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Best Shows for Learning Spanish

Many people ask me, “What is the best show for learning Spanish?” and I always have a hard time giving them an exact answer. I’ll explain why and provide you with some of my favorite shows for learning Spanish.

woman sitting on couch watching shows to learn spanish

When someone asks me which is the best show for learning Spanish, the first thing I do is direct them to our first blog post about this topic: 5 Steps for Picking the Best Show for Learning X Language ( A show in Spanish that might work for one person may not work well for another. There are several reasons for this.

One reason is that these two people may be on completely different levels in the language and may be working toward different goals. For example, one person may favor learning everyday vocabulary, whereas one would like to learn more technical vocabulary or slang.

There are also a lot of shows in Castilian (Spain) Spanish and many shows in Latin American Spanish and which show you choose may depend on which you’re learning. Some shows contain more heavy accents and regional dialects that may be hard for a beginner to understand. These are just some of the reasons why I can’t provide you with exactly which shows are the BEST for learning Spanish, but I can give you some insight from my own experience.

man learning spanish while watching shows on laptop

Spanish is a great language to improve through watching TV because there are so many great original Spanish TV series, such as the famous telenovelas (Spanish soap operas). You can also find series with a variety of topics, including reality tv and game shows. Not all shows are about famous drug-dealers, as many people think, when they think of Spanish TV shows. There are also a lot of series out there for kids and teens.

So what are MY favorite shows for learning Spanish?

Well, the first one I ever watched was a telenovela called La Reina del Sur. It was the original one from 2011, before the English language remake (Queen of the South). It was a great show and told a version of a true story about one of the biggest female leaders of a drug cartel in Mexico. I definitely learned a lot of new words from this show, including Mexican slang. The second Mexican telenovela I watched was called El Sexo Débil. This was a very interesting show and it was great for learning some more vocabulary related to doctors and relationships. It was a nice change from the cartel story.

Another Mexican show that I enjoyed is called Desenfrenadas, an original Netflix series. We discussed this show in Spanish TV Club and it was a very interesting discussion. There were a lot of themes that came into play in this series. See more in the Spanish TV Club Recap (

watching money heist or la casa de papel on a phone with headphones

Other shows that we have watched in Spanish TV Club include La Casa de Papel, Alta Mar and Madre Sólo Hay Dos. The first is a very popular show. Some of the vocabulary is technical, related to intricately planned robberies and police strategy, but some of it is everyday vocabulary. It is a drama and definitely worth the watch, even if you are not learning Spanish. Madre Sólo Hay Dos has more everyday vocabulary and is more of a comedy drama, which is about two mothers whose babies were switched at birth, but then they end up raising the babies together for various reasons. Alta Mar is a murder-mystery type story about people on a ship traveling from Spain to Brazil, so you will hear the Spanish of Spain and it is from a different time era. Both of those shows are enjoyable to watch as well, but I would say Alta Mar is probably my least favorite of the three, especially as it gets into season 2. How many plot twists can you have with all of the same characters stuck on a boat?

Another show from a different time era in Spain that I really enjoyed was Las Chicas del Cable. It is a show supporting feminism and is about 4 women who work for the telephone company in Madrid. These characters have heavy Castilian accents and can be difficult for a beginner-intermediate Latin American Spanish learner to understand. The show, however, was one of my favorites.

A great show for beginner-intermediate learners is Siempre Bruja. It is about a young lady from Colombia who travels through time from colonial times, when she is burned for being a witch, to the modern era. It is interesting to learn a bit about the history of that region of Colombia. Also, because the characters are younger, there is not as much complex vocabulary and there is a lot of everyday vocabulary as well. It is a fun show to watch.

I’ve watched a few other shows in the past as well, such as Élite (binge-worthy but contains a lot of sexual scenes and things that I don’t want to picture high school kids doing) and Sr. Ávila (which was a show from HBO and very good, but not my preferred genre. It was about a hired assassin posing as a funeral parlor director, if you’re interested).

There are tons and tons of shows out there so I am sure you can find something that you like. As you are doing your Google searches for the best show for learning Spanish, make sure to find one that is right for YOU.

choosing a show in Spanish

Have you watched and enjoyed a show that helped you learn Spanish? Let us know which show in the comments below so that readers can hear some other perspectives. Thanks for your input!


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