In recent years, large entertainment companies are making more and more miniseries: show of a few episodes which are best suited to being devoured in a day or a weekend. The old long-form products that had at least twenty episodes for each season are therefore just a distant memory (find out here which long-form series you should watch at least once in your life). But the short duration of these miniseries is not a point against them. Indeed, in the last period miniseries have been the most popular shows on Netflix. Some, however, have gone unnoticed come The English Gameperhaps because they were overshadowed by TV series that were more publicized and talked about.
If you missed one of these little pearls, you absolutely need to catch up.
1) The Eddy
How is it possible that a TV series directed by Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle and written by Jack Thorne was snubbed by everyone? Perhaps the limited publicity it received ended up eclipsing this miniseries which came out in 2020. The show set in Paris combines crime with musicals and tells a very interesting story: the life of Elliot Udo, a former jazz pianist, is turned upside down by The unexpected arrival of his daughter leads to a terrible discovery he makes about his colleague.
What makes this TV series special is above all the setting: the protagonists of The Eddy move in a real and multi-ethnic Paris (therefore light years away from the postcard one of Emily in Paris). And then there is the jazz music that permeates everything and sublimates everything, making this miniseries magical.
2) The English Game
A small pearl that in just six episodes told the origin of the most popular sport in the world. The TV series created by Julian Fellowes, one of the authors of Downton Abbey, the most loved period drama of all, has unfairly gone unnoticed, not achieving the success it deserved. At the center of the plot we have Fergus Suter, a humble stonemason, who together with his friend Jimmy Love is recruited into a local football team made up of proletarians.
When Darwen, a team of workers from Lancashire, decides to have their team participate in the FA Cup, professional football is born. But this team will have to overcome many difficulties because the aristocrats of the London clubs do not take kindly to the fact that even the workers can play that noble game. And therefore in The English Game the telling of the history of football also becomes an excuse to tell the struggles of the working class who wanted to obtain more rights.
Perfectly acted and sublimely written, this miniseries is not only aimed at football lovers but also at those who want to know a cross-section of 19th century England.
A very powerful true story told in a masterfully acted miniseries. What am I talking about? Of course Unbelievable. This TV series, released by Netflix in 2019 has not reached the general public as it should have. In Unbelievable, a young 18-year-old girl claims to have been raped by a man, but the police, after finding inconsistencies in her story, do not believe her and report her for perjury.
Two detectives take her side and among other things discover that there are many other women who have been attacked in the same way. Kaitlyn Dever undoubtedly gives an unforgettable performance, managing to convey to the audience all the drama that follows violence. The series expertly combines drama with crime, telling a story that leaves its mark and hits us like a punch in the stomach. It deserves to be seen for many reasons, and above all because few other TV series have managed to tackle such a complex topic in such a timely manner.
4) Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker
One of the many wonderful miniseries released in 2020 is Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker with the wonderful Octavia Spencer. The four-episode series tells the story of Sarah Breedlove, the first African-American woman to become a millionaire entrepreneur. Inspired by biography On Her Own Ground written by her niece A’Lelia Bundles, the Netflix series focuses above all on the difficulties Sarah had to face in building her empire.
In fact, the woman had to challenge the prevailing machismo over the years and the tough competition before being able to realize her dream. Octavia is perfect as this humble washerwoman who managed to become a billionaire thanks to a brilliant intuition: Create a hair line for African American women. The TV series tells, even if in a sometimes too fictionalized way, a powerful and still decidedly current story that deserves to be seen.
Unfortunately, this miniseries, like The English Game, did not have the success it deserved.
5) Seven Seconds
Seven Seconds has been unfairly underestimated, despite being an excellent and compelling crime novel. Created by Veena Sud (The Killing), is inspired by a Russian film (The Major of 2013) and boasts in the cast a great actress like Regina King. She plays the role of a mother, Latrice Butler, who must fight against the unjust American justice system. In fact, his son was hit by a white policeman and his colleagues are trying to cover up the case.
Faced with this terrible injustice, the local community rises up and the anger of African-American citizens who are tired of being oppressed explodes in the city. A surprising series that keeps the viewer glued to the screen until the absolutely unexpected ending. Unfortunately Seven Seconds it didn’t get the media attention it deserved and in fact was canceled after just one season. Fortunately, the ending closes the narrative arc perfectly and gives a worthy epilogue to this story, effectively making it a done and done miniseries.