'Big C' Debuts

Normally, a series with a cast that includes the likes of Laura Linney, Oliver Platt and Gadbourey Sidibe would pique my interest.

Especially when that series is on Showtime, which has a better track record than anyone in creating dramedies centered around over-40 women ("United States of Tara," "Nurse Jackie," "Weeds").

But I'll be skipping the debut of "The Big C" tonight (Showtime, 10:30 p.m.) for one reason -- the subject matter.

The series is about a school teacher (Linney) who finds out she has terminal skin cancer. After getting the diagnosis, she undergoes a re-awakening and tries to live her life to the fullest.

Now, don't get me wrong. Even though there are comic elements to the series, I don't think the writers will try to treat cancer lightly or disrespect people who have gone through it. Quite the opposite, in fact.

It's just that it's the one bit of subject matter that truly worries most people every time they go to the doctor's office. Most people in their lives will know at least one person who will have to be treated for cancer at some point, and it's a terrifying prospect.

Should "The Big C" last as a series, I figure we'll ultimately see Linney's character start to experience the effects of having it, and it doesn't seem to be something I'd care to watch.

Sometimes, subject matter hits too close to home for one reason or another, and generally cancer is a prime example of that.

So, while you can expect a quality production should you choose to tune in, you can also expect an emotional roller coaster if you do.

MONDAY'S BEST BETS: "The Big C" follows the season premiere of "Weeds" at 10 p.m. on Showtime.

Also on cable are other series centered around strong female characters, including "The Closer" (TNT, 9 p.m.) and "Rizzoli & Isles" (TNT, 10 p.m.

ABC Family airs "Secret Life of an American Teenager" and "Huge" from 8-10 p.m.

On the networks, there's a new "Lie To Me" on Fox at a different timeslot of 9 p.m., while ABC has "Bachelor Pad" and "Dating In The Dark."