In the fall, more and more often I want to stay warm and am too lazy to go for walks. How to spend time at home and not get bored? I have a proven recipe: you can make pizza, tea with lemon, and watch a mini-series. I watch movies a lot and often, so I’ve put together a list of great mini-series that every movie fan must watch. Why “mini”? Because sometimes it wouldn’t hurt to work, ahah. When the time is just nothing, some hour before bed, you are unlikely to pull a Turkish TV series for ten seasons with episodes 2.5 hours long. So sit down and watch a mini-series where every minute is full of events.
I promised a “mini-series”, but I’ll start with the series for 2 seasons (don’t worry, they are short). But I won’t deceive you if I say that this is a real diamond – the dream series of everyone who appreciates a really good movie. I watched it three times, because Fleabag is a smart, funny, and tragic series in its way, and its characters experience almost Shakespearean dramas. By the way, this is the rare case when the second season, in my opinion, is better than the first. Why, I won’t tell, I don’t want to spoil, but I’ll hint: if you love Andrew Scott, then you will understand everything.
The brilliant Phoebe Waller-Bridge was the author of the idea and the leading lady. Her protagonist, whose name is never mentioned in the series, is a disillusioned loser in life, but at the same time very witty, insightful, and sensitive. She loves to break the fourth wall and talk to you, which immerses you even more into the story. Throughout the series, the heroine Phoebe will try to improve her life after the tragedy and look for an opportunity to forgive herself for the mistakes of the past. All in all, it’s a comedy. Yes, I confused you, but this is the whole Fleabag: an inventive tragicomedy with sparkling humor and strong emotions. I almost forgot the series has a whole bunch of film awards in different categories from BAFTA to the Golden Globe. All in all, a must-see.
It will hurt (2022)
Interesting mini-series often slip by unnoticed because they are aimed at a narrower audience. I might have missed This Is Going to Hurt too if my favorite Ben Whishaw hadn’t starred. This is a story about an obstetrician based on the biographical book by British writer Adam Kay. The series is a little more light compared to the novel (there is not so much tinkering there, I know, I read it), but from the first minutes, it draws you in and does not let go. It’s the perfect black humor that I personally absolutely love. I also revere such pandoras with difficult fates, whom everyone despises, but you understand their experiences and deeply sympathize with them (hello, dear Walter White).
By the way, Adam and Mean have a lot in common: they both experience losses that break them, speak in caustic mockery, and at times turn directly to the audience, commenting on what is happening (this is a very cool feature). There are only seven episodes, each one hour long, but I laughed like crazy and sobbed so bitterly that I wanted to smash my phone against the wall. Even though I’m too emotional and I was in pain, I was also happy that I watched this wonderful mini-series.
Music Lover (2020)
It is an adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel and a remake of The Fanatic (2000) starring John Cusack. The role of the owner of a vinyl store named Robin was played by Zoe Kravitz. She is a hipster and music geek, which says a lot about her. Rob has problems with socialization, with ex-boyfriends and girlfriends, as well as with herself. But then she has music and a couple of friends, the same nerds as she is. However, I was inspired by her image, demeanor, and knowledge of music. By the way, when the series came out, I was the same age as the character Kravitz, so all her problems seemed so familiar to me. In general, High fidelity is especially close to me in terms of atmosphere and mood, I watched it with particular pleasure. And it also has a lot of good music – more than 140 tracks, placed in a ten-episode film. Well, again, the destruction of the “fourth wall” in action (honestly,
You ask, why watch the series if you are not a hipster, not a music lover, and not a fan of Zoya? In the noughties, Hornby’s novels were very popular, and the characters were recognizable, mainly due to their craving for pop culture, and more specifically, modern cinema and music. This is the special aesthetic of his characters, and Robin (in the original – this is a man) is his canonical and brightest character, which makes him interesting. So, as a movie fan, you should get to know him, and in this case, her. In addition, the series is imbued with a cool visual aesthetic: Rob’s store is chock-full of records, the busy streets of Brooklyn, romantic shots of the city at night, bars crowded with a motley crowd, and much more. In a word, you will like it.
Normal People (2020)
Irish writer Sally Rooney is now at her best: she has published three novels and two of them have been made into TV mini-series. Some reviewers call her “the voice of the millennial generation”, others write that she is the “Salinger of today”. My friends and I have different opinions about her novels. They say that Rooney writes too casually. I think that she is excellent at focusing on subtle nuances, giving them a weighty meaning, and showing relationships between people as they are, without embellishment and superficial gloss. This cannot leave you, as an enthusiastic reader, indifferent.
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Normal People is an adaptation of her second novel that reveals the strange and confusing relationship between Marianne and Connell. They love each other since school, but this feeling brings them only pain and disappointment. Their affection will last for years, the characters will go through personal transformations, and you will find out for yourself by watching the series.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (2016)
I’m not a big fan of Netflix series, but Dirk Gently was a pleasant exception for me. This is a cool comedy detective for two short seasons, but I advise you to stop at the first, because then uniform madness begins, which not everyone will go.
There’s just a whole bunch of things mixed in here: fantasy, investigation, great black humor, and a little bit of drama. In the story, an unfortunate receptionist named Todd (Elijah Rally runs into an eccentric Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett), who calls himself a “holistic” detective. He believes that everything in the universe is connected, that their meeting is not an accident at all, and they have to become partners. Todd is forced to get involved in this murky business, where the trash begins. It is difficult to retell what is happening in the series, this is exactly the case when it is better to see once than hear a hundred times. But it’s a lot of fun!
Good Omens (2019)
A wonderful series based on the novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, which tells about an angel and a demon who has been among people for a long time and have perfectly adapted to earthly life.
They have nothing in common, they have been constantly arguing and cursing for 6000 years, but these two will have to join forces to prevent the end of the world together. This is one of my favorite black comedies with lots of funny moments, strong chemistry between the characters, and a great cast. The project will likely be renewed for a second season, but so far only rumors have been circulating on the network.
Trial of Innocence (2018)
You must have watched a lot of films based on Agatha Christie’s novels. Trial by Innocence is not her most popular story, but no less fascinating than Murder on the Orient Express or Death on the Nile.
I will briefly tell you what it is about a murder that occurs in the house of the Argyle family, in which one of the sons is accused. However, the prime suspect fails to wait for the verdict and dies in custody. A year and a half later, a man appears on the threshold of the house, claiming that he can prove the innocence of their dead son. There will be a lot of twists and flashbacks in the series, which will confuse you more and immerse you in what is happening. The atmosphere of the four-episode series is so tense that you just can not tear yourself away.
I told you about seven mini-series that are a must-see for all connoisseurs of good cinema. If you have already seen all of them or didn’t like any of them, then as a bonus I offer three more interesting short series:
The Hour (2011) – The Golden Globe-nominated series plunges viewers into the 50s and tells the story of BBC journalists who come up with a new format for a news program that has found great success.
One Night (2016) is a tense crime drama with a non-trivial murder, a suspect, and an investigation that fans of the genre will appreciate.
Family Marriage (2019) is a British comedy anthology series of 20 short episodes about a married couple on the verge of divorce. After sessions with a psychologist, they meet in a pub to discuss their pressing problems.