French TV shows have lots of advantages when it comes to learning a language.
You can learn how to understand the French language in the comfort of your own home by watching TV shows in French. It’s even perfect for beginners, just rewind if you don’t understand! Switch on subtitles or pause the video if you need to.
One of the most important things is to learn how people speak in everyday life, and not learn the formal phrases from the guidebook.
There is a tendency for textbooks and learner materials to spoon-feed you the language, but once out in the real world, you can feel that isn’t the right language you are learning.
You can also learn common words and grammar structures naturally, by hearing them in context.
So let’s take a look at 7 fantastique French TV shows available on Netflix and YouTube. Stay tuned to see how you can use your shows to improve your French level after you’ve chosen your shows.
7 Netflix TV Shows in French
1. If You Like Cartoons Watch The Adventures of Tintin
The Adventures of Tintin is a series of comics created by the Belgian designer and screenwriter Hergé.
With 250 million copies sold, Les Aventures de Tintin is one of the most famous and popular French comics of the twentieth century. They have been translated into around a hundred languages and have been adapted many times for cinema, television, and the theater.
The setting takes place in a realistic and sometimes fantastic universe, teeming with characters with well-defined character traits.
Watching a cartoon doesn’t mean it’s simple to understand. Although Tintin’s characters speak naturally they use a wide vocabulary.
Another challenging thing when following cartoons, is that since the actors are usually voicing their characters, it’s harder to make out what they’re saying. This isn’t meant as a discouragement, but rather to let you know that if you find cartoons difficult, it doesn’t mean that your French isn’t as good as you thought.
Several episodes are currently available on Youtube. While not perfect, most videos have automatic subtitles, which are at least accurate and can help people understand.
2. If You Like Cooking Watch Chef’s table
Here are the secrets of multi-Michelin-starred chefs. Find out what makes them so special and how they were able to become industry leaders.
If you’re a foodie, you’ll love the inspiring stories, breathtaking cinematography, and close-ups of gourmandizes.
Many young chefs reported how much this and other TV cooking shows have influenced their decision to become a chef.
Chef! Resonates in almost a military tone. Some chefs or apprentices admit that they were born in front of a screen, and not near a stove.
Perhaps, this tv show inspires you to go a step further in a kitchen.
3. If You Like 19th Century Watch Maison Close
Dive into 19th-century brothel life with this addictive French workplace drama.
At the end of 1871, in a luxury Parisian brothel, Le Paradis, three women tried to escape the servitude imposed by men. The very young Rose arrives in Paris in search of her mother, a former prostitute; she is trapped and forcibly enlisted in a brothel.
Vera is 35 years old; she knows that the end of her career as a prostitute is near and is betting everything on Baron du Plessis, her main client, the only one able to redeem her debt.
Hortense, the patroness of Paradise, must hold onto her daughters and resist the pressures of a thug from the suburbs who asks for money.
This is the right tv series, if you like diving into different times and places, specially pompously Paris in the 19th century.
4. If You Like Supernatural Watch Les Revenants
Enjoy being puzzled while watching the show, and surprised by the unexpected turns of events.
A small mountain town in France is dominated by a large artificial lake. At the same time, several people who have been dead for years come back to life.
Camille, a young teenager who died in a bus accident in 2008; Chris Smith, a young man who committed suicide in 2002; Victor, an 8-year-old boy murdered by burglars in 1977; or Serge, a serial killer assassinated by his brother in 2005.
Odd things begin to happen as they resume the course of their lives: power cuts, water level drops in the dam, bedsores on the dead and the living.
5. If You Like Music Watch Philharmonia
This tv series is filled with classical pieces and will reveal a world of music to any music lover.
After 20 years of absence, Hélène Barizet, brilliant atypical conductor, is back to take the helm of the Philharmonia: National Orchestra.
The Maestro is determined to pass on her passion and save the orchestra in the storm.
As a micro-society with codes, frameworks, and tribes, the orchestra provides a fantastic set-up for a fictional world. Because female conductors are rare, the series director, Marine Gacem, drew her inspiration from this main character to write a story about the passion for music and social dynamics within an orchestra.
6. If You Like Modern Comedy Watch Family Business
If you crave a good old laugh, this series will let you enjoy modern French comedy and pick up a lot of slang.
In the French quarter, Marais, Gérard Hazan has been trying somehow to maintain the family kosher butcher’s shop since the death of his wife, Bénédicte.
His son, Joseph, a failed entrepreneur, however, thinks he has the solution. He learns from Clémentine, a Parisian party girl and daughter of the future Minister of Health, that cannabis will be legalized soon.
He then tries to convince the rest of the family to transform the butcher’s shop into a coffee shop.
While waiting for this legalization, the Hazan will however have to hide their “business” and cultivate their weed in secret in order to be ready.
7. If You Like Crime Shows Watch Cherif
There is a long history of French police series. Seems French people love the genre, and successfully put together humor and danger.
Captain of the Lyon Criminal Squad, Kader Cherif is passionate about his job.
A field policeman who knows his city like no one else and never really leaves his Croix-Rousse police station, since he lives, just across the street.
Cherif has had the best results in solving crimes for several years. This legitimizes his sometimes original methods and does not fail to cause friction with his partner, the rigorous Adeline Briard.
8. If You Like Mystery Watch Le Chalet
Despite having a horror bent, this drama mini-series is quite dramatic. Le Chalet takes place in two timelines. An entire family mysteriously disappears in a story set in 1997.
On the other hand, the film takes place in the present and features a young couple stranded by a rockslide with a handful of local residents. Before long, secrets are revealed and things begin to unravel.
To Everyone’s Taste
If you want to spend a relaxing time learning French, watching French Tv series and shows is the right direction.
Subtitles can help you pick up some vocabulary, phrases, and slang, something that is usually missing from the textbooks.
It’s true that adapting to the speaker’s speed seems challenging at first, but it’s better to get used to the speed-watching shows than in person, once you find yourself in the real situation with French.
Our selection of Netflix TV Shows in French covers all genres, from drama to comedy and mystery, and offers something to fit everyone’s taste.
We know how important it is to find the content motivating enough to keep you watching and keep learning.