Subtitles You'll Want to Read
On the surface Sr. Ávila leads a normal middle-class life: steady desk job, pretty wife, teenage son. But Ávila is an assassin, his wife suffers from panic attacks and his son has a worrying violent streak. When he becomes “Boss of the Bosses” and assumes a cover job at a funeral home, Ávila’s risk levels reach new heights. At times shockingly grotesque and darkly comedic, three seasons of the gripping Mexican drama go by in no time.
Sr. Ávila’s general director is Fernando Rovzar.
4 seasons: 43 episodes, roughly 43 hours
International Emmy Award for Non-English Language U.S. Primetime Program
Your friends close and your enemies closer
“Muertos” or dead. After three seasons, the body count is high
What iterations of Sherlock haven’t been attempted? In this take from Japan, both Sherlock and Dr. Watson are female. (Doyle-loyalists will be distracted in the early episodes making comparisons so to save time, 221B, Mrs. Hudson, Mycroft and Moriarty are all referenced.) Cultural differences abound, but like its English-language network counterpart, Miss Sherlock is a police procedural — a government blackmail plot, a missing bride, and even a blood-sucking mother are some of the cases the pair tackle. What will keep you hooked is the larger mystery that hovers in the background.
Miss Sherlock is directed by Yûsuke Taki, Jun'ichi Mori and Takashi Matsuo.
1 season: 8 episodes, 8 hours
Chocolates and tea
Attila is a conman with a problem: he wants to quit his life of crime but money trouble and a demanding family continue to drag him back in. When Attila’s son gets involved with the crime life himself, things go from bad to worse, as the young man quickly finds himself out of his depth. Golden Life (Aranyélet) is a family drama mixed with suspenseful underworld scenes that will keep your heart racing and your mind guessing about possible secrets in your own household.
Golden Life is directed by Áron Mátyássy and Zsombor Dyga.
2 seasons: 16 Episodes, approx. 16 hours
The energy to binge a few episodes in a row
“Család,” which means family
Roy Chan is a married man caught in the middle of a torrid affair that turns terrifying after a weekend at a haunted estate. The four-episode mini-series is bonafide horror: flickering lights and a violin-heavy score up the creep factor of the paranormal entities determined to wreak havoc on Chan and his family. Grace reminds us that, no matter how upstanding your public and private lives seem to be, sinister presences can still cross over from the other side.
Grace is directed by Tony Tilse.
1 season: 4 episodes, 4 hours
Asian Television Awards: Best Supporting Actor, Kay Tong Lim; and Best Editing, Stephen Evans
The lights on
Meek financial compliance officer Jay Bunani (Haresh Tilani) lives an unremarkable life… except for his habit of writing scathingly honest emails to anyone who aggravates him. After he inadvertently sends out drafts of these emails that no one was ever supposed to see, his world turns upside down. Bunani’s carelessness just might cost him his job, friends, fiancée, and everyone close to him.
Sent is directed by Alaric Tay.
1 season: 8 episodes, 4 hours
A fidget spinner
Check cynicism at the door and dive into When Shall We Kiss? The series follows the intersecting lives of characters searching for love and connection. Each carries their own baggage, navigating everything from infidelity to unplanned pregnancy to plastic surgery.
The show begins with a meet-cute: A young woman named Léna rushes to work and runs into (literally, is knocked down by) a young man named Dávid. As it turns out, the two went to the same school, where Dávid had a huge crush on Léna. There’s an immediate spark, but of course, matters of the heart are never so simple.
While Léna and Dávid’s romance is the “will they or won’t they” core of the series, When Shall We Kiss? also brings into the tangle Gabi (a woman searching for love on the internet), Judit (a housewife trapped in a dysfunctional marriage) and Iván (Judit’s philandering husband). As the characters go through the wringer, it’s almost impossible not to develop a tender loyalty to each one — even as their individual interests come into conflict.
When Shall We Kiss? is directed by Gergely Fonyó and Gábor Herendi.
2 seasons: 26 episodes, 13 hours
Tea and cookies
Who doesn’t love a good “Will they or won’t they?” Head Over Heels takes the best elements of a romantic comedy and injects them with a dose of relatability. The honest comedy analyzes every angle of a love triangle: Zuzana attempts to tame her perpetually unfaithful husband Milan; Ema connects with an unavailable man via an online dating site; Jakub’s bitter ex derails his newfound romance. Sit back and distract yourself with someone else’s relationship drama.
Head Over Heels is directed by Jan Hřebejk and stars Aňa Geislerová, Jiří Havelka, Jitka Čvančarová, Anna Polívková, Hynek Čermák.
2 Seasons: 23 Episodes, 11.5 Hours
A large glass of wine and the dating app of choice
“Tanec,” which means “dance”
Valea Muta (The Silent Valley) gets straight to the good stuff. Within the first 10 minutes, two teen boys, Filip and Horia, discover their mutual passion for one another, and swear each other to secrecy; immediately after, they find themselves in the wrong place at wrong time, witnessing multiple murders outside a cabin in the woods. To complicate matters further, Filip’s aunt and guardian is the prosecutor looking into the murder investigation.
The next four hours move swiftly. For the two lead characters, it’s an exploration of their sexuality; for the audience, it’s an examination of the elements that can lead to organized crime.
Marian Crişan, who has picked up a number of festival prizes, directed all four episodes of Valea Muta.