Susan Sarandon checks in to “The Big C”

After The Big C‘s season finale last year, I couldn’t imagine how the show could get any better. Thanks to an exclusive report from The Hollywood Reporter‘s Lesley Goldberg, we know at least one thing creator Darlene Hunt has up her sleeve: a pretty amazing guest star.

Susan Sarandon joins The Big C for a major arc as Joy, “a cancer survivor who is using her unique experience to inspire and motivate others.” According to Hunt, Joy makes a significant impact on Cathy (Laura Linney) as she continues her journey with cancer. Seeing how Joy uses her cancer experience to inspire people makes Cathy question whether she needs to be doing something more with her own perceptions.

The Big C already announced that Victor Garber (who always will be Sydney’s dad in my mind) will appear as a foil for Cathy’s brother Sean (John Benjamin Hickey). Alan Alda will make a return appearance as Dr. Atticus Sherman.

(Spoilers ahead.)

The season will pick up three weeks after the Season 2 cliffhanger in which Paul (Oliver Platt) had a major heart attack. We don’t know whether Paul survived, but we do know that the character is still around. Of course, he could very well be back in the same way as Cathy’s late neighbor Marlene returned post-mortem.

However Season 3 progresses, I’m glad that a big-name star like Sarandon is on board to get The Big C some well-deserved attention. The show tackles tough subject matter and I suspect that people are hesitant to risk dredging up emotions related to cancer. I put off watching it myself until raves about the quality of the show compelled me to give it a try. After a few episodes, I was hooked — and I can’t wait to see what happens next. The Big C isn’t always easy to watch, but it’s amazing television.

The next season of The Big C starts April 8. Are you a fan? What do you expect for the new season?

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