UPDATED: Catastrophe was the first series my Summer Binge-Watch Challenge group watched. We watched the entire series in June 2018.

Here is the audio from the Facebook Live event we had after the month was over. I talk about what worked and what didn’t, what I liked and what I hated. You can also listen to this recording — and all my other podcast episodes — with your favorite podcast app or right here online.


Following is the quick guide the Summer Binge-Watch Challenge crew got before they watched Catastrophe.

This quick guide to Catastrophe on Amazon Prime will get you started on your binge-watch. After we watch Catastrophe, I will come back and add more details and commentary.

Watch Catastrophe on Amazon [this is an affiliate link and I earn a commission if you click and make a purchase]


American boy Rob gets Irish girl Sharon pregnant while they hook up for a week while on a business trip to London. Comedy ensues.


  • Sharon Horgan as Sharon Morris
  • Rob Delaney as Rob Norris
  • Mark Bonnar as Chris
  • Jonathan Forbes as Fergal
  • Daniel Lapaine as Dave
  • Ashley Jensen as Fran


  • Emmy nomination in 2017 for Carrie Fisher for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
  • Emmy nomination in 2016 for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
  • Critics Choice nomination in 2016 for Best Comedy Series
  • Critics Choice nomination in 2016 for Most Bingeworthy Show

Watch Catastrophe on Amazon [this is an affiliate link and I earn a commission if you click and make a purchase]

Here’s what I had to say, during Facebook Live, about Catastrophe.

Catastrophe Review

We finished Catastrophe and I’m very, very glad I watched it. That had been on my to do list for a long time, but it kept getting pushed to the back burner.

There came a point, for me, when I really didn’t like Sharon. She was really starting to grate my nerves. But then she would do something so relatable that I would get sucked right back in.

And Rob seemed like such a sweetheart. I liked him during the whole run of the show, but he is headed down a dark, dark path. I really feel for him because he’s making all the wrong decisions.

I don’t know about you, but I have two kids, so every time he was drinking while he was watching them, I was super nervous.

I talked with a friend of mine who was also watching Catastrophe. She said that she was “done with it.” She didn’t finish the series. Essentially, she found it to be too depressing, too dark.

Then I said that one of the reasons that I liked Catastrophe was that it was like watching a train wreck. Something horrible is happening, but you can’t look away.

Because I don’t watch reality TV (my friend does) and I don’t generally watch “normal people” shows (my friend does), watching Catastrophe was a novel experience. All the shows I watch have some sort of superhero or fantasy element. Catastrophe was a new kind of show for me and that was partly what kept me interested.

Critical Praise

Melissa Maerz from Entertainment Weekly said some interesting things that I hadn’t really thought about in her review. She said, “It’s not your typical rom com,” which is funny because it was certainly marketed as a romantic comedy. I wouldn’t call it a romantic comedy, either. Catastrophe was actually more of a dramedy.

Maerz said, ” It’s the type that rolls its eyes at the smug meant for each other couples in Hollywood movies and pretends to stick its finger down its throat whenever some bride or groom makes a last minute spring to the altar. That doesn’t mean it’s cynical about love, though. Somehow, it’s far more romantic than any romcom I’ve seen in a long time.”

That’s a very interesting insight.

First, I love that she said that Catastrophe considers itself smug in terms of romantic comedies. Maybe that’s why I related to it, because I consider myself smug when it comes to romantic comedies.

There was a time in my youth when I loved romantic comedies. I would go see every single one that came out. And now, I have no patience for that nonsense. Life is not like that. Which may be why Catastrophe spoke to me. It was a lot more like real life. Granted, Rob and Sharon had a lot of bad things shoved into their pressure-cooker life. But it was still much more real life than romantic comedies usually are.

“Far more romantic…” I can see why see why she said that. It’s a very modern day romance.

For instance, how many men would step up and marry Sharon after spending only a week with her? Or, how many women would go for marriage after spending only a week. They both wanted to start a family and move onto the next stage in their lives. That they took a chance and jumped in with both feet is very romantic.

Then Maerz went on to say that Sharon Horgan, the Irish actress who played Sharon, was once dubbed the Tina Fey of British TV by the New York Times.

Let that sink in. The Tina Fey of British TV.

Horgan was funny. She was very funny. However, I don’t think she’s a Tiny Fey. Tiny Fey could comedy circles around that woman. Horgan did an excellent job; don’t get me wrong. In fact, she was nominated for a BAFTA for her performance. She did a great job, but she ain’t no Tina Fey.

And then Maerz said, “Catastrophe is nothing if not a practical romance.” That refers back to the romantic notions that I just mentioned. Nowadays, it is romantic to jump head first into a marriage when you haven’t known the person very long. I mean, that’s how people used to get married hundreds of years ago. Maybe that’s what makes their decision so romantic.

Hey, UK, WTF?

I have to mention the part about the OB/GYN in the series. Catastrophe has a very British feel — even though it’s written by Rob Delaney, an American — because it takes place in London.

That whole OB/GYN deal in the series. Is that how OB/GYN’s give examinations in the UK? When Brits go to see their OB/GYN, are they literally, like, in the doctor’s office and then all of a sudden they’re up on a table taking their pants off? That kind of blew me away. If any of you are “across the pond,” can you let me know in the comments?

Here in the US, there’s an exam room and then the office is a whole other room. It was super weird to see Tobias Menzies, who played Sharon’s doctor, behind this desk and then, “Okay! Let’s hop ya up on the examination table and see what’s going on.” That was a little freaky to me.

Back to Horgan

More about Sharon Horgan. Horgan makes us love Sharon, even though she’s flawed. Generally, American TV is sweeter. There tends to be a moral center and things are usually nicely tied up in a bow. And people are good people. That’s true about American TV.

Horgan told The Guardian, “I think that the difference is that in the UK, we’re happier to have awful people as heroes.” Sharon isn’t awful-awful. She’s very realistic.

She’s probably like the worst version of ourselves. If we took all of our bad habits on our worst days and put them into a TV show, we would seem awful. But that doesn’t mean we’re awful people. It’s just that all the awful things got put on screen.

Sharon did some awful things and made some awful choices. However, I wouldn’t say Sharon was awful.

But everyone in the show did. That’s the best thing about Catastrophe. It reinforces the idea that greatness can mean different things to different people.

If Rob and Sharon could make it work, the show suggests, then maybe you don’t need — hold onto your butts — to meet your soulmate in order to be happy, despite what rom coms want us to believe.


You don’t need to meet your soulmate? That’s a conundrum for the ages. Do you need to meet your soulmate to be happy in a marriage?

My husband and I have a running gag about this that’s been going on for years.  The question is whether there is only one soulmate for everyone, or if there’s more than one soulmate for everyone. We have different opinions on that.

Catastrophe was seemed to be suggesting that, as long as you find someone good enough, who’s willing to put in the same work that you are putting in, and who can be a friend, that marriage will work.

That is what I liked most about Rob and Sharon. They’re friends. They are best friends. That comes through more than anything else and I really like that about the show.