Argentina: El Marginal Netflix
Crime dramas don’t come much tougher than this saga, in which a prison proves so hard to police that the penal powers leave it to its own devices. Whackings and battles for supremacy mix with surprising notes of character drama and even comedy.
Brazil: Nobody’s Looking Netflix
Light but adult comedy about guardian angels, who have been quietly looking after humans for millennia until they acquire a new, headstrong, incompetent recruit.
Canada: Workin’ Moms Netflix
Catherine Reitman leads this rude and wryly chaotic examination of middle-class women struggling to reconcile parenting with their relationships and careers.
Chile: Qué Pena Tu Serie Netflix
A clueless but charming lunk, freshly dumped, tries to get his girlfriend back or get a new one in a TV spin-off from a cheerful comedy film trilogy.
Colombia: Crime Diaries: Night Out Netflix
True-life drama about Bogotá student Luis Andrés Colmenares Escobar, whose death leads to an investigation and court case riddled with twists.
Mexico: The House of Flowers Netflix
How much drama can a family floristry business generate? Quite a lot when it’s the setting for a romp as camp and eventful as this series.
Austria: Altes Geld Netflix
Succession? Pfft. Here’s the original “family of rich, sinister wrong’uns squabble when their patriarch apparently nears his demise” drama. The deadpan style recalls the work of Yorgos Lanthimos.
Belgium: Public Enemy Now TV
Atmospheric crimer, following a cop tasked with protecting and, in the new second series, working with an eerily perspicacious serial child killer.
Croatia: Guardian of the Castle Walter Presents/All 4
The Yugoslavian secret service limps through the mid-80s in a stately saga with delicious Le Carré/The Americans/Chernobyl cold-war aesthetics.
Czech Republic: The Mine Inferno Amazon Prime Video
Sturdy drama about a real 1961 disaster. Before the final tragedy, it’s an engrossingly nuanced picture of the people whose lives were devastated.
Denmark: Greyzone Walter Presents/All 4
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (Borgen) stars in a fast cybercrime/hostage thriller about a drone engineer forced to help a terror network.
Finland: Deadwind Netflix
A classic maverick/chalk’n’cheese cop set-up partners a widowed young mum with a cheeky male rookie in a magnificently chilly, foreboding Helsinki.
France: Groom YouTube
Gleefully stupid comedy: a feckless playboy is sent by his hotel-magnate dad to work as a bellboy, with colourful, cartoonish, farcical consequences.
Germany: How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) Netflix
A web-savvy nerd tries to become the Jeff Bezos of MDMA in a comedy full of sharp digital-culture gags and the odd shot of open-hearted teen yearning.
Hungary: Home Guards Walter Presents/All 4
Sobering allegorical two-parter about a charismatic new police chief in a small town. His solution to petty crime is … not what it seems.
Italy: 1993 Now TV
The middle series in a trilogy about 1990s Italian politics gurgling into the sewer: six characters’ lives are garishly tangled in corruption and populism.
Iceland: Trapped Amazon Prime Video
At first it offers an intriguing gimmick but in season two, this snowy crimer is just top-quality dark drama, led by the impressive Ólafur Darri Ólafsson.
Netherlands: The Blood Pact Walter Presents/All 4
A taxman meets a gangster when their kids become pals at school. Soon the speccy bean-counter is up to his neck in intrigue as a juicy thriller unfurls.
Poland: Pakt Walter Presents/All 4
You can almost taste the filthy tang of corruption as a journalist in post-communist Poland stirs up a whole new world of trouble in this thriller.
Spain: The Neighbor Netflix
A boring apartment block peopled by directionless millennials is pepped up by the silliest of them inheriting superpowers, in this nicely indie-flavoured comedy.
Sweden: Midnight Sun Now TV
A memorable helicopter-based death by centrifugal force kicks off this off-kilter sleuther, set in a place where daylight never stops shining on your sins.
Turkey: The Gift Netflix
A knotty supernatural fantasy, grounded by strong performances: a painter leaves her life behind when ancient symbols suggest a higher purpose.
Egypt: Hidden Worlds Netflix
In this quirky conspiracy thriller, a Cairo journo with an astonishing toupee goes second-hand book shopping, and comes back with an journal that is the work of a woman killed eight years earlier. There’s plenty of it: season one has 30 episodes.
Nigeria: Crazy, Lovely, Cool Netflix
Campus dramedy about the many rivalries among university students, all documented by a mischievous gossip blog.
South Africa: Shadow Netflix
All-action cop show where the gun-toting maverick detective has a superhero edge: since a childhood lightning strike, he can’t feel pain! Awesome!
China: Nowhere Man Netflix
Time-hopping thriller with young Taiwan triads caught up in more than their usual wrongdoing. It doesn’t add up to all that much but it looks brilliant, at least.
India: Sacred Games Netflix
An ambitious sprawler, taking the temperature of modern Mumbai while delivering conspiracy kicks, gangster thrills and a dash of mystic hooey.
Israel: Mama’s Angel Walter Presents/All 4
There is a splash of Broadchurch in this classy, thoughtful story of a Tel Aviv suburb that reveals all its stresses and resentments following a murder.
Japan: Aggretsuko Netflix
Not only is Retsuko an introverted wage slave in her mid 20s who hates work, her boss, colleagues and her stalled existence, she is also a cartoon red panda in a 2D world of anthropomorphic animals. So you can think of this sardonic comedy as a Japanese BoJack Horseman.
Malaysia: The Ghost Bride Netflix
A handsome, nimbly witty fantasy romance about a woman whose investigation of her father’s death in 19th-century Malacca takes her to a netherworld.
Russia: Better Than Us Netflix
A more futuristic, more overtly disturbing take on the sci-fi thriller Humans: it’s 2029 and a prototype for a new kind of spookily lifelike android is on the loose.
South Korea: Something in the Rain Netflix
Netflix boasts a strikingly large catalogue of “K-drama”: why not start with a cannily observed, 16-episode romantic saga about against-the-odds courtship?
Australia: Sisters Netflix
A wry, funny comedy that follows Julia, a heroically flawed singleton who discovers she has two new, highly contrasting half-sisters. The show is deft at drilling down to the soft vulnerabilities of kooky characters. Terrific soundtrack, too.
New Zealand: The Almighty Johnsons, Amazon Prime Video
Odd comedy-drama about five feckless brothers who are also Norse deities, locked in a randy battle for supremacy with local goddesses. You don’t get that on a Tuesday night on BBC One.
Main image: (clockwise from top left) Nobody’s Looking; The Neighbor; Sacred Games; The Ghost Bride; Nowhere Man