Friday, August 20, 2010

The Big C

So in its infinite wisdom, Showtime has introduced a new show - 'The Big C'. Its a comedy. It has a love interest for the woman who is receiving treatment. What the hell were they thinking?

Let's start with the beginning. Thank you for reintroducing the euphemism that we have spent generations trying to erase. The Big C was a death sentence. It had no cure. It was whispered by adults so children or anyone nearby wouldn't hear. It was an embarrassment to have a family member with cancer. It was hidden. They called it the big C so they didn't have to say the word. But now Showtime has brought it back into every day language. For this we thank them?

Next, its a comedy. They are trying to find humor in the main character's situation. Granted life goes on and life does contain its humorous moments. You do best while in treatment if you can keep your sense of humor. But its not a funny situation. Losing your hair. Feeling like crap. Having no energy. Nausea. Its not exactly a high point in one's life. If someone going through treatment can see humor in their life that's fine. But its not a situation for a comedy.

Finally, a love interest for a cancer patient? Who's married? Not happening. You are losing your hair. You are trying not to lose your lunch. YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE FLIRTING.

Yes people as a whole are much more open about cancer than in the past. It is openly talked about by many. But it is not funny, in any way, shape or form.

I should point out that after cancer treatment, many find it too painful to read about others with cancer in books. It took me along time to do be able to read a fiction book with a character with cancer. If a new book or movie comes out where a character has cancer, it is discussed in support groups and among cancer friends - should I see it, will I be able to cope? Why would I want to watch someone else going through cancer?

I admit I watched and enjoyed 'The Bucket List' but I watched it after hearing from many friends about it. And it was a comedy. But both main characters were very believable. They may have done a lot but they both were dying and they knew it. They didn't have a 'romantic' interest. They knew the clock was ticking. We were laughing with them. They called it cancer. It wasn't the big 'C'.

I won't be subscribing to Showtime anytime soon. Thanks but no thanks.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I saw this show and it is surprisingly compelling. It is more about a very repressed woman who gets permission to say what she feels and not give a damn. Also, Laura Linney is just fabulous. I cannot imagine how the show will deal with the hard cold reality of the disease, but the first show was not about that at all. She is married , but her husband is a fool. She has stage IV melanoma and decides against treatment. Each TV season covers a three month period, so we will see how the producers decide to go with this story. I agree, this story idea sounds INSANE, but it is fresh and interesting. I would not call it a comedy however..... Robin

Ria Vanden Eynde said...

what the hell were they thinking??!

linda said...

I don't own a television and don't miss it. This show sounds like a good reason for me to carry on as I have been.

cyn said...

Caroline - I'm right with you. It seems that every book I've picked up to read this past 6 months has had a character recently deceased or dying from cancer. I can't do it. Whenever I see the commercials for this show I feel a little sick to my stomach. Completely prepared to skip it. But it may be great for other people to learn more about the cancer experience. Perhaps I'll watch it with my hand on the remote control - and a glass of wine. :-)

Julie said...

We have that channel and I have no desire to see that show for the reason that you described. Pre-diagnosis I was interested in these story lines b/c I had so many loved ones affected by it and I hoped to understand more in terms of how to relate to and help them. Now that I've survived it myself I have no desire to see fictional depictions of cancer AT ALL. The reality is tough enough to deal with - they can shove their BS stories. I remember watching Gray's Anatomy while in treatment and how pissed I was at seeing Izzy's hair all cute and bob-length after she finished treatment and I laughed since it has been nearly 9 months since my last chemo dose and my hair is still a pixy-style length. I also don't watch sad shows and movies anymore. Depression and sadness have a negative affect on the immune system whereas laughter boosts the immune system so I try to watch funny stuff as much as possible :) xoxo

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