The situation: You know you’re a goober, most people know you’re a goober, but your new squeeze… oblivious. Don’t betray the unspeakable side of you just yet! Pick a programme that’ll let you perform an exaggerated display of deep compassion.
The show: Show Me A Hero (Amazon Prime). An intelligent and emotional political drama from the creator of The Wire, starring Oscar Isaac as an idealistic New York mayor.
The situation: First requirement, no intense on-screen sh*gging. People will stare, you’ll squirm. Then: nothing taxing – it’s too early. But most importantly, remember you’re required to hate your fellow commuters. Grey-faced sad-sacks, the lot. Give yourself a passive-aggressive thrill with a show you suspect most are intending to watch eventually. Hold the screen high so they just can’t miss those lovely spoilers.
The show: Bloodline (Netflix). Well-acted family saga about the unwanted return of The Black Sheep. Gripping, but rolls at a sedate pace.
The situation: You never know which of the company’s grown-ups might stroll past your screen. “He’s watching a difficult foreign drama!” Is what you want them to note. “I had his Space Raiders and Twix lunch down as evidence of a child’s mind, but it’s actually the eccentricity of genius! Peter, we’ve found the heir to Jobs!”
The show: Gomorrah (Amazon Prime). A cinematic Naples-set mob tragedy. Every bit as stark and grim as you’d expect it to be.
The situation: Whew, conversation’s a slog. Maybe this is why you haven’t talked for two years. Only one thing for it: a headfirst regression into laddishness! Whack something on about a cocaine kingpin. Uni, eh? Mental!
The show: Los Tiempos De Pablo Escobar (Netflix). A fascinating, talking head-heavy account of what Colombia was like in Pablo Escobar’s grip. No romanticism or glorification – a nice companion piece to Narcos.
The situation: Cat’s out of the bag now about who you really are, so anything goes. If it’s crazed, it plays. Perhaps you’re seeking something of such moon-howling madness that you’ll rediscover the joy of being able to watch TV alone.
The show: The Eric Andre Show (watch here). A strange, surreal and hilarious take on the celebrity chat show. Weirder than your wildest fever dream.
The skinny-jeaned corpse of 2007 indie is risen and dragging its battered Converse to a venue near you