5 Binge-Worthy Netflix Shows You Can Watch in French (and How to Get the Most Out of Them)

Do you spend way too much time binge-watching on Netflix shows? Then maybe it’s time to turn your obsession with Netflix into a language learning tool! Making Netflix a part of your French learning experience is both a fun and guilt-free way to enjoy some amazing shows, while improving your language skills at the same time. Look at it as the delicious vegan alternative to real ice-cream, but for your eyes and ears! Read on to discover some excellent French shows you can find on Netflix, and a few tips to help you get the most out of them.

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1. Marseille

If you’re a “House of Cards” fan and are going through serious withdrawals now that the show is filming its final season, then “Marseille” is the perfect alternative to fill that dark hole in your life. This show is set in the French city of Marseille and will teach you loads about local culture and politics. While the language is a bit more advanced and technical, you’ll learn a lot of vocabulary that will come in handy next time you want to discuss politics with your French friends!

Learning tip: Start off by watching just 15 minutes a day. Any more and your brain will get tired and you won’t be actively listening and learning!

2. Call My Agent

In the mood for something a little more light-hearted? Then maybe you should give “Call My Agent” a try! This show follows the highs and lows of a talent firm in Paris and is comedic without going too over the top. It highlights how fleeting and narcissistic the acting profession can be and the plight of the harried agents behind the talent. You’ll improve your use of contemporary French and learn lots of fun slang with this series!

Learning French? Take a free placement test to see how your level measures up!

Learning tip: Watch the show with English subtitles first and listen carefully to the speech patterns. Then go back and re-watch it with French subtitles. You’ll be surprised at how much you pick up!

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3. The Frozen Dead

“The Frozen Dead” isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you enjoy the idea of a good serial killer mystery coupled with a cynical detective with a dark past (and his younger, spunkier partner), you’ll love this show. “The Frozen Dead” will chill you to the bone—both with its fantastic imagery of the French Pyrenees, as well as its dark central themes. You’ll be exposed to a different style of spoken French, which can take some getting used to, but ultimately it will give you a better grasp of how the language is used depending on where you are in France.

Learning tip: Pause the show and repeat back phrases that the characters are using. Hearing a native speaker say it is great, but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t practice too!

4. Chef’s Table: France

If you have an ongoing love affair with food-related reality TV, you can’t miss out on “Chef’s Table: France”.  France is a mecca of amazing cuisine and excellent chefs, and this series takes the viewer behind the scenes and up close and personal with some of the world’s most renowned French chefs. It’s a fascinating look at different chefs and their relationship and approach to food. But be warned: you won’t want to watch this on an empty stomach!

Learning tip: Don’t be afraid to rewind, replay, or pause if something isn’t quite clear to you. Go over it (repeating it aloud if you can) to help solidify the new words and phrases in your brain.

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5. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

For some people, going with a familiar show sometimes makes language learning a little easier. And while you bide your time waiting for Netflix to include a French dubbing of “Friends”, why not check out “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” instead? Although originally in English, Netflix does offer the option of switching the langue to French. While you make take some time to adjust to the dubbing, this show is full of the sort of easily-digestible vocabulary that will make learning a breeze. And the funny quips will give you a whole different take on the French language!

Learning tip: Keep a notebook handy so you can jot down important words or phrases that you want to remember for later. Writing down information has been shown to make it easier to recall in the long haul!

Do you have any favourite French shows that you enjoy watching on Netflix? Share your suggestions in the comments section!  

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