Dutch Language Blog

TV Shows to Practice your Dutch Posted by on Aug 15, 2018 in Culture

TV shows and movies are a great way to practice your language skills. You can go full-monty and watch them in Dutch or use subtitles to help you grasp the whole meaning. Regardless, watching Dutch TV can help you improve your listening skills with different accents and intonations. It can also be a great way to learn new words and phrases. So what are some of the top TV shows right now?

Photo taken by Burak found on Flickr.com with license CC BY-SA 2.0

Nieuwe Buren (New Neighbors)

Based on Saskia Noort’s novel, the series is about the tense relationship between neighbors in Noord-Holland. The website from the writer gives the following summary for the novel:

Na een zware periode in hun leven betrekken Eva en Peter zonder veel enthousiasme hun pas opgeleverde villa in een Vinex-wijk. Tijdens een borrel leren ze hun nieuwe buren, Steef en Rebecca, kennen. Beide echtparen zijn op hun eigen manier op zoek naar geluk. Gezamenlijk verleggen ze hun grenzen, totdat ze erachter komen dat ze niet meer terug kunnen…

The first season of this show is based on the novel and was first released by RTL in 2014. Seasons 2 and 3 diverge a bit from the book. The TV show is available on Videoland for Dutch viewers and Amazon recently purchased the rights to the show making it available on Amazon Prime (so says this news article).


Hollands Hoop

This series somewhat resembles Breaking Bad but Dutch style. Fokke Augustinus travels to Groningen to bury his father, but finds out he has inherited his father’s land which includes a weed plantation. The inheritance brings him and his family into the drug world. Season 3 will be released later on this year so make sure to watch seasons 1 and 2 to catch up!

Flikken and Flikken Maastricht

For those wanting a more Flemish experience, the show Flikken is certainly an option. This show is like Law & Order and CSI but based in Ghent. This was quite a popular show in Belgium that ran from 1999 to 2009. There is now a spin-off of Flikken which is based in Maastricht, Limburg. Flikken Maastricht has been running since 2007 and features crimes happening in and around Maastricht. There is no Limburg dialect spoken in the show making it easy to understand for those of us learning Dutch.

Time to Dance

If talent shows are more your thing, you are in luck! The Dutch are the creators of some of the most famous talent shows around the world. Time to Dance began this year and is searching for the best dance talent in the Netherlands. All different styles of dancing are accepted. Contestants have 30 seconds to make the best first impression for Jamai Loman, Chantal Janzen, and Dan Karaty.

Wie is de Mol?

The Dutch are also quite known for their reality shows, and there is certainly a lot of variety in TV. This particular one is based on the Flemish show De Mol from 1998, and the Dutch version is on its 18th season already. In the show, candidates have to complete certain activities to earn money, however, the mol’s job is to jeopardize these activities. Since 2004, participants of the show have been Dutch celebrities, and, as you can see from 18 seasons, it is quite a popular show. The following episode has English subtitles.

What is your favorite Dutch language TV show?

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!


  1. Stef Caron:

    How about some Dutch children’s shows recommendations ? My kids are half Dutch and we live in Canada. Lots of French and English, but not near enough Nederlands…

    • Karoly G Molina:

      @Stef Caron Hi Stef, I will look into this and get back to you with some recommendations!