Best Of Foreign-Language Tv Shows

Nothing helps you escape quite like a good TV show bingebut with so many shows vying for your attention, it can be difficult to pick the right one. If you’re tired of hearing about the same heavily promoted American series over and over again, you’re in luck: There’s a foreign television renaissance happening right now, and the best series are all on Netflix. These are the best foreign TV shows on Netflix that will rival anything you’ve seen on American TV (with English subtitles to help you follow along).

The best foreign TV shows on Netflix

1)

Netflix

Original language: Brazilian Portuguese
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

Brazilian TV series Coisa Mais Linda follows Maria Luiza as she decides to open a music club in Rio De Janeiro after her husband runs off with a mistress and all their money. The series showcases Rio in the 50s, bossa nova music, and the resilience of women from the time period. With its smart storytelling and multidimensional cast, Coisa Mais Linda honors the beauty that comes from the sorrow of being a woman. Tess Cagle

2) Gomorrah

Arrow Films/YouTube

Original language: Italian
Subtitles: English

Gomorrah follows Ciro Di Marzio, a member of the Savastano clan, a Neapolitan crime family headed by nefarious drug lord Pietro Savastano. Ciro must navigate the ruthless crime syndicate while also dealing with the tumultuous power struggle within the Savastano clans ranks. Fans of classic crime dramas like The Godfather or newer series such as Powerand Claws will find plenty to love in Gomorrah and its spinoff, Suburra. Its a smart, slow-burning drama that sucks you in and doesnt let go. Olga Lexell

3)Dix pour cent(Call My Agent!)

Pea_rl/YouTube

Original language: French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

Call My Agent! focuses on four talent agents for the Samuel Kerr Agency who deftly balance their personal and professional lives as they struggle to save their company. But their worlds get rocked when the agency’s founder dies suddenly. People have drawn comparisons between this French series and Entourage, as both are both about agents trying to keep their star clients happy in a whirlwind entertainment industry. But Call My Agent! is lighter and takes itself less seriously. Its also fun to see how similar the entertainment industry is in places outside the United States. O.L.

4)

Netflix

Original language:Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

Thishourlong drama from Netflix and Univision wastes no time telling you why its story is different than most American journalism dramas. Mexico, we learn before the opening credits, is the most dangerous place in the world for journalists. To reinforce the point, the series begins with a vigil for a slain political reporter; if you want to pick a particularly lethal line of work, political journalism in Tijuana might be it. Despite some minor shortcomings, Tijuanastands nicely alongside American prestige procedurals that aim to interrogate the relationship between corruption and institutions meant to provide accountability. Given the unique point of view and the compelling subject, American audiences wont be able to say Tijuana is quite like any show theyve seen before. Brenden Gallagher

5) LaCasa de Papel (Money Heist)

Netflix

Original Language: European Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

One of the most original shows on Netflix, Money Heist follows a mysterious mastermind known as The Professor who recruits a team of eight people to break into the Royal Mint of Spain and print 2.4 billion euros. Its the biggest bank heist of all time, requiring 11 days of seclusion and dozens of hostages. Each of the Professors recruits has a special ability to aid the epic mission, including hacking, forgery, and psychology. Think Oceans Eleven or The Inside Job as an addictive TV show. O.L.

    6)

    Netflix

    Original Language: Spanish
    Subtitles: English, French, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

    La Casa de Las Flores, a Spanish-language telenovela created by prolific 33-year-old writer and director Manolo Caro, follows the exploits of a wealthy family that runs a high-end flower shop with a lot of secrets. Status matters in their world, and too many unsavory secrets being aired out in the open could be ruinous. La Casa de Las Flores packs in the requisite amount of plot twists you would expect from a Mexican soap, while also putting issues of race, class, and LGBTQIA rights front and center. Still, theres a winking comedic playfulness throughout the show, which offers good old-fashioned soapy gloss with some modern renovations. B.G.

    7)

    Netflix

    Original Language: German
    Subtitles: English

    This German-made pre-WW2 drama takes viewers back in time to the Weimar Republic in the Golden Twenties. Creators Tom Tykwer, Hendrik Handloegten, and Achim von Borries recreate the atmosphere with stunning detail. With production costs exceeding $40 million, Babylon Berlin is the most expensive German TV series and non-English language drama series ever. The end result is Cabaret meets crime television. It also offers Americans a dire warning: As the plot progresses, heroes must choose between their morals and nationalism. Babylon Berlin shows us how a progressive nation can crumble when it allows bigotry and intolerance to fester. T.C.

    8) Fauda (Chaos)

    Netflix

    Original Language: Hebrew
    Subtitles: English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

    If youre more into action andHomeland-style intrigue, Fauda is the show for you. It follows a retired Israeli soldier whos working on a vineyard when he discovers that an enemy thought to be long dead plans to attend his brothers wedding. Its part family drama, part military action and involves some creative twists. O.L.

    9)

    Netflix

    Original Language: German
    Subtitles: English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

    From filmmaker Baran bo Odar and writer Jantje Friese, Dark is a show about several intertwining families in the German city of Winden, and the disappearance of several local children. Its half gritty crime drama, half supernatural thriller, all modern prestige television. In the tradition of a depressing amount of series about small towns with missing children, Dark is a cross between Stranger Things, Twin Peaks, and True Detective. It incorporates various elements of 80s nostalgia, from warnings about the dangers of nuclear power to philosophical riffs on the nature of time. Chris Osterndorf

    10)

    Netflix

    Original Language: Danish
    Subtitles:
    English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

    The Rain follows two siblings as they emerge from their bunker six years after a lethal virus spread by rain wipes out almost everyone in Scandinavia. The duo joins a group of survivors and travels to Sweden in search of their father, who they believe can cure the disease, and other signs of life. Along the way, the group struggles to cope in the post-apocalyptic world and finds that the only thing from their former lives that remains is their humanitytheir ability to feel fear, love, and grief. While The Rain isnt particularly groundbreaking, its lack of originality doesnt hinder its ability to hook viewers into the story almost immediately. T.C.

      11) (I Hear You)

      I Hear You/YouTube

      Original Language: Mandarin
      Subtitles: English, Spanish, German, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

      Prestige TV series have grown increasingly dark and brooding lately, so if you need levity, look no further than Chinese series I Hear You. Its a romantic comedy about a distant violin maker and sweet voice actress who fall for each other through a reality dating show. I Hear You is a charming, funny must-watch for anyone whos been obsessed with Netflixs latest string of rom-coms, such as and . O.L.

      12)Strst av allt (Quicksand)

      Netflix

      Original Language: Swedish
      Subtitles: English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

      After a relationship turns sour and ends in a school shooting, a teenage girl is arrested for murder because shes the only student left alive. But thats just the tip of the iceberg with this Swedish series. Across six episodes, Strst av allt explores who was responsible for the massacre. Half high school drama and half courtroom procedural, this cerebral series is a must-watch for fans of shows like Ozark. O.L.

      13)

      Netflix

      Original Language: Japanese
      Subtitles: English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

      The quietly addictive, slow-paced Japanese reality show that became a surprise worldwide hit for Netflix is back with a new season and a return to form. This season takes the cast to Karuizawa, Nagano, a mountain resort town known for its hot springs and winter sports. Terrace House‘s true magic comes from how different it feels from American reality TV. Aside from the high production value (everything looks like a photoshoot for a lifestyle blog), and the slow pacing, the best description for Terrace House‘s tone is sincere. For new viewers wondering how to get into the show, Opening New Doorsis a great place to start. Christine Friar

      14) lite (Elite)

      Netflix

      Original Language: European Spanish
      Subtitles: English, French, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

      lite tells the story of three working-class students who receive scholarships to a prestigious, expensive private school after their own school collapses. Beyond the standard drama of making friends and dodging bullies, the students must deal with a sudden murder and its ensuing investigation. Fans of high school dramas like Pretty Little Liars or Riverdale will love this trashy, high-stakes series. O.L.

      15)

      Netflix

      Original Language: Hindi
      Subtitles:English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

      Netflixs latest foray into Indian culturethe compelling, if imperfect,Delhi Crimeis a fictionalized true-crime procedural that restores the basic essence of the police investigation of the infamous 2012 gang rape and murder of 23-year-old medical intern Jyoti Singh Pandey. Across seven emotionally charged, noir-influenced episodes, Indian-Canadian director Richie Mehta captures the gritty dynamics of Delhi and Indian politics, maintaining humanity while exploring the irrevocable horror of the brutal crime. Kahron Spearman

      Still not sure what to watch tonight? Here are our guides for the absolute , must-see , , , and .

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