Después de Diablero
July 31, 2020 2:10 PM   Subscribe

My pandemic project: improving my Spanish. Please recommend me some great Spanish-language TV that I can watch with the Spanish subtitles turned on.

Preferences: My focus is on Latin American Spanish but I'm not opposed to European Spanish. I would prefer recommendations for TV series, but I'm open to excellent movies too. I absolutely loved Diablero and will probably watch the whole series a second time at some point.

Mediums: I have access to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. I am located in the U.S. (I try to avoid spending any money with Amazon, but I've got a family password and am willing to use it if there's something stellar I can't access elsewhere.) I'm willing to purchase or procure a series not on these services if you let me know where it's available. I don't currently have a DVD player and am sort of avoiding buying one but that is a last-ditch option.

List of Spanish-language shows I've enjoyed so far:
- Diablero
- Jane the Virgin (well, this doesn't really count, but there were occasional smatterings of Spanish dialogue)
- Street Food: Latin America
posted by cnidaria to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Hey, this is my pandemic project too. I'm not sure if these will be quite right, but here's what I'm watching, all on Netflix:

Casa de Las Flores, Mexican accents, relatively easy to understand because several of the main characters speak really slowly. Funny.

Club de Cuervos, also Mexican accents. At first I found this one really hard to understand, but I came back to it after a few months and now I'm hooked. Lots and lots of slang.

Siempre Bruja-- cute, about a time traveling young Colombian (I think if I remember correctly?) woman who lands in current times-- plot is equal parts magic/ romcom.
posted by geegollygosh at 2:27 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]

La Reina Del Sur is a high production value telenovela which might fit the bill. It's definitely PG-13 rated and a mix of Mexican and Spanish idioms. At least one season is on Netflix.

If you love food shows Taco Chronicles on Netflix is a deep dive into different traditional taco types and has Mexican-only dialogue. There are also some episodes of Chef's Table that have excellent Spanish dialogue and amazing food porn (the one about the woman who makes authentic Barbacoa in Philly is the best!)
posted by genmonster at 2:28 PM on July 31

If you're willing to add the extra $15 to put HBO on your hulu account, try Los Espookys - a goth ensemble cast set themselves as horror for hire: the first episode centers on helping a down-on-his-luck priest revamp his appeal with a fake exorcism.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 2:35 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]

Since you are not opposed to European Spanish and have Netflix:

High Seas - super soapy.
Cable Girls.

The Baztan Trilogy.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:15 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]

Ministerio del Tiempo (TV series from Spain) is an absolute delight. On Netflix last I checked.
posted by humbug at 4:55 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]

I watched and enjoyed these Spanish Language movies on (what was netflix before netfix transitioned to streaming)

Nueve reinas
El secreto de sus ojos

Don't know about their availability elsewhere.

"Roma" takes place in Mexico, the other two in Argentina. I found the Argentinian Spanish to be a little easier to understand ( it's been a while since I "learned" Spanish in high school ).
posted by metadave at 5:33 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]

Klaus is an animated Christmas movie, original cast is Colombian
posted by jander03 at 9:14 PM on July 31

When I was learning to speak Spanish I watched several seasons worth of the historical telenovela Amar en Tiempos Reveultos. It was totally pivotal to my absorbing everyday conversational idioms and is also, as a bonus, the most magnificent work of art I've ever encountered on television. The downsides are two: 1) the Spanish spoken is Castilian (i.e. Spanish from Spain) -- and this really does make a difference in terms of manners of expression you'll learn from watching, and 2) currently you'd need a VPN to watch it from the States. If you are OK with the Castilian part -- which you could be if your purpose in improving your Spanish is not very narrowly practical, I'd say it'd be totally worth it to go for a VPN just for the sake of Amar. Like I said, it's a real work of art.

RTVE (who produced Amar) is also a good place to browse for all manner of streamable dramatic content. Much of which does not require a VPN. A lighthearted detective series there I enjoyed a lot is Los Misterios de Laura.

Also, though I haven't watched it myself, a family member watched all of Gran Hotel and enjoyed it. I believe it's on netflix.

posted by bertran at 9:51 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]

Casa de Papel (a.k.a. Money Heist) is an exciting and well made series on Netflix. A little over the top, a little stressful, and more violent than I would like, but still enjoyable for me. It's from Spain.

Unlike some shows (such as the great Chef's Table episode mentioned up thread), the subtitles actually match the dialog!
posted by actionstations at 5:26 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]

Seconding Casa de Papel. It's like "Oceans 11" or similar "assemble the team, make the plan, and do the heist" stories, but instead of all cool, calculated American-culture heist, it's an emotion-filled Spanish-culture heist. I think it was the most-watched non-English show on Netflix for a while, and one of the top overall.

I also really enjoyed Elite, another show on Netflix from Spain. Follows high-schoolers at a super wealthy high school in Spain. It's all about power dynamics and interpersonal intrigue. It's not a drama masterpiece but I think the story is interesting, and the music/soundtrack is awesome -- many songs from it are now on my Spotify favorites. Also has a few actors from Casa de Papel which is pretty cool to get to know foreign actors like that if you watch both.

Both have Spanish dialogue with Spanish (or English) subtitles. The subtitles on both, I've found, are usually very close to what is actually said.
posted by 3FLryan at 8:25 AM on August 1

Also seconding Casa de las Flores, if you like comedy.
posted by 3FLryan at 8:37 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]

Ministerio del Tiempo (TV series from Spain) is an absolute delight. On Netflix last I checked.

I also love this show, but should note that, at least in the United States, it is no longer available on Netflix.

It is however available on the RTVE website, though you will need a VPN giving you a Spanish IP address for access (as per personal experience and bertran's comment).
posted by andrewesque at 4:02 PM on August 2

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