You’re here because of 2 reasons; 1. You are a fan of great thrillers 2. You finished watching almost all the popular English thriller series. Well, this is for you, a list of the Best non-English Thriller TV series.
Usually, non-English series are underappreciated. But, with the emergence of OTT platforms like Netflix, the audience is discovering many of these hidden gems. Because of this, several series otherwise would have been a local hit is becoming a global sensation. Money heist and Dark are prime instances of this.
So without further ado, let’s plunge right into it. The list of Best Non-English Thriller TV Series.
1. La casa de papel ( Spanish 2017- )
La casa de papel aka Money Heist became extremely popular only after Netflix acquired it. Reports suggest that at one stage the creators even thought of cancelling the series after season 1. But ever since Netflix took it, there was no looking back.
It became one of the most-watched Netflix series and the highest non-English speaking show ever. And the song Bella Ciao once again became showstopper and a symbol of resistance all across the world.
As the name suggests, it’s a heist drama with impeccable planning, done at the most formidable banks in Spain.
Where to watch: All seasons of the series are streamed on Netflix.
2. The Bridge ( Swedish, Danish 2011-2018 )
The second on the list of Best Non-English Thriller TV Series is The Bridge(Bron/Broen ). It’s a Scandinavian series with Danish and Swedish dialogues. The crime thriller has one of the most unique plots you will ever see.
The plot begins when a dead body is found on a bridge which serves as a border between Sweden and Denmark. Half of the body lies in Sweden while the other half in Denmark. This leads to a joint investigation by the police forces of the two countries.
Bron/Broen is a result of a successful partnership between the broadcasting networks of both Danish and Swedish languages. There were several adaptations of the series made later but none of them served justice to the original.
Where to watch: Unfortunately none of the OTT platforms stream The bridge but, can be bought from Amazon Prime Video.
3. The Killing ( Danish 2007-2012 )
Another masterpiece from Denmark. The Killing ( Forbrydelsen in Danish ) is a crime investigation thriller which opens when a 19-year-old girl is found raped and brutally murdered. As a result, Inspector Sarah leads the investigation which advances while the Mayor election in the town gets connected to the murder.
Owing to the huge success of the thriller in Denmark, BBC then telecasted the series in the UK which was an instant hit. In total, TV broadcasters from over 120 countries have purchased the first two seasons of The Killing.
The series is remade in The US, named The Killing. Though the remake is not as good as the original, the creators had done a good job with the adaptation.
Where to watch: You can watch The Killing on Prime video.
4. Gomorrah ( Italian 2014- )
Gomorrah is an Italian crime thriller series which tells the story about the notorious mafia Camorra. It’s based on real-life events about the gang wars that happened in Italy. A movie with the same name was released in 2008 which is not much related to the events depicted in the series.
After airing the first season of the show in 2014, it became one of the most viewed shows in Italy’s history. The fame of the show increased and later the broadcasting rights of the series was bought by 190 countries.
The mood and setting of the series are very dark and most events happen at night. The series can be compared to the likes of Narcos, The wire and The sopranos but with more violence and bloodshed.
Where to watch: Gomorrah is available to buy from Prime video
5. Braquo (French 2009-2016)
Braquo is not your usual cop investigation thriller. The show is gritty, violent and above all, it doesn’t showcase the routine police methods to solve crimes.
The story revolves around 4 cops who work together to chase down the most ruthless criminals. They serve justice in their own way while covering their tracks. There is no better way to define the series than its own tagline “The gangsters have changed so have the police”
Where to watch: All episodes are available to watch on Hulu or can be bought from Prime video
6. The Family Man (Hindi 2019- )
The plot features a middle-class Indian intelligence operative who fumbles while trying to keep his family together but is at the top of his game when it comes to saving the country.
The second season of the series is gonna hit the screens soon which is promised to be even bigger than the first. If you are a fan of spy dramas then this is for you. It is a raw, engaging and well-written espionage drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Where to watch: The season one is currently being streamed on Amazon Prime.
7. Signal (Korean 2016)
Korean dramas never cease to amaze us. With a fresh thrilling story and brilliant direction, the newest addition to that already stacked list is Signal. It has the perfect ingredients of emotional scenes, nail gripping investigation and a bit of time travel.
A young profiler’s life changes when he gets a call in a mysterious walkie-talkie that helps to talk to people from past. With the help of the person from the past the man sets on a journey to solve a cold case and changes the past. The series is said to be renewed for a second season in 2020.
Where to watch: The show is available on Netflix.
8. Spiral ( French 2005- )
This French thriller is one of the best police procedural dramas you will ever see. It doesn’t feature the beautiful scenes of Paris but the unpleasant and gritty streets of France.
The plot opens up when a police chief is found dead so the head of the unit along with a fresh academy graduate set out for the investigation. Spiral has a well-written plot with complex characters that are developed excellently.
Where to watch: All episodes are available on Amazon Prime Video.
9. Dark ( German 2017-2020)
Recently, Dark was voted the best of the original content on Netflix. The series won over the hits like Money heist, Black Mirror and even Stranger Things. It has one of the most original time travel plot you will ever see. The plot is so complicated and twisted, you need to watch it keenly to follow it.
When a child goes missing in a small town in Germany near a mysterious cave, it opens a time travel spectrum that changes the lives of several families in that town.
“We trust that time is linear. That it proceeds eternally, uniformly. Into infinity. But the distinction between past, present and future is nothing but an illusion. Yesterday, today and tomorrow are not consecutive, they are connected in a never-ending circle.” – Dark
Where to watch: Dark is a Netflix original show which is available to stream on the platform.
10. Stranger ( Korean 2017 )
Another amazing psychological thriller from South Korea which is a cliffhanger till the very end. Stranger is a must watch for all those serial Killer investigation fans.
The protagonist is prosecutor who lost his sense of empathy following a surgery. He along with a female police investigator who is very emotional and passionate sets on a journey to unravel the mystery behind a series of murders happening in the city.
That was our list of Best Non-English Thriller TV Series. Read the list of popular English series.