TV’s Guilty Pleasures: 24 Short Series You Won’t Be Able To Put Down

Sharp Objects (2018)

Looking to binge a short and sweet television series? One that hooks you from the very beginning? Same here. Check out this list of short series you'll wish went on for another season.

1. The Fall of the House of Usher (2023)

The Fall of the House of Usher group e1694534646399
Image Credit: Netflix.

This one swirls gruesome violence, surrealism, emphatic performances and some legendary source material into some pretty compelling television. This isn't some nuanced drama or a hyper-analytical character study; it's self-indulgent horror with some humor and quippy takes on contemporary society. 

2. Sharp Objects (2018)

Sharp Objects (2018)
Image Credit: HBO Entertainment.

Sharp Objects is a psychological thriller that puts Amy Adams' subtle dramatic power and some eerie imagery to work. It's a murder mystery that will keep you guessing — and wondering when and if there might be a sequel series. 

3. The Queen's Gambit (2020)

the queens gambit
Image Credit: Netflix.

A young female orphan takes the world of chess by storm. However, she struggles with addition. The storyline hooks viewers quietly cheering her on from their couches.

4. Chernobyl (2019)

chernobyl 2019 e1694629318768
Image Credit: Home Box Office (HBO).

If you're interested in what happened at the infamous Chernobyl power plant meltdown in the 80s, this historical drama details it all. It will leave you heartbroken and praying for the unsung heroes.

5. Westworld (2016)

Image Credit: HBO Entertainment.

This futuristic park is more than it seems. If you are looking for a show that somehow delightfully mixes Westerns and sci-fi, you will love Westworld. 

6. Archive 81 (2022)

Archives 81
Image Credit: Netflix

If you're into solving a mystery alongside the main characters, you will love Archive 81. The story follows a guy trying to fix some videotapes, alone, in the middle of nowhere… in a government-like facility. You do the math.

7. Midnight Mass (2021)

midnight mass 2021
Image Credit: Netflix.

When a new preacher comes to a little island town, miracles start to happen. But the townspeople don't know a supernatural force is at play. You'll be glued to your couch binge-watching Midnight Mass all weekend (if you haven't seen it already).

8. True Detective Season 1 (2014)

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television Distribution

HBO's first season of True Detective is an anthology crime drama following two Louisiana State Police homicide detectives (Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson) investigating the murder of an adult worker in 1995. After 17 years, they revisit the case among additional unsolved crimes.

9. The Night of (2016)

Image Credit: BBC Worldwide Productions

HBO's The Night Of is an eight-part crime drama television miniseries following a Pakistani American (Riz Ahmed) college student in New York City. He wakes and discovers a woman he partied with stabbed to death, and he is charged with her murder.   

10. The Haunting of Hill House (2018)

the haunting of hill house
Image Credit: Netflix.

Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House is a supernatural horror drama miniseries. It follows five adult siblings still haunted by paranormal activity occurring at Hill House as children. It features a star-studded cast, including Elizabeth Reaser, Michiel Huisman, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Victoria Pedretti, and Kate Siegel.

11. Bodyguard (2018)

Image Credit: Netflix

Bodyguard on Netflix is a British political thriller six-part miniseries following a British Army war veteran and Police Sergeant with PTSD. He is ultimately assigned to protect the Home Secretary whose politics he loathes.

12. Severance (2022 – )

Image Credit: Apple Inc.

Severance on Apple TV+ is a sci-fi psychological thriller series. It follows an employee of Lumon Industries (Adam Scott) agreeing to a severance program that separates his work memories from his non-work memories. It also stars Zach Cherry, Britt Lower, Tramell Tillman, Jen Tullock, Dichen Lachman, Christopher Walken, Patricia Arquette, Michael Chernus, and John Turturro.

13. Unbelievable (2019)

Image Credit: Netflix

Unbelievable is a true crime miniseries on Netflix following a dramatization of the 2008–2011 serial assault cases in Washington and Colorado. It follows a teenage girl (Kaitlyn Dever) charged with lying about being assulted and two detectives (Toni Collette and Merritt Wever) following a twisting path leading to an unbelievable truth. 

14. Mr. Inbetween (2018 – 2021)

Image Credit: Disney Platform Distribution

Mr. Inbetween is an Australian black comedy-crime drama with three seasons following a hitman for hire (Scott Ryan) who balances his criminal activities and obligations to friends and family. It also stars Chika Yasumura, Natalie Tran, Brooke Satchwell, Nicholas Cassim, Justin Rosniak, and Damon Herriman.

15. Dopesick (2021)

Image Credit: Disney Platform Distribution

Hulu's Dopesick is an eight-episode miniseries drama demonstrating the effects of the opioid addiction epidemic across the United States. It focuses on various agencies, including Purdue Pharma, the Food and Drug Administration, and the United States Department of Justice, and their conflicts of interest.

Ultimately, it outlines the legal case against Purdue Pharma concerning OxyContin's development, testing, and marketing. It stars Kaitlyn Dever, Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, and Rosario Dawson.  

16. Fargo (2014 – 2023)

Image Credit: Disney–ABC Domestic Television

Fargo is a black comedy crime drama inspired by the Coen brother's 1996 Fargo film. The show consists of four seasons and follows an anthology format. Each season draws heavy inspiration from various Coen brothers' movies referenced within the four seasons. It's streaming on Hulu.

17. The Watcher (2022)

The Watcher Jennifer Coolidge
Image Credit: Netflix.

Netflix's The Watcher is a mystery thriller miniseries following the true story of a married couple. After relocating to their dream home in Westfield, New Jersey, they begin receiving harassing letters signed by a stalker named The Watcher.

18. The Americans (2013-2018)

The Americans
Image Credit: FX Networks.

Airing for six seasons between 2013 and 2018, FX's The Americans is a Cold War spy drama.

It stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as two Societ KGB officers posing as a married American couple in a Washington D.C. suburb with their two American-born children.

19. Killing Eve (2018-2022)

Killing Eve
Image Credit: BBC.

Based on the Villanelle series of novels by Luke Jennings, Killing Eve is a British spy thriller whose first two seasons are some of the best television you can watch today.

The show follows Eve (Sandra Oh), an MI5 analyst who becomes bored with her role and is recruited to join the MI6 foreign intelligence agency.

20. Prison Break Season 1 (2005)

Prison Break
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

The first season of Prison Break hooked television viewers from the very beginning.

Michael Schofield (Wentworth Miller) is a certified genius and is tasked with purposely getting himself imprisoned so that he can help his brother, Lincon Burrows (Dominic Purcell), escape.

21. Dark (2017 – 2020)

Dark series
Image Credit: Netflix

This German show follows a town as the entire population deals with a supernatural force taking over and the disappearance of two children. The show is dark and twisted, and it's easy to binge in a few hours.

22. Fleabag (2016 – 2019)

Photo Credit: Two Brothers Pictures.

This show is known for its witty banter and breaking of the fourth wall, and it honestly makes the show so easy to fly through. Fleabag is about a woman who is trying to come to terms with her life in London, all while dealing with a recent tragedy.

23. Barry (2018 – 2023)

Barry (2018) Anthony Carrigan
Image Credit: HBO Entertainment.

While Barry has a number of seasons, the 30-minute-long episodes make it easy to binge. The show stars Bill Hader, who plays a hitman who moves from the Midwest to LA and ends up getting caught in the city's theatre scene.

24. American Vandal (2017 – 2018)

American Vandal
Image Credit: Netflix

This two-season series is a true-crime satire about nearly innocent pranks at a school that gets blown out of proportion. It's fun and is easy to finish in one day!

Source: Reddit.

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