Learning and speaking English is a task that takes months of hard work, perseverance and diligent practice. We read several articles on the internet (you will find many on the Pep Talk blog as well) that advise you to invest your time in reading books, browse interesting articles online, and scour well-written and researched editorial pieces. These undoubtedly help you a lot in improving your command over the English language but let’s not deny it, it can become at times monotonous also and one can grow weary of reading too much when so much entertainment is at your disposal in the form of movies and TV shows. All of us indulge in the guilty pleasure of binging on our favorite TV series for pure escapist entertainment and for recreational purposes. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to stop learning English. In fact, it has been proven that watching English movies and TV shows with subtitles helps you improve your diction, conversational skills and keeps you updated with the latest terminology, slang words and expressions used in various spheres of life in different parts of the world. Here is a list of the top 10 TV shows that you should certainly watch (with the subtitles switched on) to keep learning English in a fun and exciting way!
10. The Big Bang Theory
The story of lovable nerds (physicists and an engineer, to be precise) Sheldon, Leonard, Raj and Howard and how their life changes when the cheerful and extremely hot Penny moves in next doors. There is a lot of scientific stuff thrown at you and references to popular culture and geek fandom such as comics, Star Trek, most superhero characters et al abound in surplus. The humor is fantastic, especially of its breakout character Sheldon Copper as well as the character of Raj, who speaks in a very distinct Indian accent and is a delight to watch.
9. Mad Men
Dive into the world of advertising and business with Mad Men, a show set in the 1960s in New York. Mad Men describes the social and moral changes that happen during the period and deals with American culture in a cynical way, covering issues like alcoholism, tobacco, sexism, racism, adultery etc. The show is entertaining as hell and there is a lot to learn for everyone.
8. Modern Family
This sitcom is shot in documentary style and covers the lives of an extended, multicultural family that includes a hot Latina Sofia Vergara and her much older husband Jay (who also serves as the patriarch of the family), a gay couple trying to raise an adopted Asian girl and goofy parents Phil and Claire trying for an open, honest relationship with their three kids. Modern Family is hilarious and heartwarming, with the family facing trials and tribulations with comical results.
7. Downtown Abbey
Downtown Abbey is a historical period drama set during 1912-1926 in the fictional Yorkshire county estate of the same name, and depicts the life of an aristocratic family and their servants. Apart from being top at its game in terms of English use and pronunciation, this show is hugely informative and inculcates various historical events into its narrative, such as the sinking of the Titanic, the First World War, the Irish War of Independence and the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, to name a few.
Verbose to the core and very smartly written, Suits is a comedy drama of Mike Ross, a brilliant college dropout who finds himself working with top lawyer Harvey Specter. With an ensemble cast, intriguing relationships and a superb script, Suits is one legal drama that you can’t afford to miss out on.
5. House of Cards
Everyone is aware of the phenomenon known as House of Cards, starring the indomitable Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood and his wife Robin Wright as his better half. The show highlights a compelling political drama fraught with dangerous consequences as Frank Underwood embarks to use his ruthless cunning and methodical precision to seize power. House of Cards has many moments in which the characters engage in eloquent discourse, making it a must watch.
The favorite evergreen sitcom of all, Friends is a laugh riot and also has several quirky and interesting dialogues as we sashay through the lives of six friends- Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, Ross, Joey and Chandler. With an affable cast and many laugh-out-loud moments, you will be visiting Friends more than once to get your fix of comedy.
3. The Crown
A biographical story of Queen Elizabeth II and how she deals with the overwhelming burden of monarchy while forging a working relationship with Winston Churchill. Starring Claire Foy in the titular role, The Crown has received widespread acclaim for its accurate depiction of Queen Elizabeth’s reign and outstanding production values.
BBC’s modern-day reboot of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous creation has not only received praise for the fantastic performances of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, but also for its smart and witty dialogues. The famous pair solve complex crimes and also keeps you on the tenterhooks with its unexpected twists and turns. Definitely great entertainment for any time.
1. Breaking Bad
One of the most highly acclaimed TV shows of recent times, Breaking Bad is the story of a mild-mannered chemistry teacher who becomes a meth kingpin. A solid crime thriller and a gripping family drama, Breaking Bad boasts of outstanding performances and amazing plot twists to keep you hooked. Being a very well-written show, the dialogues are peppered with interesting terms and vocab that you can jot down to use in your daily conversations.