House, M.D., a.k.a. just House is a television show that airs on the Fox Network on Tuesday nights with a timeslot varying at either 9:00 PM ET/8:00 CST or 8:00 ET/7:00 CST. It premiered on November 16, 2004. It is a medical drama that was created by David Shore and has received a 2005 Peabody Award, a 2005 American Film Institute Program of the Year, and was nominated for the 2008 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series but didn't win.
British actor Hugh Laurie - who also played the "Dad" in the Stewart Little movies if you can believe that - is the star of the series, playing Gregory House, M.D., a "maverick medical genius" who seems to be a amalgam of several former ER characters; he has the ubiquitous cane and limp of Carrie Weaver, the bedside manner and charm - or lack thereof - of Robert Romano, and the addiction to pain killers that John Carter had suffered from for a few seasons. Add to that an acerbic and sometimes hilarious wit and you get Dr. House.
But what separates House from its NBC predecessor, besides the show having a central character, is its format. It seems to have found a niche of sorts in that most or all of the episodes deal with a medical mystery of some sort, which stretches suspension of disbelief a tad (how many hospitals find a particularly vexing disease every week) but adds a unique and compelling drama to it. And besides the name of the main character, the show's title also refers to the fact that to solve these mysterious maladies often characters have to go to the patient's house - with or without permission - to examine his or her environment.
David Shore said that Dr. House's character plays a "subtle homage" to Sherlock Holmes: he often relies on psychology to solve a case, has a drug addiction, his home address is the same, his relationship with Dr. James Wilson (Dr. John Watson), and his encounter with a crazy gunman credited with the name "Moriarty." But you would not know that without some research. What you will see is a very flawed man with an amazing gift and career that he's always on the verge of pissing away with his addiction, lack of respect for authority (especially concerning hospital administrator Dr. Lisa Cuddy, the yin to his yang), his refusal to see patients and his outrageous bluntness that he has with them when he does see them, and his knack for chuckle-inducing but often insulting one-liners, which makes for a compelling character to watch, but not a doctor you'd like to work with in real life. But you would certainly want him on your case if you've got a disease nobody else can diagnose.
It is a medical drama for the 21st Century where the "hero" of the show is more of an anti-hero who is certainly not well-loved but still respected somewhat by his peers and coworkers and is deeply, deeply flawed. His addiction to Vicodin - that he originally took for an infarction in his quadriceps muscle years before - is persistent and is not resolved in one episode or a series of "special episodes" like many programs back in the 20th Century. This is what makes it so interesting, besides the medical mysteries. The pre-opening-credits teaser for the show almost always depicts somebody suddenly being struck down by mysterious symptoms and the patient goes to the hospital whereupon House and his team will discuss, debate, and sometimes outright argue about what they have (usually there are several misdiagnoses along the way) and by the end of the episode they usually figure it out and save the patient. Sometimes House is actually wrong and the credit goes to a doctor on his team.
There are subtle story arcs on the show, sometimes romances between characters, but 90% of it is about the medical mystery which makes it a show you can pick up anytime and doesn't demand a commitment, which is what I like most about it. So don't be worried about taking my suggestion to go catch an episode if you can, you won't feel lost if you'd never seen it before. You learn everything you need to know about House usually in the first ten minutes. I wouldn't suggest, however, watching it while eating dinner if you have a weak stomach, as it can get quite graphic and there are scenes that teeter on the edge of gimmickry; almost every episode depicts a CGI journey into the patient's body to see what is lurking, and happening, inside.
Hugh Laurie, who portrays Dr. House magnificently, sporting an excellent American accent, was nominated, for the role, in 2005 and 2007 for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Drama in 2006 and again in 2007. He also won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series in 2007 and was nominated for Best Actor in a Television Drama again for the 65th Golden Globe Awards but didn't win.
The show also stars Lisa Edelstein as Dr. Cuddy, Robert Sean Leonard as James Wilson, Omar Epps - an ER alum - as Eric Foreman (no, not That Eric Foreman), and Jennifer Morison as Allison Cameron. It also featured Kal Penn of Harold and Kumar fame as Dr. Lawrence Kutner from October of 2007 to April of 2009 when his character committed suicide (written out of the show when Mr. Penn decided he had wanted to work for President Obama and the White House instead). The program is executive produced by Shore and film director Bryan Singer. The opening theme, an ingenious pick, is "Teardrop" by Massive Attack. House is aired by the Fox Broadcasting Company and is a co-production of Heel and Toe Films (Paul Attanasio and Katie Jacobs), Shore Z Productions (David Shore), and Bad Hat Harry Productions (Bryan Singer) in association with the NBC Universal Television Group.
rootbeer277 says: "re House, MD: No mention of the "it's not lupus" cliche?"
Orange Julius says: "re House, MD: It's never lupus."