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Looking for something to watch that doesn’t require quite the commitment of a full season of TV but a bit more investment than just a movie? A miniseries, which is any TV show or web series that spans several episodes without continuing onto a second season, might provide exactly what you’re looking for. Think of a miniseries as a TV show that you know will only have a singular, often very brief season. You won’t feel that urge to race to the finish line that you might if you started an eight-season TV show from episode one, because the finish line is pretty much right in front of you from the start.
If miniseries scratch that itch you’ve been ignoring for far too long, then here are four miniseries you can binge this weekend.
The Looming Tower (Hulu)
Jeff Daniels and Peter Sarsgaard co-star in this 11-episode miniseries detailing the circumstances that may have led to the tragedy of 9/11. The Looming Tower chronicles how Al-Qaeda was gaining power and infamy in the late 1990s just as the FBI and CIA were squabbling. The interagency conflict, as The Looming Tower shows, may have left crucial gaps in U.S. intelligence gathering and terrorism resistance that led to Al-Qaeda successfully executing the attacks of 9/11.
When They See Us (Netflix)
In this four-episode miniseries, esteemed filmmaker Ava DuVernay chronicles the 1989 criminal case of the Central Park Five, a group of black teenagers who were wrongfully accused of sexually assaulting a jogger. The Central Park Five may have special relevance in this day and age, because President Donald J. Trump gained notoriety around the time of the criminal case for taking out newspaper ads calling for the teenagers’ death. Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris has called on Trump to watch When They See Us and reconsider his stance, which he has maintained to this day.
George Clooney directed this six-episode miniseries based on Joseph Heller’s storied novel. As in Heller’s book, which is taught in high school English classrooms across the U.S., Catch-22 details the attempts of the World War II soldier Yossarian to avoid his military duties. Although many have previously described Catch-22 as incapable of being adapted for film or TV, some critics have claimed that Clooney has broken the book’s longstanding curse.
Over five episodes that each run just under an hour, director Diego Enrique Orsono documents the titular year in Mexico City. During this year, violence and tensions in Mexico peaked, as assassinations and rebellions threw the country’s political structure into chaos. In 1994, Orsono interviews journalists, members of Mexico’s then-leading political party, and people involved in campaigning for Luis Donaldo Colosio Murrieta, the assassinated politician set to take over the Mexican presidency. 1994 arrives just two months after Netflix released a similar series on Colosio’s assassination, Crime Diaries: The Candidate. However, 1994 has arrived with far stronger critical reviews.
Which miniseries are you thinking about binging? Sound off in the comments!