10 Best German TV Shows on Netflix to help you learn German: From beginner to advanced level (2024)

Language immersion stands as a pivotal component in learning a new language.

Among its many benefits, immersing yourself in the German language by listening to and watching German TV shows can drastically improve your comprehension and speaking abilities. It’s not just about passive listening, though; for German learners, engaging with Conversation Based Chunking is another step.

Explore how Denisa from Spring German (a project I co-founded) thinks about Netflix originals:

The Conversation Based Chunking emphasizes understanding and using common phrases or “chunks” as they appear in real conversations. Observing these chunks in the context of a TV show helps learners see how the language is used in real-life situations.

By combining visual storytelling and audio elements, German television series available on Netflix can serve as an enjoyable and educational addition to formal language learning. Using subtitles can also be beneficial; beginning with English subtitles can help beginners ease into the listening process, and then transitioning to German subtitles can help further develop their reading and comprehension abilities.

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced language learner, the best German TV shows offer a lot in every genre, all the while introducing you to German culture, accents, and everyday language used in different contexts.

How to learn German with German TV shows?

There’s an added layer of learning that comes from seeing language in action.

When you watch a German TV show, you’re not only hearing the words and sentences; you’re also seeing the body language, the cultural nuances, and the interactions between characters.

For instance, expressions of surprise, idiomatic phrases, or colloquial responses in German might seem puzzling when seen in isolation. But within the context of a TV show scene, with all the emotional and situational cues provided by the actors and the setting, these chunks become much clearer. Curious to learn more about this method?

Best German TV shows on Netflix for language learners

Original TitleGenreAiring
1. DarkSupernatural Thriller2017–2020
2. Babylon BerlinCrime Drama/Period Piece2017–
3. BiohackersThriller/Sci-Fi2020–2021
4. ParfumCrime Drama2018
5. Der TatortreinigerComedy2011–2018
6. Tribes of EuropaSci-Fi2021
7. Dogs of BerlinCrime Drama2018–
8. The Billion Dollar CodeLegal Drama2021
9. Oktoberfest 1900Period Drama2020
10. CharitéHistorical Drama2017–

1. Dark (Dark, 2017–2020)

A chilling supernatural thriller that transcends time in a small German town.

When children start disappearing, the fabric of the town’s history unravels, exposing secrets that span across multiple generations and timelines. This original series is laden with mind-twisting plots that challenge the very concept of fate and time.

Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Seasons: 3

2. Babylon Berlin (Babylon Berlin, 2017–)

Step into the atmospheric buzz of 1929 Berlin, as this gripping drama unfolds the tale of Police Inspector Gereon Rath and stenographer Charlotte Ritter.

They find themselves entwined in a rich web of crime, political power plays, and the emerging threat of Nazism, against the backdrop of the vibrant but volatile Weimar Republic.

Genre: Crime Drama/Period Piece
Seasons: 2

3. Biohackers (Biohackers, 2020–2021)

A gripping tale of ambition and moral ambiguity, this TV show follows a medical student who becomes enmeshed in the underground world of biohacking and illegal genetic research at the University of Freiburg.

The story shows the ethical mess of scientific discovery and the implications of playing god.

Genre: Thriller/Sci-Fi
Seasons: 2

4. Parfum (Perfume, 2018)

A modern-day interpretation of the classic novel “Das Parfum,” this series shows an enthralling mystery involving a circle of friends who share a peculiar obsession with fragrance.

Their stories interlace with dark desires and a series of chilling crimes, reminiscent of the original tale’s haunting essence.

Genre: Crime Drama
Seasons: 1

5. Der Tatortreiniger (Crime Scene Cleaner, 2011–2018)

This German comedy series cleverly combines the mundane life of a crime scene cleaner with comedic elements and thought-provoking themes

It offers a refreshing take on the genre, finding humor and humanity in the most unexpected places.

Genre: Comedy
Seasons: 7

6. Tribes of Europa (Tribes of Europe, 2021)

In the year 2074, the European continent is fractured into tribal states that vie for power.

This dystopian series centers on three siblings who become embroiled in the continent’s chaotic power struggles, presenting a bold vision of a future where survival is a tribes game.

Genre: Sci-Fi
Seasons: 1

7. Dogs of Berlin (Dogs of Berlin, 2018–)

This show tackles the gritty underbelly of Berlin as two detectives investigate the murder of a German-Turkish football star.

As they go deeper, they are faced with the city’s societal rifts and their personal demons. The series is a hard-hitting look at modern-day Germany’s cultural and ethnic dynamics.

Genre: Crime Drama
Seasons: 2

8. The Billion Dollar Code (The Billion Dollar Code, 2021)

A compelling drama that recounts the journey of computer visionaries in their pursuit of recognition for creating the algorithm that powers Google Earth.

It’s a riveting tale at the intersection of innovation, technology, and the quest for justice in the digital age.

Genre: Legal Drama
Seasons: 1 (Mini-series)

9. Oktoberfest 1900 (Oktoberfest: Beer & Blood, 2020)

Set against the lively and tumultuous atmosphere of Munich’s legendary Oktoberfest, this series dramatizes the bitter rivalry between two ambitious beer-making families, revealing the intricate dance of power, loyalty, and treachery during the early 20th century.

Genre: Period Drama
Seasons: 1 (Mini-series)

10. Charité (Charité at War, 2017–)

An emotionally charged drama set within the walls of Berlin’s renowned Charité hospital during World War II.

The series follows the doctors and nurses as they navigate the moral dilemmas and dangers of practicing medicine under the Nazi regime, offering a stirring blend of personal and historical storytelling.

Genre: Historical Drama
Seasons: 3

Tools and shows to help you learn German by watching TV

Platforms like Lingopie and the browser extension, Language Reactor are innovative tools that assist language learners by turning TV watching into an educational experience.

learn languages on netflix with german tv shows

Lingopie offers a streaming platform with a variety of German-language content and interactive subtitles, allowing viewers to click on words for instant translation and vocabulary building. You can read more about it in our Lingopie review article.

Language Reactor, a browser extension, enhances your Netflix experience by providing dual subtitles in German and English, with features like slowed playback and translation for deeper comprehension.

What’s even better is that these tools can be combined with our method, Conversation Based Chunking. All this to help you learn the language faster!

Sign up now to learn the essentials of this method and get access to a 12-week learning program along with our Full Practice Worksheet Library!

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