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Catastrophe Season 3

May 28, 2017

I banged out the third season of Amazon Prime’s Catastrophe last week. I’m very happy I did. The show is managing to find the best parts of some of my all time favorite TV shows like Mad MenLouie, and even The Americans to deliver a strikingly intimate, real-life-type funny look at life’s little tragedies. It’s like TV’s greatest possible Venn diagram. 

Catastrophe is about a mixed-nationality couple, played by co-creators (American) Rob Delaney and (Irish) Sharon Horgan. Their characters’ first names are the same, respectively. (Their last names are . . . something different, whatever they are.) In the first season they come together after their international hookup leads to a pregnancy. In the second season they deal with being newly married. Here in the third, they’ve got a small family. Throughout the series, the focus is on the ups and downs of how relationships and families start and (hopefully) last. Sometimes the little things are the big things. And it’s messy all the way.

The show earns my adoration by being less about, say, the dinner party and more about the conversation afterward, so to speak. Laughing (or complaining) about how things went down while you’re getting out of your nice clothes and into your pajamas. It just feels a lot like real life.

To justify those effusive comparisons I made in the first paragraph, let me say this. Catastrophe reminds me of Mad Men in the way it can make me feel like shit, but do it in a way that seems like a profound truth about life has been exposed. A profound truth about my life, at least. Louie comes up because of how it’s not always funny-haha per se, but that never makes you hesitate to call it one of the best comedies on TV. And although I usually give the nod to The Americanswhen it comes to the best portrayal of a marriage currently on the air, honestly, Catastrophe is right up there.

If I have any reluctance in fullthroatedly calling this one of the very best shows on TV, it’s that it’s so small in scale and in running time (only six thirty-minute episodes) and potentially narrower in its appeal than, say, your Game of Throneses. So to the extent being a water-cooler favorite is any measure of a TV show, Catastrophe will probably never have that.

But it’s one of my favorites. And if it works for you, you’ll probably like it quite a bit too.

Loved it

From → TV

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