The Brit hit comedy series "Catastrophe returns to Amazon Prime on Friday (April 8) for a second season of merriment. The story jumps ahead by several years from the first season in which visiting American adman Rob Norris (Rob Delaney) and Irish school teacher Sharon Morris (Sharon Horgan) decide to make a go of it in London after learning she is pregnant from their one-night stand.
Those six episodes, which culminated in her giving birth, scored a jaw-dropping perfect score of 100% at Rotten Tomatoes (based on 32 "Fresh" reviews) and an impressive 83 MetaCritic as determined by 17 reviews. Not surprisingly, "Catastrophe" contended for Best Comedy Series at the recent Critics' Choice TV Awards, losing to the first season of "Master of None."
The second season of six episodes sees this odd couple now married and the parents of two children. This time shift was hailed in the UK when this season aired on Channel 4 last fall. Indeed, Delaney and Horgan, who pen every script, are nominated for Best Comedy Writing at the upcoming BAFTA TV Awards. And while British audiences had to wait a week between episodes, Americans can see all six in one sitting.
Based on the boffo notices excerpted below, either way of viewing promises to be time well-spent.
Joyce Eng (TV Guide.com) : "Rob and Sharon average about 4.72 tiffs an episode, and never once do they grate or do you think "these two need to break up already." Part of that is due to Horgan and Delaney's delicious chemistry, but it's mostly because Catastrophe is anchored in realism and the duo's acutely observed writing. It rejoices in the mundane, the everyday stupid stuff, the everyday hard stuff you just have to get through together. Like any true couple, Rob and Sharon operate on a level of bemused annoyance with each other that makes their lovely, quirky small moments all the warmer and more genuine."
Jamie Poniewozik (New York Times): "'Catastrophe' has the raw honesty of a mom on her second martini at a play date. It’s also — time-strapped parents take note — a refreshingly brisk six episodes. Even at that, some subplots feel extraneous, and like the first season, the second ends on a dissonant cliffhanger. But 'Catastrophe' has not become a dramedy about parenting. It’s a comedy about being parents, weathering the emotional and medical terrors that come with responsibility for small lives, yet remaining partners, lovers, allies."
Maureen Ryan (Variety): "The easy rapport between the two leads is, if anything, even more smooth and enjoyable this year, and their frisky dialogue, always full of delightful left turns and segues, manages to incorporate anger, frustration and affection in equal quantities. 'Sexual rainchecks are abusive!' Rob shouts at one point, but his character is imbued with such core of bearish sweetness that his rants never contain a shred of malice. Rob lumbers through his soul-killing corporate job and his cozily chaotic home life with such an air of amused, open-hearted surprise that everyone ends up confiding in him. He exudes an air of trustworthy placidness that Sharon’s spiky energy crashes into at will without every getting dented, and that dynamic is lovely and amusing to watch."
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Photo Credit: Amazon