Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The C Word

"I'll tell you what, mate, right. You stand up, and I'll rummage around in your nuts."

Let's get all the superlatives about Sheridan Smith out of the way first, shall we? She's simply awesome, as always. So much so that we shall overlook the lack of any real attempt at a Derby accent. Sheridan Smith is probably the best actress on telly today.

This time she plays Lisa Lynch, real life cancer sufferer and author of the eponymous book. We start off by establishing how nice and normal Lisa is, as we would expect, and then the C bomb is duly dropped. It's an awful moment and, like everything, beautifully scripted and played. All of the big moments- mastectomy, chemotherapy, death sentence- are perfectly judged. And Mrs Llamastrangler and I were glad of this, as the subject of the C word is raw; earlier this year it took Mrs L's uncle, one of the nicest and coolest and most rock 'n' roll guys you could ever meet, get a bit sloshed with or compare beards with. He was only 44. The C word is indeed a C word.

There's an ironic contrast in that Lisa doesn't want to talk about the elephant in the room and can't be surrounded by drama, preferring to talk about other things. Hence the blog. It's all very human and very real.

The blog leads to a book, ironically recommended to Lisa after her second, terminal diagnosis, and the awful heartbreak of the cancer is juxtaposed throughout with humour and humanity. Like life, I suppose.

This is a most affecting piece of television and, what with my having just turned 38 and knocking on the door of middle age, as pleasant a way as any to confront my own mortality. We will all die, and it's usually painful and unpleasant, but at least we have each other, and our pleasures.

Sheridan Smith will win yet another award for this, mark my words. 

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