To be successful internationally, you have to win the hearts of local audiences by producing local shows. This formula has resulted in a wide range of excellent international series on Netflix. Often, when browsing the Netflix catalog, it’s easy to overlook or simply bypass foreign shows that aren’t necessarily in English.
Many people avoid foreign TV shows because they force you out of your comfort zone. When watching a foreign broadcast, the viewer should read the subtitles and pay close attention to contextual clues. Not everyone is willing to put in so much effort when watching entertainment. However, some of these international series have won numerous accolades and have the potential to enrich the lives of viewers in ways that domestic broadcasts cannot.
La Casa de Papel (Money Heist)
In 2020, Money Heist became one of the world’s top 10 hits. Based on a true story, this series follows an unusual group of thieves who attempt to pull off the most perfect robbery in Spanish history. This show was a major hit due to its wide demographic appeal, gripping plot, diverse cast, and high production value.
Whether you speak Spanish or not, this show is a must. This crime thriller has all the twists and turns a viewer could ask for. Also, the tension in the story is carried with sublime fluidity. But what makes this show even more fascinating isn’t the heist itself, but the set of characters involved in it. At first they are strangers to each other. It’s interesting because the audience gets to know them as they get to know each other. With phenomenal character development and clever storytelling, viewers form some type of bond with them and begin to treat these thieves as praised characters.
Inside the world of squid game, at first it all seems like innocent nostalgia. But with that innocent nostalgia comes a tally of the dead. This show follows the story of cash-strapped characters who are desperate to get out of their current situation. The solution is a strange invitation to participate in a children’s survival game. The winner takes home $45 billion, but the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Maybe a little inspired by the hunger games, this Korean series is currently on its way to becoming Netflix’s most watched series in its history and the first Korean show achieves this. It also won various awards and stunned audiences and critics around the world. Perhaps the most engrossing aspect of this spectacle is not only that players enter the game not knowing what to expect, but it also poses a variety of moral dilemmas. For example, there is a point where players are given the option to opt out of the game, but many decide to continue playing disregarding the life or death situations they find themselves in. This part of the story raises a big question. Yes, the games are brutal, but could the character’s life outside of the game be worse? Very probably.
Drugs and the Mexican Cartel are two things that go together like rice and beans. This has been a subject of great exploitation in the entertainment world. Different from other movies and shows, Narcos explores these topics realistically and cautiously. More than that, it’s one of the first shows to depict the rise and reign of Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) so precisely. Told through the eyes of Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook), a DEA who is sent to Colombia, this show is unforgettable to say the least.
This show is a concoction of interesting cinematic components. First of all, it’s an American production, shot and filmed in Colombia, with a Brazilian director (Jose Padilla) and a Brazilian lead actor. This series was Netflix’s attempt to expand internationally, and it did so successfully. With sharp writing and equally sharp acting, this crime drama captured the hearts and eyes of viewers around the world. Even though it’s a story between good guys and bad guys, it’s also a deep dive into Pablo Escobar’s identity. It humanizes him by revealing certain aspects of his personal life, like taking care of his family, etc. It really is a must even if you are not into this subject.
Few German series have been internationally acclaimed like Dark possesses. Visually compelling, full of suspense and supernatural twists, this series leaves any viewer on the edge of their seat. In a German town, Jonas Kahnwald (Louis Hofman), sets out to find a missing boy and finds himself entangled in a supernatural mystery.
From the start, Dark caused viewers to argue and come up with their own theories. This show has gained huge popularity and has been a topic of conversation in all schools and workplaces. As the title suggests, this show is certainly dark, but it is also deep. The most intriguing aspect of this story is the underlying message behind Jonah’s journey. Her journey goes beyond the simple search for the missing child. He’s actually searching for the truth while trying to come to terms with that sense of loss that pervades his life after his father’s suicide. One of the main reasons why this show has accomplished the features it has achieved is mainly because the viewers can connect and take care of the protagonist. This element allows the audience to become deeply involved in the story.
Lupine, is one of the few shows that portrays a thief as a gentleman. This series is a modern take on a classic French story originally written in 1905. The story follows Arsène Lupin (Omar Si), a thief who seeks to avenge his father for an injustice inflicted on him. It was the first French show to rank in the top 10 in the American market.
Even though this show wasn’t talked about much in the press, 70 million streamers around the world certainly had a lot to say about it. Its popularity in the United States came as a surprise as it is best known in France and Americans are generally reluctant to watch anything with subtitles. Despite this, this slick crime drama was nominated for a BAFTA award due to the outstanding production team. If this show wasn’t on your radar, now’s a good time to be.
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