Tuesday 22 January 2019
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.theguardian - 17 days ago

Catastrophe: car crash TV that’s still putting the fun into dysfunctional marriage

The Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney-penned romcom remains rooted in the reality of parental responsibilities, financial insecurity and body fluidsWhen we last clapped eyes on Rob (Rob Delaney) – recovering alcoholic and hirsute father of two – he had just smashed into another car while collecting his slightly pissed wife Sharon (Sharon Horgan) from a nearby pub. As Sharon cradled her bleeding husband and waited for the police, he confessed he wouldn’t pass a breathalyser test, as he had been drinking on the sly for months. And so, at the start of the fourth series of Catastrophe (Tuesday 8 January, 10pm, Channel 4), we rejoin the couple as Rob – think Sweetums from the Muppets, but with better teeth – earnestly pleads his case before a magistrate and lays his recklessness firmly at the feet of his wife. “I was in a very difficult place emotionally, your honour,” he says, “as it had not been long since I found out that my wife had masturbated a young student.”Catastrophe has come a long way since its 2015 debut, when Sharon – an Irish primary school teacher in London – had a fling with Rob, a New Yorker on a business trip, whom she met in a bar and, six days later, after a valedictory shag in a stairwell, happily waved back to America. On discovering that Sharon was pregnant, the pair reunited and decided to try out life as a family. Back then, for all its cracking dialogue on pregnancy, childbirth and its gruesome aftermath, it seemed we were in for show about the travails of middle-class parenthood (a theme that Horgan, who writes Catastrophe with Delaney, explored when she co-wrote the 2017 comedy Motherland). But since then, jobs have been lost, dogs have been run over, parents have died, friends have got divorced and 22-year-old strangers have been given drunken handjobs. The children have largely stayed off-screen, deployed only to snitch on their mother for shoplifting or to deliver withering stares from the back seat as Rob and Sharon go toe-to-toe in the car. Continue reading...

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