After digesting “The Big C” season 2 finale a little more, what I’m about to say is admittedly unusual. First off, I’m a TV viewer/critic who believes that impactful small screen deaths are good for shows so long as they’re not solely done for shock value.
The deaths on “24” stayed with you, people still talk about the “wackings” on “The Sopranos,” and there’s one particular murder from “The Shield” that’ll probably be seared into my memory until I kick the bucket.
I’m also of the mind that, when it comes to shows like “The Big C,” producers shouldn’t listen to fans and critics. They should craft the show the way that they see fit, maintaining the integrity of the series.
But I’m going to say it anyway—killing off Oliver Platt’s Paul on “The Big C” is mistake.
And it’s not because Paul is, for the most part, a good guy. That he’s a fat ol’ schlub who’s willing to shave his head bald and get a job at Max Buy to pay for his wife’s cancer treatment.
No, Paul’s death affects Cathy directly, both on a recovery level and a simple emotional plane.
“The Big C” has only been on the air for two seasons, but we’ve already witnessed three major deaths in that span (four if you count Sean’s unborn baby), and we’re following a female protagonist who, going by Lee’s thoughts prior to his passing, is only buying herself more time—not curing her disease.
For a show that stares cancer in the face and laughs (and cries, too), the death of Paul might be a little too morose for “The Big C.”
Regardless, I’ll be tuned into season 3 next summer, but if Cathy is going to be battling a terminal illness without her loyal husband by her side, bloodied feet and heart arrhythmia from the marathon are going feel like small potatoes.
In Boston, check Showtime’s schedule to catch repeat airings of “The Big C” season 2 finale.
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