These Are the 46 Best Miniseries on Netflix – Watch Them Now!
While it’s fun to get invested in a multiseason TV show, sometimes a good miniseries is just what you need! When you’re looking for a short and sweet series that you could cover in just a couple of viewing sessions, (maybe even one – we don’t judge) these miniseries and limited series on Netflix are your best bet. Whether you’re looking for something to kill time over a lazy weekend or searching for a distraction during a weeknight, a miniseries lets you get caught up in a story without requiring a full-on commitment. From fascinating documentaries to investigative true crime stories to entertaining fictional shows, here are the best miniseries offerings currently available on Netflix for your next short term TV binge!
– Additional reporting by Lauren Harano, Kalyn Womack, and Charlotte Kho
When a stranger tells family man Adam Price a secret about his wife, his whole world is turned upside down. This secret takes him through a journey of danger, lies, and revelations.
The Queen's Gambit
Anya Taylor-Joy stars in this drama – which is set during the Cold War era and based on Walter Tevis’s novel of the same name – as an orphaned chess prodigy who aspires to become the greatest chess player in the world.
Behind Her Eyes
Louise finds a lover and befriends his wife Adele behind his back. However, she becomes entangled in a series of mind games and realises neither of them is who she thinks they are.
Michael C. Hall stars in this mystery series as Tom, a harried British surgeon and widow who’s struggling to create a sense of normalcy for his two daughters as they all cope with the death of their mother. When his oldest daughter, Jenny (Coronation Street’s Amy James-Kelly), disappears from a wild party held in their gated community, a distressed Tom goes on a mission to find her. Naturally his quest to discover Jenny’s whereabouts involves unearthing a few secrets that the people closest to him would’ve preferred stay under wraps, forever changing the lives of everyone in the neighbourhood.
When They See Us
Based on the true story of a 28-year-old investment banker who was raped and attacked in 1989 and the five young men from Harlem wrongfully convicted of the crime, director Ava DuVernay tells the story of the Central Park Five, with scream queen Vera Farmiga playing Elizabeth Lederer, lead prosecutor in the case.
Based on a harrowing true story, this miniseries follows a pair of detectives investigating a series of rapes. Along the way, their story crosses with that of a young woman who was charged with lying about a similar sexual assault, and they set out to prove the truth.
In Netflix’s official description of the show, “ten people wake up on a treacherous island with no memory of who they are or how they got there, and set off on a trek to try to get back home.” But as the group soon discover, they must face extreme psychological and physical challenges to escape as their “best” selves or be killed as their “worst” selves.
Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker
Based on the biography “On Her Own Ground” by A’Lelia Bundles, this series follows the true story of Madam C.J. Walker, a black hair care entrepreneur who became the first African American self-made millionaire. Octavia Spencer plays the titular Walker, with other cast members including Tiffany Haddish, Blair Underwood, Garrett Morris, and Bill Bellamy.
In “What/If”, Renée Zellweger plays Anne Montgomery, a venture capitalist who strikes a deal with a young start-up founder, Lisa (Jane Levy), and her husband, Sean (Blake Jenner). The deal is that Anne will give Lisa a bunch of money for one night with Sean. It gets hot and twisty from there!
Based on a memoir of the same name by Deborah Feldman, this part-Yiddish series follows a young Orthodox woman who decides to leave her arranged marriage and strict religious sect behind in Brooklyn escape on her own to Berlin.
From the creator of “The Killing”, Veena Sud, comes a new cop drama with an even more emotionally-charged centre. “Seven Seconds” stars the magnificent Regina King and Clare-Hope Ashitey. King plays a mother grieving over the death of her son, a young black man who was killed by a white officer in a hit-and-run incident. Ashitey stars as the prosecutor trying to find some justice in a system that feels stacked against her and for the young man who lost his life so senselessly.
Black Earth Rising
Starring Michaela Coel from “Chewing Gum”, this thriller follows the journey of a woman who – after being rescued from the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide as a girl and raised in London – decides she wants to know the truth about her dark past.
Based on the “Virgin River” novels by Robyn Carr, this romantic drama series tells the story of a nurse practitioner who decides to relocate to the remote town of Virgin River, CA, hoping for a fresh start, though she soon realises small-town life isn’t as easy as she thought it might be.
Netflix’s fourth Spanish original series (following “Cable Girls”, “Elite”, and “Money Heist”) takes place in the late 1940s, telling the story of a luxury transatlantic liner traveling from Spain to Brazil and the murder that is committed onboard. The catch: the murder victim is a woman who’s not on the passenger list and whom no one remembers.
Before he created “Black Mirror”, Charlie Brooker wrote this five-part series about a zombie apocalypse breaking out during the filming of a season of “Big Brother”. The contestants slowly become aware that something is wrong in the outside world when the doors of their safe haven are thrown open on eviction night and the undead begin streaming in. Gory and terrifying, “Dead Set” is a modern horror masterpiece.
“Collateral” has everything you could want in a show: crime, drama, and mystery! It stars Carey Mulligan and follows London detectives as they investigate the murder of a random pizza delivery man. What they don’t know is this murder will lead to a series of strange connections and circumstances that link to the greater British society.
A French detective gets caught up in her own investigation when her daughter goes missing.
Netflix’s “Alias Grace” is based on novelist Margaret Atwood’s fictionalisation of a true story. It follows the 1834 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery. Two servants, Grace Marks and James McDermott, were convicted of the killings.
The Netflix mini series, “Inventing Anna” is based on a true story about a journalist uncovering the truth about a young woman who has tricked New York’s elite into believing she is a German heiress. It will be released on February 11.
Tales of the City
Set in 1970s San Francisco, a young, single woman moves to the city and finds an unexpected community among her quirky neighbours.
Netflix’s sci-fi series follows a once-blind young woman named Prairie who reappears in her hometown after a seven-year-long abduction having regained her sight. Not only that, but she’s also armed with a nearly unbelievable tale of why and how she was brutally imprisoned, which she tells piece by piece to five new friends: four very different teenagers who live in her neighbourhood and one very desperate teacher (the incredible Phyllis Smith) from their high school.
This French-Belgian thriller follows the head of the county police, Laurène Weiss (whose town’s murder rate is six times the national average), and how she brings justice to her city.
Set in a Wild West town run by women, “Godless” challenges every trope Hollywood has ever established for the Western genre. Here, the women aren’t waiting to be rescued, they’re running the show. And while their town is no utopia, it’s a place where they are all free to be exactly who they are without fear of judgment.
Like “American Horror Story”, “The Sinner” is another anthology thriller series. Each season, it rotates through a cast of A-listers, who include Jessica Biel, Tracy Letts, and Chris Messina. The constant in the series is Bill Pullman as Harry Ambrose, a police detective. The first season features Biel as a troubled woman who stabs a man to death.
Surviving R. Kelly
After years of abuse allegations against music star R. Kelly, this docuseries shares the testimony of several women who detail the abuse they suffered at his hands.
The Bonfire of Destiny
This French period drama takes place around the time of the devastating 1897 fire in Paris (which is known as the Charity Bazaar Fire), following three women whose lives are forever changed following the tragedy.
Paul Bettany stars in “Manhunt: Unabomber” as Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber. The series fictionalizes how the FBI tracked down Kaczynski as the public grew increasingly anxious, placing a heavy emphasis on forensic linguist Jim Fitzgerald’s role in the investigation.
In recent years, shows about people mysteriously and miraculously returning from the dead have been popping up left and right. Let us assure you that “Glitch” is the first one worth watching since the original French version of “The Returned” (“Les Revenants”). The Australian sci-fi drama’s two short seasons follow a group of six strangers who pull themselves from their graves one night – naked, gasping, and in perfect health. Struggling to piece together what brought these people back will have you on the edge of your seat, and the final few twists go right for the jugular.
The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez
Eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez died due to the abuse of his mother and father. The signs were all there, but somehow all the reports slipped through the cracks. The court case brought into question not only the actions of Gabriel’s family, but how the government systems failed to protect him.
In this Finnish crime drama, a recently widowed detective discovers the body of a young woman on a construction site, which triggers a series of events that threaten to upheave the life she is still struggling to put back together.
In this Spanish drama series, a powerful Galician cartel leader who masquerades as an honest businessman is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and he keeps this diagnosis a secret from his family as he attempts to select his successor.
We can’t get enough of British detective series, and thanks to “Marcella”, we have another one to add to our growing list. After her marriage falls apart, a former detective returns to work to track down the Grove Park Killer.
It’s hard to imagine Sacha Baron Cohen playing a serious role, but you get your chance to when you watch this miniseries. He stars in this miniseries as Israel’s real-life top Mossad spy Eli Cohen, following his years undercover inside Syria in the 1960s.
When family man Nick Brewer is kidnapped and his abductor uploads a video threatening to kill him if the ransom video hits five million views, his family rushes to save him before the viral video hits that horrible number.
Alex turns to cleaning houses to support herself and her daughter after she leaves her emotionally abusive husband to start a new life in this affecting story about the failures of America’s social systems and the resilience of single mothers.
This series about a magnetic priest who arrives in a small town, bringing miracles and new religious fervor along with him, was made by the same folks behind “The Haunting of Hill House”, so you can definitely expect some supernatural twists and turns along the way.
This docuseries focuses on the city of Flint, Michigan and explores the difficult and complex relationship between the people and law enforcement following the controversial water crisis and coverup. It also grapples with social, cultural and racial tensions within the political climate of the city and country.
This investigative docuseries follows a Louisiana pharmacist who, after the drug-related murder of his son, seeks to avenge his son’s death by researching and exposing major players in the opioid epidemic crisis.
How to Fix a Drug Scandal
This true crime mini series follows the case of two crime drug lab chemists who tampered with multiple pieces of evidence and explores the domino effect it has on the Massachusetts judicial system.
The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman
This true crime investigative mini series tells the story and aftermath of a conman who charms, manipulates and steals from many victims, tearing apart families and relationships as he goes.
“Stay Close” is a fictional drama mini series about the mysterious disappearance of two men and explores the intertwined relationship of everyone they knew and loved.
This psychological comedy-drama is set in a futuristic New York City where two strangers meet and connect in a dangerous, psychological pharmaceutical trial.
The Tinder Swindler
This documentary follows the true story of a seemingly wealthy Tinder user who met and charmed many women into traveling the world with him – only to con them out of thousands of dollars.