While it feels like eons since “Parasite” director Bong Joon-ho, in accepting his Golden Globe in January 2020, encouraged American audiences to “overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles,” the strides made in the last two years have only underlined the filmmaker’s message: film and television is well and truly international now, so get on board. This year’s crop of best international TV shows — selected by Variety‘s team of global correspondents — have a few English-language entries, but the vast majority are a testament to the rich storytelling coming out of markets like Spain, India and Korea. This holiday season, if you’re not already tuned in, why not take in an international offering? As Bong wisely said, you’ll be introduced to so many more amazing stories. And let’s face it, subtitles are here to stay.
The Best International TV Shows of 2021