06/20/2011 05:36 pm ET Updated Aug 20, 2011

The Big C : Summer's Must Watch Series

Laura Linney is back in the second season of SHOWTIME's The Big C and she is better than ever as the woman with a terminal disease. This Golden Globe winning actress brings a depth of humanity to this story that is staggering in its impact. The show is funny, dramatic, sexy and totally entertaining. This is one summer series you do not want to miss.

Linney plays Cathy, a high school teacher who is married with a son. She has been diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma and is currently receiving treatment. Her prognosis is not good but she is facing the future with gumption. It took her a while but she finally has told her husband Paul (Oliver Platt) and son Adam (Gabriel Basso) about her illness. She has not told her brother Sean (John Benjamin Hickey). He is manic-depressive so she has to pick just the right moment.

As this season starts Cathy has been on a leave of absence from her school as she started a new round of treatment. Going back she has to face the stares and sympathy from her students and fellow teachers. Adam is also treated with pity. This show even manages to find the humor in this situation.

There is a lot of talent on view in this series. Linney is pitch perfect but then so is Platt as her husband/partner who manages to be supportive and realistic. Phyllis Somerville adds surprises in her role of Marlene, Cathy's deceased neighbor. Cynthia Nixon is droll and outrageously self-centered as Rebecca, Sean's pregnant girlfriend. Still it is Gabourey Sidibe as Andrea, Cathy's quirky student, who manages to keep everything in perspective.

Everyone fears cancer and it is usually the kiss of death to even have it mentioned in a show. "The Big C" manages to bring it center stage and still be enjoyable and entertaining. That is because the writing, acting and everything else about this show is done with expertise.

Don't let the title scare you off, The Big C is one of the shows of the summer that you shouldn't miss. Just watch one episode and you will be hooked for the duration.

The Big C premieres on SHOWTIME, Monday, June 27 at 10:30.