Catastrophe makes a triumphant return as Sharon and Rob face the music (and nappies)

Ben Dowell finds that the Channel 4 couple comedy is still on excellent form but suspects that the two lovebirds are being tested a lot more this series

Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney’s Catastrophe, about a couple who decide to stick together after a fling-induced pregnancy, has returned – and boy is it good.

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Last we saw of Horgan’s feisty Irish teacher Sharon at the end of series one, she was about to give birth. At the start of tonight’s episode it looks like we have gone back in time – but no. That baby she was about to pop out is now a toddler and there is another sprog, a girl, who has just arrived kicking and screaming into their lives. 

We have leaped forward in time, but there is trouble ahead beyond the obvious sleepless nights and mother and baby classes.

Sharon is clearly suffering some form of post-natal depression and, as supportive as Rob is, even he seems helpless in the face of a woman who seems to have lost her rudder in life.

“There are three people in this house wearing nappies and one of them is me,” she laments.

Still, she and Delaney’s Rob now live in a much grander-seeming house and Rob appears to have become quite a successful breadwinner, occupying a sweeping office and getting lots of approving looks from his boss.

The jokes are as snappy and scabrous as ever but the key to this series is its warmth as much as its wit, the soppiness offsetting the often extraordinarily frank badinage.

“I love his little penis,” the two coo over their son. You get the picture.

Catastrophe remains an extraordinary piece of work for its plausibility as well as its dazzling boldness. Once again you believe in their arguments as much as you are convinced by their love for each other.

Star Wars fans will also be pleased to see Carrie Fisher’s ghastly (and frighteningly plausible) mom-in-law Mia is back and, at tonight’s party, is proving she is as fabulously gruesome as ever.

In fact, it seems that this second outing will see the couple tested as never before. Sharon’s dad’s dementia is clearly a plot strand that will arc over the whole series.

As Delaney told RadioTimes.com, this will be a rocky journey.

“American audiences who didn’t like the end of series one, well they will be hanging themselves at the end of series two,” he said. “It’s real deal stuff that happens in marriages.”

I’m strapped in for the ride, whatever misfortune comes their way…

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Catastrophe continues on Channel 4 on Tuesdays at 10pm