13 Best Brazilian TV Shows on Netflix (2020)

Watching Brazilian series on Netflix is a great way to practice vocabulary and listening skills and gain cultural insights. Fortunately, Netflix is rapidly adding new binge-worthy original Brazilian shows.

If you’re an intermediate or advanced learner, I recommend watching with Portuguese subtitles as studies show it enhances language learning. I also jot down any interesting new vocabulary and add it to my Anki flashcards later.

Here are some of the best Brazilian TV shows on Netflix streaming in the US as of March 12, 2020. If you’re not in the US, just click the title to check if the show is available in your country (if it’s not available, it’ll display an error or redirect to Netflix’s home page).

Also, don’t miss my recommended Brazilian movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime, YouTube channels for learning Brazilian Portuguese, and Portuguese podcasts for language learners.

1.  3%

3% | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

This addictive dystopian thriller was Netflix’s first Portuguese-language original series. In a future where the elite inhabit an island paradise far from the crowded slums, you get only one chance to join the 3% saved from squalor.

2. O Mecanismo

The Mechanism | Trailer 2 [HD] | Netflix

A massive scandal erupts in Brazil during an investigation of alleged government corruption via oil and construction companies. This Netflix Original directed by Narcos‘ José Padilha is loosely based on the real-life “Lava Jato” bribery scandal involving former presidents Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff.

3. Killer Ratings

Killer Ratings | Official Trailer | Netflix

Chilling true crime docuseries about Brazilian TV presenter and politician Wallace Souza, who hosted a top-rated crime reality show in the gang-plagued Amazonian city of Manaus.

In a surreal twist, Souza was accused of masterminding the brutal crimes he reported on to boost his show’s ratings.

4. Coisa Mais Linda (Most Beautiful Thing)

Most Beautiful Thing | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Brazilian period drama set in 1950s Rio to the seductive strains of bossa nova. As soon as Malu arrives in the city, she discovers she’s been deserted and robbed by her husband.

Everything seems lost, but Malu eventually finds new friends, a second chance at love, and the courage to fulfill her dream of opening a music club.

The show’s title derives from the opening line of famed bossa nova song Garota de Ipanema: Olha que coisa mais linda, mais cheia de graça.

For more interesting cultural insights and vocabulary explanations for learners, watch Brasileirices’s video review.

5. Sintonia

Sintonia | Trailer | Netflix

Fans of Brazilian pop culture should check out this addictive YA crime drama with a catchy funk soundtrack. Three teenage friends from the same quebrada (shantytown) of São Paulo choose very different paths defined by music, drug trafficking, and religion.

Stunning aerial shots of São Paulo and lots of paulista slang. If you’re curious about the gíria on the show, try this fun dictionary. Keep in mind though that these expressions are very regional and wouldn’t be used or even understood by most Brazilians.

Because of the heavy use of slang this show may not be a good fit for beginners.

Created and directed by music video producer KondZilla, who took funk out of the favela and made it mainstream with the biggest YouTube channel in Brazil and Latin America.

6. The Circle Brasil

THE CIRCLE BRASIL COM GIOVANNA EWBANK | TEASER | NETFLIX BRASIL

Note: No English subtitles available for YouTube trailer -- tap to watch subtitled trailer on Netflix

This unique and addictive competition is Netflix’s first Brazilian reality TV series.

In this social media popularity contest, online players try to flirt, bond, and catfish their way to a R$300,000 prize. The contestants’ exuberant personalities and chemistry together are a lot of fun to watch.

It’s the perfect show to binge in self-quarantine because each contestant is isolated in their apartment, able to communicate only via social media.

While the show flashes gorgeous opening shots of Rio and São Paulo, the players actually live in the same apartment building in Manchester, UK used for The Circle‘s American and British editions.

Players hail from a variety of locations in Brazil. The diversity of accents, colorful slang, text jargon, and regional cultural references make The Circle a great choice for language learners.

7. Ninguém Tá Olhando (Nobody’s Looking)

NOBODY'S LOOKING - Official Trailer | Netflix

In this inventive comedy, a new brand new angel uncovers a secret behind the guardian angel bureaucracy that leads him to break official rules about protecting humans.

8. Vai Anitta

Vai Anitta | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

This engaging Netflix original docuseries goes behind the scenes with Brazilian superstar Anitta as the singer reveals how she’s building her international career. Lots of colloquial Portuguese.

A second season to come in 2020.

9. Samantha!

Samantha! | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Fun Brazilian comedy that follows Samantha, a child star in the ’80s, who clings to the fringes of celebrity with harebrained schemes to launch herself back into the limelight.

This clever satire is a good opportunity to pick up Brazilian slang.

10. O Escolhido (The Chosen One)

The Chosen One | Official Trailer | Netflix

Binge-worthy creepy thriller based on the Mexican series Niño Santo.

This Netflix Original follows three young doctors determined to bring a Zika vaccine to the remote Pantanal. They find themselves trapped in an isolated community whose leader has supernatural healing powers.

11. Onisciente (Omniscient)

Onisciente - Netflix | Trailer Oficial

Note: No English subtitles available for trailer -- tap to watch subtitled trailer on Netflix

New sci-fi series by the creator of 3%. In a city where citizens are monitored 24/7, a tech trainee must outsmart her surveillance drone in order to investigate her dad’s murder.

12. Irmandade (Brotherhood)

Irmandade | Trailer oficial | Netflix

Note: No English subtitles available for trailer -- tap to watch subtitled trailer on Netflix

Intense crime drama set in ’90s São Paulo starring musician and actor Seu Jorge.

This Netflix Original follows Cristina, an honest and hard-working lawyer, who discovers her imprisoned brother leads a criminal faction known as Irmandade (Brotherhood).

Forced by the police to infiltrate the Brotherhood and inform on her brother, Cristina comes into contact with her darkest side and begins to question her own ideas of justice.

Disclaimer: I couldn’t get into this show, but many Portuguese learners told me they loved it, so I’m including it.

13. Super Drags

Super Drags | Trailer Para Maiores [HD] | Netflix

Note: No English subtitles available for trailer -- tap to watch subtitled trailer on Netflix

In this campy adult cartoon, three gay co-workers lead double lives as drag queen superheroes, saving the LGBTQ community from evil nemeses.

Brazilian singer, drag queen, and LGBTQ icon Pabllo Vittar wrote the opening song and voices the character of Goldiva. Lots of raunchy humor.

Be sure to switch the audio to Portuguese.

Have feedback on these series or more recommendations for Brazilian shows on Netflix? Some of my best suggestions come from readers! Please share your thoughts on the best Brazilian TV series in the comments.

Banner image from The Circle Brasil © Netflix

4 Comments on “13 Best Brazilian TV Shows on Netflix (2020)”

  1. Can you do a series on French shows as well?

    So far I’ve watched dix pur cent, marseille, and the hookup plan.

    Also, what are the best methods to learn while watching a show? (besides writing down diffcult words to look them up later?)

    • Unfortunately my French is really rusty, but if I ever take it up again I’ll definitely create a list of French shows.

      I tend to just watch TV shows and movies in my target language for enjoyment as a reward after doing grammar studies, podcasts with transcripts, and classes with online tutors. I’ve found it a valuable way to build up audio comprehension in an fun, relaxing way. But if you want to dig into it more, here are some great tips:
      http://joyoflanguages.com/learn-a-language-by-watching-tv/

  2. Uau! Interessante encontrar alguém que está estudando a língua de Camões! Especialmente por ser tão difícil! Parabéns!!
    Se quiser mais dicas e alguém para conversar, estou à disposição!
    Sou brasileira e moro atualmente no Canadá.

    • Muito obrigada, Manuela, que gentileza a sua. Adoro a cultura brasileira e a linda língua portuguesa! Vou te mandar um email. 🙂

Leave a Reply