Why do we watch TV?

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Why do we watch TV?
This lesson focuses on television programmes, and includes conflicting views n the subject of reality shows Level Pre-intermediate and above

1. In the box below, find four things that are not kinds of television programme.

sports programme
reality show
 the news soap opera children’s programme channel
chat show documentary weather prediction game show
  news presenter weather forecast 

2. Fill in the gaps below using words from Exercise 1.

  1. ‘My favourite TV programmes are American __________ like Friends – I think they’re really funny.’
  2. ‘I saw the __________  __________ earlier and it said it’s going to rain tonight.’
  3.  ‘If you don’t watch the __________ or read a paper, how can you know what’s happening in the world?’
  4. ‘I always watch that __________ show. The guests are usually really interesting, and the host asks them intelligent questions.’
  5.  ‘Last night I watched a really good __________ about global warming.’
  6. ‘In Britain, some of the most popular __________ __________ have been on TV for more than twenty years. Eastenders, for example, tells the story of people  living in the same area in the east of London. It’s all fictional, of course, but the  characters and situations are just like in real life.’

Reading. Read the opinions

Mary I watch TV every day. I like lots of different programmes, but my favourites are chat shows, reality shows and soap operas. The only things I don’t watch are sports programmes, which my husband watches all the time, and the news.

There’s a fantastic soap opera on at the moment. The characters are really interesting, and the situations are just like in real life. At the end of each episode I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Stuart There’s a lot of good stuff on TV, so I watch something most days of the week. It’s the easiest thing to do when I get home from work and I’m too tired to go out or read a book. I watch quite a lot of documentaries and the news, because I like to know what’s happening in the world, and I’m also a big fan of reality shows like Big Brother.

In Big Brother they get real people together in a house for a few weeks, and because the house is full of cameras you can watch how they behave. Sometimes the people are celebrities. As a viewer you can decide which of the people you don’t like, and then vote to evict them from of the house – I love that!

Patricia Most of the time I’m too busy to watch TV, and anyway there’s so much rubbish on these days. Apart from the news – which I find interesting, it’s difficult to find anything intelligent on any of the channels.

What I really hate are those reality shows, like the one where they put people in a house for a few weeks and then film how they behave, as if they were animals in a zoo. From the little I’ve seen, it seems the people who make these programmes always put some really ignorant or selfish people in the house, and then expect the viewers to find their behaviour entertaining. I find it depressing.

3  Decide for which of the three people (Mary, Stuart or Patricia) the following statements are true

  1. They never watch TV.
  2. They like a lot of TV programmes.
  3. They like reality shows.
  4. They watch the news on TV.

4 Decide whether the following statements are true or false, or if the text doesn’t say

  1. Mary watches TV at the weekend.
  2. Patricia thinks there are a lot of bad programmes on TV.
  3. Stuart says there are always celebrities in Big Brother.
  4. Stuart doesn’t have a job.
  5. Mary never watches TV with her husband.
  6. Patricia hasn’t spent much time watching reality shows.

  5 Answer the questions below

  1. What does Mary’s husband like watching on TV?
  2. What does Stuart love about Big Brother?
  3. What reasons does Patricia give for not watching much TV?
  4. What does Mary like about the soap opera she’s watching at the moment?
  5. What reasons does Patricia give for not liking the kind of reality show she talks about?


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