Watching a show from a different country means watching a show created by someone from a different cultural field. Similar to magazines, TV series provide one with a rapid glimpse into a culture slice of the time. Beyond the language difference, you’ll learn what people from that country aspire to, what they fear, what they cherish — these culture markers are packed into episodes of similar narrative but different in details. Here’s a line-up of five decent foreign shows for your own cultural investigation.
8 episodes × 45 min.
Gérard Depardieu plays city mayor Robert Taro, who, after 20 years, is passing the torch to his hand-picked successor, Lucas Barres (Benoit Magimel) and opening a string of casinos that will take money out of the city’s illegal trades. The local mafia have other ideas, however, and a drama of political intrigue, corruption and gang warfare unfolds against some stunning shots of France’s second city.
10 episodes × 60 min.
Police inspector Eva Thörnblad (Moa Gammel) returns to the village of Silverhöjd, seven years after her daughter Josephine disappeared beside a lake in the forest. Josephine’s body was never found and it was presumed that she had drowned. Upon Eva’s return, a boy is missing and Eva begins to look for similarities between this disappearance and that of her daughter. At the same time, she has to deal with the death and probate of her late father and his large timber felling and processing business, Thörnblad Cellulosa.
10 episodes × 45 min.
In the near future, Middle East turmoil compromises oil production. The United States achieves energy independence and withdraws from NATO. Europe is suffering an energy crisis. A catastrophic hurricane, Hurricane Maria, fuelled by climate change, devastates Norway, leading to the rise of the Norwegian Green Party. 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.
4 episodes × 40 min.
A chronicle of legendary Dutch singer Ramses Shaffy’s rise to fame, from his early days as a stage actor in late 1950s Amsterdam to his emergence as a national music icon throughout the following two decades. With his spirited, lively and touching songs he seduced the Dutch, who — at least until the late 1960s — were renowned for their lack of flamboyance.
17 episodes × 60 min.
The Legacy starts out at the legendary manor Grønnegaard on southern Funen, where the internationally renowned artist Veronika Grønnegaard has lived an eccentric and colorful life since the wild sixties. The serial follows Veronika’s four adult children whose free and chaotic childhood at Grønnegaard has left its mark on them in very different ways. They live scattered to the four winds until Veronika unexpectedly dies and they are forced to gather to wind up the estate. What was meant to be a quick and painless estate division becomes the start of a journey into secrets and lies that turn their lives upside down and forces them to look at each other and themselves with new eyes.