Binge-worthy Subtitles

A selection of foreign Netflix shows that deserve more hype.


photo by Betul Tuncer

Some foreign tv shows are worth turning on subtitles and going on a Netflix binge watching spree.

Betul Tuncer, Assignments Editor


I have seen many Kdramas, and I have to say, Abyss is by far my favorite. Unlike a typical Korean drama, the show is focused on action rather than romance. The show focuses on two best friends — Go Se-yeon, a beautiful public prosecutor, and Cha Min, a stout businessman — who experience a series of supernatural events that set this show apart from others. One night Se-yeon dies a very gruesome death. In the same week, Min decides that because of his looks no one can ever love him, so he jumps off a skyscraper. Coincidently, at the exact moment he falls through the air, extraterrestrial beings try to save him but fail. Because they couldn’t save him, they bring him back to life as the true representation of his soul–which happens to be young and handsome. After his resurrection he obtains a sphere known as the “Abyss” that allows him to bring back the dead. That’s all you need to know to get started with Abyss — there’s a lot of death,  resurrection, crime and action. It’s a very engaging and fast-paced show, and with only 16 episodes, it’s the perfect weekend binge.


Money Heist 

Money Heist, also known as The House of Paper (or Money), is a Spanish show with three seasons and one more on the way. The show revolves around a group of notorious thieves in Spain who are brought together by a character known as the Professor. The Professor is a criminal mastermind who has spent his entire life planning out his father’s dream of robbing the Royal Mint of Spain. His plan involves infiltrating the highly guarded Mint, taking the workers hostage, and printing an endless amount of Euros. To go through this elaborate heist, he recruits eight thieves with city pseudonyms: Tokyo, Rio, Nairobi, Berlin, Denver, Helsinki, Oslo, and Moscow. Scenes constantly switch between the heist and the construction of the plan, and every hour leading up to the heist is remarkable. It’s no surprise that Money Heist has grown in popularity. It’s an amazing show, with a great soundtrack and a nerve-wracking yet intriguing plot. 



If you’re into shows that analyze socio-economic divides and human integrity, the Portuguese show 3% is perfect. The society in 3% is divided in a dramatized yet accurate depiction of our own society. The general public lives in an impoverished state, with houses that resemble the slums of Brazil. Children are often starved to death, electricity is obtained illegally, and money is scarce. However, there is a place called the Offshore, a utopian island with an abundance of everything where 3% of the population lives in high society. Every year, to determine who gets to go to the Offshore, the government hosts a competition for all 20 year olds. Through this strategy-based competition, they get a chance to prove that they are “worthy” enough to be a part of the 3%. At times, the show can be very frustrating in that you just want the characters to stop doing what their doing, but that feeling just adds to the appeal of the show. 



One thing that has to be said about this German show is that it is definitely not for everyone. Dark is uncensored in every way and very blunt when it comes to taking on uncomfortable concepts. Despite those concerns, it is a very captivating show. It takes place in a small town in Germany, and follows the aftermath of the disappearance of a child. There isn’t one single narrative that it follows; instead, it constantly switches between four different families as they unravel the mysteries of time travel that have been with them for three generations. There isn’t much else I can say about the plot of the show without giving everything away. It’s a show that requires a lot of attention to detail and can be slow at times, but I can’t stress enough how good it is, especially on a philosophical and sci-fi level.




The Korean short series Persona came out in 2019. The show stars Kpop singer IU in a collection of four episodes. Persona is disturbing and thought-provoking and certainly not for everyone. Each episode is a character study of one girl and her personas. The titles of each is confusing but perfectly describes the contents. The first, “Love Set,” takes on jealousy, lust and anger in a grotesque tennis match. “Collector” analyzes trust, deception, and consciousness with distant cafe conversations. “Kiss Burn” dives into revenge and friendship in a lazy evening spent by teens. The last episode, “Walking at Night,” revolves around guilt, loneliness and grief through an eerie night walk. This is a very cinematic show that truly is intriguing. It’s the perfect fit for anyone who likes symbolic, slightly creepy and intense content. 



This was the first Japanese show I ever watched, and it definitely did not disappoint. Followers dives into the world of fame and social media in Tokyo. The show is colorful and exciting yet also dark and emotional — just like social media. It primarily follows the lives of two females who are trying to navigate such a “glamorous” world. The first is an infamous photographer, Limi, who tries to balance the struggles of having a child with old age and the world watching. The second is Natsume, an aspiring actor who rises in popularity through modeling after Limi posts a picture of her on Instagram. Along with those two characters, the show also periodically looks at the lives of other females: an artist trying to navigate her romantic feelings, an elderly fashion CEO dealing with her teenage son, and an entertainment agent looking for an escape from her hectic job. Everything about this show is captivating, from the bright and elaborate settings in Tokyo to the character development. It truly is worth watching.


Triad Princess

Triad Princess is a Taiwanese show that revolves around the secret world of the Chinese triad in Taipei. With only six episodes, it’s a quick watch that is totally worth it. The show follows the female protagonist Angie, the daughter of the triad boss, who has run away from the triad due to her father’s attempts to get her married off to the son of another boss. On the run, her path crosses that of her celebrity crush, actor Jasper Liu. Coincidently, Liu has an interest in the triad and has even written a book on it, though he doesn’t know that Angie is who she is. The plot is fun and intriguing with just enough romance to allow it to maintain its action and crime concept. It’s perfect for anyone looking for a quick binge.