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TV & Video Review: ‘The Big C: The Complete Second Season’

Cathy Jamison has stage four melanoma and she’s going to die. Now what?

That’s the central question behind the TV series, The Big C, which follows Cathy (deftly played by Laura Linney) post-cancer prognosis. It’s one of television’s best series, and is at times hilarious, inspiring and deeply moving — sometimes all at once.

However, like other TV series that deal with impending mortality, The Big C isn’t a weekly dispiriting half-hour downer about death, but instead is a rich, complicated look at life and the hills-and-valleys involved in living it.

Now in the midst of its third season, the second season of The Big C is available on DVD starting Tuesday, May 8. (For those catching up, you’ll definitely want to start with the first season, as the second season builds upon the already established family dynamics of the Jamison household.)

In the second season, Cathy fully integrates back into her family life, moving from the first-season arc of self-discovery, to her new life and its effects upon others. As can be expected, Cathy’s cancer treatments complicate her already-fractured family relations, from financial stresses, to the initially fruitless search for a new doctor, and the effects of her first clinical trial.

A key, and charming addition to the series this season is Hugh Dancy as Lee, Cathy’s “cancer friend” — in episode five, there’s a scene between Lee and Cathy that will help you truly appreciate a good bottle of Shiraz — and also Alan Alda as Cathy’s cancer doc, and Sex And The City‘s Cynthia Nixon continues as Rebecca.

The Big C‘s second season is as excellent as the first, and is moving, entertaining television worth both your time and attention.

DVD Extras

Minimal. A few short deleted scenes and outtakes. However, a simple, but great feature is the option to play all episodes without top-of-show recaps for marathon viewing sessions.

Content Creator
Robert J. Ballantyne is the editor-in-chief at Popjournalism. Previously, he was a journalist at the CBC on a number of news programs including the fifth estate, Marketplace and The National. He also worked as a staff writer at the Toronto Star
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