What do you call that awkward phase when your cravings are not satisfied by a mere movie yet you are not emotionally ready to invest in a full length TV show? I call it the perfect time to watch a miniseries. Paced yet detailed, suspenseful without the pain of waiting and filled to the prim with masterful plotlines without the useless fillers, these shows are perfect to fill up a few empty hours.
1. War and Peace
You may never have the patience (or courage) to read Tolstoy’s work in its entity, but you can surely enjoy this enchanting six part adaptation. Finally balancing the drama and philosophy that defines the source material, watch the lives of young Russian aristocrats tangle and play out against the backdrop of stunning cinematography.
2. And Then There Were None
Agatha Christie’s magnum opus comes alive in this chilling, suspenseful adaptation that will have you at the edge of your seat for all three episodes, even if you do know how it all ends. Watch the plot unravel alongside the character’s sanity, as they all face the dark deeds each of them had committed.
3. Pillars of the Earth
An extraordinary story about the inhabitants of a dark time, the series follows the building of a cathedral in a small priory in England during the 12th century. Larger historical events are tides that sweep in occasionally to stir up the small centric point of Kingsbridge, but the core of the story remains in the diverse roll of tightly knit characters.
English teacher Jake Epping is sent back in time to 1958 at the behest of a friend with a singular task – save President Kennedy from his assassination, which would hopefully result in a better world. But time and history are not that easy to manipulate, there is a balance to be maintained, and love is a force that binds across time and space.
5. Alias Grace
An innocent woman forced by circumstances and in fear of her own life, a cold blooded murderess, or a master of manipulation and lies? Grace is a woman imprisoned for life for murders she claims to have no memory of. When a young man tries to unravel her life, he is faced with things he couldn’t have imagined, and with no way to separate the truth from the lies.
A young man turns his escape from poverty into his greatest artwork, delighting audiences as he emerges unscathed from all binds, chains, and cages. But the man behind the death-defying stunts is just as enigmatic, as he challenges frauds, engages in espionage and goes against some of the biggest names of his times.
7. Big Little Lies
What could you possibly be offered from a group of rich suburban stay at home and working mothers? Big dramas, little white lies, and a pot full of darkness. An elevation of the family drama that surrounds us all, the show is a wonderful view of what keeps people together, what pulls them apart, and how humans deal with the mess they make.
Universally lauded, this brilliant adaptation of the world’s most famous detective brings him to life in modern London, with idiosyncratic tendencies, faithful sidekicks, and some good ol’ murders in tow. Every ninety-minute episode is a roller-coaster of mind-twisting mystery interspersed with humour, engaging subplots, and plenty of clues you will likely miss the first time around.
And there you have it. The next time you catch a flu or have a spare weekend, you know just what you should be searching for. Of course, there are a lot many more shows that deserve to be listed; personal biases selected these. But no matter what your genre preference, time frame, or particularities be, you will surely enjoy at least a few of these amazing shows.
By Niharika Rawat