I love subtitled TV shows and I would like to share what I believe are some of the best TV shows with subtitles you'll love, which are available to box-set binge on to your heart's content. Many people don't like dramas or films with subtitles as they're deemed too labour intensive. If you're one of the subtitle fearing folk you're truly missing out, as there are some fabulous foreign dramas that will have you on the edge of your seat. Here are my favorite TV shows with subtitles that I urge you to watch.
Ok, so I'm cheating slightly with this one as I am Italian, so technically I don't need the subtitles but if you don't speak Italian, you will! This is a fabulous crime drama and is one of the best TV shows with subtitles. Salvo Montalbano, the Sicilian police inspector, is an honest and loyal character whom you'll quickly warm to, although he's something of a loose cannon at times, which of course adds to the entertainment! He's a funny character and like all eponymous heroes of TV detective dramas and fiction, he has his eccentricities and quirks, which make his colleagues slightly nervous. It's thoroughly entertaining and its success has spawned a spin-off prequel series showing the (rather delicious) young Montalbano in action.
2 The Returned
Having watched the first season of this French drama and been hooked from the opening, I cannot wait for the second season. It's one of the creepiest things I have seen since Twin Peaks but it's so original and the cinematography is breathtaking. It's a zombie apocalypse horror with a twist. Here's a little taster: There's a young boy who says very little; a serial killer on the loose; and if that wasn't enough, the water in the reservoir keeps going down for some reason and strange marks are appearing on people's bodies!
3 The Bridge
This is another fabulous Scandinavian crime drama, in which a bi-national police team is put together to investigate when the body of a woman is found in the middle of the Oresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark. It's had people here in the UK hooked and has been touted as the best thing on British television by most TV reviewers. Having just come to the end of its second season, it's safe to say that people's thirst for Scandinavian crime dramas won't be satiated any time soon!
4 The Killing
You've probably heard of and maybe watched the American version of The Killing, although I have to say, I felt cheated at the end of the first season and my interest had waned by the second episode of season two. But that didn't matter as I was soon placated by the original Danish version, which is brilliant. The series follows the police investigation of one specific case, day by day, with each hour-long episode covering 24 hours of the investigation. Sarah Lund is the level headed Deputy Superintendent and Jan Meyer is the new recruit with the fiery temper. Throw in some murders, suicides and kidnappings and you have a recipe for TV detective drama gold!
5 Arne Dahl
This is another Scandinavian crime drama and this one revolves around Stockholm's A-Unit police team. It's slightly different in format to the other ones, such as The Killing, in that the stories are spread over two 90 minute episodes and therefore allows for complex stories and characters to develop, as we to get to know the back story of the members of A-Unit.
6 Those Who Kill
This one is from the director of The Killing and based on an original idea by best-selling Danish crime novelist Elsebeth Egholm. It's another riveting crime thriller, which will have you hungry for more from the first episode. Police detectives Katrina Ries Jensen and Thomas Schaeffer, are the characters who have the unenviable task of tracking down a killer and of course, it's a race against time!
This crime drama is based on the books by best-selling author Henning Mankell and revolves around the character detective Kurt Wallander. He is a dark and brooding loner who really doesn't look after himself. Like many police detectives whom we ultimately warm to, he has unorthodox methods of working, sometimes relying on instinct alone. And of course, he's ultimately successful in his pursuit of the criminal! He's also one of those characters who isn't afraid to resort to illegal methods to solve the crimes, and who can blame him? There is, of course, a British version of this with Kenneth Branagh as the character of Wallander.
Detective dramas transcend cultural barriers and these fabulous TV shows are prime examples of the fact that no matter the language, we all have a fascination with the 'who dunnit' formula. These will have you hooked from the outset. Which are your favorite foreign language dramas?
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