Five shows in Spanish

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As you probably know, watching TV has always proven to be a very powerful tool in the second language acquisition process. Here are five great shows you can binge-watch (or slow-watch, that’s up to you):

1. María la del barrio

Available on: Netflix
First episode date: August 14, 1995
Number of episodes: 90


Having been broadcast in over 180 countries, this classic telenovela offers an exaggerated, emotional picture of Mexico City suburbs’ lifestyle, featuring all the melodramatic elements that often define the genre. Stories of love, hate, hope, and despair take place through its 90 episodes. Highly recommended.

Our score: 7.4/10

2. Velvet

Available on: Netflix
First episode date: February 17, 2014
Number of episodes: 43


The love story between Alberto, heir of Galerías Velvet, a prestigious fashion store in 1950s Spain, and Ana, a seamstress at the galerías, serves as a point of departure for further explorations into the fashion industry, the politics, and the idiosyncrasy of post-WWII Spain, always through a romantic perspective that’s at the same time able to maintain a sexy, glamorous glaze throughout its seasons.

Our score: 9.3/10

3. El tiempo entre costuras

Available on: Hulu Plus / Netflix
First episode date: October 21, 2013
Number of episodes: 11


Boomerang TV produced this 11-episode television miniseries for Spanish network Antena 3. Based on the novel of the same name by María Dueñas, the show premiered in October 2013, with an overly positive reception: over 5 million viewers watched the first episode. The miniseries tells the story of Sira Quiroga, a young, poor dress-maker from Madrid who leaves her fiancé for a rogue salesman with whom she escapes to Morocco.

Our score: 8.5/10

4. Gran Hotel

Available on: Netflix
First episode date: October 4, 2011
Number of episodes: 66


Addictive and dramatic, the Netflix description summarizes the plot: “To learn the truth about his sister’s mysterious disappearance, a young man infiltrates a hotel in the guise of a footman and begins an investigation.” This basic premise will lead, however, to a very complex succession of mysteries and miseries that will keep you awake and watching until the wee hours of the morning, not being able to tell Netflix that you don’t want to watch one more episode.

Our score: 8.0/10

5. Narcos

Available on: Netflix
First episode date: August 28, 2015
Number of episodes: 10


Although this is not technically a show in Spanish (English is also spoken), we couldn’t leave it out of this list. This fantastic production narrates the story of rise and fall of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Violence, crime, and betrayal go hand in hand in this crude, realistic portrait of 1970s and 1980s drug trafficking business in Colombia.

Our score: 9.8/10

Photo credits: All pics are screenshots from reviewed shows. Fair use.


  1. Some of these above have been faves! I’m going to add a few more 🙂

    • El Patrón de Mal: (Netflix) For those interested is Escobar but want more Spanish and different perspective on the narrative (Colombian production)

    • La Lola: (entire Argentine series free on YouTube) For a comedy with lovable characters, La Lola follows the story of a Buenos Aires player turned into a woman, hilariously trying to adjust & confronting his own machismo with former coworkers

    • El Secretario: (Colombian, also available on YouTube) For a lighthearted, silly romcom about a male secretary

  2. Started my Spanish television journey with Narcos. All three seasons! Patiently waiting for the El Chapo story. I was amazed at how much I understood and how much I learned. Since then I have watched Welcome to Eden, The story of Nick Jam, Who Killed Sara? and will be rewatching Money Heist (in Spanish this time). It also helps with learning different Spanish accents and slang terms.

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