I think I'm going to make this a ~thing~ at my blog, ranking TV shows network by network. I already ranked the episodic TV shows on HBO here, but I wanted to separate the mini series just because I watch so much content on that channel. I'm also going to include the few Docuseries I've watched here as well, but I'm going to leave out Vice since that morphed into its own channel and I feel like the lines are so blurred content wise. So here we go, hopefully I don't forget something like last time.
The Pacific - This is one of the first mini series I remember watching on HBO and honestly I could not tell you a thing about it now. I remember thinking the actors were good, but it just didn't stick with me over time.
I'll Be Gone in the Dark - This documentary personally was just very hard to watch. I feel so deeply for the victims and I'm glad they got the chance to tell their story, but it wasn't an easy viewing, which is why it doesn't rank higher. It makes me sad that Michelle McNamara didn't live to see how all of this ended.
McMillions - Despite this scam being all over the news at one point, I never bothered following it so seeing it all laid out as a series was good for me personally. I think they could've trimmed it down a bit more, but it was an engaging watch.
The Third Day - God, I'm torn on this. One one had the story WAS interesting but every character makes the dumbest mistakes possible in order for the plot to keep moving and they left a ton of questions unanswered at the end. But at the same time, I don't think I could've sat through more of this to get those answers.
Mildred Pierce - I liked this, but after seeing the Joan Crawford version it really can't compare, even though I think Evan Rachel Wood is tremendous in it. The low ranking doesn't equal bad, I still think its good, but I just like others better.
The Jinx - I was wary to watch this for a while because the way Andrew Jarecki framed his doc before this, Capturing The Friedmans in a very bias way was slightly off putting, but I'm glad I gave this a shot. It was very informative and catching this asshole admitting to his crimes on his hot mic as something else.
I Love You, Now Die - I think this might be the first time in true crime doc history that I went into a doc with one opinion and came out with another. Usually I go into these things blind, but this one I was familiar with and it made me realize just how much the media warped the story surrounding this case.
The Case Against Adnan Syed - This was another true crime series that was based on a popular Serial podcast, that I had never listened to. I thought it was really informative, but frustrating because this case really feels like it won't go anywhere.
I Know This Much Is True - Overall, this one is very good and features a career best from Mark Ruffalo but it's also sort of emotional torture porn, which is why it's in the middle.
The Plot Against America - This was also a bit hard to watch because even though it was set during an alternate WWII, it felt like it could be happening now. I wish this series had gotten a bit more attention but it came out in the same year as Watchmen and it just couldn't compare.
Lovecraft Country* - This COULD end up as a regular series, but a second season hasn't been announced yet, and that's why I didn't include it on the regular series post, but I wanted to talk about it somewhere. While I don't think it quite stuck the landing (okay, I'm just bitter about Ruby) I loved this show. The costumes were gorgeous and the actors were excellent. Like Watchmen, I appreciate it amplifying black stories and talking about important parts in history (like the Tulsa Massacre) that are egregiously left out in a lot of American education.
I May Destroy You* - Again this COULD end up as a regular series, but creator Michaela Coel says she has no plans to expand on it for now so I'm treating it as limited. I thought this was brilliant, I love Coel and even though this was about sexual assault, something I have a hard time watching in media, they framed it in a way that I didn't find overly triggering. I loved the characters, and I hope I see them again.
The Night Of - Side note, this has one of my favorite opening theme songs. This put Riz Ahmed on the map for me and was so well acted in interesting. The mystery aspect was engaging, but it's seeing what prison can do to a person that was the gut punch. I still think about the final shot of this show.
Sharp Objects - I'm a huge fan of Gillian Flynn and adapting Sharp Objects into a series was such a great choice. All the actors were great. As much as I love Amy Adams, she wasn't initially how I pictured Camille, but once I started watching it didn't matter. She was wonderful.
Watchmen - Yes, I'm still on that Watchmen high so this has to be my number one. This show always had an uphill battle. The Watchmen movie (unrelated) had mixed reviews and the first episode tells you right away it's going in a different direction but all of that is worth it. This is easily one of the most important shows HBO has ever done.