Miranda (BBC, UK), “Before I Die” (S02E02)

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The Video

Miranda is one of the BBC’s most popular comedy series. It follows the life of clumsy 30-something Miranda, as she looks for love and fulfilment in a world where she never really fits in. A feel-good comedy for adult classes, Miranda mixes slapstick, visual comedy with cleverly constructed awkward social situations.

There is nothing especially offensive but the episode does have the slightest reference to sex, cervixes and uses one mildly offensive word.

There is one scene where Miranda visits a funeral and although injected straight through with comedy, could be a sensitive moment if you are aware of a recent death close to any of your students.

Level and Language Focus

As a TV series goes, Miranda is good for the ESL classroom due to a lot of her comedy deriving from the visual and not complicated word-play. However, we must still remember any TV series is going to be hard for an English learner.

We would recommend this video and accompanying worksheet for levels upper-intermediate and above. Under very controlled circumstances could you use this video with intermediate students, but it is always recommended that you watch the video with your students in mind before taking it into class.

The focus of the worksheet below is constructions with “get” of which there are numerous examples in the episode. The activity takes apart the different concepts that “get” can convey in English including phrasal verbs and passive “get”, then follows this up with a speaking exercise.

Worksheet

thumb Download the free worksheet here (Right Click, Save As…): Miranda Series 2

Availability

The best version of this episode is available via Daily Motion and there are also a few lower quality versions available through YouTube.

If you have access to Netflix, you may also find this episode is available through the service in certain countries.

 

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Father Ted (Channel 4, UK) – Going to America (Series 3, Episode 8)

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The Episode

Three catholic priests live together on a remote Irish island. A flashy American priest turns up in their parish and promises the title character, Ted, a new life full of riches in the States. The comedy arises from the fact that Ted’s two fellow priests and excitable house keeper presume they are invited on the adventure and Ted forever searching for the right moment to break the unhappy news.

The episode is especially useful if you have any students who are about to emigrate or even just go on holiday. The language focuses around future plans, preparations and includes a scene in the airport.

Level and Language Focus

The comedy is set in Ireland, an accent that could prove interesting to students who have never been exposed to it. There is also the American character, handy for giving some variety in terms of accent.

Some of the dialogue is quite fast and so recommended for Upper Intermediate classes and above. If you sign up to the free 4OD service you have the option of English subtitles.

An obvious language extension would be future tenses (going to vs. will).

Worksheet

A worksheet dealing with the tricky vocabulary in this episode is available here: Father Ted Going to America Worksheet (Right click, Save Target As…)

Availability

The episode can be viewed via the Channel Four 4OD service here (with optional subtitles).

It can also be found on YouTube and Daily Motion.

If you have access to Netflix, you may also find this episode is available through the service in certain countries.