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The Drama Miniseries Hidden Gem You Can Binge On HBO Max

Miniseries have become all the rage these days. Sometimes, you simply have a story that's too expansive to tell over the course of two hours but isn't long enough to warrant multiple seasons. Every story has an exact length in which it's best told, and some showrunners know when it's best to call it a day and end a show after a single season.

"The Queen's Gambit" took Netflix viewers by storm when it debuted in 2020. People became obsessed with chess, and despite there being room for a second season, the creators have repeatedly said how they have no intention to go back to that world. Other miniseries that have caught on in a big way as of late include "Midnight Mass" and "Chernobyl."

If you're in the mood for something along these lines that won't take up too much of your time, an oldie but a goodie is waiting for you on HBO Max. For down-to-earth viewing, check out "Olive Kitteridge," which only consists of four episodes but pulls you in for every installment.

See New England through the eyes of Olive Kitteridge

The titular character, played by Frances McDormand, is a retired schoolteacher residing in a quaint seaside town in Maine. She's strict but well-meaning and has been known to have bouts of depression and jealousy, which often get directed toward her family and friends. She's all about following the rules even when said rules no longer make much sense, such as staying in a marriage she's no longer passionate about when she falls in love with someone else. The series also stars Richard Jenkins, Bill Murray, and Zoe Kazan.

"Olive Kitteridge" isn't the kind of show with a ton of loud, explosive moments. It doesn't have world-changing stakes. It reflects on the quiet, contemplative moments of life, focusing on the seemingly insignificant choices that result in huge ramifications at the end of our lives. Critics were astounded by the series when it came out in 2014, and Brian Tallerico's review for RogerEbert.com states, "'Olive Kitteridge' is structured to capture the major events of a 25-year span, the moments that will be remembered on a death bed. But it's the truthful writing and performances between those moments that make it memorable, that make it something remarkably close to life."

The miniseries may only last four episodes, but you'll feel like you've seen a lifetime from these characters. There may be a lot of other great shows out there right now, but you shouldn't let this one fall off your radar.