What You Should Be Watching: House

House
Tuesdays @ 8PM on FOX
In a Nutshell: CSI meets Columbo, or Dr. Monk

It’s been a while since my last installment of “What You Should Be Watching” but that’s because I’ve been doing some research.

In the name of Blog Science I have endulged myself by watching the first 2 seasons of House – all 46 hours of it – within 8 days so I could give the most comprehensive review possible.

By in large…this show sucks. Although I have never actually watched any medical-themed shows with regularity, I can pretty much tell that this show is cliched. Godlike doctors who can perform any surgery on any part of any body, wildly expensive tests and procedures given without the blink of an eye, a little sexual tension, climactic commercial breaks – it’s all there.

If you ever end up at Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital with an affliction that cannot be explained by the ER or your examining physician, note that two or more of the following WILL happen to you:

1. You will have an unexplained seizure
2. You will bleed from your rectum without knowing it
3. Your throat will close up and you will be intubated
4. You will have an MRI
5. You will have a rare and debilitating reaction to one or several tests – with the doctor in the room
6. You will lie to your doctor
7. You will either deeply move or deeply piss off the doctor
8. The doctors will break into your home to find the source of your affliction
9. You will be declared healed only to go into relapse on your way out the door
10. You will be cured

All that being said…I still managed to be glued to the television for 46 hours watching this show, so something’s got to be right with it.

Besides my undying love for Sherlock Holmes and the House writers’ attempts to link the two, there is a major reason to watch House. That reason is Hugh Laurie.

The Prince RegentFor the past 10 years or so, I have known Hugh Laurie as this guy, and this guy. As this guy and this guy. Basically a lanky, clean-shaven, British doofus with an easy-going manner and a heart of gold. In fact, the British tv-watching public has known him like this for the past twenty years.

Now, as Dr. Gregory House, Hugh Laurie plays a crippled, unshaven, American genius with a stick up his ass and a heart of meat. Not only is the character well-played but if you consider his 20 years of playing exactly NOT this guy…well, mad props to Hugh Laurie. Pulling off the American accent alone is quite a feat.

Oh, and seeing him on the cover of TV Guide as one of TV’s Sexiest Men, I had to take pause. For me, it’s like watching your goofy, class-clown older brother grow up to be the genius, straight-laced CEO of a Fortune 500 company. It’s like seeing Michael Richards (Seinfeld’s Kramer) portraying Lincoln on a PBS documentary. It’s unreal.

If you get past the cliches, bad acting by some co-stars and some of the silly little love trysts, House is an ok show. It thrives on Laurie’s acting abilities and some decent mystery writing. Not to mention some eye candy for both the boys and the girls. Since House’s specialty is diagnostic medicine you get to learn some things about some outrageous afflictions and medical procedures (if you can pay attention long enough to understand them.)

House is on hiatus until October 31 (after the baseball playoffs) but if you want to start watching season 3 at this point, I’d suggest picking up Season 1 and Season 2 at Amazon.com, through Netflix or your favorite torrent site. Unfortunately it seems that checking out one or two shows, while still entertaining, leaves an un-initiated viewer in the dark about some of the personal issues that go on in the hospital. But I guess this is what makes “good TV.”

More than just House, I HIGHLY recommend checking out these other Hugh Laurie titles. They’re the watch-a-few-times sort of shows, and really give you a feel for what an amazing actor and comedian Hugh Laurie is:

A Bit of Fry and Laurie - Comedy sketch show written and performed by Laurie and partner Stephen Fry

Jeeves & Wooster – BBC production of the classic PG Wodehouse books staring Laurie as the British playboy Bertie Wooster and Stephen Fry as his “gentleman’s gentleman” Jeeves.

Blackadder – Absolutely classic BBC show staring Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) and Tony Robinson, featuring Hugh Laurie (and Stephen Fry!) in seasons 2-5.

 

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Written by JessB

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