Top 10 foreign language series on Netflix, based on popularity
- United States
As this year too is passing through the Covid-19 pandemic, movie fiends are relying on streaming services like Netflix to satiate their cravings for “good” content. No wonder Netflix seized the opportunity and took the rights of a few foreign language series that gathered millions of hearts worldwide.
We have ranked the best foreign-language shows based on their popularity and viewership. Here is the list of the top 10 shows that Netflix produced in 2021.
- Squid Game (South Korea)
Squid Game was released globally on September 17, 2021. It received international attention and was critically acclaimed. As of November 2021, Squid game became Netflix's most-watched Kdrama and top-viewed program in 94 countries and attracting more than 142 million member households and amassing 1.65 billion viewing hours during its first four weeks from launch, surpassing Bridgerton for the title of the most-watched show.
Squid Game revolves around a contest where 456 players, all of whom are in deep financial debt, risk their lives to play a series of deadly children's games for the chance to win a ₩45.6 billion prize.
Created by Hwang Dong-hyuk
- Shtisel (Israel)
Thanks to Netflix for presenting different classifications of series from different countries to the global viewers. Among all Shtisel is an Israeli television series that was picked by Netflix in 2018. The Israeli Shtisel (Hebrew: שטיסל) show revolves around an ultra-Orthodox family, the Shtisels,
There will be an American remake of the Israeli series. The American version of Shtisel is penned by Insatiable creator Lauren Gussis and helmed to direct by Oscar winner Kenneth Lonergan. CBS Studios will produce the remake.
Created by Ori Elon, Yehonatan Indursky
- Bordertown (Finland)
Bordertown (Finnish: Sorjonen) is a Finnish crime drama and Nordic noir series that tells the story of detective inspector Kari Sorjonen. After the streaming of seasons one, two and three respectively in 2017, 2019, and 2020, the series received massive success and was praised internationally. Now the show's global popularity skyrocketed, leading to a demand for Bordertown Season 4.
Bordertown follows the story of Kari Sorjonen, an immensely skilled and successful detective at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Finland. Plagued with his disturbing personal life, Sorjonen moves his family to a small town in the hopes of living a peaceful life. But things did not turn out as he expected. Sorjonen would eventually get involved in the investigation of a serial crime. Based on British writer Daniel Tammet, Sorjonen's character is more like the average Joe who can rise up to the challenge in difficult times.
Created by Miikko Oikkonen
- Lupin (France)
The mystery thriller series garnered massive success and accumulates positive reviews. The series was watched by 70 million households during its first month, In April, Netflix revealed that Lupin was the most-watched non-English title on the company's streaming service in the first quarter of 2021. Currently, Lupin Part 3 is under development.
The French series is loosely based on Maurice Leblanc's ArséneLupin Gentleman-Thief novels. The story follows professional thief AssaneDiop, the only son of an immigrant who hanged himself to death after being wrongfully convinced of theft by his wealthy and powerful employer Hubert Pellegrini. Fast forward 25 years and Assane is all set to get revenge on the Pellegrini family, using his charisma and mastery of thievery, subterfuge, and disguise to expose Hubert's crimes.
Created by George Kay and François Uzan
- Suburra: Blood On Rome (Italy)
Suburra: Blood on Rome (Italian: Suburra - La serie) is an Italian crime drama streaming television series set in Rome. It is based on the 2015 film Suburra, in turn inspired by the novel of the same name by Giancarlo De Cataldo and Carlo Bonini. Suburra: Blood On Rome tells the story of real-life events of the Mafia Capitale investigation and focuses on power clashes and corruption among organized crime, politicians and churchmen.
Created by Daniele Cesarano, Barbara Petronio
- Élite (Spain)
The Spanish thriller teen drama television series, Élite has acquired a huge fan base and positive review, thanks to its captive storyline and remarkable acting performances. Elite explores concepts and themes associated with teen dramas but also features more progressive issues and other sides to its clichés. These include many diverse sexual themes. Structurally, the series employs a flash-forward plot that involves a mystery element, with each season taking place in two timelines. After crossing a long journey, Netflix is gearing for the release of Elite season 5.
Élite is set in a fictional elite secondary school called Las Encinas and revolves around the relationships between three working-class students enrolled at the school through a scholarship program and their wealthy classmates. The series features an ensemble cast. Many of the cast previously featured in other Netflix works produced or distributed in Spain and Latin America. Each season of the Spanish thriller drama has a gripping mystery.
Created by Carlos Montero, Darío Madrona
- Borgen (Denmark)
Borgen, the Danish political dramas made a beautiful journey with three seasons.t accumulated a huge global fanbase and is acclaimed critically as one of the best Danish Drama. Netflix partnered with DR (producer), picked the drama and announced on 29 April 2020 that the series had been renewed for the fourth season. Borgen Season 4 is set to release in 2022 internationally.
Borgen depicts the relation of certain branches that belong to the Government of Denmark. The story tells how, against all the odds, Birgitte Nyborg Christensen (played by SidseBabett Knudsen)—a minor centrist politician—becomes the first female prime minister of Denmark.
Created by Adam Price
- Call My Agent! (France)
Call My Agent! (French: Dix pour cent, lit. 'Ten Percent') is a comedy-drama that portrays the story of a group of agents in a talent agency in Paris. It features several cameo performances from its stars, including Isabelle Huppert, Jean Dujardin, Juliette Binoche, Jean Reno and more. The debut season was originally aired on the public France 2 channel. Later Netflix picked the series for the international audience. While it was initially announced that the show would end after its fourth season in 2020, but in April 2021 it was confirmed that the show would return with a 90 minute TV film followed by the fifth season.
There will be an Indian adaption of Call My Agent! Which will be streamed on Netflix.
Created by Fanny Herrero
- Money Heist (Spain)
The Spanish crime drama Money Heist (Spanish: La casa de Papel) became highly popular with the international audience ever since Netflix acquired its global streaming rights in late 2017.
The series received several awards including the International Emmy Award for Best Drama Series at the 46th International Emmy Awards, as well as critical acclaim for its sophisticated plot, interpersonal dramas, direction, and for trying to innovate Spanish television.
Money Heist traces two long-prepared heists led by the Professor (Álvaro Morte), one on the Royal Mint of Spain, and one on the Bank of Spain told from the perspective of one of the robbers, Tokyo (Úrsula Corberó). The narrative is told in a real-time-like fashion and relies on flashbacks, time-jumps, hidden character motivations, and an unreliable narrator for complexity. The series came to an end in December 2021 but there will be a Korean version spin-off series titled 'Berlin’. Berlin is set to premiere in 2023. Squid Game's actor Park Hae-soo will be seen in the Korean version of Money Heist.
Created by Álex Pina
- Babylon Berlin (Germany)
The German neo-noir television series based on author Volker Kutscher's novel Babylon Berlin portrays the story during the Weimar Republic, starting in 1929. It follows a police inspector GereonRath, who lived in Berlin and solved new cases of increasing horrific crimes. The drama is renewed for Season 4. On Rotten Tomatoes the first season holds an approval rating of 100% based on 30 reviews. The series itself received several awards.
Created by Tom Tykwer and Achim von Borries