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The Big C: Season 1 (2010)

Laura Linney , Oliver Platt  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Laura Linney, Oliver Platt
  • Format: AC-3, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, Korean, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony
  • DVD Release Date: June 7, 2011
  • Run Time: 30 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003R4ZMS6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,653 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Big C: Season 1" on IMDb

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

Editorial Reviews

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

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Series with a Controversial Subject August 17, 2010
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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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best new show on tv in 2010 November 1, 2010
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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
There is no show that I thought had more promise than "The Big C." The premise is spot-on compelling, the cast impressive, and Laura Linney is one of the greats! And while I found the first episodes a bit chaotic, I held out hope. With Linney as the centerpiece, there was no way "The Big C" could fail. As the show progressed, however, there became less and less consistency, more and more lunacy, and a complete lack of believability that chilled my goodwill beyond reason. I expect I'll get all kinds of negative feedback for this commentary, but I watch and enjoy all of Showtime's female centric comedies--"Weeds" (once great, but struggling creatively), "Nurse Jackie" (solid, if somewhat overpraised), and "The United States of Tara" (uneven, but improved before its finale)--and "The Big C" definitely stands out in comparison, but not in a good way. Contrived for maximum "hilarity," its over-the-top antics were almost unbearable in their preciousness.

It's difficult to be critical of "The Big C" because there are some viewers that will inherently embrace its very real emotional core. However, I contend that the show uses the concept but doesn't develop it beyond slapstick shenanigans. That might even be fine if the show was humorous (it tries more often than not for shock) and the characters were likable or even remotely believable. Not so. Linney plays a uptight wife and mother who discovers she has cancer. Her decision, initially, is to keep the secret, resist treatment, and live out her remaining time embracing life. This has the potential to be so funny and so moving--neither word would I use to describe "The Big C."

As control-freak Linney, from episode one, starts behaving completely against type (so we're told)--no one really even notices.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel good show! July 13, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Big C is a favorite of mine, and one I can repeatedly watch. It's funny, and light hearted even though its about death and the fear of, and how we deal with death. Highly recommend!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of All Emotions June 30, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In the lives these characters, it is both the best of times and the worst of times. It is a deeply satisfying production.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series June 23, 2013
The message of this poignant series is "seize the day." Somehow it manages to be serious and hysterical at the same time. Laura Linney and supporting cast are superb. Language and situations definitely not for kids. This may be my favorite tv series of all time. Don't miss!!!!!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laura Linney is reason to watch November 21, 2010
Laura Linney, the lead actress, is simply wonderful in this role. Without her I doubt this show would have succeeded. She brings a very complex, nuanced portrayal to this character, Kathy who has stage 4 melanoma cancer. She is a married teacher with a teenage son and a husband who works for an ad agency. Although the husband is creative, he can also be a slob and juvenile at time. There is no doubt though that he adores her.

There are a few jarring notes in the show which might bother some viewers. One is that she is on a very friendly basis with her oncologist and they even drive around and go to places together. For example, she accompanies him on his house hunting tour with an agent. I don't know of any oncologist who gets this up close and personal with a patient but her oncologist is very young. I think it is unlikely that he will last long in this specialty though.

Another jarring note is that she chooses not to tell her husband, her son and her brother that she has cancer. I've been there, with the news that I have cancer, and I cannot imagine keeping it a big secret. I don't think I could as one is so numb that one needs the support of family members. Of course, since she isn't going through chemo or surgery, it is fairly easy to keep it secret. I had stage 2 colon cancer and certainly did not keep it to myself for an instant. I did have both chemo and surgery though. She is also not ill in any way through most of the show and that did not ring true with my own experience either. However, I know some people feel remarkably little pain till the end.

Oliver Platt is very good playing her husband. He got better and better with each episode. The parts where he plays an immature jerk irritated me but that was the point.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best TV Show Ever.
Witty dialogue. I laughed, I cried, I cried some more and then my crying was interrupted by more laughing. Brilliant.
Published 8 days ago by T. Bean
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this show.
good price for a good show. now they just need to have the third season for this price and i will get it
Published 19 days ago by Panda
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must See
Great series....funny and sad and so worth watching. Characters are the best and I can't wait for the next season
Published 22 days ago by Beth Hannon
4.0 out of 5 stars watched on Prime
saw most on tv but if you have streaming computer its a very well done series. Try it out sometime!
Published 2 months ago by Grandma
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected Enjoyment
Great show. I really enjoyed the first season. just downloaded seasons 2 and 3 and looking forward to season 4 when available.
Published 5 months ago by R. Hairston
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought this as a gift
I watched the show as well though and it was an awesome combination of dark, funny/twisted humor and a view into the reality of some people's lives. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Christie DR
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and moving
I love this show! Laura Linney is one of my favorite actresses and she really shines here. She and Oliver Platt have a nice rapport, but John Benjamin Hickey, as the heroine's... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Julie Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars see it.
Wry humor,cathartic laughs, fantastic ACTING and authentic characters. Very human reponse when facing death and how relationships are strained and strengthened.
Published 8 months ago by Patricia Doherty
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard hitting true life REALITY
Every so often a tv series comes along that touches ALL senses of himan emotion. The Big C is MOST definitely one of the top!
Published 9 months ago by richard pulkoski
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
My son has stage 4 lung cancer and found this entertaining. It was just too real to me, I couldn't watch it.
Published 9 months ago by Joyce M Banks
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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 Richard S. DeWitt |  See all 4 posts
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