ONTD Original™: 10 International TV Shows You're Missing Out On

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Why stick to flop USA shows when there's quality stuff being made all over the world?
Below are 10 international recommendations in no particual order. It ranges from coming-of-age shows to crime and fantasy dramas. Some can be found on Netflix without you even knowing about it!

SKAM (Norway)
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Set in Oslo, SKAM is often called the Norwegian Skins. (I beg to differ) The show mainly follows five girls in high school trying to fit in. Each season focuses on a different character. Issues such as sexual assault and eating disorders are handled really well, while the show does a great job portraying the girls’ friendship. It is written and directed by a woman. SKAM is set to return for its third season this fall, where they will be changing it up by putting the third season's focus on one of the (gay) guys on the show, instead of one of the girls. The short episodes make it an easy watch, and the soundtrack is to die for (you can find the playlist of both seasons on Spotify).

Fun fact: NRK (the network that airs SKAM) tried to sell the show to other European countries, who declined due to the excessive alcohol use.

You can find the episodes with English subtitles HERE.
watch for the queen of political correctness, Noora:
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Age Of Youth (South Korea)
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Things start out rough for Eun Jae when she moves into a shared house in Seoul with 4 other college girls. She doesn't fit in, and none of the girls seem to want to make an effort to make her feel welcome. However, as the story progresses you get to know each character very intensively, and the friendship between the girls becomes stronger with each episode. When one of the girls claims to see a spirit of a murdered person in the house, each girl will have to face her inner secrets.

Though this drama still has two episodes left before it ends, it's already one of the best "slice of life" dramas ever (if not best drama in general). Every girl has flaws, but the characters have a lot of depth which makes every single one of them likeable in their own way. Typical things as relationships, break ups, and fights are depicted, but the show also manages to touch sensitive subjects in South Korea such as prostitution. (Here is some background information on sponsorship/prostitution in the korean entertainment industry). For once in kdrama land, a writer seems to understand that girls can be supportive of each other.

Watch the episodes with English subtitles HERE.
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Polseres Vermelles (Spain)
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This show has been remade by several countries already (the mess that was Red Band Society on FOX was cancelled after 1 season) but nothing compares to the original. The Catalan show takes place in the children's wing of a hospital in Barcelona. Six kids meet each other and decide to form a group with their red surgery bracelets, each taking up a certain role within the group (just ignore that the only girl in the group gets "the girl" as role, while the boys are "the leader", "the clever one" etc). Though all there for different reasons (cancer, eating disorder, coma, etc) they form a special bond and are soon inseparable and necessary for each other's recovery.

Get your tissues ready because this show is sad. The first season follows them as kids
, while the second season was filmed 2 years later, continuing their stories as teenagers. The writer wanted the actors to grow into young adults before filming the third season, but over 3 years later, there has been no news on season 3. All the episodes are subbed and can be watched on YouTube.
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Penoza (the Netherlands)
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Penoza is a Dutch crime series which follows Carmen, a housewife whose husband gets assassinated which leaves her to deal with the criminal business her family is involved in.

Penoza has been nominated for pretty much all of the awards in the Netherlands. ABC remade the show in 2013, calling it Red Widow, which got cancelled after only one season.

Lovesick (United Kingdom)
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Originally titled Scrotal Recall, Lovesick was created in 2014 by Channel 4 and follows Dylan (Johnny Flynn). When Dylan gets diagnosed with chlamydia, he decides to contact all his sexual partners of the past 11 years.

This underrated show was mostly overlooked because of its horrible original name. However, Netflix saw its potential and decided to pick it up. They renamed it Lovesick and the second season is set to be released on Netflix November 17.

Signal (South Korea)
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Signal is a 16-episode crime/fantasy drama which aired in 2016. A criminal profiler (Hae Young) finds an old walkie talkie which lets him communicate with a detective from the past. When Hae Young teams up with detectives from the same precinct as the the detective he's been communicating with, things get complicated and their own pasts get involved as well. When Hae Young starts focusing on a cold case, his communication with the past might be the only way to find the serial killer.

Even though the drama is 16 episodes long, every minute of every episode is suspenseful. A badass female lead, only a hint of romance, and a good combination between action and emotional scenes make this the greatest thriller in drama history. Signal is also available on DramaFever!

Gran Hotel (Spain)
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Soapier than Downton Abbey, but fun nonetheless. Gran Hotel is set in the early 20th century, and follows Julio. He infiltrates the hotel his sister worked at as a waiter to try and discover the truth behind her mysterious disappearance. Once he starts digging into the employees and the family that owns the hotel, he only discovers more secrets.

Everyone kills, and everyone gets killed. The most important reason for watching is of course the main lead, who isn't unattractive. However, the show is fun and easy to watch. All three seasons are available on Netflix!
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Happy Valley (United Kingdom)
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Another gem that can be found on Netflix is Happy Valley. This BBC One drama follows Catherine, a police sergeant in West Yorkshire. Things get extremely personal for Catherine when a local girl gets kidnapped and one of the suspects is someone from her past.

SO GOOD! JUST GO AND WATCH IT NOW. I know it gets mentioned on here regulary, but in one of the latest James Norton posts a lot of people still seemed to be doubting whether or not they should watch it. The answer is yes. Both seasons are pretty much perfect, and a third season has been confirmed.

Bron/Broen (Denmark & Sweden)
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Probably already familiar to many as The Bridge, but still worth mentioning. The bridge is a Scandinavian crime drama which is a joint creative and financed production between a Swedish and a Danish network. When a body is found on the bridge that connects Sweden and Denmark, two detectives (one from Sweden, one from Denmark. Duh.) will have to work together to find the killer.

Three seasons have aired, and a fourth one has been commissioned.

Rita (Denmark)
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This Danish comedy follows the life of Rita, a rebellious and outspoken woman who works as a school teacher. Though competent in the classroom, when it comes to her personal life Rita needs a teacher of her own.

Rita is available on Netflix!

i wanted to focus on coming of age shows, but ended up throwing a few other into the mix as well.
what are your faves, and what's your country's best show, ontd?