Beyond Money Heist, ten international shows to watch during Coronavirus lockdown, from Kingdom to 3%
If you’re looking to explore different kinds of shows, made in different parts of the world, here is a list on what to get started with
For more recommendations on what to watch during the Coronavirus lockdown, click here.
When we talk about how much Netflix has pervaded into our lives and changed the way films are made, one of the first things that comes up is how films and shows are now made for a global audience. With streaming platforms becoming popular, there is a chance someone sitting in some corner in some obscure part of the world might be watching a film made on the streets of Bombay.
It’s also made it easier for us to watch films and shows made in different languages, shows we probably wouldn’t have had access to, a few years ago. It’s quite common nowadays to hear people talking about a Korean drama, or an Italian/Turkish show. Dubbed versions are available anywhere and streaming platforms provide subtitles too. And true to Bong Joon-Ho (the director of Parasite)’s words, more and more people seem to be trying to “overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles."
After all, Money Heist’s latest season is the talk of the town (when we aren’t talking about you-know-what). It still has a massive fan following in India, much like Dark, a German show which released a few months ago, too, had gathered attention and eyeballs.
If you’re looking to explore different kinds of shows, made in different parts of the world, here is a list on what to get started with:
Every review I read about this show called it a kind of “Brazilian Hunger Games”. It’s a great recommendation if you like dystopian shows, honestly. 3% is Netflix’s first Portuguese-language original series and it’s basically about a world where 20 year olds have to go through a bunch of tests, to qualify to live in a better world. Only 3% of the contestants make it. It’s thrilling and engaging and the characters keep you hooked.
Hibana, a Japanese show, follows the life of a struggling comic who is mentored by a more experienced comedian to hone his craft and become successful. Not only does it provide a great insight into Manzai (a Japanese form of comedy), it also explores ideas like the relationship between a mentor and an apprentice in detail. The show is believed to be authentically Japanese and is well-loved by people who are looking to learn more about the culture of another country.
No one became a Nazi in a day. What was life in Germany like in the 1920s, in the middle of two massive wars that they lost and suffered through — this German show gets the essence of that through the adventures of Gereon Rath, a police inspector. The show gets the vibe of the era right, and it’s a fascinating study of an era in history that’s often ignored. What makes it better? Many, many incidents and ideas are relatable to viewers today, as we see them happening in the world around us all the time.
Call my Agent
A French show about employees at a talent agency handling artists and crises together. Call My Agent is both funny, and provides an interesting insight into the worlds of entertainment, fame and glamour. It also provides a good look at the part of showbiz we all usually ignore - the business. All three seasons of this show are available on Netflix.
Borgen is a Danish show about a politician who has become the first female prime minister of Denmark. It’s an engaging watch, and the strong lead, played by Sidse Babett Knudsen, is what you keep coming back for. The characters are relatable and the show highlights the many human flaws in politics and politicians without judgement. Like West Wing, Borgen goes into details of administration, the relationship with the media and the personal life of the Prime Minister.
An Italian crime drama series, Suburra is based on a true story and is about a fight over land in a town near Rome, which becomes serious and deadly. From gang wars to corruption in Italy, this is an exciting watch and easy bingeable. If you’re a fan of crime or noir, this show would be a perfect watch.
This show from Kenya is a mockumentary about an NGO and its employees who don’t do much work. Similar to The Office (or closer home, Better Life Foundation) this hilarious show is the first of its kind to be made in Kenya, and the story behind the show is quite unique as well. The creators had to crowdsource funds to produce the first couple of seasons (much like a real NGO, they say). The first two episodes are free on their website, aidforaid.org, but to watch the other episodes, they follow a pay-as-you-like format. This is also an attempt to raise money for future seasons of the show.
This Spanish drama focuses on a group of kids who have recently joined an extremely elite and high-end high school and the drama that ensues post that. Elite gets all the elements of a teen drama right and also plays out like a thrilling murder mystery. It’s a great depiction of teenage life and sexuality, relationships and attraction, as well as class divide. It’s not your regular teen drama, it’s better.
This zombie horror drama is set in the 1500s, and follows the prince of Korea during a plague in the country, with zombies on the loose. It’s thrilling and the visuals are stunning. Both seasons of the show have got amazing reviews from critics and viewers and have made it to almost every list of must-watch shows in 2019. What’s better? It’s not all zombies and monsters either. There’s real drama and politics in the show, and the commentary on political systems is sharp.
Catherine the Great was a Russian ruler in the 1700s, and also the longest ruling female ruler of the country. Ekaterina describes her life from a young girl to a powerhouse that became one of the greatest rulers of Russia.
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