Laura Linney Learns About Bears on The Big C

Showtime’s cancer dramedy, The Big C, isn’t the first in line to bring its take on the bear subculture to a non-gay audience. John Waters’A Dirty Shame, singer Jill Sobule, The Sarah Silverman Program, fashion designers Costello TagliapietraMy Life on The D-List and “Al” from Home Improvement all got there before it.

But now it’s oncology’s turn to enjoy large hairy men: In this week’s episode, Laura Linney’s character Cathy befriended Lee (Hugh Dancy, at right), a gay cancer patient with very specific tastes in men. Lee took Cathy and husband Paul (Oliver Platt) to his favorite bar for a little Bear 101.

The episode, “Goldilocks and The Bears,” played fast and loose with facts and funny slang (What exactly is a “beartrapper” again?) but it’s still sweetly amusing to see Oliver Platt treated like an object of lust by a gang of Central Casting beardos—and find himself turned on in the process.

The C Word airs Mondays at 10:30pm on Showtime.