17 August 2010 | gradyharp
A New Series with a Controversial Subject
THE BIG C started this week as a Showtime series for television opposite the controversial WEEDS in the late evening, subjects for mature audiences time slot. Most viewers will have mixed feelings about this first episode, so loaded with new characters with whom we have little time to understand, all edgy, and yet all surrounded by the unifying theme of how one woman deals with being told she has Stage 4 Malignant Melanoma but who decides to not inform anyone of her diagnosis, instead going after the outrageous way of living that has always been foreign to her obsessive/compulsive teacher personality.
There are few actresses who could pull this off: Laura Linney, one of our finest actresses on the screen today, is the perfect choice for making this unbelievable character credible AND charismatic. As Cathy Jamison, she is married to a bumbling irresponsible joker Paul (Oliver Platt, again an actor in the top echelon) who is currently out of the house over some disagreement with Cathy, and is mother to naughty boy Adam (Gabriel Basso), lives across the street from a elderly curmudgeon Marlene (Phyllis Somerville) with whom Cathy finally agrees to accept and to like, is a sister to a freaky psycho brother Sean (John Benjamin Hickey), is attended by her diagnosing just-fresh-out-of-residency naive physician Dr Todd (Reid Scott), and carries on teaching a classroom with bored students, including one sassy, arrogant and overweight Andrea (Gabourey Sidibe). Life is full of surprises and they pop by so quickly that we barely can tell where the series is going. As for this viewer, though not impressed with the structure of the show, staying around for the pleasure of watching Linney and Platt will be worth it - hopefully!