A House That Can Stand

When I first started hearing about House, I thought about the character descrption. Doc House is a crotchety investigator of strange ailments who is far more comfortable dealing with the facts than with the patient. Add on a use of pain relief drugs that may verge on being a drug habit, and I began thinking “hey, this guy sounds like a medical Sherlock Holmes.” I wondered whether their intention was that specific.
It wasn’t until part way through the show that I finally realized the reason for the strange character name and title. Houses are homes. Holmes. Of course.
The show caught my attention with the interesting casting. Hugh Laurie has done a lot of good work as an actor, notably comedic work partnered with Stephen Fry. (If you’ve seen them playing the Jeeves and Wooster on the British Wodehouse adaptations, then you’ve know they do good stuff.) But Laurie has not shown a wide range of colors in the things I’ve seen him in. He plays the stupid, the inanely friendly, and the oblivious. The dark intelligent misanthrope House is everything most of his characters are not…. and he does it very well. It’s truly a brilliant piece of casting.
The concept of the show is quite a typical modern show. “Look! Strange disease! Let’s take a bunch of folks to go figure out what’s going on, come to a couple of wrong conclusions, and then finally get the right answer in time to save the day. But at least within this stale concept, they make it well and generally intelligently. The first episode, directed by X-Men director Bryan Singer, puts a very good foot forward. I worry about how well it will keep interest in the cookie-cutter concept, but Fry is definitely worth watching.
Problem: it’s up against Scrubs, and since the ReplayTV can only tape one thing at a time, I have to actually watch House at the same time it’s broadcast. How primitive! (Or I can try remembering to work my VCR.)

Published in: on November 18, 2004 at 2:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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