With the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases across the world, countries have gone under partial or complete lockdown to combat the spread of the virus. In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 March announced a 21-day complete lockdown and urged everyone to maintain social distancing.
As people with the privilege of doing so work from home, there has understandably a search for new content to binge on. If you’ve run through all the English shows on your list, why not try a new language altogether?
We’ve compiled a list of five Spanish-language shows that can all be streamed on Netflix and have English subtitles. In fact, Cable Girls and House of Flowers are also available with English audio, if that’s what you prefer.
1. House of Flowers
This Spanish-language drama is exactly what you need to forget about the pandemic for a while. It’s about a rich Mexican family whose perfect facade is suddenly shattered when the father’s extra-marital affair is discovered.
This dramedy has all the usual tropes — sibling rivalry, love affairs and a competition to head the family business — but it also touches upon the treatment of homosexuals and trans people. There are two dialogues from the series which really stood out for me:
“We won’t be part of a misogynistic culture that shames women for having active sex lives.”
“Homosexuality is not an illness. Homophobia is, however.”
2. Club de Cuervos
A hilarious show about siblings fighting over the leadership of a football team their father had owned. After the father’s death, Salvador Iglesias Jr takes over because, well, he is a man, but lacks the experience to lead it. His half-sister, Isabel, has worked with their father to manage the team and has the potential to become a competent president of the club. Instead, she is told that their father wished for her to have kids and start a family.
It’s a fun, light show where the siblings are ready to do anything to save the team. They not only mend their own relationship while doing so, but also ensure that they somehow have a reliable team in the end. Isabel is a great character who defies all the stereotypes that her family wants to impose on her and chooses to not have children. She wants to focus on her career and is mighty successful at it.
This can be best described as a show with average leads and amazing side characters. Once you are into it, you are totally into it. It’s an addictive drama focused on the love story of Alberto and Ana. Alberto’s father owns a clothing store in 1950s Madrid, Velvet, and Ana works as a seamstress there.
You must watch this show for the side characters. There’s the designer Raúl de la Riva who wants to take risks with the collection and truly believes in the good of everyone. He is a delight to watch. Then there’s Ana’s friend and fellow seamstress Rita who is brilliant with her work and very vocal about her opinions. Another great character is Clara, a sales girl who becomes a secretary. She is unabashed about her love life and career-oriented.
4. Grand Hotel
I came across Grand Hotel when I was looking for a period drama after watching Downton Abbey. This Spanish show is set in the early 1900s in a fictional hotel called ‘The Grand Hotel’. There’s murder, betrayal and obviously love.
It’s a show with SO MANY twists and turns that I wanted to scream at the main characters to watch out because danger lurked in every room. I couldn’t stop watching it because even as old mysteries were unravelling, new questions kept popping up.
5. Cable Girls
This show is so good it was part of another list of shows/movies to watch list that HuffPost India had compiled. In 1920s Spain, four women start working at the National Telephone Company and forge a life-long friendship.
The women have each other’s backs as one of them deals with an abusive husband and another tries to have a relationship with a queer partner.