Watch&Learn : TV Series that help improve your Vocabulary

By Aditya Roy

August 13, 2020

The following list of TV series is not based on any popularity metric rather they are based on the pure generic opinion of their viewers, who have considered their plots and dialogues to be engaging, interesting, and at the same time highly instructive in so far as the developing communication and other interpersonal skills are concerned. Moreover watching these TV Series can be more of a watch and learn activity, rather than an unnecessary burden.

Steps to follow while watching them.

Watching any of the series form the below-given list will surely help polish your vocabulary, as it would help you to perforate the secrete of great command over the language, and also there is no denying the fact that “A strong vocab facilitates an eloquent and fluent conversation”.

Before we take a look at the list, let us make sure to follow certain rules so that watching these Tv Series can become a great learning experience. 

1. Diligently!! put on the subtitles every time you watch any episode. That is the bare minimum to comprehend connotations of what a particular character is trying to express in a scene.

2. Pause and search the meaning if it is not clear. Yes it can be frustrating in the initial stages, but once you have made up your mind to become a better speaker, then you’ll surely hit the stride once you pause and start searching for the meaning.

3. Re-watch the scene once you are clear with the literal meaning of the sentence, and try to apply it contextually to get a better understanding.

4. Write down the difficult words, phrases, and sentences on digital applications and make it a point to revise and use them in your day-to-day conversations.

Always keep these 4 points in your sub-conscious mind every time you watch these TV Series, if you were to really make this Watch&Learn activity, a fruitful one.

All the below listed shows are available on almost all premium streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and HotStar. Thus you can watch them anytime.

Also, for those who are quite accustomed to watching the shows mentioned in this list, it can goes on without a doubt that this list might contain some spoilers, thus a SPOILER ALERT!! is  in effect.

Spoiler Alert Image

Breaking Bad

Combine dark comedy with some hard hitting reality of drug addicts and their morbid lives along with excellent screenplay and dialogues with a  pinch of action every now-and-then, is what makes Breaking Bad the most epic TV Series of all time.

This is a story of a middle aged, and overqualified high-school chemistry teacher Walter White(portrayed by Bryan Cranston) who is diagnosed with lung cancer. To make sure his family is financially secure, he teams up with a former student Jesse Pinkman(portrayed by  Aaron Paul), and turns to a life of crime to make and distribute the purest crystal meth on the streets.

Breaking Bad Collage

Methodical acting powered with sizeable writing has made this TV Series master the art of the cliff-hanger. Partly this is because not every episode ends at the edge of a cliff. Some just end. There’s a finality – sometimes even a sense of tragedy or malaise – to many episodes.

Sherlock

Based on the novel by Britain’s finest detective frictional writer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The TV Series Sherlock remains a contemporary obsession because he reflects our anxieties about life and work. 

Sherlock Holmes forces us to ask some rather prickly questions. What if the qualities that make us good at our jobs have a harmful effect on our personal life? Sherlock can solve any crime, but he pays the price in denying his friends their privacybrilliance in one sphere, tactlessness in another. And this kind of conundrum applies to practically all lines of work.    

Team Sherlock

The meticulous on-screen portrayal of Sherlock Holmes by Benedict Cumberbatch, and his equanimous friend, Dr. John H. Watson by Martin Freeman changes the entire direction of a scene and one change to their expressions can change the meaning of their line entirely.

You truly see how complicated Sherlock is as a person, or the inner turmoil of John as he deals with the shenanigans of their cases. Even the supporting cast is spectacular.

There are so many fabulous quotes, you will find yourself remembering and laughing to yourself about long after you finished the show. Even the more heartfelt ones leave a trace in your heart. Don’t even get me started on Sherlock’s best man speech at John’s wedding. All of this makes it a must TV Series.

The Wire

Feature

The Wire is a police drama set in inner-city Baltimore that documents the inner workings of police, gangs, politicians and miscellaneous other institutions as they impact upon the drug trade.

Based on real life incidents and experiences of David Simon as a police reporter,  the whole thing rings very true. What really draws you in are the characters. Very few of them are uniformly good or bad. The drug dealers are human. The cops drink too much and cheat on their wives. 

One of the unforeseen pleasures being a Wire fan is that you gradually pick up the vocabulary of the cops and the drug dealers. Expressions like “I feel you” (“I get your drift”) and “Re-up” (replenishing one’s drug supply) are now second-nature to me. I did, of course, reveal the limitations of my street cred when I mistook the slang term “shawty” (girlfriend) for “shorty.” Oh well. Can’t have everything.

House Of Cards

Winner of 7 Emmys, 2 Golden Globe, and  and over 27 various other TV accolades, House of Cards stands out as a first-rate on merit in so far as a political drama is concerned.

House of Cards

House of Cards is an American political thriller web television series created by Beau Willimon. It is an adaptation of the 1990 BBCminiseries of the same name and based on the novel of the same name by Michael Dobbs. The first 13-episode season was released on February 1, 2013, on the streaming service Netflix.

Frank Underwood

House of Cards is set in Washington, D.C. and is the story of Congressman Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), a Democrat from South Carolina’s 5th congressional district and House Majority Whip. He is passed over for appointment as Secretary of State, so he initiates an elaborate plan to attain power, aided by his wife Claire Underwood (Robin Wright). The series deals with themes of ruthless pragmatism, manipulation, and power.

The best part about this TV Series is that you don’t have to know anything about politics to understand what’s happening.

Suits

Suits is an American legal drama television series created and written by Aaron Korsh. The series premiered on June 23, 2011, on the cable network USA, and is produced by Universal Cable.

Suits is set at a fictional law firm in New York City. The focal point of the show follows talented college dropout Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), who initially works as a law associate for Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), despite never actually having attended law school. The show focuses on Harvey and Mike managing to close cases while maintaining Mike’s secret.

The central character i.e. Harvey Spectar portrayed by Gabriel Macht is a lawyer who is ingeniously smart when it comes to solving mind-boggling corporate problems. Half the time you may not get to know the actual problem and the solutions that Harvey and Mike evolve into, yet you would be contending in knowing that they did come to a solution. 

There are various other life-lessons that one can learn while watching Suits. One of them being great oratory skills.

Modern Family

Modern Family revolves around three different types of families (nuclear, step- and same-sex) living in the Los Angeles area, who are interrelated through Jay Pritchett and his children, Claire Dunphy (née Pritchett) and Mitchell Pritchett. Patriarch Jay is remarried to a much younger woman, Gloria Delgado Pritchett (née Ramirez), a passionate Colombian with whom he has a young son, Fulgencio Joseph “Joe” Pritchett, and a son from Gloria’s previous marriage, Manny Delgado.

Jay’s daughter Claire was a homemaker, but has returned to the business world. She is now the chief executive of her father’s previous business, Pritchett’s Closets and Blinds. She is married to Phil Dunphy, a realtor and self-professed “cool dad”. They have three children: Haley Dunphy, a stereotypical ditzy teenage girl. Alex Dunphy, a nerdy, smart middle child and Luke Dunphy, the off-beat only son.

Jay’s lawyer son Mitchell and his husband Cameron Tucker have one adopted daughter, Lily Tucker-Pritchett. As the name suggests, this family represents a modern-day family, and episodes are comically based on situations which many families encounter in real life.

Freaks & Geeks

The show is based in 1980s, where there’s two different groups of teenagers, the Freaks with cool and charismatic Daniel Desario and tomboy Lindsay Weir and the Geeks with Lindsay’s shy younger brother Sam, gentle Bill Haverchuck, and self-proclaimed ladies’ man Neal Schweiber. The show chronicles the normal teen/adolescence problems any teenager goes through including acceptance, drugs, drinking, and bullying.

Black Mirror

Black Mirror is a British science fiction anthology television series created by Charlie Brooker, with Brooker and Annabel Jones serving as the programme showrunners.

It examines modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies. Episodes are standalone, usually set in an alternative present or the near future, often with a dark and satirical tone, though some are more experimental and lighter.

The show premiered for two series on the British television channel Channel 4 on December 2011 and February 2013, respectively. 

After its addition to the catalogue in December 2014, Netflix purchased the programme in September 2015. It commissioned a series of 12 episodes later divided into the third and fourth series, each six episodes; the former was released on 21 October 2016 and the latter on 29 December 2017. A fifth series was announced on 5 March 2018.

Westworld

The concept of Westworld is a bit like a robotic Renaissance fair, or a particularly ambitious LARP featuring rape and murder. The idea is that one can indulge their wildest western-themed fantasie TV Series, with no consequence to the outside world. You enter the park, cosplay as a cowboy, and go explore.

The entire area is inhabited by “hosts,” artificially intelligent, walking western stereotypes each trapped in their own narrative, an endless behavioral loop that the guests can take part in, or interrupt by shooting them in the head, if they so desire. It’s like a live-action Red Dead Redemption, with particularly impressive AI.

Westworld’s roots lie in classic sci-fi, but the unique scenario plays out like a modern-day video game. Pick a quest to follow, form relationships with non-player characters, shoot a man in the back just to see what happens. One of the more sympathetic human characters, William, played by Jimmi Simpson, represents the first-time player who finds the entire experience overwhelming and a bit too violent.

Last Week Tonight

Perhaps the most happening and outrightly neutral, backed by facts, and inspiring the sense of logical humour is what would sum to be Last Week Tonight, With John Oliver. Very unbiased, and very scurrilously humorous as well as enlightening is what makes this TV Series must watch.

You can catch a glimpse of his take on native advertising in this clip given below…… 

Oliver described his preparations for the show to an interviewer for The Wire: “… I basically have to watch everything. The only thing I kind of watch for pleasure is Fareed Zakaria’s show on Sundays… That and 60 Minutes I watch for pleasure, or maybe Frontline… I have a TV on in my office all the time and I’ll generally flick around on that from CNN, Fox, MSNBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Al Jazeera… I’m watching with a certain thing in mind and that is how to see a story told badly.”

What makes this show and it’s host even more special is the fact that John Oliver rarely pulls punches in his evaluations of shady organizations like FIFA or when pointing out government corruption. His commentary on the main story of the week can be scathing, but those claims rarely come without substantial evidence to prove his point. Thus making it a must watch TV Series.

So that was the list. Follow the instructions stated at the beginning and you’ll gradually catch up with your command over the English Language.

Do you think we missed any of your favorite ones, then do let us know in the comments section below.

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Aditya Roy

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