“The Big C” previews Season 2 and launches a campaign for cancer research

The Big C is about to start Season 2 and Golden Globe winner Laura Linney is cuter than ever.

Her character, however, is not — at least not all the time. As Cathy Jamison, Linney has been through the ringer since her diagnosis with Stage 4 melanoma, but has used the disease as a motivation to grab life by the ovaries and have some fun. But unlike some shows in which a dying person starts to “really live,” Cathy is far from a saint. Sometimes she’s a downright bitch. And that’s what gives The Big C depth: It’s real.

This behind-the-scenes video from Showtime gives us the scoop about Season 2 (with a few minor spoilers if you’re not caught up on Season 1).

Gabourey Sidibe and Phyllis Somerville return this season and the strange and delightful Parker Posey guest stars. Alan Alda and Hugh Dancy also guest star.

Happily for us, Cynthia Nixon takes a slightly larger role in Season 2 as Cathy’s best friend Rebecca.

Again, if you haven’t seen the end of Season 1, beware of spoilers as Nixon talks about what’s up with Rebecca.

Showtime is marking the return of The Big C with the launch of a campaign to support the American Cancer Society, in partnership with DirecTV.

“C Yourself” is a multi-platform campaign that encourages viewers to take a picture of themselves making a “C” with arms, props, hands, etc., and upload it to Facebook or sue Instagram with the tag #CYourself. For every photo, Showtime will donate $5 to the American Cancer Society. And the most creative photo from consumers 18 or older will win the entrant a $5000 cash prize.

Plus, DirectTV customers who subscribe to Showtime through July 15 can choose either to receive a $25 prepaid debit card or to donate $25 to the American Cancer Society. When the customer chooses to contribute, both Showtime and DirecTV will match the $25 gift for a total $75 donation.

Sure, it’s marketing. But it also raises badly needed money to help find a cure for cancer, so why not? If you participate, share your creative “C” pictures with us in the comments.

The Big C premiers Monday, June 27, at 10:30 p.m. ET, right after Weeds. As it did last year, Showtime is promoting Nancy Botwin and Cathy Jamison as a match made in, well, not heaven.

Are you a fan of The Big C? What would you like to see in Season 2?

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