The last time we saw Sharon and Rob, her water broke during a moment of great passion.
No, not the dirty, sweaty kind but the kind of passionate argument that starts with Rob calling her a “fucking ingrate shrew,” and her calling him a “gullible American prick,” all ending with Sharon’s water breaking. Too early, I may add. After seeing the Season Two trailer, I was pretty sure we were going to witness the birth of the catastrophically conceived baby, but we don’t. We get to witness baby number two being born—how ‘bout that?!
Fast forward two years, and Sharon and Rob have settled into their new house quite comfortably. They’ve gone the whole nine yards: the house, the scruffy rescue dog, little baby boy Frankie and another baby on the way. The episode opens with Sharon and Rob lying in bed eating and watching a trashy game show (X-Factor, I assume). Rob would much prefer to have sex, as he finds himself turned on by Sharon’s unflattering sleepwear, because it’s like being in bed with one of his aunt’s friends: “It feels dirty and wrong.” After a brief, pathetic argument and some make-up sex that is disturbed by wee Frankie, it’s clear that all is good in casa de Sharon and Rob.
Sharon may not have lost her love for swearing but she’s really adapted to the role of the stay-at-home mom and seems to be enjoying every second of it:
“[Frankie] asked me to itch his bum earlier… but he meant inside it, like he parted his butt cheeks and he asked me to itch him in it.”
Ah yes, motherhood really was wonderful—until their new beautiful baby girl with an impossible Celtic name (Muireann) is born. Because with the new born comes the dreaded family gathering. Rob’s mother Mia (Carrie Fisher) has already been staying with them for several weeks but doesn’t devote any time to helping out with Frankie or the household; she’s far too busy Ebay-ing. After an awkward we-thought-Sharon-would-die-a-lonely-spinster-but-Rob-saved-the-day speech by Sharon’s Dad Des (Gary Lilburn), panic erupts when Frankie seems to have gone missing. When Mia brings him back in from the garden where he “crapped his pants”, things get a little heated between her and her daughter-in-law. Mia accuses Sharon of treating Rob like a “hired hand” and complains about the cleanliness of the sheets she is forced to sleep on. Rob kindly steps in asking his mother not to behave like an asshole, but it’s too little too late, Sharon goes off on one:
“She’s not an asshole, she’s a hemorrhoid on an asshole. You are a benevolent, hemorrhoid of a woman!”
The entire situation is a bit too much for Sharon, what with Mia being “fucking useless,” her dad “losing his marbles” and Rob’s friend Dave (Daniel Lapaine) showing up with a cake sporting an image of Muireann suckling on Sharon’s massive nipple (with veins and all). To top it all off, the family dog managed to escape after Des leaves the front door open… and is run over. When Rob finds Sharon sobbing, he tries to console her:
“I’m not crying about the dog….Everyone is still here, why won’t they leave?”
Season Two of Catastrophe opened with the kind of harsh-reality comedy that makes us realize, once again, that Horgan and Delaney are a dream team, on screen as well as in the writing room. As the first episode ends and we learn that Sharon is struggling to form a bond with Muireann, who she believes to be “manipulative” and “plotting something,” it becomes clear that just as in Season One, Catastrophe isn’t just about the belly-laughs and strong dialogues. This show touches up on some pretty heavy shit now and then (prenatal depression, anyone?) but it always manages to portray these subjects in a skillfully authentic and heartfelt manner.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how the show develops, and how Rob and Sharon’s relationship has changed since braving parenthood.
Roxanne Sancto is a freelance journalist for Paste and The New Heroes & Pioneers. She’s the author of The Tuesday Series & co-author of The Pink Boots. She can usually be found covered in paint stains.