With a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award under her belt and an Emmy nomination, writer-actor Sharon Horgan has her third season of her smart and funny hit show with her co-creator Rob Delaney "Catastrophe" streaming on Amazon. It chronicles the daily lives of a mostly happily married couple, also named Sharon and Rob, who met in a drunken haze, hooked up and end up having a child. Their relationship doesn't exactly have a fairy-tale beginning, and the two are sometimes mean to each other but amid the characters' travails, the show aims to tell the truth (and humor) about parents' lives and marriage between real people. Horgan shared with me some of the thinking behind "Catastrophe" during a recent episode of "Salon Talks"
What makes this show relatable to people?
It's very a loose idea. Well to start with we just wanted to write about marriage. We wanted to write about how difficult it is to stay in love when you have kids. Rob had the name "Catastrophe." We only sort of worked out the whole sort of meeting and getting pregnant by accident and having to cope with being pregnant while trying to maintain a relationship with someone who's practically a stranger.
It's not super high concept. We're both married and we both have kids, and we both find it really difficult.
How does "Catastrophe" mirror your real life?
"There's a moment in the third season where Rob tells me I have a fascinating collision of skills because he says I am a really good mother, but a sh**t wife.
My husband was like, . . . "I've said those exact words to you! I called you a shit wife. You're using my dialogue now!" The fact is that we take stuff from our own marriages and just sort of from looking around us. I don't think I've ever looked at a couple and thought, "I want to be them!" And if I do, then I don't believe them; they're hiding something.
Catch more of our conversation on Salon about "Catastrophe," parenting, marriage and how writing good comedy may require eating the same lunch every day.