If you gonna watch this show, you will gonna laugh. And cry.
A mother, a wife, simply a women who cares about her job as a teacher, and she cares about her family gets to know, that she's got cancer.
At the beginning of the first season, it reminded me a little (!) bit of Desperate Housewives. Not that bullshit thing with the gossip and all, but she's so self-sacrificing to her job and her family, and then she finds out that she's got cancer and have to change her live. She seems to be strong, taking adventures and giving a shit about her marriage and her kid, but that changes.
The Big C isn't only a show about a woman that knows she is gonna die. There isn't "death around every corner". It's fun to watch, because there are so many funny scenes in it. Some bullshit she (and the other characters) are doing. Even in bad or sad situations you gonna have to laugh because of some quotes like: "He isn't a asshole, he is the whole ass!"
And in some episodes you have to cry because it is simply REALLY very sad whats happening… and I am no guy who cries a lot. I only can remember to cry because of a show and that was "Lost". I talked to a friend about this show, and I told him that I had to cry and his answer was: "You wouldn't have a heart, if you haven't cried to that."
The actors are good. I have a deep respect for Laura Linney (as Cathy) for playing her role sooo good, her son Adam also was good, and most of the time I liked the music they have used, e.g. that song: http://youtu.be/CY-T0uZFv8k
But I think it's good that the show didn't got extended to a whole 4th season. It's just okay that way, and I am happy that there is a proper ending.
So if you want to watch a show, which isn't only about action or happypappyeverywhere… give "The Big C" a chance, and I really think you won't regret it.
Put aside the horror that was season 3, the "meh" of season 2, The Big C had quite excellent seasons in the first and fourth run.
The first season snook up on me, I wasn't sure what to expect while watching a "comedy" about a woman with cancer. I didn't laugh a lot, I smiled a few times, I teared up several times, I sobbed like a baby once (Adam's tear-jerker scene towards the end), but I enjoyed a lot of it. It wasn't condescending like many cancer stories turn out to be, neither was it vain, it simply felt real, in line with the main character, and still heartwarming and thought-provoking. I absolutely adored Sean Benjamin Hickey as Sean. He was a true revelation, and he brought the only comic-relief moments for me.
I don't remember much about season 2 or 3, except that I stuck through them (especially the unbelievable messed up season 3), because I knew the show could be good - I owed it to the show to believe that it could get its shine back on.
However, for those who made it through those, Season 4 was a true "delight". It was a return to the roots for The Big C, with Linney at her best, the smart writing being back, and no more silly sexual storylines that deviate from the show's purpose. Adam was sweet again, Sean was funny again, Paul was caring and loving again. The selfishness of the previous seasons was gone, and Cathy was relatable, witty, and heart-warming again.
The Big C isn't really a comedy, nor is it a drama, it sits somewhere in between, and it's worth indulging in it, if only for the many questions it will make you ask yourself, for the discoveries you'll make, for the perceptions it'll change for you, and for the brilliant honesty that was seen in its first and fourth seasons.
Season 3 was so bad.