9 Best TV Shows to Watch for Learning English

by | Apr 5, 2024 | Cool & Fun, Online education, Tips for Students

Among many ways that exist to learn a language, watching TV is the most engaging and easiest way to achieve your learning goals. If you already enjoy watching TV shows and you want to learn English, it’s a great way to pick it up. You will listen to native speakers using their mother tongue. At first, you will need to listen with the subtitles on, then you will slowly begin to recognize certain words and key phrases. You will also learn how to pronounce words correctly. So, without more ado, here are some of the best TV series to help you learn English.

1. Friends

Friends is one of the best TV shows for learning English. The show is light-hearted and the conversations are easy-going. Many people still watch this series although it stopped airing in May 2004. The show is set in Manhattan in New York City and follows six young friends. They all live in the same apartment block and interact on a daily basis. You will learn conversational English and how to understand basic humor through the dialogue. The show is available on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Note: Watching TV series to improve your English can be done without having to break the bank. You can find guidance on the list of free streaming services or services that offer extended trials. If you want to know which streaming services are free, you can find a bundle of Netflix documentaries in a YouTube playlist. Apple TV+ also offers one of the best free streaming of selected original content. You can also enjoy 10,000 hours of premium content with HBO Max. Amazon Prime offers free access to some animation and kids’ movies. Platforms like Hulu, Showtime, and Acorn TV offer extended trials.

2. The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory stopped airing in May 2019 but people still watch it over and over. Sheldon and Leonard are nerdy friends and scientists who live together as roommates. Rajesh and Howard are other scientists who make up their group of friends. The show follows these characters as they interact with girls, do experiments, play video games, and read comics.

This show will make you laugh and help you to pick up scientific vocabulary and the type of language students use. You can currently watch the show on Netflix in some countries. It isn’t on Netflix US but if you use a VPN you can watch it.

3. Sherlock

Sherlock is a modern adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories about Sherlock Holmes. Holmes assists the police in solving crimes and his roommate Watson assists him. His arch-enemy, Jim Moriarty, appears as a constant in the series. Sherlock is currently available on Hulu.

This is one of the English TV shows you can’t afford to miss if you enjoy detective stories and want to learn to speak English with a British accent. The language in the series can be fairly complex, but the brilliant performances of the actors help you to follow what’s happening on screen.

4. Grey’s Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy is a TV series that follows Meredith Grey as she begins her residency at Seattle Grace Hospital. She has to deal with different medical dramas in each episode as she goes through her training and eventually becomes a qualified surgeon.

Deaths, romantic relationships, work struggles, and more will keep you interested. There is plenty of one-on-one dialogue to help you to learn English and you can pick up some medical vocabulary. Grey’s Anatomy is available on Hulu.

5. Suits

Suits is a legal drama set in New York City. It focuses on a student who runs into a law office to escape a drug sting. He has an interview with Harvey Specter, one of the best lawyers in New York, and gets a job by lying about having a law degree. You will be riveted by all the intrigues that go on in the firm.

Suits may not be a good fit if you want to learn simple conversational English. However, it could offer a great introduction to legal vocabulary and help you improve your business English.

6. American Horror Story

American Horror Story<br />

Each season of this show features a different story. If you’re a fan of the horror genre, there are plenty of betrayals, murders, and blood to keep you fascinated. The different plot lines usually have some history attached to them. A haunted house, a mental hospital, and a traveling circus feature in some of the seasons. You can watch this show on Hulu and Disney+.

This show can expose you to accents from different time periods and show you how American English has changed over the years. It also shows how Americans in different regions speak English differently.

7. Riverdale

Riverdale brings the old Archie comics to life in the form of a dark murder mystery. Bettie, Veronica, Archie, and Jughead explore their dark sides as Riverdale shows its evil underbelly. You can watch the show on Netflix and Apple TV.

What can help you to learn English is to watch TV series and read some of the Archie comics at the same time. The comics can help you to start reading English and you will pick up intermediate English as you follow the twists and turns of this TV series plot.

8. Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live (SNL) is a weekly comedy sketch show. Famous actors or singers host the show and make live appearances in some of the short comedic acts. You can watch SNL on Hulu.

The comedy sketches are often intuitive and you can understand them just by watching. SNL exposes viewers to various fun situations, accents and colloquial language. It is a great and entertaining way to learn English through humor. 

9. Modern Family

Modern Family is a very popular sitcom that follows three different but related families. It highlights the value of accepting differences and explores issues such as sibling rivalry, gay marriage, adoption, etc. in a comedic way. You can watch the show on Hulu or Amazon Prime.

The cast of characters are all of different ages and from varying backgrounds. It can be helpful to hear all the different ways Americans speak English. Hearing Gloria speaking with a Colombian accent may make you feel braver about speaking English with an accent.


If you want to learn English with TV series, you can choose from shows in many different genres. If you enjoy comedies, Friends, Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, or SNL are good options. Sherlock will allow you to put on your detective hat. Grey’s Anatomy will expose you to medical vocabulary and Suits to business and law vocabulary. If horror is your choice of genre, watching American Horror Story may help you to learn English.

And if you need extra help to improve your level of English faster, then don’t hesitate to invest a bit more time and money into quality 1-to-1 English lessons online with one of our experienced native English teachers.

Till then, happy learning and good luck!