Is it a bus? A nun? Or a group of high school girls literally fighting their inner demons? These are just some of the wildest foreign-language shows you can watch on Netflix.
Is it a bus? A nun? Or a group of high school girls literally fighting their inner demons? These are just some of the wildest foreign-language shows you can watch on Netflix.

Pop CultureAugust 8, 2019

A definitive list of the weirdest, wildest foreign language shows on Netflix

Is it a bus? A nun? Or a group of high school girls literally fighting their inner demons? These are just some of the wildest foreign-language shows you can watch on Netflix.
Is it a bus? A nun? Or a group of high school girls literally fighting their inner demons? These are just some of the wildest foreign-language shows you can watch on Netflix.

What are all those shows you scroll through on Netflix with stars you don’t recognise and premises that are so out-there you can’t believe they actually got made? Wonder no more.

We’ve all done it. We’ve all gone to Netflix for something to watch, scrolled through 102 shows that we’d totally watch if we had the time, before settling on that one episode of Nailed It! that we’ve already watched before. It’s totally okay. I’m normal, you’re normal, we’re all normal here.

But what are some of the shows that you might have missed out on? There’s hundreds of those: shows from Asia and Europe and South America, shows with subtitles, shows that might be the biggest thing ever in their home countries. Some of these shows you definitely will have heard of – widely praised shows like Call My Agent, Dark and Elite.

I’m not talking about those shows. I’m talking about the shows with the weirdest, most wild premises, shows that for some stupid reason, no English-language country would ever commission. Curse our tendency towards naturalism and realism, what have they ever done for us?!

On that note, a call to action for all English-language commissioners of television: Pick. Up. The Slack. You’re making English-speaking countries look bad with how boring your shows are. The shows listed below are so nuts they make Glee look like My So-Called Life.

For your potential viewing pleasure, I’ve collated those shows into Netflix-type categories in case you want to go a little bit off the beaten track now there’s no more episodes of Orange is the New Black.

Here they are! The weirdest, wildest, and honestly, some of the best-looking foreign language shows on Netflix right now.

My Little Lover, obviously.


49 Days: After an accident shatters her storybook life, a comatose woman gets a second chance at life when a reaper from above intervenes. But there’s a catch. (Ed note: The catch is she must gather three teardrops shed out of pure love by three people who aren’t related to her within the next 49 days. Chill.) (Korea)

A Korean Odyssey: A self-serving mythical creature’s bid for invincibility backfires when he finds himself at the mercy of a woman who can see otherworldly beings. (Korea)

A publicity image for the Netflix show ‘Aryan’ (yep, that’s what it’s called)

Aryan: Shy nerd Aryan learns soon after his 18th birthday that he has inherited superpowers, which he must use to vanquish a variety of evil threats. (India)

My Little Lover: Two childhood friends have drifted apart. But when one of them is suddenly shrunken in size to 15 centimeters tall, they have a chance to reconnect. (Japan)

Secret of Success: An aspiring actor uses a magical book to transport himself inside the movies he had always dreamed of starring in – but not without consequences. (Malaysia)

Strong Girl Bong-Soon: Born with supernatural strength, Bong-soon fights evil and procures justice while getting tangled in a love triangle with her CEO boss and cop crush. (Korea)

The cast of Oh My Ghost!

Supernatural (Ghost)

A Boy Named Flora: A 28-year-old layabout begins to re-examine his life when his dysfunctional family assembles to pay respects to a dying grandmother who won’t pass on. (Taiwan)

Oh My Ghost: When a skilled but timid chef is possessed by a sassy spirit, her newfound confidence catches the eye of her longtime crush, a culinary hotshot. (Japan)

Supernatural (Fox Lady)

My Girlfriend is A Gumiho: After meeting a mysterious yet very beautiful girl, a wannabe action star discovers that she’s, in fact, a gumiho – a legendary fox with nine tails. (Korea)

The cast of Angel ‘n’ Devil.

Supernatural (High School)

Blazing Transfer Students: Featuring the boys of Johnny’s West (ed. note: Johnny’s West is a Japanese boyband), a gang of zany transfer students are recruited for a mysterious mission ordained by their shadowy principal. (Japan)

Angels ’N’ Devil: In a world known as the Copper Dimension, a group of high-school girls fight against dark forces – and their inner demons. (Taiwan)

Morrim School: Each harbouring a past wound, a K-pop idol and an heir to a Chinese conglomerate enrol at a mysterious school with no ordinary curriculum.

Under the Black Moonlight: A college art club welcomes a new member who has the secret ability to smell death and who warns one of them to leave her boyfriend … or else. (Korea)

Hi-School Love On: After saving a student’s life, a K-drama-loving angel takes on human form and discovers the trials and tribulations of high school life firsthand. (Korea)

The cast of Lucky Romance.

Supernatural (Horny)

Lucky Romance: Relying on the words of a shaman, a superstitious woman tries to sleep with a man born in the Year of the Tiger in order to save her sister’s life. (Korea)

The King of Romance: Convinced she’s the reincarnation of a heroine from legend, a young woman torn between two men sets out to find her star-crossed lover from past lives. (Taiwan)

Supernatural (Phone)

Magic Phone: When an ordinary guy crosses paths with his childhood sweetheart, now an actress, a magic cellphone allows him to be her protector. (Korea)

The cast of Hyde Jekyll Me.

Supernatural (Very Loosely Based on a Robert Louis Stevenson Novel)

Hyde, Jekyll, Me: A chaebol executive (ed. note: a chaebol is a large family-owned conglomerate) with a split personality spars with a circus leader determined to save her troupe, which he’s trying to eject from his theme park. (Korea)

Supernatural (???)

Bountiful Blessings: A formal mortal who is now the Kitchen God cooks up celestial turmoil when he impregnates and opens a restaurant with his beloved, reincarnated wife. (Korea)

The titular mom from Angry Mom.

Revenge Fantasy (Mom)

Angry Mom: A badass mom goes undercover as a high school student to find the bully who traumatized her teenage daughter and exact revenge. (Korea)

Yup, she sure appears to be!

Revenge-Fantasy (Beauty/Weight-Loss Related)

Heads up: This one is not great. All blurbs are taken verbatim from Netflix. Do not shoot the messenger.

Birth of a Beauty: After a nearly-fatal accident, a divorced woman undergoes a head-to-toe transformation with help from a wealthy stranger to get revenge on her ex. (Korea)

Cunning Single Lady: Ae-Ra is broke and seeks revenge after learning that her ex-husband Jung-Woo, whose business struggled during their marriage, has now made a fortune. (Korea)

Diamond Lover: After an accident leads to great weight loss, once-obese Mi Duo embarks on a new life working for her secret crush, diamond company CEO Xiao Liang. (China)

Oh My Venus: Dumped by her boyfriend of fifteen years for gaining weight, a lawyer gets help from a hotshot personal trainer to get in shape and turn her life around. (Korea)

She was Pretty: After a complete reversal of fortune and looks, childhood sweethearts reunite for the first time in 15 years as employees at a fashion magazine. (Korea)

Who’s The One: A doctor performs plastic surgery on a fat man who’s been jilted, and continues his transformation by turning him into a handsome, desirable man. (Taiwan)

The cast of Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo.

Worth It For The Title

Beating Again: After enduring both business and family upheavels, a ruthless investment director has a heart transplant and finds a new way to look at life and love. (Korea)

Beauty & The Bitches: Beauty pageant contestants from all over Thailand fight for the crown as they contend with drama and intrigue behind the scenes. (Thailand)

Romance is a Bonus Book: A gifted writer who’s the youngest editor-in-chief ever at his publishing copany gets enmeshed in the life of a former copywriter desperate for a job. (Korea)

The Fierce Wife: Beautiful housewife Xie An Zhen seems to be living the perfect life but finds her world crumbling after learning that her husband is cheating on her. (Korea)

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo: A competitive swimmer crosses paths with his childhood friend, a rising weight lifting star, and realizes that she has a secret crush on his cousin. (Korea)

Mistaken Identity

Fall in Love With Me: The head of a struggling ad agency finds herself torn between a hotshot executive and a kind stranger – not realizing they’re the same person. (Taiwan)

Prince William: A fish vendor finds his carefree life upended when he’s forced to fill in for a rich real estate developer with whom he shares an uncanny resemblance. (Taiwan)

The cast of Coffee Prince.

Mistaken Identity (Gender)

Bro Mance: Ya-nuo’s been raised as a boy. Now at age 25, she’s caught the eye of a triad leader’s sister. But what happens when she reveals her true gender? (Taiwan)

Coffee Prince: Han Kyul gives his family’s cafe a new spin, hiring only god-looking men to work there – plus an androgynous-looking girl he mistakes for a man. (Korea)

Love in the Moonlight: A young Joseon woman who’s lived her whole life as a man ends up as a eunuch in the royal palace, where she begins to bond with the crown prince. (Korea)

Mistaken Identity (Gender, K-Pop Band)

K-Pop Extreme Survival: Seung Yeon decides to chase her dream of becomign a K-pop star and audition for a popular group. There’s only one catch: It’s a boy band. (Korea)

You are Beautiful: Posing as her twin brother in a boy band, a young woman wins the heart of her bandmates and fans, all the while searching for her long-lost mother. (Korea)

The cast of I Am Not A Robot.

Mistaken Identity (Robot)

I Am Not A Robot: The prime shareholder of a financial firm is allergic to human contact, but his reclusive life is disrupted by a robot – an entrepreneur in disguise. (Korea)

Good Ol’ Fashioned Gaslighting

Love Now!: When her loved ones cook up a morbid plan to make her take time off work, Yang Yiru goes on a vacation, truly believing she has terminal cancer. (Taiwan)

The Many Faces of Ito: A jaded rom-com screenwriter in her 30s mines four love-sick women for their stories under the guise of providing them with romantic advice. (Japan)

Love by Design: After lying about her age to secure a rookie job at a fashion company, a 34-year-old aspiring designer must cover her tracks or risk getting busted. (Taiwan)

Lie To Me: A spunky Ministry of Culture official gets caught in a web of lies when she claims she’s married a wealthy and handsome hotel manager. (Korea)

Answer for Heaven

Procedurals with A Twist

Black: A Grim Reaper, a detective and woman who foresees death get snared in matters of life and death – and dark mysteries of twenty years past. (Korea)

Answer for Heaven: An angel falls to earth to investigate why humans are doing fewer good deeds – and falls in with a hard-charging crime reporter and his news team. (Thailand)

Two Cops: When a crook’s spirit inexplicably gets transplanted into the body of a violent crimes detective, it leads to a peculiar crime-solving partnership. (Korea)

The Sniffer: An extraordinary sense of smell gives a crime investigator unique insight into solving mysteries but his gift takes a toll on his personal life. (Russia)

Day and Night: A detective with a strong fear of the dark swaps places with his fugitive twin brother every night in order to investigate a series of brutal murders. (Taiwan)

It’s a wagon! Of love!

Japanese Love-Related, Vehicle-Based Reality Show

Ainori: Love Wagon: Asian Journey: Seven men and women board a pink bus in search of true love. On a journey through Asia with strangers, their goal is to return to Japan as a couple. (Japan)

Inspired by Popular Kate Bush Song ‘Babooshka’

Love Me or Leave Me: When a marriage-phobic woman hires a seductress to test how faithful her eager-to-wed boyfriend is, her plan takes an unexpected turn. (Taiwan)

The cast of Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light.

Product Placement for a Final Fantasy Game

Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light: A father and son rekindle their bond through the online role-playing game Final Fantasy XIV in this live action series based on a true story. (Japan)

The lead of Always A Witch.

Time Travel

Always A Witch: A young 17th-century witch time travels to the future to save the man she loves, but first must adjust to present-day Cartagena and defeat a dark rival. (Colombia)

Love, Timeless: After betraying his beloved, a young man gets a second chance thanks to a tower that turns back time. (Taiwan)

Lucky Days: When laidback Ren, who is about to divorce his money-crazy wife, finds a time-traveling computer, he decides to use it to reboot his marriage. (Taiwan)

My Only Love Story: When things don’t go her way during a shooting for her new show, a top actress runs away in an old van that guides her on a time-traveling journey. (Korea)

The cast of Rooftop Prince.

Rooftop Prince: A crown prince is transported 300 years into the future, where he assumes a new identity to be near a woman who resembles his late wife. (Korea)

See You in Time: A series of mysterious text messages from the future sends ripples through the lives of a delivery woman and an accomplished cyclist. (Taiwan)

Erased: After finding his mom killed, Satoru’s time-travelling ability takes him back 18 years for a chance to prevent her death and those of three classmates. (Japan)

Deja Vu: After losing everything, a prima ballerina accepts a stranger’s offer to dial back time and reclaim what was taken from her – but at a great price. (Taiwan)

Yup. Pretty literal.

Penis Size Comedy

My Husband Won’t Fit: Kumiko and Kenichi meet in college and build a happy marriage together. But over time, an unusual problem threatens to destroy their relationship. (Japan)

Technology-Based Drama

Love 020: When a computer-science major gets dumped by her ‘husband’ in a online role-playing game, she attracts a new proposal from the game’s top player. (China)

Memories of the Alhambra: While looking for the cryptic creator of an innovative augmented-reality game, an investment firm executive meets a woman who runs a hostel in Spain. (Spain)

Sparta: While investigating the mysterious death of a teacher, a grizzled detective gets caught up in the world of a high-stakes virtual reality game. (Russia)

This Evening: The lives of a wealthy couple hiding their marital problems intersect with a group of hackers and the young women they exploit. (Egypt)

How To Sell Drugs Online (Fast): To win back his ex-girlfriend, a nerdy teen starts selling ecstasy online out of his bedroom – and becomes one of Europe’s biggest dealers. (Germany)

Reddit User Drama

Listen to Love: Suspecting his seemingly perfect wife is cheating on him, a troubled man seeks anonymous advice from an internet community to save his marriage. (Korea)

The cast of Welcome to the Family.

Shows With Very Direct Titles

My Contracted Husband Mr. Oh: Producer Han Seung-ju is dedicated to her career when she meets Oh Jak-du, who leads a simple life in the mountains, she makes an unusual proposal. (Korea)

Queen of No Marriage: Sparks begin to fly when a successful 33-year-old single woman and a 25-year-old romantic with few prospects navigate love and differences. (Taiwan)

Welcome to The Family: When an evicted single mom’s estranged father dies, she and his secret wife cover up his death after learning they’ve been written out of his will. (Spain)

2 Fathers: When two single guys learn a woman they both slept with disappeared after giving birth, they decide to raise her baby girl together as a family. (Taiwan)

Clean With Passion For Now: An unexpected romance blooms between a germaphobic CEO of a cleaning company and a woman not prone to neatness. (Korea)

Shows With Banner Images That Do Not Line Up With Their Blurbs

Judge vs Judge: An unconventional judge sets out to prove the innocence of her brother, a convict accused of rape and murder, with the help of a fellow justice. (Korea)

Shows With Titles That Mislead You, Tonally

Have You Ever Fallen in Love Miss Jiang?: A new teacher finds herself in an unenviable situation after witnessing a troubling interaction between an administrator and a student. (China)

Smoking: Seeking a greater justice, a band of homeless assassins flays their human targets and delivers the tattooed skins as proof of a contract fulfilled. (Japan)

You’re All Surrounded: This drama series follows a new batch of rookie detectives and their temperamental chief, who fight crime in the upper-crus Gangnam area of Seoul. (Korea)

Uncontrollably Fond: The memory of their painful breakup still fresh in their minds, two former lovers reunite years later as a top actor and documentary producer. (Korea)

Shows That Are Titled like Reality Shows But Are Fictional

The Could’ve-Gone-All-The-Way Committee: People bring their stories of missed lust connections to an objective panel of experts who then judge whether they could have gone all the way all night.

Shows With Misleadingly Metal Titles

O-Negative: Love Can’t Be Designed: Five schoolmates who share a blood type navigate the vagaries of friendship, love and university life. (Thailand)

The lead of Juana Ines.

Feminist Lesbian Nun Drama

Juana Ines: Juana Ines de la Cruz, a powerful feminist nun involved in a forbidden love affair with a woman, faces oppression in 17th-century Mexico. (Mexico)

Terminal Illness Comedy

Jojo’s World: Diagnosed with a condition that could make her infertile, a career woman must choose one of four bachelors to make a baby with before time runs out. (Taiwan)

Well-Intended Love: To secure a bone marrow donation, an actress diagnosed with leukemia makes a marriage pact with a young CEO – but love and secrets get in the way. (China)

The cast of Abyss.

Body Swap

My Runaway: An egotistic top male model and a pretty model wannabe are forced to live each other’s lives until they figure out a way to undo their body switch. (Korea)

Secret Garden: A wealthy man and a poor stunt girl fall in love. But things get complicated when their souls become inexplicably swapped and dark secrets surface. (Korea)

Abyss: After meeting an untimely demise in separate incidents, Cha Min and Go Se-Yeon discover they’ve come back to life in new bodies they don’t recognise. (China)

The Miracle: Polar opposites in personality and looks, fraternal twin sisters who live completely different lives wake up one day to find out they’ve switched bodies. (Korea)

Emotionally Traumatizing Reality Show

Rea(L)ove: A group of men and women, each burdened with a dark secret, look for love in this dating show with a twist. Hosted by reformed playboy Atushi Tamura.

Absolutely the cast you want of a show called Witch Hunt.

Show That Is Cancelled, Morally

Witch Hunt: Four Korean celebrity men and guest stars of both genders discuss women, sex and relationships – to an unprecedented degree of openness. (Korea)

Medical (Myth) Drama

Kill Me, Heal Me: To be cured of his seven-personality dissociative disorder, a rich heir secretly enlists the help of a pretty psychiatric medical resident. (Korea)

Satire That Probably Hits Too Close To Home

Servant of the People: After a Ukranian high school teacher’s tirade against government corruption goes viral on social media, he finds himself the country’s new president. (Ukraine)

A killer anti-vaxxer cult? That’s basically science!


The Chosen One: Determined to bring a Zika vaccine to remote Pantanal, three doctors clash with a faith healer and are pulled deeper into the mysteries of a cult. (Brazil)

Aspirational (General)

Most Beautiful Thing: A 1950s housewife goes to Rio de Janeiro to meet up with her husband, only to learn he’s deserted her, but decides to stay and open a bossa nova club. (Brazil)

Million Yen Women: Five beautiful but mysterious women move in with unsuccessful novelist Shin, who manages their odd household in exchange for a tidy monthly sum. (Japan)

Everything about this image is aspirational for me.

The Cravings: Thirtysomething career woman Jae-yeong attempts to juggle her job and personal relationships, all the while never failing to eat well. (Korea)

The Dream Job: A mysterious, wealthy man offers three people a lucrative unusual job that may be too good to be true: Live the high life as his children and heirs. (Singapore)

Fight For My Way: A former taekwondo champion and an information desk worker aspire to chase their dreams in a world that isn’t kind to those with mediocre credentials. (Korea)

Aspirational (Me)

My Love from the Star: An alien who came to Earth 400 years ago is almost able to return to his own planet, but when he meets a famous actress, he doesn’t want to go home. (Korea)

Keep going!