'Weeds' and 'The Big C': Secretly the same show

Big-C-Laura-LinneyImage Credit: Jordin Althaus/ShowtimeLast night marked the season premiere of Weeds and the series premiere of The Big C, and I can’t help but think that the shows have more in common than not. They both star beloved, talented 40-something actresses who each won an Emmy for their roles in sprawling, highly decorated HBO miniseries. Neither Mary-Louise Parker’s Nancy nor Laura Linney’s Cathy can wrap her brain around mortality; Nancy’s ultimately still running her husband’s death in the first season, and Cathy’s in complete denial about her own terminal prognosis. They’re inappropriate but lovable, terrified but resilient. And there’s more:

The main character is keeping a secret
Weeds Nancy’s son is a murderer (and she’s a drug dealer).
The Big C Cathy has terminal cancer.

Supporting player who’s more fun than the star
Weeds Nancy’s been the least-winning character on this show for a while, but Justin Kirk’s Andy has transitioned from goofy sidekick to total delight.
The Big C Sure, Cathy’s okay, but Gabourey Sidibe’s surly Andrea is poised to be the show’s comic relief. (Especially since Oliver Platt is playing such a yutz so far.)

Conceit that is wearing/could wear thin
Weeds Nancy has so far evaded prosecution through a variety of lucky breaks and running around with tough guys, but one of these days, something’s gotta give. Nancy’s scrappy and all, but can she continue to outsmart career criminals, gangsters, kingpins, and politicos?
The Big C Terminal illness as impetus and license for whimsical behavior is pretty standard. But no one in Cathy’s life knows she has cancer, which means everyone around her just thinks she’s being weird. How long can that really last?

Relationship I wish were the center of the show
Weeds Nancy and Andy. The chemistry! It’s so forbidden!
The Big C Cathy and Dr. Todd. The chemistry! It’s so forbidden!

I’m ready for Weeds to be amazing again (keep dreaming, Mags), and I can’t wait for The Big C to come into its own. Consider me sucked in, shows!

What about you, PopWatchers? Were you watching last night?

Comments (22 total) Add your comment
  • Melissa

    Weeds has jumped the shark. I hope this season and series end with Nancy being thrown in the slammer. The Big C, I like it a lot so far. Maybe because it’s new, so time will tell.

    • Ted

      I Officially declare that the phrase “jumped the shark” has jumped the shark.

      • Steven

        Declaring that the phrase jumped the shark has jumped the shark has totally jumped the shark.

    • Michael

      Weeds has jumped over Fonzi jumping the shark.

  • Luna

    I love Weeds but the premiere was tres boring.

  • Jay

    Weeds was OK. Shane aged so much since last season that the beleivability of the continuation of the cliffhanger just seemed…… wierd

    • retirednotdead

      I know! So strange! I love Weeds and know I will love The Big C.

    • Marcellis

      Pretty sure that this season premiere was filmed during the same time as season five’s final episode. I didn’t see much of a difference in Alexander Gould’s appearance. The preview for next week’s episode is a different story. You can clearly tell his voice is lower and he’s grown a bit. I mean, he can’t stay young forever, and I’m sure us fans would have an even bigger problem if the producers decided to recast. Just accept it as a part of life. :]

  • Bee

    they definitely go well together. i thought weeds was awesome. very funny and a great start to the new season, although i will miss celia and her crazy antics a lot. the big C was pretty good too. the second half of it was funnier (esp. the dexter season 4 finale reference!) and the last scene with the dog was great. excited for both shows.

  • Brittany

    I’m a huge fan of weeds and wasn’t really a fan of the big c so therefore they can’t be that much alike

  • JMaG

    Loved The Big C…Weeds seems like its going to be a good season.

  • ak

    I want to love “C” so bad. I’ve been waiting for it all summer … but I couldn’t get past Platt! It made me near squeamish.

  • brookiesmom

    LOVED Weeds last night – thought that Andy and Shane (that kid is turning into a really good actor that can convey something just with a facial expression)were both awesome! We didn’t think it was boring or had jumped the shark – that’s just who the Botwins are. Would still love to see Nancy and Andy hook up.

  • jodipo

    i love weeds, and i enjoyed C, but I was really excited about the Dexter promo! can we talk about Dex and the look on his face when the “dexter trademark” face cut appeared on his cheek??!!

  • Simon DelMonte

    Seriously, there’s a show about someone who’s got cancer and keeps it a secret? As someone who has seen family get to the will to survive by letting the world know, and has seen people die in part because they kept the world at bay, it’s hard to imagine a premise that could be more insipid.

    • cry a little more about it.

  • bleepo

    I thought “the big c” was the big c*unt, until I saw the X-ray. Honestly.

  • AnnNoE

    Kudos to the powers that be to even let The Big C exist. I wanna be like Cathy.

  • Anon

    Weeds > The Big C

  • BA from PA

    We totally loved the new season show of WEEDS….(I saw NO SHARKS at all) Shane’s expressions are truly great…but then so are Nancy’s & Andy’s.
    After seeing Cathy’s ‘do you think I’m boring’ at least a thousand times on the lead in to Weeds, I didn’t think my husband would even consider watching this show,but we did and we loved it! Loved how she pranked her son with the bloody tub scene. Paybacks!! Can’t wait for next episodes of both…

  • Tookie

    I don’t watch either show, but could they do a crossover where Cathy gets medicinal marijuana from Nancy?

    • j

      Good one.

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