When it comes to period dramas, one can’t help but think about the poetic grandeur of Bridgerton, or the charming characters of Downton Abbey. But great examples of period dramas aren’t limited only to the English language. Here are some interesting ones in foreign languages to check out.
CHARITÉ AT WAR (German)
Set in Nazi Germany during World War 2, this German wartime medical drama on Netflix explores the effect of the Second World War on soldiers and medical professionals alike. It encourages discussions on forbidden love and roles within the established hierarchy. If there’s one thing that you can surely take away from the show, it’s the fact that war is simply brutal.
SOMEONE HAS TO DIE (Spanish)
In 1950s Spain, a young man is summoned home from Mexico to meet his fiancée, but he returns with a mysterious classical dancer. Set sometime after the Spanish Civil War, Netflix show Someone Has To Die introduces us to the passions and pastimes of the upper strata of the Spanish society, and although everything seems well on the surface, it is gradually revealed that that is, in fact, not the case.
HIGH SEAS (Spanish)
If you are a sucker for murder mysteries set in glamorous settings, or in other words, the oeuvre of Agatha Christie, then this one’s surely for you. In this Spanish series on Netflix, two sisters discover disturbing family secrets after a string of mysterious deaths occur on a luxury ship travelling from Spain to Brazil in the 1940s. Filled with witty characters, the tone of the show isn’t too dark, and there’s surprisingly enough room for comic relief.
DEUTSCHLAND 83 (German)
Deutschland 83 on Amazon Prime Video is set in a period that isn’t really frequently discussed in pop culture. A gripping coming-of age story and spy thriller set in Germany in the ’80s, this engrossing drama has an interesting mix of funky ’80s music and the intensity of a regular spy thriller, and it has a plot engaging enough to make you clamour for more.
MAGI THE TENSHO BOYS’ EMBASSY (Japanese)
Set in the 1500s, the show, on Amazon Prime Video, follows the Tensho embassy, a group sent by a Japanese Christian lord to meet the Pope. If you love lavish costumes, then you will have plenty to marvel at, and there’s no reason for history enthusiasts to not check this one out.
MY SASSY GIRL (Korean)
My Sassy Girl follows the story of a troublemaker princess who gets involved with a cultured scholar. Although the Netflix show is brimming with slapstick comedy, it also surprises us with subtle and emotional performances at times. The chemistry between the two is what constitutes the essence of the show. Check this one out for the political intrigue and the great cast.
Mr. SUNSHINE (Korean)
Mr. Sunshine on Netflix revolves around a young boy who is born into slavery, but after a traumatic event, escapes to the United States during the 1871 Shinmiyangyo (U.S. expedition to Korea). He returns to Joseon later as a United States Marine Corps officer, and falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter. The show is beautifully shot, and it’s definitely a feast for the eyes. If your interests lie somewhere between military history and romance, then this one’s surely for you.