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Help with finding a new series to watch

My husband and I are trying to find a new series to watch that is as interesting and compelling as our favorites. Those would be Foyle’s War, Downton Abbey, the Inspector Morse series, Old Dogs New Tricks and Amanda Redman’s other series set in India, the Good Karma Hotel; A Place to Call Home set in Australia; Crash Landing on You set in North Korea; the Commissario Brunetti series in Venice; all of Montebano; another Italian series about a Milan department store called something like “Ladies Paradise” in Italian; Midsomer Murders; and another Brit detective thing whose name I forget. There are others that don’t come to mind right now.

All of these had compelling characters we liked (and villains we could hate), great scenery, good stories, and some element of history or culture in foreign lands. We don’t mind subtitles and especially like things in Italian.

We also enjoyed Doc Martin until the jokes became stale, and the Danish series Seaside Hotel until it slowed down too much.

Series we did not care for include Breaking Bad ( we quit when they brought out the hydrofluoricnacid to dissolve a body); Shetland (could not understand their dialect) , Giri/Haji ( too violent) and some others I cannot recall. Basically, we do not care for bodice-rippers, gratuitous violence, or a focus on sexual perversion, especially child molestation. As we are a doctor and a lawyer, we have both been exposed to enough of both in our professional lives, and do not consider it a subject for entertainment.

We have cut loose from cable and only have Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Criterion channel, no HBO, which apparently excludes The Gilded Age which might otherwise be of interest.

Thanks for your help.. I look forward to responses.

Posted by
35 posts

Have you seen the Don Matteo series? Set in Gubbio, Italy. It's delightful.

Posted by
5929 posts

If you're able to find them, the old PBS Brother Cadfael series with Derek Jacobi is good. Lots of culture and history. We reread the books a few years ago before we took the South England tour, and were really glad we did.

Posted by
2027 posts

Coming to mind quickly are:

-The Durrells in Corfu
-Father Brown

Posted by
10943 posts

There are several good series on PBS. Is that an option? Members get access to PBS Passport so you can stream the entire season as soon as it comes out. Also many good options on BritBox, which you can get through Amazon. We use the subtitles on all of the British shows to ensure the accent doesn’t foil us.

Posted by
48 posts

Oh my. Just finished three seasons of “The Split” BBC. Incredible cast. Plus the brilliant actress Nicola Walker. She was also in “Last Tango in Halifax”. Another bingeable series.

Posted by
705 posts

I agree with Laurel about several good series on PBS including:

Around the World in 80 Days
All Creatures Great & Small
Hotel Portofino
The Durrells in Corfu

Posted by
8058 posts

Inspector George Gently - Netflix
Scott & Bailey - Amazon Prime
Bosch - Amazon Prime
Grantchester - Amazon Prime

And if you like Inspector Morse you’ll like Endeavor.
Amazon Prime

Posted by
9100 posts

Magpie Murders started two Sundays ago on Masterpiece Mystery. Written by Anthony Horowitz, creator of Foyle’s War, and Midsomer Murders writer. It’s exceptionally good.

Seaside Hotel’s 3rd season (on now) is much, much better than the first two seasons.

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on PBS is very good.

The first season of Broadchurch was exceptional. Third season is on PBS now, and the first season was on PBS very recently and on Netflix when i watched it a year ago.

Posted by
24905 posts

Prime Suspect (PBS)
The Jewel in the Crown (PBS)
Indian Summers (PBS)
Delicious (PBS)
Yes Minister (PBS--a comedy)
Borgen (Netflix)
A French Village (MHz)
Line of Duty (Pluto; formerly broadcast on PBS)
The Fall (Pluto)Wallander (Swedish version probably better than English version shown on PBS)
Professor T (Flemish version probably better than English version; PBS had both)
Happy Valley (Crackle; formerly broadcast on PBS)

PBS does have a lot of possibilities you can stream if you contribute enough to get access to Passport. I don't know what the contribution threshold is. Shows don't remain available forever; I don't know that the shows I've listed above are currently available.

I lost access to MHz when it went to streaming-only (by subscription), and I haven't kept up with what is available there, but while it was broadcasting over the air, it had a lot of interesting, quality shows. All were foreign; anything not from an English-speaking country was subtitled.

Tubi, Pluto and Crackle are free (advertising-supported) streaming services where you might find foreign shows that would appeal to you. I've recorded many things from Tubi in particular but haven't yet watched them, so I can't offer any particular recommendations. What I do is look at the ratings and descriptions on to see whether the show sounds promising.

You might also check your local library. What's on the shelf? My library has Borgen. Does the library give you access to Kanopy? Kanopy has some foreign content. The quality of Kanopy's offerings is usually high.

Posted by
678 posts

Derry girls (Netflix, Northern Ireland) The troubles time
Lupin (Netflix, France), based on Arsene Lupin’s books with Omar Sy
Entrapped (Netflix, Iceland) Suspense and Crime
The Great (Prime, Russia during Catherine the Great reign) funny, quirky, satarical, but raunchy

Posted by
4520 posts

Someone else mentioned 'Endeavor' which is a prequel to Inspector Morse, and I wholeheartedly concur. In fact, I liked it much better than Inspector Morse.

I would highly recommend "Sherwood" now streaming its first season on BritBox. It's an incredible series and well worth getting one month of BritBox. I get it through Amazon subscriptions and they offer a free 7-day trial of BritBox, which would be long enough to watch this series - it's 6 one-hour episodes. It's based on a true story about a mining town and takes place in Sherwood and Nottinghamshire (and no, it has nothing to do with Robin Hood, with one exception). I could not stop watching it. I've recommended it to 2 friends so far and both thanked me profusely after watching it.

"Trapped" is a wonderful show on Amazon Prime - it is filmed in Iceland and most of it is in Icelandic with English subtitles. Very well-written with a compelling plot and great characters about a police team in a small Icelandic town on the northeast coast. Lots of great scenery, too. There are 3 seasons out now.

"Grantchester" on PBS is good (you can get PBS Passport by paying a $5 donation each month). I also really enjoy "Annika" about a female detective in Glasgow involved in maritime crime. It stars Nicola Walker, who I will watch in just about anything, which includes "Unforgettable," "River" starring her and Stellan Skarsgard, and "The Split", where she plays a divorce attorney. I am a retired family law attorney and I found this show fascinating; not only in the differences between British and American law but also the similarities. And it had a very interesting plot with great characters. And there is "Broadchurch," an incredible show about a murder that takes place in an England coastal town. It stars David Tennant and Olivia Coleman, and is well worth watching.

Several other good shows on Amazon Prime are "The Night Manager" starring Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie. It's based on a John LeCarre novel and is wonderful. Also, "Catastrophe" is black humor at its best but it also has a lot of warmth to it. It stars Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan - I highly recommend it.

By the way, I agree with you about "Breaking Bad" - I watched 2 1/2 episodes and stopped. I just couldn't take it.

Posted by
8081 posts

A second for Derry Girls. Binge watched all 3 seasons over a weekend. Turkish series, The Club. Kleo (German) if you like mystery with Cold War links, but lots of violence. Nicola Walker (why is she so watchable when she looks so tired?) is in a new series "Annika" on PBS Masterpiece. Vera (by Shetland author). Understand the issues with Shetland and other heavy accents. We turn on closed captioning for that.

My tip is that if you like discovering and watching foreign series, go to Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max, or whatever, and, using the Search feature, put in "Iceland movies" or "German series" or whatever country you want. With a little searching you can come up with all sorts of stuff, and choose either dubbed or captioned versions.

Posted by
836 posts

We have loved the chateau series that started with ESCAPE TO THE CHATEAU with Angel and Dick Strawbridge…..we love France and their DIY in their own purchased chateau is fascinating……then they introduced ESCAPE TO THE CHATEAU DIY……..and its fun to see what these people are doing to bring these gorgeous buildings back to life……..HOW TO RENOVATE A CHATEAU WITHOUT KILLING YOUR PARTNER…..they are all amazing!

Posted by
2072 posts

I don’t think anyone has mentioned Brokenwood Mysteries. It’s an New Zealand (thanks for catching my error) detective series. I have to use close-caption on everything I can.

Just a mention - when we cut off cable we went to YouTube TV.

Posted by
43 posts

Derry Girls (Netflix) . Turn on subtitles as it takes awhile to adjust to the accent. Even then, the slang is thick.

Posted by
14922 posts

Thanks so much. This gives me some good ideas. We do get PBS shows, so that is an option for us. We might start with the Magpie Murders.

I will add my initial post to say that we have watched and enjoyed Prime Suspect, Miss Fisher, and Grantchester. We also watched two seasons of Broadchurch and found it well-acted, but we stopped watching because of the dark subject matter. We also enjoyed A French Village until the diabolical Nazi became too depressing.

I will also add that sci-fi, fantasy and time travel hold no interest for us. I have read good reviews of Highlanders but apparently it includes some element of that. (And some bodice-ripping as well).

Posted by
9100 posts

I agree with you about Broadchurch (although many shows are consistently dark… Vera, Prime Suspect, Morse,..) that’s why i only recommend the first episode, which was extremely good.

Glad you’ll try Magpie Murders, it’s not dark and is exceptional.

Posted by
555 posts

I also could not tolerate Breaking Bad. I second the positive comments about Borgen (Danish, be sure you are starting with the original and not the reboot titled Borgen: Power and Glory) and Bosch, although the first season of Bosch has a child abuse case, so that might not work for you.

I strongly recommend the six episode A Suitable Boy, set in India. It's available on Acorn TV, and very well done by the BBC. You can watch it in one week of steady watching on a free trial, or subscribe for a month. If you subscribe for a month, you might also enjoy the humorous 800 Words, about a widower who relocates with his two teenagers from Australia to New Zealand.

If you like low key quirky humor, I'd also recommend Detectorists, It's set in England and available on Netflix or Prime, and also on Acorn.

Thanks for this thread, I'm bookmarking for the great suggestions from you and others.

Posted by
63 posts

Great thread. I’m always looking for new ideas too. We don’t like too gruesome or violent either.
A few of the more recent detective series we’ve enjoyed - McDonald & Dodds (set in Bath); Hope Street (Northern Ireland) and Trom (Faroe Islands). We also loved the Detectorists, one of our all time favourites.

Posted by
1398 posts

Inspector Lewis.
The original The Bridge is my favorite, subtitled in English
McDonald and Dodds
A Confession
Vera for sure!
Waking the Dead
A Touch of Frost (I think you will like this if you like Morse)
Wallander both English and Swedish versions. The Swedish is better if you read subtitles.
Line of Duty
Murder in Suburbia
Silent Witness although maybe too many children in this
DCI Banks
Shakespeare and Hathaway
Wild Bill
River is super good
Rosemary and Thyme
Shetland: can you watch it with subtitles turned on? It is good.

I understand about the children. I can tolerate it better than my husband but it gets tiresome. I love cop shows, especially foreign cop shows with subtitles because you get to see the scenery and culture. It isn't the crime I am interested in but the formula and the relationships between the cop characters and I like the problem solving part. It would be great if they stopped including stories about kids though.

Posted by
1887 posts

Probably too much sex and violence for you but I've loved the German series Babylon Berlin(based on the Gereon Rath series of novels). It's about Berlin during the end of the Weimar Republic and centers on a police detective and the sometimes prostitute Charlotte Ritter who becomes an assistant detective. it's on Netflix

Posted by
352 posts

Since you dipped your toes in the Korean drama water, I'll recommend Misaeng/Incomplete Life. It's an office drama that deals with college grads starting out and older workers starting over. It's been described as "I never thought I'd be so invested in whether or not a report was turned in on time!"

Posted by
88 posts

Lola, unless I missed it, no one has mentioned a tv series I watched on Amazon Prime a few months ago: "Imma Tataranni--Deputy Prosecutor" ("Imma Tataranni sostituto procuratore"). Filmed in southern Italy (Calabria, Matera/Sassi, except for one episode in which the lead detective takes a ride through Rome on a Vespa). Lead actress is wonderful in her role, supporting actors all excellent, sly humor that had me laughing out loud at times (although this is not a comedy series, per se), tweaking the nose of Italian stereotypes without taking characters off script. I rarely binge-watch anything because I don't have the time or inclination, but I started with one episode and ended up watch the rest of the series that night, because it was leaving AP the next day. Imma Tataranni investigates murders, but there is no gore on camera. The programs focus on plot and character development, not violence, and everything from the scenery to the "dining atmosphere" is so Italian. And, of course, it's in beautiful Italian, with English subtitles. Unfortunately, AP didn't also offer the next year's series, but I'm looking forward to it if they feature it at some point. Highly recommended.

Posted by
1 posts

Babylon Berlin. Season 4 starting soon on Netflix.
A crime/political drama set in Weimar Germany, the period between the wars.

Season 4 sees the Nazis beginning to gain power.

Well worth a watch!

Posted by
1943 posts

Plenty of good suggestions already. A few shows not mentioned that I enjoyed:

"Thou Shall Not Kill" (PBS/Amazon, Italian cop show set in Turin, might be a bit too gritty but well acted)
"The Crown" (Netflix)
"Scott and Bailey" (Hulu, may be on PBS, female British cop show)
"The Tunnel" (PBS/Amazon, the British/French series, not the original Danish/Swedish)
"Royal Flying Doctor Service" (PBS, Australian outback flying medical service)
"Miss Scarlet and the Duke" (PBS, Victorian era female detective)
"Unforgotten" (PBS/Amazon, Nicola Walker is amazing actress as noted)

Posted by
8081 posts

Just came across this Netflix series set in Switzerland: "New Heights" (Neumatt in Swiss). It's a drama about a family-run dairy farm coping with family, money and modern business problems. No murders or violence, and just a bit of nudity. I'm trying it out because I haven't seen a Swiss program before.

Posted by
14033 posts

I heartily recommend "Death in Paradise" favorite. Plots take place on a fictitious island in the Caribbean, an Anglo-French production, filmed on the island of Guadeloupe; the rank and file police wear French police uniforms.

Posted by
14922 posts

Help me out with The Crown, please. What is happening in 8 days (or 7 now)?

We were watching it until we ran out of episodes, and then haven’t resumed. I can’t remember when that was, but probably pre-pandemic (time flies when you’re having fun). So we will have to figure out where we left off, and maybe back up a few episodes. Is there a list of seasons and episodes somewhere?

Posted by
2027 posts

Gentleman Jack is another good one- A whip-smart heiress crashing through gender expectations of polite society in late-Georgian/early-Victorian rural England.

It's on HBOMax, which I realize the OP doesn't have, but I've added it for the discussion's sake.

Posted by
355 posts

Thanks for the excellent thread Lola, so many great ideas here! Since you like quirky Italian detective shows, wondered if you've seen the Maigret series in French, starring Bruno Cremer. His is only vices are never refusing a drink and smoking a pipe all day long, little to no violence although someone is dead from the start. I actually checked most of them out at the library, resorted to buying the last season. Apparently there are a few other versions & one in English, also a 2022 movie, not seen these.

Posted by
493 posts

I really like the streaming service MHz Choice for foreign TV shows. It's worth the money to me. True, there are a lot of gritty, violent ones, but still a good choice of other shows. They even have a category to browse called "bloodless crime". The Art of Crime (French) is a really good one. All of the Italian Don Matteo episodes are there, with more being added.
There are also documentaries to choose from.

bugslife - the second season of Imma Tattarrani is available on MHz Choice.

Posted by
8058 posts

Adding a few others:

Amazon Prime:
Mr. Robot
Six Feet Under

If you can find it The Prisoner with Patrick Mcgoohan. Or and Oldie but goodie: The Avengers with Diana Rigg and Patrick McNee as Emma Peel and John Steed. 1960’s TV brilliance. Very avant-garde for the time period. Was never miss TV in my household.

Posted by
110 posts

We just finished Karen Pirie on BritBox (just one season) and it was very good. We have also enjoyed Poirot, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Murder in Provence, The Responder, Rosemary and Thyme, Wallander, Dalziel and Pascoe, McDonald and Dodds and New Tricks - all on Brit Box. Vera (Brit Box) and Endeavour (Amazon Video) are my favorite detective dramas. Very smart writing on both. Hotel Portofino and The Durrell’s of Corfu are also good. All Creatures Great and Small is a very sweet series. We are currently watching Miss Scarlet and the Duke and Magpie Murders on PBS.

Posted by
1951 posts

The French produced television series The Bureau Seasons 1-5 - a very compelling watch.

The Norwegian produced television series Occupied Seasons 1-3 - also a very compelling watch.

Oh wait, there's more

The Night Manager

Deutschland 83


Posted by
552 posts

One thing I note watching these films is that the shine is off the Euro continent. We all tend see it as old towns, narrow streets, cafes, polite people, charming, and suave.
Well, apparently it is not. There is crime, murder, intolerance, bad people, and dark doings. It is not Emily in Paris all the time.

Posted by
4520 posts

Following, although season six of Somebody Feed Phil just came out so that will keep us busy for awhile.

Tammy, how have I missed this so far? I just watched an episode and love it! Thanks for the heads up! I didn’t realize that he is married to Monica Horan in real life. She is great, too!

Posted by
8081 posts

I agree with treemoss2. Thats what I like about these foreign films and series. They show modern life in other countries without the romanticized stereotypes. It takes away some of that American hubris to see that ordinary people in other countries also live well.

Another series: The Green Glove Gang (Polish). A dark comedy of three older female criminals who are hiding from the police in a retirement home.

Posted by
1887 posts

I agree except with the British shows were half are still the little English village type.

I kind of love Spain's shows because while they can be soapy, they also have a wide cynical streak. My favorite Spanish show-El Minister Del Tiempo was about there being a Ministry of Time and the workers going back to fix things. Usually the writers made fun of the Spanish bureaucracy or their heroic figures/history. The American show Timeless was a ripoff of that.

And of course Germany is pretty much crime shows/historical dramas that of course aren't very happy.

Posted by
14033 posts

Earlier this year on PBS in this area, the series "Luna und Sophie" was shown. It is a Krimi in German filmed in Potsdam as the two are part of the city's police force. If you are well familiar with Potsdam, you'll recognise some of the spots where the scenes were filmed. Interesting too is the various ethnic backgrounds of the German cast playing members of the police dept.

Posted by
1 posts

With millions of viewers, Line of Duty is ranked as one of the best police shows of all time. Line of Duty has collected praise from both viewers and critics. From the screenplay to the story, to the direction and beyond, Line of Duty checks every box to qualify as a well-rounded series. To watch it in Australia on Hulu, follow this guide:

Posted by
14922 posts

We just finished the 6 episodes of “Magpie Murders” and enjoyed it very much. We especially enjoyed seeing one of the actors from Foyle’s War in an interesting new role—-he is perfect! And the premise of the plot is intriguing, to say the least.

Posted by
14033 posts

This PBS series has not reached the SF Bay Area, well, as far as I know. However, it has been shown or presently running in Central Coast California, a series in French, ie, police tracking down bad guys, called "Astrid." Linguistically, watching this provides a most useful opportunity in trying to cut through and understand spoken French.

Posted by
24905 posts

Astrid is available for streaming on PBS Passport, which is accessible if you make a modest contribution to a PBS station--I assume to any of them but can't guarantee that. Check your station's website to be sure.

Posted by
8058 posts

For my third post on the subject matter:

As this is Recommended Book portion of the Forum I’ll recommend Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch books. Set in Los Angeles.

Also Louise Penny’s Canadian Inspector Armand Gamache set in Quebec.

Speaking of Gamache Three Pines with Alfred Molina is now airing on Amazon Prime.

Whitsable Pearl on Amazon Prime

The Luminaries on Amazon Prime

Bloodlands with James Nesbitt on Amazon Prime

Maigret with Michael Gambon on Amazon Prime
( filmed in Budapest substituting for Paris. Maigret is a French detective but all the cast were Irish and British. In one episode you’ll see a young Minnie Driver)

Recipes for Love and Murder on Amazon Prime

Hinterland on Amazon Prime

Luther with Idris Elba on Pluto TV

No Offence on PlutoTV

Lewis with Kevin Whatley on Freevee

Posted by
2599 posts

being Scottish i have to say Rebus, from the Inspector Rebus books by Ian Rankin, worth reading the books in order as they are set in real time , mention real events and follow the Inspector from when he is promoted from Sergent to Inspector to his retirment about 20 years later, he was resurrected to do cold case stuff though I have not read these books. The TV series at first had John Hannah as the lead character and later ones had Ken Stott who in my opinion played the character much more to the way i thought the character should be.
Much of the series is filmed in and around Edinburgh and Glasgow,in fact some of it was filmed a short distance from where I live,the area since then has undergone a complete redevelopment. A friend from Kansas city has been reading the books and was visiting me in August this year and I was able to take her and her Husband to several places including a pub that are metioned in the books

Posted by
2638 posts

Before a trip to the UK earlier this year we happened upon an excellent series on YouTube called "The Cotswolds Explorer" hosted by Robin Shuckburgh. He has a companion series called "Hidden Gems in the Cotswolds" that we also enjoyed very much.
Each series is comprised of 5 or 6 episodes, with each being about 25 minutes long.

Posted by
14033 posts

In SF on PBS Passport "Astrid" is shown on Sunday night, most pleasant surprise, delightful and charming as a detective plot, very revealing sociologically and linguistically. Plus, the episodes take place in Paris. I don't pay anything extra to watch it.

Posted by
2424 posts

I’m making a list which is quickly getting longer and longer. Many suggestions sound interesting.
Thanks for the topic.

Posted by
488 posts

Oh my goodness this is an embarrassment of riches! Totally bookmarking!

Posted by
14922 posts

A good friend just recommended White Lotus, especially the season filmed in Sicily. Unfortunately we cannot watch it because we don’t have access to HBO. But maybe someone here can make use of the recommendation.