Say What?! The Foreign Language Series You Need To Watch
While we’ve all probably watched Ros na Rún in our native tongue from time to time, it’s fair to say that subtitled TV shows were something of a niche area up until a few years ago. At this stage, though, led by a raft of thrilling Scandinavian crime shows, they’re as much a part of the schedule as anything in the Queen’s tongue!
The great news is that one of the choice continental offerings of recent times, Chausée D’Amour (that’s Highway of Love to you!) has landed exclusively On Demand, where you can find the entire first season waiting to be devoured. Below, we have the lowdown on the exciting Belgian drama, as well as a handful of other shows well worthy of your attention – no matter what language you speak!
With a taut plot and razor-sharp writing, the only thing that can be described as Double Dutch here are the conversations! Focused on an infamous Belgian highway lined with, erm, houses of ill-repute, the series sees a woman forced to explore the world’s oldest profession after her marriage falls apart. The discovery of a murder victim throws further intrigue into play, in a show that has rightly been held up as one of the most compelling noir dramas on the box.
Though the show is about the efforts of a comedian attempting to land his big break, this isn’t a raucous laugh-a-minute effort; rather, it’s a delicately crafted lesson on the meaning of life and love. Adapted from an award-winning book, the series (which spans more than a decade) has more than a touch of melancholy about it and, helmed by no less than five excellent directors, is amongst the more beautiful shows you’ll have the pleasure of watching.
While the Nordics have earned a reputation based on murder-mystery shows – and writer Jo Nesbo is widely regarded as an international icon in that particular field – it might surprise you to know there isn’t a corpse in sight in this Norwegian hit. Instead, it’s a pulsating political thriller based around Russians occupying the country when the newly-elected Green Party opts to cease production of oil; real-life Russian politicians took some offence, but we promise you’ll have no complaints whatsoever!
Not a series, strictly speaking – but when it’s this good, who cares? International entertainment savant Walter Iuzzolino is the man responsible for cherry-picking the finest shows from across the globe, which are then made available in their entirety on All4. Highlights thus far have included Deutschland 84 and Mammon, with Swedish thriller Before We Die and the gloriously retro Mafia drama Maltese amongst the highlights of the coming months.
OK, so we probably haven’t shocked you with this one. What might come as a surprise, however, is that the Swedish/Danish spectacular – based around the titular structure that links the two countries – is coming to a close at the end of the new series, so fans definitely won’t want to miss out on the final chapters of the saga. Shown across the world, and prompting remakes aplenty, it holds a special position at the top table of telly for good reason; enjoy it while it lasts!
Good things come in threes!
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