7 Non-English Language Shows You Need to Watch On Netflix

North America


Raise your hand if you like Netflix?? Anyone? Good, I thought so!

Whether your Netflix night in is with your S.O., your squad, your Goldendoodle, or yourself – it can be hard to decide on a new show. However, with an influx of international shows on Netflix, there are more options than there have ever been before. Which is super cool, but also a bit overwhelming because where do you even begin??

Why not pick a show in a new language? You’re being productive and relaxing on the couch – it’s a win-win!

Learning Spanish? Learning Mandarin? Just need a new show? Regardless of the genre, and in no particular order, here are seven non-English shows you should watch on Netflix nowwww.

1. “The Hookup Plan”

Language: French

Genre: Romantic-comedy

What goes down:

“It’s a rom-com with a cute French guy.” – Their words, not mine.

But plot-twist the cute French guy, Jules, is actually an escort that this pair of friends secretly hire for their perpetually single friend, Elsa. Elsa still loves her ex and questions why she is so unlucky when it comes to relationships.

UGH. Elsa, we feel you girl, we’ve all been there.

It makes for an entertaining show that if anything, will teach you how to flirt in French. And then you can see how you compare to Damon and Jo. Light-hearted, yet raunchy; fun, yet painfully relatable.


Have you ever seen a pic of the Eiffel Tower?
2. “Babylon Berlin”

Language: German

Genres: Thriller, mystery, historical

What goes down:

The overall quality of this show is at the tippy-top of this list. The historical details are incredible, and they supposedly had over 300 shooting locations.

1929 Berlin, during the Weimer Republic.

Beneath the glamour of the 20s – veterans are sick, people are in poverty, and Hitler is on the rise. World War 1 veteran and detective Gereon Roth is sent to Berlin to solve a case with the Mafia.

While battling his morphine addiction to help his PTSD, Gereon undercovers deep sh!t about the government. Along the way, he begins working with a young cabaret flapper, Charlotte. Charlotte’s determined to be the first female detective in the Berlin Police, even though she’s got a weee bit of a secret herself.

3. “Elite”

Language: Castilian Spanish

Genres: Teen drama, mystery, thriller

What goes down:

Ahh just when you swore off never watching another high-school drama show again!

A public school collapses and the construction company responsible pays for 3 teens to go to the local-rich-kid-prep-bilingual-school. What happens to the other teens in the accident? No idea. I guess they’re irrelevant.

“Elite” is a lot like “Gossip Girl” except with a murderous “Riverdale” vibe to it. The show changes between the past and the present. In the past, there’s your typical messy high school drama. In the present, however, the students are being interrogated with blood all over their shirts.

It gets dark REAL fast.

Viewer discretion: Don’t watch with the ‘rents because the sex scenes are steamy enough to convince you to buy a one-way to Seville and download “Bumble” before getting off the jetway.

(As per usual, the actors are actually in their 20s)

Barcelona, Spain

4. “Meteor Garden” (2018)

Language: Mandarin

Genres: Teen drama, romantic comedy

What goes down:

First-year university student Shan Cai gets involved in the greatest love triangle since Noah, Von, and Allie in the “The Notebook.” Maybe that’s dramatic, but you get my point.

Shan Cai doesn’t come from much but has a fierce and charismatic attitude – something that this wealthy, annoying group of boys called “F4” quickly notice in her. I mean did I have to say they’re annoying? You gotta be extra pretentious to name your own exclusive clique. *dramatic eye roll*

The richest boy, Dao Ming Si -SURPRISE- falls for her. Something about her being defiant to their “superior” clique makes her attractive to him.

Silly Dao Ming Si, don’t you know that Shan Cai is a deep person and doesn’t care that you have money????

5. “Black”

Language: Korean

Genres: Mystery, crime, supernatural, drama

What goes down:

The show opens up with a cute girl, Ha-ram, who wears sunglasses 24/7. She works at a take-out restaurant and then gets yelled at for wearing her sunglasses inside. Chill boss, she’s just trying to hide the haters, right? WRONG.

When she doesn’t wear glasses, she sees shadows ~loom~ over people. Next thing you know, these people then immediately DIE.

Meanwhile, a detective named Han Moo Gang is trying to figure out how his brother died. While solving the case, Moo Gang catches feelings for a girl. PLOT TWIST this is bad news because he’s actually a grim reaper. And love is obviously a big “no-no” in the grim reaper world. I’ll leave it at that.

I know it sounds weird and wild – well because it is. Enjoy.

Gyeonbokgung Palace, Seoul, Korea. Photo credit: my sister Marie.
6. “The Secret of the Nile”

Language: Egyptian Arabic

Genre: Soap opera

What goes down:

The 1950s, Aswan, Egypt – a beautiful and serene city you can find while floating up The Nile River.

A young, handsome man named Ali has a younger sister who goes missing after staying at this boujee hotel in Aswan. So, he gets himself a job to figure out what happened to her.

You soon find out there’s a lot more too Aswan than feluccas, dusty-orange sunsets, and The Temple of Philae.

Hint: Scandals upon scandals, con artists (duh), affairs with the working staff, and villains so mischievously good you’ll want to throw your shoe at them (read: this is the ultimate insult in Arab culture).

*The original name is “Grand Hotel” but there’s already a show on Netflix called that.

Temple of Edfu, Egypt

7. “Tidelands”

Language: Australian English

Genres: Fantasy, crime

What goes down:

Australian slang should be its own Duolingo language so I’m putting this on here.

This show’s absurdity makes it addicting.”Tidelands” is about rich, cultish, drug-dealing, half-mermaids. In other words, “The Tidelanders.”

Yes, you read that right. Although they’re dubbed as “sirens” instead of mermaids. I guess to make it sound less cheesy?

The story follows Cal, a woman who just got of a 10-year sentence in a juvenile detention center. She comes back home as a grown a$$ woman and notices how things have changed (no kidding Cal).

You soon learn that her entire family is buck-wild and involved in a drug-dealing business that includes meeting in the middle of the ocean at 1 am to exchange drugs and money. Fun stuff!!

Somewhere down the line, someone tries to drown Cal TWICE. But guess what? HOMEGIRL CAN BREATHE UNDER WATER.

If anything, watch it to see Elsa Pataky look stunning in long, beachy dresses while ordering her cult members to gorge people’s eyes out. The Tidelanders don’t f@ck around, mate.

Viewer Discretion: The eye thing is pretty nasty. Also, another one not to watch with the family – there’s LOTS of nudity. Sorry guys, I swear I’m not trying to do it on purpose.

Cairns, Queensland, Australia



Some of these shows you can get dubbed in English, but personally, it drives me crazy when people’s voices don’t match their mouths. Idk, is that just me? Also, where is the fun in that?

If you need more/other recommendations, here are binge-worthy shows for language learners.

What’s your favorite foreign language show to watch?

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