The TV Series:
In the gift interviews on the second season DVD congeal for the Showtime's funny, heartbreaking sequence The Big C, someone makes each insightful observation about the show. Drawing a parallel line with the Five Stages of Grief, the spokesman observes that the continuing saga of Laura Linney's Cathy Jamison future to grips with a likely calamitous cancer diagnosis has reached its "Anger" appearance in season two. The first time was defined the chaos and vagueness of a "Denial" stage, with Cathy hiding her predicament from her closest family and friends, callously having ~y affair and desperately grabbing for anything soever strange method (bee venom?) might yield a cure. While this particular season has its distribute of wacky escapades, it's a grain more tightly coiled and controlled - and more good than ever.
The second season of The Big C finds Linney's suburban school-master, wife and mom still adjusting to her ~house 4 melanoma, but willing to bounteous up more (a few episodes in, greatest part everyone knows - thus avoiding the Nurse Jackie take by stratagem). The shocking suicide of Cathy's freakish neighbor and confidante Marlene (Phyllis Somerville) at the acme of the previous season spurs Cathy put ~ to take more risks in eradicating her cancer. Hearing that a starting a~ experimental trial is producing positive results, she consults her lovesick doctor Todd Mauer (Reid Scott), who initially advises off it but ultimately wants what's most wise for her own well-being. That brings her to the duty of Dr. Atticus Sherman (Alan Alda, in semblance born to play smirky doctors). After acquirement a sought-after slot in the program when another patient dies, Cathy finds a kinship by fellow patient Lee (Hugh Dancy), a tinsel marathon runner who shares Cathy's ultraist-sardonic view on the world. A succession that dwells so much on mortal might seem like a huge bummer, moreover as in Season 1 the filmmakers developed a airy, funny tone that continues to subsist life-affirming.
Another winning thing well-nigh The Big C that carries through in this tinge is the loving yet complex dynamic that Cathy has by her husband, Paul (Oliver Platt), and teenage son, Adam (Gabriel Basso). At the foremost season's close, the relationship betwixt Cathy, Paul and Adam is, putting it mildly, frayed. Without revealing moreover much, this season's happenings conduct the family back together in a realistic regular course. Unlike, say, Weeds, the characters are written in a nuanced, easily relatable morals. The Jamison's extended family is in addition subject for some good subplots during this season, including the ensuing dramatic literature from the previous year that had Cathy's mentally changeable, homeless brother Sean (John Benjamin Hickey) getting romantically involved with Cathy's fickle ex-college buddy, Rebecca (Cynthia Nixon). Although Rebecca is an annoying person (maybe it's the thing done that she's a complete turnaround from Nixon's Sex & The City bent, Miranda), Nixon does a good job and delivers a heartbreaking turn while Rebecca faces a life-altering option midway through the season.
The Big C introduces a great number of new characters in this gratify. Normally that would be a hurtful thing, but several are welcome additions (Hugh Dancy's Lee) and the representation blessedly doesn't dwell too throughout on the more shallowly defined ones (like Parker Posey's Poppy, a familiar-spirited but damaged woman who befriends Sean in some online support group for kids by cancer-afflicted parents). Gabourey Sibide's Andrea, a close examiner of Cathy's that never completely fit into the milieu of the first season, becomes better integrated with the pretext when her parents' leaving for evangelist work in Africa prompts the girl to move in with the Jamisons. There's moreover an intriguing, funny suplot that emerges then Oliver Platt's character is laid against and forced to take on a less dignified job at an electronics retailer (suppose Best Buy with yellow shirts). The dead neighbor, Marlene, continues to exhibit to up as well - how she comes back is person of the surprises in store against this season.
Once again, Laura Linney's excellent performance is what drives this evidence. For those who have been patiently waiting for her to return to line comedy after making a splash in PBS's Tales of the City twenty (!) years ago, it's a pleasure to watch by what means her Cathy continues to evolve. While Weeds and Nurse Jackie go on heaping flaw upon flaw upon their chief characters until they're hot messes, it's a duty to Linney and the screenwriters that they horsemanship to keep Cathy both quirky and substantive.
A footnote: I also enjoyed in what manner the show is contained in human being season, literally - it starts with the commencement of the school year in September and winds up through Cathy completing an arduous marathon progress on New Years Eve. Although there are telling moments when it's perceptible that the autumn leaves and snow is faked, the attention adds a part to the ambiance of this touching, emotionally resonant show.
Sony's DVD number printed at once of The Big C: The Complete Second Season consists of the following thirteen episodes, stretch over three discs:
2-01 ____ 06/27/11 ____ Losing Patients
2-02 ____ 07/04/11 ____ Musical Chairs
2-03 ____ 07/11/11 ____ Sexual Healing
2-04 ____ 07/18/11 ____ Boo!
2-05 ____ 07/25/11 ____ Cats and Dogs
2-06 ____ 08/01/11 ____ The Little c
2-07 ____ 08/08/11 ____ Goldilocks and the Bears
2-08 ____ 08/15/11 ____ The Last Thanksgiving
2-09 ____ 08/22/11 ____ A Little Death
2-10 ____ 08/29/11 ____ How Do You Feel?
2-11 ____ 09/12/11 ____ Fight or Flight
2-12 ____ 09/19/11 ____ The Darkest Day
2-13 ____ 09/26/11 ____ Crossing The Line
The Big C: The Complete Second Season comes packaged in brace slim-width cases housed in a cardboard slipcover the like size as a standard DVD situation.
The Big C's digitally discharge 16x9 image is given a noted presentation on disc. Considering that they spasm five half hour episodes on Disc 1 and four adhering the other two discs, the DVD picture comes through fantastically with excellent mastering and a beautifully balanced anamorphic widescreen engraving.
Sony has provided a finical array of audio and subtitle choices up~ the body this set, with the 5.1 digital soundtrack profitable in English, Portuguese and Spanish. It sounds benefit and well-balanced with clear dialogue and music throughout. Subtitle options comprehend English and English SDH.
Totaling in various places 30 minutes in length, various Deleted Scenes and Outtakes are ~ across the three discs. They aren't highly important, but the deleted material fills in a hardly any character development blanks and the outtakes demonstrate that the lighthearted mood of the sequence carried through the production.
Another well-produced goodie from Showtime, given a substantial treatment on disc. The Big C ups the exclude in its second season with in greater numbers compelling drama, funnier situations, a bigger order of supporting characters, and Laura Linney's blockhead-kicking excellence as cancer heroine Cathy Jamison. Highly Recommended.
Matt Hinrichs is a designer, adept and sometime writer who lives in bright (and usually too hot) Phoenix, Arizona. Among his loves are oranges, going barefoot and blonde 1930s movie comedienne Joyce Compton. Since 2000, he has been scribbling not present at Pop Culture weblog Scrubbles.snare. One can also follow him in c~tinuance Twitter @scrubbles.
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