If you read Frank Bruni’s glowing profile of Laura Linney in last weekend’s Times magazine (and we strongly suggest you do), then you’re already familiar with Showtime’s next comedy centered around a strong female lead (others include Weeds, Nurse Jackie, and the United States of Tara). The Big C stars Linney as a slightly uptight teacher who becomes unhinged following a diagnosis of late-stage melanoma. It’s a heartless conceit: Making us fall in love with a character (it’s a cinch falling in love with Linney) and then giving her incurable cancer. Oh well, can’t say you weren’t warned. The show also stars Oliver Platt as Linney’s husband, and Gabourey Sidibe in a proving-Howard-Stern-wrong role as a sassy student. The Big C premieres August 16th, but we recommend streaming the first episode right here, right now, after the jump.