Tag Archives: television

TV To Watch Over Winter Break

By Tanya Chen

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3 minute read]

Quarantine has been extremely difficult. The days seem to pass by slowly and they each feel like an endless, repetitive loop. During quarantine, I have picked up a few hobbies out of boredom. Some of these new ventures include making Dalgona coffee, baking banana bread, and learning Photoshop. As these hobbies have come and go, there is one hobby that has stayed consistent throughout the past six months: watching Netflix. In this article, I will recommend three shows that I think international students will enjoy watching and learning from. We can all watch TV shows to relax during this time, and with winter break fast approaching, I highly recommend all of these!

Criminal Minds (Genre: Mystery/Suspense; Seasons: 15; Episode Length: 40 minutes)

Photo by Michelle Ding on Unsplash

Criminal Minds is an extremely addictive crime show. The show follows a team of FBI agents who work in the Behavioral Analysis Unit as profilers. FBI profilers are law enforcement agents who use psychology to study and investigate who the suspects behind crimes are and what motivates them. It is interesting to watch the team travel across all over the US and study a criminal’s behavior. The 40-minute episodes are always filled with twists and turns that keep the audience on their feet. However, many of these episodes are very heavy and intense, so it is good for those who get scared easily to watch this show with a friend. Criminal Minds is a great show for international students because it introduces them to many different parts of the US and teaches them about the cultures, customs, and dialects that are popular in all the different states and cities. From tracking a killer in Miami, Florida to following robbers in rural Montana, Criminal Minds is a great introduction to varying social climates of the many states in the US.

Emily in Paris (Genre: Romantic Comedy; Seasons: 1; Episode Length: 20 minutes)

Photo by Nil Castellví on Unsplash

After watching too many scary episodes of Criminal Minds, I was lucky enough to discover a show that’s a bit more light-hearted and fun: Emily in Paris. This newly released show follows the adventures of Emily, a young marketing agent from Chicago, as she travels to Europe for a new job. The audience is able to watch her learn a new language, adjust to a new culture, and get acclimated to the people around her. The episodes are extremely funny and beautifully shot. I enjoyed being able to vicariously live through Emily as she explored the beautiful city of Paris. Since there are only 10 episodes, this show was extremely easy to binge and I was able to finish it in one sitting. I would recommend this show to any international student because the show does a great job of documenting how a young adult is adjusting to living in a new country, making friends, and learning a new language.

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Entertainment for Education

By Emiko  Akama-Garren

Los Angeles is the center of the entertainment industry. The media that is produced here largely affects and creates the trends in American pop culture. Television and film are a universal social activity that brings people together. TV is such a mainstream form of entertainment that there is a show available for everyone’s liking.

Some people learn languages and accents just from watching English shows. The conversations on the shows can help explain social norms and give a better understanding of behavior. Constantly hearing the language not only can help with grammar and overall proficiency, but also pronunciation. It is an easy way to hear and help form more of an American accent.

American TV not only helps improve language development but also showcases American culture and current pop culture trends. Each show’s plot will include different scenarios and show how or what the typical way of reacting in those situations are. They can also portray the general standards and behaviors in America. For example, it is very common for shows to have an annual holiday special that show typical customs and common traditions. Shows will also include slang and common phrases that are not taught when learning traditional grammar.

Sitcoms, aka situational comedies, are some of the best shows to watch when working on everyday conversational language practice. They are usually light hearted, easy to follow, and include relevant topics to the time. They follow a group of people episode to episode, so you’re able to become familiar with each character and their personalities. The repetition and easy to follow plot helps advance your familiarity with English by giving lots of context and multiple different scenarios for everyday vocabulary.

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“Don’t Think”

By Shelly Hacco

“Don’t Think”, a UCB School of Improv motto, is a simple phrase, yet a way of life for its students and members. But, let’s back up a moment; this first sentence has most likely already created some questions in your head.

  1. What is UCB?
  2. What the heck is “improv”?
  3. What do you mean “Don’t Think”? I am a student; I need to think to graduate!

To begin, improv, short for improvisation, is a form of unscripted acting; it’s when actors go off the page and trust their instincts and their scene partners to form a full scene (a story with a beginning, middle, and end) from scratch. Many movies, mostly comedy (but some dramatic) have actually used improvised dialogue in their final cuts, so, odds are, you have already seen improv in action but never knew it. UCB, short for Upright Citizens Brigade, is a school that trains actors, comedians, and even folks in need of a fun hobby, how to be successful improvisers.

Alright, so improvisers make up scenes as they go… ok… wouldn’t they need to THINK to do that? The answer is no. Thinking is actually the death of good improv, or at least that’s what I’m beginning to understand as I trudge my way through UCB’s frightening, yet exhilarating, Improv 101 course.

Photo by Travis Wise on Flickr
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