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Ash & Fern: One Night Stand

My love for the art of binge-watching is no secret. Since finally succumbing to Netflix almost a year ago (maybe I should throw us an anniversary party? This is by far my most successful relationship…) I have become quite the connoisseur of the lost weekend. There is something so satisfying about being able to finish a season, or even a whole series, in one pathetically lazy stretch. It’s probably the closest I get to a true sense of accomplishment at this point in my life.

So one night last week I turned it up a notch and went for a one night stand. Apparently a whole weekend seemed like too much of a commitment, no surprise there. I came home completely exhausted from a weekend away, and I was playing the “I can’t go to bed now or I’ll be screwed up all week” game, so I decided to watch a movie. I hit the wrong button on my remote and ended up on Amazon Prime, and since I refuse to pay for anything beyond my membership, my choices were limited. The evil genius in the TV suggested a show called Catastrophe, and after six episodes and three short hours later I was on Google trying to find out about Season 2.

Since I watch more TV than anyone I know, and definitely more than is healthy, I have absolutely no idea how this gem had escaped my notice for so long. I have some vague memories of hearing about it, but apparently I dismissed it. My bad. For all the (completely deserved) notice Amazon has been getting about the fantastic original series Transparent, there really should be more for the British import Catastrophe.

The premise is simple. A vacation fling results in a pregnancy and 2 relative strangers decide to give it a go and have the baby together. It has all the hallmarks of a classic rom-com, right down to British accents. So naturally I thought I would hate it. Life isn’t a rom-com. Luckily neither is Catastrophe.

If this were a rom-com it would be a torturous show about two very different people (who are actually a lot alike, twist!) getting pregnant, falling in love, having a huge fight, and then miraculously realizing they can’t live without each other right before/after having the world’s most perfect baby. Instead we have two very different people (who are actually a lot alike, twist!) getting pregnant, deciding they kind of like each other sometimes, having a million fights and realizing that they’re basically stuck with each other so it’s a good thing they can at least make each other laugh. It may not sound that different, but it’s miles apart.

In the past, shows and movies have been stuck focusing on a couple who is the fairy tale picture of true love. The idea that you can focus instead on two ridiculous but very real people who are just trying to figure it out isn’t a completely original one, You’re the Worst did it incredibly well in its awesome first season, but it is still relatively new. It’s never not going to be absurd to watch a wealthy businessman hire a prostitute to pose as his girlfriend, then fall in love with her and live happily(ish) ever after. I mean come on, that’s not even something an average woman can imagine. But accidentally getting pregnant on vacation and realizing that this fling is now a part of your life forever? Yep, that could happen.

Turns out Catastrophe was the perfect show for my first one night stand. The best way to get me to commit for one night is to make me laugh, and it nailed that. I know I shouldn’t expect repeats in the future, but as this show taught me, sometimes one night can turn into something more.

Has anyone else discovered this hilarious show? And since people can’t seem to stop trying to set me up, I’m happy to take suggestions for my next one night stand.


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