Top 10 miniseries to watch on HBO Max (2023)

Top 10 miniseries to watch on HBO Max (2023)

HBO has produced some of the best series in history ("The Sopranos", "Game of Thrones", or "The Last of Us"), as well as some of its miniseries, little gems that you can watch over a lazy weekend. In this article, we compiled the best of them.

Which miniseries will premiere on Max?

The HBO's streaming platform, which has recently has been renamed from HBO Max to MAX, continues to roll out new miniseries titles, and we know of at least a handful of projects that have launched and are expected to release in the next couple of years. Among them, for example, a remake of David Cronenberg's 1981 "Scanners", which was put into production by William Bridges ("Black Mirror"). We also hope to finally watch "The Son" from the director of "Dune" Denis Villeneuve starring Jake Gyllenhaal, or "The Vanishing Half", an upcoming drama about two twin sisters based on Brit Bennett's bestseller of the same name. In the meantime, let's take a look at the best mini-series that are already available on MAX.

Irma Vep (2022)

The series starring Alicia Vikander follows an American movie star Mira, who heads to France to star in Les Vampires movie. The heroine starts to lose it, mixing her character with her real self, which is getting more and more complicated because of her breakup, complex role, and the whole career crisis. The movie of the same name was already released by the same director, Olivier Assayas in 1996. The new series is a remake of this film-within-a-film piece.

Duration: 8 episodes.

The Staircase (2022)

The story of "The Staircase" centers on the real-life case of Michael Peterson, an American novelist accused of murdering his wife Kathleen. The woman died after falling off a ladder, but a series of subsequent findings and situations placed him as the prime suspect. This miniseries is based on the documentary series created by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, which deals with the Michael Peterson case. Lestrade won an Oscar for "Murder on a Sunday Morning", a documentary released in 2001. The series stars two great actors: Colin Firth and Toni Collette. 



Duration: 8 one-hour episodes. 
You'll like it if you like true crime and family dramas full of disturbing situations and betrayals.

Tokyo Vice (2022)

Based on the memoir by journalist Jake Adelstein, this crime drama takes us into the world of Tokyo as seen through the eyes of a foreigner. Tokyo Vice' is set in the 1990s. Jake Adelstein, a journalist from Missouri, settles in Tokyo and gets a job at one of Japan's leading newspapers. In charge of the current affairs section, Jake meets Hiroto Katagiri, a Tokyo Metropolitan Police inspector who fights organized crime. Katagiri will act as a mentor and father figure to Adelstein, who becomes interested in the yakuza world, the Japanese mafia. Jake will cross paths with Samantha, an American expatriate who works as a receptionist at a nightclub run by the yakuza. If you're wondering why this title sounds so familiar, it's because it's a clear homage to the series "Miami Vice", both directed by Michael Mann, one of the masters of American action cinema. 

Duration: 8 one-hour episodes. 
You'll like it if you like political cops with an exotic tinge, in this case, that of Japanese culture. 

Mare of Easttown (2021)

The crime thriller "Mare of Easttown" has become one of the latest hits on the platform and once again stars the great Kate Winslet in the lead role after her great performance in "Mildred Pierce". The story is set in a small, unremarkable town in Pennsylvania, USA, where a detective (Winslet) is forced out of her routine and crumbling personal life to investigate a murder. The series handles dialogue, silences, and narrative tension with excellence to maintain suspense until the end. 



Duration: 7 one-hour episodes.
You'll like it if you like well-scripted crime series and love, as we do, Kate Winslet.

Chernobyl (2019)

"Chernobyl'" rigorously traces the events that led to one of the most significant nuclear catastrophes in history. With the help of a strong cast - including Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard, Emily Watson, and Paul Ritter, this historical miniseries dramatizes the stories of the heroes who gave their lives to prevent an even greater tragedy while reviewing all the mistakes, incompetence, and corruption that led to the disaster, as well as the subsequent management of it. It has been considered to be the best HBO series of 2019.

Duration: 5 episodes of between 60 and 70 minutes.
You'll like it if you're interested in historical series and want to delve into one of the worst non-bellicose disasters in European history.

Years & Years (2019)

The sci-fi miniseries "Years & Years" has become one of HBO's latest phenomena. This British production from the BBC takes us to a dystopian future (like all futures, lately), in which the nightmare is not spectacular... but terrifyingly simple. The Lyons, a family from Manchester, experience firsthand the consequences of climate change, the distressing omnipresence of new technologies, globalization, and populism, among other phenomena already present in today's society and world. And all this, seasoned with cynical British humor makes it all more realistic.

Duration: 6 one-hour episodes.
You'll like it if the stories of "Black Mirror" are not long enough for you and you don't like the storyline.

Sharp Objects (2018)

Based on Gillian Flynn's novel of the same name, this psychological thriller triumphed with critics and audiences alike for its captivating blend of the detective genre with the theme of troubled family relationships. It is set in the town of St. Louis, where a young girl is murdered, and another goes missing. Journalist Camille Preaker (played masterfully by Amy Adams) returns to her hometown to investigate both events while dealing with open wounds from her past, from her mental health issues to her unhinged relationship with her eccentric mother and half-sister. Sharp Objects' is equal parts complex and fascinating.

Duration: 8 one-hour episodes.
You'll like it if you are into noir and want to delve into the portrait of deep America.

Watchmen (2019)

Adapted from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' comic book and the sequel, this limited series by Damon Lindelof ("Lost", "The Leftovers") swept the 2020 Emmys with 26 nominations and 11 statuettes. This production masterfully tells the supposed consequences of the story of Moore's book, taking us to 2019 with a social climate not so different from the real one of the Trump era: "Watchmen" talks about racism, police violence, infiltrations of supremacist groups in the institutions and the dangers of these for democracy. All with a spectacular cast that includes Jeremy Irons, Regina King, Don Johnson, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

Duration: 9 one-hour episodes.
You'll like it if you're into graphic novel-based productions with a solid social edge.

Generation Kill (2008)

The creator of "The Wire", David Simon, signed this miniseries in 2008, which is not so well known but worth discovering. "Generation Kill" shows the Iraq war in 2003 and the US participation in this absolutely unnecessary war that left harsh and irreversible consequences for both the local population and the US soldiers themselves. This series, based on the book of the same name by Evan Wright, is written by Ed Burns (David Simon's regular script and production partner on his series) and stars Alexander Skarsgard ("Big Little Lies", "True Blood"). 

Duration: 7 episodes of about 70 minutes.
You'll like it if you enjoy the war genre, but you're more interested in understanding the story from a critical point of view than in the action scenes.

The Night Of (2016)

Long before Netflix's lauded courtroom drama "When They See Us" saw the light of day, this miniseries starring the great Riz Ahmed ("Sound of Metal", "Four Lions") and John Turturro ("The Great Lebowsky", "The Name of the Rose") also garnered rave reviews. We draw the parallel because the subject matter is very similar: "The Night Of" tells the story of a young man (in this case, of Pakistani origin) accused of a murder he claims not to have committed. "The Night Of" is not based on a real case, but is a remake of a British series. Unlike "When They See Us", where the innocence of the protagonists is more than clear, HBO's production keeps the viewer in tension and doubt from beginning to end while still criticising the intrinsic racism of the American justice system.

Duration: 8 one-hour episodes.
You'll like it if you're interested in psychological thrillers and the courtroom genre.

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