I’ve been told for years now that I would like House. I recently got cable & DVR, so I scheduled some recordings, and sat down and watched it.
I’ve seen 6 or 7 episodes, and I don’t get the appeal.
House is a total and complete ass, with only one redeeming feature: he’s a ‘good’ doctor. He bullies, insults, belittles, humiliates, and is a general dickhead the rest of the time, and that seems to be it. Any time you see him showing some semblance of a human being, like playing a guitar, it seems like affectation, like something he’s pretending to do. I simply can’t buy his character. He quite regularly does or says things that should get him fired, arrested or beat up, and yet he’s still got people falling all over to do his bidding, and there is no reason why this should be so.
Oh, supposedly, he’s like the best diagnostician in the world. Only, he seems to need a large group of really good doctors around him to do this. They come up with diagnoses, and he either nods his head and bids them make it so, or calls them names. When he doesn’t have anyone else willing to put up with him, he talks to random people wanting to know what they think. The people who work for him are perfectly good doctors on their own. He isn’t a good doctor, he’s a bad manager.
Can someone explain this to me? I normally like the whole angry sarcastic thing. Dr. Cox from Scrubs is one of my personal heroes. But Dr. Cox is a human being, not just a walking asshat. Sometimes he’s a jerk, but most of the time is ranting actually has real purpose and meaning. Not so with House. Am I missing something?
House has his human qualities, but he tries to pretend otherwise. His weaknesses have been documented throughout the show, but he refuses to admit to them. Still, you do get the impression that he has been badly emotionally wounded and lashes out.
And House always comes up with the correct diagnosis; his other doctors don’t. They try things, but they always fail until House finally puts all the pieces together.
And House’s dialog is better than any other doctor on TV.
I think you need to look a little deeper to understand the appeal of House as a person. He’s a man who’s lead a difficult life, although you never get his full backstory, only bits and pieces sprinkled throughout the series. House is a self-loathing person who is terrified to show any shred of vulnerability, so his defense mechanism is to degrade those around him to prevent anyone from getting close to him.
He comes across as rude, jerkish, and cruel, but in reality, he’s got humanity in him, it’s just buried fairly deep. Stick with the show, and you might come to appreciate it more.
p.s. I love Dr. Cox too!!!
I like him precisely because he’s not easy to love. He’s got a quick mind, deep suffering, he’s intensely loyal to his core set of beliefs and he’s an asshat who makes up his own morality. If I knew him in real life we’d probably end up blacking each others’ eyes in a sewer somewhere, but he’s entertaining to watch.
If we are talking the appeal of a real life Dr House…well, it is rare that a guy looks at me, really really looks at me with so much intelligence, so much knowledge, so much eye for detail, and so much understanding, that he knows at first glance what is wrong with me, and knows how to cure it?
I just don’t like how boring it is - every single episode is exactly the same. Ten minute diagnosis - wrong. Patient gets sicker, acquires new symptoms. Twenty minute diagnosis, repeat. Thirty minute diagnosis, etc. Aha! Eureka! Fifty-minute diagnosis does the trick! (And it isn’t lupus.)
The characters are fun, but shouldn’t there also be a show there? The mysteries in Bones aren’t really all that hot, but it changes it up enough to be interesting. Sometimes in that show it really is the first idea, for one thing.
I don’t really care if Dr. House is a human being. He’s funny when he’s a walking asshat. I don’t need any more from him. I think the writing (the character writing, not the medical plot writing) is consistently decent and Laurie’s performance is consistently great. Some of the supporting actors are okay too.
I have noticed I’m not as thrilled with the episodes where the show tries to shine a little light into House’s soul. It feels like they’re doing it because they have to – in American storytelling, the curmudgeon has to have some buried humanity. Eh, I don’t mind that he doesn’t. I wish the show would embrace Occam’s Razor on this one … sometimes a guy acts like a jerk because he IS a jerk. A funny jerk.
The only reason to watch House is the relationship of House, Cuddy and Wilson. Putting the show in a hospital just provides additional stress and gross-out moments. I really don’t care much about the medial mysteries as long as they provide House with a reason to piss people off.
I’ve read about one page of Sherlock Holmes. Couldn’t stand it. I didn’t think the author was playing fair, i.e. giving the reader enough clues.
House is similar but it works for me. Guy comes in, all red, with white circular spots. Turns out his kid put coins on him when he fell asleep in the fishing boat. House recognizes a lot of things immediately…some are there and the viewer could “diagnose” them as well.
He doesn’t sugar coat anything. I accept that as a side effect of a character being truly brilliant. Much of the dialog sparkles because he’ll say things others won’t. Sometimes that’s in the patient’s best interest; sometimes it’s just revealing about how astute he really is about human nature.
Wilson is a perfect foil. It’s great when Wilson fights back, like when they’ve been arguing and House is walking down the corridor, then suddenly falls. Wilson notes that someone must have filed his cane. And then House does a rare thing—he smiles. Like, “Well-played!” He can dish it out AND he can take it. When Wilson kidnapped his guitar…OMG. Wilson says something like, “Ever hear a string when it’s been tuned almost to the point of breaking? It’s like it’s…screaming.”
I thought the idea of his team was that he was training them to be better diagnosticians. He asks a question and may have already formulated his opinion, but they have to weigh in because his job is to teach them. He doesn’t want a team, or at least didn’t, but Cuddy insisted.
House gets on my nerves too. Fuck his difficult life.
I have a similar problem with Monk. Yesterday I caught a scene from the show, and Monk had been handcuffed by an evil magician. The magician’s assistant made an attempt to help by kissing him, thereby passing him the handcuff key, but Monk just couldn’t deal with the cooties issue and spit the key out. The magician then attempted to kill them both, but something happened and he didn’t. I didn’t see it because I was wandering away thinking, “Monk needs to just get over that shit.”
This post sort of brightened my day. I do like Hugh Laurie.
No, no–the funniest thing ever said on TV was indeed on House, but it was this:
DUCKLING (I forget which one), coming in with the other two: We’ve got anal leakage.
HOUSE: What, *all *of you?
In answer to the OP, I like House because he *is *Sherlock Holmes. They were both asses, but they were brilliant asses with redeeming qualities–you just had to look a little harder for them. And they’re both all about doing what’s right, regardless of consequences. I like that. I’m more than a bit of an Objectivist, and House is a very Objectivist character.
Oh, and Hugh Laurie is indeed hot. At least he is as House. For some reason he doesn’t do it for me nearly as much when he’s being himself as he does when he’s House.