7 TV Shows You Can Stream To Help You Learn Spanish

Another great excuse for binge-watching TV.
Spanish TV Shows represented by a still from the Netflix show Rebelde.

Looking for a fun way to make that new language stick? Watching television in the language you’re learning is a great way to nail pronunciation and cadence, and you can even pick up a few new vocab words. But when a show is entirely in another language, you might rely too heavily on those English subtitles. Instead, you might consider watching an English series that features characters who speak another language, providing a more manageable dose of language and the added bonus of English context clues. Once you get to a more intermediate level, we also have a couple of recommendations for you that are mostly or entirely in Spanish. Here are six of our favorite Spanish TV shows for learners (and where you can stream them online).

Spanish TV Shows To Help You Learn The Language

Jane The Virgin

Spanish TV Shows — Jane the Virgin
Photo: The CW

Streaming Platform: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 5

Show Premise: In this quasi-parody of a traditional Latin American telenovela, protagonist Jane Villanueva, who is saving herself for marriage, ends up getting pregnant due to a medical mistake. Hilarity (and plenty of drama) ensues.

How It Uses Spanish: At the beginning of the series, Jane lives at home with her mother and grandmother (whom she calls by the Spanish word abuela). Jane’s abuela plays a large role in the show and speaks entirely in Spanish. Sometimes Jane and her mom will speak back to Jane’s abuela in Spanish, but often they will simply respond in English. In addition, Jane’s formerly estranged father, Rogelio, speaks Spanish quite a bit throughout the series. Because the show is in the style of a melodramatic telenovela, the Spanish tends to be spoken relatively slowly, making it easy for beginners to follow along (though English subtitles are also provided).


Spanish TV Shows — Power
Photo: Starz

Streaming Platform: Starz, Roku Channel

Number of Seasons: 6

Show Premise: This crime drama/thriller takes place in New York City and is produced by rapper 50 Cent. In the show, James St. Patrick juggles two jobs — owning a popular nightclub and being a major player in a large drug ring. He’s trying to get out of the latter position but keeps getting pulled back in.

How It Uses Spanish: St. Patrick is bilingual and uses his Spanish on a fairly regular basis. He speaks Spanish with the girlfriends of various drug dealers in his network, and the main DEA agent pursuing him also speaks Spanish throughout the series. Additionally, some of the episodes take place in Miami, where many characters speak Dominican or Cuban Spanish. Try to ignore the English subtitles and follow their conversations!

Orange Is The New Black

Spanish TV Shows — Orange is the New Black
Photo: Netflix

Streaming Platform: Netflix

Number Of Seasons: 7

Show Premise: Based on a nonfiction memoir by Piper Kerman, Orange is the New Black is an extremely popular Netflix dramedy about the inmates at a federal women’s prison and their lives before and after incarceration.

How It Uses Spanish: A sizable percentage of the prison population in the show is made up of Spanish speakers, so many of the conversations between inmates are in Spanish with English subtitles (don’t look!). Spanish is also spoken in flashbacks to the Hispanic inmates’ pre-prison lives. It’s an extremely compelling and very funny show, which makes it a good choice for Spanish learners to binge and one of our favorite Spanish TV shows.


Spanish TV Shows — Narcos
Photo: Netflix

Streaming Platform: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 3

Show Premise: Narcos tells the true story of Colombian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar and the law enforcement agents hunting him and other drug cartel leaders. If you’re enjoying the show, you can also watch the spinoff, Narcos: Mexico, which is also available on Netflix.

How It Uses Spanish: This one features the most Spanish out of all the Spanish TV shows on this list (except for Elite), so it might be a good choice for more intermediate learners. A large portion of the series is in Spanish, as it takes place in Colombia, but there are also English parts, like when DEA agents are speaking to one another.


Photo: Manuel Fernandez-Valdes/Netflix

Streaming Platform: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 4 (ongoing)

Show Premise: In this Spanish-language Netflix original series, a murder mystery at a prep school in Spain unfolds in a series of flash-forward scenes mixed in with a present-day story of sex, love and corruption.

How It Uses Spanish: This is the only show on this list that’s entirely in Spanish, so this is a good choice for intermediate-advanced learners. The Netflix default is to give English speakers the version dubbed in English, but we strongly recommend switching the audio to European Spanish (original) and turning on English subtitles for an enhanced viewing experience. While you watch, see how many Spanish words and phrases you recognize and pay particular attention to the pronunciation and cadence of the language. This will be helpful when you try to apply your knowledge from Spanish TV shows to speak Spanish in the real world.


A still from the Netflix show rebelde in which the main characters are performing together as a band.

Streaming Platform: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 1 (ongoing)

Show Premise: Like Elite, this show is set in a private school, but it’s a little less intense. It’s a young adult telenovela that follows six students who decide to form a band together. Like all shows about high schoolers creating a band, there’s plenty of drama and of course a Battle of the Bands competition. It’s a 2022 spinoff of an Argentinian show of the same name, featuring a “new generation.”

How It Uses Spanish: Like Elite, this show is almost entirely in Spanish, so you’ll once again want to make sure you have your subtitles on correctly. The characters in the show also code-switch between Mexican Spanish and English somewhat frequently, though, so you should be able to catch the meaning of a few phrases even if you’re still relatively new to Spanish. There’s also music in Spanish, which can make for another kind of fun learning experience.

Dora The Explorer

Spanish TV Shows — Dora the Explorer
Photo: Nickelodeon

Streaming Platform: Amazon Prime, Paramount+

Number Of Seasons: 8

Show Premise: To end on a fun note, Dora the Explorer was an educational, animated show for preschoolers that aired from 2000 to 2014. The show followed a 7-year-old Mexican-American girl who went on adventures with her talking backpack and monkey friend.

How It Uses Spanish: During her travels, Dora introduced viewers to Spanish words and phrases. It’s a children’s show, so the speed and difficulty level of the language is ideal for total beginners. There is also some Spanish in the various songs Dora sings throughout the show, and music is another great way to learn a language. Dora teaches some English words and phrases, in case you need some brushing up on that front, too.

Header Photo courtesy of Netflix.

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