The Big C Review: Friends vs. Family

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The Big C was not kidding with its episode title this week. My goodness, that sure was "The Darkest Day" I can recall in the show's history.

Sherman and Cathy

It started out a bit trite, as Cathy told off Dr. Sherman and his medical school students in the sort of speech we've heard many times before: yes, doctors should treat their patients as actual human beings; although, a convincing case could be made that de-personalizing their trials makes them more effective and, in the end, saves more lives.

Regardless, this speech simply served as a precursor for the deeply personal events to come.

RIP, Lee, for starters. Hugh Dancy was a terrific addition to the cast this season, both in terms of his character and his portrayal. Lee's relationship with Cathy was unique to
The Big C, taking the concept of one's "soulmate" to a different level and creating an understandable rift between Cathy and Paul.

Not over the former's feelings, but over the struggle those dealing with cancer face. Your long-time loved ones, no matter how hard they try, simply can't relate.

This was akin to the dilemma faced by Poppy and illustrated by her former sandwich boss. He figured a year was enough time to grieve, but there are clearly no rules when it comes to losing a parent. Adam has been rather casual about the situation, but I expect that to change now that he sees first-hand just how deeply an effect this disease can have on the living.

Andrea, meanwhile, is in perfect health... physically, at least. It was heart-breaking to watch her learn about Myk as, let's face it, this isn't the type of girl who will get many marriage proposals. And she knows it, too, given the number of fat jokes she makes. Was it really Paul's place to let her in on the illegal alien secret? Probably, if only because he knows Myk is dishonest in other ways, too. Take away the stealing and maybe Paul could have let it to. But no father in his right mind could allow his daughter to go forward with a marriage to this type of guy, at least not without her knowing everything first.

So that's where we're left heading into the season finale. Sean is fortunately back, but Andrea is angry, Cathy is a mess and Paul might be out of a job. Might the actual darkest day still be ahead? Or will the season conclude with a ray of sunshine?


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (15 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


What a heart breaking ending. Is Paul really gone???? A very clever way to end the season. I hope it will be back and with Paul. What do other viewers think. I have a few friends battling cancer, this is a very insightful show. They really developed Adam this season. He's really evolved as has Sean.


What happened to Andrea? I was hoping we would get some type of interaction with Kathy about the lost elopement. bring back Andrea.


I think Andrea is a great character, would love to see more storylines revolving around her. Adam needs a reality check, hopefully his character evolves. He is at a point in his life where he either needs to grow up fast or remain a child for ever.


Laura linney is superb as a woman struggling with terminal cancer and trying to comfort those around her. I had a friend just like Cathy. Paul is a lovable character with all his misguided intentions. The relationship between Lee and Cathy did not have much depth. He should have ben around for another season or two and really had his character cemented into the dialogue and plot. But Andrea needs to go. She does nothing to contribute to the story. She is ugly, a bitch, stubborn, nasty and there is not an ounce of authenticity to her, she is a terrible actress who only got a sympathy Oscar nomination. She has no innate talent to speak of. Everything she says and does is contrived. Please, Big C, kill her off. Meanwhile, Adam has more talent and his character pulls on my heart strings. Thank you for getting rid of Cynthia Nixon and crazy brother Sean. She was unpalatable and he was just gross.


This show breaks my heart.

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