The Best, Bingeworthy Foreign Netflix Shows to Add to Your COVID Watchlist

Best Foreign Netflix Shows List

With the vaccine rollout, it looks like we’re nearing the end of our COVID journey… part-one. Here’s my short-list for the best bingeworthy foreign Netflix shows currently available. COVID, I decided to plunge into K-Dramas, attempting to improve my French and watch some British shows to take my mind of the chaos raging in the states.

Here are the best foreign shows available on Netflix right now (Jan 2021) that you should absolutely watch.

French Thrillers


Inspired by the adventures of Arsène Lupin, gentleman thief (never read it) Assane Diop, the only son of an immigrant from Senegal, sets out to avenge his father who was framed for a diamond theft. The show dances around race relations in France and, in my opinion, is a must watch. It’s fun, it’s thrilling, it’s a wild ride. There are only five episodes as of writing this, part two should be out within the next year.

Best Foreign Shows Netflix, Lupin


Doina is a half-vampire, half-human hybrid who takes medicine that her father created to make her not yearn for blood. Both this show and Lupin deal a great deal with identity in France and conforming (or rebelling) against the norm.

It’s dark, it’s grunge, it’s gore, and it’ll introduce you to Verlan. Verlan is a Parisian slang featuring inversion of syllables in a word, like a sort of Pig Latin. It essentially sees the sounds of a word’s syllables pronounced backward. An example is the word verlan which itself is the reverse of L’envers, which means reverse.

Best Foreign Netflix Shows

British Shows


If you’re feeling down and need a laugh, Taskmaster is the way to go. Taskmaster is the only show on this list that isn’t on Netflix but fully available on Youtube. I can shamelessly say I’ve seen every episode of the current 10 seasons and can’t wait for more.

The Taskmaster (comedian Greg Davies) issues bizarre tasks for five contestants (other British comedians) to complete and rates their attempts. It’s a great show to either work to or unwind to after a long day. You can check out their Youtube channel here.

Bingeworthy Foreign Shows Taskmaster


Giri/Haji aka Duty/Shame is a series set in London and Tokyo and split between the two languages. Looking for some yakuza content? The Soho drug and prostitute scene? Look no further. The show was a great binge but became a little unrealistic with some of the characters towards the end. There may not be a season two but in my opinion, there is no need.

Giri Haji Best Foreign Netflix Shows

Japanese Shows

Midnight Diner

Always a favorite, Midnight Diner introduces us to some new, some reoccurring characters every episode. The stories revolve around the visitors of a traditional Japanese diner in Tokyo. Most of the episodes are incredibly sweet and heartwarming. All of them give a glimpse into the everyday life of Tokyo residents. I highly recommend it.

Midnight Diner - Best Shows on Netflix

Danish Shows


Borgen has loads of rave reviews but frankly? I couldn’t finish it. That’s just me though. The show prompted me to write an article on the Nordic Paradox and how sexism is flagrant in Danish society, just in different ways. Plus… apparently, journalists feel free to stalk the prime minister’s underage daughter and snap pictures of her at a rehab facility where she is dealing with a severe anxiety order and slap that on the front page of Danish papers? Then the Danes have the audacity to blame her mother, the PM, for the child’s illness? That’s where I stopped watching.

Borgen on Netflix

The Bridge is a highly acclaimed Danish crime drama but it’s on Hulu. Then, I have to mention John Dillerman, the kids show that has made waves in the last few weeks due to its uh… general premise. You can read up about that one here.


Last but not least, K-Dramas! During COVID, I’ve done a deep dive into the world of K-Dramas and have loved every minute of it. Blow are my three favorites so far.

Crash Landing On You

I’m happy to say that Crash Landing On You was my very first K-drama. I watched it back in June and even got my father emotionally involved in the show. The show, in typical K-drama fashion, covers a love square… or two triangles(?) with a tomato plant at the center of all the action. It’s no secret that K-dramas love their houseplants but this tomato plant had the talent to bring out the emotions of even a tough, straight-laced North Korean officer.

Crash Landing on You Best K-Drama Netflix

A South Korean CEO crash lands in North Korea and hides in a North Korean officer’s home. He wants to give her up but… does a love flourish? Yes. And do you fall in love with a motley crew of North Korean officers? Of course! Do you learn more about North and South Korea, and get a brief glimpse inside their reunification committee? 100%. This show has been my favorite K-drama series so far. It ignited my love for K-dramas and my desire to watch Now on My Way to Meet You.

Now on My Way to Meet You is a South Korean talk show featuring North Korean defectors. In recent years, NOMW has garnered some negative reviews as defectors have been asked to exaggerate their stories for continued ratings. While an incredibly important talk show, it may well be one of the factors that made Kim Jong-un tighten security around the borders with China. Anyway, Crash Landing on You gives us a better understanding of day to day life in North Korea.

Netflix’s Investment in Foreign Shows

Crash Landing on You became a huge success, ranking as one of the most popular K-Dramas of all time. Interestingly enough, it was one of many Netflix original K-series. There is a content surge of foreign Netflix shows at the moment, which is really exciting. It’s great to see Netflix investing in shows abroad instead of the same old cliche American plot that can’t possibly broaden the mind at all.

She Was Pretty

Just as the title suggests, it is about a girl who was once pretty. She’s poor, she’s unemployed, she’s in her early 30s and doesn’t know what she’s doing… but all that’s about to change.

I know, the show sounds shallow but the characters in this series really got to me. It’s a quirky love story (spoiler: she chooses the wrong guy) with an endearing, funny supporting cast.

Best Foreign Shows on Netflix List

When the Camellia Blooms

In this show, you’ll see all the possible combinations of sobbing groups. Man+son, son+elderly neighbor, mother+son, mother+lover+ex lover, middle-aged man + gold digger… all of it. You’ll learn that being a single mother in Korea is the equivalent to being a poverty-ridden social pariah (really feeding into the Sampo generation’s philosophy) and that having a menacing serial killer run around town can indeed be a secondary storyline.

Best Foreign Shows on Netflix K-Dramas
That’s my list of the best foreign Netflix shows for now! Happy binging.