Netflix has a wide selection of foreign-language series that are as worthy of a spotlight as any of their English-language counterparts.
While many people prefer not to focus on reading subtitles all the time while watching a movie or series, there are plenty of foreign language shows on Netflix worth a binge-watch. These series will grab viewers’ full attention and unfortunately are often ignored because they are not in English or are not promoted enough.
However, several foreign language shows have become incredibly popular on social media, such as squid game and Money heist — proving that people shouldn’t overlook Netflix’s ever-growing collection of foreign-language series. There are several that are as addictive as any English-language series on the platform.
Cable Girls looks at male-dominated society in 1920s Madrid
Cable Girls is a Spanish period drama series set in 1920s Madrid that details the lives of four young women in a new telecommunications company. Each of the women seeks to work in the company for a variety of reasons, such as supporting their families or using the position as a way to escape their stressful family. The five-season series is the first Spanish Original produced by Netflix and shows how Madrid society was largely run by men, including the struggles women went through.
Unorthodox follows the escape of a young woman from an ultra-Orthodox community
Unorthodox made Netflix history as the first Yiddish-language Netflix series. It is based on Deborah Feldman’s autobiography Unorthodox: The outrageous rejection of my Hasidic roots. The four-part miniseries stars Shira Haas as Esther “Esty” Shapiro, who escapes to Berlin from an ultra-Orthodox community in New York City and challenges her arranged marriage. Unorthodox is a short binge-watch that will touch the hearts of viewers as they discover how Esther learns secular ways of life and hides from her oppressive community.
Dark Features Weird Plots That Will Keep Viewers Hooked
Dark is a German sci-fi series that ran for three seasons on Netflix from 2017 to 2020, and was the streaming service’s first German original series. The series follows four families in the fictional German town of Winden who uncover a time travel plot that began years ago. Families encounter wormholes under an abandoned nuclear power plant that transport them to different time periods after a child goes missing. The mysterious plot of Dark attracts viewers and is recommended for all fans of sci-fi or thriller genres. Unfortunately, his time travel rules aren’t explained by Ryan Reynolds.
Erased is a faithful adaptation of the live-action manga
Deleted is a Japanese live-action series based on the manga by Kei Sanbe, which has also been made into an anime series and a feature film. While live-action anime adaptations have generally been disastrous – like the unforgettable adaptation of Death threat — the story of Deleted is beautifully brought to the big screen. Netflix fans are advised to watch this series even if they haven’t read the manga or seen the anime due to its great storytelling and strong visuals, but longtime fans of Deleted appreciate how faithfully this series stays with the source material
Money Heist popularized “Bella Ciao” across Europe
Money Heist, titled The casa de papel in Spanish, made Netflix history by becoming the most-watched non-English language series on the service in 2018. Lupine later surpassed it, people are still attracted to Money theft for its interesting narrative choices (like an unreliable narrator) and its inclusion of flashbacks and time jumps. The series became so popular around the world that it won the International Emmy Award for Best Drama Series and popularized the song “Bella Ciao” across Europe shortly after its premiere.. This not only makes it a great show, but part of pop culture.
Lupine follows Assane Diop’s revenge
Lupine (not related to the anime) Lupine the Third) is a French detective series that premiered on Netflix in January 2021 and was recently renewed for a third installment. Omar Sy stars as Assane Diop, a professional thief who seeks revenge on his father after the Pellegrimi family frame him for theft and his eventual suicide in prison. Assane is inspired by Arsene Lupin, a popular fictional thief created by French novelist Maurice Leblanc. The series’ mysterious plot points keep viewers guessing and earn the show a spot among the best foreign language series on Netflix. Lupine also replaced Money theft as the most watched non-English speaking series on Netflix at the time of its release.
Crash Landing On You is better than Snowdrop
While many people have seen the popular Korean series squid game, the other K-dramas on Netflix deserve some love too. Crash landing on you is a 16-episode series and one of the highest-rated South Korean television series of all time. It centers on the adventures of a wealthy South Korean woman named Yoon Se-ri who finds herself in North Korea after a paragliding accident. After her accident, she meets a captain in the North Korean army, who decides to hide her, and the couple end up falling in love. This series is recommended on snowdrops – which recently arrived on Disney+ and follows a similar plot – due to its harrowing scenes and unexpected twists that keep viewers glued to their screens.
Babylon Berlin is surprisingly comical
Babylon Berlin is a German neo-noir series based on the novels by Volker Kutscher. The series follows the historical events of the Weimar Republic era in Germany from 1918 to 1933. The plot of Babylon Berlin begins in 1929 and focuses on the life of Gereon Rath, a Cologne police inspector on a top-secret mission to put down an extortion ring. Gereon joins forces with Charlotte Ritter, a future police inspector who goes undercover like a boy at night. Netflix will air season 4 of Babylon Berlin some time this year. Viewers are encouraged to catch up on the series ahead of the Season 4 premiere as it may have a serious plot, but it also incorporates a healthy dose of comedy.
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