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The Big C: Season 1

130 customer reviews

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(Jun 07, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Laura Linney stars in her Golden Globe®-winning role as Cathy Jamison, a 42-year-old schoolteacher who has always played by the rules. That is, until she receives a life-changing diagnosis. But instead of giving up, Cathy decides to live it up! Nothing and no one is safe, including her self-absorbed family, her cantankerous neighbor, and her smart-ass students. Oliver Platt (TV’s Huff) and Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) shine in this talented ensemble. Brutally honest, unapologetically funny and perfectly profound, The Big C is a surprisingly different comedy that reminds us that life is always worth living on our own terms.

1. Pilot - A diagnosis of terminal cancer inspires Cathy to live life to the fullest, free and uninhibited, for as long as she can. A pool in her backyard is at the top of her to-do list.
2. Summertime - After Dr. Todd tells Cathy just how little time she has left, she insists that her son Adam stay home with her instead of attending summer soccer camp.
3. There’s no C in Team - As she fends off both Paul’s pleas to revive their marriage and a cancer support group’s cheery efforts, Cathy is stunned to learn that Marlene’s dog can sense her cancer.
4. Playing the Cancer Car - At the suggestion of his therapist, Paul jump-starts his single life by returning to rugby. Cathy tries on impulsiveness by cashing out her retirement fund to buy a new sports car.
5. Blue-Eyed Iris - Cathy looks to reclaim her sexuality with a “Trip to Brazil” and a new man. While Paul gets the attention of a Rugby groupie, Sean gets a “new” suit courtesy of Marlene’s dead husband.
6. Taking Lumps - When a new lump reveals that her cancer is getting worse, Cathy questions her dalliance with Lenny as she looks to reunite her family for an annual charity bathtub race.
7. Two for the Road - Cathy persuades Sean to join her on a trip to surprise their dad for his birthday, leaving Adam and Paul at home for a long needed boys’ weekend together. Paul gets a sobering wake-up call from Marlene.
8. Happy Birthday, Cancer - When Paul throws her a surprise party for her 43rd birthday, Cathy is conflicted about her plans to join Lenny for the weekend in the Bahamas. Sean begins an affair with Rebecca (Cynthia Nixon), Cathy’s old college friend.
9. The Ecstasy and the Agony - As things continue to heat up with Lenny, Cathy decides to experiment with Ecstasy. After witnessing her affair, Paul tells Cathy he wants a divorce.
10. Divine Intervention - Realizing that her recent decisions have real and lasting consequences, Cathy finally tells Paul that she has cancer as she looks to make amends with those around her.
11. New Beginnings - Adam meets a girl at the bus stop. Cathy, Rebecca and Marlene enjoy lunch at a strip club. Paul’s spontaneous display of solidarity prompts Cathy to seek out a cure.
12. Everything that Rises Must Converge - Cathy and Dr. Todd head to Canada to try an alternative bee venom treatment from the “Bee Man” (Liam Neeson). Paul moves back home.

Laura Linney is so radiant as the terminally (and secretly) cancer-stricken Cathy in The Big C that the viewer briefly is reminded of Love Story, in which Ali McGraw, also terminally ill, became more and more radiant as her not-quite-believable death approached. But there the similarity ends. Linney's performance as Cathy is utterly believable, and charming, even if Cathy's actions aren't always respectable. Linney is diagnosed early in the season with terminal melanoma that's spread through her body, and she keeps her diagnosis from her husband (Oliver Platt, never better) and her son, Adam (Gabriel Basso). The idea for The Big C haunts the viewer throughout the episodes--what would you do if you knew you were only going to live a short while longer? How would you approach your relationships--and would you keep them? What kinds of risks would you take? Linney's Cathy, until now a responsible schoolteacher, begins to question her life of "staying within the lines," and begins to take chances that baffle her family. The supporting cast is divine, including Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) as a student Cathy is tutoring and coaching--and often annoying. Idris Elba (Luther) is a hunky handyman at Cathy's school, who becomes the object of Cathy's careless flirtations, and John Benjamin Hickey is hilarious as Sean, Cathy's living-off-the-grid brother. But with all the wry humor, The Big C has some sad, anguished moments--including the first-season finale, which should not be watched without a box of tissues. The Big C features Linney at her finest, a very believable character facing an all-too-believable fate--and managing to live her life out loud. Extras include candid interviews with the cast, deleted scenes, and outtakes. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features

Complex Characters
A Sit-Down with Gabourey Sidibe
A Sit-Down with Laura Linney
Deleted Scenes
A Sit-Down with Reid Scott
A Sit-Down with Phyllis Somerville
A Sit-Down with John Benjamin Hickey
A Sit-Down with Gabriel Basso
A Sit-Down with Oliver Platt

Product Details

  • Actors: Laura Linney, Oliver Platt
  • Format: AC-3, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony
  • DVD Release Date: June 7, 2011
  • Run Time: 363 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003R4ZMS6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,809 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Big C: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By M. Benerofe on November 1, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Smart, well acted, brilliantly paced and edited 30 minutes. Expert cast strutting their stuff and completely blowing up the big c. some of the first season scenes and episodes - the paint guns, the open kitchen cabinets ("i want that time back"), the saving the giant lobster - brilliant, funny and poignant all at once. Watching Laura Linney and company act with brilliance and humility - hard to find a way to spend a better 28 minutes watching tv than this.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By zemo on June 23, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After reading a few reviews, I thought I would add mine. I realize some people could not imagine keeping cancer a secret but I don't have to imagine it. I found out about my kidney cancer the night before Thanksgiving and there was no way I was going to ruin the holidays for my family. I also know intimately what it is like to have a cancer that does not respond to treatment and it is possible to look just fine and get around well but also be dying. This is how people reach stage four without knowing, it is because until cancer becomes painful or grows into your lungs and makes it hard to breathe, there just are not any symptoms. Most of the illness that people associate with cancer have more to do with the treatments, not the cancer itself. I know plenty of stage four people that have been on vacations etc. I loved when she started the coffee enemas, it made me laugh because I do them too and it is the greatest gift. It takes me from exhausted to normal. I love Laura Linney and dislike her husband intensely.. keep wishing they would find a way to get him off the show. Now that my family knows I'm dying, they really would not find anything about this show funny or entertaining. My spouse runs the other way when I watch an episode. It just all rang true for me, who also found out late in the game, who also has a cancer that will not respond to chemo and therefore is not bothering to do anything but make the best and most of each day. Good job showtime, thank you.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Fj Verzijl on February 2, 2011
Format: DVD
I really don't get the bad reviews about this amazing show. Laura Linney won the Golden Globe for her brilliant acting and so well deserved!!!If this show does not touch your heart than i'll guess you heart is made out of really grows on you so are the characters. The season finale episode made me cry...a lot!(and i'm a man!!!!)...Just go and watch it. It so deserves to be watched!!!
I hardly write any review but i felt i had to do something to tell those folks who gave it a one star review: GET A LIFE!!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Bullions on June 9, 2011
Format: DVD
The series that Showtime airs usually involve a person with a secret of some kind, and that character's fear to reveal said secret. In "Weeds", Nancy Botwin is pot dealer, and in "Dexter", Dexter's a 'good' serial killer. In "Nurse Jackie", Jackie is a drug addict/adulterer.

In "The Big C", Laura Linney plays a mother and wife, who has spent her whole life doing things for others. She's sacrificed what resemblance of a life she once had for her family. That is, until she figures out she has terminal Stage 4 Melanoma. But instead of having family feel sorry for her, and doing treatment, she decides to live it up. She, at first, tells nobody in her spoiled family about her diagnosis, she kicks her selfish husband out, and decides to make the rest of her life be about her, as well as to find the humor in the disease.

This show is 30 minutes, which should be the length of a comedy. However, there is unexplainable depth to "The Big C". Linney, originally a stage actress, brings undeniable, and unavoidable enthusiasm to the role of Cathy Jamison. While the show has a phenomenal supporting cast, she's the standout in every episode. She has a theatrical presence, however, she never over-sells anything, and everything is always believable, because of her knack for bringing gusto to both the comedic and dramatic scenes.

And, I think "The Big C", having a first season of only 13 shows, is one of the best first-seasons in the history of television, and here's why. It ends up being something completely different than what it started as. The writers clearly knew where they wanted to do with the characters, as well as the plot. There's real character development here. There's relatable characters that feel like actual human beings, rather than caricatures.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Hot to Trot on October 10, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Come on, people, you are all taking this much too seriously. This show is pure entertainment and the inconsistencies are part of its charm. Linney is superb and the "one-liners" hilarious no matter who utters them. Can we not simply watch a show for pure entertainment? Does every little wink, nod, snort and comment have to be over-analyzed? I find this series great fun and eagerly await every episode!
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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 17, 2010
Format: DVD
THE BIG C started this week as a Showtime series for television opposite the controversial WEEDS in the late evening, subjects for mature audiences time slot. Most viewers will have mixed feelings about this first episode, so loaded with new characters with whom we have little time to understand, all edgy, and yet all surrounded by the unifying theme of how one woman deals with being told she has Stage 4 Malignant Melanoma but who decides to not inform anyone of her diagnosis, instead going after the outrageous way of living that has always been foreign to her obsessive/compulsive teacher personality.

There are few actresses who could pull this off: Laura Linney, one of our finest actresses on the screen today, is the perfect choice for making this unbelievable character credible AND charismatic. As Cathy Jamison, she is married to a bumbling irresponsible joker Paul (Oliver Platt, again an actor in the top echelon) who is currently out of the house over some disagreement with Cathy, and is mother to naughty boy Adam (Gabriel Basso), lives across the street from a elderly curmudgeon Marlene (Phyllis Somerville) with whom Cathy finally agrees to accept and to like, is a sister to a freaky psycho brother Sean (John Benjamin Hickey), is attended by her diagnosing just-fresh-out-of-residency naive physician Dr Todd (Reid Scott), and carries on teaching a classroom with bored students, including one sassy, arrogant and overweight Andrea (Gabourey Sidibe). Life is full of surprises and they pop by so quickly that we barely can tell where the series is going. As for this viewer, though not impressed with the structure of the show, staying around for the pleasure of watching Linney and Platt will be worth it - hopefully! Grady Harp, August 10
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Topic From this Discussion
Laura Linney's wristwatch on Season 1 of big c
We're talking about cancer...And you want to know about a wristwatch. Really.
May 9, 2012 by KatNonni |  See all 4 posts
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