"House, M.D.": I ain't impressed!

I recently saw House, M.D. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0412142/) for the first time. In this episode, an apparently schizophrenic movement is admitted to the hospital after an apparent stroke, and House digs and digs for the true cause of her ailments and does all he can to save her – even, at one point, injecting her huge cancerous tumor with ethanol, so it will shrink down to a size considered operable by the guidelines and the oncology surgeon won’t balk at removing it. It’s not bad as a medical-detective-story, but House’s character! Blech! I am so sick of heroic antiheroes! I am so sick of that hoary, predictable cookie-cutter, cliche of American TV and cinema – the crusty, prickly, nasty, sarcastic, anti-social cynic who nevertheless braves risks and breaks the rules to Do the Right Thing! That shit was fresh and new in Humphrey Bogart’s day. Now it’s just annoying.

The really infuriating thing, in this case, is that House’s faux-antiheroic nature is completely ancillary to the plot. They could just have easily have made him a bright, jovial, fatherly, Robert-Young-ish doctor, full of wise maxims and middle-class optimism and Rotarian cheerleading – and the plot of the episode could have gone exactly the same way. It wouldn’t have changed what House does, only what he says. This is the dramatic equivalent of putting spinning mag hubcaps and purple neon undercarriage lights on a Volvo station wagon.

I just can’t take him seriously as an actor. I tried watching it once, and after 15 mnutes being unable to stop expecting him to turn into the blackadder clueless dandy, I gave up watching.

It’s really such a profoundly embarrassing show; “badass doctor,” I call it.

As a Brit myself, Laurie sounds to me like he’s doing his “comedy” American accent (which he used when playing characters on “Fry and Laurie” - which come to think of it, I didn’t like or watch much either) – what does he sound like to US ears?

He doesn’t have any noticable accent to my American ears.

I love this show! I can’t be the only doper on board…


can I?

I love it, too. And, from past threads, I’d say there are quite a few House fans here.

Oh, yes. Maybe I should have said this in my previous post. I also like the show.

He sounds like a Brit who’s trying too hard to fake a generic American accent. I liked him well enough in the Black Adder series.

The show is ‘meh’. I was never much on medical drama.

Iono about other people but that’s the kind of character I like. Maybe I’m just weird?

I’ve enjoyed his character quite a bit. Even on episode with lackluster plots, the character shine through. His accent is quite good to my Midwest ears. It sound as if he modeled it off of William H. Macy, especially Macy from his run on Sports Night.

If I didn’t know that he were British I wouldn’t have guessed he was faking an accent at all. In fact, most people I’ve talked to don’t know he’s British. Can’t find any critisism to offer regarding the accent. At the very most it comes across as a somewhat unique speech pattern, though not of foreign extraction.

As for the commentary on the show, the OP just doesn’t get it after one episode. The dynamic between the characters is quite subtle and has developed into a pretty entertaining subtext. He’s not simply a heroic anti-hero. I challenge you to point out a character similar to him, if it is as you claim a “cliche”.

He’s a misanthrope with a anti-social disorder. A pill-popping doctor with alot of baggage. He’s also quite brilliant, and ultra competitive. I can’t say I recall an episode where he’s broken character in order to create some cliched Hollywood feel good ending. If you want to argue that the medical-detective angle is lame, fine. The situations created could be perceived as too improbably and overly complex so as to be contrived, I’ll allow that. But to call House character cliched is totally off base.

When I was watching the show, I knew I’d seen the guy before, but I never placed him as the goofy guy from all those Blackadder episodes. It was quite a surprise when I finally got around to looking him up. I find his American accent quite acceptable. I didn’t even notice it when I didn’t know he was an American, and he doesn’t make the mistakes you often hear from Brits pretending to be American. I don’t know if I could list them off, though they’re noticable when I’m hearing it. One of them is the tendency to add an ‘r’ at the end words ending with a vowel. Apparently they think we do this a lot, whereas I think we do it not at all.

Like he smoked too much in his younger days.

Unlike most Brits doing an American accent, (which is oddly high or oddly low, sing-songy, and has too many "r"s in it) it doesn’t horribly jar my ears.
Oh, and I like the show.

He’s an anticliché. But still a cliché. I do think there’s a similar (though not so well-developed) character: Prof. Kingsfield from the early 80s show Paper Chase. Both he and House have one foot in the ivory tower of Socratic formalism and the other foot on the ground, kicking ass. They both suggest that sometimes, the people who care the most are those least likely to show it. But you want them on that wall, you need them on that wall (to paraphrase A Few Good Men), because it’s a tough world, and a tough world needs tough people, and someone in this debased world where we’re all either cold-blooded mercenaries or touchy-feely wimps has to Stand For Something.

As everybody else said I don’t have a problem with his accent as far as location. It’s just that he has a bit of an annoying habit of an over-emphasised " It’s a funny scene" voice, or “it’s a serious scene” voice depending. It doesn’t seem natural, It’s like a sesame street actor over emoting to make sure the three year old get the feeling.

To me, his accent sounded off a bit at times. Not enough that I thought he was British (or even non American), just enough that it made me go, “Uh, whoa. Where is that accent from?”

I wish I had paid enough attention to remember where it stood out to me, but I assure you- it did.

It hasn’t been on long here. It is the first medical drama I have enjoyed since St Elsewhere. Most I watch once or twice and give up on.

I also love the show and I really don’t like medical dramas so much. FWIW, I think House’s character is a breath of fresh air. His willingness to say what’s exactly on his mind is not adopted by many protagonists on other dramas. It’s like he has no inner monologue and that makes it very amusing.

Well, not really – House shrunk the tumor to trick a surgeon into agreeing to perform surgery on the patient. The surgeon would have been unwilling to do perform said surgery had he known how large the tumor was in its natural, fully hydrated state. If House were a “nice guy,” like every other doctor on the show, he’d never have tricked the surgeon in the first place.

I’m not the first person to notice this, but House is a 21st-century Sherlock Holmes – caustic, intelligent, antisocial, drug-addicted – who solves medical problems rather than criminal ones. I’m certain the similarities are intentional, and that House’s prickly, hate-the-patient-love-the-puzzle personality is at least somewhat derived from Holmes’ character.

Also, I’m always kind of baffled when people want characters to be something completely other than what they are, yet have stories come out exactly the same way. Stories are more than plot – character has as much influence on them. House MD with Jimmy Stewart in the lead is no longer House MD – though it might be an interesting show in its own right.