I don’t know about you, but I prefer to learn another language while doing as little physical exercise as possible – so perfecting grammar and pronunciation while sat in my living room is 100% my vibe. My preferred televisual medium? Streaming services, of course. Our old friend Netflix is still dominating the home entertainment landscape, so if you’re looking for some more binge-worthy series to sink your teeth into – here’s my first list – you have come to the right place.
Time to order that pizza, switch off your phone and get ready to learn English in the most comfortable location (your sofa).
1. Iron Fist
Season one might have divided viewers, but this second season has proven much more satisfying. Best of all, we get to see much more of our beloved Colleen Wing and a big final twist. Moody use of the English language throughout.
Fans of psychological crime dramas will love this effective series set in late 1970s America. Two FBI agents try to decode serial killer mentality by interviewing some nasty criminals already locked up. But who’s getting inside whose head?
Dark twists on well-known stories are all the rage (hello, DC superhero universe) and Riverdale has four seasons of overly dramatic teen mystery to entertain you. Yes, the entire cast look like models and are clearly in their mid-twenties even though they’re playing teenagers, but the language is easy to follow and basically, everyone’s watching it.
In the 1980s, a hit US TV show called the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (G.L.O.W.) focused on female pro wrestlers. This series tells a fictional version of how the show came about, delving into the personal and professional lives of the wrestlers. The English is easy to follow and fun.
5. The Good Place
Feelgood sitcom fans unite! All-around nice person Kristen Bell and British presenter/actress Jameela Jamil star in this fun story of a woman who dies and wakes up in heaven, but knows she’s actually not supposed to be there because she was a terrible person while she was alive. Hilarity ensues. Stay tuned for the end of the first season – I can’t tell you why, just do it.
6. Black Mirror
Scared of what the future might hold? Probably don’t watch this one. It’s an anthology series, which means each episode has an entirely different premise, setting and cast – so you can watch all of them in one go or save them for different evenings. Each story focuses on a way in which technology could enhance our lives, but each tale usually ends horribly. You’ll never look at your mobile phone the same way again. It’s also a UK-US production, so the cast is often a combination of British and American actors, giving you the chance to hear both dialects next to each other.
From the creator of The Simpsons comes this animated comedy series set in a fantasy world where rebellious Princess Bean escapes an arranged marriage ceremony to go find herself in the wide world. The English is easy to follow and it’s the kind of series you can watch without engaging your brain too much (unless your English level is really low, in which case you might have to engage quite a lot. Still: learning is fun!).
8. The Innocents
Classy British-Scandinavian thrillers always impress, and this one is even better because it involves supernatural powers. It ticks all the boxes! June and Harry are young runaways whose pasts follow them to London, and then Norway. There’s something special about June – but I won’t spoil it for you anymore. If you’re keen to learn English with a British accent, and love stories about paranormal events, this is right up your street.
9. Queer Eye
Perhaps you’re old like me and remember the original version of this makeover reality show from the 2000s – if not, it’s time to get involved. Five gay professionals transform the lives of people in the US with their knowledge of fashion, health, fitness, design and overall happiness. Set your English language levels to stylish and get ready for some feel-good viewing with nice, accessible English.
10. Bojack Horseman
Be warned: this animated comedy isn’t for the easily offended. Bojack is a formerly-famous sitcom actor (he’s also half human, half horse) who wants to regain his status in the entertainment world with the help of his half-human, half-cat ex-girlfriend/agent. It sounds completely insane but it’s surprisingly entertaining. Just don’t remember all the bad words.
Bonus show if you’re learning German: Dark
If you like twisty-turny paranormal storylines like Stranger Things, and you’re trying to learn German, this is one for you. A small town discovers something creepy and mysterious beneath the local nuclear power plant before things get really (and I mean REALLY) messed up. Sometimes the words can be a bit complicated but honestly, that’s just German for you.