Sunday, January 18, 2009

House, M.D.

I love Hugh Laurie. Seriously.

He was genius as Bertie Wooster (I adore P.G. Wodehouse, and never thought I would enjoy a television show based on his work, but Hugh Laurie as Wooster and Stephen Fry as Jeeves were shockingly wonderful). He was hilarious in his three-minute stint on "Friends," in that episode were Rachel made a fool of herself by flying to London for Ross and Emily's wedding (YES, I remember that, and YES, I recognized Hugh Laurie, so what??).

He found the role of a decade (I hesitate to say role of a lifetime, because I think he has bigger and better things coming his way) in "House," a.k.a. the only reason I believe Fox should exist. (Seriously, Fox, put some better shows on the air. Or at least market the existing shows better so I have some desire to watch something else you air. "Fringe"?? What is Pacey doing poking dead bodies??)

I loved Hugh Laurie on "Saturday Night Live" this past December, a show that I am struggling to remain a fan of (I miss Cheri Oteri and Will Ferrell ... and I'm REALLY going to miss Amy Poehler). I wish he would be a guest on "The Graham Norton Show," because I think a gay Irishman and a rather dry-humored Englishman would have a hilarious conversation.

I say all this to preface the horrible thing I am about to say now:

What happened to "House"?!

The show used to be, hands down, my favorite show on T.V. And I love T.V. I watch a lot of shows! Still, "House" was special, it was wonderful, it was different. Notice the past tense.

"House" is about, oddly enough, a doctor named Gregory House. He is an ill-mannered, cantankerous man who uses his handicap (bum leg) to every advantage he can think of. He's foul-mouthed, irritable, and impatient with everyone around him, including his one friend (Dr. James Wilson, played admirably by Robert Sean Leonard). He's insufferably rude and self-centered, and also (of course) a genius.

(The current cast of the show. Don't they look like a Benetton ad??)

In previous seasons, House had a team of three doctors:

1. Eric Foreman (played by Omar Epps), who is a good doctor terrified of becoming like House.
2. Robert Chase (played by Jesse Spencer, unconvincingly), a suck-up that worships House.
3. Allison Cameron (played by Jennifer Morrison, who played the character SO DULL that I wanted to throw things at her), who's in love with House for the first couple seasons and then starts sleeping with Chase (because that's the way a woman deals with her problems).

At the end of season three, in what was supposed to be the "oh-my-goodness-I-can't-wait-for-the-next-season" moment, all three of these doctors are fired/quit. House begins selecting candidates for the open positions by hiring 40 doctors and eliminating them as he feels like it (gimmicky, "Survivor"-ish, and ridiculous).

Three doctors stuck through it all:

1. Remy "Thirteen" Hadley (played by Olivia Wilde), a private person with Huntington's, struggling with the disease and with House's nosiness.
2. Lawrence Kutner (played by Kal Penn), some sort of frat boy. All I think when I see him is "Harold and Kumar," and how funny Neil Patrick Harris was in that movie.
3. Chris Taub (played by Peter Jacobson), annoying little man, self-righteous and prissy.

(The new trio, minus Kumar, plus Foreman.)

And somehow, Foreman comes back as sort of the head of House's team (Chase remained at the hospital in surgery and Cameron stayed in the ER). So the cast grew into what I think is an unmanageable size by the middle of season four.

The cast changes weren't that bad- I didn't care for Cameron at all, I liked Chase vaguely because, hello, he's pretty and has an Australian accent, and Foreman was too stick-in-the-mud-ish. I like Thirteen quite a lot, and Kumar's growing on me. Don't like Taub and don't expect to ever like him, but I think that's the point. I would have been totally fine with the changes if they hadn't kept ALL OF THE OLD CAST. What. the. frick.

I barely had it in me to care about Foreman, Chase, and Cameron. Now I need to care about Thirteen, Kutner, and Taub and STILL care about the old three?? Uh, no. I don't have that much caring in me.

Then there was the whole drama with Wilson ... oy, vey. It was so Korean melodrama-- evil girlfriend, horrible bus accident, blah, blah, blah. Even with death and destruction and blood, I didn't care. Yawn. Oh, Amber's gone? GOOD. One less person to keep track of.

The Wilson dilemma came to a conclusion (pretty much) when House's father died. I never got the whole thing with House and his dad, but it was ugly- House dearly loved his mother but absolutely hated his father. Even at the funeral, House can barely keep his eulogy civil (I expected nothing less, really). He steals a small piece of his father (literally. his ear. ewwwww) while leaning over the casket, intent on getting his DNA tested. He believed that his father was not really his biological father, and somehow I feel like that plot point's going to come up again...

(Disrespecting his father til the very, very end.)

And now there's the whole Cuddy adopting a baby thing, which I can't bring myself to care about. It would only be interesting if somehow she adopted a child who ends up with some mysterious illness that only House can diagnose (which will probably happen). Either way, whatever. The woman in her thirties/forties with the ticking biological clock storyline is tired. Cuddy and House's flirtation is kind of getting exhausting to watch, too. Please, cut it out. House loves medicine more than he loves any woman.

Oddly enough, the person who most intrigued me in this past season (besides House, obviously) was a guest star that wasn't even a patient. He was a private detective named Lucas Douglas (played well by Michael Weston, with a quirkiness and a sass that I hadn't expected) who is hired by House to dig up dirt on his new hires and on Wilson, who has moved away and quit his job because of his whole dead girlfriend business.

Lucas was funny, he kept up with House, and he was really very good at surprising House, which is always great. There was a lovely little moment in Season 5 Episode 3 when Lucas plays the piano and House joins him on the guitar. Lucas had broken into House's home and was digging around for something embarrassing to show Cuddy (Lucas had a little crush on her).

I love those precious few seconds that some shows have where no words are needed. Both Michael Weston and Hugh Laurie are musical, and it was such a nice way to show that the two men were able to be comfortable together without having to talk. (Michael Weston, by the way, is the grandson of Arthur Rubinstein, a truly amazing pianist. My mom has some of his CD's and ... wow.) Hugh Laurie was always a hoot when he played and sang as Bertie Wooster. One more reason to love him.

(Lucas and House. Don't they kind of even look alike?)

So why the random swooning over this show? Well ... I'm afraid I'll grow to dislike it soon, and I wanted to document my feelings before that happened. I'm already starting to feel my fervor cooling, which is a shame, and I keep re-watching old episodes (I guess in the hopes that I'll continue to enjoy the new episodes).

"House," I've loved the first three seasons. I've liked seasons four and five.

Please, please, please let me continue to like the show...


william January 19, 2009 at 12:01 AM  

i love house. when it's in marathon form on my computer in the dead of summer. i have no emotional connection to house (not like i do with grey's) but i still think it's a smart, interesting show. except i haven't seen any of season five, and now...i kinda don't wanna. thanks. THANKS.

Anonymous,  January 19, 2009 at 1:17 AM  

You have to learn how to write!

jeanny January 19, 2009 at 8:02 AM  

William- you should still watch! It's fun and has some great cases. Sorry to spoil it for you. :/

Anonymous- if you're going to insult somebody, you shouldn't do it under the protection of anonymity. It's a personal blog and I like to write it as my thoughts occur rather than checking and re-checking to ensure that I'm following the rules of writing. Thanks for reading enough to come to the conclusion that I can't write, though.

Nomad May 3, 2009 at 11:35 PM  

I'm still sad that they let Cameron go, replaced her with that other ditsy girl

jeanny May 3, 2009 at 11:44 PM  

I was more sad that Cameron decided to go blonde- she was so much prettier as a brunette!

Anonymous,  February 9, 2010 at 8:22 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous,  February 19, 2010 at 9:29 AM  

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Anonymous,  February 20, 2010 at 10:13 PM  

I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you are writing

jeanny February 21, 2010 at 5:38 PM  

Thanks, anonymous commenters!

(Except for the one Anonymous that was a blatant spammer.)

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