Watch These 44 Foreign Shows on Netflix If You Like Good TV and Are Looking For Something New
It’s no secret that Netflix has more incredible TV series available to stream than we can handle. But what has remained a secret for far too long is how many excellent foreign TV shows you can find on the streaming service. From mystery to sci-fi to comedy to period pieces, Netflix offers international TV series in dozens of languages and set all over the world, and if you have yet to watch any of them, then you’re seriously missing out. Here are just some of the best foreign shows on Netflix, and yes, they’re all totally worth reading the subtitles.
– Additional reporting by Lauren Harano
In this Finnish crime drama, a recently widowed detective discovers the body of a young woman on a construction site, which triggers a series of events that threaten to upheave the life she is still struggling to put back together.
Netflix’s first African original series stars Quantico‘s Pearl Thusi as the titular Queen Sono, a kickass South African field operative still reeling from the mysterious death of her mother, who was an anti-apartheid revolutionary leader and freedom fighter. Queen proves that you can take on terrorism and look incredible while doing it (even while battling your own inner demons).
Suburra: Blood on Rome
Inspired by a real-life political scandal, this Italian crime drama (which serves as a prequel to the 2015 film Suburra and the novel of the same name, by Giancarlo De Cataldo and Carlo Bonini) follows a battle between organized crime, corrupt politicians, and the Vatican over Rome’s underground crime scene. It seems too wild to be real, but you just have to see it to believe it.
Inspired by Norse mythology, this Norwegian coming-of-age series takes place in the fictitious town of Edda. As the town struggles with industrial pollution and melting glaciers, it becomes clear that only a teenager gifted with the embodiment of Thor can save the people of Edda.
This eerie Brazilian series is set in the near future, revolving around a society under constant Big Brother-like surveillance. Despite the Omniscient system’s drones, a murder is somehow committed without the killer being monitored, and the deceased’s daughter – a tech intern named Nina – decides to risk everything in order to figure out how the murderer got away.
Created by Martin Zimmerman, who also created Ozark and Narcos, this Argentine thriller revolves around the attempts of a woman to expose and dissolve the organized crime that exists within a soccer club. You don’t have to be a soccer fan to appreciate this gritty drama.
This Spanish heist show originally debuted in late 2017, telling the story of eight thieves who lock themselves in the Royal Mint of Spain – along with a group of hostages – as a criminal mastermind named the Professor attempts to get the police to cooperate with his master plan. Through it’s not based on a true story, the series is set after Spain’s 2008 financial crisis, and it acts as a sort of allegorical tale of rebellion against capitalism and the government.
Based on the novel of the same name by Aravind Adiga, this Indian drama is centered around a 14-year-old cricket prodigy who tries out for Mumbai’s under-19 cricket team and finds himself face-to-face with his older brother’s rival. This show offers an amazing look at life in Mumbai, as well as an introductory course into the world of cricket.
What happens when the First Lady of Mexico, a woman of honor and ideals, starts to lose faith in her president husband? That’s exactly what happens in this Spanish-language crime drama, which follows Emilia Urquiza as she attempts to improve the conditions of her country and uncover some dark truths – even if that means going behind her husband’s back to do it.
In this Netflix crime drama, three working-class teens displaced by an earthquake are enrolled in the most exclusive school in Spain, and the clash between the classes erupts into a battle that eventually turns fatal. Think Gossip Girl set in Spain (but perhaps even more dramatic, if that’s possible).
Set in near-future Paris, this French sci-fi series is basically an extended episode of Black Mirror, following the effects of a dating app – created by tech company Osmosis and run by brother-sister duo Paul and Esther – that matches people with their supposed soulmates based on an algorithm that uses brain data and personal memories. A second season has not yet been announced for this freaky series, but we’re really hoping to see one.
Inspired by a real-life political scandal, this Italian crime drama (which serves as a prequel to the 2015 film and the novel of the same name by Giancarlo De Cataldo and Carlo Bonini) follows a battle between organized crime, corrupt politicians, and the Vatican over Rome’s underground crime scene. It seems too wild to be real, but you just have to see it to believe it.
The House of Flowers
This dark comedy follows the lives of a wealthy and dysfunctional Mexican family who owns a flower shop, and the matriarch’s attempts to save face after her husband’s affair (as well as all of the family’s secrets) come to light.
Set in Korea’s medieval Joseon period, this South Korean drama follows a crown prince who is forced out to investigate a mysterious plague that’s spreading across his country, making the infected immune to death and hungry for the taste of flesh. It sounds weird, but true us – it’s cool.
How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)
Inspired by real events, believe it or not, this German series tells the story of how a 17-year-old high school student created Europe’s largest online drug business from his bedroom with his best friend, Lenny – and all to impress his American pill-popping party animal ex-girlfriend, Lisa. This coming-of-age story is utterly unique, though it will probably remind you of Sex Education (if the series replaced sex advice with pills).
The Hook Up Plan
In this French comedy series, a heartbroken Parisian who can’t seem to get over her ex is unknowingly set up by her friends with a male escort, but what they don’t expect is for Elsa to actually fall for him. Season two is already available, and we can only hope that we’ll see a third.
Call My Agent!
This French comedy series is basically Entourage set in Paris, following three agents – Mathias, Gabriel and Andréa – at a Paris talent firm, A.S.K., as they struggle to keep their high-maintenance clients happy and their own sanity intact. You’ll see a whole new side of show business – and probably never want to be on the agenting side of show business yourself.
This German time-travel series (which is also the first German original series produced for Netflix), revolves around the people of Winden, whose lives are thrown for a loop when two children go missing in their small town. Four families conduct a search, and they gradually discover a time-travel conspiracy that spans over three generations. If this show doesn’t give you major Stranger Things vibes, then you’re lying.
Set in the distant future, this Brazilian dystopian series revolves around two communities: the impoverished Inland, and the three percent of the population who are lucky enough to live in a virtual paradise known as the Offshore. Michele Santana may be new to the Offshore and have no family of her own, but her strong sense of justice compels her to make the Inland a better place with its own selection process – even if that means resisting The Process, which can only spell trouble.
Based around four women working at the brand-new National Telephone Company in 1920s Madrid, this series follows Lidia, Carlota, Ángeles, and Marga as they discover new talents, find their voices, and overcome their own private tragedies. Boasting incredible acting and awesome costuming, this show has flown under the radar for far too long, and since the fourth season just dropped, you have plenty of episodes to binge.