5 Portuguese TV Shows To Help You Learn The Language

Want to practice your language skills from the comfort of your bed? Stream these Portuguese TV shows to supplement your studies.
June 13, 2019
5 Portuguese TV Shows To Help You Learn The Language

Are you studying Portuguese and ready to kick things up a notch? Or, do you yearn for any excuse to stay at home and watch more television? Either way, check out this list of Portuguese TV shows you can stream to help you practice your new language.

All of these shows, which span a variety of genres, are available on Netflix. Fair warning: Netflix defaults to the dubbed English version, if there is one, so be sure to switch the audio language to “Brazilian Portuguese [original]” before you press play. Unless you’re an advanced Portuguese learner, we’d recommend turning on the English subtitles — at least for the first time you watch.

Now, on to the list of Portuguese TV shows. Enjoy!

5 Portuguese TV Shows

1. 3%

still from 3%
Photo: Pedro Saad/Netflix

Where To Watch: Netflix

Number Of Seasons: 2 (ongoing)

Show Premise: Set in a dystopian future, 3% is a Brazilian thriller about young adults who get the opportunity to leave their deeply impoverished society and move to paradise. But only 3% succeed in making it there.

Learning Tips: This show was the first Netflix original series in Portuguese, and is a great choice for language learners who want to hear how native speakers sound, while also enjoying a suspenseful and fun viewing experience. As mentioned above, switch the audio language to “Brazilian Portuguese [Original]” and watch with English subtitles (if you so choose).

2. The Mechanism (O Mechanismo)

Still from The Mechnism
Photo: Pedro Saad/Netflix

Where To Watch: Netflix

Number Of Seasons: 2 (ongoing)

Show Premise: This political drama features a police task force assembled to tackle corruption and money laundering in the Brazilian government. It’s based on the real Operação Lava Jato (“Operation Car Wash”), an ongoing criminal investigation by the Federal Police of Brazil.

Learning Tips: Again, the default is the English dubbed version, which we strongly recommend avoiding. Change to the original Portuguese audio and enjoy this thrilling tale that can also teach you a few things about Brazilian politics and law enforcement.

3. Samantha!

still from Samantha!
Photo: Fabio Braga/Netflix

Where To Watch: Netflix

Number Of Seasons: 2 (ongoing)

Show Premise: Samantha! is a Brazilian comedy about an ‘80s child star who tries desperately to regain her past stardom through a series of wild schemes.

Learning Tips: A silly and engaging comedy can be a great way to practice a new language because the emotions and facial expressions are often over-dramatized, making them easier to understand. Don’t forget to switch the audio to Portuguese!

4. Super Drags

still from Super Drags
Photo: Netflix

Where To Watch: Netflix

Number Of Seasons: 1 (canceled)

Show Premise: An adult animated comedy, Super Drags is the story of three friends working in a department store by day and protecting the LGBT community as drag queen superheroes by night.

Learning Tips: While you may be tempted to watch the English dubbed version because it features the voices of some of the stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race, resist the urge! For the sake of your language learning, watch the subtitled Portuguese version.

5. Most Beautiful Thing (Coisa Mais Linda)

Still from Most Beautiful Thing
Photo: Aline Arruda/Netflix

Where To Watch: Netflix

Number Of Seasons: 1 (ongoing)

Show Premise: In this drama set in the 1950s, a young woman moves to Rio de Janeiro with her husband, only to realize he has abandoned her and taken all her money. She decides to stay in the city anyway and open a Bossa Nova club.

Learning Tips: Not only will this show help cement your language skills (once you switch that pesky audio to Portuguese, of course!), but it will also give you a sense of life in Rio in the 1950s.

Header Photo: Pedro Saad/Netflix

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Author Headshot
Dylan Lyons
Dylan is a senior content producer, overseeing video and podcast projects for the U.S. team. He studied journalism at Ithaca College and previously managed social media for CBS News. He’s currently pursuing his MBA part-time at NYU Stern. His interests include podcasts, puppies, politics, alliteration, reading, writing, and dessert. Dylan lives in New York City.
Dylan is a senior content producer, overseeing video and podcast projects for the U.S. team. He studied journalism at Ithaca College and previously managed social media for CBS News. He’s currently pursuing his MBA part-time at NYU Stern. His interests include podcasts, puppies, politics, alliteration, reading, writing, and dessert. Dylan lives in New York City.

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