28 March 2020

10 Spanish language TV series you should binge-watch right now

Are you stuck at home with a little extra time? Maybe you’re scrolling through your streaming service suffering analysis paralysis – there are too many choices! Watching series in Spanish can transport you into a new lifestyle and cultural environment. Not to mention it’s a great way to improve your vocabulary and listening in Spanish. Here are our top picks of TV series you should binge-watch right now!

Girl sitting on couch eating popcorn in front of TV
Watching show in Spanish can help you pick up new vocabulary and expressions

1. La Casa de Papel

Money Heist, as it’s called in English, is one of the most popular series inside (and outside) the Spanish-speaking world and for good reason. When “El Profesor” gathers eight thieves to rob the Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre (the Royal Mint) from the inside, they will have pulled off the biggest heist in Spanish history. The show is really well produced and you’ll find yourself rooting for the bad guys. La Casa de Papel already has three seasons with the fourth set to come out in April 2020.

The character Tokyo in a red jumpsuit with people hiding behind Dalí masks
La Casa de Papel is one of the biggest shows on TV right now

2. La Catedral del Mar

La Catedral del Mar is a series set in 14-century Barcelona that follows the construction of what many Barcelonians call the true cathedral of Barcelona – Santa María del Mar. Based on a book, the series is a great mix of historic background with engrossing plot twists and drama. If you’re looking for more books or films set in Barcelona, check out this article.

3. El Ministerio del Tiempo

El Ministerio del Tiempo is a Spanish series first shown on television. It’s had success in Portugal, Italy, France, Germany and even China. The story follows the mysterious governmental “Ministry of Time” as they travel to the past to ensure everything stays the same. On their time travel missions, the characters will come into contact with famous people of the past including Cervantes, Picasso and Hitchcock. Besides being a great way to familiarize yourself with the Spanish accent, you’ll get a little lesson about Spain’s history and the people that shaped the country.

Take a trip through time in each episode of El Ministerio del Tiempo

4. Allí Abajo

Another Spanish show, Allí Abajo (Down There) is a comedy that demonstrates the cultural differences between north and southern Spain. The series follows the romance between Iñaki – a typical man from the Basque country – and Carmen who is the head of nursing in a Seville hospital. You’ll learn that not all of Spain is the same in this comedy and a proper listen to the differences in speaking too.

5. Vis a Vis

If you were a fan of Orange is the New Black, then don’t miss this Spanish series that follows a similar plot except that in this case, the residents here wear yellow. Vis a Vis tells the story of Macarena’s life in prison where she meets other inmates, good and bad, and of course, many problems. This show is great for learning colloquial language and slang terms often used in Spain.

Yellow is the New Black in the Spanish version: Vis a Vis

6. Club de Cuervos

If you want to laugh and get hooked on an original series, check out Club de Cuervos. This Mexican series has won a lot of awards for its wit and dramedy and has 4 seasons. If you’re hesitant because you’re not interested in football, there is much more to it. The drama begins when the owner of a football team dies and two brothers are left to fight over who will take control.

7. Élite

Las Encinas, located in the fictional town of San Esteban, is the most exclusive school in Spain, where the elite of the country send their children. After a terrible earthquake that leaves their school in ruins, three working-class teens apply to Las Encinas. Their clash with the wealthy students leads to murder in this dramatic and suspenseful mystery series.

Who wins in the battle at this school for the "elite"?

8. La Niña

Based on true events, the story centers around Belky who at just 8 years old is recruited into the Colombian guerrilla group FARC. Many years later, she manages to escape and reintegrate into society in an attempt at “normal life” – she hopes to become a doctor one day. She finds, however, it’s not as easy as she thought. La Niña might keep you up into the wee hours of the night and will leave you with a better understanding of the tense and terrifying political situation in Colombia.

9. La Casa de las Flores

When the head of a family’s mistress is found dead, the Mora family’s life is turned upside down. What seems from the outside as a happy family flower shop proves to be hiding much more. This Mexican comedy is easy to follow and offers delightful insights into life and mentality of “Latino” culture.

Murder and secrets uncover a family's façade in La Casa de la Flores

10. Narcos: México

Narcos: México chronicles the birth of the Mexican drug war in the 1980s and is based on the true story of the Guadalajara cartel. As with any cartel story, expect drama, intrigue and suspense. Diego Luna’s portrayal of “Don Neto” is phenomenal and you could say the show is addictive as the drugs they’re selling.