Katherine’s Guide to World Travel via Netflix
As an insomnia ridden young adult, I spend many a night binging movies and television shows at the wee hours trying to tire my mind to sleep. During unprecedented times where we spend most days moving between the same three rooms all while trying to avoid animals, siblings, and parents hounding us about what we might be up to as if it wasn’t the same as the previous six days. I want to provide a way for you to escape the walls of your childhood room, and the sometimes suffocating feeling of being back in your hometown wherever that may be. Here’s my extended list of TV shows and movies from international Netflix. Don’t you dare try and watch dubbed versions of these masterpieces. If you really liked Parasite as much as you say you do, you’ll respect the language these shows were intended to be viewed in.
Baby – A teen drama that takes place in Rome, Italy: lots of moody club scenes, suspicious high school hallway scenes, dramatic scooter scenes through the streets of Rome, and lots of coke. It focuses on the story of two young girls attending a private school who get involved in an underage prostitution ring. You love to hate these characters.
Elite – A teen drama that takes place in Spain (unclear what city/town). After a school in a neighborhood burns down, the elite private school gives scholarships to three students to attend this really boujee school. Within weeks of their arrival, a murder happens. This show is surprisingly one of the most progressive teen shows I have watched. It tackles everything from living with HIV, identity, and religion at a predominantly white Spanish private school, and wealth inequalities between students.
Toy Boy – A stripper in Marabella, Spain is accused of killing his client/lover’s husband on his boat. This show is honestly insane. Every episode feels like a year, but I always want more. Similar to Elite it handles a surprising number of complex themes. It’s also very colorful and saturated, and like 30 minutes of every episode is usually at this male strip club. Nothing but VIEWS folks.
Home for Christmas – This show takes place in Roros, Norway. This is a very wholesome six-episode Norweigan show about a woman getting berated by her family for not bringing a boyfriend home for Christmas. She then tries to find a boyfriend in 24 hours, leading to a Tinder bender. It’s funny, weird and has some interesting twists. Norweigan is also a wild language to listen to.
Queen of the Flow – This show takes place in Medellin, Columbia. Seventeen years after being wrongly imprisoned, a talented songwriter seeks justice against the men who caused her downfall and killed her family. This show is incredible from the music to the emotions. It’s a powerful story about resilience. It’s a little hard to get into it, but stick with it.
The Hook-Up Plan – This takes place in Paris, France. Two friends are getting irritated with how long it’s taking their friend to get over break-up so naturally, they do what any good friend would. They hire a male escort to flirt with her and help her move on. You can imagine things don’t go as planned. All the characters are chaotic, yet I remain attached. This French show is both the most wonderful and annoying thing I have watched.
Most Beautiful Thing – This show takes place in Rio, Brazil in the 1950s. A wealthy woman named Malu arrives at Rio from São Paulo where she is supposed to start a restaurant with her husband. When she arrives she finds out he has fled the city and taken all the money. In the wake of his disappearance, she attempts to start a jazz club. The show is colorful, explores complex themes, and has beautiful jazz in nearly every episode. It’s a lot about women empowerment, friendship, and finding your way after a loss.
Lovesick – This is excellent British trash. This guy gets chlamydia and has to track down all his former partners and tell them he might have given them an STD. It’s enjoyable, a bit quirky, and uncomfortable at times.
Pequeñas Coincidencias – I am sorry this on Prime, not Netflix but this show is hilarious. It’s about two people entering their thirties who decide they want kids. Both are single and are haunted by ghosts of their future kids. The first season is based around a series of little coincidences.
Wedding Unplanned – This movie takes place in Paris, France. Again, really chaotic French characters are messing with each others’ lives. Mathias is cheating on his financé and the woman he is cheating with ends up being his wedding planner. It’s a mess and this dude is not enough of a catch for this much drama but it’s fun.
Blind Date – Another chaotic French movie about a puzzle maker and a pianist who starts to date- but WAIT! They are also neighbors. It’s a mess but I remember really liking the two of them despite the constant challenges in their relationship throughout the film.
Ready to Mingle – This is a Mexican comedy film centered on a woman who gets dumped. After she decides she’s the problem, she goes to a professional match-making class.
Isi and Ossi – This German film is a lot, it’s a bit weird and feels like a guilty pleasure. This rich girl pays a boy from another part of town to date her because she knows her parents won’t approve. It’s really well edited and filmed. You’ll find yourself a bit pissed off at the plot but none the less enjoyable. There is a fair mix of questionable and lovely moments throughout the film.
Let’s Dance – A absolutely stunning French dance film that takes place in Paris. It’s about the lives of a French hip hop dancer and a ballerina whose worlds collide. I think dance films can be the purest and most beautiful form of escapism. They require almost no thought, and usually focus on solid character growth. Watch for dance, stay for the love story.