Joey Moser reviews Amazon’s ‘Catastrophe’ Season 3. The series holds its status as one of the very best shows you’re not watching.
Catastrophe is one of the best shows on television. Period. Unlike other comedies where the laughs drain as the kids get older, this Amazon show only gets better with age. Writers and stars Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney have again succeeded with their third season.
This third season explores some more dramatic territory than the first two did. The first season may sound like a romantic comedy that you’ve seen a few hundred times before (guy knocks up a girl, they decide to make it work), but the second set of episodes started to mix in the struggles of balancing work, family life, and keeping the spark alive.
Sharon and Rob are struggling to keep their heads above water. Rob is still not working after a sexual misconduct complaint was made against him at work and he agreed to a leave of absence. At the beginning of the season, Sharon can’t remember if she slept with a young musician, and she takes the morning after pill. The first episode starts off with Rob being very suspicious after he finds a receipt from the pharmacy, and it’s a strange jumping off point. It dives right into marital drama, and, even after one problem seems to end, another rises up out of the ground. Rob’s burgeoning alcoholism begins to take shape as well.
With every episode, Horgan and Delaney deepen their bond as a married couple while playfully jabbing each other in their charming way. In one scene, the couple discusses whether they should find a smaller apartment, and Sharon insists that she could lead a simpler life. Rob, almost stopping in his tracks, tells her, “You’re a cosmopolitan clothes fiend who consciously left Ireland to shop.”
The supporting cast (including Ashley Jensen, Mark Bonnar, and Daniel Lapaine) all get to explore their roles more independently, and Carrie Fisher, as Rob’s mother in the season finale, reminds us yet again what a comedy pro she is. I’m not exactly sure how Catastrophe manages a hilarious balancing act with all the potential darkness, but its underappreciated writing steers this ship. The finale positions Rob and Sharon to tackle one of their biggest problems yet, and the last 30 seconds are unexpectedly sad.
There’s something to be said about the amount of episodes that Amazon produces each year. Every season of Catastrophe has been 6 episodes, but they are richer and funnier than half of the comedies out there right now. Thank the writing team and a go-for-broke ensemble of actors. Other comedies should take notice.