20 most dramatic series of recent years

This selection contains dramatic films with stories about students, Cossacks, surgeons, firefighters, housewives and kings. There is even a TV show about the Pope and an American chess player. Before watching the best drama series, do not forget to walk the dog and feed the cat so as not to be distracted from the twisted plot – such an interesting movie is very difficult to pause.

It’s a sin (2021)

The nostalgic novelty of the movie tells a story from the 1980s about the inhabitants of a London apartment. Richie, Roscoe and Colin are young provincials who, for various reasons, left their homes. A university student, a construction worker and an employee of a male atelier were united by youth, friendship, fun parties and non-traditional sexual orientation. Each of the trinity is under the threat of contracting the “plague of the 20th century” – AIDS, which gives the life-affirming film a tragic tinge.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
It’s a Sin

Actors:
Ollie Alexander, Nathaniel Curtis, Sean Dooley …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 8.7

Age Limits :
18+


Queen’s Move (2020)

Sports fans should check out the acclaimed best new series drama about fictional chess player Beth Harmon. At the age of 9, the girl ended up in a shelter, where the pupils were first stuffed with tranquilizers. There, Beth was taught to play chess by the orphanage janitor, and the orphan’s outstanding talent opened the door to the world of big sport for her. On the way to victories, the heroine overcomes male prejudices and addiction to stimulants and alcohol.

Original title:
The Queen’s Gambit

Actors:
Anya Taylor-Joy, Mariel Heller, Moses Ingram, Thomas Sangster …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.4, IMDb – 8.6

Age restrictions:
18+


And Fires Smolder Everywhere (2020)

The ordered world of a respectable wife, an ideal mother and a pillar of the local society, Helen Richardson is blown up by the appearance of an unfamiliar van on her quiet street. The bohemian Mia Warren, a free photographer and a single mother, has arrived in the town, not bound by any conventions and obligations. Helen resents this way of life, besides, she fears Mia’s bad influence on the moral foundations of her own family. A serious conflict flares up between the heroines, into the orbit of which their children and other townspeople are drawn.

Original title:
Little Fires Everywhere

Actors:
Kerry Washington, Alexandra Underwood, Reese Witherspoon…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Chernobyl (2019)

Foreign filmmakers shot a powerful series that showed the drama of real participants in the events of 1986, when there was a fatal explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant . Against the backdrop of a terrible man-made disaster , a gallery of bright characters unfolds – from simple firefighters and military men to prominent scientists and members of the government. Each of the heroes was scorched by a radioactive flame, depriving loved ones, illusions, health, and sometimes even life.

Original title:
Chernobyl

Actors:
Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson…

Country:
USA, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.9, IMDb – 9.4

Age restrictions:
18+


Euphoria (2019 – 2021)

The heroine of the drama series, played by teen idol singer Zendea, has experienced a lot at the age of 17. The course of treatment for drug addiction helped only for a short time – after returning home, Rue Bennet again set off in all serious ways. Sex, drugs and alcohol are commonplace in her environment, and a hated school and an unloved family only add fuel to the fire of self-destruction. Ru gets hope to get out of the vicious circle with the advent of a new transgender girl in the class, Jules.

Original title:
Euphoria

Actors:
Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, Jacob Elordi …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 8.4

Age restrictions:
18+


Pretense (2019)

The plots of the best drama series impress the viewer more when they are based on real events , as in the case of this serial movie. Wheelchair-bound Gypsy Blanchard has collected a whole bunch of incurable diseases in her short life. Her mother Dee Dee selflessly takes care of her daughter, delighting everyone she knows. But in fact, the girl’s diagnoses are a figment of the imagination of a parent prone to overprotection. Gypsy prepares a riot by secretly finding a like-minded person on the Internet.

Original title:
The Act

Actors:
Patricia Arquette, Joey King, AnnaSophia Robb…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 8.0


Patrick Melrose (2018 – 2019)

Drama mini-series about a young aristocrat who is trying in every way to derail his life. A brilliant mind, appearance, title and wealth are not able to heal the emotional wounds inflicted in childhood by a cruel father and an indifferent mother. Upon learning of the death of a parent, Patrick goes to New York to collect his ashes, wanting to personally verify that the tormentor is no longer alive. Will the hero be able to free himself from addictions by burying the ghosts of the past?

Original title:
Patrick Melrose

Actors:
Benedict Cumberbatch, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hugo Weaving…

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 8.1

Age limit:
18+


Yellowstone (2018 – 2020)

A picturesque action-packed TV show about the Dutton family living on a ranch near Yellowstone is in the top of the best drama series of recent years. The neighborhood with a popular tourist site makes the family property a tasty morsel for profit-hungry developers. The inhabitants of the Indian reservation consider the territory of the ranch to be their land, and the park is not averse to expanding at its expense. The head of the clan, John Dutton, has to fight for property and solve numerous problems for children.

Original title:
Yellowstone

Actors:
Kevin Costner, Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.5, IMDb – 8.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Ann (2017 – 2019)

Thirteen-year-old orphan Ann lives in an orphanage, never losing hope of finding a loving family. Luck smiles on the girl when she is adopted by an elderly brother and sister. Arriving at the new relatives, Ann learns that there was a mistake – the adoptive parents were expecting a boy capable of hard work on the farm. But the young lady, wise beyond her years, does not intend to return to the orphanage. Thanks to her remarkable intelligence and charm, Ann becomes necessary for farmers, bringing joy and light to their difficult life.

Original title:
Anne

Cast:
Amybeth McNulty, Geraldine James, R.H. Thomson …

Country:
Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.5, IMDb – 8.7


Young Pope (2016 – 2017)

A high-rated scandalous drama series that had a strong effect both in religious circles and among atheist viewers. Unexpectedly for everyone, the new pope, Pius XIII, becomes too young for this position, the American Lenny Belardo, who was brought up by a nun. Spiritual guides set out to lead the inexperienced head of the Catholic Church from behind the scenes, but he spirals out of control, exercising an independent and highly eccentric rule.

Original title:
The Young Pope

Actors:
Jude Law, Diane Keaton, Silvio Orlando …

Country:
Italy, France, Spain, UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.2, IMDb – 8.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Crown (2016 – 2020)

Full of ups and downs, the story of the most popular English monarch – Queen Elizabeth II. Relations with relatives, environment, other politicians , fateful decisions are shown in such a way that the viewer feels like a witness and participant in the events. The entire reign of Elizabeth is subordinated to the service of duty, which often leads to conflicts, and sometimes tragedies in the royal family, which is closely watched by the whole world.

Original title:
The Crown

Actors:
Claire Foy, Olivia Colman, Imelda Staunton …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.3, IMDb – 8.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Quiet Don (2015)

The dramatic series is the fourth incarnation of the famous novel by Mikhail Sholokhov, the events of which take place at the turn of historical eras. A young and temperamental Cossack from the Don village of Veshenskaya Grigory Melekhov falls in love with a married fellow villager Aksinya Astakhova. The hero carries the forbidden passion for the fatal beauty through war and revolution. The Cossack, over the years burdened with his own family, will have to make the inevitable choice – for whom to fight and whom to love.

Actors:
Evgeny Tkachuk, Polina Chernyshova, Sergey Makovetsky …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1

Age restrictions:
12+


Knickerbocker Hospital (2014 – 2015)

The action of this medical series takes place at the dawn of the 20th century, when doctors worked on enthusiasm, without modern technology and even antibiotics in their arsenal. The image of the central character, the cool surgeon of the New York Knickerbocker clinic John Thackery, is inspired by the personality of the legendary American surgeon William Halstead. Tuckery does not shine with refined manners and has a pernicious addiction to drugs, but in his work he is a god, a king and an innovator who gives patients hope for life.

Original title:
The Knick

Actors:
Clive Owen, Andre Holland, Jeremy Bobb…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.4, IMDb – 8.5

Age restrictions:
18+


What Olivia Knows (2014 – 2016)

A psychological mini-series that reveals the life drama of a middle-aged married couple Kitteridge – a school math teacher Olivia and a pharmacy owner Henry. The family relationships of the characters are far from ideal due to the nature of Olivia, who does not know how to express feelings. Husband and son do not receive warmth in the family, so Henry takes care of a young, recently widowed assistant, and Christopher dreams of leaving for college as soon as possible. Will the heroine be able to overcome excessive restraint and show her love to loved ones?

Original title:
Olive Kitteridge

Actors:
Francis McDormand, Richard Jenkins, Bill Murray …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 8.3

Age restrictions:
18+


Catherine (2014)

A historical series about the fate of Empress Catherine the Great, who once arrived in distant Russia as the Prussian princess Fike, the bride of the heir to the throne, Peter. The young enthusiastic girl dreamed of finding love and happiness in her new homeland by getting married, adopting Orthodoxy and a new name. But the crowned newlyweds did not suspect that their marriage was started by Peter’s aunt, the childless Queen Elizabeth, in order to select the unborn child and raise her as a real monarch.

Actors:
Marina Alexandrova, Vladimir Menshov, Konstantin Lavronenko …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 8.1

Age restrictions:
12+


House of Cards (2013 – 2018)

Foreign drama series showing the behind the scenes of big politics without embellishment. The charismatic Frank Underwood is doing everything possible to get his fellow Democrat to take the presidency of the United States. In return, the hero is counting on the post of Secretary of State in the new administration, but his hopes are crumbling like a house of cards. The offended politician weaves intrigues and develops cunning plans for revenge on a former party comrade, in which his ambitious wife Claire actively helps.

Original title:
House of Cards

Actors:
Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Kevin Spacey …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.3, IMDb – 8.7

Age restrictions:
18+


Moths (2013)

A drama based on real events – a series about a love story against the backdrop of the largest man-made disaster of the 20th century. The day before the drama at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, future graduate Alya meets conscript Pasha in the doomed Pripyat. Youthful love flares up instantly and the couple flies into her light like moths. Even after the evacuation of all the inhabitants, Alya and Pasha remain in the deserted city, enjoying their feelings and believing that they are not afraid of radiation.

Actors:
Yuri Borisov, Maria Poezzhaeva, Evgenia Loza …

Country:
Ukraine

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Chicago on fire (2012 – 2021)

One of the most interesting series in the drama genre, based on real cases from the work of firefighters. There are no random people in the 51st division of the Chicago Fire and Rescue Service, because the heroes constantly meet with death. Matthew Casey’s friend and colleague dies in one of the fires, for which he cannot forgive himself. His family life is also going to the bottom, scandals with his wife are becoming the norm. An outlet for Matthew is the right team, with which he is literally ready to go into fire and into water.

Original title:
Chicago Fire

Actors:
Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Christian Stolte …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 8.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Mildred Pierce (2011)

The dramatic story of the transformation of a classic 1930s housewife into a strong independent woman . Mildred Pierce divorced her cheating husband at a very inopportune time – the Great Depression deprived many of their livelihoods. Being the only breadwinner for her daughters, the heroine got a job as a waitress. Despite the difficulties and bullying, as well as the resistance of girls who are embarrassed by such an unprestigious position as a mother, Mildred managed to survive and become the mistress of her own destiny.

Original title:
Mildred Pierce

Actors:
Kate Winslet, Evan Rachel Wood, Guy Pearce …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Downton Abbey (2010 – 2015)

The action of the cult British epic, which has collected many television awards and rave reviews from the audience, begins in 1912 with very dramatic events. On the infamous Titanic, the heir to Earl Crawley, the owner of the Downton estate, dies, which ruins many plans. The earl’s eldest daughter claims the inheritance, but her father believes that only a man is worthy of the title, and invites a distant, poor relative to Downton. Count’s servants take an active part in the events.

Original title:
Downton Abbey

Actors:
Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.4, IMDb – 8.7

Age restrictions:
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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