In The Big C, Laura Linney struggles elegantly against Stage IV eccentricity.

In The Big C, Laura Linney struggles elegantly against Stage IV eccentricity.

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Aug. 16 2010 11:36 AM

The Big C

Laura Linney struggles elegantly against Stage IV eccentricity.

The Big C. Click image to expand.
Laura Linney in The Big C 

If we must take away any "messages" from The Big C (Showtime, 10:30 p.m. ET)—and the show, a gently mordant comedy about a 42-year-old cancer patient, insists that we try a small few—then chief among them is this: Dying well is the best revenge. Such is the veritable motto for Cathy Jamison, played by Laura Linney in a way that renders the character's erratic behavior somewhat plausible.

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Troy Patterson is Slate’s writer at large and a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine.

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