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9 International Teen Dramas to Stream on Netflix
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The best television show about misbehaving teens is back! After a thankfully shorter wait than anticipated, season three of Netflix’s hit series Elite drops on March 13. For those who aren’t yet acquainted with the beloved Spanish series, Elite follows a trio of scholarship students who are accepted into an exclusive private school after a mishap at their public school. Best described as Big Little Lies meets Gossip Girl, with a dash of The O.C., the first season is centers on a murder, weaving between the events leading up to the event and police interviews with the many motivated suspects.

There’s been no shortage of addicting teen dramas in the U.S. Beginning with the WB in the ‘90s, the tradition continues on the CW and Netflix—among many others. But English-language dramas are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a whole world of messy teens coming of age out there. 

Unfortunately, my favorite international teen drama to recommend, El Internado Laguna Negra, a ridiculous(ly watchable) Spanish boarding school drama starring Ana de Armas among many others, is currently not streaming anywhere. (Since it’s apparently being rebooted by Amazon, someone should fix this ASAP!) However, here are several addicting international teen dramas to add to the queue.

Elite

As previously mentioned, Elite follows a trio of scholarship students at Las Encinas, a Spanish private school for the wealthy and privileged. Through this lens, the series explores class divisions, racial tensions, and the privilege of opportunity. Season one is a dark whodunit, following the murder of a student. Season two picks up after the shocking revelations of the season one finale, also following the mysterious disappearance of one of the central characters. 

Seasons one and two are currently streaming on Netflix.

The Stranded 

Released in 2019, this Thai series follows a group of teens stranded on an island after a tsunami hits. Realizing that nobody is coming to save them, the teens struggle to survive on the island, leaving them prey to the island’s mysterious forces. On the surface, the series seems like a teen version of Lost—or Flight 29 Down, for that matter. But it’s a tension-filled series, veering from thriller to all-out horror at times, and one that quickly establishes itself as entirely distinct from its contemporaries.

Season one is currently streaming on Netflix.

Quicksand

This Swedish series follows Maja Norberg’s murder trial for her involvement in a school shooting. The series moves back and forth between two timelines, the trial’s progression and the series of events leading up to the crime. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Malin Persson Giolito, the series explores Maja’s relationship with her increasingly volatile boyfriend and the extent of her complicity in the crimes.

Season one is currently streaming on Netflix.


Jinn

Like Elite and The Stranded, Jinn follows a group of private school students whose lives are altered in a very big way. The Jordinian series follows a group of teens on a field trip to the ancient city of Petra, a city inhabited by demons and other supernatural beings (in the series, of course). After one of the students accidentally summons a Jinn, the students attempt to stop it from destroying the world.

Season one is currently streaming on Netflix.

We Are The Wave

The German series follows a group of students who plan a series of events to challenge societal class and justice norms. Led by mysterious new student Tristan, each member of The Wave has as different motivation for wanting to rise up against injustice. But as their mission grows, their plots become increasingly risky and potentially very dangerous.

Season one is currently streaming on Netflix.

The Rain 

During a deadly rainfall—in which the rain carries a fatal virus—a scientist leaves his two children in a bunker, promising to return. Six years later, the siblings emerge from the bunker and travel across Scandinavia alongside a group of survivors in search of their father and answers to the deadly disaster’s cause.

Seasons one and two are currently streaming on Netflix.

Luna Nera

During the witch hunts in 17th century Italy, a young midwife discovers she comes from a family of witches. Her boyfriend’s father is intent on hunting her down. While we’ve seen many shows about witchcraft and witch hunters, this series makes a central focus of the coven’s attempt to push back against the hunters. While the above trailer doesn’t have subtitles—the trailer on Netflix’s website does!—it definitely does the job of conveying how intense and addicting the series is. 

Season one is currently streaming on Netflix.

Nightmare High

In this Korean drama, after their teacher is hospitalized in an accident, a mysterious substitute takes over a homeroom class. Soon after his arrival, the students notice their dreams are coming to fruition, with increasingly ominous repercussions. As things begin to unravel, the class president is forced to act before something even more dangerous occurs.

Season one is currently streaming on Netflix.

3%

The Brazilian series is set in a dystopian future where only three percent of the population live comfortably. The rest live in extreme poverty. Every year, those coming of age are invited to complete a series of tests known as “The Process” for the chance to live in paradise… if they survive. 

The first three seasons are currently streaming on Netflix.

In the last few years, Netflix has released a consistent stream of international television series. Hopefully this winning streak continues—and other streaming platforms opt to get in on the game!

Header Image: Netflix