The Big C

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Monday 10:00 PM Aug 16, 2010 on Showtime
out of 10
User Rating
102 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After a terminal cancer diagnosis, Cathy Jamison, a perfect suburban wife and mother, drastically changes the way she is living her life.

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  • Pilot

    Watch Weeds much?

    People will say that The Big C is the perfect show to pair with Weeds, but that is because it is exactly the same show as Weeds. Laura Linney does her best Nancy Botwin impression from start to finish here as the middle-aged woman who has no trouble speaking her mind. The problem is that Mary Louise Parker will occasionally say something funny.

    The rest of the cast is nothing to write home about. The idea of Gabourey Sidibe being funny is a joke within itself (remember her SNL appearance?) Reid Scott just doesn't work as a doctor, and Oliver Platt isn't funny anymore (I blame all the serious roles he's been taking the last decade.)

    Sorry, but The Big C gets the Big 3 from me.moreless
  • *** Spoiler-free *** Empathic story, questionable good acting, wicked protagonist, intriguing secondary characters, interesting social topics, cliché relationship, top notch production but short format

    Is it Showtime's response to HBO's Hung ? It's what I thought after watching The Big C's pilot. A dark comedy about cancer sounded intriguing. In many ways it delivered but there'were also plenty of flaws.

    The story is conventional and it's a good thing because it should allow most people to relate to the protagonist. Laura Linney's performance was convincing but at times it felt like over of the top acting, specially the scene in the couch. Of course her character is tormented but I couldn't help questioning her behavior, quite violent and despicable in some scenes. However her conflicted profile reminded me of Sandra Bullock in the cult film Crash. From angriness to infinite sorrow her palette of emotions was impressive. In fact the element I enjoyed the most was the redefinition of what matters to her. What's the meaning of life ? That timeless question was asked and the characters revolving around her, from her outcast brother to her lonely old woman next door, helped us to answer it. Is it about buying stuff ? How can we break a vicious circle and be happy again ? What about sharing secrets with our loved ones ?

    Otherwise even if these philosophical and psychological elements enriched the show's substance others made it less authentic and appealing. For example I really hated the cliché relationship with the doctor. The average young and hot stud we have seen thousands of times on TV and far less talented than George Clooney. Moreover it was so awkwardly introduced and I also found the few breast incidents pathetic. Linking her health issue to her physical condition and beauty would definitely have raised things to a whole new level. As for Oliver Platt, who portrays her husband, he was the comic relief and I wonder about their past. How did they meet and fall in love ? Indeed they really look like night and day. In fact they both seemed lost in reality so the show should be all about finding a new purpose to their life.

    Last but not least as always with Showtime the production quality was astounding. It should definitely smooth your immersion process. However again I can't help criticize the duration. Twenty minutes is not enough to cover so many topics. The editing was decent but you could easily spot the seams between the scenes. Nothing to worry about but still it made the episode less interesting.moreless
Phill Lewis

Phill Lewis

Pool Constructor

Guest Star

William Duffy

William Duffy

Police Officer

Guest Star

Connor Kramme

Connor Kramme


Guest Star

Gabourey Sidibe

Gabourey Sidibe

Andrea Jackson

Recurring Role

Reid Scott

Reid Scott

Dr. Todd Mauer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Sean: Least you could do is buy a hybrid.
      Cathy: Least you could do is take a shower.

    • Cathy: (to her class) Anybody ever seen The Patriot? Its depiction of the American Revolution is about 20 percent accurate at best. But if you understood this version as truth, you'd still know more about that time in history than 99 percent of Americans. And Mel Gibson is medium good. Enjoy.

    • Cathy: What's the problem?
      Police Officer: This your house?
      Cathy: No, I live in the next town over, I just like to walk around in my robe.

    • Cathy: You're late again, Andrea.
      Andrea: Yeah, but I figured since you usually spend the first ten minutes of every class trying to get to your point, I didn't miss a whole lot.

    • Cathy: You can't be fat and mean, Andrea.
      Andrea: What?
      Cathy: You heard me. If you're gonna dish it out, you got to be able to lick it up. Fat people are jolly for a reason. Fat repels people, but joy attracts them. Now, I know everyone's laughing at your cruel jokes, but nobody's inviting you to the prom. So you can either be fat and jolly or a skinny bitch. It's up to you.

    • Cathy: I never noticed what a handsome guy you are. No wonder my friend Holly had such a crush on you in High School. She'd come over to hang out, I'd catch her in your room staring at your clothes.
      Sean: I never knew that.
      Cathy: It grossed me out to think of you two together, so I told her you were gay.
      Sean: Oh, well. I guess she thinks she lost her virginity to a gay guy then.

    • Cathy: Some day, I am gonna be dead and as a courtesy to the world, I don't wanna leave them a guy who doesn't know how to get his shit to flush. And let me be clear, your dad isn't living here because I only wanted to raise one kid and I chose you. And from now on, I'm going to raise you so hard, your head's gonna spin.

  • NOTES (4)