of Netflix’s flagship series, “The Queen’s Gambit” got widespread acclaim. Critics praised Anya Taylor-Joy’s performance, earning her Golden Globe, Critics Choice, and SAG Awards and an Emmy nomination. The show’s high production values, spectacular writing, and strong supporting performances also received universal praise. It won numerous awards, including the 2021 Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series. If you’re a chess enthusiast, this show is a must-watch for you. 

Beef

Beef Movie Poster

‘Beef’

Comedy Drama
Release Date: April 6, 2023
Director: Lee Sung Jin
Cast: Steven Yeun, Ali Wong, Joseph Lee, Young Mazino
Runtime: 39 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
98%
IMDb
8/10

Steven Yeun and Ali Wong team up in the dark comedy miniseries “Beef” on Netflix. The show follows the escalating feud between two strangers after a road rage incident, leading to chaotic consequences influenced by their personal lives and frustrations. 

“Beef” received widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike, quickly becoming one of Netflix’s most popular shows in 2023. With its irreverent humor, clever screenplay, and stellar performances, particularly from Yeun and Wong, the series gathered some of the best reviews of their careers.

Unbelievable 

Unbelievable Movie Poster

‘Unbelievable ‘

DramaTrue Crime
Release Date: September 13, 2019
Director: Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman
Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Toni Collette, Merritt Wever, Blake Ellis
Runtime: 43-58 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
98%
IMDb
8.3/10

Toni Colette and Merritt Wever team up for the 2019 true-crime miniseries “Unbelievable.” Based on actual events, the show portrays a series of sexual assaults in Washington and Colorado between 2008 and 2011. It focuses on Marie, a young woman accused of lying about being raped. When two detectives dig deeper, they uncover a shocking truth.

“Unbelievable” received praise from critics and audiences, with Colette and Wever delivering standout performances. Many critics acclaimed Katlyn Dever’s portrayal of Marie as one of the best of the season. The series earned numerous nominations, including Golden Globe and Critics Choice nods for all three actresses. Even four years after its release, “Unbelievable” remains highly regarded, often cited as one of the best thriller miniseries ever.

When They See Us

When They See Us Movie Poster

‘When They See Us’

BiographyCrimeDramaHistory
Release Date: May 31, 2019
Director: Ava DuVernay
Cast: Asante Blackk, Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse, Marquis Rodriguez, Marsha Stephanie Blake
Runtime: 295 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
97%
IMDb
8.8/10

Ava DuVernay, a renowned filmmaker, brought her passion and commitment to the TV series “When They See Us,” highlighting the story of the Central Park Five. In 1989, after a jogger was assaulted and raped in Central Park, these young individuals were charged with the crime. The story of the Central Park Five unfolds throughout the series, spanning a quarter-century from the incident in 1989 to their pardon in 2002 and subsequent settlement with New York City in 2014.

“When They See Us” is an important and timely series, earning 12 Emmy nominations and winning two, underscoring its impact and recognition in shedding light on this unjust chapter in history.

Treason

Treason Movie Poster

‘Treason’

DramaSpy Thriller
Release Date: 26 December 2022
Director: Louise Hooper, Sarah O’Gorman
Cast: Olga Kurylenko, Oona Chaplin, Ciarán Hinds, Charlie Cox, Tracy Ifeachor, Danila Kozlovsky
Runtime: minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
71%
IMDb
6.4/10

Charlie Cox makes a comeback to Netflix in the miniseries Treason, in which he plays Adam Lawrence, a former Daredevil. When the MI6 chief is poisoned, Lawrence is thrust into leadership. Upon discovering his ex-lover and a former SVR operative are responsible, he faces a dilemma: whether to help her or risk his position and reputation.

With only five episodes, “Treason” races at breakneck speed. It’s a spectacular show full of suspense that will have you on the edge of your seats! 

Anatomy Of A Scandal

Anatomy Of A Scandal Movie Poster

‘Anatomy Of A Scandal’

DramaMysteryThriller
Release Date: April 15, 2022
Director: S. J. Clarkson
Cast: Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery, Rupert Friend, Naomi Scott, Joshua McGuire, Josette Simon
Runtime: 45 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes
57%
IMDb
7.0/10

David E. Kelly, known for creating shows like Ally McBeal, brought his talent to Netflix with the spectacular miniseries “Anatomy of a Scandal” in 2022. The series follows James Whitehouse, a rising star in Parliament, and his wife Sophie, whose seemingly perfect life is shattered when news of James’ affair with a young woman named Olivia Lytton emerges, along with allegations of rape.

Starring Rupert Friend as James Whitehouse and Sienna Miller as Sophie, the series dives into the scandal’s aftermath and impact on their lives. Despite receiving average ratings, critics praised Kelly’s storytelling and the strong performances from the cast.

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Haram Aslam
Haram Aslam
Haram Aslam is a medical student with a passion for binge-watching TV shows. From Gilmore Girls to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, she will watch anything and everything with a little bit of romance, comedy and drama. Her love and passion for entertainment keeps her motivated to share her knowledge with others. Apart from Netflix-ing and chilling, she loves reading books and shopping.
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