In Praise of Sharon Horgan

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You might have noticed a certain trailer going around the internet today, with attendant fanfare.

Yes, HBO’s new comedy Divorce looks wonderful on many levels. It stars Sarah Jessica Parker, for one thing. Secondly, it looks incredibly mature. I don’t mean that as a backhanded compliment, like when people call a really boring news outlet or pop album ‘mature’. I mean it looks like it could actually be about something. Potentially even the opposite of what Sex and the City ended up being about by its dramatic 6th season conclusion. Divorce looks like a serious comedy about two people deciding to make the move from ‘love’ to ‘like.’ And that’s great.

But what’s really great is not the triumphant return of Sarah Jessica Parker, or the promise of another great TV show. It’s the true force behind Divorce: Comedy goddess Sharon Horgan.

Horgan is the kind of person you’re always glad to see pop up in a show. She’s also the kind of talent you always end up undervaluing. She’s an Irish comedian and writer who has been involved with some of the most underrated TV shows of past decade. From the British version of Free Agents to the remorselessly frank Pulling to the clever-as-hell Psychobitches, Horgan has been acting, writing, and producing all over the place. She showed up as the romantic lead (of sorts) in David Cross’s The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. She even had a part in the 2005 Queer classic Imagine Me and You. Basically anything great that’s been happening across the pond in the last decade has had Horgan somewhere near it.

But you might know her from Amazon’s brilliant original series Catastrophe, another show that manages to be at once mature, petty, juvenile, and absurdly funny. Horgan co-produced, starred in, and wrote ‘Catastrophe’ alongside her co-star Rob Delaney. Together they created a portrait of a relationship constantly on the verge of chaos, a union between two people who are raising a family together despite barely knowing the basics about each other. The two meet after a one night stand that turns into a two-week fling that turns into a pregnancy, a marraige, and another pregnancy. One of the best running gags in the show is the fact that Rob, Horgan’s husband, still keeps her in his phone under the name “Sharon London Sex.” 

So are we excited about Divorce? For many, many reasons. But for Sharon Horgan first and foremost. We can’t wait to see what comes out of her brilliant mind next. 

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