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The Big C vs the Big Zzzz
By Dave Winer on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 9:04 PM.

I was in the middle of watching the first episode of The Big C, the new Showtime series starring Laura Linney and Oliver Platt when I saw that I could watch The Zuckerberg Show on Facebook.  permalink

Things were all flipped around, because Zuckerberg was a rerun. On so many levels. It was a rerun in that here was a huge tech company doing something that was interesting only because of their hugeness. And it was a rerun because it had all been done before, by Foursquare.  permalink

And then there's insidious Microsoft-like evil vector, as explained by the ACLU. As I read their story I kept thinking it might finally be time to delete my Facebook account. I don't use it that much. And I hate the idea of people checking in for me. It enables exactly the kind of stalking that has kept me from using Foursquare.  permalink

It was also a rerun because it's just another loop around the tech circle. Every feature shows up in everyone's product. You can see there are three companies, Apple, Google and Facebook, at least, that are largely cloning each other.  permalink

A picture named webIsDead.gifAnd to the extent the Facebook announcement was interesting, it was equally sad that Yahoo and Microsoft, two passed-over tech giants, couldn't put something like this together now, if their corporate lives depended on it. And they do. permalink

So after about 15 minutes of nauseating product annoucement from Channel Zzzz, I switched back to The Big C, which answers the question: Can you make death by cancer funny? with a resounding YES! permalink

What a wonderful show.  permalink

You know why it's so funny -- because it's original. There are all these themes that have never appeared in a 1/2 hour sitcom because they were never willing to approach impending death this way. A character with less than a year to live can do and say things that other characters just can't, believably. And the writing is superb as is the acting.  permalink

The possible exceptions are Six Feet Under, but that wasn't a comedy, and Dead Like Me, which certainly was, but not as ambitious as The Big C, and was a fantasy, which Big C most certainly is not. permalink

Everything is backwards. You'd expect a show about dying to be hard to watch, and you'd expect young people on top of the world to be interesting. But the young people are boring while the dying is compelling. permalink

If you haven't seen The Big C because you don't think death can be funny, you owe it to yourself to take a look. It's very very good. permalink

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