Catastrophe is back with a bang. Written by Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, time has moved on since the dramatic events of the last episode we saw back in January of this year.
Sharon’s baby bump, the reason that the pair are now married and living permanently in the UK, is now a toddler. Time has actually progressed to such an extent that episode one of the new series sees the pair welcome a second baby into the world: Moirin (assuming that this is the correct spelling; a suspecting extended family are assured that it’s an Irish name, and that she is not in fact called ‘Moron’). The humorous social and cultural ignorance shown towards the baby’s name, when teamed with the sudden, crude death of the family dog, certainly sets the tone for series two of this dark-humoured sitcom.
The ‘loser’ status of both characters, though particularly Sharon’s, seems to have elevated since series one but this serves as a surprising relationship strengthener for the couple who stand united against various bitchy false friends and family members (clearly showing that if the company is right, it doesn’t matter how small said company is). The onscreen connection has also cemented, showing that this fictional couple are genuinely friends as well as lovers, which is a great credit to Horgan and Delaney’s writing if nothing else and arguably serves as a platform for the darker humour scattered throughout the dialogue. It shouldn’t make us laugh, but somehow Rob referring to Sharon as a “psycho bitch” in French definitely does.
It is surprising, perhaps, that the children don’t play all too big a role in this comedy; Sharon and Rob are still, arguably rightly so, the integral focus of the narrative. In fact, it feels in many ways as though the majority of the characters in Catastrophe are inconsequential add-ons to the storyline, it often seems as though the couple don’t even notice when others are around, but this doesn’t mean to say that the extended cast do not bring their own elements of hilarity with them. Mark Bonnar and Ashley Jensen return to series two as fraught and bitter Scottish hardly-couple, Chris and Fran, and this pairing undoubtedly brings another dark element to the programme, which seems to be a recurring theme with Catastophe.
Catastrophe is a sitcom brimming with suppressed and entirely inappropriate giggles, with Horgan and Delaney effortlessly capturing the essence of what it means to be human; namely, being innately and irrepressibly self-centred.