It’s the end of a long day and you have two options before you: do you do a few Indonesian lessons or watch television? Turns out, you don’t have to choose! Watching Indonesian TV shows can be a great way to supplement your language learning. Unfortunately, your options for streaming TV shows are pretty limited (you might have better luck with Indonesian movies), but we’re here to provide you with a few picks.
But first, let’s run through a couple ways to get the most out of watching TV. For one, make sure to use Indonesian audio with English subtitles so you can hear the language while still being able to understand the plot. Even if you’re struggling to understand the audio, this can be a good exposure exercise. If you want more active learning, however, you should closely follow what’s being said, take notes on vocabulary you’re learning, and watch the show a second time without subtitles to test your progress. You’ll get out as much as you put into the watching experience.
Indonesian TV Shows You Can Stream Now
Where To Watch: HBO Max
Number Of Seasons: 1 (ongoing)
Show Premise: Halfworlds is a dark thriller, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat. Each season takes place in a different country in Asia, and it delves into folklore and mythology to tell a gripping story. If you’re learning Indonesian, the first season is the one that will be most useful to you. It follows a street artist in Jakarta who discovers that creatures known as Demit have been living on earth for a long time, and they’re not too keen on humans. Throughout the season, more information is revealed in the lead-up to a mysterious supernatural event known as the Gift.
Language Note: Only the first season is set in Indonesia, meaning that’s the only one where you’ll hear Indonesian. The second season is in Thailand, and there’s a third season currently in production that takes place in the Philippines.
Cek Toko Sebelah (“Check The Store Next Door”)
Where To Watch: Netflix
Number Of Seasons: 2 (ongoing)
Show Premise: Cek Toko Sebelah was at first the name of a movie, which follows a man named Erwin who is on his way up the corporate ladder. That is, until his father falls ill and Erwin has to return home to take over the family’s shop. It’s a family comedy-drama with lots of fighting that ends up in a happy resolution. The TV show expands the story when the ill father from the movie decides he’s tired of retirement and goes to buy a fish pond. Hijinks ensue, as they tend to do.
Cek Toko Sebelah (the TV series) is available for streaming on Netflix.
Where To Watch: Vidio
Number Of Seasons: 1 (ended)
Show Premise: Based on a story published on WattPad, Turn On follows a couple through their travails. Andreas, burned by love in his past, feels like he’s lost his identity. To keep his family’s name in the clear, he marries one of his employees, Maria. Will they be able to work through Andreas’ trauma and build a strong relationship? It’s a romance, so you can probably answer that question for yourself.
Language Note: The first two episodes of Turn On are available for free on Vidio, an Indonesian streaming network. This streaming service could be helpful for those interested in Indonesian TV shows, but not everything is available in the United States.