Do you ever wonder if the reason you follow a TV series is because of the story, or simply because it stars someone familiar? Most of the time it’s the latter. But once in a while we get extra adventurous and stumble upon a show we have no idea about only to have our minds completely blown because of how good it is. Well, we’re here to help by introducing you to some of Netflix’s hidden gems—foreign language shows that will give Hollywood a run for their money.
La Casa de Papel/ Money Heist (Spanish)
This Spanish mini-series which stars Ursula Corbero, Paco Tous, Itziar Ituno, Alba Flores, and Pedro Alonso is about a “professor” who recruits a band of criminals, each with their own unique skill set, to pull-off the most daring heist in history—to rob the Royal Mint of Spain. The interplay between the characters, their backstories, and their motivations blend perfectly well into the story giving it just the right amount of mystery and excitement. If you’re looking for a crime tale that is grittier than Ocean’s Eleven, then you should definitely check this out.
This science-fiction thriller, the first German language series on Netflix, is a more serious and “darker” Stranger Things (at least that's what the internet is calling it). Set in 2019, the disappearance of local children from a small German town unearths many of the residents’ hidden secrets. The main protagonist is teenager Jonas Kahnwald, who is dealing with his own demons trying to get over the suicide of his father. Watch this series if you love a good, dark mystery.
If political drama is more your thing, then you should definitely check out Marseille starring the amazing Gerard Depardieu in his dramatic best. The story revolves around Robert Taro, the Mayor of Marseille, as he defends his political post against Lucas Barres, a younger, hungrier politician who happens to be his protege trying to unseat him.
Terrace House (Japanese)
When you just want to relax after a long day at work and aren’t really in the mood for something heavy or cerebral, then Terrace House is just what you need. Basically, the show is about six young Japanese teenagers (3 guys, 3 girls) living in a beautiful house made for them to interact with one another with no particular agenda, incentive, or drama. Sort of a mix between Big Brother and The Truman Show, Japanese culture is put at the forefront, which is in itself shocking since we’re more used to unruly western behavior.
Las Chicas Del Cable/ Cable Girls (Spanish)
Set in the 1920s, this romantic drama centers around four women who work at the National Telephone Company in Madrid. Caught up in the difficulties of being a woman in that era, the series is about their dreams and struggles as they celebrate friendship, romance, and finding their place in the world. It might be easy to classify Cable Girls as another chick series, but the fact that it's a period piece gives it an interesting and unique flavor.