It’s been over a month since South Korean hit “Squid Game” took the world by storm. After a mass binge-watching session, many of us have been waiting for another show to come along and capture our attention just as viscerally. As Netflix ratings can show you, there really is nothing quite like “Squid Game,” but there are plenty of interesting — and incredibly underrated — series that share similar aspects. So, VALLEY’s compiled a list of foreign-language shows that you may not have heard of but are definitely worth the watch.
“Sweet Home,” a South Korean post-apocalyptic horror that takes place in a single apartment building called Green Home as monsters roam the streets outside. With monsters akin to those of “Stranger Things” and the formation of deep human connections within a group of survivors reminiscent of “The Walking Dead,” “Sweet Home” is a great place to start if you’re missing the adrenaline rush of “Squid Game.” Don’t expect the same storyline intricacy or production quality, though — just sit back and enjoy the campy horror with the added bonus of multiple strong female leads!
The first German-language original series on Netflix really set the stage for those to follow; “Dark” has been critically acclaimed for just about everything it has to offer: plot, writing, acting, production, design and even casting. That’s right, casting — with a storyline centered around the residents of the small town of Winden and an added element of time travel, many of its characters bridge the gap between different time periods, all the while being played by different actors who look scarily similar to their counterparts!
With possibly the most similarities to “Squid Game” on this list, “3%” is a Brazilian post-apocalyptic show about a society that allows 3% of its population to leave the impoverished Inland to live on the idyllic Offshore after competing in a series of trials when they are 20 years old. One of the first foreign-language shows on Netflix (and the first in Portuguese), the now-completed four-season series begins as a brutal test of knowledge and skill for its characters and turns into a commentary on humanity and socioeconomics.
Nex This Indian horror series was thrilling from start to finish, with likable characters and a unique plot worthy of much more than its five episodes. If you’ve seen “Locke & Key,” also on Netflix, it’s similar to that storyline, but with much better execution and production quality. Plus, the plot twists will easily keep you hooked, and once you finish, you’ll be begging for a second season!
You can add “Control Z” to your list of must-watch Spanish-language Netflix originals. Like the incredibly popular “Elite,” this newer series focuses on the lives of a group of high school students as wildly extensive drama ensues. After a hacker exposes the biggest secret of one of the most popular students at school, our main characters take it upon themselves to get to the bottom of things — but they accidentally learn about the dark pasts of their classmates and each other along the way.
Whether you have your own post-“Squid Game” to-watch list or get started with VALLEY’s, be sure to tell us your favorites by tweeting us, @VALLEYmag, on Twitter!