Koch Vision
MSRP: $39.98
RATED:  Not Rsted
RUNNING TIME: 490 Minutes


The Pitch

Terminal Illness equals ratings.

Apparently it wasn’t a headache.

The Humans

Maria Del Mar, Gil Bellows, Paul Sole, Jane McLean and Adam Butcher

The Nutshell

Katie Sampson has just found out that she has terminal breast cancer. The hospital that Katie is in also plays host to a rather lame Reality TV show. Katie walks over to the set and explains her medical maladity to the show. Then, she whips our her breast and swears on the air. The nation is enthralled and Terminal City begins.

The Lowdown

Taking cues from Paddy Chayefesky, Terminal City seeks to draw attention to the hypocrisy inherent in our society. Medical treatment only goes so far for the average person. But, if you force all eyes upon it, then it becomes a cause for everyone to support. The only problem with this premise is that it is stretched thin for this television series. You’ll often find the Sampson family whipping the same dead horse over and over again.

Dinner in Canada.

When the series decided to go uber-serious about Katie’s breast cancer, it starts to falter. What was once a biting satire about the way media interferes with our daily lives turns into a melodrama. James L. Brooks forever killed the need for cancer melodramas. The show becomes even more absurd when you take a hard look at the Sampson family. Katie’s father-in-law and youngest son become the sticking points of the show’s fault. Do you really need a Holocaust survivor and a seven year old acting as the moral compass for each episode?

Zoom, zoom, zoom.

The need to recap every little detail while giving every talking head a space to vent is a bit much. By the show’s end, you’re not any closer to see Katie’s arc come to an end. Nobody learns to embrace death or define what religion means to them. They’re the same foul-mouthed simpletons that they were before Katie was diagnosed with terminal cancer. What does this eventually mean?

Why on Earth would an American feel like this film is specifically targeting them?

It means nothing. Not nothing in the good post-modern way that comments on our pre-packaged lives. Nothing as in the show is a 1-D premium cable that doesn’t deliver. It’s a shame, as the premise is interesting. It’s just that it doesn’t demand a full season / series run dedicated to one woman’s self-actualization while facing death. I expected better and I got shit.

I hate you all.

The Package

technical specs are decent. The A/V Quality is really sharp for a Canadian cable production. The special features are featurettes that delve too much into the superficial self-promotion that turned me off the program. Also, there’s a good episode to disc ratio. Nothing sucks more than watching three episodes and having to get up to change discs.

5.5 out of 10