“I’m just so unhappy!” a character laments about her marriage on the new drama Catastrophe in what has to be the most brutally honest moment of American television I’ve seen all year. It’s crucial and completely exhausting. All the devastation of modern love is laid bare in that brief scene. This woman, played by the indomitable Eileen Walsh, is so wrecked by her loveless husband and her excrement-smeared children, she can’t even cry. And so she drinks. She drinks in some misguided hope that she’ll find utter annihilation. But that sweet justice does not come. Instead, she feels the sharp edge of misery evermore. A misery we all share.
This is just one of the many places in Catastrophe where I felt I really couldn’t take it. The show, created by Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney and now streaming on Amazon Prime, is simply too naked in its ambition. The story concerns a 30-something American man who impregnates a British woman on a one-night stand. They decide to raise the child together in London and the six episodes follow their quirky escapades as their marriage day approaches.
Yet that marriage is just an afterthought for this couple. They did not sail toward that special day with beautiful plans after years of courtship and months of planning. No, it is a union of convenience, a partnership of sudden needs and short-term solutions. Without any real way to communicate, these would-be lovers constantly harass each other with vile insults. More often than not, they can’t help but openly despise each other.
Most viewers will recognize this as the real face of marriage in our current age. So many are wed because of ridiculous circumstances, whether it be pregnancy or the need for health care, a roof over one’s head, or even the misguided belief that maybe after time you’ll find a genuine connection with that foul-smelling carcass of bitterness that flops down in our bed at night, swatting his pillow with a fat, sweaty hand while a gastric symphony erupts beneath the sheets. And then that ugly halogen street light creeps beneath your curtains and sirens tear through the air as you pray that the Ambien takes effect before you really start thinking about the perpetual misery of your life.
Yes, again misery! Why is it such misery to be bound to someone who only grows to hate you more each day? You have long forsaken the idea of soulful love, and surely intercourse. It’s simply too grotesque to imagine that sour hairy mass chafing your body. The spitting, the grunting, all now just a memory from your first month of “wedded bliss.” Sometimes you’ll watch him as he stumbles to the bathroom, those thickening rolls of fat at his sides, the grim crack of his buttocks, the blotchy elbows, the strangely shiny bald spot. You might wonder if he still has the urge. You might wonder if he hides himself away in the bathroom to masturbate over his grimy little laptop. It’s a horror to think of his moaning, unshaven face, the yellow teeth, his plump hand groping an angry stub until he climaxes with that obnoxious passive-aggressive sigh of his. Then it’s our best guest hand towels mopping up a beer belly dripping in tacky fluids. I’ll find the crusty mess in the hamper tomorrow. And when I smell it, it will reek of stale urine and his even staler dreams.
Well, that’s what the Cultural Marxists wanted! They hate the idea of marriage and faith and anything sacred. Homosexuals, marijuana, polygamy, Obamacare… They’ll send anything our way to undermine the American nuclear family. Traditional, loving Christian home life was the foundation of our society for centuries. The leftists know this and they’re on the assault! If Catastrophe has taught me anything, it’s that the Brave New World of matrimony is hellscape of eternal failure and frustration and why bother to have even a shred of hope?