March 5, 2008 / 2:19 AM / 10 years ago

Dubious prognosis for Canada cancer comedy

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - “Terminal City” is another entry into the nameless genre we see a lot of these days: for now we can just call it “making light of serious stuff” — you know, homelessness, or better, cancer.

Sometimes it works, as in the recent Lifetime telefilm “Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy,” and sometimes it really works (try “Six Feet Under”).

This light dramatic series — which premiered in 2005 on Canadian television and now comes to Sundance Channel — doesn’t always succeed. It’s serious stuff, all right, because it focuses on a fortysomething wife and mother who learns that she has breast cancer. But when it tries to be humorous, it hits some rough patches.

But the cast is excellent, that’s for sure. Maria del Mar (“Price of Glory”) plays our vigorous heroine, Katie Sampson. Her husband, Ari (Gil Bellows), is more the quiet type who appreciates his wife’s robust spirit and loves living with her and their kids.

When Katie learns she has a lump in her breast and is told it’s serious, she tries not to fall apart. While at the hospital for a biopsy, she runs into a television crew doing a live broadcast of a reality show titled “Post Op!” (Yes, seriously.) Katie becomes its star and soon gets a TV career going. It’s outlandish, but that’s the nature of the humor — or was that drama?

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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