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What are your favorite TV series that are NOT American, British, or anime?

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What are your favorite TV series that are NOT American, British, or anime?

#1

Post by mjf314 »

I was looking at the iCM Forum's top 100 TV series, and I noticed that almost all of them are American, British, or anime, with only 6 exceptions (Dekalog, Riget, Scenes from a Marriage, Berlin Alexanderplatz, Jiskefet, Once Upon a Time... Life).

What are your favorites? And which countries do you think make the best TV? Feel free to post screenshots and/or summaries. I'm hoping to discover more great TV from around the world.
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#2

Post by mightysparks »

Lano and Woodley (Australia)

That's about it. Australia usually sucks, but Lano and Woodley is special. The Micallef Program was good too, but I preferred his short-lived talk show.
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#3

Post by blocho »

mightysparks wrote: December 3rd, 2019, 12:49 am Lano and Woodley (Australia)

That's about it. Australia usually sucks, but Lano and Woodley is special. The Micallef Program was good too, but I preferred his short-lived talk show.
I watch very little TV, but if you're just looking for recommendations, my father is a huge fan of Wallander (the Swedish version, not the British porno remake) and Spiral (France). He also loves the Israeli series Fauda. I watched an episode of Wallander and thought it was OK, but maybe it's one of those series you need to see a few episodes to appreciate.
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#4

Post by Armoreska »

Second City TV is Canadian
(John Candy, Eugene Levy, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis)
Bron is Swedish (I've seen 2 seasons)

They're not favorites, but 7/10
he or A. or Armo or any

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#5

Post by Coryn »

Belgium has some amazing actors and producers when it comes to comedy.
A lot of cult followings for certain shows as well. There is a pool of actors here who get used again and again for these shows and are definitely on an amazing level.

Some examples of Belgian comedy series:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401001/
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0986340/
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0235922/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1345811/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0466415/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
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#6

Post by albajos »

Les Mondes Engloutis
French animated Science Fiction

but I basically haven't seen this since I was 12-13.

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#7

Post by beavis »

Jiskefet is more a show than a series. "We zijn weer Thuis" is a better candidate for Dutch cult comedy series
the Canadian series Twitch City was pretty cool
I don't watch much tv these days, so have not that much to contribute... maybe some more Dutch and Belgian childhood favorites... but most stuff I watch on tv is and was UK comedy based
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#8

Post by Mario Gaborović »

I watched most of the TV shows back in the 1980s to early 1990s, when Venezuelan soap operas had there heyday and then I stopped watching TV completely. But shortly before that, I occasionaly watched the Mexican one named Los ricos tambien lloran; I admit I loved some of it, though I tend not to speak about it tehe

Sivi dom remains my top TV show of all times, I even did translation of whole 12 episodes and showed to some American online friends who were simply delighted. I'd like to pass over that freakin' show as a Bible any given day. It means so much to me.

Grlom u jagode is another good show from Serbia but it's just not in the same league to me. Maybe I'll do subs some day, who knows.

My top watch was certainly La piovra, although when they murdered Michele Placido, later episodes just weren't as interesting as its beginnings. Then I watched Australian cop show, early 1990s I believe (can't remember the title) and it was fine. Another guilty pleasure was Die glückliche familie, a family drama from Germany, though now I wouldn't get back to it at gunpoint. (Schwarzwald Klinik was also shown, but I was a toddler back then and don't remember anything)

I hated all the soap operas from Latin America and (later) Turkey; however in moments of boredom, I watched some episodes of Laços de Família (Brazilian) and it had some calming effect on me, that rhumba soundtrack I guess.
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#9

Post by burneyfan »

I have a really soft spot for the Korean historical (but also soap) series Dae Jang Geum; since you submitted Splash Splash Love for last year's world cup, you may very well enjoy Dae Jang Geum, though there's no time travel (and almost no comedy) in it. You may also have already seen it, since it's one of the BIG Korean series. It's very roughly based on the real Jang-geum, the first female royal physician in the sixteenth century. She starts in the royal kitchens, and I found a lot of the Korean royal food prep and medical info fascinating. (There's also some great "food porn" montages when they cook.) Amid all the awesome cooking and medical practice, there's also a bunch of court intrigue and inner-kitchen political machinations.
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#10

Post by xianjiro »

Il commissario Montalbano comes to mind a sometimes quirky favorite.

Also Cidade dos Homens and of course the first two Heimat also come to mind. Wasn't the Decalogue a Polish TV mini-series?

Also, I'd bet a good number of "American" series are/were produced in Canada - the Stargate franchise is a good example.
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#11

Post by mjf314 »

burneyfan wrote: December 3rd, 2019, 6:28 pm I have a really soft spot for the Korean historical (but also soap) series Dae Jang Geum; since you submitted Splash Splash Love for last year's world cup, you may very well enjoy Dae Jang Geum, though there's no time travel (and almost no comedy) in it. You may also have already seen it, since it's one of the BIG Korean series. It's very roughly based on the real Jang-geum, the first female royal physician in the sixteenth century. She starts in the royal kitchens, and I found a lot of the Korean royal food prep and medical info fascinating. (There's also some great "food porn" montages when they cook.) Amid all the awesome cooking and medical practice, there's also a bunch of court intrigue and inner-kitchen political machinations.
My mother watched Dae Jang Geum (after I got her into K-dramas), and she recommended it to me. I haven't watched it yet, but it's on my watchlist. She also watched Dong Yi (made by the same director), and she liked that one as well.
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#12

Post by mjf314 »

albajos wrote: December 3rd, 2019, 11:02 am Les Mondes Engloutis
French animated Science Fiction
Is it available with English subs?
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#13

Post by fori »

Round the Twist is the peak of Australian tv. Virtually everybody my age or a little older will experience a spiritual awakening listening to that theme song. I don’t watch a lot of tv though. Almost never any live action tv.
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#14

Post by albajos »

mjf314 wrote: December 3rd, 2019, 11:57 pm Is it available with English subs?
Not commercially. Only the original french unsubbed box set, and season 1 norwegian sub discontinued dvd

A dub was aired though but has not a dvd release, and 13/52 of those episodes seems to be missing, they say

The english title is "Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea" if you want to research some more
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#15

Post by mjf314 »

albajos wrote: December 4th, 2019, 12:20 am The english title is "Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea" if you want to research some more
I found the first 6 episodes on Youtube but I can't find the others.
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#16

Post by mightysparks »

fori wrote: December 4th, 2019, 12:05 am Round the Twist is the peak of Australian tv. Virtually everybody my age or a little older will experience a spiritual awakening listening to that theme song. I don’t watch a lot of tv though. Almost never any live action tv.
I remember being forced to watch an episode at school when I was around 9, and I hated it so much I ended up just turning myself away from the TV and refused to watch it lol.
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#17

Post by brokenface »

Giri/Haji is British (made by BBC) but partly set in Japan.
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#18

Post by Armoreska »

mjf314 wrote: December 4th, 2019, 2:06 am
albajos wrote: December 4th, 2019, 12:20 am The english title is "Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea" if you want to research some more
I found the first 6 episodes on Youtube but I can't find the others.
So did you watch?
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#19

Post by mjf314 »

Armoreska wrote: September 26th, 2020, 2:47 pm
mjf314 wrote: December 4th, 2019, 2:06 am
albajos wrote: December 4th, 2019, 12:20 am The english title is "Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea" if you want to research some more
I found the first 6 episodes on Youtube but I can't find the others.
So did you watch?
No. If I find the entire series with English subs, I might watch it.
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#20

Post by 3eyes »

Au service de la France (France 2015-)
Les grandes Grandes Vacances (France 2015-)
The Brokenwood Mysteries (NZ 2014-)
Murdoch Mysteries (Canada 2008-)
Slings and Arrows (Canada 2003-6)
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#21

Post by mjf314 »

3eyes wrote: September 26th, 2020, 5:50 pm Les grandes Grandes Vacances (France 2015-)
I can't find subs, but I see that there's an English dubbed version on Amazon Prime. And it's only 10 episodes. I might watch this one.
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#22

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mjf314 wrote: September 26th, 2020, 7:30 pm
3eyes wrote: September 26th, 2020, 5:50 pm Les grandes Grandes Vacances (France 2015-)
I can't find subs, but I see that there's an English dubbed version on Amazon Prime. And it's only 10 episodes. I might watch this one.
Yes, I think that's right. I think l I did see a subbed version on Netflix awhile back (unless I got it from the Weighty Place), but the dubbed version is all I can find now.
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#23

Post by Kublai Khan »

burneyfan wrote: December 3rd, 2019, 6:28 pm I have a really soft spot for the Korean historical (but also soap) series Dae Jang Geum; since you submitted Splash Splash Love for last year's world cup, you may very well enjoy Dae Jang Geum, though there's no time travel (and almost no comedy) in it. You may also have already seen it, since it's one of the BIG Korean series. It's very roughly based on the real Jang-geum, the first female royal physician in the sixteenth century. She starts in the royal kitchens, and I found a lot of the Korean royal food prep and medical info fascinating. (There's also some great "food porn" montages when they cook.) Amid all the awesome cooking and medical practice, there's also a bunch of court intrigue and inner-kitchen political machinations.
Aw shucks, I was going to suggest that as well. It's a tad heavy on the melodrama, but ultimately enjoyable.

Other than side, I can only recommend Canadian TV series that are a bit of a mix between American and British TV (like pretty much Canada is).
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#24

Post by mjf314 »

Kublai Khan wrote: September 28th, 2020, 12:31 am
burneyfan wrote: December 3rd, 2019, 6:28 pm I have a really soft spot for the Korean historical (but also soap) series Dae Jang Geum; since you submitted Splash Splash Love for last year's world cup, you may very well enjoy Dae Jang Geum, though there's no time travel (and almost no comedy) in it. You may also have already seen it, since it's one of the BIG Korean series. It's very roughly based on the real Jang-geum, the first female royal physician in the sixteenth century. She starts in the royal kitchens, and I found a lot of the Korean royal food prep and medical info fascinating. (There's also some great "food porn" montages when they cook.) Amid all the awesome cooking and medical practice, there's also a bunch of court intrigue and inner-kitchen political machinations.
Aw shucks, I was going to suggest that as well. It's a tad heavy on the melodrama, but ultimately enjoyable.

Other than side, I can only recommend Canadian TV series that are a bit of a mix between American and British TV (like pretty much Canada is).
Which Canadian series do you recommend?
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#25

Post by Kublai Khan »

mjf314 wrote: September 28th, 2020, 12:56 pm
Kublai Khan wrote: September 28th, 2020, 12:31 am
burneyfan wrote: December 3rd, 2019, 6:28 pm I have a really soft spot for the Korean historical (but also soap) series Dae Jang Geum; since you submitted Splash Splash Love for last year's world cup, you may very well enjoy Dae Jang Geum, though there's no time travel (and almost no comedy) in it. You may also have already seen it, since it's one of the BIG Korean series. It's very roughly based on the real Jang-geum, the first female royal physician in the sixteenth century. She starts in the royal kitchens, and I found a lot of the Korean royal food prep and medical info fascinating. (There's also some great "food porn" montages when they cook.) Amid all the awesome cooking and medical practice, there's also a bunch of court intrigue and inner-kitchen political machinations.
Aw shucks, I was going to suggest that as well. It's a tad heavy on the melodrama, but ultimately enjoyable.

Other than side, I can only recommend Canadian TV series that are a bit of a mix between American and British TV (like pretty much Canada is).
Which Canadian series do you recommend?
Well, I grew up loving Canadian sketch comedy like Kids in the Hall and SCTV, but I'm sure like most sketch shows they age unevenly.

Oh recent stuff, Kim's Convenience and Orphan Black are pretty good.
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#26

Post by mjf314 »

A late response to my own question, but here are my favorite series from each country, along with my ratings (favorites are 8.5 or higher).

Canada (1 seen in total):
Anne of Green Gables (1985) - 8/10

China (6 seen in total):
Nirvana in Fire - 9.5/10
An epic historical/political drama. Some reviews have called it "China's Game of Thrones", but I haven't seen Game of Thrones, so I don't know if that's an accurate comparison.
Scarlet Heart (9.5/10) is a close 2nd. Journey to the West (8.5/10) is very good as well.

Czechoslovakia (2 seen in total):
Arabela - 8.5/10
A fun fantasy series made by one of my favorite directors, Václav Vorlícek. It's like a reverse 10th Kingdom (in The 10th Kingdom, people from the real world go to a fantasy world, and in this series, people from a fantasy world go to the real world).
Návstevníci (8/10) is a close 2nd, but I slightly prefer Arabela.

Germany (1 seen in total):
World on a Wire - 9/10

Hong Kong (1.5 seen in total):
The Legend of the Condor Heroes (1983) - 9/10
I'm in the middle of watching this one. A must-see for wuxia fans. I think I like this better than any wuxia film that I've seen.
I also like The Bund (8/10), starring Chow Yun Fat.

Italy (2 seen in total):
Odissea - 9/10
A great adaptation of a great story. I recommend it to anyone who likes Greek mythology.

Japan (15 seen in total, not including anime):
Nodame Cantabile - 9/10
It's hard to pick a favorite because there are so many great J-dramas, but some of my other favorites are GTO (9/10), Long Vacation (9/10), My Dangerous Wife (9/10), Jin (8.5/10), Unnatural (8.5/10), Kazoku Game (8.5/10), 1 Litre of Tears (8.5/10).

Poland (1 seen in total):
Dekalog - 8.5/10

South Korea (9 seen in total):
Signal - 8.5/10
A police thriller with supernatural elements. One of the cases that they try to solve is the case from Memories of Murder.

Taiwan (1 seen in total):
Someday or One Day - 9/10
A supernatural romance with some thriller elements, and possibly some time travel.

Thailand (1 seen in total):
The Gifted - 8.5/10
I just watched this for the southeast Asian challenge. It's about high school kids with superpowers.

Hopefully in the next year I'll be able to add more countries to this list.
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#27

Post by Torgo »

Does really no one here like stuff like Dark or Money Heist? :ph43r:
Or do streaming series not count as "TV"? Does the Netflix label make them appear American? Just curious.
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#28

Post by mjf314 »

3eyes wrote: September 26th, 2020, 5:50 pm Les grandes Grandes Vacances (France 2015-)
I just watched the first 2 episodes and it's very good so far, so thanks for the recommendation.

I think this series would become popular on iCM Forum if more people watched it. It's one of the forum's favorite genres, war with child main characters.
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#29

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Thanks for saying.
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#30

Post by gunnar »

Beforeigners (Norway 2019-) - This show was a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to season 2.
Children of Fire Mountain (New Zealand 1979) - This is a historical drama that takes place around 1900.
Kaitangata Twitch (New Zealand 2010) - The island of Kaitangata is waking up and that's not a good thing.
Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby (New Zealand 2005-2006) - A satire that takes place in a high school. It was very funny.

I enjoyed a number of Australian fantasy/sf kids shows when I was younger, including:
Thunderstone (Australia 1999-2000)
Spellbinder (Australia/Poland 1995,1997)

I wanted to include Father Ted, but I guess it is really a UK production.
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#31

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gunnar wrote: October 25th, 2021, 2:29 pm Spellbinder (Australia/Poland 1995,1997)
Spellbinder looks like something that I would enjoy, and it's only 26 episodes. I added it to my plan-to-watch list. I guess it'll be my first Australian series.
Edit: I just noticed there's another series called Spellbinder: Land of the Dragon Lord. Is that a sequel, or a separate story? And do you recommend watching both, or only the first one?

Also here are a few updates to my list of favorites:

France: I watched Once Upon a Time... Life. I liked it, but I think Les grandes Grandes Vacances is going to be my favorite when I finish watching it.

Hungary: I watched Mesék Mátyás királyról. It was ok, but not really good enough to recommend.

Japan: Suika (2003) is my new favorite live-action series.

Thailand: Girl From Nowhere (2018) is very close to being my favorite (I liked it about the same as The Gifted).
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#32

Post by gunnar »

mjf314 wrote: October 25th, 2021, 2:57 pm Spellbinder looks like something that I would enjoy, and it's only 26 episodes. I added it to my plan-to-watch list. I guess it'll be my first Australian series.
Edit: I just noticed there's another series called Spellbinder: Land of the Dragon Lord. Is that a sequel, or a separate story? And do you recommend watching both, or only the first one?
Spellbinder: Land of the Dragon Lord is a sequel. I haven't watched it in almost 20 years, but my recollection is that it was almost as good as the first series. I think that Ashka is the only major character in common between the series, though.
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#33

Post by 3eyes »

Trapped / Ófærð (Iceland)
Kampen om tungtvannet (Norway 15)

partially watched:
Okkupert (Norway)
Bu-Ali Sina / Avicenna (Iran 87-)

Nordic noir, anyone?
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#34

Post by Lakigigar »

Squid Game easily.

At this point it's even my fav with American, British & anime included.
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