26 French Shows On Netflix

- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

Watching foreign-language shows is one of the most significant social shifts created by streaming platforms such as Netflix. A few years ago, except for art cinema fans, most people wouldn’t have dreamt of watching a foreign series for entertainment. But Netflix has led the charge to change the way we entertain ourselves. In recent times, French language shows on Netflix have become popular for a broader audience to watch for entertainment and glean insights into France’s daily life.

An excellent reason to watch French shows is that France is the birthplace of cinema, which began in Paris in the 19th century. In 1895, the Lumiere brothers were the first to show projected moving pictures to a paying audience. The Lumiere brothers invented the Cinématographe, a camera, a projector and printer, and used it to show a 50-second film called The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station. From this early start, the French film industry grew to dominate the world’s landscape, and French directors played a considerable part in shaping film-making worldwide.

These days, you don’t have to go to a film festival or cinema to watch a French film or series as there are some excellent French Netflix series. They give viewers insights into French culture and an eyeful of one of the most beautiful cities in the world and other places in France. Another great reason to pick a French movie or series to watch is it’s an excellent way to learn the language. Watching French TV shows will allow you to train yourself to understand French from your couch. Hit the rewind button and switch on the subtitles. You’ll be surprised at how much of the language you’ll pick up while having fun watching a French series on Netflix that you’ll love. Watching a French-language show is a great way to ease into the culture. So, here are 25 of the best French shows on Netflix to tick off your to-watch list.

26 French Shows On Netflix That Will Have You Glued To The Screen

Watch Any Show On Netflix From Anywhere In The World

Can’t find a show on Netflix? You can watch your favourite Netflix shows and series by using a VPN. We’re offering our readers some great deals on low-cost VPNs to try.

  • NordVPN allows you to connect to 2380+ servers in 56+ countries and offers military-grade encryption and top security.
  • AtlasVPN is a cheap VPN provider that allows you to stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Disney+, BBC iPlayer and more on unlimited devices.
  • Streamlocator is a plug and play streaming hub that provides access to 40+ popular streaming services worldwide, including shows in eight Netflix countries.

French Crime Shows

1- Lupin

french shows netflix
If you want to see more of Paris, watch one of these cool French shows on Netflix.

Lupin leads the charge as the first French series to rank in the top ten of Netflix shows worldwide, including Europe, the USA and Australia.

In its first 28 days, Lupin broke the record to become Netflix’s top original series for 2021 with 76 million viewers.

The series was filmed in the nation’s capital and is a French Netflix mystery thriller and a contemporary retelling of the French fictional character Arsène Lupin, the gentleman thief.

Who would have thought that a French series about a charming professional thief would have captured the world’s attention?

Lupin has a global appeal because the storyline speaks to current issues, such as racial discrimination and the dominance of influential individuals within society, entertainingly.

The story is about Assane Diop (played by Omar Sy), the son of an immigrant from Senegal, who seeks revenge for his father’s death.

Framed by his powerful employer, Hubert Pellegrini, for stealing a diamond necklace, his father hanged himself in his prison cell out of shame when Assane was a teenager.

25 years later, inspired by the book about a gentleman thief (Arsène Lupin), Assane uses his skills and an assortment of entertaining trickery to expose Pellegrini.

Lupin is a captivating story that moves quickly and is an excellent introduction to watching French-language shows on Netflix.

First episode: 9 January 2021
Set in: Paris and surrounds
Seasons: 2
Cast: Omar Sy, Herve Pierre, Nicole Garcia, Shirine Boutella, Clotilde Hesme.

2- Marseille

best french tv show marseilles
Marseilles is one of those French shows with a deep and moody atmosphere.

Marseille is a political crime drama and a story about power and corruption in Marseille.

The story is about mayor Robert Taro, who has been in power for 25 years.

Taro is passing the baton to his protege Lucas Barres.

His departing gift is to allow a casino and legal gambling into the port of Marseille.

As this move would destroy the illegal gambling business, the mafia is not happy about it.

This French series is a blend of beautiful scenery, emotional characters and a few twists.

The best feature of Marseille is the stunning visuals as this is a city with a beautiful old port, museums, galleries, restaurants and bars.

Not all critics reviewed Marseille favourable, and some French press came down hard on this Netflix French drama.

Whether you like it or not, watch it and see for yourself. Whichever way, you’ll be putting Marseille on your list of places to visit.

First episode: 5 May 2016
Set in: Marseilles
Seasons: 2
Cast: Gérard Depardieu, Karen Strassman, Anne Yatco, Benoit Magimel, Geraldine Pailhas.

3- Witnesses (Les Temoins)

french shows on netflix
French shows on Netflix will provide hours of entertainment.

Les Témoins is a French Netflix series about vengeance and is along lines of the Nordic Noir genre.

This crime drama starts with the bodies of a man, woman and teenager discovered in a show home dead and staged as if they were a family.

Detective Sandra Winckler investigates the scene and comes across a photo of former police officer Paul Maisonneuve.

In season two, police investigate a bus with 15 frozen male bodies while a young woman wakes up in a car with amnesia.

How the two events are connected in this French TV series is intriguing and will keep you at the edge of your seat.

‘Witnesses’ is a showcase of sweeping landscapes and stunning views of the coast around Le Tréport in the country’s north.

First episode: 22 November 2014
Set in: Northern France
Seasons: 2
Cast: Marie Dompnier, Jan Hammenecker, Alexandre Carriere, Florence Bolufer, Thierry Lhermitte, Laurent Lucas, Catherine Mouchet.
Awards: Golden FIPA award for the best actress in a television series in 2015 at Biarritz International Festival of Audiovisual Programming.

4- The Forest (La Foret)

La Forêt is about a police investigation of the disappearance of a teenage girl in a forest in a small Belgian community.

This dark murder drama is a gripping story and is about secrets in a small town.

The story is set in Ardennes, where everyone knows each other, and the residents are hiding a secret.

The Forest was primarily filmed in Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium and other Belgian regions like Dinant, Namur and Rixensart, along with Ardennes in France.

La Foret’s decent storyline and solid acting make it a binge-able French series on Netflix to watch.

First episode: 30 May 2017
Set in: Belgium
Seasons: 1
Cast: Samuel Labarthe, Suzanne Clement, Alexia Barlier, Frederic Diefenthal, Patrick Ridremont, Nicolas Marie.

5- Criminal: France

netflix french shows
Some of the best French shows on Netflix are in the sci-fi genre.

‘Criminal: France’ is part of the Criminal series set in a police interview room.

The intelligent line of witness questioning keeps you engaged and the mind games played by the detectives on the suspect are intriguing to watch.

Both script and acting carry the series, where all you’ll see in the background is an interview room, but the storyline is captivating enough to keep you guessing.

The French language version has a distinct Francophile style and is a must-watch for anyone who likes psychological crime dramas.

There are three episodes featuring three different suspects: Emilie, whose story about the attack that took the life of her boyfriend doesn’t ring true, Caroline, about an accident at a building site, and Jerome, a sales manager under suspicion of a hate crime.

First episode: 20 September 2019
Set in: A police interrogation room in Paris.
Seasons: 1
Cast: Sara Giraudeau, Nathalie Baye, Jeremie Renier, Margot Bancilhon, Stephane Jobert, Laurent Lucas.

6- Spotless

best french shows on netflix
Grab a bowl of popcorn and get stuck into one of these gripping French Netflix series.

Spotless is one of the best French TV shows on Netflix if you want a laugh and pick up a few French slang words.

It’s set in London about a lower-class family man whose mundane existence is disrupted by the arrival of his brother.

Martin’s unexpected appearance turns Jean’s life upside down when he arrives with a woman’s dead body stashed in his van.

Spotless is fun to watch as it has elements of drama, suspense and dark comedy with both English and French spoken.

First episode: 16 March 2015
Set in: London
Seasons: 1
Cast: Marc-Andre Grondin, Denis Menochet, Miranda Raison, Doug Allen, Liam Garrigan.
Awards: Nominated for Best Actor L’Association des Critiques de Séries 2015.

7- La Mante

Serial killer Jeanne Deber is recruited by the police to solve a series of copycat murders.

The twist is that the murderer is copying her crimes two decades later, and Jeanne, known as The Mantis (La Mante), agrees, but only if her detective son works with her.

Her son agrees reluctantly, and there are plenty of chilling moments and a controversial ending.

La Mante is a bleak serial-killer show for serial crime fans.

First episode: 13 October 2017
Set in: Paris
Seasons: 1
Cast: Carole Bouquet, Fred Testot, Jaques Weber, Pascal Demolon, Manon Azem.

8- The Chalet (Le Chalet)

Le Chalet is a French crime TV show about a group of friends who gather in the tiny village of Valmoline in the French Alps.

After crossing a bridge, a giant boulder collapses and crushes a man, blocking the passage.

The storyline is somewhat predictable, and the stunning backdrop of Chamonix and the Alps is the show’s star.

The two timelines – the storyline about the group of friends in 2017 and another storyline about a family in 1997 – makes it interesting.

A series of mysterious accidents makes the group paranoid and distrustful of each other, while flashbacks to the events that led to the family’s disappearance make this a watchable thriller.

First episode: 18 March 2018
Set in: The French Alps
Seasons: 1
Cast: Chloé Lambert, Philippe Dusseau, Marc Ruchmann, Samantha Markowic, Éric Savin.

9- Unit 42

french language show in netflix filmed in brussels
Get an eyeful of Brussels (pictured here is the Grand Palace) while watching some French shows on Netflix.

Inspector Sam Leroy joins the Brussels Cyber Crime Unit, and together with former hacker Billie Webber, they fight cybercrime terrorists in Belgium.

The story highlights how the internet can manipulate people’ Black Mirror’ style, although the themes are nowhere near as disturbing.

One example is a scene where a woman’s dead body is at the wheel of her self-driving car that’s programmed to drive into the nearest body of water.

Unite 42 offers an eyeful of the Brussels cityscape and interesting and believable characters.

First episode: 19 November 2017
Set in: Belgium
Seasons: 2
Cast: Patrick Ridremont, Constance Gay, Tom Audenaert, Roda Fawaz, Danitza Athanassiadis.

10- The Break

A police detective is drawn into a murder case after moving back to his hometown with his teenage daughter.

The Break is a Belgian version of Broadchurch and a dark murder mystery set in the small town of Heidfeld.

The body of a young football player is pulled from the river, and the detective is drawn into a web of intrigue, corruption and uncovers clues about the young man’s death.

There’s an interesting secondary theme where each episode starts with the victim appearing as a ghost to the town’s characters.

First episode: 21 February 2016
Set in: The Ardennes
Seasons: 2
Cast: Yoann Blanc, Jasmina Douieb, Guillaume Kerbush, Tom Audenaert.

11- Black Spot (Zone Blanche)

Black Spot is a well-written, highly bingeable French-language series on Netflix that will appeal to the Nordic Noir genre fans.

The story starts when prosecutor Franck Siriani arrives in the fictional town of Villefranche, tasked with uncovering the truth behind why the small town’s murder rate is six times the average of France’s.

The town’s mountain location is surrounded by dense forest where communications systems do not work (hence the title Black Spot/Zone Blanche), gives it an edgy start as the body counts rise.

The storyline flows well with a tense plot that has lots of twists and turns.

First episode: 10 April 2017
Set in: a fictional town in France and filmed in Belgium and the Vosges mountains.
Seasons: 2
Cast: Hubert Delattre, Samuel Jouy, Renaud Rutten, Camille Aguilar, Tiphaine Daviot, Naidra Ayadi, Brigitte Sy, Anne Suarez, Dan Herzberg, Olivier Bonjour, and Thomas Doret.

French Sci-Fi and Fantasy

12- Osmosis

best french tv shows on netflix
There are some excellent French series on Netflix to keep you entertained in every genre.

Osmosis is a French sci-fi show on Netflix about a dating app that can find perfect romantic matches.

The show is an intriguing delve into the impacts of this technology on society by showing how individuals and the app’s creators are affected morally, financially and socially.

This thoughtful French Netflix series poses significant questions about the ethics of biotech.

Osmosis is a Netflix original series where people live in a future that is totally controlled by algorithms.

The plot is about a company that has invented an algorithm that matches a person with their soulmate by mining the data in their brains.

The Osmosis story focuses on the beta testing period of the matchmaking app on a small group of subjects.

It showcases the positives and negatives of revolutionary technology, and the show is full of twists and thrills.

First episode: 29 March 2019
Set in: Paris
Seasons: 1
Cast: Hugo Becker, Agathe Bonitzer, Stéphane Pitti, Gaël Kamilindi, Suzanne Rault-Balet, Luna Silva, Manoel Dupont and Yuming Hey.

13- Twice Upon A Time (Il était une seconde fois)

When a mysterious cube that is a portal into the past mistakenly arrives at Vincent’s home, he discovers he can crawl into it and change the past.

He travels back in time to reconnect with his ex nine months earlier to mend their failed relationship.

Twice Upon A Time is a watchable romantic fantasy on Netflix in French but this is no rom-com.

It’s a serious tv series that poses moral questions and, at the very least, it’ll make you think about what’s important to you in life.

The storyline is presented out of order, switching from widescreen to full screen between the present and the past.

First episode: 12 February 2019
Set in: Bordeaux, Paris and London.
Seasons: 1
Cast: Gaspard Ulliel, Freya Mavor, Patrick d’Assumçao, Richard Dillane, Claire Sermonne.

14- La Revolution

La Revolution is a reimagined history of the French Revolution and a spooky fantasy based on the period.

In 1789, Joseph Guillotin discovers a virus spreading among the nobility, causing them to murder commoners.

The story is a creative alternative that preludes the French Revolution and more fantasy than fact.

Although this French history Netflix series won’t be returning for a second season, it’s worth a watch if you love historical fantasies.

First episode: 16 October 2020
Set in: France
Seasons: 1
Cast: Amir El Kacem, Marilou Aussilloux, Lionel Erdogan.

15- Transfers

What would the world be like if there was a way to transfer human consciousness from one body to another? This is the question that Transfers, a Netflix series from France, seeks to answer, and it does so in an entertaining and engaging way.

Following a boating accident, Florian, a simple carpenter, wakes up in the body of an officer in charge of a task force fighting against illegal body transfers.

This sci-fi series is based on a world where the technology to transplant human consciousness from one body to another is possible but illegal.

It doesn’t stop an underground market from developing, and a police task force specialising in hunting down and capturing unlawful ‘Transfers’ has their handsful.

Transfers is a thriller that moves quickly and is an excellent blend of science fiction and crime drama.

We’re hanging out for a second season. Where is it?

First episode: 16 November 2017
Set in: France but filmed in Brussels, with landmarks such as Saint John the Baptist at the Beguinage, Centre For Fine Arts, Temple of Human Passions.
Seasons: 2017
Cast: Arieh Worthalter, Brune Renault, Toinette Laquière, Steve Tientcheu, Pili Groyne.

16- Into The Night

‘Into the Night’ is an apocalyptic sci-fi drama thriller and the first Belgian Netflix Original series.

What would you do if you were on an aeroplane and learnt that the sun had started destroying all life on earth?

The story follows passengers on a night flight between Brussels and Moscow attempting to outfly a cataclysmic event that is about to occur due to exposure to the sun’s rays.

Although the plot sounds a little farfetched, the relationship dynamics between the passengers and their reactions to crisis draws you in and keeps you watching.

At its base level, Into The Night is a tale about survival and the nature of human beings to organise themselves in a social order.

Given the global threats we face today, the storyline is topical and has global appeal.

It’s a fast-paced action science fiction show that’s easy to watch but a touch light on detail.

First episode: 1 May 2020
Set in: an aeroplane that takes off from Belgium and lands in various places around the world.
Seasons: 1
Cast: Jan Bijvoet, Nabil Mallat, Pauline Etienne, Laurent Capelluto, Stéfano Cassetti.

17- Ad Vitam

good french shows on netflix
Most good French shows on Netflix feature beautiful architecture in the country.

What would our lives be like if we could live forever? This is the universal question French Netflix series Ad Vitam tries to answer.

Ad Vitam’s storyline is built around the discovery in the 1980s of a jellyfish species, Turritopsis dohrnii, that can self-regenerate and is biologically immortal.

Scientists have been studying this species to learn how to extend the lifespan of humans, and one scientist (David Sinclair) published a book called Lifespan: Why We Age and Why We Don’t Have To.

This near-future sci-fi show addresses the ethics of regeneration technology and the issues it might bring to humanity in a thought-provoking and artistic way.

The show follows the trail of a 120-year-old policeman, Darius, and his team to explore alternative religions and uncover conspiracies while investigating the mass suicide of seven teenagers.

At times the pace is a little slow, and the execution of the concept is not as slick as it could be, but the idea is brilliant and worth watching when you’re in a thinking mood.

The show forces viewers to see the dangers of eternal life, which include boredom and large numbers of jobless young people because jobs can be held by older people, an increase in the majority age to 30, population control, and no need for heirs.

First episode: 21 June 21 2019
Set in: Benidorm and the country’s capital.
Seasons: 1
Cast: Yvan Attal, Garance Marillier, Niels Schneider, Vassili Schneider, Victor Assié, Rod Paradot, Léonard ‘Linus’ Ader and Anne Azoulay.

18- Vampires

Vampires is about a half-vampire girl who struggles to suppress her instincts to be a vampire.

Doina Radescu has inherited the vampire gene that was created by a genetic mutation and has to take medication to control the side effects of the vampire gene.

Being a teen, her curiosity gets the better of her, and she rebels by exploring her vampire heritage.

Vampire a watchable French drama for the whole family, with plenty of gorgeous shots of city architecture.

First episode: 20 March 2020
Set in: Paris
Seasons: 1
Cast: Oulaya Amamra, Suzanne Clément, Kate Moran.

19- Mortel

Mortel is a French Netflix fantasy drama that will appeal to teens as it’s about two teenagers who make a deal with the Obe, the voodoo god.

Obe grants the teens supernatural powers, and Sofiane discovers she can manipulate the actions of others while her friend Victor is granted the ability to read minds.

The pair’s supernatural ability only works if they are within close vicinity of one another.

First episode: 21 November 2019
Set in: France, the series was mainly shot in Le Havre in Upper Normandy, and is a visual feast of French architecture and culture.
Seasons: 2
Cast: Carl Malapa, Némo Schiffman, Manon Bresch, Corentin Fila, Sami Outabali.

20- Marianne

A horror book writer returns to her hometown after the woman who haunted her dreams 15 years ago reappears to wreak havoc in the real world.

The writer had mined her teenage nightmares as material for her book that comes back to haunt her in real life.

The series is packed with scary scenes and received praise from Stephen King, who tweeted, ‘If you’re one of those sickos–like me–who enjoys being scared, MARIANNE (Netflix) will do the job’ but the producers didn’t renew it for a second season.

First episode: 13 September 2019
Set in: Northwestern France and Paris. The port of Doëlan in Brittany was the fictional village of Elden.
Seasons: 1
Cast: Victoire Du Bois, Mireille Herbstmeyer, Lucie Boujenah, Tiphaine Daviot.

French Comedy Shows

21- Call My Agent (Dix Pour Cent)

Call My Agent of Dix Pour Cent is about a group of people in a talent agency and is a funny show that portrays life in the media industry.

In each episode, a cool feature of the show is the cameo appearances of real French celebrities (such as Charlotte Gainsbourg, Juliette Binoche and Isabelle Huppert), sometimes acting as exaggerated caricatures of themselves.

Call My Agent is a satirisation of French culture is a laugh to watch as harangued talent agents running around putting out fires.

First episode: 14 October 2015
Set in: Paris
Seasons: 4
Cast: Camille Cottin, Thibault de Montalembert, Grégory Montel, Liliane Rovère, Fanny Sidney, Laure Calamy, Nicolas Maury.

22- Family Business

Family Business is a French comedy show on Netflix about a butcher’s son. He tries to turn his family butcher shop into a marijuana cafe after hearing that pot will become legal.

The script is witty, and the series is funny because things don’t go quite as planned.

There are a few twists and lots of scenes that will have you guffawing with laughter.,

First episode: 28 June 2019
Set in: Paris
Seasons: 2
Cast: Jonathan Cohen, Gérard Darmon, Julia Piaton.

23- A Very Secret Service

french tv shows on netflix
Watching shows in French on Netflix is a great way to enjoy the lifestyle.

A Very Secret Service is a 1960s French satire on Netflix about a young man who joins the French intelligence service.

It’s set during an era when the balance of power of France’s position within the world was changing due to colonial battles for independence.

Feminism and civil rights were also impacting French society.

The series is set in a French intelligence training service and makes fun of old ways told through someone who is a fish out of water in this world.

First episode: 28 October 2015
Set in: Filming for the series occurred in Morocco and Ile-de-France.
Seasons: 2
Cast: Hugo Becker, Wilfred Benaïche, Christophe Kourotchkine, Mathilde Warnier, Karim Barras, Bruno Paviot.

French Drama

24- Inhuman Resources

netflix france
French television shows on Netflix feature vibrant cities across the nation.

A middle-aged man living in a shabby apartment is sacked from his job and is down and out when he stumbles upon an exciting job opportunity.

He is chosen to go through to the next round.

The story unfolds when Alain becomes the henchman for a large corporation and is entangled in a hostage plot.

The storyline is loosely based around an actual event where a French TV executive pushed his colleagues by staging a false hostage situation during a seminar.

During the seminar, employees were held hostage by a group of men, and the event was so traumatic that some employees suffered from PTSD and filed a court case against the executive.

Inhuman Resources highlights the imbalance between greedy corporations and is a suspenseful thriller rooted in social realism.

First episode: 16 April 2020
Set in: Paris
Seasons: 1
Cast: Eric Cantona, Suzanne Clément, Alex Lutz.

25- The Bonfire of Destiny (Le Bazar de la Charite)

french language shows on netflix
Watch shows with French audio on Netflix with subtitles and you’ll soon pick up some useful phrases.

The storyline of Le Bazar de la Charite draws inspiration from an actual event, an 1897 fire at the Charity Bazar.

The fire killed 126 people, and 200 more were injured; most were aristocratic women.

The focus of this Netflix show is about three women, how each character copes with the fire and the effects of the traumatic event on their lives.

What’s engaging about it is the personal growth these women experience through the episodes.

First episode: 29 December 2019
Set in: Paris
Seasons: 1
Cast: Audrey Fleurot, Julie de Bona, Camille Lou.

26- Mythomaniac (Mytho)

Mythomaniac is a French Netflix drama show about the psychological condition of being a compulsive liar.

The story is about a woman who starts telling lies to gain the attention of her cheating partner.

She pretends she has cancer, and as a result, her partner becomes so much more attentive, and her children shower her with love.

Life becomes complicated when her daughter writes a blog about her mother’s battle with cancer, and that blog goes viral.

Her small lie snowballs into a big problem.

First episode: 3 October 2019
Set in: suburbs like Val-de-Marne, Essonne and Yvelines.
Seasons: 1
Cast: Marina Hands, Mathieu Demy, Marie Drion.
Awards: Series Mania Audience Award and Best Actress.

Watch Any Show On Netflix From Anywhere In The World

Can’t find a show on Netflix? You can watch your favourite Netflix shows and series by using a VPN. We’re offering our readers some great deals on low-cost VPNs to try.

  • NordVPN allows you to connect to 2380+ servers in 56+ countries and offers military-grade encryption and top security.
  • AtlasVPN is a cheap VPN provider that allows you to stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Disney+, BBC iPlayer and more on unlimited devices.
  • Streamlocator is a plug and play streaming hub that provides access to 40+ popular streaming services worldwide, including shows in eight Netflix countries.

Previous article21 Things To Do In York
Next article20 Castles In Spain
I'm a writer, photographer and video blogger based in Queensland, Australia, when I'm not on the road. I've lived in three continents and my career as a travel journalist has taken me to all seven continents. Since 2003, I have contributed travel stories to mainstream media in Australia and around the world such as the Sydney Morning Herald, CNN Traveller, The Australian and the South China Morning Post. I have won many travel writing awards and I'm a full member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.