Best Foreign TV Series (Outside of the United States)

by demon-62 | created - 26 Dec 2014 | updated - 6 months ago | Public

The list is 100+ now so look for the "page 2" button to see the rest of it.

This is the definitive list for foreign serialized tv programs with English subtitles (most are 1 hour long dramas). I only added series that are easily found on the internet with hard-coded English subtitles. I update this list frequently so check back often for the latest additions.

*Foreign means outside of the United States*

If you need help finding episodes with English subtitles just shoot me a message and I'll give you that info, or check out my blog at and search for "foreign tv links".

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1. Babylon Berlin (2017– )

TV-MA | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Colognian commissioner Gereon Rath moves to Berlin, the epicenter of political and social changes in the Golden Twenties.

Stars: Volker Bruch, Liv Lisa Fries, Leonie Benesch, Lars Eidinger

Votes: 17,900

This series is a definite must see. The characters, the story, the cinematography, the music, and the actors are as close to perfection as you can get.

Season 1 with English subtitles can be found on Netflix right now but season 2 is not. Season 2 with English subtitles can be found on the web if you know where to look for it. Or you can wait until Netflix adds the new season. I hear it is in the works and will be available sometime soon. I'll keep you posted.

2. Money Heist (2017– )

TV-MA | 70 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

An unusual group of robbers attempt to carry out the most perfect robbery in Spanish history - stealing 2.4 billion euros from the Royal Mint of Spain.

Stars: Úrsula Corberó, Álvaro Morte, Itziar Ituño, Pedro Alonso

Votes: 282,273

Both seasons are now available on Netflix

3. The Returned (2012– )

TV-MA | 52 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

The Returned opens in a small mountain community which is rocked to its core when several local people who are presumed dead suddenly re-appear at their homes. Despite having passed away ... See full summary »

Stars: Anne Consigny, Clotilde Hesme, Frédéric Pierrot, Céline Sallette

Votes: 19,363

In a small Alpine village, in the shadow of a vast dam, a small group of men, women and children find themselves in a state of confusion, trying to return to their homes. What they do not yet know is that they have been dead for several years, and no one is expecting them back. Their arrival coincides with a series of gruesome murders which bear a chilling resemblance to the work of a serial killer from the past. This is a homecoming like no other.


One of the best tv series I've ever seen! Unfortunately this show's premise has been copied in a number of American TV series. But when this one came out it was 100% original and unlike anything else on tv. So you may get the urge to write this one off thinking it's been done already. Resist that urge! This was the original and it's so much better than the others that came after it.

4. The Mechanism (2018– )

TV-MA | 41 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Dramatic fiction series loosely inspired by an investigation of corruption in Brazil's private and state oil companies and construction companies.

Stars: Caroline Abras, Selton Mello, Enrique Diaz, Jonathan Haagensen

Votes: 35,321

Can be found on Netflix.

5. Dark (2017–2020)

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A family saga with a supernatural twist, set in a German town, where the disappearance of two young children exposes the relationships among four families.

Stars: Louis Hofmann, Karoline Eichhorn, Lisa Vicari, Maja Schöne

Votes: 267,733

6. Tabula Rasa (2017– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Thriller

A young woman with amnesia becomes a key figure in a disappearance case.

Stars: Veerle Baetens, Stijn Van Opstal, Jeroen Perceval, Gene Bervoets

Votes: 7,799

7. Gran Hotel (2011–2013)

TV-14 | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The story of a family-owned hotel set in the fictional coastal Spanish town of Cantaloa in 1905 which is scene to love, blackmail, jealousies, crime, comedy, plots and counter-plots all involving the hotel's owners, guests, detectives and residential employees.

Stars: Adriana Ozores, Amaia Salamanca, Yon González, Eloy Azorín

Votes: 9,074

Gran Hotel follows the mysterious happenings within the elegant hotel halls and gardens after the disappearance of one of the maids.

8. Alhambeura Goongjeonui Chooeok (2018–2019)

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

After suffering a setback following a friend's betrayal Yoo Jin Woo travels to Spain on a business. There, he stays at an old hostel owned by a former classical guitarist Jung Hee Joo. The two get entangled in a mysterious incident.

Stars: Park Shin-Hye, Hyun Bin, Jin-Woong Min, Park Hoon

Votes: 3,241

9. Suburra: Blood on Rome (2017–2020)

TV-MA | 50 min | Action, Crime

In 2008, a fight over land in a seaside town near Rome spirals into a deadly battle between organized crime, corrupt politicians and the Vatican.

Stars: Alessandro Borghi, Giacomo Ferrara, Filippo Nigro, Carlotta Antonelli

Votes: 10,659

10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

R | 152 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

76 Metascore

A journalist is aided by a young female hacker in his search for the killer of a woman who has been dead for forty years.

Director: Niels Arden Oplev | Stars: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Ewa Fröling, Lena Endre

Votes: 207,537 | Gross: $10.10M

11. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (2009)

R | 147 min | Action, Crime, Drama

60 Metascore

Lisbeth is recovering in a hospital and awaiting trial for three murders when she is released. Mikael must prove her innocence, but Lisbeth must be willing to share the details of her sordid experiences with the court.

Director: Daniel Alfredson | Stars: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Annika Hallin

Votes: 67,520 | Gross: $5.19M

12. The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009)

R | 129 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

66 Metascore

As computer hacker Lisbeth and journalist Mikael investigate a sex-trafficking ring, Lisbeth is accused of three murders, causing her to go on the run while Mikael works to clear her name.

Director: Daniel Alfredson | Stars: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Lena Endre, Peter Andersson

Votes: 90,301 | Gross: $9.08M

13. Okkupert (2015– )

TV-14 | 45 min | Drama, Thriller

In the near future, Norway is occupied by Russia on behalf of the European Union, due to the fact that the newly elected environmental friendly Norwegian government has stopped the all important oil- and gas-production in the North Sea.

Stars: Henrik Mestad, Ane Dahl Torp, Eldar Skar, Ingeborga Dapkunaite

Votes: 7,703

14. Un village français (2009–2017)

TV-14 | 52 min | Drama

A French village and its inhabitants go through the ups and (mainly) downs of the occupation by the German army from 1940 to 1945. The village doctor is assigned as mayor, and confronted ... See full summary »

Stars: Robin Renucci, Audrey Fleurot, Thierry Godard, Marie Kremer

Votes: 1,036

A French village and its inhabitants go through the ups and (mainly) downs of the occupation by the German army from 1940 to 1945. The village doctor is assigned as mayor, and confronted with the challenges, dilemmas, and contradictory demands and situations. At the same time, therre is a lot of peronal interaction with a number of interesting characters

15. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (2008–2009)

TV-PG | 60 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A woman opens her own detective agency in Botswana.

Stars: Jill Scott, Anika Noni Rose, Lucian Msamati, Desmond Dube

Votes: 3,108

If this doesn't look like something you'd usually get into, then take a chance and watch the first episode. I guarantee you'll fall in love with this very original series. I was skeptical at first too but I'm glad I gave it a chance. One of the few tv shows I ranked with a 9 star rating (should be 9.5).

16. The Time in Between (2013–2014)

853 min | Adventure, Drama, History

Sira Quiroga is a young Spanish dressmaker engaged to a solid suitor when a suave typewriter salesman upends her life. Spain is being upended by a civil war and the new regime's growing ... See full summary »

Stars: Adriana Ugarte, Hannah New, Ben Temple, Peter Vives

Votes: 3,601

17. Borgen (2010–2013)

TV-14 | 58 min | Drama

A political drama about a prime minister's rise to power, and how power changes a prime minister.

Stars: Sidse Babett Knudsen, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Emil Poulsen, Freja Riemann

Votes: 18,310

Amazing tv political drama, but only watch the first two seasons because season 3 is horrible. It makes you upset that a show as good as this destroys it all in season 3.

18. Millennium (2010)

540 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

The adventures of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and hacker Lisbeth Salander.

Stars: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Lena Endre, Sofia Ledarp

Votes: 8,050

19. Grenseland (2017– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

To protect his family, police detective Nikolai covers up a murder case. But when his co-investigator Anniken suspects foul play, he is trapped in a dangerous game on duty, blurring the line between right and wrong.

Stars: Tobias Santelmann, Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Benjamin Helstad, Eivind Sander

Votes: 3,013

This is one of my favorites. The detective character is gay, which they left that part out of the description for some reason. I love seeing lgbt characters playing roles that have nothing to do with their sexuality. I wish more series would do that. We're regular people too.

20. The Honourable Woman (2014)

60 min | Drama, Thriller

Centres on Nessa Stein, a woman who inherits her father's arms business and finds herself in an international maelstrom as she continues to promote the reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

Stars: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Stephen Rea, Lubna Azabal, Katherine Parkinson

Votes: 9,714

Extremely well done series. Watch this if you want to see a master class on acting, character building, or creating edge of your seat suspense.

21. Impulse (2018–2019)

TV-MA | 50 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

A young woman discovers she has the extraordinary power of teleportation.

Stars: Maddie Hasson, Sarah Desjardins, Enuka Okuma, Craig Arnold

Votes: 8,823

I know this isn't a foreign series but I loved it so much I had to add it. There's been a lot of super hero, super powers types of series lately and it has gotten to be a bit monotonous, but this isn't like those at all. The superpower isn't even the central idea for most of the series. So give it a try I know you're going to love it as much as I do.

22. The Boat (2011–2013)

TV-14 | 75 min | Adventure, Drama, Mystery

A global cataclysm, caused by a fatal accident in Geneva (Switzerland) during the implementation of the particle accelerator will lead to crew of vessel-school Estrella Polar to live the adventure of their lives.

Stars: Juanjo Artero, Mario Casas, Blanca Suárez, Irene Montalà

Votes: 4,222

23. Capadocia (2008– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama

It tells the stories of several women imprisoned for different reasons in an experimental penal complex in Mexico City.

Stars: Dolores Heredia, Juan Manuel Bernal, Aida López, Marco Treviño

Votes: 566

This series aired on HBO Latin. It's set in Argentina with the storyline built around a women's prison. They incorporate shady politics and the exploitation of women without being too preachy. It's a smart show with an amazing cast. The show description doesn't sound all that interesting, but you'd be wrong to assume that. It's a really interesting and well written series. It's in Spanish but there are easily findable videos on the internet with hard-coded English subtitles. If you're still not convinced just watch the first episode and watch how quick the story pulls you in. The only bad part about the show is the last 2 seasons. It starts to lose the creative spark that was so apparent in the first two seasons. They were still good, just not as good as the first 2.

24. Sotus (2016– )

Drama, Romance

A confident gay freshman at an engineering school relentlessly seduces the closeted mentoring junior who bullies him.

Stars: Prachaya Ruangroj, Perawat Sangpotirat, Chanagun Arpornsutinan, Teerapat Lohanan

Votes: 747

25. Tientsin Mystic (2017)

40 min | Drama, Mystery

Set in the Republic years in China, four young people investigate several mystery cases and stop heresy.

Stars: Xian Li, Ming'en Zhang, Cici Wang, Yumi Chen

Votes: 186

Very interesting series from China. It took me a few episodes to get into it, but the story starts to take off after the 3rd or 4th episode. If you like fantasy mixed with cool martial arts, you'll probably enjoy this one. The lead actor is really cute too so there's that.

26. Real Humans (2012–2014)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

In a parallel present the artificial human has come into its own. Robots no longer have anything robot-like about them. New technology and advancements in the field of science have made it ... See full summary »

Stars: Lisette Pagler, Pia Halvorsen, Johan Paulsen, Natalie Minnevik

Votes: 6,018

Also known as "Real Humans"

27. Narcos (2015–2017)

TV-MA | 49 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

A chronicled look at the criminal exploits of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, as well as the many other drug kingpins who plagued the country through the years.

Stars: Pedro Pascal, Wagner Moura, Boyd Holbrook, Alberto Ammann

Votes: 347,798

28. Follow the Money (2016–2019)

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A big Danish sustainable energy company has had an enormous, suspect growth. Problems start, when an employee's body is found and cop detective Justesen starts investigating Energreen.

Stars: Esben Smed, Thomas Hwan, Thomas Bo Larsen, Natalie Madueño

Votes: 3,226

29. 3% (2016–2020)

TV-MA | 49 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

A post-apocalyptic thriller set in near-future Brazil, where a select few are allowed to join a privileged society after undergoing an intense and competitive process.

Stars: Bianca Comparato, Vaneza Oliveira, Rodolfo Valente, Zezé Motta

Votes: 21,159

30. The Gordin Cell (2012–2015)

45 min | Drama, Thriller

Based on a similar concept to "The Americans", "The Gordin Cell" follows the lives of a married pair of former Soviet spies who are forced to face their past when asked to surrender their ... See full summary »

Stars: Ran Danker, Moni Moshonov, Mark Ivanir, Helena Yaralova

Votes: 152

This is a really well written series and will keep you guessing as to what each character's next move will be. And two of the male lead characters are extremely attractive which doesn't hurt at all either (lol).

Diana and Mickey Gordin immigrated to Israel from the Soviet Union in the 90s and adjusted in Israel while starting a family together and had 2 children and worked their way up to the upper middle class. In fact, both were recruited by the KGB Intelligence Directorate to collect data for the organization, but that was a decade ago.

It has been many years, but their past haunts them again. Their liaison agent, the legendary spy, Yaacov Lundin, is coming back. He demands they transfer their young son Eyal to work for him. Eyal, an outstanding military officer working for the office of the Israeli Air Force Commander, has no idea his parents are spies. While trying to avoid their past, the Shabak’s Russian Department closes in on them, while Eyal himself must try to understand if he is to become a state traitor or to be a traitor to his parents.

31. Bron/Broen (2011–2018)

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

When a body is found on the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, right on the border, Danish inspector Martin Rohde and Swedish Saga Norén have to share jurisdiction and work together to find the killer.

Stars: Sofia Helin, Rafael Pettersson, Sarah Boberg, Dag Malmberg

Votes: 57,087

When a body is found on the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, right on the border, Danish inspector Martin Rohde and Swedish Saga Norén have to share jurisdiction and work together to find the killer.

32. Don't Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves (2012)

174 min | Drama

A story of love and death. Rasmus, 19, escapes to Stockholm and finds love in the religious Benjamin just as the AIDS epidemic hits the city's gay community.

Stars: Adam Lundgren, Adam Pålsson, Björn Kjellman, Simon J. Berger

Votes: 4,125

33. Time of Honor (2008– )

50 min | Drama, Romance, War

Follows a group of young officers parachuted back into Poland to help the resistance movement during World War 2.

Stars: Maciej Zakoscielny, Jakub Wesolowski, Jan Wieczorkowski, Ewa Wencel

Votes: 616

Also known as "Czas honoru". Period drama that takes place in Poland during WWII. Lots of action, mystery, and misery. lol

34. Cable Girls (2017–2020)

TV-14 | 50 min | Drama

Set in the 1920s, this is the story of four women from different backgrounds newly hired as operators for a phone company.

Stars: Blanca Suárez, Yon González, Ana Fernández, Nadia de Santiago

Votes: 11,566

35. Braquo (2009–2016)

Not Rated | 52 min | Crime, Thriller

Four police officers of the SDPJ Hauts-de-Seine, Eddie Caplan, Walter Morlighem, Theo Wachevski and Roxane Delgado have their lives turned upside down when their colleague, Max, committed ... See full summary »

Stars: Jean-Hugues Anglade, Joseph Malerba, Karole Rocher, Nicolas Duvauchelle

Votes: 3,489

36. Forbrydelsen (2007–2012)

TV-MA | 57 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Police detective Sarah Lund investigates difficult cases with personal and political consequences.

Stars: Sofie Gråbøl, Morten Suurballe, Lars Mikkelsen, Bjarne Henriksen

Votes: 23,864

37. Bala Loca (2016)

60 min | Drama

A veteran journalist starting a news site about corruption in Chile stumbles on a big story when a fellow investigative reporter dies suspiciously.

Stars: Alejandro Goic, Trinidad González, Ingrid Isensee, Mario Horton

Votes: 222

38. Marseille (2016–2018)

TV-MA | 41 min | Drama

A tale of power, corruption and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the French port city of Marseille.

Stars: Karen Strassman, Anne Yatco, Gérard Depardieu, Benoît Magimel

Votes: 4,472

39. Malgudi Days (1987–2006)


Based on the works of R.K. Narayan, Malgudi Days chronicles the lives of people living in the fictitious town of Malgudi.

Stars: Master Manjunath, Girish Karnad, Vaishali Kasaravalli, Raghuram Sitaram

Votes: 3,258

This was such an unexpected delight. I found the series while searching for something else. If I had read the description prior to viewing the first episode I would have skipped over it. The storylines are pretty simple and there's not much action to speak of. But it's incredibly engaging and I could relate to the characters even though they live thousands of miles away from me and speak another language. It's hard trying to describe this series in a way that would make someone want to watch it. All I can say is give it a try and you'll see exactly what I mean.

It's kind of like the Indian version of The "Andy Griffith Show" mixed with "The Little Rascals". That may sound boring but I promise it's not.

40. Spin (2012–2016)

Not Rated | 52 min | Drama

After the french president is killed by an assassin, a political intrigue about the following campaign begins. The best friend of the dead president and his spindoctor installs the ... See full summary »

Stars: Bruno Wolkowitch, Grégory Fitoussi, Philippe Magnan, Yves Pignot

Votes: 656

Also known by the title "Spin".

41. El marginal (2016– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Miguel (Juan Minujin), a former Argentinian cop, is sent by a judge to get into a prison in order to find the kidnapper of his daughter as a result of a favor. Once in there, he changes his... See full summary »

Stars: Martina Gusman, Gerardo Romano, Claudio Rissi, Nicolás Furtado

Votes: 2,726

42. The Legacy (2014–2017)

55 min | Drama

The death of a matriarch brings forgotten secrets out into the open and causes a prolonged battle for the family inheritance.

Stars: Trine Dyrholm, Marie Bach Hansen, Carsten Bjørnlund, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard

Votes: 2,732

Starts out slow but don't give up on it. You'll appreciate the time the director devoted to early character development about halfway through the first season. I gave this a 9 rating on IMDb, so that should tell you something.

43. Hatufim (2009–2012)

50 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

After 17 years in captivity, Israeli soldiers Nimrode Klein, Uri Zach, and Amiel Ben Horin return home to the country that made them national icons. They work to overcome the trauma of ... See full summary »

Stars: Ishai Golan, Yoram Toledano, Yaël Abecassis, Mili Avital

Votes: 2,013

44. Deutschland 83 (2015)

TV-MA | 42 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

Martin Rauch is recruited by the HVA to infiltrate the West Germany army. As a rookie spy, his decisions constantly put his cover at risk and force his agency to take extreme measures.

Stars: Jonas Nay, Maria Schrader, Ulrich Noethen, Sylvester Groth

Votes: 11,530

45. Fortier (2001– )

40 min | Thriller