Welcome to Lesson Four:
Talking About TV Shows and Books.

In this lesson you will have a chance to listen to a real, natural conversation between two Aussies! I chat with my friend, Narelle, about a popular conversation topic; TV Shows and Books!

You can listen to the 10 minute conversation below. Follow along with the transcript.

For higher levels; Try listening without reading the transcript first. How much can you understand? Write down any new words or phrases.
Then listen again while reading the text.

Then use the Language Analysis to learn some common expressions and vocabulary on this topic. .


Conversation with Nick and Narelle



NICK: In this conversation session we’re talking about TV shows, movies, and books. And what we’re into; what kind of stuff we’re into, what movies we like TV shows. So what do you, what are you into?

NARELLE: What am I into?

NICK: Let’s talk about um TV shows first. Do you watch a lot of TV?

NARELLE: Yeah I do, look, I don’t watch a lot of free-to-air TV, because I find that to be not great, to be honest um once I get into a show, though like a Netflix show or something I’m like ,you know, just watch it back to back as much as I can.

NICK: You’re all over it.

NARELLE: All over it! So, um I guess my favourite one in the last couple years, and I’m not normally into like superhero stuff so much, but I love Jessica Jones…

NICK: …Oh yeah…

NARELLE: …Marvel’s Jessica Jones, because to me she’s like the antihero, you know, she’s just trying to do the right things, but you know she smokes, she drinks, she swears, she’s like a mess, she does, you know, she uses people, but ultimately she sort of has a goal of like you know ridding her city of evil and trying to you know restore order in it. So she’s um, she’s very, I found the show very funny, very witty…

NICK: …I like the idea…

NARELLE: …very entertaining, strong characters like different characters, different nationalities and sexualities and yeah. So it’s um yeah and her of course they always have like a foe/love interest, and hers is Luke Cage always like this you know big African-American dude who has his own super… superhero power, and then they sort of meet each other and figure out that they’re like special. And you know the conflicts of trying to have a romance with someone in a world where you’re both known as sort of freaks, and people are out to kill you because you have special powers.

NICK: You’ve sold it really well!

NARELLE: …Have you not watched it? Get amongst it!

NICK: …I guess I’m also not really into that kind of thing; that comic-book stuff, but I have heard it’s good and I like the idea that she’s an antihero and that they’re outcasts, and I think it’s relatable to people and they sort of bond. And so yeah I’m intrigued now, um and I may well check it out…

NARELLE: …Jessica Jones on Netflix…

NICK: Yeah, well on Netflix? yeah is a great channel, a great platform that you can practice your English listening if you don’t already know about it; you can use the subtitles right? And you can listen to… watch shows, you can just, you can even find shorter shows like 30-minutes ones sometimes I think or documentaries. And so yeah, I’ve been into Netflix a bit um…

NARELLE: So are there any shows that you like from there particularly, or just any TV shows in general?

NICK: Yeah, I’m also not really into the free-to-air stuff generally, but I get on iTunes and things like that and watch stuff and other places. So, one that I’m; there’s a few and yeah one that I’m really loving is Broadchurch. Have you heard of Broadchurch?

NARELLE: I have, but I think I’ve seen, okay there are two versions; there’s like an English version and what’s the other version? The Americans, there’s different versions yeah…

NICK: The Americans, and there’s The Bridge which was Danish I think, and The Killing…

NARELLE:  …Yes, they make it in one country and it’s successful, so another country ,usually a western country adapts it, like America…

NICK: …Yeah, but I don’t think Broadchurch has been done like that yet.

NARELLE: Ok, so which show? Where is this done then?

NICK: This is set in England; it’s set in England, it’s an English show. Oh just a moment, I think it’s Ireland sorry, it’s set in Ireland, but there are a lot of British people in it and Irish. And it’s a town right on this cliff face, so it’s right by the sea and it’s quite a little town, a community and there’s three seasons; the first two is about a little boy who’s murdered which is a terrible… but it’s a police cop show, you know, it’s a cop investigation mystery. So it’s your standard formula, but it’s just really well done; the characters are really specific in it and it’s all about this mystery of what’s going on in the town and who might have done it. It’s the typical who done it…Who done it? But the acting is…. Who done it, we say who did it? Who was guilty of the crime? And we call it “who done it”…

NARELLE: …the part of the appeal of the show is the mystery of solving that but it sounds like this goes beyond that and it’s more about the characters and their lives yeah…

NICK: Exactly, and there’s a lot of red herrings as we call them, so you’re taken off in a different direction or you think it’s someone and then you’re constantly suspicious of different people. But it’s not cheesy or it’s not cliche, should I say …in the sense though, because a lot of its done like that, but I think it’s the writing; the way it’s written, it’s written really well and the acting and all of that. So I’m really into that and another one that’s really great, are there any other ones that you would like to…?

NARELLE: Other than Jessica Jones um I guess I finally watched, I’m a bit late to this one …there’s the most recent season of Hotel. The thing that sort of drew me most to that, because I’m kind of, like on the fence when it comes to horror, sometimes it’s too much and the horror in hotel is actually quite graphic at times and explicit. But um anyway Lady Gaga was in this Hotel and she won a Golden Globe for it, and so I really wanted to see whether she’s actually you know sort of worth the hype and lived up to that. That was her first acting turn and she won an award.

NICK: She’s pretty talented all round.

NARELLE: Well, actually she was pretty amazing and I think she nailed the role. She’s basically playing this like sort of evil Empress-type character who was like you know had, you know I mean lots of the characters have sort of died and come back to life, like it’s often about vampires or ghosts. So, you know people sort of still existing on some kind of conscious plane after death, and yes she just yeah, she was great, so yeah I definitely kind of, it was one of those kinds of things where for like 48 hours, I just watched episode after episode after episode, binge watching we call it..

NICK: …binge watching, binge watching, I must check it out I must. Another one I found that was really fascinating is called Black-Mirror, have you heard of that one?

NARELLE: You know what, a friend just recently said I should watch that and I’m this close, so if you sell it for me, and maybe after today I will.

NICK: I’ll have to try and sell it. Um well, so Black Mirror is about possible futures that we could enter into; projections of how our future might end up and particularly relating to technology and social media and way we communicate and connect. And so a lot of it is about how if we continue on this track, where we could end up, how ridiculous it might get and how disconnected we might become and how reliant we might, and how far can all this technology go. So, really it’s really confronting. It’s funny, but funny in a really twisted way, it’s black humour. So, Black Mirror…

NARELLE: …dark humour.

NICK:  Yeah, and it’s about the mirror showing, reflecting society back at us; reflecting so Black Mirror, so the darkness side of humanity I guess and how far it could go. But it’s quite funny, it’s, over-the-top, it’s shocking. And in today’s world where there’s so much coming out, there’re so many, you know this is a topic we love being actors and filmmakers, so there’re so many, um so much content coming out right?… and it’s easy to just kind of go oh it’s another show. But this one really stands out, like I didn’t get bored you know…

NARELLE:  …Right, that sounds quite socially relevant.

NICK: It’s socially relevant, and through each episode I found it gripping and most, almost every episode was really unique and the episodes are not connected, they’re individual; they’re only connected by the theme…

NARELLE: So it’s not like a sequential story and then you find out the next week what happened to the characters in the last week, it’s like a totally self-contained story?

NICK: Yeah, each one is itself, within the theme of that season, so it might be about social media, the other one is about video, like how far YouTube and all that could go, and privacy, how far we go with privacy.

NARELLE: That’s a big one, isn’t it? In our day and age…

NICK : So I recommend that, I am and yeah and um we can go a little bit more. How about books, are you reading or what was your favourite book as a kid, did you read?

NARELLE: I mean yeah that’s probably easier, honestly this day and age I find I read a lot more sort of online articles, opinion pieces, blogs. I read newspaper articles you know, it’s… maybe it’s bad that I don’t actually sit down and read a proper book so much anymore. But when I was a kid I read a lot and I loved, I guess fantasy that was the big one, I loved Enid Blyton stories, the magic-faraway tree was just like the idea of there being whole other different worlds at the top of this magical tree and like each week it was a different world that would come around and spin to the top of the tree, so it might be like one, it might be like the land of topsy turvy where you go up there and everything’s upside down…

NICK: …Oh, topsy turvy.

NARELLE: …Yeah, or the land of like you know chocolate and everything’s delicious and whatever, but sometimes they were like Bad lands at the top of the faraway tree. And of course in the Far Away Tree all these magical creatures lived like Silky with her long flowing golden hair, she was a fairy, I think I wanted to be Silky or Moon-face, or the Saucepan Man who was always making noise and so of these three children who lived on a farm nearby became friends with the magical creatures of the faraway tree and obviously had adventures with them at the lands at the top of the tree. So, that to this day I could probably even go back and read that again, that’s how much it sort of intrigued me…

NICK: So going into your imagination. Isn’t that amazing, that’s so great how it did that as kids…

NARELLE: Yeah, and I think it’s very engaging as children, the idea of being able to, you know, picture these are the worlds, I’m talking of the faraway tree, yeah.

NICK: So yeah, I think I like fantasy too yeah as a kid, and at the, well that’s another topic. But at the moment I’m reading a great writer, because I’ve started reading fiction more and yes I do read a lot of online…

NARELLE: So you prefer fiction?

NICK: Well, actually for many years I read nonfiction; so nonfiction is true stories, so they could be biographies which are about people’s lives or autobiographies written by people about their own life or you know books on topics like science or psychology. So I read nonfiction like that for a long time, but I always loved fiction and I’m getting back into it and I found a writer named Ian McEwan who’s probably nothing new I mean he’s been around for a while, he’s written quite a lot of books; some of his books have been made into films for example, Atonement…

NARELLE: …I’ve heard of it, yes!

NICK: Written by, well the book was written by him…

NARELLE: …They had like Kiera Knightly, the film adaption.

NICK: …Yeah, and so there was a film adaptation, so the film was based on the book and they wrote a screenplay which is the script, the story for the film and so yeah he’s a just a brilliant writer, and I started reading his books and I’m just engrossed. And his imagination like the imagery that he uses really just gets you, you know the imagery that he uses is yeah draws you in exactly. It’s so clear and vivid, really vivid and I’ve never read a writer like that, I mean I haven’t read a lot, I’m not a huge, I love reading, but yeah he’s amazing, so I recommend that one. So there we go! Great! On that topic.




– “I don’t watch a lot of free-to-air TV.”

– free-to-air is television that everyone can access for free from their homes.


-“..Watch it back to back..”

– To watch something back to back means to watch episodes of a television series, one after the other, with no breaks between. (consecutive)

  • “I watched the whole series of Game of Thrones back to back last weekend.”
  • “The Hawks football team have won three grand final games back to back.”

– “You’re all over it”.

– To be all over something means to really like something and be very attentive to it / To take immediate action on something.

  • “I was all over the latest Doctor Who series as soon as it came out.”
  • A: “We have to buy tickets to the Lady Gaga concert before we miss out!”
  • B: “Don’t worry. Sarah is all over it!” (She’s getting the tickets)


– “..the anti-hero…”

– An anti-hero is a central character in a film or story who is not like the usual hero.

He / she usually has some weaknesses or is not the typical ‘likeable’ character that we often see in films.


– “….people are out to kill you.”

– To be ‘out to do’ something means to be aiming to do something or get something.

  • “She was simply out to make a lot of money in business.”
  • “He was out to get revenge on his ex-lover.”


– “You’ve sold it really well.”

– This is a common phrase which means to encourage someone to look at, do or buy something.

  • “I was never really interested in going to Thailand but Jason sold it to me really well!”


– “Get amongst it!”

– To ‘get amongst something’ is a modern expression which means to get 

involved in something, take action on something or simply to go to a place and have

a good time. To do something without restraint. We also say; “go for it!”.

  • “Let’s go to that new dance club and get amongst it.”


– “….outcasts…”

– An outcast is someone who has been rejected by their society or social group.

  • “She was considered an outcast because of her criminal background.”


– “There’s a lot of red herrings”

A ‘red herring’ is a piece of information in a book, series or film that is intended to be misleading.

  • “The police investigated many clues, but they were all red herrings.”


– “But it’s not cheesy or it’s not cliche.”

– Cheesy is an adjective which describes something that is cheap or low quality. We

often use this word to describe bad movies or jokes.

  • “Jake’s always telling stupid, cheesy jokes!”

– A cliche is a noun which refers to a phrase or opinion or style that has been used too many times and is not original.

  • “That horror movie was full of so many cliches. They had no original ideas at all!”


  • “The thing that drew me most.”

– To ‘draw’ someone (to something) means to attract interest and curiosity.

  • “The title of the film drew me and I just had to see it!”
  • I was drawn to his big, beautiful eyes.”


  • “I’m on the fence when it comes to horror.”

– To be on the fence about something means to be undecided about something. It means you are not on one side or the other, you are in the middle.

  • “I’m really not sure if I want to see the new Tom Cruise film. I’m on the fence about it.”
  • Amrita is on the fence about going to Brazil. She’s not sure if she will like the weather.”

– The phrase ‘when it comes to something’ is often used to mean ‘in relation to / in regards to’ something.

  • When it comes to politics, I prefer to keep my mouth shut.”
  • When it comes to film, I prefer independent movies rather than big Hollywood blockbusters.”


  • “That was her first acting turn.”

– The ‘first turn’ at something means the first time you try something.

  • “It was her first turn at painting and she did really well.”


  • “She nailed the role.”

– To nail something means to do it really well / to perform well.

  • You totally nailed that speech. It was perfect!”
  • “That portrait looks exactly like Cassandra! You nailed her fine features!.”


  • “…binge watching…”

– To binge watch something means to watch many episodes of a television program

in succession (one after the other / back to back)

  • I’m so tired! I was binge watching my favourite series all weekend.”

You can also binge drink and binge eat.

  • “….funny in a really twisted way.”

– Twisted means strange or unpleasant.

  • “He has a really twisted sense of humour.”


  • “It’s over-the-top.”

– “Over the top” is an expression which means excessive or exaggerated. / Unrealistic

  • “That American comedy movie was way too over the top.”


  • Fiction

– A fiction story is one that is invented from imagination / with imaginary events and people.

  • Nonfiction

– Nonfiction is the opposite to fiction! These are true stories.

  • Biographies / autobiographies

– A biography is a book about a real person’s life that is written by someone else

– An autobiography is a book about a real person’s life that is written by the actual person who lived it

  • “Winston Churchill wrote his autobiography the year before he died.”