The Big C Will Make You Cringe
Laura Linney's new series doesn't impress everyone
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2010 12:20 PM CDT
Gabourey Sidibe and Oliver Platt, cast members in "The Big C," participate in a panel discussion at a summer press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif., July 29, 2010.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
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(Newser) – Critics are split on The Big C, Showtime's Laura Linney-starring comedy about a woman with cancer living out the last year of her life, which debuts tonight:

  • The cast is perhaps a bit large for a half-hour show, writes Mary McNamara in the Los Angeles Times, and the whole thing is so determined to be unsentimental that it is instead jammed "with so many over-blown characters and wacky antics that it's impossible to attach meaning to any of them."

  • Heather Havrilesky agrees, noting that the show's attempts to "lighten up" the subject matter turn the whole thing into a "kooky, unsexy" ride that will make you "cringe and beg to be put out of your misery," she writes on Salon.
  • But Alessandra Stanley likes it—especially Linney, "who rarely sounds a false note and here has perfect pitch," she writes in the New York Times. "The series is at its best when sardonic and subdued. Some of the black humor is the kind that cancer patients are prone to share among themselves."
For more on the widely admired Linney, click here.