Catastrophe is an Amazon original series. The first 6 episodes are available now on Amazon Prime.
Rob (Rob Delaney), an American, and Sharon (Sharon Horgan), an Irish teacher working in London, meet in a pub. They have sex as often as possible while Rob is in London. Then he goes home, only to be called back by a catastrophe – she’s pregnant.
The series is a comedy, but not a laugh-out-loud comedy. More of a quiet appreciation of life’s absurdity type of comedy. Dry humor writ dark. In true comedy style, each episode is only 30 minutes. You can watch the whole first series in 3 hours. Think of it as an extra long movie.
The two principal characters are fabulous together. All that stuff about on-screen chemistry is true as it applies to these two.
Rob is a decent guy. Sharon can’t quite grasp it. She doesn’t want his help with the baby, she just wants money. But they actually like each other, which is a catastrophe of a sort for her. She’s 41; it’s an at-risk pregnancy for a Down’s Syndrome child. Plus she has other health issues. Eventually she agrees to marry Rob. By their wedding day, Sharon is wearing the biggest prosthetic pregnant belly I have ever seen. There could be a whole basketball team in there.
On their wedding night they have a fight. Sharon leaves only to return seconds later saying her water broke and it’s too soon. The season ends there, with the delivery yet to come and a big cliffhanger in the form of whether the baby will survive and be “normal.” I’m actually hoping the baby will have Down’s Syndrome. There hasn’t been a good portrayal of a Down’s child in popular culture for a long time, and I think Rob and Sharon could pull it off. (Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan share the writing credits for Catastrophe.)
Supporting characters are plentiful and each is absurd in their own way. Sharon’s friend Fran (Ashley Jensen) wants to know how big Rob’s penis is. Sharon’s brother Fergal (Jonathan Forbes) is drunk most of the time. Rob’s mom is played by Carrie Fisher – she does a fantastic job. Rob has an American friend, Dave (Daniel Lapaine) living in London who helps him get a job. Dave is so gay, but doesn’t know it. Yet he begs Rob to accompany him to a place where they will massage your prostate for a fee.
If you have Amazon Prime and have watched it, please share your reactions in the comments. I’d love to know if you enjoyed Catastrophe as much as I did.
Here’s my review of season 2 of Catastrophe.