Wednesday, October 13, 2010

With “The Big C,” a new dramedy starring Laura Linney, Showtime tries to find the humor in having terminal cancer.

Linney stars as Cathy Jamison, a teacher with an immature husband (played by Oliver Platt), a homeless brother, a spoiled son, and oh yes, stage 4 melanoma. After she’s diagnosed, Cathy takes a non-hysterical view of her situation, noting “We’re all dying, all of us… If you think about it that way, hey, I’m living the dream,” and chooses not to tell anyone about her condition. Instead, she embarks on a journey to discover herself and live life to the fullest.

If it sounds cheesy, take heart the Linney is knocking her performance out of the part. While reviews for the show as a whole have been mixed, the actress — who’s also an executive producer — has been getting raves for portrayal of Cathy, a woman who develops a backbone and has no trouble either forcing her husband out of the house or telling a surly and overweight African-American student (played by Gabourey Sidibe of “Precious”) that she can’t be mean and fat… Everyone’s laughing at your jokes, but nobody’s asking you to prom. You can be a fat jolly person or a skinny b—-.”

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