Dear New neighbor at 657 Boulevard.
Allow me to welcome you to the neighborhood.
Do you know the history of the house?
I’ve been put in charge of watching you.
This message will not be the last.
I am the watcher.
Hi everyone and welcome to the English LingQ Podcast with me your host Elle.
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Today we’re learning English from the popular Netflix show The Watcher.
Have you seen it yet?
Don’t worry, I’m not going to give away the ending.
The show stars Naomi Watts and Bobby Canavale as Nora and Dean Branock.
They buy their dream home, move in, everything looks like it’s going
to be wonderful until they receive a menacing letter from someone
calling themself The Watcher.
I just finished this series and it was pretty good.
I enjoyed it.
The most interesting thing for me about the series though, wasn’t the
house or the performances, the jump scares, it’s the fact that it is based
on a true story, and that is what I’m going to talk about this episode.
But before I start, let me show you how I created English lessons with the TV
show the Watcher, and how you can do the same, and how you can make lessons
from any show or movie from Netflix.
The first thing you need to make lessons out of Netflix shows or
movies is the Link browser extension.
It’s available on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
So once you have that, go on over to Netflix.
And as you can see here, I’ve chosen The Watcher.
Make sure that subtitles are switched on for English, of course.
Click the LingQ logo there and import.
And then there you have it, all of the dialogue and stage directions, call them,
you know, sounds that are made and action.
You can use a sentence view.
Remember you can go in, I have, uh, English as my dictionary language
now so it just gives a definition of the word or phrase, but you can
add any dictionary language, your mother tongue or any other language
you wanna translate the English into.
There are so many languages to choose from, so you can read along the dialogue
in English as you watch the show.
Here’s what the lesson looks like on mobile.
This is the iOS app.
So if I just go through and translate, then you can review all vocabulary
that you’ve learned in lessons.
So what’s the deal with The Watcher
being based on a true story?
In 2014, Derek and Maria Broaddus bought a home in Westfield, New Jersey.
It was their dream home.
Maria had grown up in Westfield and this house was a couple of blocks away from
her childhood home, so it was perfect.
So they thought…
the idea was to move in with their three kids after they’d renovated the
home, but two weeks after they bought it, they received a letter in the mail
addressed to the new owner and it read: “my grandfather watched the house in the
1920s and my father watched in the 1960s.
It is now my time.
Do you know the history of the house?
Do you know what lies within the walls of 657 Boulevard?
Why are you here?
I will find out.
Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested?
Better for me.
Was your old house too small for your growing family or was it
greed to bring me your children?
Once I know their names, I will call to them and draw them to me.
Of course, Derek and Maria were pretty freaked out by this letter.
They did what I would do, and I’m sure you would too, they called the police.
Derek also got in touch with the family who they’d bought the
house from, the Woods family.
He asked them if they’d received a letter like it, and they had it.Turns out.
You’d think they should have said that before they sold the house.
A few days later, they received a second letter.
This letter was even more menacing in that it mentioned their children by
name so they decided they wouldn’t be bringing the kids to the house anymore.
As you can imagine, the Broaddus’s really wanted to figure out who this The
Watcher character was and make them stop.
They first suspected a local Michael Langford.
So Michael lived in a home across the way from the Broaddus’s new home.
He lived with his elderly mother.
He was described as a bit of a Boo Radley character.
So if you’ve read the Harper Lee book To Kill a Mockingbird,
you might remember Boo Radley.
He was a bit of a recluse, a little bit creepy.
Derek believed Michael Langford was responsible because of this, he was a
bit of a recluse and slightly creepy, also though there was a porch on
the Broaddus’s home, which wasn’t visible from the street, but it was
visible from the Langford home and this porch had been mentioned in
one of the letters from The Watcher.
Derek told the police about his suspicion, but of course he didn’t
have any hard evidence, it was just a theory, so nothing happened.
At this point, derek and Maria were getting really frustrated.
The police weren’t finding any leads, so they decided to hire
a PI, a private investigator.
They also set up cameras all around the home, which is the same thing that
you see Dean Branock doing in the show.
And as well, they got an ex FBI agent involved.
This ex FBI agent’s name was Robert Lenahan.
He had a theory off the bat: he thought the watcher was an older person
because the style of the writing in the letters was kind of old fashioned.
Now, Westfield is a community like all others out there, I’m
sure, and the locals gossip.
They had their theories about who was sending these letters.
Some of the locals even thought the Broaddus’s were
writing the letters themselves.
Why would they do this?
Two theories: one, it was some kind of insurance scam, insurance fraud.
Two, some locals believed the Broaddus’s were trying to build
kind of a hype around the house so that they could secure a movie deal.
Derek Broaddus responded to this in the press saying that
these people were ridiculous.
They were just making things up because they couldn’t face the fact that something
like this could happen in their town.
Derek and Maria finally decided the home was not safe for their
children and that they would sell.
Now, of course, everyone knows about this controversy, about
the letters from The Watcher.
Nobody wants to buy the home, so eventually the Broaddus’s decide to
rent it out, and they do find a renter but this renter is smart in that he says
to the Broaddus’s, I’ll move in, but if I receive a letter from The Watcher, I
am allowed to break my lease and leave.
Two weeks after the renters moved in, another letter: “violent winds in
bitter cold to the vial and spiteful Derek in his wench of a wife, Maria.”
The renter was also mentioned by name, but decided to stay under the condition
that Derek would install even more cameras around the house, which he did.
The plot thickens, in 2017 some people who, the locals I’d mentioned previously
who came out and said that the Broaddus’s were writing the letters themselves, they
wanted to create some hype and get some kind of movie deal, those families started
receiving threatening letters themselves.
These letters were signed by Friends of the Broaddus Family.
Now, Derek actually admitted to writing these letters.
Derek, you are not helping yourself here!
He did say though, that he wasn’t responsible for any of the letters
that the Broaddus family had gotten, just these ones to the haters.
And he wrote them because he was just sick and tired of the
way his family had been treated.
So who was The Watcher?
Well, police today think it was an elderly woman who lived in the area.
The Broaddus family did not stay in the home.
They didn’t keep it for renters.
They decided to sell and they were able to sell in 2019.
The new homeowners have not received a letter from The Watcher…
So there you have it.
Perhaps you’d seen the show, didn’t know the backstory, or didn’t know the show
existed and now you wanna check it out.
Either way, I hope you found that helpful and interesting,
and I will see you next time.