The Big C s4 ep 2

The Big C has undoubtedly managed to rid itself of much of what made the last season, at times, so actively unpleasant. To start with this week, though, it looked as if what was left was melancholy and measured, but also a little boring, and I was wondering whether Cathy’s attempt to pimp her husband out to a dating group for cancer widows and widowers was going to become shrill and charmless, as Cathy’s schemes can often be. I’m still not very interested in Andrea or Sean; and while it seems reasonable for Adam to move on, given that the nice Christian girl he’s been saddlebacking (© Dan Savage) seems to be out of the picture, the apparent predictability of the storyline with his “geisha nerd” tutor had me rolling my eyes.

But round about the time that Paul – still the least plausible inspirational speaker on God’s earth, I’d say, and it’s no coincidence that we’re not actually getting to see any more of his “Flip That Switch” schtick – is being interviewed for breakfast radio in Detroit, and suddenly realises what he’s about to lose, the episode shifts gear. His Cathy-inspired “date” is actually rather sweet, and Cathy’s own reaction to it unexpectedly touching. And, in large measure because Gabriel Basso brings a freshness and likeability to the role of Adam, his part of the episode played out rather nicely. I was moved and amused, and this was the best episode of The Big C for weeks.

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