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October 10, 2015

Laura Linney wants Showtime to air The C-Word-- not that one!

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 27th 2009 5:36PM
Laura LinneyFollowing in the tradition of ... The L Word, I guess? Let's call it the naming tradition, but this on is a lot more provocatively entitled. Showtime has ordered a Laura Linney pilot called The C-Word. But it's not about Linney being a-- It's about cancer, people! It's a dark comedy about cancer.

That itself is enough to probably stir up some controversy. Not that the focus will be on cancer, but that the show is supposed to be a comedy. Sure, Breaking Bad tackles cancer as one of its main subjects, and they call it a dark comedy, but it's more dark than comedy in almost every way. I doubt this series would go that dark.

Playing a housewife and mother, Linney's character will explore the ups and downs of this very real situation she finds herself in. The show itself is, according to Showtime's press release, "A metaphor for the way we all should live, yet rarely do, this is a journey about how to seize the day." Which I doubt has anything to do with going out and cooking meth.

It actually sounds more like it's going to try and approach the subject matter from the perspective of positivity, which is refreshing. I'm sure there are cancer sagas on television that I'm forgetting, but I can't think of one that was the primary focus of a comedy series, and I'm glad to see it.

Certainly, ignoring this very real disease isn't the right thing to do on television. I applauded Sports Night, when it brought Robert Guillaume's real life stroke into the storylines on the show. It was a brave thing to do, and it still worked for a comedy show. Alzheimer's and other mental condition have been mined for comedy for years to varying degrees of success, but cancer is still a tough one.

I think it's because cancer just makes us sad. Whether we know someone with it, have had or do have it ourselves, or not, there's something so sad about even the word. There's no cure. People die. What's there to laugh about? But maybe that's just the point. There's no cure, and people die so we have to be able to laugh in the face of it. It is what it is. You can either be sad, or you can find joy. Or cook meth.

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I'm surprised you did not reference "Murphy Brown" since, if I remember correctly, she tackled the very same issue in the show's final season (to what kind of audience reaction I cannot recall). The only thing that makes this series potentially intriguing in my opinion is the fact it'll star Laura Linney, one of our greatest actresses. That alone might get me to watch it at least once.

August 28 2009 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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