The Big C: Watch (porn) with Mother

I watched the first episode of this a while back, after reading Jo the Hat’s excellent post on it, thought it was wonderful, then weirdly forgot all about it. Then remembered! Thank the lord for Channel 4 OD. I’ve just caught up with all the episodes I’ve missed. Fantastic treat. Like discovering a box of chocolates in a drawer you’d forgotten was there (it’s a terrible analogy since this could not actually happen to me, ever).

By golly it’s brilliant. Still so subversive and amusing. You can tell, I think, that the creator is a woman (Darlene Hunt) because the female characters are all so beautifully observed. I love the way Cathy’s relationship with husband Paul (Oliver Platt) is portrayed. He thinks getting her back is all about grand gestures, like dumping a ton of sand in the living room with deckchairs to recreate their first meeting, which just pisses her off because she knows he’ll never get round to cleaning it up.

What she really wants is a grown up man for a husband, not a needy, irksome child. Someone who doesn’t leave cupboard doors open after getting things out, who picks up his dirty clothes or wet towels from the floor and who changes the toilet roll when it runs out. Ok, some of those were my gripes, but it’s truly the cause of many failed relationships I know.

What we see in Cathy, who of course knows she going to die soon, is a woman who doesn’t want to waste her precious remaining life feeling like house-mother in a frat house.

This series has so many other delicious things to savour. Cathy’s disastrous visit to a hyper-cheerful, ‘we can beat this!’ cancer support group. Her splendid hissy fit in the garden centre queue when someone butts in front of her. Burning her son’s clothes because she’s sick of him never picking them up off the floor, along with the sofa she stained, in the pit of the yet-to-be-built swimming pool. Every single scene with Sean, her brother, is genius.

And the other charming relationships developing are: Cathy’s with her grouchy neighbour Phyllis, and also with Andrea, the overweight student she is trying to persuade off fried chicken by means of bribery. Andrea’s unlikely friendship with Cathy’s son, Adam (which includes letting him grope her breasts, so he knows what real ones feel like).

Some of my highlights include: Cathy accidentally walking in on her son watching porn on the internet, then staying put, and excruciatingly for him, watching some of it herself, then explaining to a squirming Adam why women moaning in ecstasy in porn films aren’t really enjoying themselves at all. She later starts watching porn again at work later (using headphones) whilst her class are told to get on with a test.

The nicest surprise was the appearance in the corridor outside her classroom of the gorgeous Idris (Stringer Bell) Elba painting a soppy mural. Quite why this leads to her getting a full on wax for the first time I can’t remember, but she decides to do a Sharon Stone flash of it at him. Quite, quite splendid.

Posted by Inkface

4 Comments

Filed under Comedy

4 responses to “The Big C: Watch (porn) with Mother

  1. It is still excellent isn’t it? Found myself very jealous of Cathy getting it on with the lovely Idris Elba at the end.
    I continue to be inspired by her handling of her man-child husband too. Not quite at the ordering only liquor and desserts stage, but perhaps I’ll get there!

  2. inkface

    She is indeed truly inspirational. And we’re all jealous of her getting it on with Idris!