At Net TV Watch, our tastes tend more toward suspense, thrillers and crime dramas, but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying the occasional foreign sitcom. Season 1 of “Catastrophe,” by way of Britain’s TV Channel 4, is currently available for instant viewing from Amazon. It’s humorous, entertaining and much less contrived than U.S. sitcoms.
Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney play a couple (conveniently named Sharon and Rob) that have a brief affair (she’s a Brit; he’s from the States) while he is in London for business. A few weeks later he gets a call and finds out the relationship resulted in an unintended pregnancy. The rest of the six, 25-minute episodes in the first season deal with Rob’s return to London and how the couple negotiate this new reality while getting to know each other.
While some standard elements are here – an irritating mother in-law, annoying “best” friend, misinterpreted actions – the show generally feels fresh and unforced. It’s also a little raunchier and verbally graphic than standard sitcoms without veering too far in that direction. Much credit goes to Horgan and Delaney; they created and wrote “Catastrophe.”
Horgan is a veteran of British television and film, whereas Delaney is a comedian known more for writing and his Twitter account. Their professional pairing may be more unlikely than the one portrayed on TV, but it has produced an intelligent, funny sitcom that will hopefully inspire some American networks to up their game.
For Netflix viewers that enjoyed “Rita” and “Dicte,” “Catastrophe” is a good choice – if you also have access to Amazon instant viewing. With six episodes that clock in at under 30 minutes, you’ll breeze right through. “Catastrophe” season 2 has been announced for October 2015 on Channel 4 in England, but don’t look for it on Amazon until sometime in 2016.
“Catastrophe” TV Series Trailer