Watching a show or film in your target language is a great way to practice, which is why we love Netflix so much. The question is just which do you choose? Here are five suggestions to get you started if you’re learning English, with a mixture of both British and American English.
Starting with a dose of British English, The Crown will give you an insight into the life of Queen Elizabeth the Second starting in the 1940s and moving up to modern times. She was just 25 when she took over as monarch; The Crown dramatises all the personal issues, romances, and political difficulties faced throughout her life from that age. It is beautifully shot with some familiar faces like Matt Smith from Doctor Who and Helena Bonham Carter to draw you in. Subtitles are available so you can follow this wide range of British accents as you watch.
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The Good Place
Sometimes comedies get overlooked on language learning recommendations, so we have to include The Good Place to fix that! This series is a feel good show with a difference that follows the lives of a group of people who would never have reason to meet in their regular lives. Our window into this world is Eleanor Shellstrop who is both hero and anti-hero, a character that you will love, glare at, and want to hug possibly all at once within the space of an episode. Unusual perhaps for a comedy, The Good Place manages to keep surprising you with plot twists and that to keep you guessing all the way through. There are a few plays on words that might be a little tricky on your first watch, but keep going. Get the subtitles on, and you will soon be in deep with this beautiful show.
From the producers of The Simpsons and Futurama is Disenchantment, a series that sounds like it might be something out of a Terry Pratchett novel. The story is set in the medieval kingdom of Dreamland and follows the misadventures of a young princess named Bean, her friend Elfo, and her own personal demon named Luci. They meet ogres, imps, sprites, trolls, and humans along the way but do so with the typical Simpsons charm you likely already know. There is a little adult humour that goes delightfully over the heads of younger viewers, and characters that you’ll get to love or loathe. Disenchantment is a perfect way to practice English, easy to follow and guaranteed to have you giggling from the start.
Call The Midwife
Call The Midwife has captured the hearts of a devoted following who fell in love with the book it is based on. True, a group of nuns who serve as midwifes to the East End of London in the 1950s and 1960s might not sound all that interesting at first. But once you meet Jenny, who will lead you on this beautiful step back in time, you’ll be hooked. The nuns themselves are intriguing characters, and the families they help along the way will steal your hearts. There are some pretty graphic scenes of childbirth as is befitting to a true life story yet these almost serve as a backstory to the adventures of these nuns and their community. Call The Midwife also gives you a glimpse at the Cockney accent which is far more reflective of today’s English than some other series might have you believe!
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
If you read the synopsis of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt you might think twice before watching it, but please don’t do that; watch the trailer instead! Kimmy Schmidt is rescued after fifteen years trapped in a cult, and decides to reclaim her life by moving to New York. She rents a room from Titus, a wannabe Broadway star, and their unlikely friendship forms the basis of the story. She gives him hopefulness and determination while he reintroduces her to the modern world, and together they deal with everything that life decides to throw at them. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is heartwarming and funny, absolutely a must-watch for anyone; especially those wanting to practice English.
However you might be wondering if your English is good enough to be able to watch any of the above Netflix recommendations. Well we got you covered! Click here to start your free English language test and find out in just a couple of minutes what is your true English level like.