French shows on Netflix

French shows on Netflix

There is no shortage of French shows on Netflix – shows, movies, documentaries.  Of course, they aren’t all appropriate for viewing in the classroom.  But some are OK for students to watch at home, and some are just fun for teachers to watch to keep up on the current culture and language!  I will share my favorites with you as well as how you can use a VPN to have even more options.

A VPN – virtual private network – is a service that allows you to tell Netflix that you are in a different location than where you really are.  You can set your location to France, Canada, or any country you like.  They are pretty easy to use and very affordable.  I happen to use SurfShark, but there are many options available.  Once you’ve set your location, the different shows available on Netflix will show up – whatever you would see if you were sitting in a Parisian apartment will show up on your home screen!

A list of some of my favorite French shows on Netflix

Lupin – A recent addition to Netflix, it tells the story of a “gentleman burglar.” You could probably show this in a high school classroom, depending on the maturity level of the students.  There are a few curse words, some racism, and mentions of suicide.  It’s only 5 episodes, so you can easily binge it in a weekend. I have a reading activity about this character if you’re interested in going further with students.

Au Service de la France – A funny take-off of the 1960’s spy genre.  Lots of cultural references, but a funny look at the absurdity of the colonialist experience.

The Circle France – A game show that could easily be used in the classroom. There may be a few risqué references in some episodes, so definitely preview!  I like this one because the contestants speak slowly and clearly in order for the voice recognition software to work.  And since the texts show up on the screen, they can also practice their reading!  In terms of comprehensible input, this might just be one of the best French shows on Netflix!

Revenants – An interesting drama about a town facing the dilemma of the dead returning – some, decades after they first died.  They aren’t zombies, and it isn’t quite clear why or how they are coming back.  It’s interesting because it addresses the issue of how the living deal with the return of those they thought were dead and gone. This is probably one of the best French shows on Netflix, it’s really riveting.

The African Doctor – In French, it was Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont.  The story of a doctor who chooses to bring his family to a small village in France, where they definitely don’t quite fit in!  The son’s doctor eventually went on to write the song about life in Marly-Gomont.  Cute and appropriate for high school students. (Sadly, this one has been removed from Netflix since I wrote this. It’s a good film but hard to find online these days).

Revolution – definitely not one to watch in class, due to violence, gore, and sexual situations.  But interesting for teachers to watch and enjoy.  A weird group of “blue bloods” is involved in the disappearance of several young women at the time of the French revolution.

Sarah’s Key – a drama about the deportation of Jews from France under the Nazi occupation.  While the subject matter is disturbing, it is dealt with tastefully.  A combination of French and English, suitable for older students in high school. There are also quite a few documentaries available, including a recent one about

Bigflo and Oli and one about Maitre Gims.  If you prefer sports, there are several about the French national soccer team and its players.  These can be hit or miss, though – you’d think that a class of students who LOVE soccer would enjoy watching a soccer documentary, but I had a couple of classes that were completely bored when I showed them Les Bleus.