House, M.D. is the Fox TV show I have spent the past 17 hours watching. I think I should say that just so everyone knows that I am extremely biased, although I will attempt to make this review as balanced as possible.
House's antics in the clinic are the number one reason to watch the show. For example, in the pilot, Dr. House walks into the room, and sees an extremely orange-colored man who is complaining of back pain. The man says that he most likely hurt his back playing golf. House offers him a Vicodin pill from his personal stash, and tells the man to get a lawyer because his wife is cheating on him. "What"?" replies the man. "You're orange. It's one thing that you didn't notice, but if your wife didn't notice, she must be cheating on you." House explains that excessive consumption of carrots plus a specific vitamin pill will turn you orange, and walks out. This type of dry, politically incorrect attitude carries the show in some of the more boring plot arcs in episodes.
In House, we have the most well-developed anti-hero ever seen on cable television. He is more than simply a cynical, insulting doctor who hates his job; however, this may be your first impression. After looking at House for a few episodes, a newfound understanding will develop, and you will understand that he does care, not about the rules, but about the patients, and he will stop at nothing to cure someone. He has his own flaws; however, there is more to him, and that is something which causes a strong emotional tie between the faithful viewer and the characters.
"House is witty, interesting, and filled with characters that, even if you don't like, you want to watch."
The overall plot of the first season allowed the viewers to become emotionally attached to House and his staff, understanding and empathizing with them. Classic villain archetypes were created and destroyed over 5 to 6 plot arcs. Each character has expanded from a two-dimensional character to a three-dimensional person. The one thing to understand with these characters, however, is that they were never cookie-cutter characters; each started out as a confused and mangled person. From those people we are carving away the strange habits and revealing what makes each character tick.
There are a few problems with this outstanding show, which will most likely be fixed by the second season of the show, but will lead to its inevitable downfall. The learning curve of the show is somewhat steep, and until two or three hours of your life have been given up to this show, you will not be overly enthusiastic in watching it. The initial difficulty is in viewing Dr. House's problems, and looking past them to see the real him. The final episodes of the first season were an amazingly successful attempt to fix that problem. This problem may go away with the second season; however, the problem of lessening writing may become quite difficult. Repetition may become a problem if the long plot arcs continue to lack substance and intrigue. Only with the addition of some better plot arcs will this show reach its true potential, and be able to rely on drama instead of comedy to keep the audience watching.
Overall, I would recommend this show to anyone and everyone who is not too queasy, as many disturbing images can be found on the show, and anyone who is not easily offended. Although Dr. House is no Larry David, he certainly is the network TV equivalent.
Rating: A- ****
Hugh Laurie -- Dr. Gregory House
Lisa Edelstein -- Dr. Lisa Cuddy
Omar Epps -- Dr. Eric Foreman
Robert Sean Leonard - Dr. James Wilson
Jennifer Morrison - Dr. Allison Cameron
Jesse Spencer -- Dr. Robert Chase
(Written by myself, originally published on tv.com)
- A young kindergarten teacher, Rebecca Adler,
who suffers from seizures
, collapses in her classroom after uncontrolled
gibberish slips out her mouth while she is about to teach her students. She is
taken to Dr. House
and his team of experts, who identify it might be a tumor
and she might have only a week to live
HS1E02 - Paternity - A 16-year old high school student, Dan,
starts suffering from nightmares and frequent hallucinations, and he reveals
he was hit in the head while playing lacrosse at school. Dan is apparently
suffering from MS, and risky brain surgery is needed. Meanwhile, House must
deal with a patient looking to set up a lawsuit and a mother who doesn't
believe in vaccinations.
HS1E03 - Occam's Razor - A college student collapses after
rowdy sex with his girlfriend. While House and his team attempt to determine
the cause, the student's condition continues to deteriorate and his symptoms
multiply, complicating the diagnosis.
HS1E04 - Maternity - When a virus is spreading among the
hospital, infecting six babies, House and his team must make decisions that
could compromise the lives of the babies.
HS1E05 - Damned if You Do - A nun whose hands are red, swollen
and cracked is sent to House. The nun believes it is stigmata, but House
suspects an allergic reaction. He gives her some pills, which cause her to
become unable to breathe. As her condition worsens, her fellow sisters pray
for her while House and his team work to discover the cause of her illness. House wonders if he misdiagnosed the illness.
HS1E06 - The Socratic Method - Dr. House is intrigued by the
symptoms of a schizophrenic woman, who displays mixed symptoms, including a
tumor, but soon realizes the source of her problems isn't the obvious. House
confronts his birthday and Chase confronts his past when the mother's son
tries to keep up with her condition.
HS1E07 - Fidelity - Two men are out jogging. One of them
returns to his wife, discovers her dead asleep, and brings her to the
clinic. The doctors are puzzled by her symptoms. They consider everything from
tumors to breast cancer to rabbit fever. When all the treatments fail, House
concludes she has African sleeping sickness. However, neither the woman nor
her husband could possibly have ever been to Africa. The woman will die
without the proper treatment, but neither one will admit to having an affair.
HS1E08 - Poison - When a high school student falls victim to a
mysterious but serious poisoning, House and his team jump in to find out what
is killing the teen. Discovering a low heart rate and a clean tox screen, House
sends Cameron and Chase to the teen's home to find the hot new drug House is
sure he's taking. They don't find any drugs, but think they've come up with
the answer, until a second unrelated student is admitted with identical
symptoms. With the boys' lives hanging in the balance, House and the team have
to connect the dots, fast. Meanwhile, an 82-year-old patient has become
enamored with House, while he helps her figure out the basis of her renewed
fascination with her sexual feelings.
HS1E09 - DNR - Legendary jazz musician John Henry Giles is
checked into the clinic and when he's told he's dying from ALS, he signs a DNR
to avoid a slow death. House disagrees with the diagnosis and goes against
everyone's wishes when he violates the DNR to save Giles' life. The decision
lands House in court, drives Foreman to consider taking another job, and
results in Giles' paralysis worsening. But when the patient inexplicably
starts getting better, the team has to figure out the mystery in reverse and
find out why his condition is improving. Meanwhile, Dr. Foreman meets with an
old friend who offers him a West Coast partnership.
HS1E10 - Histories - Dr. Foreman believes an uncooperative
homeless woman is faking seizures to get a meal ticket at the teaching
hospital. But her homelessness strikes a personal chord with Dr. Wilson and he
grows determined to keep her from falling between the cracks. Her worsening
symptoms prove to be a complex mystery for House and his team, but the mystery
of her identity and medical history may hold the answers to saving her life.
Just as the team suspects she has contagious meningitis, the woman goes
missing, only to be tasered by the police, who bring her back. But House
deduces the taser may have proven yet another diagnosis, with dire results.
Meanwhile, House has an audience of two medical students who are learning how
to do case studies.
HS1E11 - Detox - While trying to figure out why a young patient
won't stop bleeding after a car wreck, House takes Cuddy's challenge and goes
off Vicodin for a week in exchange for no clinic duty for a month. If House
and his team can't determine the source of his patient's blood loss, the 16-year-old accident victim will die in a matter of days. As House's withdrawal
symptoms become more and more severe, his directives for his patient
are more harsh and risky than usual, and Foreman and Cameron are afraid he may
not be thinking clearly enough to save the patient's life.
HS1E12 - Sports Medicine - A severely broken arm reveals a
bizarre case of bone loss and ends the comeback plans of major league pitcher
Hank Wiggen. House suspects Hank – with a history of drug abuse – is lying
about using steroids, as his condition worsens. When Hank's kidneys start to
fail, his wife offers to donate one of hers, but she would have to abort her early
pregnancy. Forced into an impossible solution, and admitting failure as an
addict, Hank tries to take his own life. House and his team must isolate and
fix the problem soon if this pitcher's life, as well his career, can be saved.
Meanwhile, Foreman dates a pharmaceutical representative and House is stuck
with two tickets and ends up going on a "date" with Cameron, to a monster
HS1E13 - Cursed - A 12-year-old boy believes he's cursed after
a Ouija board tells him he's going to die, and his father makes increasing
demands on House as they try to diagnose the boy's pneumonia-like symptoms and
incongruous rash. Meanwhile, Chase's estranged father, a renowned doctor from
Australia, visits and House invites him to sit in, much to Chase's discomfort.
When House diagnoses the boy's illness, the young patient is forced to face
the idea that his father may not be everything he believes.
HS1E14 - Control - Billionaire entrepreneur Edward Vogel spends
$100 million on the clinic and becomes the new Chairman of the Board. As a
businessman, Vogler intends to turn the clinic into a profitable venture for
his biotech company, and plans to eliminate the financially draining services
of Dr. House. Meanwhile, a businesswoman who has it all – perfect life,
perfect body, perfect job – finds herself inexplicably paralyzed. When he
diagnoses her secret, House must risk his job and his medical license to get
her a necessary transplant.
HS1E15 - Mob Rules - Just before mobster Joey Arnello is about to spill
the beans in federal court and enter witness protection, he collapses. Is he
faking? A court order instructs House to find out – and fast. House and his
team struggle to diagnose and cure Joey while Joey's brother Bill tries to
slow things down and keep Joey from testifying. Meanwhile, Cuddy struggles to
convince Vogler that House is an essential part of the hospital.
HS1E16 - Heavy - House must fire one of his doctors and leaves
them to think about it while they deal with an overweight 10-year old child
who suffered a heart attack as the result of taking diet pills. House is also
faced with a woman who won't accept surgery for a 30 lb. tumor because she
wants to remain overweight.
HS1E17 - Role Model - At a high-level campaign fundraiser, a
senator becomes violently ill. Vogler forces House to take the senator's case
and offers to let off the hook on firing a team member if he'll deliver a
speech on behalf of Vogler's pharmaceutical company. It looks like the senator
has AIDS, but House refuses to settle for the easy answer. And House ends up
giving the speech, but it doesn't go quite as Vogler planned.
HS1E18 - Babies and Bathwater - While House and his team
scramble to discover what's causing brain and kidney dysfunction in a pregnant
woman, Vogler is working to get House fired after House's pharmaceutical
speech. House determines the illness, but the woman and her husband must
struggle with an emotional and heartbreaking choice: choose between her life, or
that of her unborn child. Vogler calls for a vote to remove House, but when
Wilson refuses to make the vote unanimous, Vogler threatens to take his money
if Wilson isn't voted out. Finally, Cuddy must take a stand against Vogler.
HS1E19 - Kids - During an meningitis outbreak which overwhelms
the clinic, House is drawn to a single patient: a 12-year-old whose symptoms
don't quite match everyone else's. House, Foreman, and Chase must devise
ingenious ways and locations to treat the girl's delicate condition in the
middle of the chaos, and make an unexpected discovery. Meanwhile, House asks
Cameron to come back to her job but she has one requirement that he might not
be able to meet.
HS1E20 - Love Hurts - House apparently triggers a stroke in a
clinic patient, but the major topic of discussion is House's imminent date
with Cameron. The team must deal with the patient's odd lifestyle, overbearing
"friend," and reluctant parents in order to stop the strokes and try to save
his life. Meanwhile, Wilson, Cuddy and the team offer House and Cameron advice
while laying odds on the outcome.
HS1E21 - Three Stories - House's ex-girlfriend Stacy Warner
returns, not for House, but to get help for her ailing husband. While House
decides whether or not to take her case, Cuddy forces him to present a lecture
to a class of medical students. As he weaves the stories of three patients who
all present with a similar symptom, House gives a lecture the students will
never forget. (The most revealing episode to date).
HS1E22 - They Honeymoon - When Stacy insists her husband Mark
get tests, House insists he can handle things. But despite the fact that Mark's
tests prove negative, his steadily growing symptoms indicate he is dying.
While House struggles with the mystery and makes increasing demands on his
staff, Wilson worries about House's emotional well-being, and Cuddy considers
adding a new employee to the clinic.
Quote from www.hollywoodjesus.com/house.htm