Reviews: House

One of the greatest shows of the 2000's

House is a dark, sometimes whimsical, but a very emotional medical drama. Although the latter seasons may have been lesser than the earlier ones, it still delivered. It's an intelligent show but even the dumbest will still understand. While most of the characters are bland, excluding House, the stories and medical mysteries make up for that. Most of the medical cases have a twist and I find myself surprised by 95% of them. I love twist endings, and House has one almost every episode. The series delves into not only medicine, but psychology and all other kinds of science. It's a diverse show with many different characters and elements. The only things I didn't like about this show were the constant psychoanalyses (some of them were awesome, but seriously come on.. they were overused), House's constant misery, the blandish characters, the dying off of good characters, and the bittersweet series finale. Other than that, the show has a great soundtrack, amazing leading character, tons of mystery, complex romances, a variety of emotional moments, and of course awesome storylines and histories. I would reccomend this series to anyone looking for an intense but diverse and intelligent series.

Why did I used to hate this show?

The answer: Complaining About Shows You Dont Watch. Hate to admit it, but in this case it was true. Now that I've begun at the beginning I'm very much enjoying myself. I've never really been big on medical drama before, but seeing this show, a unique Sherlock Holmes twist with heavy doses of Black Comedy, I am definitely counting House among my favorites now. Seriously, if your show manages to scare a mother into thinking she might have to buy a coffin only for House to unexpectedly say it's just a cold and nothing more, and you don't explode with laughter as a result, you're doing something wrong.


I wrote a review for the show, but it was moved. I'll start over with the benefit of hindsight.

My biggest disappointment regarding House was the shift in tone. In the beginning, House had his own weird sense of integrity, like Gomez Addams practicing medicine, and puzzling together the patients' symptoms was interesting. As the show grinds on, House inevitably becomes more and more odd, until, finally, he is mad. Consider him a social experiment in how much viewers will tolerate from a TV character, like Eric Cartman. Pretty much anything (including murder), as it turned out. The series shifted away from the patients and onto the individual doctors, in the ER tradition. Unfortunately, I don't think soapy melodrama is this show's wheelhouse. The doctors were quite bland in their personal lives, never evolving past their early obstacles. Taub and Wilson are always horny, for instance. House himself is insanely rich, and after awhile, his wrist-cutting emo shtick becomes tiresome, like a monopolar Tony Stark. I never much cared for George Clooney staring ruefully into the sunset with his Porche idling behind him; it seems like whenever medical shows focus on the mid-life ennui of Doctors, it comes across as first-world problems. And it hit House badly to a degree.

There were some high points, like Anne Dudek as Dr. Amber Volakis, who probably ought to have joined the cast (very bizarre how Kal Penn got cast instead), but instead came back as some kind of evil spirit(!), which is a nice trade-off. House checked himself into a sanitarium, and later prison, which was a nice change of scenery if a bit inconsequential (since he always got out and resumed his life of crime). There was some interesting stuff with Cuddy, though House's sexism toward his comely boss got tiresome quickly.

But if we're being honest, House went from being an extraordinary show to something merely ordinary, which is not a bad thing. This is common with network TV; the ideas run dry in the third season.

Not much to add, really

With a show that peaks in its early seasons, I ordinarily start with the good and then stretch my opinion out from there. In this case, the show hasn't resembled Season One in a long while, so this is for all intents and purposes is the show: boring melodrama, rote shipping, entire seasons of filler that could be easily skipped, etc.

Gerkuman's review is on-target, to my chagrin, since that leaves me little to say (also, I'm not as succinct in my rants!). But what needs to be hammered home is how Hugh Laurie is the only worthwhile character. For some people, that's enough. Even by network drama standards, the cast of House is useless. The writers, trying valiantly to give them dimension, pair the men off with Thirteen (snore), or reveal some dark moment their past, later forgotten. Which is too bad, because they're all great actors.

ER sometimes stretched the limits to which we could sympathize with the hand-wringings of a Lexus-driving Dr. Clooney, but they usually overcame that. House has a character (Taub) who is defined by his libido. First, we already have a Taub: Wilson. Second, how does this balding short guy attract all this jailbait? Third, who cares? He's not even interesting to watch. One episode ended with Taub driving up to a billboard of himself, then flinging paint at it in disgust. Boo hoo. I guess that's supposed to endear him to us. The people sitting on sofas who aren't on billboards.

This is the real problem with House; the dreary, dull lives of his underlings. With the exception of Thirteen (once the most hated sidekick, now the only tolerable sidekick - go figure), these people are all whiny, self-flagellating, self-absorbed pricks. House barely interacts with patients anymore (they've been pushed back as an afterthought), so we lack evidence of his dazzling medical genius which supposedly overrules the fact he's a psycho.

With no characterization to latch onto, House ends up trying to top itself each year with House doing zanier and zanier things. He's Easily Forgiven the next season, and then it's onto the next thing.

(Episode: Bombshells) In Perpetuity- Why I stopped watching House.

It's funny that the episode with the most imaginative visuals and scenes is the one that made me realise that House just doesn't do anything for me anymore, but that's the way things often are. I guess my beef with the whole thing is the ending, in particular how it shows that the only thing that really matters to the writers is that the train keeps on rolling.

I was hoping that Huddy would go a bit longer, but the fact it ended wasn't the problem. It just felt as if the main reason they dropped it was because they didn't have any more to write about... how right I was. I watched the Vlog from the cto-producers and an interview with David Shore about the episode, and it showed that they never had any intention on House and Cuddy staying together. It was just a plot they picked out of the bucket, that they ran with as long as they could and then dumped in favour of the next one.

House used to be a medical show with the lives of the team in the background, that morphed into a show about these people, who solved the medical mystery in the background. That's perfectly fine, so long as the characters become the focus and the plots feed into character development. But that doesn't seem to be the case here. The show seems to be turning into a soap, a fate that Bones fell into not long ago. Both the medical plots and the personal plots are there just to keep the show going. House is back to how he was before, both sans Cuddy and plus Vicodin.

I expect the gravy train will keep on rolling, but I've made my stop here.