The Big C (2010–2013)

TV Series  |  TV-MA  |   |  Comedy, Drama
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 11,674 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 17 critic

A suburban mother faces her cancer diagnosis while trying to find humor and happiness as well.


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4   3   2   1  
2013   2012   2011   2010  
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
 Cathy Jamison (40 episodes, 2010-2013)
 Paul Jamison (40 episodes, 2010-2013)
 Adam Jamison (40 episodes, 2010-2013)
 Sean Tolkey (40 episodes, 2010-2013)
 Andrea Jackson (32 episodes, 2010-2013)
 Marlene (19 episodes, 2010-2013)


Cathy Jamison is a suburban Minneapolis high school teacher, wife and mother with less than a perfect life, despite it perhaps seeming so to much of the outside world. Her life is given a major shock when she is diagnosed with melanoma, the first news of such to her being when it is at advanced stage IV, meaning that she will most likely succumb to it within short order barring some extreme or radical intervention. Cathy goes through a myriad of emotions concerning the diagnosis, including how she will deal with it in relation to family, friends and people close to her in other ways. These people include: Paul Jamison, her college sweetheart husband, who is often just another big kid in their relationship, while Cathy has acted the responsible adult; Adam Jamison, Cathy and Paul's teenaged son who is going through typical issues of being a teenager and only child; Sean Tolkey, Cathy's hyper-environmental anti-establishment brother, who chooses to be homeless to live off the grid and ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A limited series event See more »


Comedy | Drama


TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 August 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Big C: Hereafter  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(season 4)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The title of this show was originally "The C-Word," and some promotional materials were made using this title. But while a guest on "The Daily Show," Laura Linney told Jon Stewart that the title was changed from "The C-Word" to "The Big C" to avoid confusion with The L Word (2004), which had also aired on Showtime. See more »


Featured in The Wright Stuff: Episode #15.25 (2011) See more »


Game Called Life
Performed by Leftover Cuties
(Theme song)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Absolutely Fabulous Slice of Life - And Death
18 October 2010 | by See all my reviews

I have watched all 9 episodes so far and can't get enough. I became intrigued with the concept while watching a Laura Linney interview on The Daily Show. It's often funny, sometimes hilarious, often sad, and sometimes downright heartwrenching. The characters are quirky, conflicted, don't know how to express their feelings, and are frequently nasty, self-involved, and make mistakes, while also being caring, noble, and giving, just like real people. The show takes a sensitive and difficult subject that is usually not discussed, and deals with it using a large dose of humor and the occasional portion of pathos.

Laura Linney's character has spent her life doing what everyone else has expected her to do, and hasn't a clue who she wants to be. She decides to try and figure that out before it's too late. I understand her desire to keep her disease a secret so that she gets to live as much as possible before she dies. She could "buy" the attention and understanding of her husband, son, brother, and others she cares about if she tells them about the cancer. However, then she would not only be surrounded by sadness and despair for her remaining days, she'd be suffocated and everyone would assume the cancer is the cause of her behavior when in reality it is merely the catalyst.

I watch a lot of shows that I like, and many that make me laugh; but few touch me as this show has. Sometimes the image in the mirror isn't the prettiest person in all the land, but this is about learning to be comfortable with - even love - what we see. To do that, we first have to see the true image, not the one we think we should see or the one we wish we saw.

44 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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