THE BIG C “How Do You Feel?” Review

THE BIG C “How Do You Feel?” Season 2 Episode 10 – Second seasons of shows are interesting things. I look at some of my favorite shows on right now: Justified, Parks and Recreation, The Good Wife, Breaking Bad, Cougar Town, and it’s pretty clear that these shows all got substantially better in their second seasons. I’m expecting last year’s first season shows like Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire to really get into the swing of things. The second season of television offers a lot less pressure in places like casting, hiring a good crew, seeing how critics and audiences react, getting through those first thirteen or twenty two or however many episodes you can get through. The second season offers more time to think about the story, with the actors in mind. Sure, sometimes you’ll have a Glee and just go off the rails completely, but for shows who take a step back, re-examine what did not work in the first season and fix those problems in the second season, well, that’s just great tv crafting. And I feel like The Big C is on the right track.

Oh sure, it’s not up to the standards of Justified or Breaking Bad or Parks and Recreation, but every week it’s improving, and who’s to say it’s third season won’t be its best? It could well be, since this season has laid the groundwork for a lot of potentially excellent storytelling.

This was not the best episode of the show, but, like most other episodes of the show so far this season, it was a satisfying one. Cathy and Lee rekindled their relationship without any dreadfully melodramatic detours which a lesser show might have taken. There were no monologues about how we, as people, just say stupid things sometimes and the time we have on this earth is short and we should spend it with those we care about blah blah blah puke. It was just Lee and Cathy together. Observations were made: Lee is dying, Cathy is getting better. Lee’s tumor is growing, Cathy’s is shrinking. But they weren’t mulled over. Not when there was wine to consume and breasts to feel.

Meanwhile, Adam’s relationship with Poppy has finally made him realize that there are people who are way more screwed up than he is, and middle aged women who bring sixteen year old boys to their high school reunions as dates, ask them to buy her tampons and cuts herself in the bathroom cubicle are not exactly the sanest of folk. And Adam, who has acted like a real jerk throughout most of this season, recognises this and does what he can to help and pretends to be a twenty one year old entrepreneur in a fun scene we’ve seen a million times in bad romantic comedies but which felt sweet and nice here because of the almost tragic context. I’m interested and apprehensive and a little scared about where Adam’s relationship with Poppy is going to go.

Sean left, but this storyline about the baby Cathy was so weirdly put on and insincere and sudden that, I’m not sure whether it was the over the top acting or the insanely aggravating writing or both, but I just do not care.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.

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