Friday, March 31, 2006

Enough!

I started this in an attempt to write. I am not in a writing-intensive discipline, and I need all the help I can get. So if I can't think of any deep thoughts, I'm turning to shallow things.
I may even have to get a little tangential.
Here's a list of shallow topics:
House
How Bryers screwed up
Grading essays by machine
Let's start with House.
*****
I love House. I imagine most to all of you know that House is a TV show on Tuesday nights on Fox, and that the title refers to the main character, one Dr. House.
The first odd thing about my love for this show is that I watched it from the beginning. I don't tend to watch shows that are trumpeted as being the next great thing. I don't watch Lost, because I didn't start. I didn't watch Gilmore Girls from the beginning, I haven't tried Veronica Mars, I came late to Grey's Anatomy. Why, I even came late to Buffy, which is one of my all-time favorites (except after they went to UPN.) But I saw the first episode of House. It might be because Dr. House was advertised as brillliant, and there aren't enough smart people on TV.
The second odd thing, of course, is how much I love the character. He's an abrasive personality, not trying to be liked at all; often, he's trying to be disliked. He's lazy, in a way, always trying to get out of work. He likes monster trucks. He likes soap operas. He's a genius diagnostician. He limps. He's brilliantly portrayed by Hugh Laurie.
So why is it odd I like him? Because in real life, I am terrified of caustic people, of abrasive personalities, of people who have no interest in being liked. "Terrified" is too strong a word; but I don't enjoy interacting with them. I like to be liked (I know, we all do). I don't know how to deal with people who don't want to try and like me because they don't want to try and like anyone. And yet I find Dr. House incredibly attractive.
Then there's the actual show. I don't know why it's so popular. It's the same thing every single week. Someone comes in with a bizarre illness. House sends his minions (students? employees?) to run tests on the patient to see if this hypothesis or that hypothesis is right. House avoids talking to the patient. House takes pain pills. House reiterates how patients lie. House rags on his minions or his friend for trying to be a good person. The fact that House never makes mistakes comes up. House tries to get out of doing clinic duty, but can't; so, he sees an absurd patient who inevitably and unknowingly gives him the key to the true diagnosis of the main patient. The main patient is healed (except once, maybe twice, where she or he died.)
Did anyone notice anything about that list?
That's right; not only is the show cookie-cutter, it contradicts itself. Almost every show (I think it's every show, but I could be wrong so I'll say almost), someone says how House is so afraid to make his first mistake, how he's so brilliant, he always makes the correct diagnosis. But... Every show (this really is every show), he makes the wrong diagnosis at least twice, mostly because a correct diagnosis wouldn't last a whole 44 minutes.
And yet I still love House.
McDreamy has nothing on him.

4 Comments:

Anonymous abd anonymous said...

It's because of Hugh Laurie, I think, that the show never comes across as cookie-cutter until you sit down and think about it. Personally, it took me a while to think of him as House because I associated him with Mr. Palmer in Sense and Sensibility for so long - but that's probably just because I'm a weird Jane Austen-obsessed girl.

11:28 AM EST  
Blogger Dr. Crazy said...

I entirely love House (the show, and the character). And yes, the show is formulaic, but that's what's so brilliant - it's ALL about character in the sense that the plot will always be the same: person with weird disease, House plays a hunch, everybody gets mad and doesn't believe him, and then House is (always) right. Perfection!

12:50 PM EST  
Blogger ceresina said...

abda: I haven't seen S&S. He was Mr. Palmer? I can imagine it was hilarious. But even though I love HL, I'm afraid now to see him in anything else because I've totally bought him as House!

dr. crazy: that's a brilliant thought; I never really thought about how the formula allows for characterization (can you tell I'm not in the humanities???) Still, it is kind of funny the way the same things always happen!

2:24 PM EST  
Blogger luckybuzz said...

I love House so much. When I was studying for comps watching House was the best thing I did--it was *so* formulaic, but House always fixes everything. Perfect. It's like comfort-food TV.

10:11 PM EST  

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