• Network: Showtime
  • Series Premiere Date: Aug 16, 2010
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. 100
    The show is cluttered with cutesy sidekicks, including Gabourey Sidibe as a student and John Benjamin Hickey as Cathy's homeless brother. But Linney's a big deal. [30 Aug 2010, p.37]
  2. 88
    It's unclear how many more seasons Cathy will survive, and how much humor can be mined from her pain. The visuals just might stay with you, though, as long as you live.
  3. 80
    Linney and this role were made for each other. There are a few problems with The Big C. Occasionally, the tone veers off course into forced comic absurdity. But my cavils are irrelevant in the face of Linney's extraordinary work.
  4. 80
    Cathy's modest conception of throwing caution to the winds mirrors the strengths of The Big C, which is affecting precisely because of its refusal to assume epic proportions.
  5. The Big C works because most of the writing is strong and believable, and so is Ms. Linney, who rarely sounds a false note and here has perfect pitch.
  6. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    80
    Some elements are so Showtime-comedy-like (the eccentric teen child, e.g.) as to seem a little repetitive. But the show depends above all on Laura Linney's performance, and so far it's entrancing.
  7. Making, and enjoying, a commitment to watch Showtime's new dramedy The Big C requires a deliberate decision to ignore nagging questions. Such as: Why are so many of the TV and cinematic cancer stories of the past few decades about women? And in an era when more and more of us know someone with cancer, or have experienced it directly, does that mean that we are now ready to embrace the subject as entertainment? Dwell too long on those questions, and what is good about The Big C may pass you by.
  8. 80
    Buoyed by scalpel-sharp writing and even keener performances, The Big C (created by comedian and sitcom writer Darlene Hunt) walks a fine line of having it both ways. It's for people who are repelled by the warm-fuzzy, disease-o'-the-week dramas of cable television.
  9. There's no doubt that Linney is radiant in her role. She carries The Big C past many of its implausibilities and irritations.
  10. I'm not sure how many belly laughs Linney will be able to wring from The Big C, but I can't imagine a more perfect mouthpiece for a woman who's literally dying to be heard.
  11. The Big C does not arrive with as sturdy a foundation as "Nurse Jackie," an unusually well-developed show from the get-go, but Ms. Linney completely inhabits a role that's recognizable as a woman who is strong and unusually selfless--at least until her diagnosis.
  12. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    70
    Though she isn't quite a credible character, she's a thoroughly fun one, for which much credit is due to the actress's steady subtlety and elastic wit.
  13. Such soft areas, and a feeling of forced quirkiness, keep Big C from being a Class A series. Still, it's a show that, like Cathy, almost certainly will find its footing as time goes on and, like terminal illness, undoubtedly will provide a few surprises before the end.
  14. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    70
    The Big C is tonally all over the place, to the point where a terminal illness almost seems a relief. Linney has her best moments as she tries to reform an overweight student (Gabourey Sidibe, way sparklier than in Precious) and befriends a cranky neighbor widow (scene-stealer Phyllis Somerville).
  15. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    70
    The show is less profound and novel than it seems to think it is. But the performances are strong enough that I want to stick around for Cathy Jamison's final journey, even if the path feels particularly well-trod.
  16. Though Linney can't be anything but amazing, The Big C feels like a more or less competent assemblage of elements we've seen before on various Showtime "comedies."
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 65 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 3 out of 15
  1. Oct 2, 2011
    0
    A weak show. It has no potential. The first season was very poorly written and didn't really establish a function-able storyline which wasA weak show. It has no potential. The first season was very poorly written and didn't really establish a function-able storyline which was evident by the erratic changes every week. Laura Linney, "the greatest actress of this decade," is failing that false title dearly and has plummeted to the B-list by taking part in this show. Full Review »
  2. Apr 29, 2012
    4
    Excellent acting from all actors except for Cynthia Nixon, who is just re-enacting the exact character she played in Sex in the City, (in factExcellent acting from all actors except for Cynthia Nixon, who is just re-enacting the exact character she played in Sex in the City, (in fact I believe her lines are even borrowed from SIC). Admittedly there are some amazing lines delivered in very genuine way. But the acting and above average lines are where the show has decided to restrict itself to. The Full Review »
  3. Dec 29, 2011
    10
    Witty, thoughtful, sad, charming, heartwrenching, dramatic, enticing. This show has everything. Even the couple of subpar episodes areWitty, thoughtful, sad, charming, heartwrenching, dramatic, enticing. This show has everything. Even the couple of subpar episodes are elevated by Linney's performance. YES, this show makes me laugh - A LOT. To people who say it's not funny are obviously letting the dramatic moments overshadow everything else - it's a dark comedy, in the same vein as Weeds. Weeds is another show I love but it has been less funny in the past seasons - doesn't mean its still not a dark comedy. Full Review »