September is at our door, and I know some of us dread it: back to school, back to work, back to cloudy skies… But I know a way to keep this sunshiny smile on your faces while improving your English skills! Binge-watching series! Here are 9 series about to be released this September and that I would absolutely recommend! So get your TV or your laptop ready for some serious watching!
Listen as you read:
Why and how to watch series?
If you are wondering why I advocate watching series, you obviously haven’t read my ebook “Boost your English in 7 days”. (Click here to get your free copy). To make it short: it’s fun, it’s cool, you can talk about it with other fans and most importantly, it helps you develop your English ear. But there’s a way to do it:
Use English Subtitles :
There’s no way around it. You may think that it’s difficult to read and listen at the same time. I understand it can take some getting used to it. But this is the best technique ever. I have tested it on myself back in the days when I was a student. I have tested it on my husband who became a very proficient user. And he’s French, for crying out loud! So if it worked on him, it will work on you too!
Don’t stop to look in your dictionary:
Instead, try to understand the message. This is much easier with videos than with audio files because you have context. The images, the expressions, the reactions will all help you to make sense of the words used. Stopping every 3 minutes to check a word is counterproductive because it will look like work, and what we want is fun.
But not checking vocabulary right away doesn’t prevent you from taking notes. So have a notebook ready, or just a piece of paper, and write down the words you would like to check later, the ones that weren’t pronounced the way you expected them to be or the expressions you liked and would like to start using.
Ok, so now you are ready to enjoy September to the fullest! Let’s do this!
1)Narcos – Season 3: Premiere on Sept 1st – This series started in 2016 on Netflix, and it fictionalizes the story of infamous Pablo Escobar and the Medellin drug cartel in Columbia. The success of the two first seasons was massive, and apparently season 3 is expected to be huge too. To be honest, I hadn’t watched a single episode until last night. And I loved it! I definitely like the realistic tone used, making me wonder if I’m watching a documentary or a fiction. Broad American accent here, and some drug slang. Level: upper-intermediate
2)Little Evil – Season 1: Premiere on Sept 1st – It’s a horror comedy starring Adam Scott (The Secret life of Walter Mitty), whose character married the woman of his dreams, Samantha. Unfortunately, Samantha has a 6-year-old boy who behaves very strangely, as if he were the anti-christ… I don’t really know whether I appreciate horror and comedy together, but the trailer caught my attention. Now the pilot has to convince me.. Level: intermediate
3)American Horror Story: Cult – Season 7: Premiere on Sept 5th: I don’t think it’s necessary to present this series anymore, after 8 years being on our screens. However, if you have never seen it and you love horror movies, it’s a must! Every season concentrates on a theme. Last year’s season “My Roanoke nightmare” left me unimpressed, but this season’s story starts on the night of Donald Trump’s election, and it involves scary clowns… It seems like reality and fiction have merged again, and I want to know more! Level: intermediate
4)You’re the worst – Season 4: Premiere on Sept 6th – A cynic British writer, an American bi-polar, a war veteran, a crazy self-absorbed blonde, these characters make the perfect combo for a highly and hilariously immoral show. I have absolutely adored watching the three first seasons. It’s a 20-minute format, which is probably easier for intermediate learners. And it will give you practice to understand both British and American English!
5)Will & Grace – Season 10: Premiere on Sept 17th – I used to be an absolute fan of the series back in the years 2000. After 11 years, Will & Grace is about to have their big come back. Ex-ciiit-ing! However, I would only advise it if you are at an upper-intermdiate level: they use a lot of cultural references and they speak quite fast! But it was witty, funny and addictive!
6)This is Us – Season 2: Premiere on Sept 26th – I discovered this series last year with absolute excitement: it’s sensitive, it’s smart, it’s beautiful. No sci-fi, no vampires, no werewolves, and that feels good for once. It’s a human story at a human scale. It could be your story, my story. I love it! The language used isn’t too hard to understand, which makes me label it as an intermediate level.
7)Modern Family – Season 9: Premiere on Sept 27th – THE family show per excellence! I’ve been following it since the very beginning 9 years ago. And although it hasn’t the best cliffhangers in the world, this series is always a breeze: it brings some sunshine in your home and makes you laugh. The jokes are really fast so it’s not always easy to catch them, and I personally don’t have time to laugh out loud, but I laugh a lot inside. It’s like a silent therapy of 20 minutes. Level: intermediate
8)Grey’s Anatomy – Season 14: Premiere on Sept 28th – Shonda Rhimes’s series are both the most exciting and the most unnerving ones I have ever watched. I started following Grey’s Anatomy after everyone else and I was hooked after a couple of episodes. I have never cried so much in front of my TV. It’s sometimes too much and that’s why I took a break last year and didn’t watch season 13. I had the impression that the writer was playing with my emotions, creating highly unlikely events just to create tension and pathos. That said, I’m now ready for more! Plus, if you’d like to learn more medical terms, this is a great opportunity to do so! Level: intermediate
9)How to get Away with Murder – Season 4: Premiere on Sept 28th – Shonda Rhimes strikes again with this thriller series: a lawyer, her students, all involved in mysterious murders. And strangely enough we are on their side! This plot has a particular echo with me, as it makes me think of this novel of Donna Tartt, “The Secret History“. It’s one of my favorite books, and I even wrote my undergraduate thesis about it! Season 3 left us hanging with the death of a major character, and I honestly can’t wait to see this new season. Level: intermediate
By the way, a very helpful website to know when episodes are programmed is Epguides. I use it all the time because I love to write down all the scheduled shows not to miss any episodes. You too? Oh my! Well, as a special giveaway, you can download my wonderful free printable calendar here:
I hope you enjoy it! By the way, I’m really curious to know which series you like? Have you watched any of these before? Are there other series that you would recommend?
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