15 finest mini-series on Max to look at this weekend

The sofa is looking, inviting you in for a very good lengthy binge-watch. You crave a narrative that may sweep you up, characters who will captivate, and a run time that may wash away extra hours than your common film however not a complete weekend. Nothing is healthier for such a temper than an outstanding mini-series.

Inside only a few episodes, these reveals can unfurl wealthy tales — haunting, historic, heady, and even hilarious. Whether or not you’re craving gripping thrillers, poignant dramas, royal romance, iconoclastic humor, or wild journey, we’ve received you lined.

Listed below are the perfect mini-series on Max now accessible to look at:

1. Station Eleven

A young woman in odd clothing looks concerned.

Mackenzie Davis breaks our hearts in “Station Eleven.”
Credit score: Ian Watson / HBO Max

Whether or not or not you’ve got learn Emily St. John Mandel’s celebrated novel of the identical title, this lavish adaptation proved must-see TV. (Nicely, not simply TV — must-see HBO!) Station Eleven creator/showrunner Patrick Somerville thoughtfully reimagined the setting and a few stirring specifics of Mandel’s dystopian drama, making for a narrative acquainted but stunning. In a world ravaged by plague, a scrappy theater troupe known as the Touring Symphony excursions settlements to convey the pleasures of Shakespeare to the survivors. However how did humankind come to this place of damage and revival? Weaving previous and current in a ragged however riveting tapestry, this mini-series gave an virtually alarmingly optimistic have a look at the apocalypse. Grounding the sensational storytelling is a critically heralded solid that features Mackenzie Davis, Matilda Lawler, Himesh Patel, Gael García Bernal, and Danielle Deadwyler.

Find out how to watch: Station Eleven is streaming on Max.(opens in a brand new tab)

2. Angels in America

This shifting 2003 mini-series is tailored from Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning two-part stage play, Angels in America: A Homosexual Fantasia on Nationwide Themes. Combining fictional characters, historic figures, and ardent symbolism, this bold drama was a brazen condemnation of homophobia and America’s dealing with of the AIDS disaster within the Nineteen Eighties. Its story follows a number of homosexual males, some affected by AIDS, some affected by disgrace, and most affected by heartbreak — all of whom are performed with soul-gripping conviction. Director Mike Nichols introduced collectively an impeccable ensemble, boasting Broadway stars and film legends like Patrick Wilson, Justin Kirk, Jeffrey Wright, Emma Thompson, Mary-Louise Parker, Al Pacino, and Meryl Streep. Their efforts mixed led not solely to radiant crucial reward but additionally 11 Emmy awards, together with performing honors for Wright, Parker, Streep, and Pacino.

Find out how to watch: Angels in America is streaming on Max.(opens in a brand new tab)

3. Mare of Easttown

A woman looks concerned.

With a possible Season 2 within the works, we’ll see how lengthy “Mare of Easttown” stays a mini-series.
Credit score: HBO

25 years in the past, Mare Sheehan (Kate Winslet) was a star highschool athlete with a promising future forward of her. These days, she’s a bitter, divorced detective whose title is being dragged by means of the mud over a lacking individuals case she couldn’t resolve. When one other native lady vanishes, Mare should push apart private dramas — and internal demons — to crack the case. This small however gruff blue-collar city outdoors of Philadelphia is the form of place the place everybody is aware of everybody, so certainly somebody should know one thing. Creator Brad Ingelsby brings collectively a crackling solid that features Julianne Nicholson, Jean Good, Angourie Rice, Man Pearce, and Evan Peters. Collectively, they construct an enveloping ambiance of snark and suspicion and a darkly amusing crime drama that had tongues wagging, critics cheering, and jaws dropping. It’s no thriller how Mare of Easttown earned 16 Emmy nominations in 2021.

Find out how to watch: Mare of Easttown is streaming on Max.(opens in a brand new tab)

4. Elizabeth I

The daughter of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, Elizabeth I of England was born into royally outrageous drama, which might outline her entire life. This heralded 2005 mini-series focuses on the final 24 years of her 45-year reign, starting because the so-called Virgin Queen approached center age. Don’t be fooled by her nickname. This Sixteenth-century monarch had a wholesome urge for food for intercourse and romance. However to marry — as her advisors strain — would imply surrendering her throne to some man who can be king. Dame Helen Mirren brings the hearth of ardour and fury to her vibrant portrayal of Elizabeth. Lending help as her main males are the dashing Jeremy Irons and the dreamy-eyed Hugh Dancy. Beneath the helm of Tom Hooper, historical past comes alive in a sweeping two-part mini-series that gained 9 Emmys. This included honors for Irons, Hooper, and Mirren, in addition to Greatest Mini-Sequence. From its wealthy manufacturing design to its heart-pounding performances and rousing drama, it is easy to see why.

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Find out how to watch: Elizabeth I is streaming on Max.(opens in a brand new tab)

5. Watchmen

A woman in a mask and hood sits at a desk, staring at a person in a mask.

Regina King would not stand for injustice or nonsense in “Watchmen.”
Credit score: Mark Hill / HBO

On this 2019 superhero present, Damon Lindelof boldly re-imagines the long-lasting comedian ebook collection from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Going down many years after the occasions within the comics, this Watchmen facilities on Sister Evening (Regina King), a Tulsa police detective who wears a nun-like costume to battle crime. On this hanging guise, she combats the rising energy of a white supremacist group generally known as the Seventh Kavalry. Fortunately, she gained’t must do it alone, as she’s received some tremendous associates of her personal. Tim Blake Nelson, Jean Good, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Irons, and Hong Chau co-star, enjoying characters advanced, outrageous, and completely riveting. Weaving mature themes with graphic violence and daring socio-political commentary, this audacious adaptation gained crucial acclaim, a vociferous fan following, and a whopping 11 Emmy Awards, together with one for King.

Find out how to watch: Watchmen is streaming on Max.(opens in a brand new tab)

6. From the Earth to the Moon

Based mostly on Andrew Chaikin’s non-fiction ebook A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts, this stellar mini-series rocketed audiences again to the ’60s and ’70s to disclose the unimaginable true tales inside NASA’s Apollo program. Produced by Tom Hanks, From the Earth to the Moon was past bold. Over the course of 12 episodes, it informed quite a few tales, folding in many years of aeronautics historical past and heroics, in addition to offering 30 portrayals of the astronauts who flew — or had been able to fly — on the Apollo missions. On prime of that, exceptional particular results had been created to make these journeys to the celebrities really feel actual to a house viewers, placing us within the footwear — or area fits — of those legendary explorers. This 1998 occasion launched as “TV’s Greatest Mini-Sequence” and shortly landed the Primetime Emmy win for Greatest Mini-Sequence. So, make a journey again to see what all the thrill was about.

Find out how to watch: From the Earth to the Moon is streaming on Max.(opens in a brand new tab)

7. The Woman and the Dale

A woman in pink stands with her children under an umbrella.

“The Woman and the Dale” provides us a have a look at the softer aspect of Elizabeth Carmichael’s story.
Credit score: HBO

HBO has a library of sensational true crime choices, but this 2021 mini-series is uniquely fascinating. Administrators Nick Cammilleri and Zackary Drucker unfurl the instances and trials of Elizabeth Carmichael, who was not solely a nationally acknowledged car govt and notorious con artist but additionally a spouse, mom, and transgender trailblazer. For many years, her story has been framed by those that despise her, leading to a story rife with hypothesis and transphobia. On this difficult and boldly humorous four-episode documentary mini-series, Carmichael’s story is reclaimed by balancing the attitude of her haters with in-depth interviews with those that knew her finest. With animated pictures, a playful soundtrack, and a cheeky sense of journey, The Woman and the Dale goals not solely to showcase the complexity of the late Carmichael, but additionally to seize her spirit. All this makes for a watch that’s stunning, thrilling, and unforgettable.

Find out how to watch: The Woman and the Dale is streaming on Max.(opens in a brand new tab)

8. True Detective

From the second Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson had been solid as a duo of detectives on the hunt for an elusive killer, this 2014 present screamed “status TV.” Shortly after its debut, this neo-noir mini-series had audiences screaming too, hollering in horror of the unnerving visuals, cheering over its immersive cinematography, and yarn-walling over the way it would possibly finish. Heralded filmmaker Cary Joji Fukunaga helmed your entire premiere season with aplomb, making a wealthy world of Southern-fried intrigue, blood-curdling violence, and mind-bending philosophy. Critics cheered. Audiences tuned in, and the Primetime Emmys introduced 5 awards to this daring drama. Positive, all that success led to author Nic Pizzolatto spinning new tales for successive seasons. However it all started as one rattling wonderful mini-series.

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Find out how to watch: True Detective is streaming on Max.(opens in a brand new tab)

9. I Might Destroy You

A couple at a night club.

“I Might Destroy You” is the Michaela Coel car of “Chewing Gum” followers’ goals.
Credit score: HBO

English author/actress/producer Michaela Coel first broke by means of together with her cheeky, sex-centric comedy collection Chewing Gum. With this addictive follow-up, her provocative humor oozes to darker corners, exploring the problems of social media affect, anti-Black racism, consent, and rape tradition. In I Might Destroy You, Coel stars as Arabella Essiedu, a twenty-something author who relishes a wild evening out in town. However when one such evening ends with a blackout, bloody brow, and troubling flashbacks, Arabella turns to her associates, new lovers, and many doubtful distractions to manage. Surrounded by a suitably excellent solid, which incorporates Weruche Opia and Paapa Essiedu, Coel delivers an electrifying portrayal of a girl on the verge. Her critically heralded 12-part creation has gained two BAFTAs, one for her lead efficiency, the opposite for Greatest Mini-Sequence, in addition to a slew of Emmy nominations.

Find out how to watch: I Might Destroy You is streaming on Max.(opens in a brand new tab)

10. Over the Backyard Wall

Journey Time inventive director Patrick McHale dreamed up this distinctive animated mini-series, which first debuted on Cartoon Community within the fall of 2014. Deep in a mysterious forest, two half-brothers — the plucky Greg (Collin Dean) and fretful Wirt (Elijah Wooden) — are terribly misplaced. To search out their approach residence, this bickering duo should belief within the kindness of strangers, like a harrowed woodsman (Christopher Lloyd), a batty baron (John Cleese), a demanding witch (Tim Curry), and a back-talking bluebird (Melanie Lynskey). However all of the whereas, they have to keep away from the shadowy, deceitful Beast (Samuel Ramey), who would make them a meal for his horrible starvation. Influenced by folklore and the Rubber Hose animation aesthetic, Over the Backyard Wall paints a fascinating but unnerving world of wonders and perils. With untamed creativeness, an enthralling voice solid, and ten 11-minute episodes, its story is unfurled swiftly and satisfyingly, making it a straightforward and glorious binge.

Find out how to watch: Over the Backyard Wall(opens in a brand new tab) is streaming on Max.(opens in a brand new tab)

11. Miracle Staff

Three people play music around a camp fire in a Western.

Daniel Radcliffe, Geraldine Viswanathan, and Steve Buscemi have include a tune of their hearts and wild gags on the Oregon Path.
Credit score: Tyler Golden / HBO Max

Whereas mini-series are sometimes dramas, sometimes a comedy breaks by means of. And no comedy compares with the outside-the-box antics of 2019’s Miracle Staff. It started as a seven-episode arc about two bumbling angels making an attempt to save lots of the world from annihilation by profitable a guess with a pissed off God. This would possibly sound like a premise ripe for an epic quest! As a substitute, creator Simon Wealthy imagined an workplace comedy the place angels are listless, irritable, or incompetent, and God is a needy, fitful oaf who cannot even impress his dad and mom. “Irreverent” doesn’t even start to explain the jokes at play right here, and the solid — centered round Daniel Radcliffe, Geraldine Viswanathan, and Steve Buscemi — makes a meal of each absurd flip, goofy visible gag, and jolting one-liner. Like True Detective, this mini-series was so nice that it upgraded to anthology with its following seasons. Fortunately, Miracle Staff stored its solid by means of a second season in a cruel medieval setting and a 3rd upon the treacherous Oregon Path. That this bonkers however good present even exists is a miracle.

Find out how to watch: Miracle Staff(opens in a brand new tab) is streaming on Max.(opens in a brand new tab)

12. Landscapers

If you need true crime that will get really trippy, you will respect this British providing from author Ed Sinclair and director Will Sharpe (sure, that Will Sharpe). It is primarily based on a double murder case out of Mansfield, England, the place regardless of the brutality of the slayings the motive was love.

Critically acclaimed English actors Olivia Colman and David Thewlis star as murderous married couple Susan and Christopher Edwards. The Edwards solely cherished one factor as a lot as one another, and that’s Hollywood motion pictures. To present a glimpse inside their minds, Landscapers blurs the traces of reality and fiction, staging fantasy scenes impressed by Westerns, romances, and different larger-than-life motion pictures that promise a contented ending. Nevertheless, a darkish humor bleeds by means of the whimsy, urging audiences to mirror on what’s actual, what’s imagined, and what “true crime leisure” even means.

Find out how to watch: Landscapers (opens in a brand new tab)is streaming on Max.(opens in a brand new tab)

13. Thoughts Over Homicide

The true crime story on the heart of this documentary mini-series is astonishing on a number of ranges. It begins in 1985, when a beloved grandmother was murdered in her own residence, leaving a multitude of confounding clues behind. One cop was decided to chase down any suspect who would possibly match into this puzzling crime, even when he needed to drive the items into place. Many years later, the Beatrice Six had been exonerated, however their story would not finish there. Director Nanfu Wang guides audiences by means of the case, the accusations, the false confessions, and the aftermath by talking with members of the Six, the investigator who went from hero to villain, the households of the victims, and a theater troupe making an attempt to make sense of the battle waged in conflicting narratives. Over six hour-long episodes, Thoughts Over Homicide not solely unfurls a stunning story of horror and murder, but additionally one in all profound empathy and the therapeutic energy of forgiveness.

Find out how to watch: Thoughts Over Homicide is streaming on Max.(opens in a brand new tab)

14. The Final of Us

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey star in “The Final of Us.”
Credit score: Liane Hentscher / HBO

Technically, The Final of Us will not be a restricted collection for lengthy. After the smashing success of Season 1, Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin’s astonishing adaptation of the favored online game was greenlit for Season 2. Nevertheless, with 9 hour-long episodes telling a compelling and self-contained story, The Final of Us positively scratches that miniseries itch. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey star as a pair of survivors thrown collectively in a post-apocalyptic America, ripped aside by a tenacious fungus that turns man into (primarily) zombies. To save lots of the way forward for all mankind, mercenary Joel should get snarky teen Ellie throughout the U.S. to a secure zone. Alongside the way in which, they will not solely must face a wide range of vicious creatures, but additionally people who convey new which means to the phrase evil. This collection not solely provides hair-raising horror, goofy puns, and a playlist that’ll get caught in your mind; it additionally delivers a few of 2023’s most emotionally devastating onscreen moments. Lean into it, and provides your self a very good lengthy cry.

Find out how to watch: The Final of Us is streaming on Max.(opens in a brand new tab)

15. White Lotus

Like True Detective and Miracle Staff, this darkish comedy collection is a little more anthology than strictly mini. Creator Mike White explores the humor to be discovered among the many ridiculously rich at a resort that caters to their each whim. Whereas every season is ready in a distinct picturesque locale (Hawaii! Sicily!), they share a setup of a mysterious demise within the first episode. Who shall be killed? Who’s the killer? Because the tales of privileged jerks tangle with the hardships of the employees tending to (and exploiting) their needs, viewers are tempted to play whodunnit, even when the present’s probably not about that. Come for the homicide thriller, the cynical humor, or the star-stuffed solid that features Jennifer Coolidge, F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hollander, Aubrey Plaza, Haley Lu Richardson, Murray Bartlett, and Connie Britton.

Find out how to watch: The White Lotus is streaming on Max.(opens in a brand new tab)

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