It’s a refrain we’ve echoed many times across many of our best-of lists, but streaming services are usually not the greatest at letting people know the gold that rests within their own libraries. It’s true for TV series overall, but especially so for non-English-language programming.
Sometimes, a show becomes such a word-of-mouth hit that it becomes undeniable and the whole industry starts to take notice. But it’s often the case that some of the best shows on the major streaming platforms get added unceremoniously and only put in front more adventurous subscribers.
For those who want to alter their own personal algorithms and keep tabs on what under-the-radar treasures are out there, we’ve tried to put forth some options throughout the year. To add to that effort (and in the spirit of giving as many quality shows as possible the chance to bask in the warm year-in-review glow), we’ve assembled some of the best non-English series to become available to U.S. subscribers this year.
Arbitrary to be sure, but in the spirit of taking note of a wider range of programs, we’ve left off a handful of shows that you should definitely seek out if you haven’t already. “Pachinko” and “Irma Vep” have made their way onto a few of our 2022 Best-Ofs so far. “1899” continues to be a welcome year-end Netflix success story. “Acapulco” remains one of TV’s warmest, most charming comedies.
To the overall collection of multilingual excellence in 2022 TV, we add the following alphabetical list of titles. And, try as we do to be as comprehensive as possible, there are always more gems to discover beyond those listed below. (Where possible, we’ve also linked to stories from earlier in the year when these seasons first dropped.)
There’s no other concrete thematic tie holding all of these picks together. Some speak directly to the past while others are focused on the future. There are gutting tales of despair, far-reaching mysteries, and breezy stories designed to be met with a smile and a laugh. They all add a distinct flavor to the overall palate of television and for that, we’re grateful.