“Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” —Bong Joon-Ho, Director of Parasite

As one of the largest streaming services in the world, Netflix is home to some of the most critically acclaimed shows and movies while its international content also compares to no other. Here are some international TV shows worth your time that might make you go back for more.

Alice in Borderland - Japan (Directed by Shinsuke Sato)

Ever wondered what it’s like to be thrown into a death game competition overnight? Well, the Japanese series Alice In Borderland depicts the life of a young homebody gamer, Arisu, who finds himself on the empty streets of Tokyo in a race to compete in dangerous survival games. Before each game, players get a poker card that tells them the difficulty level and what skills are needed to beat it. So if you ever find yourself trapped in a death game like Arisu, here is a breakdown on how to read the poker card that could potentially save your life:

Alice In Borderland adds a unique twist to the typical death game show, and keeps viewers on the edge of their seats because of its fast pace. As the story unfolds, each character’s drive for survival leads to betrayal, plot twists, and heartbreak. Yet viewers will find themselves rooting for the main protagonist, Arisu, who remains pure at heart. Even audiences who aren’t a fan of this genre will experience an emotional rollercoaster, as the show touches on the themes of friendship and life. If you find yourself wishing for more by the end, don’t worry, because a second season is officially coming out on December 22nd!

Elite - Spain (Directed by Silvia Quer)

Imagine your usual high school life, but add Spain’s wealthiest students and murder case, and you get Elite. The series unfolds with interconnected shots of the past and present, making audiences experience the ride as if they were there. Taking place at the wealthy international Spanish school Las Encinas, the average student’s life revolves around parties, festivals, … everything but studying. But when three high schoolers outside the bubble of wealth come to the school, drama becomes the new craze as even blood starts to spill. Elite’s unpredictable nature hooks viewers right from the start: it opens with a murder case that garners more and more suspects until everyone becomes a suspect. You’ll find yourself binging the series in one sitting. It’s the perfect mix between Riverdale’s first season and Pretty Little Liars, portraying high school drama to a T.

Dark - Germany (Directed by Baran bo Odar)

2019. 1986. 1953

What if I told you that this singular story takes place during each of those years? Imagine a world so interconnected that you could be your mother’s mom. Dark, Netflix’s first German-language original series, follows the lives of families in Winden, a small, eerie suburban town. But when the children in Winden start vanishing, the dark histories of four families become intertwined and the past starts blurring with the present. Twist after twist, this series unsettles many, as it messes with what we all feel the most connected with: our family. Dark’s intricate storyline immediately draws viewers in, and they will find themselves paying a surprising amount of attention to the show’s mystery. Dark takes the concept of time traveling to another level, requiring a second watch to fully understand this mind-bending series.

Sweet Home - South Korea (Directed by Lee Eung-bok)

South Korea’s Webtoon-adapted series Sweet Home combines thrill, intensity, and action. The series brings the comic’s unique monsters to life through the series’ scarily realistic depictions. The story begins with a loner high school student, Cha Hyun So, whose life gets turned upside down after the death of his parents, forcing him to move to an old apartment in the outskirts of the city. A contagious illness starts spreading within the building shortly after he settles in, causing a building-wide lockdown. Trapped and scared, residents fear the symptoms of this new virus, among them heavy nosebleeds and mysterious transformations. Even more chaos starts to unravel when residents begin turning against one another out of fear of infection. Yet behind all the action there lies a bigger message: those infected turn into an embodiment of their most inherent flaws, a punishment that actually becomes the cure that saves the characters from their own greed. If you liked Squid Game, this show is most certainly up your alley. 

Here’s a look at some of our monster crew! 

Ada Cai is a senior at Menlo-Atherton and this is her first year in journalism. In her free time, she likes to binge TV shows and hang out with her friends. She hopes to write about timely events happening in our community and also lighthearted, fun stories about culture and entertainment.

Leave a Reply