The Big C on TV3

10:00pm – Tuesday, October 12 on TV 3

The reality of how little time she has left leaves Cathy (Laura Linney) with an inclination to explore and appreciate her body for the first time in this week’s The Big C, screening on Tuesday, October 12th at 10pm on 3.

Series creator Darlene Hunt calls the The Big C a “cancer comedy”. But these two words don’t often go together so Hunt offers and explanation.

“Cancer itself is not funny,” Hunt explains to Zap2it. “But people are funny, and the way people choose to handle different situations – dialogue, perspective – can be humorous no matter what the circumstances.”

When The Big C premiered last week suburban mother Cathy Jamison had already received the news that she has stage four melanoma, labelling her terminally ill. Forced to examine where life has led her, Cathy meets mental upheaval, making the decision to change her life, with the possibly little time she has left. And therein, says Hunt, lies the comedic opportunity.

“Cathy realises she hasn’t been living her life the way she maybe aspired to,” explains Hunt. “So she wants to shake things up a bit. I think a lot of people can relate to that. Cathy’s diagnosis isn’t humorous, but the way she handles it is with a lot of humour.”

Hunt continues, explaining that while up-to-the-minute research on melanoma will inform the storyline, audiences shouldn’t expect lots of hospital scenes or medical jargon.

“My way into this wasn’t from a cancer perspective.” says Hunt. “There’s nothing to confront your mortality more so than having a child and realising that you’re going to die before this child does. That’s why I hope it speaks to everybody.”

Initially, Hunt hopes the show’s laughs will derive from the fact that Cathy’s suddenly liberated sensibility appears inexplicable to her fun-loving but irresponsible husband (Oliver Platt) and son (Gabriel Basso). That’s because, at first, she doesn’t tell them about her condition.

“In my research, it wasn’t such an odd reaction for a lot of people diagnosed with cancer,” she says. “At least anecdotally. So we hang on when she is going to tell them. It’s a complicated dynamic.”

Could this happen as soon as this week’s episode? Find out when The Big C continues on Tuesday, October 12th at 10pm on 3.

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