Best of Rest-of-World TV
December 14, 2007 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Which are the good/acclaimed live-action television shows from around the world outside of US/UK/Canada?

In terms of quality scripted programming, I tend to only be aware of American & some British output with a sprinkling from elsewhere.

Surely, the rest of the world, especially continental Europe, Asia & Latin America must boast of some comedies and dramas (no soaps!) with good production values.

Language is not a barrier as long as a subtitled version is available. Just to keep it current, the show's original run should be within the last 10 years, but if something is very highly-regarded, do include it.
posted by Gyan to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Lars Von Trier's Riget (The Kingdom) (which I actually DON'T recommend watching because he never finishes it, which is disappointing. The first eight ARE very good, however).

I have a copy of 'Charlie Jade' sitting around that i've been meaning to watch -- it's filmed in South Africa, very blade-runnery. I haven't picked it up yet because there seems to be a little Hitchhiker's-style humor in it (at least the first episode), and i like my television DEAD SERIOUS. According to Wikipedia it's a Canadian/South African production, so ... I guess it half counts for the purposes of your question?
posted by fishfucker at 8:44 AM on December 14, 2007

Two more that are critically acclaimed but I haven't had a chance to watch through yet:
Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) (I started this -- sure, I knew it was Fassbinder, but it sounded like it might be a straightforward TV drama type thing. Nope. Now I just have to find a moment to when I feel like slogging out all the subtext.)
posted by fishfucker at 8:48 AM on December 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Charlie Jade works.

I've seen 3 of the Dekalog series and while such suggestions are welcome, I'm more hoping for regular series like the 13/22-episode season-oriented in the US or 6/7-episode seasons in the UK i.e. regular TV from around the world.
posted by Gyan at 8:56 AM on December 14, 2007

Spiral. Gritty Parisian cop drama.
posted by oh pollo! at 8:57 AM on December 14, 2007

Ok, it doesn't fall within the 10 year remit but it is highly-regarded. The BBC's 1985 drama Edge of Darkness may be the best thing they've ever done.
posted by oh pollo! at 9:07 AM on December 14, 2007

I caught a few episodes of the Australian suburban comedy Kath & Kim on a Qantas flight and found it pretty entertaining.
posted by wsquared at 9:26 AM on December 14, 2007

posted by derMax at 10:29 AM on December 14, 2007

Seconding Riget.
From Japan, Trick is the only drama that i know of that is kinda decent.
I don't think there's an official subtitled version though.
posted by SageLeVoid at 10:56 AM on December 14, 2007

New Zealand's Outrageous Fortune is pretty good.
posted by arruns at 12:20 PM on December 14, 2007

Excellent gritty Australian cop show = Wildside.

Excellent Australian miniseries = Bangkok Hilton, Changi and Kangaroo Palace.

Seconding Kath and Kim and Outrageous Fortune, and also recommending John Safran's Music Jamboree and John Safran vs God. Pizza was huge for SBS a few years ago and Summer Heights High was recently a huge hit for the ABC.
posted by goo at 5:19 PM on December 14, 2007

And The Games and Frontline are Australian comedy classics.
posted by goo at 5:24 PM on December 14, 2007

Seconding Summer Heights High - bloody hilarious. Also, if you haven't seen any Little Britain, you should find some.
posted by jacalata at 12:09 AM on December 15, 2007

If you check recent activity....the recent Australian series Underbelly is excellent, portraying an infamous Australian criminal family and associated hangers-on.
posted by goo at 1:28 PM on July 18, 2008

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