Although there are a ton of really great TV shows that have four, five, six, or even more seasons, we don’t always want to get invested in a new show with hundreds of episodes to get through. Finding a new show that has already ended and has every season on a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu is amazing, but starting a long show is a big investment, and even if you’re binging episode after episode it takes a while to get through them.
But, that’s not the case with a miniseries. These shows are typically a single season or a couple very short seasons, and the story is all tied up and ends after those few episodes. Although we may be left wanting more, we also end up feeling fully satisfied and like we saw and experienced the full story. Plus, they can be watched in just one day, or over a weekend while we wait for a new episode of our currently-airing favorite.
To see 10 miniseries to binge watch one weekend, keep reading!
Updated by Lacey Womack March 26th, 2020: Because there are so many amazing shows and movies coming out all the time, it can be tough to pick something to watch when settling in to relax in front of the TV. Luckily, for people that just want something quick and without a ton of episodes or seasons to get invested in, there are a lot of really great, short shows. In fact, there are so many of them out there that we came back to update this list with five more amazing short shows to watch on a weekend at home.
15 When They See Us
When They See Us is a Netflix original series that was put on the streaming service in 2019. It has a total of four episodes and follows the true story of a group of five young men who became known as the Central Park Five after being wrongly accused of attacking a woman in Central Park.
The series follows the court case that this group endured and their subsequent conviction and later exonerated in 2002. Netflix also released a special called Oprah Winfrey Presents: When They See Us Now in which Oprah Winfrey, one of the series’ executive producers, interviewed the cast and crew of the series later in 2019 after the series was released.
Chernobyl is a miniseries that began airing on HBO in 2019 and is a historical drama with five episodes. The series follows the massive disaster that struck the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986. It’s a dramatization of the Chernobyl disaster as well as the events that took place afterward as people attempted to clean up the area and find a way to deal with the nuclear waste and its impact on the local environment, animals, and people.
Although the story of the disaster that struck Chernobyl and left the area changed forever is one that is well-known by many people, this series is definitely an interesting one because of the unique and lesser heard of stories that it follows.
13 American Crime Story
American Crime Story is an anthology series, meaning that each season follows a completely different true crime-based story, unrelated to the previous one. The series started airing in 2016 and its third season is scheduled to begin airing in September of 2020.
The first season was subtitled The People v. O. J. Simpson and followed the O.J. Simpson case, from the court appearances to the culture surrounding the Los Angeles Police Department and other social circumstances that lead a jury to find him not guilty. The second season was subtitled The Assassination of Gianni Versace and gave viewers an inside look into the 1997 murder of the iconic high fashion designer.
While it was technically not originally supposed to be a miniseries, Chambers is a Netflix original series that was cancelled after only a single season. Luckily, the series wrapped up a lot of its major plot points and didn’t end on any huge cliffhangers, meaning that viewers won’t be disappointed after they finish the 10 episode show.
The series follows a teenage girl named Sasha who suffers a heart attack one night while with her boyfriend. After receiving a heart transplant, things start to get strange for Sasha and she decides to reach out to her donor’s family in order to try to get answers. Unfortunately, the more she learns about her heart donor, the stranger things seem.
11.22.63 is a miniseries that is based on the novel by the same name, written by iconic horror author Stephen King. This series aired on Hulu in 2016 and has a total of eight episodes. The series is a science fiction-based drama that follows a man named Jake Epping, played by James Franco, who learns to travel back in time.
After gaining the ability to travel back in time, Jake is tasked with going to a specific date in order to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Unfortunately, he learns that changing the course of history can be a lot more dangerous than just letting the event play out.
Maniac is a Netflix original miniseries that aired on the streaming service in 2018. The series is set in an alternate verison of the present day where everything has a totally cool 80s sci-fi vibe. Emma Stone and Jonah Hill star in this series as Annie and Owen, two complete strangers who meet when they both sign up for a pharmaceutical trial.
This miniseries has 10 episodes, and if you’re a fan of old school science fiction movies, this show will definitely appeal to you. Even though these two starred in Superbad together, this series is a lot more eerie and serious than that silly comedy was.
9 True Detective
Rather than being a miniseries with a single season or a couple short seasons, True Detective is a show that is technically a full-on, regular series. But, since each season is its own contained storyline with completely separate characters and its own setting, this anthology is great for someone that wants to pick a season and binge the entire thing.
Each season of True Detective follows a separate group of investigators who are following a different case. This series can get really dark and gritty, but it’s definitely one that’s worth getting into. The best part of the fact that it’s an anthology is that you can watch the seasons in any order you want – or just watch a couple of them.
8 Big Little Lies
Big Little Lies is a dramatic series that began airing on HBO in 2017. Even though it was originally billed as a miniseries with only a single short season, a second season premiered in 2019. Still, the two seasons are pretty short, so it’s easy to lay back on the couch and watch the whole thing in a weekend.
This series is set in Monterey, California. Monterey is a more upscale coastal town where the residents seem to have perfect lives. But, after a murder occurs during a special event in the city, a group of moms whose children all go to the same school become the center of attention.
Like True Detective, Slasher is technically an anthology, not a miniseries. But because each season is pretty short and completely separate from the other seasons, you can pick a season that sounds the most appealing and enjoy the entire thing over the course of a few short days.
Slasher is a Netflix original anthology series that takes all our favorite horror movie tropes and puts them into one addictive series. Each season follows a new group of characters who find themselves and everyone they love being chased and tormented by a mysterious killer. Can they figure out who it is and what their motive is before it’s too late?
6 The Night Of
The Night Of aired on HBO in 2016 and has a total of eight episodes to watch. The series is definitely perfect for anyone that likes dark, gritty crime dramas and although it’s a short series, it’s intense enough to really suck you in through the entire thing as the mysteries in the series unfold.
The Night Of follows Naz, a Pakistani-American college student who recently found himself behind bars for a crime he’s not sure whether or not he committed. On his way to a party, he meets a stranger and enjoys an evening with her. The next morning, she’s found stabbed to death and Naz is the number one suspect. Who killed Andrea? Tune in to find out.
Even though the 2017 movie adaptation of this Stephen King novel has had people talking recently, we definitely couldn’t help but include the 1990 miniseries by the same name on this list. It is a miniseries that has two episodes and is around 3 hours long, meaning it’s perfect for a weekend or even just a single night.
Like the Stephen King novel and movie by the same name, It follows a town in Maine that finds itself tormented by a mysterious entity every 30 years. A group of children that were targeted by the terrifying monster when they were children come back together as adults in order to try to take it down.
4 The Keepers
If you’re looking for a docuseries instead of something fictional to binge, there are quite a few really good ones on Netflix. The Keepers is a documentary miniseries with 7 episodes that landed on the streaming service back in 2017 and immediately had us all hooked on the drama and mystery of this bizarre case.
This series follows the disappearance and then alleged murder of Cathy Cesnik, a nun and Catholic school teacher who disappeared in the late 1960s. This series is more than just an unsolved murder case, though. The details of what went on in the school in relation to Cesnik’s disappearance and the circumstances of her killer going undiscovered are enough to chill you to the bone in only 7 episodes.
3 Sharp Objects
Sharp Objects is an HBO miniseries based on the Gillian Flynn novel by the same name. If the suspense and plot twists of Flynn’s Gone Girl had you hooked, you’ve got to check out this 8 episode miniseries.
Amy Adams plays Camille, a journalist who is tasked with heading back to her hometown of Wind Gap after a string of heinous murders take place in the small town. Camille is hesitant because of her unhealthy memories and relationships in Wind Gap, but she agrees in order to get the story. This series is dark, twisting, and will have you shocked at the way it ends.
Unbelievable is a Netflix original miniseries that has 8 episodes and landed on the streaming service in 2019. The series stars Toni Collette, Kaitlyn Dever, and Merritt Weaver and is a dark crime drama.
This series follows a teenager named Marie who reported an assault that she was a victim of, but then took her story back and was charged with lying about the incident. But, after more people come forward with stories that are eerily similar and just as strange as Marie’s was, the detectives begin to wonder whether or not she was really telling the truth.
You is a dramatic series that originally aired on Lifetime before being picked up by Netflix, where it became even more popular. This dramatic series is technically not a miniseries, as there’s a second season coming out soon that continues the story, but the way the first season ends definitely wraps up this part of the story and the viewer could easily watch it without having to keep watching – unless you want to.
You follows a bookstore employee named Joe who meets and immediately becomes infatuated with a customer named Beck. Joe becomes determined to win Beck’s heart and refuses to let anything get in his way.
Next: Top 10 Drama Movies Of The Decade