While Netflix has proven itself worthy of quality television in its queue of original series, Amazon Prime still has something to prove. With Catastrophe, it gets a good start.
Catastrophe, a comedy written by Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, stars the duo as a somewhat dysfunctional couple that gets together when Sharon (played by Sharon) finds out she is pregnant with Rob’s (played by Rob) baby after the two have a one-week stand. Catastrophe just wrapped up its second season and is getting ready for a third, so now is a great time to catch up.
In season 1, we meet Sharon and Rob, who have only just recently met each other. Horgan and Delaney’s on-screen chemistry is palpable, easy-going, and entertaining. It’s clear that in writing their own roles, the two have played to their own brilliant senses of humor perfectly. They’re both dry and witty, both revel in vulgarity, and both recognize when the other is being completely ridiculous. Rob’s character is a little more nonchalant, while Sharon leans towards the big picture, but together, they flourish.
Horgan and Delaney are joined by Carrie Fisher, Ashley Jensen, and Mark Bonnar in supporting roles, and in general, are surrounded by a cast of characters that are both easy to relate to and thoroughly intriguing. Though Season 1 has a Seinfeld-esque quality of not really being “about” anything so much as being about people, Sharon and Rob are funny enough to make you want to keep watching.
In Season 2, the humor continues, but the plot widens to include more specific storylines, both for Sharon — who is now struggling with the mundanity of motherhood — and for Rob — whose loyalty to Sharon hits a few speed-bumps. Other characters get more detailed as well, and on the whole, the show develops in a positive direction. Curiously, Season 2 kicks off long after the final scene in Season 1, which leaves audiences wondering just where Season 3 is going to pick up.
At 12 episodes in 2 seasons, Catastrophe is a manageable time commitment and well worth the Amazon Prime membership (especially since many of us have it already). It hits on many of the finer points of dry comedy and lets audiences laugh out loud without feeling bad about it — because its main characters sure never do. For a true comedy that hits home without pulling too much on the heartstrings, check out Catastrophe — it might just give those Netflix originals a run for their money after all.