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the c word

People With Cancer Tell the Truth; or, Last Night on The Big C

Showtime's new comedy The Big C stars Laura Linney as a previously buttoned-up wife, mother, and teacher who has just been diagnosed with terminal melanoma, and starts, per her brother, "getting her weird back." Part of getting her weird back involves giving aggressively honest, barn-burning speeches. People with terminal illnesses don't have time for politeness! They just have time to incisively rip into people! (Though, apparently, they don't have time to tell their friends and family they're sick. Linney's character keeps her illness a secret. Honestly only goes so far?) During last night's premiere episode (you can read Emily Nussbaum's review here), Linney did this no less than three times: icily explaining to her overweight student (played by Precious's Gabourey Sidibe) that she can either be fat or mean; calling her unfriendly, elderly neighbor the other C word; and throwing her impossible teenage son up against a wall and telling him who's boss. Of course, Linney is very good at giving scathing, slightly unhinged advice, and since her character's health isn't going to improve, we're sure this won't be the last time she lets such a diatribe loose. We'll be on the look out for future incidents, but in the meantime, enjoy last night's three outbursts.