Along with the sheer volume of ideas, voices and viewing options that we now enjoy, one of the most exciting TV trends of the past decade has been a streaming-driven liberation from standard hourlong drama and half-hour sitcom formats—a development that has brought the miniseries back in a big way. These one-season wonders are an art form all their own. They require more efficient storytelling and character development than a show designed to run for years. And since they don’t stick around long enough to wear out their welcome, they’re often more satisfying in the end. In celebration of what has become one of my favorite varieties of television—and as a supplement to my list of the decade’s 10 best shows—here’s a chronological list of the miniseries I loved most in the 2010s.

A note on criteria: Now that networks seem to be using the “limited series” designation to test out longer-term concepts—and popular miniseries like Downton Abbey and Big Little Lies have been renewed for two or more seasons—it’s harder than ever define what does and doesn’t fit into this category. To qualify for this list, however, a miniseries has to be defined as such in advance of its release. It can have sequels, like Top of the Lake and The Young Pope, but it can’t be a single, continuous story that spans multiple seasons or a series that was canceled after just one.)

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