10 Best Spanish TV Shows That Will Keep You Glued to the Screen
Spanish shows are not just soap operas.
A decade ago, most viewers would associate Spanish shows with soap operas, but the TV industry in Spain has changed dramatically in recent years. After the success of Spanish Netflix series such as Money Heist and Elite, projects of completely different genres began to appear – from comedies to dramas.
1. The Innocent, 2021
Detective writer Harlan Coben signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Netflix in 2018 to adapt 14 of his works, and the Spanish series became the adaptation of the novel The Innocent, published in 2005.
In the story, Mateo, released from prison four years after a manslaughter conviction, tries to start a new life. He gets a job in his brother's company, meets Olivia, and now they are expecting a child. It seems that the worst is over, but one day Olivia starts sending him strange photos and threatening messages.
2. 30 Сoins, 2020-2023
In the provincial Spanish town of Pedraza, something truly odd happens: a cow gives birth to a human baby that grows very quickly. At almost the same time, a mysterious new priest, Manuel, arrives in town.
The local veterinarian who delivered the baby, Elena, begins her own investigation. Elena soon learns that the priest is the owner of an ancient Roman coin – one of the same coins Judas accepted as payment for betraying Christ.
3. White Lines, 2020
A blast from the past occurs in Zoe's life – the body of her brother Axel, who disappeared twenty years ago, is found in the desert of Ibiza. Zoe packs her bags and heads to the island to find out what happened.
But the police cannot open a case because the death happened too long ago. So the woman can only count on the help of a drug dealer who was friends with the deceased, as well as Andreu, a businessman on whose land Axel's body was found.
White Lines was created by Alex Pina, who came up with the idea of Money Heist – after its success, he received funding for a new project.
4. The Head, 2020-2022
The show tells the story of the Antarctic research station Polaris VI, where ten people spend the long polar night. Six months later, a helicopter arrives at the station and the arrivals discover that only two people have survived. While waiting for law enforcement, Johan, the station's commander, begins his own investigation.
If you like stories like "several characters in a confined space and one of them is a killer with unclear motives", then this show is for you. Also, one of the roles is played by Alvaro Morte – Professor from Money Heist.
5. Valeria, 2020-2023
A light romantic comedy in the spirit of Sex and the City is perfect for you if you miss Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte.
Valeria is an aspiring writer who has received a grant to write a book. But the deadline is approaching and she has only written a few pages. She also has problems in her personal life – Valeria's marriage has become a routine, and her relationship with her husband has cooled down. The only good thing in Valeria's life are her friends: strange, funny women who are going through a personal crisis of their own.
6. Skam España, 2018-2020
The Norwegian series Skam became a phenomenon and was remade in several countries. The Spanish also decided to make their version of the hit project and created a completely new story.
Once again, the plot revolves around five girls who unite to make their way to popularity. But if the first season somehow follows the plot of the original, the following seasons show the characters from the other side. For example, the story of Noora focuses on an abusive relationship, and William (called Alejandro here) is far from being the main character.
7. Cable Girls, 2017-2020
Madrid, 1920s. Four young women, for different reasons, are hired as telephone operators by one of the first telecommunications companies. The only thing the women have in common is that, in one way or another, they are all trying to achieve independence through their work.
Not only does Cable Girls boast splendid costumes and the atmosphere of The Great Gatsby, it also tells the story of the birth of feminism in Spain.
8. Sky Rojo, 2021-2013
Coral, Wendy and Gina work as elite prostitutes. Tired of the cruel attitude of their boss, three friends kill him and hit the road. But two thugs are after them, and they have no idea where to go.
The show, created by Money Heist authors Alex Pina and Esther Martinez Lobato, has been compared to the works of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez even before its release, as the show is based on exaggerated cruelty.
9. Locked Up, 2015-2019
Macarena ended up in a women's prison after being framed. The conditions there are very harsh, and the situation is made worse by Zulema, one of the most dangerous prisoners.
The judge sets an unbelievable amount of bail, so there is no hope of getting out. But on the very first day, the main character learns how to get money. The problem is that she is not the only one interested.
The plot of the show is reminiscent of the recent hit Orange is the New Black, but the Spanish project has even more intense intrigue than its US counterpart.
10. The Boat, 2011-2013
The series in which one of the main roles is played by Mario Casas – Hugo from Three Steps Above Heaven. Its main character, Ulises, secretly boards the ship under the pretext of meeting his father, who works on board.
A ship with a group of young people goes on a training expedition and gets caught in a terrible storm the very first night. The next morning, the equipment does not pick up a single signal from land, and a little later it is announced that there is no more land: a global catastrophe has occurred, and land has gone under water.