For those who are new to the show, Catastrophe is co-written by actors Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney. The two also co-star on screen as husband and wife. In season one, we follow Sharon and Rob as they meet at a bar, have a week-long fling and get brought back together by an unexpected circumstance. In season two, we're thrust into their daily life together, much of which is unglamorous and a bit . . . scary? Overwhelming? Great birth control?
When I sat down to watch season three this weekend, I must admit, I couldn't quite remember exactly where we'd left off. I wish the recap at the top of episode one had been a bit longer and a more substantial refresher.
*SPOILER ALERT! Do not read on if you do not want to know any specifics of the plot.*
When we rejoin Sharon and Rob, Rob is still unemployed after the sexual harassment debacle at work. He spends a good chunk of season three on the phone with his recruiter (an annoying, distracted 20-something in a headset). One of my favorite moments in the whole season is when Rob, with encouragement from Sharon, shows up to a casting call at a"Big and Tall" modeling agency with nothing but a freshly shaven face and a 4x6 photo of him in a tux at a wedding.
Sharon has a few different story lines this season - she has to come clean to Rob about a drunken night with a college-age musician, she gets promoted at work after an elderly teacher passes away and her father has a stroke. As a result of all of this happening at the same time (isn't that the way the universe works) Sharon is out of sorts and it deeply impacts her relationship with Rob. One of the things this show has always been amazing at is portraying the real dynamics in a romantic relationship, even when it feels like absolutely everything has gone to shit.
For me, the best episode in season three is the last one, episode six. After attending her dad's funeral, Sharon is drunk and emotional and says to Rob, "Don't ever leave me. Because I'm never going to leave you. And it's not even because I love you, I mean, I do, but there's a working part missing now. You took it out. Now I just don't work without you."
In addition to Sharon's confession, in this same episode, Rob admits to his mother (played by the late Carrie Fisher) that he has been drinking again. I couldn't remember in season one or two Rob ever talking about having a drinking problem (though maybe he did and it just didn't stand out to me then). Rob's mom meets his admission with fury and she reveals to him that the reason her jaw clicks when she eats steak (such a specific, hilarious and mom-like comment) is because his father punched her in the face during a drinking bender. She really urges Rob to get help.
In the final scene of the sixth episode, Rob has to come clean to Sharon about his drinking. That scene is heartbreaking, but it also reminds you why Catastrophe has such a loyal following. The show is honest in a way you don't often see on TV or in movies. The characters are imperfect, but it only makes you love them all the more.
When the credits rolled at the end of season three, I found myself asking the same question I did last summer, "Why on earth are there only six episodes per season?!" I would watch 22 episodes of Sharon and Rob.
Though they covered a lot in season three - job hunting, house hunting, aging parents, infidelity, alcoholism - I wish they had included more about Sharon and Rob's life with their two young children. The kids felt like props instead of characters. Young kids are comedic gold, so I was surprised they didn't get more screen time or story development.
Tell me, do you watch? Have you streamed the new season yet?