This episode's vocabulary
- Science fiction (noun) - books, films, or cartoons about an imagined future, especially about space travel or other planets.
- Series (noun) - a set of television or radio broadcasts on the same subject or using the same characters but in different situations.
- Remote control (noun) - a piece of equipment that you hold in your hand and use to control a television, DVD player, etc.
- Show (noun) - a theatre performance or a television or radio programme that is entertaining rather than serious.
- Fall out of something (phrasal verb) - to stop doing something
- To indulge (verb) - to allow yourself or another person to have something enjoyable, especially more than is good for you.
- The sky is the limit (idiom) - there's no limit.
- Time sink (noun) - a task that takes a long time or wastes someone's time.
- On the face of it - used when you are describing how a situation seems on the surface.
- Exposure (noun) - the fact of experiencing something or being affected by it because of being in a particular situation or place.
- Mores (plural noun) - the traditional customs and ways of behaving that are typical of a particular (part of) society.
Questions and Answers
M: What types of TV programs do you like to watch?
Well, I'm a big fan of science fiction series. I've been watching them ever since I can remember picking up a TV remote control. I used to like detective shows but I sort of fell out of watching those when I went to university. I really should go back to them, now that I think of it.
M: Do you think you watch too much television?
R: Well, maybe a little bit. However, I work a lot. So why shouldn't I indulge a bit from time to time? I think I'll know when it gets really out of control because I'll stop getting things done.
M: Why do some people watch TV shows online?
R: Well, everyone has the internet these days, don't they? And you can pretty much log on or log in anywhere and watch any number of whatever show you like. The sky is probably literally the limit when it comes to the internet. And even then I think we have it on the International Space Station.
M: Why do people dislike watching TV?
R: I suppose it looks like a bit of a time sink on the face of it. And probably is to a certain extent. I wonder what else they're doing if they never watch TV, though. Surely they have at least once.
M: What benefits can people get from watching foreign TV programs?
R: I suspect the most obvious one for everybody is exposure to another language, especially if they're practicing it. And you can also experience another culture and enjoy its mores. I think that's why... Is it Mexican or Brazilian dramas that are really popular in Russia, for example?
M: Can you watch TV programs in English in your country?
R: You can, because it's an English-speaking country. And I think everyone, anyone can in their countries too, thanks to the internet. It's pretty much open to anyone, isn't it?
M: Rory, thank you so much for your answers!
R: That's okay.
M: So watching TV, Gosh. Do people watch TV these days? Or everybody is on Netflix and like, do people watch TV? Dear listener, do you watch TV? Like TV? The box?
R: Watching TV used to mean watching TV on the actual TV device. But now I think it just means watching any series on a laptop or a desktop computer if you want to.
M: Yeah, so watching TV means anything now. So if you watch shows on your phone, on YouTube, on Amazon on Netflix, so if you watch programs, different channels, so it doesn't have to be a TV, like a piece of technology, right? It could be TV, but you can talk here about Netflix about anything, even if you don't have a TV, like a piece of equipment, but you watch Netflix, so talk about Netflix. And we say watch TV, TV shows, TV programs, channels, stuff like that. And there you go, like what types of TV programs and you go I'm a big fan of science fiction Then you go with, I'm a big fan of series. Netflix series.
R: But you can pick any genre and add it to I'm a big fan. Like I'm a big fan of horror, I'm a big fan of drama. I'm not a fan of drama, I like my life to be simple.
M: Reality shows, or like cookery programs. I don't know, I watch football sports, anything. Okay. And you said something about picking up a TV remote control. So a remote control is...
R: A remote control is what you used to use to control the TV. But everybody uses their phones now for everything.
M: Yeah, phones or laptops or, I don't know, you connect Netflix to all the devices. Yeah. And then you said I sort of fell out of doing that.
R: Yeah. Which just means I stopped doing it. Yeah. But if you say you stopped doing something, it's like you consciously chose to do that. Whereas if you fell out of doing something, it's because you just unconsciously started doing other things instead of the thing that you were doing.
M: Like you fell out of a habit of doing that.
M: So Rory, do you actually watch TV? Like TV? Do you have a TV box?
R: There is one in my living room, but I don't watch it. Oh, I don't watch things on it.
M: So you never switch it on?
R: No, I haven't switched it on in two years. My parents do. But my parents are, you know, 3000 years old.
M: Yeah. Now kind of like watching TV, television in a traditional way it's like more for elderly people, isn't it? Interesting.
R: Well, watching broadcasts on television is more common for older people. But you can watch things on TV from the internet if your TV is connected to the internet.
M: Yeah, yeah. So you're using the TV watching Netflix, for example. Do you think you watch TV too much? So how much is too much?
R: I really should have said that. It's like how much is too much?
M: And you can actually ask this question, oh, how much is too much? You said like, okay, I work a lot, and I indulge in a bit from time to time. So if you indulge in something, it means you enjoy it, you enjoy doing it. You do it. I indulge in watching a bit of television. You know, they say that three hours a day is a bit excessive.
R: Who? Who says it's a bit excessive?
M: Well, research.
R: Research from where?
M: British scientists of course.
R: British scientists where?
M: I don't know. I just read it on the internet.
R: Well, perhaps you should stop reading things on the internet.
M: Everything I read on the internet is true. Okay? So they say that three hours a day of watching television is not normal, is too much.
R: Oh, what a nonsense.
M: So we believe it. Right, so people watch TV shows online. So TV shows, programs online. And then you go everyone has the internet these days, don't they?
R: Yes, they do.
M: The sky is literally the limit.
R: That just means that you could do anything you wanted to.
M: Yeah, like log in anywhere, watch any number of whatever shows you want. We also should mention the verb to binge-watch, right? So binge-watch different programs.
R: You're in love with this expression.
M: Yes. I love binge-watching. Because when you start you just can't stop yourself. Right?
R: Yeah, but like no one says that. They just say like I just watched the whole thing.
M: I just watched the whole thing. So nobody uses binge anymore?
R: I haven't heard, I think binge-watch was a meme. I think it hasn't actually been said seriously by native speaker in about two years. Because of course we were all trapped indoors. What was there supposed to, what were they supposed to do apart from just watch things constantly? So then it just became a normal behavior.
M: Yeah. 2020 like the TV numbers went through the roof. So everybody was at home like watching stuff. The N word.
R: The N word? That's sailing close to the breeze, don't you think?
M: N word. Netflix.
R: Thank you.
M: Also like I say, watch the whole thing. I don't say binge-watch. I like binge-watch. I like how it sounds. Okay. Alright, so be more natural. Avoid saying binge-watch. However, comma, you might come across the word binge-watch in magazine articles and on somewhere online, in articles or blog posts. Right. Why do people dislike watching TV? And you said something like, I suppose it looks like a bit of a time sink on the face of it. A bit of a time sink on the face of it?
R: Yes. So a time sink is something that you waste a lot of time on. And it doesn't do anything productive. And then on the face of it is just the first impression.
M: So when people watch TV, they kill time. So watching TV, watching television is a bit of a time sink.
M: In terms of benefits of foreign TV programs, people have the exposure to another language, so they are exposed to another language. They hear another language, they can listen to it, to some natural examples.
M: Why did you say that Mexican dramas are popular in Russia?
R: Well, I didn't know if they're Mexican or Brazilian, but there was like some kind of dramas that were popular.
M: Well, 20 years ago. Now everybody's on Netflix. Rory, like...
R: So they watch them on Netflix. What's your problem?
M: No, they watch... What do people watch on Netflix? Now they wish like Squid game.
R: I like how, I like how it's like, it's turned into watch the boomers try and work out what the kids are into these days. We're so old.
M: Yeah, what kind of soap operas, nobody... No, I don't know. Maybe some, dear listener, maybe you watch some soap operas. But now I think most people are Netflix. Okay, there we go. Top 10 in Russia today. Squid game, number one, You, new episodes, number two, Maid, Sex education. Honey heist, Money* heist. So these kinds of things, you know? Yeah, Downton Abbey. So kind of, Murder, Vikings, Gossip Girl, The Queen's gambit. These things. A funny question was can you watch TV programs in English in your country? Oh, you are from Scotland? Do you have anything in English at all? Or you speak like your Scottish special language in that faraway land?
R: How rude.
M: Yeah. But for example, if I take the exam in Russia, and then the examiner asks you, okay, so, can you watch TV programs in English in your country? You go yes, Netflix. I've subscribed to Netflix and yeah, I can watch it in any language I want. And yeah, on Netflix, you can change the language right?
R: I don't know. This is again, it's like watch the boomers try and work out what to do.
M: Because you can add subtitles. You can change languages. You can do all sorts of things. Oh, there we go. So audio, for example, German, English, French, Russian, subtitles off, on, German, Finnish. I can watch the series in German with Finnish subtitles. Finnish like Finland, right? Or in French with Russian subtitles. I can go wild and crazy. Why not? Have you ever tried watching some series in Japanese just for the fun of it?
R: Why? Why would I do that?
M: Just for the fun of it.
R: No, no.
M: Dear listener, you don't do this? Anyway.
R: There's lots of quest question tags. Don't they? Isn't it?
M: Yes. Question Tags. It's pretty much open to anyone, isn't it? Intonation, yeah?
R: That's basically what you should say like, everyone could do anything they like, intonation. No, you like, no, but that's how you remind yourself about the intonation because you should be using it so that you can show to the examiner what you can do with your intonation.
R: But surprisingly, no conditionals. No conditionals. How dreadful.
M: No. For example, can you watch TV programs in English in your country? Well, if I paid for Amazon, I'd be able to watch all I want in English.
R: But I didn't say that.
M: The second conditional. No, because you're in Scotland, you don't have to pay for...
R: I thought you were gonna say no, because you're in Scotland, you don't have to use conditionals. Thank you very much for listening! Not watching.
M: Control your Netflix intake. Okay?
R: That's what the scientists say.
M: Not more than three hours a day. That's what the scientists say. It was on the internet. Okay? So control it, right? Have a mix of podcasts, Netflix series in your mother tongue, in English, you know, have a varied diet. This is what they call it? Varied diet? No, diverse?
R: Balanced diet.
M: Balanced diet, there we go. Have a balanced diet of your TV intake. Right. We should stop now.
R: We should have stopped about 10 seconds ago.
M: Hugs and kisses. Bye!
Make sure to subscribe to our social media to see some of the “behind the scenes” stuff:
Our Instagram: bit.ly/instagramswi
Our Telegram: bit.ly/telegramswi