Miniseries seem to be streaming’s new golden goose as it feels like each service is churning out multiple series a month. It’s an attractive draw – creators can develop characters and stories longer than within the confines of a feature film, big-name actors are more apt to sign something with a limited lifespan (so that ‘they aren’t stuck playing the same character for eight years), and studios don’t have to worry about the box office. As a result, there’s been a massive amount of new miniseries over the past few years, and it’s hard to keep track of them all. That being said, these miniseries are some of the best releases in 2022 so far.
11 We crashed
We crashed stars Jared Leto as Adam Neumann, the founder of WeWorks, and Anne Hathaway as his wife Rebekah. The series follows the rise of the co-working space, whose valuation reached a ridiculous $47 billion, and the crash that followed. Leto is great as a quirky business owner, as is Hathaway who is wonderful opposite his co-star. We crashed is now streaming on Apple TV+.
ten Pam and Tommy
Pam and Tommy chronicles the tumultuous three-year marriage of actress Pamela Anderson (Lily James) and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan). The series focuses on stealing and distributing their infamous honeymoon sex tape and features some of the best performances of the year. by Seth Rogen Pam and Tommybased on the 2014 Rolling Stone article by Amanda Chicago Lewis, received 10 Emmy nominations, including nominations for Outstanding Seth Rogen, Stan and James, who receives his first Emmy nomination. Pam and Tommy is now streaming on Hulu.
9 Irma Vep
Irma Vep, which debuted with a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes, is about Mira (Alicia Vikander), an American movie star looking to change the direction of her career. Mira travels to France to star in an adaptation of the silent film The vampires. Vikander’s acting is magnificent against the magnificent backdrops of France. Irma Vep is available on HBO Max.
8 The Essex Serpent
The Essex Serpent is a Gothic romantic period drama based on the book by Sarah Perry. The series stars Claire Danes as newly widowed Cora Seaborne, an archaeologist who travels to the coastal town of Essex to investigate reports of a mythical serpent. There she meets local pastor Will Ransome (played by Tom Hiddleston) with whom she forms an unlikely bond. The Essex Serpent has stunning cinematography and gorgeous costumes as well as an interesting plot, not to mention a particularly riveting performance from Hiddleston. The Essex Serpent is available on Apple TV+.
Jessica Biel plays the titular Candy Montgomery in the biographical drama Candy. The miniseries is based on the 1980 murder of Betty Gore (Melanie Lynskey) in Wylie, Texas. Montgomery is framed for the ax murder and ends up on trial in the small town. The entire cast is amazing in this gripping drama and is an interesting retelling of this dark history. Candy is available on Hulu.
6 The thing about Pam
The thing about Pam discusses the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria and the involvement of her friend Pam Hupp (played by Renée Zellweger). Adapted from Deadline podcast, this series stands out among the many miniseries this year due to its use of comedic undertones and Zellweger’s fantastic performance as a self-proclaimed businesswoman. The thing about Pam is available on Hulu.
5 Plainville’s daughter
Plainville’s daughter is based on the true story of the death of Conrad Roy III and the subsequent conviction of his girlfriend Michelle Carter. Elle Fanning is captivating as high schooler Michelle Carter and has received praise for her performance, as have co-stars Colton Ryan and Chloë Sevigny. The series is emotional and sheds light on cyberbullying, but offers few easy answers about this painful event. Plainville’s daughter is streaming on Hulu.
4 Obi Wan Kenobi
The great Ewan McGregor is back as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the highly anticipated Star Wars series, Obi Wan Kenobi. The series takes place 10 years after the end of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) with Obi-Wan now hiding on the planet Tatooine. Obi Wan Kenobi brings back memorable actors like Jimmy Smits, James Earl Jones and Hayden Christensen who reprized his role as Darth Vader. McGregor is excellent as the titular character, as is Deborah Chow’s directing style. The show also adds the expanded universe that Lucasfilm is creating. Obi Wan Kenobi is available on Disney+.
Gun is a biopic following Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones (Toby Wallace) as the band forms and gains notoriety. The series, created by Craig Pearce, is a stylized retelling of the Sex Pistols short story and leads into an entertaining series. Gun is packed with wacky characters inspired by real people including Vivienne Westwood (Talulah Riley), a famous fashion designer from the punk rock movement, and Chrissie Hynde (Sydney Chandler), the lead singer of The Pretenders, who steals the show. Gun is now streaming on Hulu.
2 The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray
Samuel L. Jackson delivers one of his best performances to date in The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray. The six-episode miniseries, based on Walter Mosely’s novel, follows Ptolemy Gray (Jackson), a 91-year-old man with dementia who temporarily regains his memories after the murder of his nephew. The relationship between Jackson and Dominique Fishback, who plays Robyn, is beautiful and honest, resulting in a wonderful, heartfelt and melancholic story. The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray is available on Apple TV+.
1 Black bird
Black bird recount the true story of James “Jimmy” Keene (Taron Egerton), an up-and-coming football star who turns to a life of crime. The series, based on Keene’s autobiography In with the Devil: a fallen hero, a serial killer and a dangerous market for redemption, follows Keene as he is transferred to a maximum security prison after being offered the chance to commute his sentence by becoming an informant. The miniseries is intense and dramatic with Egerton and Paul Walter Hauser in particular delivering incredible performances, on top of that featuring one of the last characters Ray Liotta has ever played. Black bird is now streaming on Apple TV+.
The scale of miniseries has only grown over the years, leading to incredible settings, incredible stories, and top-notch talent. It’s gotten to the point where companies like Apple are paying $250 million for their miniseries (as evidenced by the upcoming series masters of the air), and the trend seems only to continue. With so many great series already released, audiences can’t help but be excited for the end of the 2022 miniseries.