For three seasons now, Catastrophe has quietly been one of the best shows on television. That’s saying a lot in the small-screen golden era, but there’s something to be said for smaller, humbler comedies, and that’s exactly what Catastrophe is: A reliable, hilarious, cozy, and brutally real series that has seeped deep into my heart, and the hearts of anyone who spends time with these characters, brought to life by Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, who both developed and write for the show.
Before I start going through all of the things that make this show so specifically wonderful, let’s start by watching the trailer. Pretty charming, huh? If you liked what you saw, stick around as I breakdown the four best things about Catastrophe and why you should be watching.
The chemistry between Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan
Shows like Catastrophe are made or broken by just how much you buy the compatibility between the two leads. Luckily, stars Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan have incredible banter and a warm chemistry that makes the show irresistible. They play a non-traditional couple in the series: Delaney’s Rob Norris is an American ad executive, and Horgan’s Sharon Morris is an Irish primary school teacher in England. They meet by chance when Rob is on a business trip in London and have a 6-day love affair, which is never meant to be more than that. But then Sharon winds up pregnant, and soon the two are figuring out how to establish trust, how to live together, and eventually how to fall in love. It’s a romance in reverse, and the two sell every moment; their real-life friendship bleeds into their onscreen personas, showing off an easy nature and fun banter that keeps the show fresh and exciting. also
The mix of British and American humor
If you’re a fan of dry British humor and zany American spoofing, then chances are you’ll love the blend of comedy stylings that Catastrophe has to offer. Sharons’ sarcastic, take-no-shits sense of humor is a great counter to Rob’s “louder” American self, and is a big reason their coming together is so hilarious. It’s a great way of showing off the good part of both cultures, and adds another interesting layer to these characters and their future. Not only are the figuring out how they work as a couple, but they’re learning how to blend two very different worlds to create a new kind of normal.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t first check out Catastrophe because I knew Carrie Fisher was in it. The late Star Wars actress is fantastic as Rob’s mother, Mia, who’s just as acerbic and bluntly hilarious as her real-life counterpart. (Even Gary gets to shine!) Though she appears infrequently in the first season, her appearances limited to phone conversations with her son, she slowly becomes a larger presence. Often the foil to Sharon, she provides a steady source of anxiety for the mom-to-be. Carrie grew close with the cast during her time on the show, and spent her last night in London with Sharon Horgan. Fisher suffered cardiac arrest the next day on a flight to Los Angeles, and died three days later. The final episode of season 3 is dedicated to the actress. Catastrophe was the last thing she ever filmed.
It isn’t afraid to get real.
The show may be funny and light, but it doesn’t shy away from darker truths, either. Sharon’s first pregnancy, for instance, comes with the added worry of her older age. Will her child be OK? Will she ever be able to conceive again? Catastrophe finds humor in her concerns, but also tenderness. Additionally, Delaney works his real-life struggles with alcoholism into the character of Rob, who also battles drinking demons. The upcoming season will focus even more on Rob’s addiction, and what it means to grapple with such a painful thing as you’re striving to become a better husband and father.
The fourth and final season of Catastrophe hits Amazon Prime on March 15. Will you be watching?
Images: Amazon Prime