WTF is FYC? Part 3: Catastrophe


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Catastrophe FYC invite


A relationship that began with popular American Twitter star and comedian/writer Rob Delaney and English actress/writer Sharon Horgan actually meeting on Twitter, led to a successful collaboration and acting vehicle for both. Honestly, I new nothing about these two people.

Before Catastrophe, both were still striving to make it in their careers - in their thirties. Was that a 3.0 tremor or did Hollywood's collective jaw drop? 

They began working together across continents while attending to the needs of their respective families. It makes sense then that what works is they write about what they know - marriage and kids - but not their actual families - so they tell us.

These two wear all the creative hats ... and often not many clothes. Control freaks? Maybe. Both agree that writing the show and managing their personal lives is a challenge, so reducing some of that up and down by keeping the show's content lean and focused on moving forward is the solve. They rarely take suggestions from the supporting cast, although they just let Carrie Fisher go once during a scene. She's Carrie Fisher. Of course, you just let her go.

Sure, they're lucky: both admit they get to write characters who behave however they want.  Horgan's previous relationship with the BBC with Pulling, a show she co-wrote and starred in no doubt helped. And in Catastrophe, they're behaving a lot ... in the bedroom ... on the floor ... in the living room ... It's probably a good thing their characters are still attracted to one another after having kids, otherwise, we'd miss this particular physicality between them. 

In a nutshell, Rob meets Sharon on a London business trip. They hook up and shag it up for the week he's in town. Shortly after he returns to America, good-guy Rob gets the Guess What? I'm pregnant! call from Sharon, so he moves across the pond and becomes a committed partner. The show progresses with the relationship, advancing events without laboring us through everything, like the first birth, or the next. Bullet-point jumps we understand, much like we understand typoglycemia, words with jumbled letters, where the letters are scrambled, but as long as the first and last letters are the same, your brain makes sense of it. The technique keeps the show fresh and interesting in my hmbuel opiinon.

In person, Delaney and Horgan are witty, each rolling off the other's energy, intent on an easy flow. Completely watchable and funny, what we see is what we get. For anyone unfamiliar with the show, the screening and post chat is just enough dangle to watch for more of what's right here in front of us tonight.


This is my first time at The London West Hollywood. It's a pricey job in West Hollywood for those who like to drop names and valet park. After the panel, there's a clog at the elevators to the mid-level deck. Once there, we scale a switchback of what appears to be a handicap ramp that opens to a large area partially covered in astro turf. It's dotted with tables and things to sit on. Yay!  There are several food stations. Good idea and well planned! And two bars. Yay!

After getting a drink, I make my way to one of the food lines. "Hello!" A former colleague is in front of me! As we're catching up, something stings my drink hand. I look closely. It's a flea! What? Thoughts race in ... why is the flea here? Could my former colleague possibly have pets? I scan her black sweater for pet hair. Nothing. OK, it's a flea anomaly, then.

As someone who prefers organic food, I realize the line we're in is the wrong one for me. But there are MACAROONS and they are a weakness. I bow out of the line, but not before tasking my +1 who's content to remain with securing a selection of brown, yellow, and green lovelies for me.


Since I'd front-loaded with alcohol and sugar, substance was now critical. Thankfully, I locate salads and bread. Another friend stops by. As we munch and chat, she suddenly becomes quiet.  While looking around the deck ... Wait for it ... she calmly remarks, "You know, I think we're in a dog park." I nearly spit. "Did you see that doghouse over in the corner?" Of course I'd seen it. I'd just assumed it was part of the decoration or perhaps a clever inference to Rob and Sharon's new season relationship ... someone was in the doghouse? I dunno, it made sense as soon as I said it, but Hello! This explains the flea!!!!!!!!!!!!

I share the flea incident and she thinks I'm just being funny. Now, I'm two drinks in and overcome with a need to share the dog park insight with Rob Delaney, who's talking to people near one of the bars. My friend will not join me, but hovers nearby to witness the outcome. 

He's very tall. Another tall actor. The telling of the story did not amuse him. No riffs or witty comebacks. No conspiratorial agreement about actors being made to lie down with dogs and get up with fleas ... I think he probably thought I was one of "those." You can almost hear the inflection inside your head as soon as you read it, right? Well, it was an odd impulse and I could have used the opportunity to talk about England or writing or something completely expected in these forums, but instead, I went to a tall funny man with quirky and he didn't play. Ha! Catastrophe lives up to its name.


The rest of the evening was buoyed by a few more macaroons and of course, the valet parking.

A screening area for  Catastrophe  @ The London West Hollywood Hotel ... a pet friendly property that may not actually have a dog park.

A screening area for Catastrophe @ The London West Hollywood Hotel ... a pet friendly property that may not actually have a dog park.

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Stardust by Proxy

A Series Leading to Emmy

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