Television Top Trumps - Donna from Pulling vs Sharon Morris
The return of Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney’s Catastrophe has been brilliant in every way but one – it’s reminded us of the tragic loss of Horgan’s previous TV show, Pulling. In the worst decision the entertainment world has seen since someone thought that Jar Jar Binks was a good idea, Pulling was inexplicably cancelled by the BBC back in 2007, and we’ve been mourning its loss ever since. But who wins the battle of the shambolic leading ladies – Pulling’s Donna, or Catastrophe’s Sharon?
Donna: Decides to call off her engagement on her hen night because she thinks the single life looks fun. Which, obviously, is a decision you should make on the spur of the moment while drunk. Aren’t all the best decisions made that way? 2/10
Sharon: Gets married to a man who got her pregnant when she was drunk. But at least she decides to accept his proposal while sober, even if it’s done mostly out of a sense that it’ll make things a bit easier. They do seem to quite like each other though, which is always a bonus when it comes to spending eternity with someone. 7/10
Donna: Moves into the spare room of single friends Karen and Louise, who are two of the greatest catastrophes that TV has ever seen. Living with Karen the cat murderer and Louise the slightly stalkerish shoplifting addict is surely every girl’s dream. But it’s fine. It’s temporary. She’s in a transitional…..yeah, she lives there. 3/10
Sharon: Has her own place in the first series, and then a proper family home in the second series. There doesn’t appear to be any cat murderers anywhere, but her dog does get run over, which is fine since she didn’t like it anyway. Pets don’t do well in these shows, apparently. 8/10
Donna: Oh, poor ex-fiance Karl. Practically being left at the altar by his narcissistic mess of a fiancée starts him on a bit of a despair spiral. Which, being a narcissist, Donna loves all over, even when she finds him trying to hang himself. Because she’s just so damn great that Karl can’t cope with the concept of living without her. Until he can. 9/10
Sharon: There’s mention of an ex-boyfriend who tried to kill himself after she dumped him, but babydaddy Rob seems skeptical that there’s a direct relation between the two events. Still, Donna’s adamant there is, and who are we to question her? (We’re questioning her.) 3/10
Donna: Believes herself to be a Marketing Manager, except that she’s not. She’s actually the Marketing Manager’s PA, has been grossly overpaid, and it’s all gone a bit tits-up. But that’s fine, because she’s a natural born counselor and is great with people in pain, Except that she’s really not great with that either. There’s something for her, somewhere. Probably. She’s just not found it yet. 3/10
Sharon: Has actually found her vocation in being a primary school teacher, and appears to be pretty good at it. Except for that time she was sick on one of the pupils, but she was pregnant and stressed so we can forgive her for that. Not sure the kid can, though. 7/10
Donna: Has an inexplicable friendship with the truly terrible Tanya, a woman who exists only to be snidely rude to Donna and make her feel bad about herself. And then sleep with her ex-fiance and leave an arse print in some yoghurt, which is just unhygienic. 9/10
Sharon: Who doesn’t love Sharon’s friend Fran? Everyone, it seems, for even Fran’s own husband despises her, and Sharon calls her awful. But she’s still there anyway, banging on about her beloved actor son Geoffrey (WHO calls a child Geoffrey these days?) and taking a lover. At least there’s no mention of yoghurt, though. 7/10
Donna: Who would’ve guessed that when you dump your fiancé a week before the wedding, his mother isn’t happy about it? Not Donna, it seems, for she is permanently a bit bewildered by the rabid hatred that Karl’s over-protective mother has for her. Still, at least she’s not actually tied to her by any legal constructs. Because of the whole “dumping the fiancé” thing. 6/10
Sharon: Sharon, meanwhile, has managed to piss her mother-in-law off by not calling off the wedding. And by having children. And by generally existing. But Sharon’s mother-in-law is despised by her own son, spends her time mostly in America, and is played by Carrie Fisher, so it’s not all horrendous. At least Sharon and Rob are united in their despair. 7/10
Sharon wins in the competent adult stakes, with a score of 39 to Donna’s 32. Which is for the best, really, since she’s actually got to keep two other tiny humans alive. Now we’ve just got to hope that the televisual gods take this as proof that they shouldn’t let Catastrophe suffer the same fate as Pulling. And that Amazon are kind enough to keep selling Pulling on DVD until the end of time.