• Emma Farris

Best Netflix mini-series to binge watch right now

While we may be most familiar with binge-watching a show that includes 3, 4, maybe even 17 seasons *ahem, Grey's Anatomy* Netflix mini-series that are simply one season long deserve our attention as well. While they do not feature reoccurring characters, sprawling storylines or over 100 episodes, it is in my binging experience that some of Netflix's single season releases are some of the most impactful series I have seen in a long time.


Here are some of my favorite mini-series you definitely need on your list right now.


~ Hollywood


This series produced in the iconic Ryan Murphy style dropped on Netflix in May 2020 and features 7 beautiful episodes. With a cast list featuring David Corenswet, Jim Parsons, Samara Weaving, Laura Harrier, Darren Criss, Jeremy Pope, Patti LuPone, Holland Taylor, Paget Brewster and Queen Latifah, Hollywood was set for success since the pre-production stage.


Hollywood follows a group of young and aspiring actors and filmmakers that come from all different backgrounds trying to make it big and get their moment in front of the camera in post-World War II Los Angeles. These kids will do almost anything to make their dreams come true, and so will the people who have been working the industry for years.


Hollywood strangely reads like a period-piece, dramatic version of Dance Moms in that it showcases the stakes the younger characters' "role models" will go to to win big and make money. Although, unlike the scripted reality show, Hollywood tells the story of budding stardom in a beautiful and thought-provoking way. The characters deal with a variety of topical issues from the 1970s, like racism, class separation etc. and throughout the 7 episodes, one never really settles on a favorite. They all have their ups and downs, but by the end you completely understand and resonate with each character.


Most importantly though, Hollywood exposes some of the toxicity and prejudices within the entertainment industry at the time (and now). Watching this show opens your eyes to how the world of acting and filmmaking really works, and you end up all the better for it.


~ When They See Us

When They See Us is a four part documentary series detailing the chronicles of the infamous Central Park Five criminal case and is directed by Ava DuVernay. It is emotionally heavy, tragically heart wrenching, and extremely gripping. The series follows five young Black men and they are framed and imprisoned for a heinous crime with little evidence to go off of, shedding light on corruption and racial profiling within the justice system.


When They See Us brings to the stage topics of discussion that are so important to today, especially after the events of June 2020. The DuVernay brought in a pretty rookie cast for this series, but they perform exquisitely under such pressure and heavy content. I cried every single episode because the story and acting were so gripping- it was almost emotionally exhausting.


I had only ever heard the term "Central Park Five" in passing before, never knowing what event it referred to. Now that I have seen this series, I can not believe there are still people who do not know the full story.


~ Tiger King


I doubt there are many people who did not view the Tiger King series, but maybe it deserves a re-watch. I have never been so fascinated by something so strange yet compelling.


I mean, there are actual people that like this that live in America?!?! The story of Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin was also brand new to me, and is just what I needed to lift me out of a quarantine rut. Not to mention, it started a whole new Tik-Tok culture.


The series was funny, intriguing, uncomfortable at times, and just overall enthralling. I have never wanted to know more about Baskin's "missing husband" more than I did while watching Tiger King. I give a round of applause to the production team as well, as the actually filming and documentary style of the series was spot-on, and I felt like I was not just learning the story, but truly following it.


P.S. She definitely fed her husband to the tigers

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