TV Junkie: Watch 'The Big C'
If you're a Showtime subscriber you have to watch "The Big C" with Laura Linney tonight. Sure, go ahead and watch "Weeds" beforehand, there really isn't anything else to watch at 8pm, but we're not sure what that show is about anymore - it ceased to be funny a couple seasons ago and seems to be more about absurdism than character or plot development. David Bianculli of TVWorthWatching.com and NPR has given "The Big C" a largely negative review while continuing to fawn over "Weeds" - I couldn't disagree with him more.Everyone is much more likely to develop some form of cancer or know someone who gets that diagnosis than they are to become a single white (hot) female dope dealer hanging with gang-bangers in exciting Los Angeles. We're not saying that every series needs to be grounded in realism, but as a plausible situation to establish real character development we're going to have to go with "The Big C", set in the suburban mid-West over Mary-Louise Parker's "sit-com".
We've always liked Laura Linney on TV where she has had a knack for shining in mini-series like "More Tales of the City" and "John Adams". She's a Golden Globe and Emmy winner who knows how to build real characters over time in episodic performances. "The Big C" is no exception to this but perhaps it's her interactions with her husband, played by Oliver Platt, that are the most looked-for in the series. We've see the first 5 episodes and we kinda wish there was more Platt in there (see quick video interview at the end of this post) - everything this guy does is improved by his presence, from "The West Wing" to "Nip/Tuck", some might even say that he almost made 2012 watchable.
There are more strong performances to explore than we have time for today but we're interested in seeing how the series gets by a couple obvious issues: Laura Linney's character has to begin to tell others about her diagnosis - who/when/how will she do this? She has received a diagnosis of the disease's inoperability, its advanced progression, its fatal nature - how will the series keep us engaged as we move closer to the inevitable?
The TV Junkie Plan: "Weeds", "The Big C", "Top Gear", "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" (Rome), "The Daily Show" (Emma Thompson), Kimmel (Ozzy!!)