Tuesday, October 18, 2005

TV: House

Contrary to what you might think after looking at my other posts about TV shows (all of which were about animated shows) I do watch a few regular TV shows. Not a whole lot, but I do occasionally watch The Sopranos (when they deign to actually produce new episodes), CSI: Las Vegas (with Linzy, so we are only halfway through season 2 after a year), 24 (the only show I watch nearly at the time the episodes come out), and recently Lost (I'm only 4 episodes into the first season).

In addition, sometime last spring after the season of 24 ended, I started watching House. When I first saw the previews (which played incessantly during 24), I didn't think it looked all that good. However after watching the first few episodes, I found that I really enjoyed the show.

House isn't your typical doctor show. It is more like a cross of the mystery/investigation aspects of CSI with the medical setting of ER, with a good amount of humor thrown in to keep things interesting. It sounds like a strange combination, and it is, but it seems to work.

The basic formula for a House episode entails some guest-star collapsing with a nefarious and mysterious disease. After some cajoling House and his team of three residents take on the case and proceed to run tests, change medical treatments and violate as many ethical and legal rules as they have time to squeeze into an hour. Invariably at least one of the treatments makes the patient worse, and a hasty rethinking of the diagnosis is called for. Eventually by the end of the episode, the obscure source of the problem is discovered, and the patient is healed.

I know that sounds simplistic, but it actually works pretty well. Mainly because the patient illness is just a setting to let House ignore the rules and make witty comments about everything.

The first season really hit it stride when the billionaire CEO Vogler showed up about halfway through to effectively take over the hospital. He gave House a nemesis and added some interesting twists to the series' plot. Also, I thought the last few episodes, dealing with House and his ex-wife/girlfriend were well done.

My favorite thing about House is the humor, as I find Hugh Laurie's dry delivery of the sarcastic lines hilarious. Plus for some reason I get enjoyment out of hearing House tell his patients exactly what they need to hear with no sugar coating.

About my only complaint with the show is its relatively predictable episode structure. What I listed above covers probably 90% of the shows. It would have been nice to see a two-parter, or a bit more variation in how things worked out. But at the same time, I suppose it should be expected since they are using the tried and true mystery-show formula (i.e. CSI).

Anyways, if you are looking for a TV series to watch, that isn't animated and/or from Japan, you might want to check out House.


Warren and Becky said...

I wonder where you got that interest in the medical staff telling folks the truth????

Brenden Johnson said...

I always enjoyed Hugh Laurie in the Black Adder. Good stuff. Maybe I'll have to break down and try that show some time. The previews were just so unimpressive to me.

Steve Eck said...

Brenden, the show is basically a mystery show. I'm not sure how well a preview can represent what makes a mystery show entertaining.

Of course, if you don't like mysteries it probably isn't the show for you.