October 26, 2021

The Official CELPIP Podcast: Episode 14

In today’s episode, we invite our in-house staff to share their TV show recommendations to help build your English proficiency! Join us, along with Neil, Meaghan, and Clarissa as they share their favorite TV shows and how they can help you to prepare for the CELPIP Test!

Show Notes


CJ [00:00:01] Hello, everyone, and welcome to the official CELPIP Podcast, where we aim to help you, our test takers, get the best possible score you can and where we also support newcomers building a life in Canada. My name is CJ, and along with my co-host Chris, we talk to a variety of guests, from test takers, language teachers and test raters to employment counselors and immigration consultants, just to name a few. We also bring our in-house staff on the show to get their perspective. They’re the people in the company that work behind the scenes to make the CELPIP Test available to you. Well, Chris, another week, another podcast. How are you doing, sir?


Chris [00:00:43] I’m pretty great, CJ. I’ve been looking forward to this week’s episode for a couple of reasons. Not only is it going to be fun to talk about, but it’ll also be a pretty easy transition from what I’ve been doing before work today and last night and yesterday at lunch and…


CJ [00:01:03] So judging by the subject of today’s podcast, I’m assuming you were watching a lot of TV.


Chris [00:01:11] How’d you guess? I mean, with so many different services and ways to watch TV, there’s just always something new I need to watch or something old I haven’t gotten around to watching quite yet.


CJ [00:01:23] Oh yeah, I 100 percent agree. There’s way too much to watch. Never enough time. I’m always behind on everything, somehow. And considering how we all spent a lot more time indoors over the last year and a half, let’s just say I don’t even want to know how many shows I’ve binged.


Chris [00:01:42] Yeah, I think you’re speaking for all of us there.


CJ [00:01:45] OK, so now that you brought it up, you can’t just not mention the show you’re watching, what have you been watching so much recently?


Chris [00:01:54] It’s the sitcom on Netflix called Modern Family. It’s actually been around for a while, but for some reason I just started watching it recently. It’s great and the episodes are short, so it’s one of those situations where you watch just one more episode and then another and then maybe three more after that.


CJ [00:02:15] Right, right. OK, cool. So that one is also on my, like, “I haven’t watched it, I’ve always wanted to, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet” list. But it’s literally about a modern family, right? Like all the different types of family structures that we find ourselves in?


Chris [00:02:31] Yeah, exactly. It’s actually about three different families living in Los Angeles, and they all have family connections with each other, and it’s all about the hilarious situations they find themselves in, usually due to how they communicate or don’t communicate with each other.


CJ [00:02:48] Right? Classic. And I’ve seen clips here and there, so it does feel like it’s quite the cast of characters with big and different personalities. And also doesn’t one of the families have a dog? Because that’s definitely an instant win in my book. Anyway, before we go any further, maybe we should explain ourselves a bit because we could really get carried away talking about TV shows. Today’s episode is a continuation of episode 12 of the podcast, where we gave some book recommendations to help improve our English. But this time it’s all about TV, and I bet some of our listeners are wondering, “Wait. TV shows. I love watching TV, but what the heck does that have to do with CELPIP and improving English?”


Chris [00:03:38] Great point. So watching TV might not seem like the most intuitive way to practice your language skills because you just kind of sitting there staring at the screen, but it can actually be pretty helpful. Just think of all the sitcoms and dramas and mysteries you may have watched, not to mention reality shows and news broadcasts. It doesn’t matter about the genre. TV is just full of examples of natural language use.


CJ [00:04:05] That’s right. You may have even heard about people who learned a lot of English just through watching TV. For example, even though it’s a bit of an older show, Some students have really learned a lot from watching the sitcom Friends like a million times on repeat, and I’m, I’m showing a little bit about myself here but that’s definitely how one of the members of BTS learned how to speak English: entirely by watching Friends over and over and over.


Chris [00:04:27] Very true. Or even something like Modern Family, there’s lots of opportunity to derive meaning from context as the situations are easily understandable. And we’re not saying that simply watching TV is a valid alternative to intentional self study or language lessons if you really want to improve your English. But TV can definitely help. Whatever type of show you like to watch, you’re bound to come across new words and expressions used in natural contexts by native English speakers. So this is a great way to expand your vocabulary. And just like we mentioned in our previous episode about books, some test takers might even want to write down new expressions and words in a vocabulary journal.


CJ [00:05:10] Right? Totally. OK. So I’m going to try and get into my test taker mindset right now, and I have a question for you. How can test takers go about writing things down while they’re watching TV? I mean, speakers often talk pretty quickly, especially if it’s an action scene or something. So it might be tricky to understand every single word.


Chris [00:05:31] Oh, for sure. And that’s a great point. I think we all miss dialogue from time to time, but it’s not a big deal. Whether you watch a show on cable TV or streaming service, virtually every show will have the option to display subtitles. “Subtitles” is the term for the text that appears at the bottom of the screen, showing what each speaker’s saying at that moment. So if you want to see the precise language that’s being used or you want to check the spelling of a word, that’s a great method of doing so.


CJ [00:06:01] Oh, and I think we’re all pretty familiar with streaming services at this point. Netflix, Disney Plus, Crave, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, you name it. And if you happen to be streaming, you’ll be able to not only turn on subtitles, but you can also change the speed of the show. I’ve been doing this myself while trying to learn Spanish, and I can confirm that it helps. So dear listener, if you’d prefer to have people speak a little more slowly, it’s an easy fix. All of those options can usually be changed at the bottom of the screen.


Chris [00:06:36] That’s right, and I almost forgot to mention: basically any time you watch something on a streaming service or just on the internet in general, you can easily pause or rewind the video. Maybe rewind is not the right word here. Maybe just go back a little bit if you want to listen to anything again.


CJ [00:06:55] Right. So the bottom line here, folks, is that there’s an easy fix for any time you want to pause or slow down a show while you can catch up with writing things down in your journal.


Chris [00:07:04] That’s right. OK, CJ, now consider this. If I were a test taker, I might be thinking, “I’ve had a long day and the last thing I want to do is study. I just want to relax and watch TV. Pausing to show once in a while and writing new words down all the time sounds like it would take the fun out of things.” I mean, that’s a pretty valid concern, right?


CJ [00:07:26] Absolutely. Yes, totally. I totally understand. Sometimes you just want to kick back and relax. And even though you may learn new words and expressions more quickly, if you’re actively keeping track of them, watching TV without pausing or anything can still be beneficial. You may still pick up a new word here and there, and more importantly, you’ll still be absorbing how everyone is speaking.


Chris [00:07:49] That sounds like a good point. Care to expand a bit on it?


CJ [00:07:53] Well, when you think about all the auditory elements of speech, people’s speed and rhythm and pronunciation and intonation and all of that stuff, it can be a bit trickier to make notes about it or practice it, right? But when you’re watching TV, you’ll be constantly exposed to all of these things, whether you notice it or not. And the more you’re exposed to these things, the better you’ll get at them, whether you’re actively taking notice or not.


Chris [00:08:18] Right? Like in Modern Family, you see that exact thing. English is coming at you from many different perspectives, different ages, different lifestyles. There’s even one character who is herself an English language learner who sometimes struggles with grammar and vocabulary and pronunciation.


CJ [00:08:35] Oh yeah, I’ve seen her. She’s a great character. I think her name’s Gloria, and she’s from Colombia, right?


Chris [00:08:41] That’s right, Gloria. It’s nice that the show portrays the English language from her perspective sometimes. And then you also have all the expressions that people of different ages use. There are kids in various families like Alex and Manny and Lily, and they each use expressions and slang appropriate to their ages. And then you’ve got the parents and the grandparents, Jay, and each generation has their own set of phrases in their own way of using English.


CJ [00:09:07] Right, right. Actually, I hadn’t thought about that. And with such a huge, diverse cast of characters, that makes it really a great opportunity to learn some everyday expressions.


Chris [00:09:17] So, if I were to sum things up, watching TV to improve your English is basically a win-win, whether you choose to actively make notes or not.


CJ [00:09:27] Yeah, OK, that’s pretty much my favorite outcome for anything. I love it. OK. So I guess now’s probably a great time to get to the main part of today’s episode: our guest speakers.


Chris [00:09:41] You bet. Today, we’ll be talking with our guests about some of their favorite TV shows. Not only will these shows be great ways to improve English, but I think they’ll also just be like fun to watch. So let’s dive in.


CJ [00:09:53] All right. Without further ado, I’d like to welcome Neil, who is our longest standing member of the CELPIP Marketing team and the undefeated trivia champion of our unit. And our listeners may have met our two other guests already: Meaghan and Clarissa from our IPP team. Welcome everyone.


Neil [00:10:13] Hello.


Meaghan [00:10:14] Hi. Nice to be back.


Clarissa [00:10:17] Hello.


CJ [00:10:18] All right. Welcome everybody. We are excited to have you with us today. So I guess the question is, who would like to kick us off with some suggestions? Neil, you’re our newest guest. First time on the pod. How about you?


Neil [00:10:35] For sure. OK, so my first suggestion for a TV show for our listeners to watch is a documentary series on Netflix, and it’s called Pretend It’s a City, and it stars Fran Lebowitz. And it’s produced by filmmaker extraordinaire Martin Scorsese.


CJ [00:10:55] OK, so tell our listeners a little bit about Martin Scorsese and Fran Lebowitz and why they’re important to this choice.


Neil [00:11:05] Absolutely. So Fran Lebowitz is a longtime contributor to The New Yorker magazine, and she’s kind of a legendary cultural icon in New York, where she’s been a cultural critic for a very long time. So she was around when Andy Warhol had started his, his painting factory. And she’s been on the scene of arts ever since. And Martin Scorsese, who you may have heard of, is a filmmaker. He’s made movies like Goodfellas and Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, The Departed, and on and on and on, and he’s very famous for his numerous contributions to our cinematic canon, many of which are, are gangster movies, I guess, is what he’s most famous for. But the reason that I’m suggesting this, this particular TV show is that Fran Lebowitz is a really wonderful, kind of humorous character, and she provides a lot of cultural context and criticism of things like trends in television and movies. And she has a really great humorous approach to explaining a lot of these different cultural trends and icons that pop up over the years. And she’s been kind of going for the better part of 40 years, so she’s kind of seen it all, and she, she has some really funny perspective on, on different cultural things.


CJ [00:12:35] I love that I and I love your description of Martin Scorsese and Fran Lebowitz. Sounds like you’re a fan. So what is it about this show? Like, how do you think that it can help improve someone’s English skills?


Neil [00:12:52] So, the main thing that Fran Lebowitz does in her writing is a lot of analysis of cultural trends. And I think that that’s really valuable for people who are not, who don’t have English as a first language, because a lot of the work that you’re doing on your CELPIP Test, and even in everyday work in a second language, is analyzing the language and the culture around you and understanding it. And part of what Fran Lebowitz does as a critic is analyzing and kind of dissecting our cultural movements, and it’s really interesting to see her operate in that way, because that’s a really valuable way to break down parts of pop culture that can be kind of confusing or mysterious or just interesting on their own.


CJ [00:13:36] Perfect. And if you said she is as funny, if she’s as funny as you said she is, it sounds like our listeners will have a good time watching that. So thank you for recommendation one. Tell me, sir, what is your second TV show recommendation?


Neil [00:13:53] So my second recommendation is called Poirot, spelled P-O-I-R-O-T. It’s a mystery drama series. I believe it started in the early 1990s and it ran for about 10 or 12 years. And it’s an adaptation of all of Agatha Christie’s Poirot novels and short stories, which are mystery stories.


CJ [00:14:17] OK, so who is Agatha Christie and who is Poirot?


Neil [00:14:24] So I just found out that Agatha Christie is the most in-print author, so she is the person who has had the most works published and printed. So I think the only book that outsells Agatha Christie is the Bible. So she’s been she’s been thoroughly entrenched in, in the mystery genre and just in literature as a whole. And she didn’t just write Poirot stories. She wrote a lot of other mystery stories, but Poirot is one of her main characters, and he was a Belgian detective who worked in London.


CJ [00:15:01] OK. And so how can this TV show help our listeners improve their English? What are the parts of it that will be useful for our test takers?


Neil [00:15:12] So I think the best thing about Poirot for people whose first language is not English or for people who are learning English, is that he himself does not speak English as a first language. He’s from Belgium, so his first language is French, and a good deal of the show and the books that they’re based upon is him learning this the specific, idiosyncratic nature of the English language and him trying to simultaneously solve crimes (usually it’s a murder, but sometimes it’s a robbery or a missing person), and at the same time, understand the English language. So he has his own particular foibles. He’s, he’s very particular about cleanliness. He’s a bit of a germophobe. He really likes fine, fancy food, and he’s kind of at odds with English culture because again, he doesn’t speak the language, and maybe English people don’t meet his particular, his particular requirements for cleanliness. I’ll put it that way.


CJ [00:16:17] OK, so those sound like really useful shows I love learning the English language and solving mysteries at the same time, so I will definitely add those to my own list as well. So thank you for those recommendations. Thanks for being here. OK, let’s go to Meaghan now.


Meaghan [00:16:39] Sure. So my first recommendation is kind of an old show, it’s called Seinfeld. This is a sitcom from the 90s and there are nine seasons of it, and it was just added to Netflix here in Canada, so hopefully it is also on Netflix wherever you are. And the creators kind of described it as a show about nothing. And that was kind of in contrast to most sitcoms where the storylines tend to be a little more like unrealistic and over-the-top. There are four main characters, all very different people, who live in New York. They’re friends, among other things. And the show is about them ending up in awkward situations and unpleasant situations, usually because they have done something socially inappropriate or made a terrible decision, and then there’s a sort of avalanche of problems that comes from it, which they go on to handle poorly. I really love the style of humor in the show, and I really like how all the different, very different elements of each episode come together at the end. The writing is very smart, even though the characters aren’t always the brightest. At the same time, the situations are realistic and the interactions that the characters have with each other and with other people are really funny and quite relatable a lot of the time, like we’ve all been in a situation where we just made a regrettable comment or went on a really awkward date or like, forgot somebody’s name and then made the situation worse by trying to sneakily figure it out instead of just asking them. So I like that the characters are flawed people, and the situations in the show aren’t like sappy or fake in any way. So I think test takers might enjoy this show as well because of the everyday situations. Pretty much every episode is a series of everyday situations that happen to not be going very well, and along the way, the test takers would be picking up lots of everyday vocabulary about all kinds of common topics. One thing I’ve noticed since I started thinking about this for the podcast is that the language is really quite simple and it’s quite repetitive a lot of the time, so I think the dialogue is pretty easy to follow. And something else that would be helpful is that the characters’ body language and their tone of voice can get pretty animated, and that gives a lot more clues about kind of how they’re feeling. And then another thing is that a few of the episodes focus on some rather adult topics. But since this was a sitcom airing in the evenings in the 90s, they can’t talk about those things directly. So if you are comfortable watching those episodes, they can be a great opportunity to make inferences and get a sense of how we sometimes talk around things or speak indirectly about things in English. So if you’re a fan of comedy or just awkward situations, you’d probably enjoy this show. You do have to be open to characters who have a lot of flaws. They’re not like evil villains or anything, but they are kind of low-key jerks.


Chris [00:19:58] Thanks for that. That sounds really interesting. And I definitely have watched many Seinfield episodes, but it’s been a while. And you know, what you’re describing, the characters sound, you know, highly relatable. But as a show from the 90s, do you think there are aspects of it that test takers would find outdated?


Meaghan [00:20:23] Visually, yeah, the clothes and the technology are outdated. Every time you see like a rotary telephone or—Jerry has this gigantic cordless phone that looks like it weighs about 20 pounds. So you will get those visual reminders that this is an older show. And there are also some storylines that are based on the kind of miscommunication or missed messages that wouldn’t necessarily happen today because you could fix them by just somebody sending a text or doing a Google search. But with that said, I would say the situations are pretty timeless. They’re mostly related to like social interactions and things like that, and you don’t have to have been around in the 90s to understand the humor or the references in the show. I’ve been rewatching it myself in the last couple of months and it, it feels very contemporary. It doesn’t feel like an old show, aside from like the clothes and the phones.


Chris [00:21:22] Which themselves can be a source of humor at this point for us. So, interesting. Good point. Thanks. Is this a show where you have to watch the episodes in sequence and pay careful attention to the details? Or can you still follow along if you pick episodes randomly and jump from season to season, basically?


Meaghan [00:21:40] In general, you can absolutely jump around. There are a few plot elements that continue through a few episodes or maybe are mentioned in a later episode, but for the most part, skipping around would be totally fine. The episodes are pretty self-contained, and you don’t have to, like, keep track of what all happened in the previous episode. And I’d say this is good for a language learner, because that way, if you’re watching an episode that you just don’t like or you don’t understand, you can just turn it off and choose another one.


Chris [00:22:12] Hmm. Good point. Yeah, having the luxury of being able to kind of skip over things that don’t really interest you so that and realizing you’re not going to like, miss out on the really important character or the really important plot point is, definitely makes this a lot easier to, to watch for sure. So what’s your second pick?


Meaghan [00:22:32] My second pick is a show that’s probably going to be familiar to a lot of test takers. I know that my coworkers, Nathan and Clarissa, are also big fans. It is called Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It’s also a sitcom, and it’s eight seasons long. The series finale just aired this year. This one is also on Netflix. It’s about police officers in New York and their relationships with each other and with the people in their communities. I’d compare it to something like The Office or Parks and Recreation, just in the sense that it’s a show with a large group of main characters and it’s mostly set in a workplace. I started watching this show because I am a fan of Andy Samberg. I love his movies and his music. He was on Saturday Night Live and he’s always been funny to me, and he’s kind of the main character on the show, but there are lots of other funny characters. With this being a more modern show, it does a good job addressing some more contemporary issues that test takers may be aware of or may relate to; things like your work-life balance when you have a family, getting along with your coworkers, kind of the positive and negative ways that law enforcement engages with its community, and various kinds of discrimination are dealt with as well. The stories are interesting, and there’s a really good mix of funny conversation and some very interesting action scenes. There’s serious moments and funny moments, so I think it’s the kind of show that anybody could enjoy, whether you’re a language learner or not. And each of the characters kind of has a different style of humor, so there’s lots of variety on that end as well.


Chris [00:24:21] Great pick. I love this show, actually, as well. And one of the things I like about it is that it has a ton of different characters. Do you have a favorite amongst all of those characters?


Meaghan [00:24:31] I do. I actually thought it would be Jake Peralta, because that is Andy Samberg’s character. But it’s not. It’s Raymond Holt. He is the police captain and he’s a super serious person, and he’s funny almost by accident because he tends to have a lack of emotion in his tone or on his face. And so seeing that with someone who’s being surrounded by people who are animated or like dramatic or loud and silly is, is really funny to me. The actor who plays him is Andre Braugher, and so for me, part of the humor is that he was in a very, very serious police show back in the 90s, and I used to watch that show. And now it’s the same person playing a character in a similar context, but this time it’s a comedy. He’s very talented at both. He’s very funny.


Chris [00:25:30] Yeah, no, I can definitely corroborate that he’s hilarious. Since the main characters are all police officers, do you think you have to be interested in crime or law enforcement for the show to be interesting?


Meaghan [00:25:44] Not at all. There are lots of like crime solving or court shows out there. Um, there is some like crime investigation in this show and like scenes of catching criminals and things like that, but that, I wouldn’t say—that isn’t the main focus of the show. It is a sitcom, so that aspect tends to be pretty ridiculous and unrealistic anyway. There’s not very much that goes on that’s like heavy or shocking. It’s not a show that’s trying to show how great police are or anything like that. It’s really more about the people and their lives and their interactions, so I think anyone could get something out of it.


CJ [00:26:24] OK, Meaghan, those were great picks. Thank you so much. I was like, Oh, I’m going to have to check those out, and I’m kind of surprised, given how much TV I’ve watched in the last little bit, that I actually have not watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I’m going to maybe watch like a handful of episodes of Seinfeld, so. So thank you for sharing that with us and for our test takers. So now we’re handed over to Clarissa. What have you got for us?


Clarissa [00:26:49] Yeah, for sure. So my first recommendation is called Superstore. The show is a workplace comedy like The Office, if listeners are familiar with that show. Superstore follows the lives of the employees at a large grocery store called Cloud Nine. It’s a 30-minute comedy that focuses on the late drama of these characters work lives, as well as touches on more emotional messages of friendship, community and so on. I watched this show during lockdown in 2020 and really enjoyed the lighthearted humor and the comfort that it provided. So I do recommend this show if you’re looking for something that’s easy to watch and easy to digest. I believe there are six seasons in total, but only five of them are currently available on Netflix in Canada. So in addition to it simply being an entertaining series, there are a couple of reasons why I think Superstore would benefit those who are trying to improve their English language speaking and listening skills. One of those reasons is that there are quite a few characters, so this means there’s also a variety of language and methods of delivery to listen to since each character speaks in their own unique way. Some of the characters are more formal in their vocabulary and tone, and some are very casual. So this provides a sort of variety that one may experience when listening to people speak in the real world. In addition to this, I find that compared to some other comedy series, the speaking in this show is more clear and more articulated, which may be helpful to viewers who are hoping to pick up some new vocabulary along the way. Overall, I think that those who enjoy silly humor and who are drawn to TV shows that follow the lives and interpersonal relationships of core characters will really enjoy Superstore. It is like The Office in that sense, like I said previously, you become drawn into the characters. And even though some of the subject matter of the show is seemingly mundane or regular because it’s focused on people at work, you’ll become very attached to them and keep coming back for more.


CJ [00:28:53] OK, thank you. Love that. So this show is about employees at a supermarket, which is totally relatable and accessible because we all go to supermarkets a lot. So what kinds of conflicts come up in the show then?


Clarissa [00:29:11] Yeah. So broadly, the show is about, as I mentioned before, the relationships among the staff, about nine. But the conflicts in each episode revolve around those relationships, as well as the unique circumstances that the characters find themselves in, particularly as working class folks in America. There are serious undertones or topics related to the hardships that some characters face. But the humor and the character dynamics help to make those messages more relatable and more digestible.


CJ [00:29:38] Perfect. Thank you. And since this whole show is set in a store, and like I said, like going shopping is something that pretty much everyone listening needs to do, you know, regularly. Do you think that there’s anything in particular about Superstore that would be useful to test takers, like certain expressions or anything like that?


Clarissa [00:29:59] Yeah, you’re right. Pretty much everyone does need to go to the grocery store from time to time, including myself later today, I think. But there is some language that can be helpful in a shopping scenario. In the first episode, for example, there is a brief conversation between two characters regarding the price of an item. So this sort of scene could be a great time to practice listening to people speaking about prices, discounts, as well as any other language that’s involved in buying and selling and things like that.


CJ [00:30:26] Great. Perfect. That sounds super helpful. Superstore. So what is your second recommendation, then, for our listeners?


Clarissa [00:30:35] My second recommendation is called Bob’s Burgers. It’s an animated comedy series that follows the daily lives of the Belchers, which is a family of five. So Bob and Linda are the parents, and they are owners of a small burger restaurant, and their kids are named Tina, Gene, and Louise. So in this show, in each episode, there’s bound to be something silly and wild going on with the Belcher family, whether it’s the kids coming up with a crazy adventure to keep themselves entertained, or Bob and Linda dealing with the goings on of the restaurant, which is usually just as crazy. The characters in the show are really fun, and each member of the family is unique in their character, design and personality, which creates a really entertaining bunch. I honestly could not pick a favorite character in the show because they’re also perfect. In total, there are 12 seasons, so there is a lot of material to work through. Currently, most of the seasons are streaming on Disney Plus. But not all of them are available there at the moment, so they might be streaming elsewhere. Personally, I’ve seen just about every episode twice, if not more than that. So this is definitely one of my favorite shows and I highly recommend it. I enjoy the show because I think that the humor that is written into the series is just spot on, the language in the show is not extremely difficult, and some of the jokes can be quick, which is good for listening practice as well. Aside from just being a hilarious show, I think it could be beneficial for test takers, in particular because the main character, Bob, has a very clear voice and I find it to be easy to follow. He is also great to listen to because he’s very expressive in his tone. In addition to that, as an animated show, I found that there’s often more text on the screen than you find in other shows. There are often things written in the background, such as Bob’s ever changing Burger of the Day, which is written on the chalkboard in the restaurant. So this provides some chance to read short pieces of text while listening, which I think could be helpful. And finally, another great aspect of this show is that there’s often a musical component to the episodes. I think in the later seasons, just about every single episode has an original song in it. And I know that music can be a great way to practice and test one’s listening skills. So the inclusion of these goofy songs provides a chance to do that. I should mention the songs are often quite silly, so they probably won’t contain any extremely elevated vocabulary.


CJ [00:33:09] Perfect. But sometimes, you know it’s just good to make sure you’re familiar with the not necessarily all that elevated vocabulary. Great. So though you said there’s a lot of content. Would you say that these episodes need to be watched in any particular order? Or would you say that Bob’s Burgers is kind of like Seinfeld, like Meaghan mentioned in that, you know, they can be watched in any order, really?


Clarissa [00:33:32] I’d say that this series can be watched in a similar way to Seinfeld. There are some minor threads that continue in a linear way, but overall you can watch the episodes in any order that you like.


CJ [00:33:43] OK, perfect. Now you mentioned that Bob’s Burgers is an animated show. Would you say that it’s a children’s show?


Clarissa [00:33:51] Yeah, the humor in Bob’s Burgers can be childish at times, especially when coming from one of the three Belcher kids. But there’s also so much written into this show, such as references and humorous details that a child probably wouldn’t pick up on. It is a show that is intended for adults, but it is not for mature audiences only like some animated series are. I think this show is rated as 13 plus, so it’s not a kids’ show, but it’s appropriate for younger folks as well.


CJ [00:34:19] OK. Thanks so much, Clarissa. Sounds like you really love that show, so thank you for sharing it with us. And with our listeners. And that pretty much concludes our recommendations for now. That’s a pretty great bunch of shows that we covered today, and perfect timing: rainy season is setting in in Vancouver, and winter is just around the corner pretty much everywhere else in Canada, so we might just have time to check these out.


Chris [00:34:46] I totally agree. This is a great set of shows, not just for entertainment but for learning English. And I want to thank Neil, Meaghan and Clarissa once again for coming on the podcast today.


CJ [00:34:57] Absolutely. It was so great having you all. We’ll definitely have to have you back sometime soon.


Chris [00:35:02] Well, I guess that concludes things for today. What’s up next, CJ?


CJ [00:35:05] Okay, next. I think I’m going to have to go on an extended lunch break and figure out what to watch. But in terms of what’s next on the podcast, we’re going to be talking about, you guessed it, similar recommendations. But this time we’re going be talking about movies.


Chris [00:35:21] Right! Definitely looking forward to that.


CJ [00:35:24] Me too. So until next week, we wish you lots of luck on your test taker journey and happy viewing! Bye everyone.


Chris [00:35:32] See ya!


I had taken other English language proficiency before, and CELPIP was more relatable to me. All of the questions were situations I was familiar with from daily life, and were like conversations I had experienced personally.
- Chrisna D., CELPIP Test Taker
When I took CELPIP, I found it was like speaking English in real life. You speak every day with your boss and with your friends, and the CELPIP Test represents those every-day, real-life language situations.
- Rafaela B., CELPIP Test Taker