Here is a selection of twenty French series on Netflix. I didn’t watch all of them but I gather some cinema critics and added my opinion to the ones I saw. Those French shows might be different from the American ones that you might be used to watching. One more information, from the best French series I found on Netflix, most of them belong to the thriller/ horror category. Besides watching French series, you will be able to practice your French in a fun way. Finally, you can find the trailer of each series where there is not a trailer appearing by clicking on the title.
1 – Call my agent / Dix pour cent (2015)
Probably one of the best French shows from the last few years. You will see some of the most famous French actors playing their own roles like Jean Dujardin, Giles Lelouche, or Audrey Fleurot. Here is the French trailer (I couldn’t find one with English subtitles).
Synopsis: Three actors’ agents, with strong personalities and complicated personal lives, struggle on a daily basis to find the best roles for their prestigious clients.
2 – Lupin / Lupin : dans l’ombre d’Arsène (2021)
A new French series produced by Netflix starring the famous French actor Omar Sy. This is a modern version of the famous French character Arsène Lupin the Gentleman burglar. Character created by Maurice Leblanc at the beginning of the 20th century, which would deserve to be as internationally known as Sherlock Holmes. The adaptation of the story is for once well made compared to all the adaptations that were made in the past. One more thing, you need to watch the original version in French with English subtitles, I am not a big fan of the English dubbed version. I explained all the French slang from this series:
- Netflix’ Lupin Season 1: French Slang Explained in English
- Netflix’ Lupin Season 2: French Slang Explained in English
Synopsis: As a teenager, Assane Diop’s life was turned upside down when his father died after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. 25 years later, Assane (played by Omar Sy) will use “Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar” as his inspiration to avenge his father.
3 – Family Business (2019)
Maybe the first French series on Netflix and produced by Netflix that is good, not like the French show Marseille. You will find the rising French actor Jonathan Cohen playing the main character, the actresses Julia Piation, Liliane Rovère (Playing in Call my agent too), and the famous Gérard Darmon.
Synopsis: Joseph, 35 years old, is full of business ideas even if he is still working in his father Gerard’s kosher butcher shop. When he learns from a “reliable” source that cannabis is going to be legalized, it’s a revelation. His genius idea: to transform, with the help of his family and his buddies, the family butcher shop into a weed shop.
4 – Vermin (2018)
This French series is a cartoon that for once is excellent. This series might be not for a young audience. It was produced by the studio Blackpills and the creators of the crazy French cartoon “Les Kassos” (You can find it on YouTube).
Here is the English trailer but I would recommend you to watch it in French, the voices are incredible. I really like the voice of the butterfly chief of police made by the French YouTuber Gael Mectoob. You will also find the voice of the French rapper Casey Chemou and the excellent voice of the French actor Monsieur Poulpe. Important information, each episode lasts only seven minutes.
Synopsis: A naive praying mantis decides to leave his hometown to fulfill his dream by joining the police force of the big city. He discovered how brutal the real world is. Between alcohol, drugs, delinquency, sex, clubs, and crazy colleagues, he will realize the hard way that even insects have strange vices.
5 – A very secret service / Au service de la France (2015)
This humorist French series well written and well played reminds me directly of the famous French movies of OSS 117. I wrote a blog post about it if you are curious: OSS 117: The Funniest French Spy.
Synopsis: Early 1960s, the French Secret Service recruits the young André Merleaux, back from Algeria. André is trained with real spies who were more concerned with their expenses than with their missions. It is a long and complicated road to becoming a spy worthy of 007.
Series that might open your eyes on another side of France showing you the violence of the French ghettos. Unfortunately, France is not only “Emily in Paris”. You will learn a lot of French slang thanks to this series. One interesting information, in French the series is named Caïd that is an Arab word that means in France “Leader of a gang” it can also mean “being tough”. In Marocco for example it means Muslim civil official who combines the functions of judge, administrator, chief of police.
Synopsis: A director and his cameraman are sent to shoot a rap video in the heart of the suburbs of southern France, and find themselves caught up in a gang war.
Humorist French TV show related to the second WWII but keep in mind that it is not a documentary because this series does not follow the real history.
Synopsis: In June 1944, the American airborne parachutes its best men into the heart of occupied France. The best? Not just, four totally incompetent soldiers land in the middle of the Normandy countryside. If the world is at war, they intend to stay alive and to run into French women, too, for a bit. Those four morons who will unintentionally change the course of history.
French series produced by the French-German channel Arte. “Mythomaniac” has some Desperate Housewife vibes following the life of a family living in a French suburb. This series uses a mechanism already known in comedy cinema around the lie and its consequences.
Synopsis: A devoted mother and wife, Elvira feels more and more transparent in the eyes of her family. One day, she gives in to the temptation of a terrible lie to regain love and attention.
9 – Chef’s Table France (2016)
Documentary series of one season produced by Netflix where you will be able to discover the life of some French Chefs cooking tasty dishes. The documentary is focusing more on the Chefs rather than the dishes. It is a perfect series to watch for you if you are a food lover. I just loved the fourth episode with the restaurant Lestroisgros, a three stars michelin restaurant in the Loire county next to Lyon. Why did I like this episode? I grew up 30 minutes away.
Synopsis: Discover the newest flavors of France as daring chefs push the boundaries of gastronomy and reinvent a rich culinary tradition.
As Family Business, The Hook Up Plan is a Netflix original series. It is definitely a “Chick Flick” French series!
Synopsis: Elsa, single forever, doesn’t understand why she can’t find love. Her three friends, determined to put an end to her bachelorhood, decide to hire an escort boy, who is supposed to help Elsa get back in touch with men and love.
This is a short Science Fiction TV show of six episodes of 40 minutes. Despite a premise that doesn’t seem to hold water, the series manages to take us into a captivating story.
Synopsis: When the sun suddenly starts killing everything in its path, the passengers on a night flight from Brussels try to survive by any means necessary.
This French series reminds me of the American series of Black Mirror.
Synopsis: In the near future, thanks to the data of its users obtained through micro-robots implanted in their brains, the new “OSMOSIS” application guarantees with certainty to find the ideal partner, and transforms the ultimate dream of finding a soul mate into reality.
The landscapes in Zone Blanche are amazing and haunting at the same time. This series is for me underrated. There was no trailer, please find a review in English.
Synopsis: This is a dark detective drama in a small village in France with slightly supernatural undertones.
14 – Marianne (2019)
Probably one of the best French series in the category of horror. If you are looking for more horror entertainment, I recommend you to read my article about 13 French Horror Movies.
Synopsis: Emma, a young novelist, discovers that the monstrous characters she created in her series of horror novels are really coming to life.
It is set in a Parisian banlieue and it even offers some exposure to verlan (Learn more about this type of French slang).
Synopsis: Martha Radescu’s family lives clandestinely in Paris. But when 16-year-old Doïna turns out to be a vampire of a new kind.
Perfect French TV show if you are looking for a horror show. It’s a thrilling scenario that you’ll have a hard time figuring out how it’s going to end.
Synopsis: During summer 2017, in a village named Valmoline with only six inhabitants, thirteen guests meet in this peaceful hamlet in the far reaches of the Hautes-Alpes. No sooner have they crossed the bridge than a huge rock collapses and blocks the passage, crushing a man tied down below. The village is now isolated, the massacre can begin.
Here is a science fiction French TV show that started in 2017.
Synopsis: In the near future, the transfer of the spirit from one body to another, made possible by a mysterious substance, has saved lives, generated clandestine trafficking, but also transformed the way we look at faith and awakened fantasies of immortality. Florian, a father in a coma for several years, wakes up in the body of the mysterious Sylvain.
A French series about the track of a serial killer.
Synopsis: La Mante, the famous serial killer who terrorized France more than 25 years ago, is forced by the police to come out of solitary confinement to track down her copycat.
This thriller has only one season and it is the perfect entertainment if you are looking to get scared.
Synopsis: In the Pyrenees, the corpse of a headless horse was discovered hanging from the top of a cable car at an altitude of 2,000 meters. Captains Servaz and Ziegler are entrusted with the investigation. A few kilometers away, in a high-security prison, the young psychiatrist Diane Berg begins psychotherapy sessions with Julian Hirtmann, a dangerous serial killer arrested years ago by Captain Servaz. The fates of these four characters will collide in a most terrifying investigation.
Another horror/thriller French series on Netflix that takes place in the Ardennes.
Synopsis: In a village in the Ardennes, sixteen-year-old Jennifer disappears in the middle of the night. Captain Gaspard Deker leads the investigation with Virginie Musso, the local gendarme, who knows the young girl well. They are helped by Eve, a solitary and mysterious woman.
I hope you will practice your French by watching one of those French series on Netflix. Do you know other ones? Let me know about it in the comment section 🙂 I will make sure to keep this page updated. For more French series, check out my articles:
Photo Credit @Netflix