My Favourite French Netflix & TV Shows for Learning French



My Favourite French Netflix & TV Shows for Learning French

Whether it’s tuning into the daily news, listening to a podcast, or watching your favourite programme or film, one surefire way to improve your French is to regularly watch French TV. As well as giving you an insight into French culture and humour, it helps accustom your ear to the rhythm, the different accents and everyday phrases.

A good way to start is with English subtitles, although some may find this too distracting. For me, it works well to start with and little by little; you find you no longer need to look at the subtitles so often. For my husband, he finds he is focusing so much on the subtitles he loses the thread of the visual, so it is better for him to just watch regardless. For him, watching a well-known movie or series in French – one in which he already knows the storyline, is a better way to start.

My husband recently went to the cinema with friends to watch a film in French – which was a massive undertaking for him. Much to his surprise, once he got over his initial fear of not being able to understand and relaxed into the film, he understood much more than he thought he would. Bravo!

My favourite French TV series

To get you started, here are a few of my top picks.

Ganglands/ Les Braqueurs

A gritty inner-city thriller set in Marseille which follows the lives of a thief and a robber who find themselves embroiled in a gangland turf war. (It’s great for brushing up on swear words and slang words, too!)

Bonfire of Destiny/ Le Bazar de la Charite

Set in Paris in the 1890s, 120 people die when a fire engulfs a building. The story follows the lives of those involved as Paris seeks to find someone to blame for the tragedy.

Women at War/ Les Combattantes

Principally follows the story of Marguerite, a mysterious Parisien prostitute who is searching for her son in 1914 France. The story explores the role of women in France during the First World War.

La Revolution

Set in France 1787, this is a fantasy thriller that can be a little bloodthirsty in places. Mr. Guillotin is charged with investigating unexplained murders and discovers the existence of “Blue Blood,” which is a virus sweeping through the aristocracy. The virus provoked the wealthy to attack the lower classes, and this was a prelude to the French Revolution.

Le Meilleur Patissier

Shown on French TV channel M6, this is a French version of Bake Off! The skill standard is more comedic than in the UK, in my opinion, but judge for yourself.

Mission Pays Basque

A current favourite Rom-Com film is « Mission Pays Basque » in which an ambitious Parisien woman who wants to climb the career ladder tries to impress her bosses by attempting to buy a hardware store in the Basque country to turn into a supermarket. In the process, she meets Ramon and falls in love with him and the Basque culture.

UK series in French  

Finally, don’t forget that many of your favourite English-language shows may also have been translated into French, and this can be a great way to ease into French-language viewing.

Hailing from the North-East, it was an absolute delight to watch my first-ever episode of Vera in hospital in Angouleme. To see the North-Eastern stomping ground of my youth was a real pick-me-up after an unplanned operation. I’m also partial to a bit of Bergerac with John Nettles and River Monsters with Jeremy Wade, which my husband has got me into!

The perfect excuse for a night in front of the telly!

So, why not make a TV programme in French part of your new routine? It may well help hone your language skills and give further insight into fabulous French culture.

Learn French with FrenchEntrée

Whether you’re a second-home owner or an expat living in France, learning French is an essential part of integrating into local life. FrenchEntrée is here to help with our handy verb and vocabulary lists, essential French phrases, and top tips and advice for learning French.

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Carol, a teacher from Hurworth in Darlington, lives in Charente in South-West France, where she runs La Grue Gites with her family.

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