Must-Watch Brazilian Netflix Series to Practice Portuguese – Updated for 2021
Looking for quality Brazilian shows to watch to improve your Portuguese? Lucky for you, Netflix is already on it!
With quality content, fast streaming, and accurate subtitles, Netflix can complement your Portuguese language learning journey.
In this article, we go over 4 recently released binge-worthy Brazilian Netflix shows to watch. But before we get into that, here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your learning experience on Netflix.
How to Learn Portuguese through Brazilian TV Shows
Take notes! Here are our top 3 language-learning tips to enhance your TV experience before you choose one of our recommended series below.
1. Pay attention to how the characters interact.
There is no better way to understand a culture than watching people interact and go through difficulties together. By analyzing Brazilian characters’ interactions in TV shows, you can see how they greet each other (with kisses or handshakes), how they fight, how they love, and most importantly, what they value.
Pay close attention to habits! For example, it is very common that Sundays in Brazil are spent having churrascos (barbecues) with the whole family instead of out with friends, or that when mothers get angry, they throw chinelos (flip-flops) at their kids. These cultural tidbits and associated vocab become second nature when you start watching TV shows.
2. Make lists of repeated vocabulary and it will be impossible to forget.
We all know that fine-tuning your listening skills is important in any language, but the thing about watching TV shows is that they follow a certain theme and constantly repeat specific vocabulary.
For example, a crime show will repeat the words warrant, testimony, jail, deputy, etc. and instead of brainlessly memorizing new words, you’ll find that you need them to keep up with your new favorite show! Open the Notes app on your phone and quickly jot down new words while you watch.
3. Remember themes and characters to have talking points with Brazilians.
Brazilians are one of the most engaged populations on the internet. They are always watching the latest music video or TV shows. Being caught up on Brazilian media will give you a talking point with any Brazilian, and will also give you a chance to try out that new vocabulary you learned!
Must-See Brazilian Netflix Shows to Learn Portuguese
Stay tuned! In the following section, we cover the top four shows produced specifically for Netflix in Brazil that are winning the hearts of Netflix viewers everywhere, complete with trailers and descriptions.
1. Vai Anitta (Go Anitta)
Cultural Insight: Brazilian music scene, Brazilian music exports
Venture behind the scenes with Brazilian pop-phenomenon/entrepreneur Anitta in this Netflix docuseries that follows her career from favelas (Brazilian slums) to fame. Her friends and family appear in the series to dish out hilarious insight about her backstory, giving us a closer look at how Anitta was able to successfully take her pop music overseas and reach a larger audience than any other Brazilian artist in history.
Anitta aims to create a new song and video each month in either Portuguese, Spanish, or English to maintain her relevance, along with many other projects including creating her own cartoon series and clothing lines. With over a billion views on Youtube, she is paving a new path for music entrepreneurs not only in Brazil but in the entire world. Needless to say, it is a Netflix series that will take you on an exciting pop-culture ride relevant to what is hot in Brazil right now, increasing your list of great conversation-starters the next time you are with Brazilians.
Genre: Sci-Fi/Teen Drama
This was the first Brazilian series made specifically for Netflix. It is a sci-fi drama about a post-apocalyptic world where the genetically elite inhabit an island utopia far from the over-populated slums. When the characters turn 20, they all must go through a series of grueling tests to evaluate their intellect and stamina. The catch is that only 3% of them will be saved and transported to the island.
Kill your entertainment and Portuguese learning birds with one stone by watching this epic drama.
3. O Mecanismo (The Mechanism)
Cultural Insight: Political corruption and money laundering scandals
From the producer of Narcos com the Mechanism, a Netflix original based on the largest corruption scandal Brazil has ever seen- operação lava jato (or operation car wash). It started out as your typical money-laundering investigation in 2014 but quickly turned ugly when investigators found out that executives of state-owned oil company Petrobras were accepting large bribes for inflated construction contracts. This whole scandal quite literally uprooted the entire political system: ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has been arrested for life, and President Dilma Rousseff (2011-2016) has been impeached. Yikes.
Even though producers opted to change the names of all prominent politicians and business people, to Brazilians, the characters were obvious. The show received a lot of backlash from long-time supporters of the accused party, so much so that they took up social media arms with a #DeleteNetflix campaign. Make sure to run and binge-watch this real-life House of Cards before it gets wiped out of TV history!
This is one of our highest recommended shows to help you navigate and understand political conversations in Portuguese with Brazilians – something Brazilians talk about often!
Cultural Insight: Familial structures and values, pop-culture
Samantha is the third Netflix show produced in Brazil after 3% and O Mecanismo. The show follows the main character Samantha, an adored child star of the ’80s as she hilariously attempts to salvage what is left of her dying celebrity. She is a mother and a diva who seeks fame and adoration, but at what cost? Stay tuned to find out!
This is a great show to help you get a better grasp of how Brazilians interact with each other so that one day you can easily camouflage yourself as a Brazilian through your Portuguese speaking skills!
Can You Say Netflix and Chill in Portuguese?
TV shows are such a big part of our every-day culture, especially in Brazil. Take advantage of the fact that Netflix has you covered with culturally relevant content streamed directly from Brazil.
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