If you are looking to explore a different part of TV, Spanish shows are a great option. Netflix has been investing tremendously in TV productions from Spain, Mexico, Argentina, and many more Spanish countries. And it has been paying off. The series available on the streaming service are mostly compelling and captivating, leaving the audiences wanting more. From period dramas to biographical series, here is the list of really good Spanish shows on Netflix.
20. Yankee (2019-)
Created by Diego Enrique, ‘Yankee’ is a series about a young American called Malcolm Moriarty who has crossed the border to enter Mexico to avoid being caught by the authorities. Once he is safe within Mexico, Moriarty starts a massive drug-dealing operation and uses modern technology to facilitate his business. Each scene of ‘Yankee’ is full of tension, making it a rather binge-worthy show. Extra attention is paid to how the business of smuggling is carried out in the first place, giving us an insight into the operations of a Mexican cartel in far greater depths than what we see in shows like ‘El Chapo‘ or ‘Narcos‘.
19. Crime Diaries: The Candidate (2019)
A Mexican miniseries, ‘Crime Diaries: The Candidate’ is based on the troublesome political landscape of the country during the 1990s. The disturbance starts with the murder of the presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio which sends the country into a frenzy. How two detectives, along with Colosio’s widow Diana Laura together investigate the case is the central narrative of the series. Besides the dramatized parts, ‘Crime Diaries: The Candidate’ also extensively uses raw footage which immediately gives it an authentic feel. The writing of the series stands out, along with the production values and cinematography.
18. Apache: La vida de Carlos Tevez (2019)
Carlos Tevez is one of the biggest national heroes in Argentina. Yes, the country has a lot more fans of Diego Maradona or Lionel Messi, but Tevez’s popularity goes far beyond the magic of the football pitch and into the reality of the rough neighborhood of Fuerte Apache in Buenos Aires. This show dramatizes Tevez’s life and makes it abundantly clear to us how he struggled to make it to the top of the world of soccer after seeing the harshest realities of life while growing up.
17. Cathedral Of The Sea (2018)
The story of this eight-part Spanish miniseries is set in 14th century Barcelona when the Catalan city was at its most prosperous. In this setting, our story follows the life of a young boy called Arnau, and his father Bernat, who escape the wrath of their feudal lord to live a life of freedom. Bernat toils throughout the day to provide his son with all the basic necessities, and thereby manages to raise Arnau into a smart and respectable man. Eventually, Arnau manages to become a rich and respectable person as a money-changer. However, as it often happens, Arnau’s prosperity earns him many detractors who plot to trap him on the wrong side of the law. The series is rather well-crafted, and captures the dynamic life of 14th century Barcelona with all its nuances.
16. Locked Up (2015 – 2019)
Created by Iván Escobar, Esther Martínez Lobato, Álex Pina, and Daniel Écijas, ‘Locked Up’ is a crime drama show that stars Maggie Civantos, Najwa Nimri, Carlos Hipólito, and Roberto Enríquez. The show follows a 28-year-old Spanish woman named Macarena Ferreiro Molin, who ends up committing financial fraud for her boss, whom she loves madly. After she is kept in the Cruz del Sur Prison, Macarena, for the first time, comes to terms with the harsh realities of life behind bars. In the light of the challenges she faces, the protagonist transforms from a harmless woman to a survivor willing to go to any lengths to get out of prison or to keep herself safe in one.
15. The House Of Flowers (2018-)
Family name is something which is taken quite seriously by most people around the world. No matter what the internal strifes or problems within one’s domestic space are, we always want to protect our families’ dignity at any cost whatsoever. This is exactly what the matriarch of de la Mora family does at all times in the Netflix original series ‘The House Of Flowers’. After the death of her husband, the entire family falls apart and dirty secrets start coming out in the open. Their family-run business of flowers is not as pretty as it seems and we get to understand how the business is itself the root of many evils plaguing the family. ‘The House Of Flowers’ is a riveting drama, which boasts of an intriguing storyline and great performances.
14. Elite (2018-)
A Spanish drama-thriller series, ‘Elite’ is the story of three friends- Samuel (Itzan Escamilla), Nadia (Mina El Hammani) and Christian (Miguel Herrán), who are admitted to a posh school after their local school gets destroyed due to the negligence of a construction company. However, this is a place where the richest of Spain send their kids to, and our three protagonists naturally find themselves to be quite out of place here. As the days progress, they slowly start making friends, only to realize that the children of these elite people have a lot of dark secrets as well. From drug dealing to murder- nothing remains out of bounds for their new school mates. ‘Elite’ starts off as a high school drama, only to enter dark and disturbing areas and take us by surprise with its story and highly interesting characters. This is a high school story unlike any other.
13. Wild District (2018-)
It is always difficult for a soldier to readjust to civilian life after having spent years in the harshest possible conditions while serving in the army. Many are known to have gone through psychiatric therapy in order to come to terms with the completely different reality he suddenly finds himself in. Naturally, this condition worsens when you’re a soldier not for the army, but for a political cause which goes completely against the government and the ways in which your country is run. The Netflix series ‘Wild District’ also focuses on the life of a former guerilla soldier who bypasses the law and returns to Bogota, Columbia to start life afresh. ‘Wild District’ is Netflix’s first web series from Columbia, and with this show itself, the streaming giants have managed to show us how the little South American country has many interesting tales waiting to be told.
12. Diablero (2018-)
A Mexican supernatural series, ‘Diablero’ centers around a priest called Father Ramiro Ventura who joins forces with a demon hunter called “Diablero” Elvis Infante and a superhero called Nancy Gama. Together, these three characters set out to destroy evil forces of the netherworld. Though the series appears to be a goofy horror story steeped into cliches, it has some genuinely innovative moments of pure horror which are bound to stay in your minds for a long time. Moreover, ‘Diablero’ captures the beauty of the Mexican city streets in wonderful details, making it a rather engrossing tale in all respects. The performances of Christopher Von Uckermann as the priest and Giselle Kuri as Nancy also deserve a special mention.
11. Always A Witch (2019-)
‘Always A Witch’ is a Colombian supernatural TV series from Netflix which is set in 1646, a time when the country was under the rule of Spain. As it happens in places where religious dogmatism and beliefs in the supernatural rule the roost, many Colombian women were at that point of time being called witches and killed mercilessly. The story of this series is about a similar woman called Carmen Eguiluz (Angely Gaviria). She has been identified as a woman who should be burnt at the stake, and this is when Carmen meets a priest who helps her time travel to 2019 where people don’t believe in such stories anymore. The main problem with the series is that it is quite racist in certain places and the writing too is quite lazy in certain places.
10. Edha (2018- )
Edha is a trendsetting designer and single mother living in Buenos Aires. However, her life is turned upside down when Teo, a male model, becomes her muse. “Edha” is the first Netflix production in Argentina. It is a drama series focused on the fashion industry that mixes revenge, dark secrets, and passion. Moreover, it shows how empires are built on poor people and how exposed secrets and lies can live to closure and a new beginning.
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9. 45 RPM (2019)
’45 RPM’ is a romantic drama series which is set in the 1960s in Madrid during a time when The Beatles had not yet made it big across the world. The series chronicles a love triangle between three people within the music business who are about to lead an entire generation into experiencing something new in Spanish music. One of the three main characters is a 19-year-old girl called Maribel Campoy, who has been in the profession for long and has almost grown up in the Music Conservatory. The other two characters are music producer Guillermo and aspiring singer Roberto, both of whom are trying to compete against Maribel by launching a music company of their own. ’45RPM’ moves at a swift pace, and every action or even the dialog delivered by the actors reflects this high-paced aspect of the series. The stylistic approach makes the series quite interesting to watch.
8. Ingobernable (2017)
Emilia Urquiza is the First Lady of Mexico and she hopes to significantly improve her country. Although she is committed to fight for peace, the task proves to be more difficult than she anticipated. She soon starts to lose faith in her husband which leads to a violent argument between the two. Something happens to the President during this argument which forces Emilia to run until she can prove she did nothing wrong. With the second season coming this year, “Ingobernable” is a political Mexican drama starring Kate del Castillo.
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7. The Innocent (2021)
Inspired by Harlan Coben’s stand-alone novel of the same name, ‘The Innocent’ is a mystery thriller miniseries written by Oriol Paulo, Jordi Vallejo, and Guillem Clua. The story revolves around Mateo, a young man who accidentally kills someone and is pushed into years of guilt and desperation. However, when nine years later, he finally finds the love of his life, things appear to make sense again. Unfortunately, his troubles have hardly come to an end as a phone call brings memories of old nightmares back into Mateo’s life, and he is forced to look back at his past to reconcile his present.
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6. Las chicas del cable (2017- )
This is a Spanish period drama set in 1928 that follows four young women working in a modern telecommunications company in Madrid. We follow the hardships of women working in the 20s but also their relationships with their families and partners. One of them is Alba, a former thief trying to escape her past. However, she soon discovers that her past cannot be easily erased. “Las chicas del cable” stars Ana Fernández, Nadia de Santiago, Blanca Suárez and Maggie Civantos. Furthermore, the TV show has two seasons so far, with the third one being released this year.
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5. El Chapo (2017- )
“El Chapo” is a look at the beginnings of drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, beginning in the 1980s where he worked for the Guadalajara Cartel. Also, it follows his rise to power as head of the Sinaloa Cartel during the 90s and his recent downfall. If you enjoy drug-related TV shows, you should try “El Chapo”. It only has two seasons.
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4. Gran Hotel (2011-2013)
Directed by Carlos Sedes, this series is set in an early 20th century aristocratic hotel, a peaceful place in the middle of the countryside. When Julio Olmedo arrives at the hotel seeking his sister, he finds out that she has been fired a month ago and vanished after that. Because of that, he decides to take a job as a waiter since he finds things at the hotel very suspicious. What he does not know yet is that Gran Hotel is filled with secrets and mysteries, blackmail and crime, jealousy and love. “Gran Hotel” has three seasons and it stars Yon Gonzalez and Amaia Salamanca.
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3. Club de Cuervos (2015- )
“Club de Cuervos” was the first Spanish-language Netflix original series. It revolves around the death of the owner of the soccer team Cuervos FC and the battle between his heirs to gain control of it. It is based on the fictional city of Nuevo Toledo, in Mexico. This is a comedy-drama starring Luis Gerardo Méndez and Mariana Treviño with three seasons. Most of all, “Club de Cuervos” not only has interesting and lovable characters but also a hilarious and creative script. If you enjoy soccer, you should give this one a try.
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2. La Casa de Papel (2017- )
The Professor recruits a group of peculiar criminals to rob the Factory of Moneda and Timbre. The goal is to carry out the biggest and most successful robbery in the history of Spain and take 2.400 million euros home. But this is no easy task. Because of that, they spend several months planning a robbery that will take eleven days to execute and sixty-seven hostages to manage. “La Casa de Papel” has recently become a worldwide phenomenon. Besides having a peculiar soundtrack, this series has a complex story told in an unconventional way. Moreover, its characters and the relationships they have with each other are captivating and interesting.
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1. Narcos (2015- )
“Narcos” revolves around the history of the cocaine drug cartels in Colombia. First of all, the first two seasons tell the true story of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and the U.S. DEA agent sent to Colombia to catch him. Moreover, we follow both the business and personal relationship of Pablo Escobar and his associates. With three seasons so far, this crime drama has amazing performances by Pedro Pascal and Wagner Moura.
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