Wednesday 07 Dec 2016

House
Jennifer Ramirez

“House” is popular TV Show, written by David Shore, takes a firm stand against one thing: lying. Specifically, the lies patients tell physicians, but also the lies of physicians themselves. In fact, "everybody lies." Only one physician tells it like it is: the brilliant, caustic Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), a master diagnostician who tries to avoid patients, even as he guides his diverse "CSI"-like team of "genius doctors" toward the elusive truths of life-threatening mystery diseases at a Princeton hospital.

Gregory House is a misanthropic doctor who works at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey. Years before, he suffered an infarction (blood clot) in his thigh that led to muscle death because the doctors thought he was faking the pain in order to get drugs. The dead muscle was removed, leaving House with chronic pain and an impaired ability to walk. He turns to a cane and liberal amounts of Vicodin to cope.

House is a maverick with an unconventional bedside manner and a habit of getting into trouble with his boss, Lisa Cuddy. He's always being rude to patients or doing something so ethically shifty that his own team feels the need to report him to Cuddy. His abrasive personality and lack of respect for the rules frequently pushes patients into threatening litigation.

In one episode, House pushes the envelope in his treatment of a police officer. This escapade lands him in court and his medical license and freedom are rescued only when Cuddy perjures herself to save him. House has one friend, his colleague Dr. Wilson, and he loves his mother but hates his father, who abused him when he was young.

What makes Greg House such a compelling character (besides yummy Hugh Laurie's sexy limp and piercing eyes) is his humanity. He's not perfect, but he could be real. He has this amazing gift that carries with it baggage. This is how real geniuses are, people. They aren't perfect people, with perfect lives up on a pedestal. They are usually very driven people, sometimes to the point of obession. They are sometimes very lopsided people, with mental, emotional or social problems. Sometimes their very brilliance and intellectual sensitivity predisposes them to have more problems than other more balanced people. If House were perfect we'd all yawn and go watch one of the other boring doctor shows around.

I love the addiction because it helps illuminate his softer, vulnerable underbelly. He is so dark and caustic but you know that all that is just a defense because underneith he is hurting and scared. He's like a small, defenseless animal that evolves to have a razor sharp wit and tongue to defend himself from predators. He hurts people because he is hurting. It's almost poetic. Being a drug addict, and knowing that it is a weakness which he usually goes to great lengths to hide, and being unable to and hating himself for it at the same time as he keeps doing it...it's compelling to watch his layers peel back. (and the towel scene wasn't bad either)

"Everybody lies" is House's watchword and, inevitably, somewhere along the chain of information, the diagnosis is impeded because someone has omitted a critical fact, told an outright lie or tried to protect someone. Whether or not House is lying is at times some of the fun of the show: he may say something as though it's a lie but it turns out to be the truth. He's a teacher after all, and he very much wants those he's in contact to use their brains and come up with some smart ideas. Argue with the man convincingly, come up with something he hasn't already thought of and dismissed, and he's happy as can be.

House has won many awards, two top prizes have remained elusive — the Emmys for best actor for series star Hugh Laurie and best drama series for the show itself (though Laurie has won a Golden Globe — twice — for the part).

I love watching this show with my friends because “House” never fails to present a fascinating medical mystery and just the right amount of drama. And I enjoy discussing the latest episodes with everyone from my chemistry teacher to my friends.

Jennifer Ramirez, known as Jenny, has reviewed and edited for 5+ years. Originally from Toronto, she grew up performing and competing in rhythmic gymnastics. Jenny enjoys reviewing movies, books and music albums. She describes herself as funny and righteous, with a 'go that extra mile' attitude. Her philosophy is quite simple: try to live life to the fullest Jenny writes that hr passion is books. She reads and reviews current and back-list literary fiction, crime fiction, thrillers, occasionally science fiction, and narrative nonfiction. She also loves music. She's a huge fan of The Maine and All Time Low! Joy is her favorite word and creativity is something she can't live without.

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