BRING IT ON. Mondays are hotter than ever, on SHOWTIME ®.
After explaining why in a recent post that if you enjoy award-winning, edgy comedy television why you should be tuning in to Weeds on Monday, June 27 at 10 E/ 9pm Central on Showtime, I'm going to tell you a bit about The Big C, which is also an edgy half-hour comedy starring another award-winning stage and screen actor, Laura Linney, which is premiering on Monday night, too.
The Big C directly follows Weeds on Mondays at 10:30 E/ 9:30 Central on Showtime.
Full disclosure: I started watching The Big C last year as 1. Laura Linney is amazing and 2. It followed Weeds so it was easy to just spend an hour and see two complete shows, plus 3. More and more in recent years I find myself really intrigued by Showtime's off-beat offerings.
(To put it diplomatically, I'm finding most of the television that I enjoy best on the two major premium cable channels.)
I wanted to love The Big C but after nearly half it's run, I quit watching.
I didn't dislike it exactly. There were just aspects of it that sort of struck a weird chord with me. The show after all, is a very dark comedy about a woman in her 40's who is struggling to deal with a diagnosis of Stage 4 breast cancer. That is one heavy topic to take on in any context, never mind a comedic one.
Despite my not following through, Laura Linney struck gold--a Golden Globe to be specific, as best actress in a comedy which further validates that the show had and has huge potential. The people that make the show listened to some of the feedback--both positive & negative and they responded by segueing into season 2 with a bit of a different tone.
For one, and I think it was the primary thing that I wished was different, the character of 'Cathy' who was estranged from her husband last season will help him 'grow up' this season, as Linney puts it. I've embedded cast interviews in a Weeds /Big C mash-up video selection in this post.
Her husband is played by the very likable actor (I want to say 'lug') Oliver Platt. Cathy was just so mean to him last year and though I understood why--because he's a bit thick about certain subjects--I also felt sorry for him and I felt irritated with her.
Also, at times in season 1, Cathy's attitude seemed really over-the-top, with almost a slapstick feel to some scenes. Again, Linney addresses this in the interview that Cathy's 'relationship with her cancer' is now 'evolving'. I would like to see Kathy retain the fire in her belly but express it in a somewhat less expansive/destructive way and I'm pretty sure season 2 will move more in that direction.
Finally, Cathy's decision to not seek treatment for her cancer left me feeling really unsure about her future (and thus, the future of the show). I didn't know whether to commit to it or not plus I was a bit annoyed with her that she wouldn't even try to help herself medically. This too changes in the upcoming season 2.
It's looking like there are some really strong positives to this season. First, the excellent primary cast returns (sans of course, 'Marlene'). One of the relationships I got the most enjoyment from in The Big C, season 1, was that of Cathy and her brother Sean, a homeless manic-depressive who now lives on Marlene's front lawn, across the street from Kathy.
Actor Benjamin Hickey who plays Sean, is an especially good acting match-up with Ms. Linney so this is good news.
As I mentioned before, I really enjoy Oliver Platt in his believable denseness. Women have known, and many of us are in relationships with guys like Paul. The bottom line is that he seems like a really decent chap who is hard not to like despite his foibles and it would seem in Season 2 that Cathy comes to the same conclusion.
I stopped watching before I saw much of Cathy and Paul's teenage son, Sean (played by Oliver Basso). Tonight I watched a short fan clip from The Big C with the title 'The saddest scene in The Big C,' in which Basso was the only character. (cont.)
Song: Lullaby by Sia
(Above is a bit longer version of it which gives it more context).
The scene lived up to it's title as tears were streaming down my face as Cathy's son discovers that she is so sure she's not gong to be there for him in the years to come that she's bought and wrapped a storage room full of birthday, Christmas, and graduation gifts as well as a pretty, red sports car. The kid just loses it--cue audience to do the same.
To sum up, I'm sold on taking another look at The Big C in season 2 as I like what I'm hearing about it. Also, I'm totally jazzed that guest actors include Alan Alda, Parker Posey, Cynthia Nixon & Hugh Dancy.
What do you think about watching these two show? Have you been watching them both. One? None? Would you consider giving them a shot?
Showtime describes The Big C thusly:
Laura Linney returns in her Golden Globe® winning role for a new season of The Big C, the hit Showtime Original Series about living… with cancer. After spending most of season one ignoring her illness, Cathy Jamison has decided to fight back. “Bring it on,” says Cathy, as she enters an experimental clinical trial while continuing to live life to the fullest in this heartfelt and surprising comedy.
Weeds/The Big C Poster Art Giveaway:
Of course, I'm giving away posters! Drop me an email: email@example.com. Be sure to put 'Weeds' in the subject line and if I pick your name out of a hat on July 13, you win the poster art for both Weeds and The Big C!