'The Big C' recap: Picasso On The Train

laura-linney-the-big-c-320.jpgOh, white ladies with problems. What would Showtime be without you? It's actually a fairly brilliant strategy at which we've arrived, come the millennium: Can't just talk about white people problems -- the Prius, the Wii, the unending battle of Pottery Barn v. Crate & Barrel -- without also giving them Great Big Real Problems, like cancer or a Mexican druglord or a huge drug addiction or God. I don't think it cheapens it, though. I think it does exactly what it wants to do, makes it okay to care about all of the problems without feeling like you're being sentimental.

So when "The Big C's" Cathy learned she had a very short time left on this planet, she made some changes: Kicked her husband out of the house, flirted with her hot young doctor in a desperate attempt to get control of the situation, started telling her summer school students the truth, began to dig a swimming pool in the backyard. Refused to tell anybody; this is a secret, and a promise, she will be keeping for now.

Cathy marches on over to the nasty neighbor's house to tell her off, and ends up making a new friend of the only person she knows that's closer to death than she is. She makes a weight loss pact with Gabourey Sidibe, starts eating onions. Takes only so much of her son's shock-value pleas for attention before she's staged a little suicide scene of her own and then locked him in the bathroom so he'll stop being such a little s***. She even reconciles with hubby after a dramatically romantic moment involving an onion.