If you haven’t watched Netflix at least at some point in your life, you really are from another planet. If my 70-year-old mother has heard of it and indulged in a few of her favorite shows, then I don’t understand what you’re waiting for. This is not meant to insult anyone, but if you’re reading this post, chances are you keep up with current streaming options.
Netflix can be super addictive, as we all know. But it is a great way to pass a gloomy afternoon when the weather makes you want to just stay in and chill.
I’ve had my share of wasted weekends when I could’ve been doing other things, but instead got caught up with a new series.
So today, I thought I would share some of my favorite shows I’ve watched on Netflix in the last couple of years.
Most of the shows I like are in a foreign language, as you will notice from the list. Subtitles are not for everyone, but I prefer listening to the original language. But if you’re not like me, Netflix offers them in English. Don’t let the language barrier discourage you from watching any of them if they sound appealing to you.
If you’ve seen any of these series I love, I would like your thoughts on them. I always encourage recommendations, so feel free to share your faves with me.
Here we go, not necessarily in a set order.
Based on the novel by Frederick Backman, which I liked very much, Anxious people is a Swedish show that came out last year. A bank robber happens to take refuge at an open house nearby and takes the visitors hostage. By the time the police get there, the bank robber has managed to vanish, which baffles everyone. The limited series examines the background of the characters, which all have their own issues they are dealing with. Father and son policemen, as well as the real estate agent, make for an interesting set of characters. A cute, lighthearted show to watch, especially if you enjoy a weird sense of humor.
Lisi, a young girl living in an idyllic skiing village in Germany lost her brother in a tragic accident the previous year. She blames a wealthy Instagram influencer for his death, and she infiltrates herself into her world with the ultimate goal in mind. She wants Vanessa to feel what it’s like to lose something most dear to her heart. The last episode brings the story full circle when Lisi realizes that everything was not as it seemed. If you’re into heavily plotted teenage drama and revenge, then this show is for you. Not to mention the luxurious locales and glitzy lifestyle of Munich’s elite.
This show came on a couple of years ago, but I just watched it this winter. Random fact, but I found it interesting that the main character is played by the same actress that is the detective in The Chestnut Man. The Chestnut Man, along with The Killing, is another one of my favorite Danish shows.
Astrid’s sister disappeared 20 years ago along with a few classmates after a graduation trip. Still haunted by visions of her sister, and while missing her terribly, Astrid sets to begin an investigation of her own. The police have given up long ago, but when she gets a call on her weekly podcast from one of the presumed disappeared, it sets her off. It is a supernatural thriller that has a few twists and turns. A great show to watch for those who like an element of spirituality and unexplained events.
If violent and gory series are more your cup of tea, you might like this German show that is based on a book by Patrick Suskind. The story basically goes like this: a woman is found murdered with her scent glands excised from her body. The detective working the case suspects one of her old friends from boarding school. In case you’re interested in watching it, I will not spoil it for you. Just know that the story has so many twists and turns, you will likely suspect everyone at some point. And it’s a European show after all, so expect quite a bit of nudity.
I recently watched this series, and I quite enjoyed it, but I hated Anna. If you’ve seen the trailer, you know that it is based on a true story. A so-called German Heiress tried to embezzle millions of dollars in New York, for her ‘Foundation’. Anna Delvey/Sorokin’s story caught the interest of a journalist, who did not rest until she got the story behind this fascinating yet infuriating young woman. What boggles my mind about this story is how a young woman who wasn’t even twenty-five at the time got so many powerful people fooled. And she was very close to succeeding with her fraud. All I’ve got to say is that the girl’s got balls! Watch it for yourself to see what I mean.
Maid is a story that is inspired by a memoir written by Stephanie Land. A young girl is fleeing an abusive relationship with her two year old daughter, in hopes of building them a better future. The show shows how difficult the system makes it for survivors of abuse to pick up the pieces and get help. I’ve cried so often watching this show, but I recommend it wholeheartedly. Yes, many scenes are disturbing and hard to watch. Although it is fiction, you can’t help but get attached to the characters. The struggles Andy goes through moving from place to place and cleaning houses to scrape a few bucks together is heart-wrenching.
The series starring Sandra Oh, the Grey’s Anatomy and Killing Eve star, two other shows I love, is about the first woman of color that becomes the chair at a major university. This comedy-drama deals with the extreme demands she’s facing as a failing English department is about to fall apart. The department was always headed by a white man in the past, and the older professors are having a hard time adjusting. The new changes are necessary in order to save the department, but they are not making it easy. A quirky, well-written series that is set in one of my favorite places, a university.
The royal family has always fascinated me. You either love them, or you really hate them. Not many people have lukewarm feelings towards the monarchy. The series is based on historical events that happened since Queen Elisabeth came to power. It followed her life since she was a child, and all she has been through to be taken seriously. Her personal life as well as her political life have always been under scrutiny, especially since she is a woman. The longest-reigning female monarch in the world, her life is truly fascinating. The new season is believed to come out later this year, and I cannot wait.
Secret City and Secret City: Under The Eagle
These two Australian TV shows are political thrillers based on the novels by Chris Uhlmann and Steve Lewis. I haven’t read the books yet, but they’re on my TBR list. Alas!
Canberra press journalist Harriet Dunkley tries to dig what’s under the surface amidst the tensions that arose between China and the US. As she gets closer to the truth, she realizes that people close to her are in danger. But she cannot stop, she has to uncover the secrets and conspiracies that lurch in the city’s placid facade.
Secret City: Under The Eagle
In the sequel of Secret City, Harriet unwittingly unravels a cover-up that involves Catriona Bailey, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice. Working with a maverick independent MP, Harriet searches for the truth that hides under Canberra’s corridors of power. The military program that Harriet unearths is so secret, the mayor of the city is not even aware of it.
I am usually not a huge fan of political games and conspiracies, but this show will definitely make you feel different about it. Surprisingly, I enjoyed it very much. Therefore I recommend it for those who like watching conspiracy theories and corrupt politicians.
Civil Guard officer Rosa Vargas is sent to a rural community in the north of Spain to investigate a young woman’s disappearance. As she tries to find out what happened to the young girl, even the local cop Mauro Seoane thinks she just took off, looking for trouble. The small town where everybody is in everyone’s business doesn’t open up to Vargas’s inquiries. But as she presses on, a few people make her suspect list. Who is the culprit in this twisty tale? As she uncovers secrets that were long buried by a whole community, her own loss comes to the surface. She is forced to deal with her personal issues, and in the second season she gets closer to the truth.
This Spanish series is another favorite of mine, and perfect for those who love strong female leads.
The Mess You Leave Behind
Another Spanish series, this one is also based on a book. The novel carrying the same name won the Primavera award in 2016.
In order to give her marriage another chance, Raquel, a young literature teacher, moves to her husband’s hometown in hopes of a fresh start. But once they get there, they discover the town hides a dark secret which she will try her best to unravel. There are a few similarities to Bitter Daisies, such as the small-town vibe, dark secrets, people going to all lengths to keep the truth hidden. And they’re both Spanish thrillers.
I recommend it for the same reasons as before: female protagonist, dark secrets, small-town setting.
The show is about the murder of a young girl that is set in Rome, Italy. Prosecutor Elena Guera gets the call about the body as she is jogging. She immediately sets off along with her investigator, Giacomo Andreoli, to discover what happened to such a young girl. Just short of her 18th birthday, the young girl was adopted, and she was looking for her birth parents before she died. Elena is closer to this case than she initially anticipated, and she puts her personal life on hold while solving the mystery.
I love everything about this show: the language, the setting, the aesthetics, and of course, the storyline. This eight-episode series has more of a courtroom setting, but it’s still considered a thriller.
I recommend it if you like thrillers that are heavily focused on courtroom proceedings.
Love & Anarchy
This is a Swedish romantic comedy that is set in a publishing house. For me, that was reason enough to watch it, as it seemed appealing from those facts alone.
Ambitious consultant Sophie is a married woman with two children. She gets a contract at a publishing house that is falling apart, and her job is to restructure it in order to save it. Once there, she meets young IT expert Max, and slowly, her ordered life starts to fall apart at the seams. They both challenge each other to do crazy, out-of-the-ordinary things that contradict established social norms. In the process, they fall in love, and things get very messy.
A cute little bingeable series that is lighthearted and will definitely make you laugh.
Different from my usual go-to, I absolutely loved the quirky humor of this show. Highly recommend it!
These are my favorite Netflix shows that I’ve enjoyed watching in the last couple of years. Which one of these have you watched?