And also, says Caroline Corcoran, basic enough that you can understand the plot if you’ve had four hours sleep...
Every fibre of your being will say that a show about a lawyer who leaves her job, relocates across the country for a bloke she went out with for approximately 10 minutes when she was 15 and then sings about it in some musical interludes is going to be awful. Except - and genuinely, I don’t think this is just me in my post-baby bubble but if it is, oh well, you’re probably in it too - it’s not awful! It’s really good! A huge benefit is that there is really no minimal amount of sleep you have to have had to follow the plot. Rebecca follows Josh around. Rebecca fancies Josh. That’s essentially it.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
26 short episodes of a sitcom about a woman who was kidnapped and is awkwardly integrating back into society. Sounds like an oxymoron and it is a bit but go with it - and ignore the fact that there is about 20% of your brain and possibly a partner whispering “This is awful though” in your ear and you’ll very much enjoy it. Special mention to the awesome Jane Krakowski.
Riverdale/ Gossip Girl
I’m going to be honest, I’ve not watched Riverdale yet because I’m busy playing with a small human/ writing about a small human but I have seen some words about it and they are these ones: ‘teen drama’, ‘sex’ and ‘dark mystery’ and frankly, I’m in. If you literally don’t have the energy for anything new/ faces you haven’t seen, you can also get all of those things from Gossip Girl (six seasons available, knock yourself out) on Netflix too.
The Wrong Mans
What James Corden did after the bit where he just got drunk a lot and before the bit where he became a massive US star, The Wrong Mans is a dark comedy about two guys who become accidentally embroiled in a web of crime.
Gavin and Stacey
If you’re weepy and your mum’s not around to help look after the baby for ten seconds so you can just put your socks on, don’t worry, there is Pam. Pam’s a bit like your mum, but she’s on the telly. It’ll have to do. If nothing else it’ll just make you smile and feel very comforted, a bit like those socks would if only you had ten seconds to get them.
RuPaul’s Drag Race
If you literally cannot follow a plot, not even one like the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend one outlined above, try this. I mean it is literally explained right there in those three words. Now you just have to press a button on the remote and grin.
Quick, this comes under a category entitled ‘Watch this before your child is a toddler and can ask questions/ tell Grandma what she saw someone doing on TV the other day’. There are many hardships in the early days but there are wins too and being able to watch all manner of filth in front of your small human without any parenting guilt is right up there.
See above. Short vignettes about characters’ love lives, this will take as much effort from you as standing in your garden and peering through a hole in the fence to hear what your neighbours are rowing about. Actually less because you don’t have to put shoes on for this one. No need to thank us.
The Only Way is Essex
If you are currently doing a lot of sitting on the sofa with a boob out and for some strange, strange reason have never watched the reality behemoth that is TOWIE (really? REALLY?) this one’s for you. There are seventeen series on there. Bonus: you could watch this, and understand it in full, after a night of two hours sleep - hell, of two minutes sleep.
Gus is awkward but cool, Mickey is beautiful but f***ed up and it’s all very Girls (it’s made by Judd Apatow) which may make your child-free twenties feel less distant as you realise it’s 2.22 and you’re still in your dressing gown and the only person you’ve spoken to today is the Amazon delivery guy who brought the size two teats for the bottles.