8 TV series to help you learn and improve your German


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Learning German is easy! Watch these 8 TV series to learn and improve your German.

Learn and improve your German with TV: If you want to study in Germany or are already in Germany to study, use this very effective method of learning German without even having to leave the house: watch tv series in original German! Enjoy learning German watching the following 8 TV series – and learn a bit about German culture and history.

Deutschland 83 / 86 / 89

learn and improve your German

In the constant mutual distrust between NATO and the USSR during the Cold War, the Ministry for State Security of the GDR, i.e. the part of Germany occupied by the Soviet Union, sent a spy to the West in 1983. Martin Rauch, not necessarily enthusiastic about his assignment, changes sides and tries to spy on NATO plans under the false identity of a Bundeswehr lieutenant.

In the series published in 2015, a picture of German history is drawn: the tense relationship between East and West and the effects of the division of Germany after the Second World War. The whole thing is combined with a good portion of spy film excitement. In the second season, the story is continued in 1986. A third season, set in 1989, follows the events before and after the fall of the Berlin wallhas also been announced. The series can be seen on amazon video.

Why learn German with TV series or films?

There are many reasons why it is a good idea to learn German through Tv series to supplement professional German lessons or German courses online with watching films:

  • You train your listening comprehension with real situations (because in German films people speak the way people really speak in Germany)
  • You will learn something about the German-speaking culture
  • You will learn everyday expressions and slang
  • You can watch films on topics that interest you anyway
  • You learn almost “on the side” and have fun at the same time!


learn and improve your German

The Berlin Charité is one of the most well-known hospitals and research institutions in the world. Tuberculin was discovered here at the end of the 20th century. The historical narrative of the discovery is linked to the fictional story of the orphaned nurse Ida, who also works in the home. The second season then deals with the situation of the hospital in the last years of the Second World War. Again, historical facts are mixed with fictional stories.

First published in 2017, Charité takes a look at German history and the history of medicine without being documentary. 18 episodes are available in three seasons so far. The third season takes place during the construction of the Berlin Wall. 

The informative and exciting series is on Netflix until June 2022, among other places.



learn and improve your German

In a fictional but extremely ordinary German town, two children disappear without a trace. As expected, this turns the lives of some families completely upside down. As time goes by, however, it becomes clear that there is more to it than that, the families are mysteriously connected and their members have dark secrets – some of which they are not even aware of. Frightening abysses open up behind the idyllic façade.

The first German Netflix production premiered in 2017 and impresses above all with its mystical aesthetics and intricate narrative. 

Türkisch für Anfänger

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When Lena’s mother Doris, an esoteric psychotherapist in the style of the 1968s, moves in with her new boyfriend, the Turkish detective Metin, worlds collide: Suddenly the idiosyncratic 16-year-old who argues in a very incorrect way politically has to share her room with Yagmur, who lives strictly Muslim. Also moving into the house is Cem, who perfectly fulfills every cliché of a macho southerner. This, of course, leads to a great deal of cultural friction, disputes and chaos. Nevertheless, the blended family gets to know and love each other better and better.

Türkisch für Anfänger is a production of the German public television broadcaster ARD and shows clichés and problems of Germany’s multicultural immigrant society in a funny and provocative way, only to then break with them again. The series, which first appeared in 2006, consists of three seasons with a total of 52 episodes and is sometimes used in schools in Sweden, for example, to teach German. 

The family-friendly comedy can be seen on Netflix and MHZChoice, among others.

Bad Banks

learn and improve your German

The young and ambitious investment banker Jana Liekam is fired by her Luxembourg employer without a good reason – and gets a job at one of the largest banks in Frankfurt from her ex-head of department. Here she quickly celebrates great success, but also discovers irregularities and illegal activities on the part of her employer. At the same time, her ex-head of department demands legally questionable favors in return for her recommendation. But Jana, together with her team, tries to take advantage of the tricky situation and her knowledge.

The Bank Banks series, produced by the public broadcasters’ arte and ZDF, premiered in 2018. In a gripping way, she holds the mirror up to the profit-oriented pre-financial crisis banking industry and at the same time paints a picture of young investment bankers who are under enormous pressure to succeed between burn-out, sex escapades and self-doubt. The second season was released this year and addresses the latest developments in the banking industry: away from investment banking towards start-up and fintech investments. 

Both can be seen in the ZDF media library, but only in Germany. Outside the country, the first season is available on Netflix.

4 blocks

learn and improve your German

Berlin Neukölln has long been in the hands of the Lebanese clan Hamady. The family around leader Ali “Toni” Hamady controls four blocks – mainly through drug deals, gambling and protection money. In addition to his brutal business life, Toni is also a loving father and husband who suffers from the work restrictions for him as a tolerated person and wishes to lead a legal and relaxed life. For this he needs help. But it’s hard to trust someone when the police are constantly breathing down your neck.

The series premiered in 2017 and concluded with its third season in 2019. She takes a ruthless and multifaceted look at the clan crime in the German capital. Anyone who likes exciting mafia series and has no problem with brutal scenes has found the series of their choice with 4 Blocks. The series can also be seen on amazon video.


learn and improve your German

A woman’s body is found on the Lower Rhine, which has been shockingly mutilated. The team led by investigator Nadja Simon quickly came across a group of former boarding school students who not only seemed to have strange relationships with one another, but also a crazy story: Inspired by Patrick Süsskind’s novel Perfum, they experimented with human scents when they were at school. As investigators delve deeper into the group’s past, another body with the same mutilations turns up. But even Nadja Simon cannot completely escape the fascination of the effects of certain smells.

In 2018, the series of the German public broadcaster ZDFneo received an award. In a season of six episodes, she tells a gripping and shocking crime story that is easy to watch in one go – provided, of course, you don’t have too weak of heart. 

You can watch the whole thing on Netflix.


learn and improve your German

The everyday office life of an insurance company is accompanied by a camera team, above all the claims settlement department MZ, headed by Bernd Stromberg. Of course, he always tries to put his team and especially his skills as a manager in a good light. However, he rarely succeeds in doing so. With funny characters and the obvious incompetence of the main character, situations of embarrassment and funny mishaps arise again and again, which make fun of everyday German office life.

As a German adaptation of the British series The Office, Stromberg filmed 46 episodes in 5 seasons between 2004 and 2012, all of which score points as shallow entertainment with funny punch lines and hilarious sayings. 

A film version of the series was also released in 2014. You can watch the whole thing on Netflix.


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