5 Binge-worthy Netflix Shows for Spanish Teachers

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 / 11 comments
How many of you feel that your own language skills could use some work since you spend your day using novice or intermediate level Spanish with language learners? How many of you are end of the year exhausted and just want to lay on your couch when you get home? I have the solution for you, binge watching Netflix in Spanish!

OK. OK. I understand that you only have 24 hours in a day. If you are a full time teaching mom of two kids three and under like me, you may just sneak in episodes during weekend naps and after they go to bed over a long period of time. Maybe right now is too crazy, so you can file these suggestions away for the glorious summer that is coming. (It is just too bad you can not use watching Spanish TV for official professional development points).

*Please note that most of these shows would NOT be appropriate for students and are for your personal enjoyment only. As with anything, if you are thinking of using it in class, I would recommend watching it first to see if it would work with your students and school culture.

Here are binge-worthy Netflix shows for Spanish teachers, listed from least commitment to most.





Juana Inés

1 season - 7 episodes (about 50 minutes each)

This mini series originally aired on Mexico's Canal Once in 2016, but is now available on Netflix. It is a historical drama that follows the life of real life author and feminist nun, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz during 17th century Mexico. I wish I would have watched it while spending a month studying her in my university Latin American literature class. I would have found reading Spanish poetry much more entertaining if I knew more about her interesting back story. I think it takes a certain type of person to enjoy a period piece such as this, but that type of person is most likely one who studied the Spanish language and now teaches it! For more information check out the official site or the trailer on Netflix.


Las Chicas del Cable - Brand new!

1 season - 8 episodes (about 50 minutes each)

This is the only show that I have not (yet) watched completely, as it just premiered on Netflix on April 28!  Scratch that. The show just premiered on Friday, April 28th and I finished it. (A rainy and cold weekend at home meant that it was time to binge watch Spanish TV). I really enjoyed it and am eager for more.

Las Chicas del Cable is the first Netflix original show from Spain. It is set in 1920's Madrid and follows four girls from different backgrounds who work as cable girls for the phone company. I am pretty excited to see some of my favorite Spanish actors all back together again. (If you have seen El Internado the actors who play Julia, Iván and Marcos all star in this show as well). Check out the trailer and start watching it on Netflix here.


Ingobernable

1 season - 15 episodes (about 40 minutes each)

This is my most recent Netflix accomplishment in Spanish. It is a Netflix original series made in Mexico. The story line is the first lady of Mexico is wanted for her husband's murder and finds help with an eclectic new crew. It is a dramatic telenovela that is Not appropriate for school. It includes romance, crime and drama. It is a fun mix of current drama and flashbacks, all helping to piece together the night of the crime. For more information watch the trailer on Netflix.


Velvet

3 seasons - 44 episodes (about 75-85 minutes each)
(+ season 4 with 11 episodes that is not on Netflix yet)

Velvet is a show originally from Spain's Antena 3 in from 2013-2016. This drama takes place in 1950's Spain and centers around one of the most prestigious fashion stores in Spain. It has amazing fashion, cars and 1950's style. If you love old Hollywood style glamour, you will enjoy this romantic telenovela. If you have watched other Antena 3 shows, you will see a lot of repeat actors from Gran Hotel and El Internado. To see if you would like to commit to this show, check out the trailer here.



El Internado: Laguna Negra

7 seasons - 71 episodes (about 75 minutes each)

If you are looking for a committed Netflix relationship, El Internado is the show for you. It takes place in a fictional boarding school in Spain and originally aired on Spain's Antenna 3 from 2007-2010. It is a mystery filled with drama and romance. The main characters are high school age, but there are many other story lines with the adult teachers and employees. You can check out the trailer here.

Before it was on Netflix, three summers ago I purchased the entire series on DVDs from EBay and binge watched it on my computer. (The DVDs are region 2). There was a short amount of time this show was pulled from Netflix last summer, but with some teacher requests, they brought it back. if you are planning on using it in class, I would purchase the DVDs so you do not have the scare of having it pulled.

This is the only show listed that I would recommend watching in school with students. For the last three years, I have personally used this show with upper level Spanish classes every Friday. Their parents all sign permission slips, and I skip a few scenes (such as the worst one 10 minutes into episode 1). We watch it with Spanish subtitles, very slow, pausing for many comprehension checks and completing activities. You can find all all of the resources from others I use to teach it here. For many of my upper level students, it is their favorite part of Spanish class. It gives all of us a nice break from the routine on Fridays, and helps work on authentic listening skills. Once again, make sure you have watched it, and know your students and school before showing an authentic show.



More Suggestions

If you would like more suggestions of shows to binge watch, check out this post. Sra. Speedy lists what she is currently watching to keep up her own Spanish, using a variety of sources. I am personally a fan of Netflix, so I included binge worthy shows that I have personally watched.

If you are looking for more ways of how to maintain your own Spanish while teaching lower levels check out the post by Jessica.

What are your favorite shows in Spanish to keep up your own skills? Please share in the comments!
- Allison


11 comments:

  1. One thing I hate about Spanish TV, and especially Netflix Original shows, is that they don't have the same TV rules & standards as the US. I stopped watching Ingobernable, Club de Cuervos, Marco Polo, and some others within 15 minutes due to excess cuss words & nudity. Maybe it's just me, but I don't want to watch that stuff. I also prefer finding things I can maybe watch parts of in classes too.

    I just recently started watching La Esclava Blanca on Netflix too & really like it. I also like Laura, Una Vida Extraordinaria on Hulu. Also loved Velvet, Gran Hotel & Tiempo Entre Costuras, as well as La Fuga, but I know not all are still available on Netflix or Hulu.

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    1. I agree that finding "clean" programming can be challenging. Thanks for the suggestions!

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  2. I was totally drawn in by 'Isabel' on rtve.es. Three seasons of great programing.

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  3. Los Caballeros Las Prefieren Brutas from Colombia is a great one, and the star, Valerie Domínguez happens to be Shakira's first cousin! I love Velvet and El Internado as well. There's a new one with Yon González (Iván from El Internado) called "Off Course" (en español, Perdiendo El norte) about two young Spaniards who immigrate to Berlin and find it's not what they expected. Also, Celia is great if you're talking about Cuba.

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    1. Thank you for all of your suggestions!

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  4. I believe that these netflix shows will be awesome that will teach something new to teachers and will make them to implement some new strategy in their teaching as well as dissertation writing.

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  5. I am surprised no one has mentioned "La Niña" on Netflix! Totally binge worthy and I loved it so much! I learned some great new songs to share with my 8th graders and found myself using new phrases instinctively in class. It is set in Colombia and is based on true events of a guerrila fighter. The language is not excessive (I feel the same way) and there are some harder scenes to watch, but it is done very well.

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  6. Secretario and Celia are much watches too! El Gran Hotel was also great, but no longer on Netflix :(

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  7. If anyone is looking for clean stuff and you don't mind kid's shows, then I suggest Masha and The Bear. You have to switch it to Spanish via the language settings. It is really easy to follow because it's a toddler talking to a bear. It's also pretty funny if you like "cute antics".

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