As encouraging as it is to settle down with a show that has over 5 seasons and is 40 minutes an episode, the need for tight, concise storytelling also exists. That’s the beauty of a mini-series – it can tell a tale with more depth than a movie, but doesn’t need to drag on for years on end. Here are some of the best ones on Netflix.

1. The Queen’s Gambit

This drama miniseries about a young chess prodigy upending social norms while battling her own addiction problems was an instant hit. It’s a beautifully shot show featuring standout performances, especially from Anya Taylor-Joy.


2. Bodyguard

This 6-episode series stars Richard Madden, who played Robb Stark in Game of Thrones, as a volatile war veteran who’s assigned to protect the Home Secretary. However, he doesn’t exactly agree with her politics, leading to questions about his true motives.


3. London Spy

This 5-part British crime drama follows the journey of a man trying to find out why his lover, an MI6 agent, was murdered. It’s a bit of a slow burn, but well worth the wait, with Ben Whishaw in the lead role.  

The Guardian

4. Alias Grace

This Canadian miniseries is based on Margaret Atwood’s 1996 novel of the same name, which also happens to be a true story. It follows Grace Marks, a poor Irish immigrant and domestic servant who is convicted of the murder of her employer and his housekeeper in 1843 and sentenced to life in prison.  

The Culture Trip

5. The Haunting of Hill House

This 10-episode Netflix offering is based on the Shirley Jackson novel of the same name. It’s a modern take on the story of siblings who grew up in a haunted house, and the effect that’s had on their lives later on.


6. Godless

Set in the brutal 1800s American West, this show focuses on a town governed mainly by women who band together to defend themselves against a ruthless gang intent on murder. If you like shootouts, gristle, and whiskey – this show ought to scratch that itch.

Film Daily

7. Unorthodox

This German-American drama miniseries is based on Deborah Feldman’s autobiography Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots, and is the first Netflix series to be primarily in Yiddish. It follows a young girl who flees her strict and ultra-orthodox Jewish community in the wake of an arranged marriage she is against.  


8. Unbelievable

Two detectives take on a case about a female teenager who reported being raped, but then recanted her story. A major lack of evidence makes the investigation even more complicated. This miniseries is based on a true story.


9. The Stranger

This eight-part British mystery thriller is based on the 2015 Harlan Coben novel of the same name, and follows a man named Adam Price whose family-revolving world is turned upside down after he’s told a secret about his wife. Now, he has to get to the truth.


10. The Spy

Featuring the superlative talents of Sacha Baron Cohen, this 6-episode miniseries tells the true of Israeli spy Eli Cohen, who infiltrated the Syrian government in the 1960s.  

NY Times

Great stories told in a crisp format – enjoy!