Is your Netflix queue getting shorter and shorter? It's time to branch out and go international with your viewing habits. The selection of Spanish shows on the streaming platform is just the type of quality content that inspires weekends dedicated to binge-watching — and possibly have you learning a second language along the way.
And we're not just talking about Narcos. Sure, Pablo Escobar is good, but have you heard of Fariña: Cocaine Coast? The book the show was based on — which tells a similar story of drug smuggling operations abroad — was temporarily banned in Spain before the series' release. Love Mad Men? Might we recommend Velvet, which stars Miguel Angel Silvestre as Alberto, who is basically the Don Draper of 1950's Madrid.
From Cable Girls to House of Flowers, there is something for anyone who needs a good laugh or wants all the drama and romance of a really good telenovela. Don't know where to start? Check out our list of some of the best Spanish shows on Netflix right now:
1. 'Velvet' ('Galerías Velvet')
If you need a place to start when it comes to Spanish television drama, look no farther than Velvet. The show centers around the Galerías Velvet and its owner Alberto — who is in a secret love affair with Ana, one of the company's seamstresses. The Mad Men meets Romeo and Juliet mashup also follows an eclectic group of workers including Mateo, Alberto's right-hand man, head seamstress Doña Blanca, and Pedro, the shop's resident hopeless romantic.
2. 'Gran Hotel'
Love a good murder mystery? We recommend you binge-watch Gran Hotel — a series set in 1900s Spain that follows Julio Olmedo (Yon González) as he tries to solve the disappearance of his sister from the titular location. Along the way, he gains the confidence of the hotel owner's daughter Alicia (Amaia Salamanca), who uncovers some deep, dark family secrets of her own.
3. 'Cable Girls' ('Las Chicas Del Cable')
With Season 3 of the Spanish show premiering this month, Cable Girls just keeps getting better and better. Centered around Alba (we mean Lidia) and her girl squad of telephone operators, Cable Girls shows how the characters each balance being a working woman in 1920s Madrid — and fighting the patriarchy. Oh, and expect a good love triangle or two along the way.
4. 'Money Heist' ('La Casa de Papel')
Robbing the Royal Mint of Spain seemed like a good idea for the professor and his band of eight thieves. Unfortunately, they may have underestimated the Spanish police, led by Raquel Murillo (Itziar Ituño). Divided into two parts, the series is definitely for those who love a good heist movie à la Inside Man or The Town.
Season 3 is set to premiere on July 19.
5. 'Club of Crows' ('Club de Cuervos')
The very first Spanish-language Netflix series, this Mexican drama-comedy focuses on a soccer club called the Cuervos FC and the power struggle that ensues between a brother and sister, Chava and Isabel, following the death of its owner, their father. Think of it as Bend it Like Beckham meets Game of Thrones. It also inspired a spinoff titled The Ballad of Hugo Sánchez — centered on Chava's personal assistant.
If you decide to start Ingobernable, do it now. The second season premieres on Sept. 21 and it will continue following Emilia Urquiza — played by Kate Castillo of El Chapo fame – as she attempts to prove her innocence in the murder of her husband, who just happens to be the president of Mexico.
7. 'House of Flowers' ('La Casa de las Flores')
The House of Flowers tells the story of a wealthy, but dysfunctional, Mexican family who own a flower shop. The matriarch, Virginia (Verónica Castro), must also deal with her husband's mistress, who threatens to share the family's dark secrets. What could go wrong?
If you love Gossip Girl or Riverdale, you will love this Spanish hybrid of all your favorite teenage dramas. Starring Money Heist stars Jaime Lorente, María Pedraza, and Miguel Herrán, Elite follows three low-income students as they attempt to fit into a prestigious private school. Spoiler alert: the show kicks off with a murder on campus.
9. 'Ministry of Time' (El Ministerio del Tiempo)
Love time travel? The Ministry of Time follows a secret agency that is determined to stop Spanish history from changing. Leading the patrol is a 16th century soldier, the first female university student from the 1800s, and a modern-day paramedic.
10. 'Morocco: Love in the Times of War' ('Tiempos de Guerra')
The North African country is the setting of the series, which takes place during the Rif War. Front and center are the doctors and nurses working to heal the injured — among them Julia (Amaia Salamanca) who joins in hopes of finding her missing fiancé. Unfortunately, she was not expecting to run into Fidel (Alex García), the hospital's McDreamy on the frontline.
11. 'Velvet Collection' ('Velvet Colección')
Velvet was so good, Netflix decided to give the series its very own spinoff. Opening a new location in Barcelona, your favorites from the original series are back — this time led by store manager Clara (Marta Hazas) and newcomer Segio (Fernando Guallar)... while Alberto and Ana take over the fashion world in New York City. Warning: have some tissues handy during the first episode.
12. 'El Marginal'
Working undercover in one of Argentina's most dangerous prisons, Pastor Peña (Juan Minujín) must find the kidnapper of a judge's daughter before his real identity is exposed.
13. 'El Señor de los Cielos'
Pablo Escobar who? This Telemundo telenovela follows Mexican's biggest drug trafficker in the '90s Aurelio Casillas (played by Rafael Amaya) who is said to have not only owned the land, but also the skies. Warning: this show is a commitment with six seasons and over 500 episodes — and counting. It was just renewed for a seventh season.
14. 'Mar de Plástico'
The show, which translates to Ocean of Plastic, is actually about the murder of a young woman named Ainhoa in Southern Spain and the inspector who is sent to solve it.
A prosecutor, journalist, and undercover agent join forces to uncover a human trafficking ring — but seeing as this is a Spanish drama, nothing is what it seems.
We all have that one teacher that broke all the rules — but left a lasting mark. Enter Merlí, played by Francesc Orella, whose teaching methods upset parents and staff, but ultimately inspire his students, including his gay son. In a nutshell, it's a Spanish, modern-day Dead Poets Society.
17. 'Cathedral of the Sea' ('La Catedral del Mar')
Taking viewers back to 14th century Barcelona, one of the newest Spanish series from the streaming platform follows a serf named Arnau (Aitor Luna) as he attempts to gain wealth and freedom. Based on the book of the same name, viewers can also expect to follow Arnau as he falls in love with a "forbidden" woman.
18. 'Fariña' ('Cocaine Coast')
Cocaine Coast tells the story of Galician fisherman Sito Miñanco (Javier Rey) whose renowned boating skills get him unintentionally involved in tobacco smuggling — and ultimately transforms him into one of the biggest cocaine kingpins in the '80s by providing Latin American suppliers with a European entry point. If you are having Narcos withdrawals, this might be the series for you.
19. 'Made in Mexico'
Love The Hills or the Real Housewives franchise? Then look no further than one of Netflix's first reality TV shows, Made in Mexico. The series will follow nine socialites in Mexico City proving there are drama has no language barrier. Get to know the cast here.
20. 'Narcos: Mexico'
You don't need to watch the first three seasons of the Netflix original to get into Narcos: Mexico. Starring actor Diego Luna as Mexican drug lord Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo and Michael Peña as DEA agent Kiki Camarena, you will be holding your breath watching this cat-and-mouse chase until the final episode. Also, keep your eyes peeled for a couple of appearance of El Chapo himself. Luckily, a Season 2 has already been confirmed.
21. 'Vivir Sin Permiso' ('Unauthorized Living')
Veteran Spanish actor Jose Coronado plays Nemo Bandeira, a Galician drug lord who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in Unauthorized Living. Nemo tries to keep the diagnosis a secret from his family while he starts to think about who will be his predecessor after his retirement.
And while his oldest son, Carlos, seems like an obvious choice, his attorney semi-adopted son, Mario Mendoza (Álex González), is determined to replace him.
22. 'Siempre Bruja' ('Always a Witch')
Travel to Cartagena while watching Siempre Bruja, which translates to Always a Witch, on Netflix. The series that follows a 19-year-old slave and witch named Carmen, who's about to be burned at the stake in colonial Cartagena for falling in love with a white man.
Luckily, she is able to travel in time to present-day Colombia, where she must hide her bruja powers.
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