'The Big C - The Complete Series' [6-Disc DVD]
(Laura Linney, Oliver Platt, Gabriel Basso, et al / 6-Disc DVD / NR / 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: 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!
DVD Verdict: Take some very talented actors, add in some seasoned producers, and complete it with excellent writers. Then tell them to write a show with the central background theme of Cancer.
'The Big C' is the result. It is a refreshing look at the dark comedy genre that pulls at your heart strings, which is obviously what the producers intended.
'The Big C' is also not your standard sitcom formula. It doesn't run for four seasons letting the viewers wonder whether or not the girl and the guy will finally get together.
No the writers immediately jump in per going past the doctor/patient relationship, a black/white affair, a teenager's first sexual encounter and how the husband/wife relationship is effected by it all … and that's just the tip of the iceberg!
The writers gladly passed such things to try new scenarios and see what works, then move onto something else the next week.
While this can be confusing to the viewer, it works as long as the base personalities stay intact for the viewers to relate to; which they do, for the most part.
Even then the writers experiment with the radical lifestyle change of Sean. What will happen next?
Ergo, the comedy is at times sharp and precise often with moments that remind me of a Neil Simon play. The solutions that Cathy comes up with per the problems she faces is often witty and unexpected.
I could see thousands of parents watching the show and rooting for Cathy when she locked Adam in the bathroom to clean up the toilet! 'The Big C' also has death lurking in the background so do not be surprised per where the writing goes as the episodes / years progress.
Many years ago it was a big taboo to kill a main character in a series. Today it is done quite often. I suspect it is done to keep a show fresh and interesting, to recharge a show when the ratings are slipping. To redirect the plot in new directions as writers go and new ones arrive with fresh ideas.
So, as aforementioned, expect the unexpected especially with this writing team!
As you can tell from my musings, 'The Big C' had amazing possibilities and walked tall for four wondrous seasons. Whilst, and at the very same time, it also walked through a minefield where the audience could turn away per a big mistake in the writing at any given juncture.
In closing, 'The Big C' turned out to be one wild and crazy ride which played the heart strings with every episode and kept the viewer wondering what would happen next.
So, in case you have not seen this great show yet and were thinking in investing in this brand new 6-Disc DVD box-set (out now via Mill Creek Entertainment), well, given everything that I've outlined above, you have to now ask yourself: Will the writers be able to keep up their franticly paced tone?
Furthermore, Will they find a stable plot synopsis to allow for one season to blend perfectly into the next? Buy this box-set today and find out for yourselves, my friend! These are all Widescreen Presentations (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.