It's only been 8 months since the first series ended, but already Catastrophe is back for more.
2015 has been a brilliant year for comedy, and even though the year isn’t over yet, Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan's Catastrophe is most definitely up there as one of the year’s best. Not bad for a duo who first met on Twitter.
If you missed the first series when it launched in January I’d highly recommend catching up before watching the second, it’ll only take you three hours, and you’ll thank me for it.
There first series was a surprise hit with viewers after they took the unlikely pairing of American businessman Rob (Rob Delaney), and Irish teacher Sharon (Sharon Horgan), to their hearts.
After a bit of a fling, Sharon finds out she’s pregnant and tells Rob who is back in America. He decides to fly back to the UK and the two of them are thrown into a relationship neither of them saw coming.
The first series ended with Sharon’s waters bursting, so when I sat down to watch the first episode of the new series I was confused to see Sharon in bed with Rob eating from mug that was resting on her baby bump.
Maybe she didn’t have the baby, I thought. Maybe it was a false alarm? After all, she did say it was too early for her waters to breaking. What I didn’t see coming, was that this is actually baby number two and the series has fast-forwarded a few years.
Speaking at the press launch for the second series Rob Delaney explained how when they first conceived the show it was more like series two:
"(We thought) Let’s start in the middle and then when we started to figure out the story of them two meeting we got more intrigued but that, and Channel 4 encouraged us to explore their meeting more. So this is sort of the thing that we initially conceived of and series one happened for us as a pleasant surprise.” Sharon added:
"The first series was more about falling in love and the second series is about staying in love. That wasn’t always the plan, the original series one began with them meeting, but it was all very very condensed and then we skipped forward and they’re together and have a family.
So when we first started writing series one we had this time skip in mind but then when it came to series two we just really liked the idea of being right in the middle of it."
Despite the time jump, I love that when Sharon calls Rob she still comes up as “Sharon London Sex” on his phone, reminding us all how they got into this ridiculous situation in the first place.
The second series is a lot more moving than the first, Sharon’s dad has dementia and we see Sharon struggle to find friends, resulting in a heartbreaking scene in the second episode where she’s stood up, and as well as all of that, Sharon has to keep Rob’s mother in check.
That’s right, Carrie Fischer is back playing Rob’s mother, and is even more fabulous that she was in the first series.
This time she’s in London visiting the couple as they celebrate the birth of baby number two, Muireann. That’s right, Muireann.
It’s an Irish name that very few people can pronounce, and provides a lot of the laughs in episode one. Another is when Rob asks a very pregnant Sharon to “Stick a finger up my asshole!” to which she responds with “How?!” struggling to get her arm around her pregnant belly.
And how could I forget the moment in episode two when Rob is seen having a wank at work in the toilets, whilst thinking about the new French girl in the office.
At the heart of it all, Catastrophe is a romantic comedy, but it manages to perfectly avoid the cliches you usually find in rom-coms. Speaking at the press launch, Rob told us how hone it comes to love:
“We wanted to show it rather than tell it. We had an “I love you” somewhere in series one and then we took it out. We don’t need to tell them, we need to show them” To which Sharon added:
"We’ve got one “I love you” in this series, but it’s not pretty! (Laughs) It would be disingenuous for us to say that we set out to make a romantic comedy, it just kind of happened. And I think maybe that’s why it’s worked. Because we weren’t following a formula, it just kind of happened."
I must admit, I was a little bit nervous that the second series wouldn’t quite live up to the first but it turns out I had absolutely nothing to worry about. It’s as good, if not better than the first.
Whilst Rob and Sharon hinted that there won’t be another series within the next year, they’re both definitely keen to do more, with Rob telling us how it wasn’t until they were editing the second series that he saw where they could go for a third. They also revealed that they have been talking about the possibility of working together on something else outside of Catastrophe, which is very exciting indeed!