The Best HBO Miniseries of the 2010s

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HBO is famous for creating critically acclaimed and thought-provoking content that captures the attention of audiences around the world. The American premium network has consistently aired high-quality programs and movies since its inception in 1972, becoming the oldest and longest-running television subscription service in the United States. Many of the entertainment industry’s most renowned and revered shows call the network home, with some of Hollywood’s top performers, visionaries, writers and directors turning to HBO to produce their content. The 2010s were a lucrative time for the television pioneer that produced groundbreaking and lauded programs, many of which took the form of a miniseries.

Exceptional Kate Winslet transitioned beautifully from film to small screen when she took on the lead role in the 2011 psychological drama Mildred Pierce, later teamed up with HBO for some of the best TV shows of 2021, the hit crime drama Easttown mare. Tinsel Town legends Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks produced the epic WWII extravaganza The pacific, a sequel to the esteemed Band of brothers limited series that follows the efforts of three navies during the terrible world war. Here are some of the best HBO miniseries of the 2010s.

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8 Chernobyl

Detailing the catastrophic April 1986 nuclear accident and subsequent cleanup efforts, the 2019 historical drama miniseries Chernobyl spotlights the brave men and women who fought valiantly to fight off the devastating blast, portraying both the lives of those caught up in the disaster and those who responded to it. Heavily based on the recollections and recollections of the residents of Pripyat (the accident-ravaged ghost town) and the book by Svetlana Alexievich Voice of Chernobyl), the show is a chilling and shocking dramatization of the tragic event. The HBO series has won three Primetime Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes, garnering critical acclaim for its exceptional attention to detail, incredible cinematography, outstanding ensemble cast, and gripping and emotional storytelling.

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7 Mildred Pierce

Brilliant Kate Winslet headlines 2011 psychological drama Mildred Pierce, an adaptation of the novel by Jame M. Cain that follows the fiercely protective and selfless eponymous mother as she tries to survive life’s many obstacles and keep her family afloat during the Great Depression. The five-part miniseries delves into Pierce’s strained relationship with his spoiled eldest daughter and the harsh realities of being divorced during the story’s difficult time; the HBO drama marked Winslet’s first foray into the world of television.

While discussing her experience working on the small screen, the actress revealed to Collider, “I really felt the incredible support from HBO, constantly and daily, and it really helped us because we had a lot to do. There was so much to go through, and it was incredibly intense for all of us, but I I felt we had this glorious safety net gently encouraging and guiding us.


6 I can destroy you

The British black comedy-drama of 2020 I can destroy you tells the moving story of budding young writer Arabella Essiedu, who struggles to rebuild and reclaim her life after being sexually assaulted in a nightclub and slowly reevaluates the world she thought she knew. The talented Michaela Coel wrote, created and starred in the gripping drama, winning the Primetime Emmy Award and the British Academy Television Award for her powerful performance as the assault survivor.

Coel turned down a lucrative million dollar contract from Netflix because its ownership rights would have been removed, instead teaming up with the BBC and HBO to fund the poignant project. I can destroy you created to rave reviews for its acting, directing and the superb songs of the BBC series, with Voice stating that its “strength is in how directly it fixes Arabella’s trauma, while allowing just enough humor around the edges to avoid going dark”.


5 The young pope

Sensational Jude Law and Diane Keaton teamed up to star in the 2016 drama series The young pope, in which the first appears as the young and unruly Pope Pius XIII, who, after being elected, sets out to openly challenge the practices and traditions established by the Vatican. In the mesmerizing show, Keaton portrays American sister Mary, who raised the Pope (formerly known as Lenny Belardo) and serves as both ultimate confidante and personal secretary.

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The young pope had a production budget of $45 million, becoming the most expensive italian tv show ever created and built elaborate reconstructions of Vatican City; the miniseries was funded by HBO, Canal+ and Sky, and ran for three years. The drama proved to be a valid bet, as its premiere continued at collect the highest ratings of all time for the Sky network in Italy while earning praise for its lively humor and Law’s colourful, commanding performance. From its music to its cinematography, this is quite simply one of the finest and most imposing miniseries of all time, and its follow-up limited series, The new popeis almost as big.


4 watchmen

Boasting a diverse and exceptional cast including Regina King, Don Johnson and Jeremy Irons, the 2019 superhero drama watchmen is based on the 1986 DC Comics series and is set in an alternate history where mysterious vigilantes who were once considered heroes are now considered outlaws; the show focuses on the racist violence taking place in Tulsa, Oklahoma by a white supremacist group known as Seventh Kavalry.

Drama creator and screenwriter Damon Lindelof (Lost, the remains) decided to make a “remix” of the comics rather than reboot, wanting watchmen to portray racial tensions as the series features both historical and current conflicts. He said later NPR he felt that “not telling a story about race in the context of a political text in 2019 seemed almost irresponsible”, and Lindelof took inspiration from the 1921 Tulsa race massacre as the focal point of the mini- series. watchmen brilliantly deconstructs the superhero genre and is a modern masterpiece.


3 The pacific

Serve as a companion piece to the 2001 miniseries band of brothers, the 2010 war drama The pacific chronicles the experiences of three different marines from various regimes as they witness the horrors of the Pacific theater of World War II. Produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman, the harrowing and remarkable drama ended up costing over $200 million to produce, becoming the most expensive TV miniseries ever created by any network.

The pacific details the real-life experiences of U.S. Marines Robert Leckie, Eugene Sledge and John Basilone and is based on the published memoirs of the two former veterans, providing audiences with gripping documentation of the treacherous and emotional realities of World War II. The series has been hailed since its inception, with the Guardian commenting, “There are some scenes that will horrify you…For those who can stomach them, however, this is spectacular and profound television.”


2 Sharp objects

Amy Adams delivered arguably her best performance when she headlined the 2018 psychological thriller miniseries Sharp objects, taking on the role of struggling alcoholic journalist Camille Preaker as she returns to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri, to investigate the murders of two young girls. Camille must deal with her own personal tragedies and demons (including dangerous self-harm) while digging into the shocking crimes, and also dealing with the presence of her overbearing socialite mother.

Adapted from the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, the groundbreaking program took 10 years to hit the small screen, with the author serving as executive producer and co-writer of the HBO miniseries. Adams went on to win the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actress and a Satellite Award for her compelling portrayal of the emotionally troubled Camille.


1 Easttown Mare

Kate Winslet returned to the small screen for the lead role in the 2021 crime drama limited series Easttown Mare, appearing as Detective Sergeant Marianne “Mare” Sheehan, who investigates the murder of a teenage mother and the disappearance of another resident of her small Pennsylvania town. Mare must put aside her personal issues and heartache while dealing with the crimes, which involve her son’s tragic suicide, a messy divorce, and an ongoing custody battle over her young grandson.

To embody the character of suburban Philadelphia, Englishwoman Winslet insisted on learning the “Delco accent” because she firmly believed that the setting itself was a primary character in the story, have said, “There were a lot of things I could have really leaned on that would have made it fanciful and I didn’t want that to happen. So I just had to drill it and drill it and drill it. Easttown Mare was a smash hit at HBO, winning the actress a Golden Globe Award and leading to talk of a potential second season, despite the program being set up as a limited series.


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