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Learn Czech the Fun Way: The Top 10 Czech TV Shows

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It should come as no surprise that learning another language in a fun way is WAY more effective than relying on textbooks. Trust me, even though watching TV shows might feel like (or lead to) procrastinating, it’s a great tool for broadening your vocab effortlessly and familiarizing yourself with idioms and the most common phrases. It’s also the best listening exercise, especially if you’re not ready to put yourself out there and talk to native speakers. Besides, you can pause and rewind a Czech TV show anytime, and write down new words.

When I first started actually speaking English (instead of just writing and reading it), YouTube and American TV shows were my best friends. It was hard and intimidating at first, but if you’re really into whatever you’re watching, you’ll likely stick to it and make progress fast.

The bad news is that the Czech TV show selection isn’t that great. The good news is that there are some good pieces you’ll love. In this article, we’ll cover ten Czech TV shows with English subtitles that are fun to watch. You can find them on Netflix, YouTube, and Czech satellite TV (HBOgo).

Make popcorn, it’s movie night!

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Table of Contents

  1. Ulice (The Street)
  2. Pustina (The Wasteland)
  3. Terapie (In Treatment)
  4. Bez vědomí (The Sleepers)
  5. Princip slasti (The Principle of Pleasure)
  6. Krkonošské pohádky (Fairy Tales of Krkonose Mountains)
  7. Arabela
  8. Dobrodružství kriminalistiky (The History of Criminology)
  9. Krajinou domova (Through the Nature of our Homeland)
  10. Soukromé století (Private Century)
  11. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. Ulice (The Street)

This soap-opera (TV Nova) airs daily Monday through Friday, and you can also find all episodes online.

I admit it’s not the most exciting TV show ever (my American boyfriend once said: “So…this is about people…talking all the time?”). Yes, dear. Yes, it is.

This very slow-paced and not super-exciting show is about people who live in the Prague suburbs, their daily lives, problems, relationships, and affairs. Once you find your favorite characters, it can become quite entertaining, funny, pretty well-written, and addictive.

The number of episodes? Over 3,000. For real.

I know the number of stars (or the lack thereof) in the reviews is repelling. I promise Ulice is worth a shot if you’re looking for something light-hearted, simple, and Czech vocab-boosting.

The acting quality varies—there are several star actors in it (you know, people who do real theater, but also need to pay mortgages and child-support). Some of the characters are…well, less skilled.

Phrases and Vocabulary

The greatest advantage of this show is the use of common, colloquial Czech language with no heavy dialect. (However, I’m a born-and-raised Moravian and I can easily spot a few hints of Prague accent here and there.)

Also, it’s about “real people” and “everyday life,” which means your vocabulary will expand without you even noticing.

Ulice vocab:

  • Greetings: dobrý den (“good day”), ahoj (“hello”), Jak se máš? (“How are you?”), etc.
  • Formal and informal voice
  • Basic phrases and questions: Kolik je hodin? (“What time is it?”), Dáš si něco? (“Would you like something [to drink]?” )

Before you dive in, make sure to check out our Czech Key Phrases article and explore the Czech dialects.

2. Pustina (The Wasteland)

The Czech TV series Wasteland, my Czech-learning friend, is the exact opposite of my previous recommendation. Pustina (HBO Europe production) is a suspenseful thriller, and I’m guessing you might binge-watch it right away (and even cancel an outing because it’s SO good!).

The somber story takes place in a tiny, derelict village in Northern Czech Republic, where a young girl goes missing under suspicious circumstances. Is she dead? Did she run away from home? Did her weirdo father hurt her?

The acting is fabulous, thanks to famous Czech stars Jaroslav Dušek, Zuzana Stivínová, Eva Holubová, and Petra Špalková.

Phrases and Vocabulary

The vocabulary is pretty simple and there’s no confusing dialect.

  • Greetings
  • Occasional crime terms: únos (“abduction”), vražda (“murder” )
  • Un-bleeped bleepy words

3. Terapie (In Treatment)

Terapie is a great Czech television series for Czech learners who don’t like action. This amazing TV show (HBO Europe production) takes place only in the consulting room of psychologist Marek Posta (outstandingly played by Karel Roden, one of the most respected Czech actors).

The depth of each character is simply marvelous, and the acting is just first-class thanks to the great crew of the best Czech and Slovakian actors (the show is 100% in Czech, though).

You might know one of the foreign versions of Terapie, maybe the American one with Gabriel Byrne?

Phrases and Vocabulary

  • More complex sentence structure
  • No dialect
  • Great listening exercise—most characters enunciate properly and talk slowly

You might want to polish your Czech vocabulary before watching. We have two great lessons for you: Top 15 Questions You Should Know for Conversations and 25 Essential Czech Questions.

4. Bez vědomí (The Sleepers)

This HBO show takes place in 1989, a few months after the Velvet Revolution, which brought forty years of Russian dominance to an end. In this suspenseful drama, a young woman and her husband come back from exile, only for her husband to go missing. Marie is trapped between State Security and dissidents.

If you like secrets, suspense, and dark drama, this Czech TV series is for you. It’s not just a great show, but also a fantastic way to learn something new about Czech history.

Phrases and Vocabulary

  • More complex sentence structure
  • Basic colloquial Czech without dialect
  • Great listening exercise—most characters enunciate properly and talk slowly

5. Princip slasti (The Principle of Pleasure)

Three post-communist cities—Odessa, Warsaw, and Prague. Three young women murdered and parts of their bodies found. Who committed such a gruesome crime, and why? If you love chilling TV shows with a Scandinavian vibe, this one is a great choice for you.

This is one of the best Czech TV shows, with outstanding acting performances. The show is also very well produced and directed.

Phrases and Vocabulary

  • Basic and complex sentence structure
  • Basic common Czech with slight Prague dialect

6. Krkonošské pohádky (Fairy Tales of Krkonose Mountains)

This thing has been my guilty pleasure since I was five. It’s meant for children, but…oh, well. I do have to warn you, though—this masterpiece is nothing like Disney!

The main characters include a mystical person-protector of the mountains, Krakonoš, one rich and cocky landowner, and his three servants. One of the greatest Czech children’s TV shows ever, it’s sweet, it’s funny, and it’s heart-warming. And well-acted!

Phrases and Vocabulary

  • Basic vocabulary and sentence structure (remember, it’s for kids!)
  • No dialect

7. Arabela

Another evergreen from the 70s that adults love even more than kids! Princess Arabela from the fairyland travels to our world to help save her reign and several magical objects: a ring that makes all your wishes come true, a magical cloak that transports you between both worlds, and many more.

Oh, she also falls in love with an engineering student. Surprisingly enough, her father, the king, is very supportive of this relationship.

Phrases and Vocabulary

  • Basic vocabulary and sentence structure (remember, it’s for kids!)
  • No dialect
  • Fairytale vocabulary: princezna (“princess”), čaroděj (“wizard” )

8. Dobrodružství kriminalistiky (The History of Criminology)

Have you ever wondered when, how, and why fingerprints became a thing in criminal investigations? Watching this oldie-but-a-goodie from the 80s is a great way to practice your Czech listening skills, vocabulary, AND learn something about criminology in a fun way. Win-win, right?

One of the most fascinating TV shows in Czech, this series is very well-acted, and each episode recreates a true story from a century (or more) ago.

It’s slightly chilling, but not too much, and to me, this is a perfect old-fashioned binge-watch.

Phrases and Vocabulary

  • No dialect
  • Occasional crime terms: otisky prstů (“fingerprints”), obžalovaný (“defendant” )
  • Great enunciation

9. Krajinou domova (Through the Nature of our Homeland)

This is a documentary about Czech nature and architecture. If you want to work on your Czech AND learn something new about our lovely country, you shouldn’t miss this. It’s fun, informative, and gorgeous.

Phrases and Vocabulary

  • No dialect
  • Great professional enunciation
  • Architecture- and nature-related vocabulary

10. Soukromé století (Private Century)

This is another gem made by Czech Television. This documentary series is about Czech history, and each episode tells the story of one person or event in a unique way. Soukromé století introduces Czech history through personal stories. The acting is fabulous, and each and every minute is captivating—most of the footage is genuine, amateur home videos shot many years ago.

Another great way to learn new things about the Czech Republic!

Phrases and Vocabulary

  • No dialect
  • Great professional enunciation
  • Advanced vocabulary

11. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

CzechClass101.com will make learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. With us, it’s not about endless memorizing or thick textbooks. Learn Czech with us and make progress faster than you could imagine!

What can you find here?

  • English to Czech translation and pronunciation tips/tricks
  • Over 630 audio and video lessons
  • Vocabulary learning tools
  • Spaced repetition flashcards
  • Detailed PDF lesson notes

Sign up now, it’s free!

One last thing: Let us know in the comments if this article helped you, and which Czech TV series seems most interesting to you. Is there anything you want to know about learning Czech while watching TV shows? We’ll do our best to help!

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