The Big C & Weeds Premiere
Let’s just say this: I’m hopeful about Showtime's The Big C, no matter what Cathy’s diagnosis may be and how much time she may have left. Though the “death comedy” pilot was a tad uneven, I have faith in Laura Linney’s acting and believe that I’m going to love watching her tightly-wound high school teacher, wife and mother dispatch with her play-it-safe way of living her life.
I really liked the follow-up to the show’s very first scene: Cathy offered to pay double for a guy to immediately dig up her backyard and put in a sunken hot tub, barbecue pit and expand the deck. She’d wanted a pool, she’d asked for a pool, but reluctantly agreed to go along with the contractor’s recommendation. Went along to be nice. She said, “That’s fine, just do that,” so as not to make trouble, though she WAS insistent about the work getting started ASAP.
Later, she put her foot down, told him that she didn’t really want to do what he’d suggested and that, damn it, she wanted a pool like she said originally. Bring out the biggest digger you’ve got and get cracking, she said. For those of us who allow ourselves to get steamrolled too often (my hand is up), seeing Cathy muster the courage to assert herself was very satisfying. (Reminded me of the satisfaction drawn from watching fellow cancer patient Walter White on AMC’s Breaking Bad finally stop letting the world walk all over him once he realized his days were numbered with a cancer diagnosis.)
That’s from where I think the joy of watching this show will come, from watching Cathy emerge from her vanilla, suburban slumber. The emphasis is on, well, NOW, that, and enjoying life in a “I’m just having desserts and liquor” kinda way.
As for Weeds’ season six premiere, while I really liked the gallows humor in the season premiere (especially with Andy making all the wrong choices with his short-lived fiancé and the mallet quips), Nancy was starting to bug me with her selfishness. My irritation was given a voice by Shane and Silas who observed that Nancy, in her haste to go on the run with her family, took the time to pack stuff for herself -- including an entire bag of shoes – but didn’t afford either of them the same opportunity. If they’re leaving for good, the least Nancy could’ve done would’ve been to have let them grab a bag, particularly if she was packing shoes.
I’m just surprised that Nancy didn’t have them stop for an iced coffee for herself on the way to Andy’s house to take his van. But then again, she was drunk. And had just learned that her middle son is a killer, so I suppose I should cut her some slack.
Divorce on TV
After watching AMC's Mad Men’s Don Draper and Betty Francis do a pretty poor job of handling their divorce – as their children, especially their daughter Sally, suffer emotionally – I started thinking about how divorce on TV is done, at least these days.
I dedicated my latest pop culture and politics column to divorce in primetime focusing on, not just divorce on Mad Men, but on HBO’s Hung, TNT’s Men of a Certain Age, a trio of ABC dramas (Private Practice, Brothers & Sisters, Grey’s Anatomy) and Lifetime's Army Wives.