For those of you that know me or have had lessons with me, you know I love watching TV series and I often recommend to my students to check them out in order to learn new vocabulary words (mostly slang) and to train their listening skills. Not only that, but it’s also WAY better than picking up a grammar book. If I haven’t convinced you, then read this: learn while you sit down and relax!
Initially I was going to pick the “best” TV shows and write about them, but then I realized that it would be better to write about shows that I am currently or recently finished watching and absolutely loved. So here’s my list:
Difficulty level: easy / intermediate
Why you should watch it: Seinfeld is considered by many the best sitcom. Although a couple of months back I wouldn’t have been able to confirm this, I now can. It truly is! Let me tell you why: This might be the only show that depicts the life of four friends living in New York (sound familiar?) who are in their early to late 30’s and are experiencing something that many of us have during that time in our lives: breakups, friends having children, being single in your 30’s, etc. Although, you may be thinking, “this is like Friends,” let me tell you, it’s not. Friends is always go-happy versus Seinfeld they talk about things that are realistic and mundane. Things that happen to every single one of us at some point in our lives (losing socks in a communal laundry room, anyone?)
Like Friends, you will be able to hear different accents, the dialogue is relatively easy, although they can speak fast from time to time. You will also be exposed to English expressions, phrasal verbs, puns and American culture way more than Friends. So give it a try!
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Difficulty level: intermediate / hard
Genre: Cringe comedy / dark humor
Why you should watch it: If you tried watching Seinfeld and enjoyed it, I guarantee that you will love this show! Curb Your Enthusiasm is based on the life of Larry Davis who is the creator of Seinfeld. In the show, he never hides the fact that he has made millions making Seinfeld. And like Seinfeld, every episode is about nothing. Now, what do you mean by that, you may ask. Well, what I mean is that it’s about the unrelated everyday annoyances (watch the first episode and you’ll understand). Oh, I almost forgot, you will see Larry’s dark humor constantly come on the show and make a fool of himself.
I’ll stop praising the show now and tell you why English learners should watch it: you will learn great vocabulary words (advanced level) and you will really get to know current American culture. Oh and you may learn lots of things about Judaism from race to gender to being disabled. Trust me, it’s an amazing show. One of my favorites!
Game of Thrones
Difficulty level: hard
Why you should watch it: If you haven’t heard of Game of Thrones (GoT) then you are living under a rock, seriously. I have to warn you, it’s addictive! So if you’re up for a challenge, enjoy watching fantasy TV series and have lots of time, then check it out.
The language used is quasi-medieval so for sure you won’t understand lots of words. You are also bombarded with a variety of accents, from English to Scottish. It is not a surprise that even native speakers like to watch this show with subtitles. So if you’re struggling, then don’t feel defeated if you start using them.
I wish I could write a great synopsis for this show, however there are so many characters, and too many wars to give you a good summary. Nevertheless, here goes: there are five kings and they are all fighting for the throne. If you’re not convinced, watch a trailer on YouTube. There are even dragons in the show!!
There you have it! Those are my top 3 shows I’ve recently watched and loved. Check them out and let me know what you think.