Briefings Magazine

And the Nominees for Best Limited Series Are…

These limited series are sufficiently binge-worthy without requiring a huge time investment.

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For decades, the limited series was synonymous with B-list cable TV, primarily because it’s hard to book advertisers without a steady time slot. Streaming upended that dynamic. These days, the best limited or anthology series is often the Emmy Awards’ strongest category. Somewhere between a movie and show, these miniseries often run six to 10 episodes, making them sufficiently binge-worthy without requiring a huge time investment. For that same reason, top Hollywood actors are flocking to the genre. The narrow scope also opens up the types of stories that can be told, allowing for exploration of complicated issues, book adaptations, and true-crime reenactments. Many notable historical events that might not sustain multiple seasons, such as the nuclear crisis at Chernobyl and the saga of the Central Park Five, are now able to be dramatized beyond just the 90-minute movie length. Some have described the limited series like a summer romance: exhilarating and formative without the weight of commitment. This winter, allow yourself a cinematic fling with Briefings’ picks for notable limited-run series. 1

The White Lotus


Set at a Hawaiian resort, director Mike White’s tragicomedy cuts to the beating heart of race, class, and gender tensions with a pitch-perfect cast, score, and screenplay.



Michael Keaton’s lead performance grounds this tale of human suffering as it traces the opioid crisis from the Purdue Pharma C-suite to an Appalachian doctor’s office.

Midnight Mass


A small island village grapples with the darkness buried in religious scripture, the search for purpose, and redemption in this supernatural horror miniseries. 

The North Water


Playing a master harpooner in this epic Arctic adventure, Colin Farrell anchors an unflinching depiction of 19th-century whaling and human savagery. 

The Underground Railroad

Amazon Prime

Director Barry Jenkins’s adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel explores the generational trauma inflicted by slavery, with magical-realist flair.

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