The 10 best limited-edition TV series of 2021

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Liam Hoofe with his top 10 limited editions of 2021…

In a year when most of us still spent more time at home than we would have liked, television and streaming services have been our best friends. Surprising hits like Squid game to return favorites as Succession, most of us have consumed more television than ever this year.

With so many TV choices, sitting down to catch up on multiple seasons of a show can be a daunting task. This is where limited series (or mini-series) come in. These one-season shows tell a compact story that in many cases can be consumed in a binging marathon. 2021 has been an incredibly strong season for miniseries, with more streaming services than ever before. Let’s take a look at the best 2021 has to offer.

10: The Beatles: Come Back

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One of the most ambitious TV projects of the year took the form of The Beatles: Come Back. This nearly 8-hour documentary, divided into three parts, was a labor of love by Peter Jackson. Jackson traveled over 70 hours of footage to provide audiences with a glimpse into the creative process of one of the most influential musical groups to ever exist.

Lasting eight hours, the series is not always easy to watch. In fact, it’s best to break it down into even smaller parts, but there are some incredible moments of magic and insight here that are well worth it. Importantly, it also humanizes a group that has often been treated like gods and offers a whole new look at their relationships with one another. It’s an essential viewing for fans of The Beatles, the arts, and the creative process in general.

9:Sick

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One of the last mini-series to hit our screens this year was Hulu’s Sick. The show focused on an epidemic triggered by the big pharma companies has certainly touched some viewers, but the news aside, it’s a gripping, well-put-together series with a solid performance. Michael Keaton is the big name attached here, but other performers like Will Poulter and the always reliable Rosario Dawson also shine everywhere.

8: WandaVision

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Marvel’s television adventure dominated Disney + in 2021. WandaVision, as it stands, is the only show that won’t have a second season. The show was by far the most intriguing of the company’s first series of shows, with the first nine or so episodes delivering a complicated and well-directed mystery. While the show didn’t necessarily come to an end, returning to a big Marvel fight to see things, it was still a trippy and extremely enjoyable ride.

7: Midnight mass

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Mike Flanagan’s horror miniseries have garnered a lot of attention in recent years. Midnight Mass took a different turn, with the writer / director this time choosing to focus on a small island instead of any sort of haunted house. The results were probably his strongest show to date.

Midnight Mass is a fascinating examination of grief, faith and redemption and it all comes together in a superb performance by Hamish Linklater as the mysterious priest. While the show has similar dialogue issues that have hampered some of Flanagan’s other work, when she’s good, it takes her out of the park altogether. The final episodes, in particular, are gripping and well directed, delivering a lot of horror and excitement along the way.

6: The Underground Railroad

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It’s no surprise that Barry Jenkins was able to produce such a stunning piece of television when he got the chance. While Amazon Studios is probably the least consistent of the streaming providers, they’ve knocked it out of the park with The Underground Railroad.

The series imagines the Underground Railroad as a real train, with Thuso Mbedu in a powerful performance as an escaped slave in the title role. Joel Edgerton is at his best as a slave owner who chases her across the land in this brutal yet beautifully-directed miniseries. It’s an essential viewing and one of the best series of 2021.

5: Dexter: new blood

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As a longtime lover of Dexter, the final season of the original series broke my heart. It was a horrific end to what had once been one of the best TV shows. Despite this, I was still skeptical about the return of the series this year.

Fortunately, Dexter: new blood turned out to be better than I could have asked for. The return of Clyde Phillips has brought the series back to its former glory and also seems to bring a real end to the series.

As the only show on this list still on TV, things could still turn out badly for Dexter, but given the promise the season has shown, that seems highly unlikely.

4: Easttown mare

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Kate Winslet gave one of the best performances of the year in the Shining Easttown mare. Feeling in many ways like an American response to Happy valley, the show centered around a grieving mother who was also a hard-hitting and pragmatic sleuth on the hunt for missing girls.

The show explored several themes, including grief, and was anchored by exceptional performances and first-rate writing. Everything about this show just worked, with several subplots and character arcs all coming together beautifully in its limited seven-episode series.

3: Landscapers

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Will Sharpe has proven to be one of the most interesting writers and directors of recent years, and Landscapers is perhaps his best work to date. This four-part series tells the story of a seemingly sweet and ordinary couple who murdered one of their parents and buried him in their garden in Mansfield.

Olivia Colman and David Thewlis star in this drama and it goes without saying that they are exceptional. The relationship between the two comes to life brilliantly, with Thewlis, in particular, stealing the show. Sharpe manages to turn what would have been a classic crime drama in the hands of someone else into something extraordinary. The final episode is the perfect combination of style and substance, with the series asking more questions than it answers in the long run. This is a truly compelling and unique work that deserves to be seen by a wider audience.

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Stephen Graham is one of the best British actors of his generation, and if you need more proof of that, check out Time. This three-part BBC prison drama centers on Sean Bean’s Mark Cobden, a former teacher who finds himself behind bars following a drunk driving incident. Stephen Graham plays alongside him as one of the prison guards who come under increasing pressure from inmates.

There are hundreds of dramas in prison, but when they are over as well Time, they really land. This is a difficult but sometimes incredibly deep examination of the UK prison system and the way we treat people behind bars. Sean and Graham are just outstanding here, with Bean having his best performance in quite some time.

1: It’s a sin

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Russell t davies It’s a sin isn’t just the best limited series of the year, it’s the best TV show of the year. Davies is a master at finding humor and making us smile in the darkest of situations, and It’s a Sin made us feel both our ups and downs.

Set in London during the AIDS epidemic, the show follows a group of young gay men as they struggle to come to terms with what is going on around them. The series has a provocative spirit, perfectly summed up by Ritchie, the central character of the series played by Years and Years frontman Olly Alexander.

It was a show as brave as it was horrible. He tackled not only the AIDS crisis head-on, but also the reaction of society and the way these young men had to fight against who they were. Keeley Hawkes ‘turn as Ritchie’s mother was one of the hardest parts of the show, while Callum Scott Howells’ performance as Colin is one of the most heartbreaking I’ve seen in years. years.

In just five short episodes, It’s a sin will make you laugh, cry, and ultimately just make you hug your loved ones a little closer. Underneath it all, it’s a show about friendship, love, and pride in who you are. Russell T Davies, say hello.

What are your favorite limited series of 2021? Let us know on our social media @ FlickeringMyth…

Liam Hoofe


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