Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan have written and starred in a hilarious new Channel 4 sitcom about a couple expecting a baby despite only knowing each other for a few months. Here we have a comedy that is truly innovative; it is upbeat, contemporary and bold.
Doll & Em-like in its tone, Catastrophe is one of those programmes that warms the heart as well as making you laugh, which is a wonderful quality to have. Rob and Sharon’s onscreen relationship is endearing and it is a joy to watch the characters blossom into a well-rounded comedy unit. The episodes build in tension as Sharon and Rob and their various family members and friends often miscommunicate and keep things from each other, but the reactions of the characters are never what we expect. The typical format is entirely reversed.
Sharon Horgan brings her charming personality to the character of Sharon, effortlessly slipping into a much darker humour throughout which is a fiendish delight (like muttering “I hope he hits her” when the pair encounter a young arguing couple). Rob’s character borders on socially inept in some respects which, paired with his almost-freakish height (note his constant ducking through door frames) means he frequently looks and presents himself as comically awkward, but not slapstick, which is skilfully avoided.
The incredible Carrie Fisher stars in a smaller role as Rob’s straight-talking American mother, along with the actresses very own dog (who is, by the way, brilliantly named Gary Fisher). Catastrophe has an excellent cast that fit together well, with Mark Bonnar and Ashley Jensen playing interesting and often antagonistic roles that create a hilarious dynamic. The show also picks up on many awkward communication difficulties faced within families, which adds to the personal feel of the programme as a whole.
I adored watching the first series of Catastrophe and the critical response has been incredibly promising. I’m confident that the second series will be even better than the first and look forward to watching the characters develop and their relationships evolve.
Catch up with this fantastic sitcom on 4OD now.