TV: Catastrophe, C4

This is the third sitcom I've reviewed in two days and with the greatest respect to BBC Three's Cuckoo and BBC Two's Semi-Detached, which are both extremely watchable, Catastrophe is by far the best of the trio.

Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney just seem to have nailed something about the travails of long-term relationships in a way that is so painfully funny it actually hurts to watch it. I mean, I'm laughing all the time, but underneath there's the tingling agony of relatability too. Even when the events don't particularly match up to my own life experiences.

In the first episode of the fourth series, for example, we catch up with Rob (Delaney) following his drunken car crash at the end of the third series when he admitted to having fallen off the wagon, As a result he is in a neck brace (instant cheap laugh) and doing community service in a charity shop, asking his new colleagues "“how did you guys get into the whole cerebral palsy charity scene?” as if he is chatting to group of goths about liking The Sisters of Mercy or The Mission. "My daughter has cerebral palsy,” says one, as Rob slowly but surely attempts to extricate his foot from his mouth.

Meanwhile Sharon (Horgan) thinks she has come up with the perfect crime when their child wants an expensive toy. Except, of course, it isn't...

As I said, none of this has ever happened to me or my partner, honest, but boy does it make me laugh and ring true. Excellent performances obviously help. And talking of excellent performances, by the way, I've also seen the third episode in this new series which features a sex scene between Ashley Jensen and Douglas Hodge which is already a contender for my most unforgettable image of 2019. Stay tuned.

Catastrophe, Tuesdays from January 8, C4, 10pm. 

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