And so to the fourth (and - sad face - final) series of Catastrophe. Rob (Delaney) is in a neck brace and an Alcoholics Anonymous programme and an enforced charity shop job. Cue near-knuckle (but perfectly judged, a truly fine act) observations on cerebral palsy. Sharon Horgan's smartly pissed off, smartly resenting him, smartly loving him. Despite. And if you ever need a faintly filthy and bang on-the-money joke about Radiohead to perk up a self-help session - let's face it, who hasn't? - the terrific Julie Hesmondhalgh is just yer lass for it: a welcome, dippy, addition to this achingly human, filthily human, comedy. We will so miss it.Euan Ferguson, The Observer, 13th January 2019
Still funny but slightly off the boil judging by this series four opener, Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney's comedy is starting to cram in just a little too much catastrophe: Rob has a car crash that somehow leads to him attracting a spooky stalker (the evergreen Julie Hesmondhalgh) and Sharon gets caught shoplifting.Mike Bradley, The Guardian, 8th January 2019
The first run of Inside No. 9's collection of short stories was met with much acclaim especially for the dialogue-free A Quiet Night In. This week's episode, La Couchette, didn't really have the same special edge to it but did at least have its moments.
Set in carriage number nine of a sleeper train going through Paris, the story introduced us to a number of characters who were all forced into a small space together. They included a doctor who was about to give a speech to the WHO (Shearsmith), a flatulent German (Pemberton), an Australian backpacker (Jessica Gunning), a posh stowaway (Jack Whitehall) and a couple on the way to their daughter's wedding (Mark Benton and Julie Hesmondhalgh). The twist in the tale here was that, about half way through the piece, the passengers realised that one of their number was dead.
Pemberton and Shearsmith's script then took a darker turn as the characters decided whether to risk stopping the train or inform the authorities once they'd reached their destination.
I've personally always been a fan of Shearsmith and Pemberton's work and I thought La Couchette definitely had some merit. I felt that every character was well-realised and that there was some genuine moments of fine observational humour especially in regards Benton and Hesmondhalgh's characters. The story also contained an ending I didn't see coming and it left me with the icy feeling I often get after watching a Pemberton and Shearsmith piece. On the other hand I wasn't a fan of the toilet humour employed by Pemberton's character and I thought that Jack Whitehall added little to the episode overall.Matt, The Custard TV, 28th March 2015
The return of Inside No. 9 was a delight. Strangers trapped in a train compartment, in this case a TGV couchette, is hardly more original a starting point than time travel, but Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, who wrote and starred, scored a laugh ever few seconds and then a home run with a savage resolution.
The remarkable thing - and here credit is shared with a cast that included Mark Benton and Julie Hesmondhalgh - was that the passengers were little more than stereotypes: a drunken German; a tarty Aussie backpacker; a control-freak Englishman and Jack Whitehall (who has become a type all by himself). Yet they were as fresh as the pilgrims in Chaucer's Prologue.Andrew Billen, The Times, 27th March 2015