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Top 12 TV Series to Learn English óDivided by Proficiency Levels


Introducing 12 TV series to help you learn English

Your school teachers probably told you that the best way to learn a foreign language is to rote memorize new words and cram up grammar rules. It may work but it’s not the most productive method.

Mastering a foreign language requires you to consume and process a lot of information. At first, you barely understand what people say and speak totally broken English. However, as time passes by, you gain new knowledge and skills and learn a lot faster.

First, you can barely complete a short written assignment and have to send 'help me write my essay' requests to experts. However, if you try to follow the logic and patterns of the provided essay sample, you will see the improvements in your own writing and the way you formulate your ideas. So, a bit of help and regular practice are key.

If you have no native speakers to speak with or are simply too shy, watching TV series may be the best way for you to learn some new vocabulary and improve your listening skills. They are properly subbed and, for the most part, are slower paced than YouTube videos.

Here is our ultimate list of TV series for learning English.


Elementary Level

If your English level is A1 or A2, you may have trouble understanding any series at first. That shouldn’t stop you from trying, though.

Turn on the subtitless, try to understand the gist of what the characters are saying, and you’re guaranteed to enjoy these 4 elementary series.

The Simpsons

“The Simpsons already did it” is an Internet rule you have heard on more than one occasion. From autocorrect on your phone to the president of the US, this show has predicted a lot of things. What it didn’t predict is you learning English with it.

It’s an animated series aimed at teens and adults, so you can expect the language to be simple and understandable. Some characters have timbres that are difficult to discern, which is why you’ll have to strain your ears a lot.


Everybody knows Friends. The cast, the opening song, and the concept of being on a break have become synonymous with American sitcoms.

The plot is funny and really easy to follow, even if you don’t understand half of what the actors say in this or that scene.

When you’re a beginner, there’s a significant lag between hearing something and understanding it. In Friends, actors mostly don’t rush with their lines, and you have all the time in the world to get them.

Apart from an entertaining story, this series is great for learning slang and conversational tone. Friends is going to teach you that you only need to know “umm” and “so” to sound like a native.

How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother is a casual sitcom. It starts with a man telling his kids a story of meeting their mom. At first, it’s moderately funny, then it becomes wildly hilarious and finally, it turns into a regular belly-buster.

By watching it, you’ll be able to pick up some slang, learn some simple vocabulary and improve your listening comprehension skills. The majority of the scenes involve bar culture, with some dwelling on dating and flirting. You can use the vocabulary you get from watching it in similar situations.

Desperate Housewives

If you can’t imagine your life without drama, go for this eternal classic. While trying to figure out the plot twists, you’ll get to learn some everyday/formal expressions, as well as boost your overall language competence.


Intermediate Level

If you’re anywhere between B1 and B2, you will have no problem understanding basic lexicon and grammar. Get your dictionary ready and enjoy these 4 shows.

The Office

The Office is a mockumentary that follows office workers in their natural habitat. If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ll relate to the stories shown here.

While the choice of words isn’t exactly out of your comfort zone, some of the jokes may not be immediately understandable.

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is cruel to its characters, but not so much to English learners. If your level is B2, you’ll have no trouble understanding most of the vocabulary; however, some wordy sentences may have you scratch the back of your head.

Everybody is hyped up about this show, so you’ll find a ton of fan-created content on the web. Once you’re done with an episode, go to Reddit or a Facebook page to discuss it with other fans. That’s a great opportunity for you to polish your writing skills.

House of Cards

House of Cards is a sneak peek into the world of the elites. Watch them rub elbows with each other and listen to them collude behind closed doors. You’ll learn a lot of formal and publicist language from it.

It’s not just the words, it’s the sentence structure that changes. It becomes wordier and full of redundant constructions. Follow the protagonist to learn some posh language.

Grey's Anatomy

Both a drama and a medical series, Grey’s Anatomy gives you the best of two worlds. You will gain some valuable insights into conversational speech, as well as learn some medical terminology.


Advanced Level

If your level is C1 or C2, you can probably understand any series no problem, but there is still scop for improvement and there's a lot of slang, archaic or technical language you may still need to get familiar with.

Peaky Blinders

It’s hard to challenge an advanced speaker but Peaky Blinders manages to do just that. It’s not about the vocabulary, sentence structure, or political speech.

Because the action takes place in 1919 Birmingham, the actors speak with a pretty thick local accent. For the first couple of episodes, you’ll be trying your best to find some English in the character’s lines.

Your efforts are worth it since the plot is really good. It involves bookies, drugs, gangsters, and some family values to smooth things up.

Black Adder

Black Adder is Rowen Atkinson’s work before he became Mr. Bean. You may think of him as a goofy man because of Mr. Bean’s legacy, but this series is dark and surprisingly funny.

Trying to understand the wordy humor is the biggest challenge here. If you do like it, you’ll get some of the wittiest one-liners and insults in your collection. Start with “Your brain is so minute, that if a hungry cannibal cracked your head open, there wouldn’t be enough to cover a small water biscuit.” That’s British humor for you.


Suits is a legal drama. Following the world of lawyers may be hard at first, but you’ll get used to the jargon pretty fast.

From then on, you’ll enjoy the eloquence of the defense, trying to crack the case before the protagonist does.


Speaking of cracking cases, Sherlock is another great show to watch when you’re confident in your English. Mr. Holmes is a high functioning sociopath, so he’s not known for speaking plain English.

Once you get used to quick-paced British accent of Benedict Cumberbatch, you’ll have an amazing time following the story.


Learning English with Series

Watching series alone won’t make you a great speaker. You have to get out and talk to somebody, at least on the series’s Reddit page.

That said, watching one of these series to the end is guaranteed to boost your English language skills and entertain you at the same time.


Written by Michael Warren

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