“The Big C” and Gun Hatred

© gps333@charter.net

The Big C is a Showtime cable network TV series created by Darlene Hunt which premiered in 2010. The show’s main character is Cathy Jamison, played by Laura Linney. She is a suburban wife with a teen-aged son. Soon into the show she is diagnosed with melanoma. Soon thereafter, she enters an experimental program and enjoys remission.

This dramatic device allows her to jump the shark and start acting-out all sorts of strange, dishonest, and even destructive behavior. True to Hollywood writers who are utterly clueless about how anyone east of Los Angeles lives, Jamison then proceeds through the show’s next several years as an erratic, undependable wife and mom. Her husband, well played by Oliver Platt, is a wuss who has, until he is suddenly fired, drifted through life with the cushion of corporate pay and benefits. Her son is the most realistic character of the bunch and plays as what most people expect of a teenager.

Other characters are either stereotypes or goblins. Jamison’s brother is a lunatic who collects garbage, sleeps outside, panhandles, is a sexual alien, and would in the real world have been involuntarily committed long ago (the show admits he’s bipolar). He has an affair with Cathy’s college roommate who is a bitter, mean single woman. Cathy’s neighbor suffers from Alzheimer’s and kills herself in despair. Other secondary characters are a motley collection of a Hollywood writers’ stereotypes of the un-cool, most unattractive and boring.

Which brings us to guns. In the current story arc, Cathy, always on edge about her cancer possibly returning, suddenly desires another baby despite, or because, of the chance that the cancer will return and kill her. This is supposed to be poignant but instead simply adds to the growing number of selfish demands Cathy continues to make. She finds a young couple that cannot afford to keep their unborn baby and who agree to let Cathy and her husband adopt it. Cathy is delighted and feels that this is a new beginning for her and her family. She bashes-through an outside wall in her home with a sledge hammer in her excitement to put a window there for the new nursery. Along the way, in a disjointed story arc that only a bad writer could create, her resentment about her cancer and her fear that her husband will have an affair with a beautiful new boss turns to fury, which she dampens with daily afternoon drinking under an assumed name at a local bar.

One day the barkeeper asks her why her mood is so sour. She unloads on him, to which he replies that ‘there’s only one way to deal with that.’ He then pulls a gun out from underneath the bar. In other words, when you are furious, turn to a gun. They are then seen shooting at beer bottles in the woods, which Cathy immediately finds jumping-up-and-down thrilling despite her utter liberalness.

Then back to the baby story arc. After pampering the young couple and giving them thousands of dollars she learns that there is no baby and that she has been scammed. Does she confront them with the facts? Does she turn to the law? Does she try to shame or humiliate them? Of course not. She loads them into a car she had given her son – and then takes back – and drives off into the woods, where she pulls the gun on them, shoots up the forest, and terrifies them while they cower, naked, in fear. She is angry and feels aggrieved, see, so this behavior is just fine. Guns are for threatening unarmed, harmless people who have pissed you off, see. After the couple is forced to flee through the woods in their skivvies, Cathy drives back to the bar and returns the gun, confiding in the barkeeper that she ‘cannot trust herself with it.’ See, guns are inhabited by evil spirits that make you do bad things.

The Big C remains popular on Showtime despite declining ratings. But the story it tells is of unpleasant, criminal, crazy, violent people who feel immune to society’s rules because disease, mental illness, and financial problems have been brought into the picture. And that the title character is made to treat guns so hatefully and irresponsibly is exactly why Scott Walker won his recall fight. More and more, the Left is clueless about the country and its people. But you wouldn’t know from watching TV. Yet.