The show needs to be interesting. I watch films, cartoons, sports, sitcoms, documentaries and documentary-like programs, news & analysis, investigative journalism, interviews, TV series, mini-series, drama, travel programs, food, cooking, talk shows, reality tv (Cops, The Iron Chef, Deadliest Catch, Takeshi's Castle), game shows (quizzes), satire (Blob, Striscia la notizia, The Colbert Report), stand-up...
Commercials are always fun and useful at the beginning of the learning journey.
The term "documentaries" can refer to anything nonfictional. You could be watching a program about a type of fungus that turns ants into zombies, or a film about life in Iran. Complaining about linguistic attributes of documentary films is like complaining about your bread being buttered on both sides.
"In terms of form, documentaries can follow a narrative, present a categorical form in which information is delivered in a simple fashion or show a rhetorical structure presenting a persuasive argument (Bordwell & Thompson, 2008)
In most documentaries language is not highly technical because specialists are generally aware that they are addressing a lay audience but, nonetheless, terminology is quite usual.
One usually relates documentaries with formal language. However, documentaries are an evolving filmic product which has gone beyond the typical structure of a formal off-screen narrator. In the selected corpus, examples from different types of tenor can be seen, ranging from the formal narrator in 14 to the colloquial language in 15:
(14) One extraordinary group of animals rivals us as masters of earth. They ruled the ancient sea, and they were the first creatures to venture onto land. With highly adaptable limbs and bodies, they invaded every realm of the planet… equipped by nature to
survive almost any challenge. (Blue Realm)
(15) Child: Anna is a crybaby, Anna is a crybaby
Dad: Stop saying that.
Jo: Brian is incredibly passive.
Dad: Knock it off.
Jo: He doesn’t say boo to a mouse really. They don’t listen to him.
Dad: Ellie, don’t tease me. Just give it to me. (Supernanny)"
Translating documentaries: from Neanderthals to the Supernanny.https://ddd.uab.cat/pub/artpub/2009/117140/perspectives_matamala_accepted.pdf
It would be great to compile a list of resources for different languages.