The cancer comedy “The Big C” (9 p.m., Showtime) wraps up its final season in four episodes. It’s not hard to see where this is going. The final installments will break out of the show’s half-hour format with longer narratives as the end grows near.
I wish I could love or even like this series, which grapples with such sad and profound matters. But it does so with cloying whimsy and precious situations. (And I’m not just talking about casting Gabourey Sidibe.)
Just when I begin to halfway warm up to Laura Linney’s dying character, Cathy, or her grieving doofus husband, Paul, portrayed nicely by Oliver Platt, I’m distracted by Cathy playing in a backyard bouncy castle, or resigning from her job with an outburst of terminal narcissism, or her hippie brother insisting on taking her to chemotherapy in a bicycle rickshaw.
I’m no expert, but like many adults, I’ve been around enough cancer, sickness and intensive care wards to know that serious illness and dying are many things, but cute they are most certainly not. “The Big C” consistently plays it that way. And it leaves me feeling a little ill.
Tonight’s other highlights
• The Knockout round begins on “The Voice” (7 p.m., NBC).
• Pelant returns to torment the team on the season finale of “Bones” (7 p.m., Fox).
• Ethan is not alone on “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” (7 p.m., ABC Family).
• Joe plans his gruesome final act on the season-ending episode of “The Following” (8 p.m., Fox).
• Strange behavior from a dangerous man on “Defiance” (8 p.m., Syfy).
• On two episodes of “Rectify” (8 p.m. and 9 p.m., Sundance), Amantha frets about her brother’s safety.
• Aisha Tyler guest-stars as a talk show host on “Hawaii Five-0” (9 p.m., CBS).
• History catches up with Miles and Monroe on “Revolution” (9 p.m., NBC).
• Beckett must stay still while the gang tries to rescue her on “Castle” (9 p.m., ABC).
• A plague threatens half of the world’s population on the return of “Warehouse 13” (9 p.m., Syfy).
• The very first guest checks into the “Bates Motel” (9 p.m., A&E;).