Mark & Kindrey – American TV Shows

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Mark talks with Kindrey about what she likes to watch on TV. They discuss some of the popular TV programs in North America like Lost, Survivor and The Biggest Loser.

Mark: Hello everyone, Mark here and today we have a special guest.

My wife Kindrey is joining us.

Kindrey: Hi.

Mark: How are you?

Kindrey: I’m fine, how are you?

Mark: Great.

Actually, the sun is shining today, which is kind of nice because yesterday was…

Kindrey: …a monsoon.

Mark: …rather wet here.

It was just dumping rain all day, but the sun is out today and spring seems to finally have arrived.

It’s a little warmer, all the flowers are blooming.

What are the signs that you notice about spring?

Kindrey: Well, I noticed the other day coming down our street that the leaves are all coming out on the chestnut trees.

There are chestnut trees lining the street that we live on and every spring here they come, so that’s my sign that summer’s on its way.

Mark: Absolutely and it’s so nice in the summer when the chestnut trees have their leaves and everything.

In the wintertime, of course, it’s less nice when they have no leaves, so yeah that’s right.

The trees are getting their leaves, the flowers are blooming on the bushes, so finally; it’s been a long time coming.

Anyway, we thought today we would talk about some of the popular TV shows that we or you mostly watch I guess.

I know that a lot of our listeners are also able to watch and like to watch popular American TV shows to work on their English.

I know, for instance, Lost, which is actually one of the shows that I like to watch as well…

Kindrey: I think it’s the only show that we like to watch together.

Mark: Yeah.

Kindrey: Usually you can’t put up with my reality shows because you think it’s too much garbage.

You like Survivor too.

Mark: Yeah, that’s true.

Kindrey: We watch Survivor together.

Mark: But I do know, at least I’ve heard from a few members, that they watch Lost.

Kindrey: Oh, is that right?

Mark: That they’ve bought the DVDs and watch it because it’s a good show and also to work on their English.

Kindrey: That’s the best way to do it too is to rent that whole box set of one season.

We did that a couple years ago to catch up and it was quite fun.

It was very addictive, we would be watching until the wee hours of the morning saying should we go to bed?

Oh, just one more show and then we would watch one more show and pretty soon it would just get away from you.

Mark: Well it’s tough because each show sort of ends on sort of a cliffhanger-type of a note because they want you to come back the next week.

Well when you have the CD or the DVD set you just have to keep watching.

Kindrey: It’s difficult to stop.

Mark: It’s very hard to stop, but yeah that was a good way to watch the series and there are no commercials.

Kindrey: It’s difficult now to watch it waiting every week I find.

I’m impatient that way.

Mark: You still manage to do it though I’ve noticed.

Kindrey: Yeah, well I have no choice do I?

Mark: Yes.

Kindrey: But now we tape it and we blast through the commercials, so we don’t have to watch it with commercials.

Mark: Yeah, that’s nice.

Kindrey: That helps. It makes it more enjoyable.

Mark: Besides Lost…I guess Lost is probably your favorite show.

Kindrey: I think so. I listen to the Lost podcast too; every week I tune in.

Mark: That shows everybody the level of interest…

Kindrey: Obsession?

Mark: …in Lost.

Kindrey: It’s a great podcast we should get that up on LingQ, it’s very entertaining.

Mark: Is it produced by the TV?

Kindrey: It’s produced by ABC.

Mark: ABC?

Kindrey: Yeah.

Mark: We should approach them.

Kindrey: I think they probably have a lot of time for us, ABC.

Mark: Well I mean for language learning if you’re interested in the show Lost and there’s a podcast about it and you’re motivated to understand it that’s perfect material.

We should approach them.

You can approach them for us.

Kindrey: Work on that?

Mark: Yes.

Kindrey: Okay.

Mark: Besides Lost what other shows do you like to watch?

Kindrey: Well I like Survivor. I kind of like the reality shows.

Mark: Just to backpedal a bit, actually, maybe we should explain.

I’m sure a lot of our listeners don’t know what Lost is, so maybe you can explain a little bit first about what Lost is and then some of the reality shows like Survivor and we can talk about them.

Kindrey: Well Lost is difficult to even try to explain because after four seasons of it we still don’t know what’s going on exactly.

But I guess the basis of it is this group of people crash on an island.

An airplane crashes and they land on this island that seems to be off the map.

We’re not sure where they are or why exactly they landed there, but there’s all sorts of mysterious things going on.

There are monsters on the island and some of the Survivors are now time traveling and what else?

It’s just very complex.

Mark: Well, there are other people that live on the island.

Kindrey: That’s right, there are other people that live on the island and we’re not sure why they’re there.

They seem to have been doing some scientific experiments there in the past.

Mark: And there’s a whole bunch of strange buildings.

Kindrey: Yeah, stations…

Mark: …on the island.

It all sounds a bit strange when you describe it like you just did but, in fact, first of all…

Kindrey: …it’s quite engaging.

Mark: It’s shot in Hawaii I think, so it’s, you know, beautiful ocean and lush vegetation and mountainous terrain.

It’s just neat, I guess.

Obviously, there’s a fair bit of science fiction involved there.

Kindrey: Which is weird, I’m not a science fiction fan, but this really appeals.

Mark: No.

Kindrey: But I guess with any good story….

The basis of it too is that they’ve got great characters.

The characters are interesting and they give you sort of a history on the characters of what they did before they crashed on the island and what makes them the way they are, so I think that’s what kind of grabbed me in the beginning.

Mark: For sure and the fact that it’s sort of a mix of science fiction and sort of an adventure.

I mean it’s not like it takes place in space and it’s all about gadgets and rocket ships.

Kindrey: Not at all.

Mark: It takes place on the island and there are a lot of sort of natural actions.

Kindrey: For sure and interaction with each other.

Mark: Right. Anyway, so that’s probably one of the most popular shows.

Kindrey: In our house anyway.

Mark: And probably on TV in general.

Kindrey: Yeah, we have a lot of friends that watch it too.

Mark: But I mean North America-wide I think it’s one of the top handful of programs.

Survivor, which you mentioned is a reality show and I think is actually…

Kindrey: Similar concept, stranded on an island.

Mark: Somewhat similar, yeah.

I think the concept originated in Europe and then it came to the U.S. after that.

But the basic idea…well, you can explain.

Kindrey: Well, it’s a game.

They strand — I don’t know how many, maybe 20 to start with — 20 people on an island and don’t give them anything but a flint and that’s after a few days.

They usually go for three or four days without fire and water.

Mark: They get there with just about nothing.

Kindrey: Whatever’s on their backs.

Mark: And they give them maybe water.

Kindrey: Yeah and they see who can survive.

Each week the tribe, as they call it, gets together and votes out a member of their tribe based on either they’re the weakest or they’re the most conniving.

There are all different reasons to vote somebody off the island, which we’ve seen, so it’s quite fun to watch.

Mark: Yeah and usually what happens is the 20 people arrive and I guess they do it differently every time.

Kindrey: Yeah, they split them into two teams.

Mark: Right.

A lot of the time they’re on an island.

I think a lot…mostly they’re near water, yeah.

Kindrey: It’s mostly tropical.

Like where are they now, Micronesia I think.

Mark: Well I think part of it is they want to be somewhere where they can run around in bathing suits.

Kindrey: Oh yeah, for sure.

Well yeah, the contestants are usually fairly young and good looking.

Mark: Theoretically they could have a Survivor in the Arctic, but I don’t think…

Kindrey: It wouldn’t have the same appeal.

Mark: Yeah, viewers wouldn’t necessarily go for that.

I think it would be a little tough too, but typically it’s in a warm location.

They did it in Africa once where they weren’t near the water.

Kindrey: Yeah, I kind of like that one, but only because Africa is interesting.

Mark: Anyway, yeah, they break them up into two teams and the two teams compete against each other and then the losing team, essentially every week, the losing team has to vote somebody out.

Essentially, in the end there should be one Survivor.

Kindrey: And they win a million bucks.

Mark: Who wins a million dollars, that’s right.

And yeah, anyway, I guess at a certain point the people that get voted off stick around and then decide in the end who deserves the million dollars…

Kindrey: …between the last two…

Mark: …or three or however many it is.

Kindrey: That’s a good show.

Our kids even like that show now; they’re always rooting for somebody.

Mark: Well that’s right.

I mean it’s the whole reality TV phenomenon, which I think started earlier in Europe and in Japan, but which was quite popular here for a while and still is I guess.

There are still other reality shows that are quite popular.

You were watching…

Kindrey: …The Biggest Loser?

Mark: The Biggest Loser.

Kindrey: The Amazing Race. That was a good one.

Mark: Yeah.

Kindrey: I haven’t seen that one in a while.

Mark: What was the premise of The Biggest Loser?

Kindrey: Well a group of extremely overweight people get together and then they bring them to a ranch or a big house and keep them there for six weeks and put them on a diet and give them trainers.

It’s a bit of a contest to see who can lose the most weight.

Mark: Is it only six weeks?

Kindrey: Well maybe it’s more than that.

Mark: Like those people…

Kindrey: Oh, it’s months because they lost like 100 pounds.

Mark: …are losing a ridiculous amount of weight.

Kindrey: Yeah.

No, it’s probably more like six months.

Anyway, yeah, you really didn’t understand the appeal of that one, but there’s something about seeing people weigh in every week losing 12-13-14 pounds.

I don’t know why, I kind of thought it was interesting.

Mark: I mean I didn’t really watch it with you, but I’d see little bits and pieces here and there.

All I know is you’d see these people and I saw them I guess near the beginning and then I didn’t see it again for quite a while and then I saw it at the end and it was unbelievable.

Kindrey: Yeah, the before and after is amazing.

Mark: They went from like, I don’t know…

Kindrey: …300 pounds down to 150…

Mark: …and looked like unhealthily skinny.

Kindrey: Yeah.

Mark: It was unreal, actually.

I mean I don’t know how they did it.

Kindrey: It’s interesting, the winner of that…so if you go through six months of intense training and weight loss the winner of that wins $250,000, yet the winner of Survivor on an island for 30 days wins $1 million.

Mark: Well, I mean I guess on Survivor you’re there in the middle of nowhere.

You have no comforts at all.

Kindrey: That’s true.

Mark: You hopefully have some food and that’s it.

I mean it’s much tougher in a way.

I mean the weight loss thing…you can always leave I suppose.

Kindrey: I suppose.

Mark: I guess they eat, I don’t know, maybe they don’t.

Kindrey: It didn’t look like much.

Mark: They tend to have that same sort of weight loss scenario on Survivor.

Kindrey: Yeah they do. Boy those people are gritty.

Mark: Emaciated by the end.

Kindrey: Sickly.

Mark: Yeah.

Kindrey: Anyway.

Mark: Anyway, you’ve managed to find lots of good stuff to watch on TV.

Kindrey: Yeah.

Mark: Myself I prefer the…

Kindrey: …hockey games.

Mark: Right now we’re in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which are the playoffs in the National Hockey League, which happen from April through to June.

Kindrey: Yeah, between you and our son it’s tough to get a TV in this house.

Mark: A lot of hockey games on TV for a while, but it’s all good.

Kindrey: There’s the dog in the background, time to go.

Mark: Anyway, yeah, with that we should probably wrap it up.

Thanks for joining us today.

Kindrey: Okay, you’re welcome.

Mark: I’m sure we’ll find the time to get a hold of you again soon.

Okay, bye-bye.

Kindrey: Bye.

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