The Big C is a superb dark comedy TV show starring Laura Linney as a woman who learns she has stage four melanoma. This changes everything for the prototypical conservative, not to say anal retentive, soccer mom. The show avoids the pitfall of being either maudlin or unrealistically comic. The Big C The Complete First Season features 13 27-minute episodes on 3 DVD.
Laura Linney is excellent as forty-something, high school teacher Cathy Jamison. Her husband Paul (Oliver Platt) has just moved out of the house, she has a fourteen year old hormonal son, her brother is a street person by choice. The only person she somewhat connects with is Marlene, the grouchy old lady across the street.
Following her diagnosis Cathy decides things are going to change. She is not sure what or how and that is part of the show. She tries new experiences and changes the way she does and looks at things. She also navigates her way without telling anybody what is going on yet trying to make them appreciate things.
The Big C has more than a few superbly written comic moments. One of them is the birds and bees talk Cathy has with her son Adam. Others have a more caustic nature. Some are simply over the top funny such as when Cathy goes for a Brazilian.
It also has quite a few very good dramatic moments but specifying might spoil it.
The one element that does not really work in this dark comedy is Cathy’s homeless crunchy granola back to the earth brother. His militancy is grating and unbelievable.
Yes, that is Idris Elba of Luther as the painter in episode 5 and others. Cynthia Nixon of sex and the City appears as Cathy’s college roommate later on in the season. Liam Neeson shows up as the Bee Guy.
Special features include deleted scenes and a feature on each cast member.