Is it a catastrophe, or the best thing in the world?

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Catastrophe is a British TV show that is broadcast on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom and is available on Amazon Prime Instant Video in the USA. The sitcom is created by Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, who are also the lead characters of the show. Rob Delaney stars as Rob Norris, while Sharon Horgan as Sharon Morris. The show has already completed two of its seasons. The show also features Carrie Fisher, Mark Bonnar, and Ashley Jensen.

Rob Delaney in Catastrophe
Rob Delaney in Catastrophe

Catastrophe’s Plot

The show is half an hour in length, including the commercial break. In that half hour, it is hardly possible to introduce the characters, build up a story, have people connect with it, and leave them laughing hilariously on the ground. But, Catastrophe manages to do all of that and much more, thanks in no part to the incredible duo that is Horgan and Delaney. The show begins with their characters – Rob Norris and Sharon Morris, meeting by chance. Morris is a teacher in London, while Norris is a New York businessman or an executive, or something like that, in London. Their meeting starts in a cute way, and within the next couple of minutes invariably ends up in bed. That’s it, after some four odd minutes of this circus, they move on their separate ways. They have some affection for each other, but manage to underplay it. There is not much sentimentality to this whole affair, no cheesy parting lines at the airport and such. It’s clear both of them treat it as nothing more than a casual encounter.

Fast forward a few weeks in time, and Rob is having dinner with a date in New York. Things are fine until he receives a call from Sharon. She is pregnant! Well, Rob could have played this in many ways, but he decides to take a direct flight to London, to find a solution to this. As to why, the only plausible explanation is the “underplaying affections” theory that was discussed before. So, back to London again, and they are now discussing as to what they should do about it. The discussion is not some in-depth listing of pros and cons of each scenario. In fact, the actual decision takes place in a park bench, where they throw crisp and condensed one-liners at each other, leaving the audience feeling as if they are watching a tennis match. At the end, they decide to keep the baby. What’s more, they even move in together, fall in love and eventually get married too. By the end of the first season, however, Morris is yet to deliver the baby.

catastrophe logo

The second season shows Morris still pregnant, but the appearance of a toddler announces that the show has taken a time leap, and Morris is pregnant with a second baby. The nappies in the trash are hers and not her baby’s. There is some depravity, hard hitting comedy, eerily familiar situations, and the showmakers have not left any stone unturned to make it as realistic as possible. The writing is excellent and the comic timing of the cast is simply superb.

Catastrophe’s Cast

Sharon Horgan makes her character Sharon Morris completely believable. That’s not surprising coming from the actor, director, and writer, who has to her credits the likes of Pulling. Horgan has won multiple awards and is hilarious in her role as Morris. Rob Delaney, her character’s husband, Rob Norris on the show is no less either. He has been sending people into laughing fits on Twitter and a remarkable stand-up comedian, which his performance on the show clearly justifies.

Star Wars fans would love to see Carrie Fisher on the show. She plays the role of Rob’s mother, Mia. In the first season she was confined to appear on the other end of the phone. But, in the second season, she is firmly in the life of Sharon and Rob. It seems her visit in not a fleeting one, and is bent on being a part of their lives. On Sharon’s side, Gary Lilburn plays the role of her father, Des. Des is the most Irish dad ever. It has been suggested that he has dementia, and has a hard time remembering the names of the very people he love. However, Des has managed to win the hearts of the audience, especially during that one scene, where he slips a tenner for the baby. Classic Irish dad.

The other members of the cast include Ashley Jensen, Mark Bonnar, Jonathan Forbes, Daniel Lapaine, Tobias Menzies, Sarah Niles, Emmanuelle Bouaziz, Seeta Indrani, Marta Barrio, and Amanda Hale.

Catastrophe’s Production

Sharon Horgan helped write Catastrophe
Sharon Horgan helped write Catastrophe

Rob and Sharon had been trying to get the show happen for more than a year, before it actually commissioned by Channel 4. In fact, the showmakers had first approached the BBC, which had turned down the show after reading the script. Avalon Television came forward to produce the pilot for the show in 2013. The pilot was a quite a success, but it would be another year before Channel 4 picked up the show for their TV lineup. Finally, in May 2014, the show received the go for the production of the first season. The first season premiered on January 19, 2015. The show was an immediate success and has been gaining momentum ever since. In fact, within 10 days after the debut of the first season, Channel 4 commissioned another season of the sitcom, which was to be broadcast in January, 2016. However, the show’s rating and performance compelled the network to do away with the waiting and instead, they ended up premiering the second season on 27 October 2015. Each season of the sitcom has six episodes.

Catastrophe’s Conclusion

The producers of the show have not made it clear whether there will be another season of the show or not. However, going by the ratings, it can be safely assumed that the couple – Rob and Sharon – will be back with more gags. So far, no date has been announced for the season 3.


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