The 10 best miniseries of 2021, according to Letterboxd


Since we’re right in the middle of awards season, everyone is looking back to 2021 and catching up with the best of the best. The most underrated genre across the board is the miniseries. These types of limited series are gaining more and more attention in the streaming era, but there are still many that tend to miss viewers’ attention.

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Miniseries come from different types of studios around the world and cover a variety of topics with narrative and documentary styles. These are the best of the best miniseries of 2021 according to Letterboxd fans.


The Underground Railroad (4.2)

Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video

Amazon's historical series The Underground Railroad

Barry Jenkins has made a strong impression on critics in recent years with films like Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk. Last year, he branched out into dramatic television with The Underground Railroad which told the story of the titular network that transported slaves to their freedom in the north.

The ten-episode series was one of Amazon Prime’s best original shows of 2021, debuting to critical acclaim. It went on to win the Golden Globe for Best Miniseries.

I can’t get you out of my head (4.2)

No streaming currently

A photo from Can't Get You Out Of My Head of a Chinese couple

Like many Adam Curtis projects, I can’t get you out of my head is extremely difficult to pin down. The six-part series bounces between topics repeatedly, telling stories of conspiracy theories, the rise of the individual and the impact Britain has had on contemporary Chinese culture.

It also changes the methodology through which these stories are frequently told with some moments that are almost literally shocking and some that are wonderfully impressionistic. It all culminates in a two-hour finale that brings together all the seemingly unrelated topics in surprising and rewarding ways.

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha (4.3)

Available to stream on Netflix

The two protagonists of Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha look at each other

If you heard of something Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha that’s probably the astronomical success the show has generated since its premiere. It set all sorts of viewership records in its native South Korea, then became one of the most-streamed foreign-language shows in Netflix history when it landed on the platform.

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It also won awards from numerous industry publications and shows praising it for seamlessly blending the quintessentially island romance genre into other styles throughout its 16 episodes.

Vincent (4.3)

Available to stream on Netflix

Vincenzo speaks Italian swinging a thug out of a building in Vincenzo

Another South Korean miniseries that reached a massive international audience via Netflix, but this time it’s a much darker and more serious drama. Vincenzo is a dark gangster genre drama that manages to avoid clichés and apply refreshing storylines and personal struggles to the characters.

He wowed people all year round, with a few names Vincenzo a K-drama they didn’t know they needed, thanks to its unique and jaw-dropping take on many familiar gangster story tropes.

O Caso Evandro (4.3)

No streaming currently

A photograph of a young boy sitting at a desk

For many people, the true crime highlight of 2021 has been O Caso Evandro. The Brazilian documentary delved into one of the most gruesome yet fascinating crimes in the country’s history and the complicated way it played out in the public eye.

It’s full of all the rich, shocking detail that true crime fans expect in a good miniseries. Lack of familiarity with the ways of the case may add to the interest, as for many this will be the first time they hear the story.

Tear along the dotted line (4.4)

Available to stream on Netflix

The main character of Tear Along The Dotted Line

One of the most unique miniseries of the year, this one from Netflix Tear along the dotted line is the fascinated vision of a man who does all the writing, animating and almost all the voice acting.

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Zerocalcare’s style is relentlessly witty and socially awkward without compromise as it deals with uncomfortable romantic situations played for dark humor. If adult animated comedies are your style, the six episodes of Tear are staples of television.

Maid (4.4)

Available to stream on Netflix

Maid is the ten-part story of a woman who must leave an abusive relationship and work as a housekeeper to support her young daughter. The show is highlighted by an outstanding performance from Margaret Qualley as the title character who seems capable of persevering through anything for the sake of her daughter.

The show is an incredibly well-written drama with dynamic characters that extracts plot from almost every second of every episode and unites fans and critics alike by calling it not only one of the best miniseries of the year , but also one of the best Netflix shows of 2021 .

It’s a sin (4.4)

Available to stream on HBO Max

It’s a sin is a Channel 4 miniseries queer as folk and Doctor Who alum Russell T Davies who follows a gay group at the height of the AIDS crisis. It has been praised by critics at all levels for the dynamic performances of its impressive cast and refusal to shy away from difficult subject matter and brutal honesty in its portrayal of historical apathy towards the LGBTQ+ community.

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The show attracted over 5 million viewers for each of its 5 episodes and won numerous awards in England and abroad, certifying it as one of the best TV shows of 2021.

Go to Heaven (4.5)

Available to stream on Netflix

Sang-Gu on the phone with Geu-Ru in Move to Heaven

This Netflix original South Korean miniseries is the very definition of a critical darling, garnering overwhelmingly positive reviews from nearly every critic who’s watched it. The show follows an autistic teenager and his uncle who becomes his legal guardian after the boy’s father dies. The two run the family’s longtime crime scene cleanup business and uncover the victims’ tragic stories along the way.

The show was hailed for its spectacular performances and remarkable visual storytelling, culminating in its landing as the highest-rated narrative miniseries of 2021 on Letterboxd.

The Beatles: Come Back (4.6)

Available to stream on Disney+

The Beatles' Get Back Rooftop Performance Featured

The fugitive pick of Letterboxd users’ favorite miniseries of 2021 is Peter Jackson’s Beatles documentary To recover. It follows the recording of the group’s last album So be it through never-before-seen audio recordings and archival footage. The series has generated massive praise and fanfare for the incredibly interesting and well-curated footage as well as its unique take on the musical documentary style.

The show was a huge hit for Disney+ and footage from the concert was edited together and released as its own standalone movie which did pretty well in theaters. Its combination of compelling subject matter, great direction, and great material made it one of the best documentary miniseries in a long time.

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