TV shows to learn English

Watching TV shows is one of the most effective (and fun) ways to improve your English. This is a list of shows that, in my view, might help you. I have arranged them according to the level I feel they are most suitable for. The reasons why I chose them? Maybe the actor’s clear enunciation, the geographic and social varieties that characters use, and the extent to which they may be easy to understand; the comprehensible input they may offer in terms of vocabulary…and why not say it, my own personal choice. [BLOG ENTRY UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2017, ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN SEPTEMBER 2013] 


  • Fawlty Towers (BBC, UK, 1975 / 1979) (comedy)

  • Friends (NCB, US, 1994-2004 ) (sitcom)
  • Monty Python’s Flying Circus (BBC, UK, 1969-1974)  (sketch comedy)


  • Downton Abbey [ITV, UK, 2010-2015] (costume drama)

  • The Crown [Netflix, 2016-] (biopic) (British English)

  • Blackadder (BBC, UK, 1983-1989) (historical comedy)

  • Big Little Lies (HBO, US, 2017) (drama, thriller)

  • Call the Midwife (BBC, UK, 2012) (biopic, social history of England, drama)



  • Come Fly with Me (BBC, UK, 2010) (comedy)
  • Brideshead Revisited (Granada TV, UK, 1981) (drama)
  • 13 Reasons Why (Netflix, US, 2017) (drama, thriller)


  • Sherlock (BBC, UK, 2010-2017)  (thriller)
  • A Bit of Fry and Laurie (BBC, UK, 1987-1994) (sketch comedy)
  • The Office (BBC, UK, 2001) (comedy)


To watch TV shows online:

(1 hour every day for free; subscription plans allow you to watch as many episodes as you want, and more shows are available to watch)


Other recommendations: (H/T I.M.)

6 comments on “TV shows to learn English

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