If you are studying Greek and are wondering what you can do to learn faster, we’ve got the answer.
Do you want to boost your listening and speaking skills in a fun and engaging way? Then, the best thing you can do is start watching TV.
Greek dramas are the best companions for learners because, when you watch things in a different language, you not only get to freshen up your language level —you also get to familiarise yourself with the worldview of a different culture, i.e., with the customs and beliefs of the people who speak the language you’re learning.
For this reason, today we are bringing you the best Greek TV series you can stream right now if you want to improve or freshen up your language skills.
Είσαι το ταίρι μου (Íse to téri mu) — You Are My Soulmate (2001-2002)
This is the story of two women. Stella, an overweight, insecure woman who lives in Melbourne, and her friend Vicky, an attractive model who lives just a few streets away from Stella.
At the beginning of the show, Vicky finds herself having second thoughts about her fiancée. Although she has accepted to marry him, as she’s travelling to Greece to meet his family, she starts to wonder whether she’s ready to start a new life as a wife and a mother. Then, by chance, she runs into Stella on the plane and, being in a frenzy about meeting her soon-to-be-husband’s parents, a crazy idea pops into her mind. What if Stella and her friend switched places?
From then on, this Greek TV series focuses on the unexpected and hilarious series of events that take place as a result of this decision. This series is an all-time favourite for many families in Greece, as it cleverly mixes heart and humour and deals with themes such as immigration, prejudice, and the right to choose your own fate.
Σαββατογεννημένες (Savatoyeniménes) — The Saturday-Born Women (2003-2004)
In Greece, there is a popular superstition which says that those who are born on a Saturday are blessed with good fortune and will always get their way no matter what they want to achieve in life. However, this also means that if they wish to cause harm to someone else, they will make it happen, just like a curse. For this reason, it’s common to hear Saturday-born people jokingly (or not so jokingly!) warn others not to mess with them.
Before we get to the Saturday-born women, however, we have to introduce Savvas. He is an unlikeable, foul-mouthed, chauvinistic man who has been married three times. When Savvas finds out he’s won millions of euros in the lottery, he crashes his car and he loses his memory. Being a rude and unsympathetic man, he has nobody to look after him after the accident, so his three partners decide to join forces and help him get better.
However, as soon as they discover that he’s just won 7.5 million euros, they start to have second thoughts about wanting to help him recover his memory and start to plot behind his back. This Greek TV series is great for people who love fast-paced comedies and intriguing storylines full of twists and turns.
Στο παρά πέντε (Sto pará pénde)- In the Nick of Time (2005-2007)
If you like stories about strangers whose lives become intertwined thanks to a twist of fate, this murder comedy is a must-watch for you. The story revolves around five very dissimilar characters who seem to be completely unrelated. However, one morning they find themselves trapped in a broken elevator, and they witness the strange death of a former politician who whispers a mysterious phrase after passing away: Vreíte to átomo pou to ékane aftó se ména (Find the person who did this to me.)
This contemporary comedy is one of the most beloved soap operas in Greece for a reason. The smart screenplay combines dark humour with murder-mystery tropes to create a memorable story that can be enjoyed by everyone in the family. In addition, it’s a show that will make you feel all the excitement of the best murder-mystery stories without the moody, earnest tone of contemporary crime shows.
Δύο Ξένοι (Dío Xéni) — Two Strangers (1997-1999)
From Marimar to Ugly Betty, soap operas have often turned to the poor-girl-meets-rich-guy trope with invariable success. Two Strangers revisits this familiar storyline with a contemporary sensibility and sense of humour to show that some tales only get better with age.
Marina is an ambitious but poorly educated aspiring actress who works in a restaurant. One evening, while cleaning after an ungrateful customer, she decides to take an acting seminar with a renowned drama teacher named Konstantinos. As soon as they see each other, it’s obvious that they have feelings for each other.
Being a well-educated and internationally recognized figure, it would seem that Konstantinos is the exact opposite of Marina, a bad-mouthed young woman who struggles to make ends meet. However, the two of them will live a slow-burning love story that audiences will find both hilarious and moving to watch.
Κωνσταντίνου και Ελένης (Konstandínu ke Elénis) — Konstantinos’ and Eleni’s (1998-2000)
If there is a narrative even older than poor-girl-meets-rich guy, that is the situational comedy based on the rivalry of two opposite characters who represent different worlds. Konstantino’s and Eleni’s, probably the single most popular Greek TV series of all time, uses this formula to perfect comedic effect.
The simple but effective storyline follows Konstantinos, a conservative professor at the University of Athens, and Eleni Vlahaki, a bad-mannered, rebellious waitress, as they discover that Konstantino’s uncle has appointed both of them as the rightful inheritors of his grand mansion in Athens.
From then on, the show focuses on the clash of these two very different personalities as they try to find a common ground that allows them to co-exist without killing each other.
Πενήντα-Πενήντα (Peninta -Peninta) — Fifty-Fifty (2005-2011)
Peninta Peninta is a Greek TV series that was first broadcast from 2005 to 2007 by Mega Channel. Due to its great popularity, the show returned in 2010 with 15 new episodes. The series is centred around the lives of three couples in their fifties. While the men spend their time flirting with usually younger women and find themselves entangled in various affairs, the women are starting to question their marriages and wonder whether “until Death do us part” is such a good idea after all.
Fifty-Fifty is a great comedy for beginner learners as the show has very few plot twists that might hinder your comprehension, but lots of situational comedy moments that you can enjoy even if you’re not fluent in Greek. Besides, since all the characters in the show are from different backgrounds and social classes, you will get to hear different accents and registers.
So, which of these six shows will you watch first? Let us know in the comment box.
As mentioned above, the great thing about good television is that it provides both entertainment and learning opportunities for everyone who has a curious mind.
For Greek enthusiasts, these six shows are a great way of getting hours and hours of exposure to their favourite language while learning about the culture and values of the people who speak this language. At Language Trainers, we believe that culture and language cannot be divorced and that any modern approach to learning how to speak in a foreign tongue should pay particular attention to the customs and values embedded in the language.
That is why we work with native Greek teachers who are not only fully qualified professionals but also sociable individuals who love sharing different aspects of their culture with their students.