The Big C
Posted on 10 February 2011, 4:25
Just been catching up with The Big C, the TV comedy show which opened last night with a cancer diagnosis, ha ha. Cathy, a Minneapolis teacher, has just been told by a handsome young doctor that she has incurable skin cancer and then flashes him – which sets the scene for a sudden liberation from her previous, pre-diagnosis life.
Cathy decides to have a pool put into her pint-sized back yard, and also decides not to tell her family about the cancer, a script decision which has drawn strong criticism in the States.
Although the opening episode felt like a sitcom version of real life, I enjoyed the comedy a lot, especially as its funniest moments were also its most shocking. How can a bathtub suicide possibly be laugh-out-loud funny? Watch The Big C to find out.
There was a nice exchange between Cathy and her grumpy older neighbour Marlene…
Cathy: ‘If you were ready to go, did you ever think about just going?’
Marlene: ‘Think about it all the time. But I just keep waking up.’
The show’s dark subject matter reminds me of Nurse Jackie, with the brilliant Edie Falco (of Sopranos fame) in the title role. There the unlikely comedy premise is Jackie’s addiction to prescription drugs at the hospital where she works, and her unravelling home life.
Both shows follow an instinct that comedy can not only help us cope with heavy issues, but give us a unique insight into them.
The Big C is on Channel 4, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Nurse Jackie Series 2 is currently showing on BBC Two on Saturdays.