TV Review: Catastrophe, Series 3 Episode 2

I'm not surprised last Tuesday's edition of The Nightly Show fronted by David Walliams struggled in the ratings. Breaking news of the discovery of intelligent life on Mars (or in the White House) would struggle if scheduled opposite Inside No 9 and Catastrophe. So it'll be interesting to see how John Bishop's Tuesday show this week will do.

To be honest I was slightly disappointed by last week's Catastrophe because it looked as if Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan were veering towards comedy drama territory in the first episode of the third series. But they are very much back in the comic saddle this week, abeit shot through with a pretty bleak streak of horribleness. 

Rob, for example, is juggling being a house husband with finding a new job. But he gets grief at the school gates because his son may have bitten another boy and he gets grief in a job interview because he smells of alcohol. That tell-tale whiff of cheese and onion crisps when he gets in at night is a sign that when not jerking off in the basement he is busy toppling off the wagon. 

Sharon, meanwhile, has become the breadwinner, going back to her old job in her old school. But following the death of a colleague she is quickly promoted, which means fronting the memorial service – cue embarrassing public speech. Talking about having angst and acne in your twenties is probably not appropriate for an audience of under-tens, but it is brilliantly, awkwardly funny.

Anyway, there's lots going on in this week's episode but the nicest aspect is the extremely watchable chemistry between Sharon and Rob. They might be struggling to get over the fact that Sharon touched a young man's boner while they were very briefly separated but they seem to have much more of a romantic spark than a lot of real-life couples who appear happily married. Let's face facts. There is more electricity in this one episode than in a week's worth of The Nightly Show.

Catastrophe, C4, Tuesdays, 10pm.


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