Friday, September 17, 2010

What I’m Watching: The Big C

The Big C: Season 1, Episode 4 “Playing the Cancer Car” (B+)

I’m glad that the doctor acknowledges in this episode that Cathy’s frivolous behavior is not atypical of people who know that they’re dying. It’s something that we know already, and that Cathy presumably knows too, but it’s still good for it to be said. Everything that Cathy does stands in stark contrast to the way those around her behave, with the possible exception of her brother, whose ecological protests display an opposite though similar disregard for the way society functions. To me, what was most moving about this episode (and a possible turning point for the show) was the revelation that Cathy planned to leave the car to her son for his eighteenth (make that thirtieth) birthday. Pretending to be a young doctor’s girlfriend and freeing a lobster from the confines of a restaurant tank are actions might give Cathy a temporary rush, but preparing to leave something behind for her family, like Walt did on “Breaking Bad,” confirms that fact that she knows what lies ahead and is thinking of the future, even if she purports that she’s only living in the moment. Her antics with the doctor were amusing, punctuated by the revelation that he does in fact have a real girlfriend. Paul playing Rugby and Marlene blackmailing Adam into housekeeping after a shoplifting arrest are fun subplots that help to develop the supporting characters well, minus the absent Andrea. Most entertaining of all was Sean’s desperate attempts to rid himself of his toothache without having to go the dentist. While I’ll admit that this show is growing on me, the return of eight shows I watch and the premiere of more than fifteen others in the next week makes me think that I might stop reviewing this show. Aaron, since I know you’re reading, what do you think? Should I stick with it?

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