We have already told you about it several times on Babbel Magazine: there are many, many tv series perfect for binge-watching in English . If you want to use television to learn a language, you have many options. The dilemma you will encounter most often will be to choose from all the good series that exist. Especially if you want to take the opportunity to update your language skills!
To be able to take full advantage of a good English-language series, it is important not to want to skip the steps and to choose content adapted to your level of English : for example, a medical series may be a little more complicated to understand (without subtitles) if you start your learning. Conversely, if you want to go further in understanding English-speaking culture, you will prefer a series that corresponds first to your centers of interest.
To guide you, we offer you a list of some of the best series in English, classified from the easiest to the most difficult to understand, to discover (or rediscover) at the start of the school year. Let’s go!
Synopsis: Peppa Pig is one of the most popular children’s YouTube series in the UK. Intended for the little ones, Peppa Pig narrates the adventures of Peppa, an anthropomorphic pig, and her friends. By its simplicity of access, it is probably one of the best series in English to learn the language of Shakespeare.
Synopsis: Adventure Time tells the story of a boy named Finn and his talking dog Jake, who go on an adventure to save people. It sounds simple, but the story takes place in a magical, post-apocalyptic world, and the dog can transform into whatever he wants. This series is aimed at children, so the language is great for beginners, but it also features stories about emotional trauma and difficult relationships. If you love animation but want something a little more complex than Peppa Pig , this is a good option. Its only drawback is that it is not available on any streaming platform in France. But rest assured: the DVDs of the series are indeed available!
Synopsis: Hard to believe you haven’t already heard of Stranger Things . The series tells the story of the US government accidentally opening an entrance to an alternate dimension called the Upside Down. Does the scenario seem too complex to you? Don’t worry: the whole point of the series lies in the fact that its main characters are teenagers, which makes the dialogues much easier to understand. Certainly one of the best series in English to rediscover at the start of the school year, especially since season 4 was released recently!
Principle of the program: The Great British Bake Off is one of Britain’s most popular reality TV shows, in which people compete to make the best baked goods. Unlike other reality TV shows, this one is steeped in good intentions: the candidates are encouraged to help each other as they go through the tests. The format is also convenient for English learners to assimilate, with each episode following the same structure. You might learn more baking vocabulary than you need, but maybe it will inspire you!
Streaming platform: HBO Max, available for rental on other platforms
Synopsis: Friends is one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. For 10 seasons (!), Friends follows a group of friends who live their lives in New York. There are dramas, relationships and everything you can ask for. With a popularity still unanimous, it is quite simply one of the most popular series to progress in English. Not only does the dialogue remain relatively simple for an adult series, but it is also full of cultural references and slang expressions from the 90s.
Synopsis: Make no mistake: the name of this series is indeed inspired by a childish pun, but Schitt’s Creek is indeed a series aimed at an adult audience. The series tells the story of a wealthy family who lose all their money and are forced to move into a motel in a rural town. Although the scenario tends to be a bit conventional at times, the series evolves over time, and it is really endearing. The Schitt’s Creek series ended a few years ago, but it’s modern enough to give a better insight into current American culture.
Synopsis: In Insecure, we follow the adventures of Issa and Molly, two friends living in Los Angeles. It is mainly a comedy punctuated by a few more solemn moments: it explores, for example, the reality of life for African-Americans in the United States . Among the best series in English, Insecure is aimed at learners whose level of English is already good, in particular by the depth of its dialogues, but it is really worth making the effort, believe us (and you can still use subtitles!)