The Big C (2010–2013)
1 user 4 critic


Cathy doesn't want to be the one who is always responsible and in control, especially now that she has been diagnosed with a terminal case of melanoma. That's why she kicked Paul out of the... See full summary »


Bill Condon


Darlene Hunt (created by), Darlene Hunt


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Episode complete credited cast:
Laura Linney ... Cathy Jamison
Oliver Platt ... Paul Jamison
Gabriel Basso ... Adam Jamison
John Benjamin Hickey ... Sean Tolkey
Phyllis Somerville ... Marlene
Gabourey Sidibe ... Andrea Jackson
Reid Scott ... Dr. Todd Mauer
Phill Lewis ... Cool Pools Boss
William Duffy ... Police Officer
Connor Kramme Connor Kramme ... Student
John Nutten John Nutten ... Dad
Virginia Louise Smith ... Waitress


Cathy doesn't want to be the one who is always responsible and in control, especially now that she has been diagnosed with a terminal case of melanoma. That's why she kicked Paul out of the house as she literally wants to be the one in their twosome who is seen as the person who freely spills wine on the sofa without caring, instead of that person always being Paul. That's why she's decided that she wants a pool built in their postage stamp sized yard, so that she can teach Adam how to do the banana split dive like she did when she was his age. That's why she feels that she can give Adam a taste of his own medicine by treating him as thoughtlessly as he seems to treat her, all in an effort to make a point. That's why she feels that she can be blunt instead of being politically correct to her student Andrea about the combination of her wisecracking and her weight. That's why she decides that she doesn't need to be cordial anymore to their crotchety neighbor, whose name she doesn't even... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

16 August 2010 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Cathy Jamison: [to her son, Adam] From now on, I'm going to raise you so hard your head is going to spin.
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Performed by Sam Cooke
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User Reviews

Empathic story, decent acting, wicked protagonist, intriguing characters, interesting social topics, cliché relationship, top notch production but short format
19 August 2010 | by igoatabaseSee all my reviews

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.

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