7 Foreign Language Shows and Films to Help You Quit Your Second Screen Addiction

Be real: are you addicted to your second screen? Does binge-watching your favourite show actually mean pressing play on an episode and then cycling endlessly through the same four or five mobile apps while the TV plays in the background? This kind of multitasking (like most kinds) is not recommended. Instead, add some quality foreign language titles to your queue, because when you have to read the subtitles, you can't also be on your phone. Genius.

Spending time away from screens entirely is a daily goal worth continually pursuing. When it comes to the time we spend with our screens, however, it's worth making sure it's time well spent. So if you're struggling to tear your eyes off your mobile device, watch a show or film in a language you don't understand and you'll be forced to keep your eyes on the big screen—that's where the subtitles are.

Here are seven incredible shows and films in languages other than English to help you quit your second screen addiction.


Language: Korean
Genre: Thriller, Comedy, Drama—it's got everything

One of the best reviewed, most universally acclaimed films of all time, Parasite tells the story of the relationship between two families: one wealthy, one poor. It's dark and hilarious, with incredible performances across the board and stunning visuals.

Terrace House

Language: Japanese
Genre: Reality, but not as you know it

It's a reality show unlike any other. The slower pace and often unremarkable happenings inside the Tokyo share house is at once a breath of fresh air and entirely compelling. A group of strangers move in together, building friendships and discovering themselves in the process. Terrace House is wholesome and soothing viewing.


Language: German
Genre: Sci-fi

Critically acclaimed and the first German-language Netflix Original, Dark explores time travel and the existential implications of time itself as it pertains to human nature. It begins in the aftermath of a child's disappearance, which reveals secrets and hidden connections among four estranged families. It's been billed as the next Stranger Things, but it's something rather different.

The Bridge

Language: Danish and Swedish
Genre: Detective

This Nordic noir series is exceptional for a few reasons, namely the performances of Sofia Helin as Swedish homicide detective Saga Norén and Killing Eve's Kim Bodnia as Martin Rohde. Each season features a new mystery to solve, and Saga as a character provides reason enough to keep your eyes glued to the screen.


Language: Danish
Genre: Political Drama

Perhaps the OG Danish drama that TV-obsessives love to reference, Borgen is ostensibly about the first female Prime Minister of Denmark and the complicated goings on of the political players and media spinners who surround her.

Cable Girls

Language: Spanish
Genre: Romance, Drama

Set in late 1920s Madrid, this Spanish melodrama follows the lives of four women working at the national telephone company in the lead-up to the Spanish Civil War. It's got romance, it's got friendship, it's got revolution—it's got the lot.

Money Heist

Language: Spanish
Genre: Drama, Suspense

This wildly popular Spanish series follows two epic heists, one on the Royal Mint of Spain and one on the Bank of Spain. It's high-octane and full of action, so if you're looking for excitement then this is the show for you.

For more streaming suggestions, here are our favourite shows with five or more seasons. Or, catch up on the best new releases on offer this month.

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