azdak: Face of Klimt's Music II (Default)
posted by [personal profile] azdak at 08:17pm on 08/10/2008 under
TV Guide (interviewing Hugh Laurie and the guy who plays Wilson): What exactly is the need that Wilson satisfies in House?

Guy who plays Wilson: Why do all your questions sound vaguely dirty?

azdak: {sniggers}

(gacked from [livejournal.com profile] petzipellepingo)
azdak: Face of Klimt's Music II (Default)
posted by [personal profile] azdak at 09:11am on 08/06/2008 under
Plunging boldly back into the world of TV, I have been watching House S1. I'm awfully glad I didn't actually buy the DVDs because, although it's definitely more addictive than NCIS, it's still not something I can imagine ever watching more than once. I borrowed the DVDs from a friend, whom I accidentally discovered to be a huge Hugh Laurie fan (she's Austrian, so this is not as self-evident a state of affairs as it would be in England) when I attended a barbecue at her house and found a copy of "The House that Hugh Laurie Built" in her bathroom. It was rather sweet, because the poor woman had clearly never discovered internet fandom and had no idea that perfectly normal people (ie. Yours Truly, koff koff) can also be fannish, so at first she blushed bright red and confessed in stammering tones that she possessed all the episodes on DVD, and then, as I drew her out with appropriate squeefulness about Mr Laurie and his charms and talent, her eyes brightened and out poured a flood of enthusiasm. The upshot was that I got to borrow each of the seasons in turn (she couldn’t bear to part with them all at once) in exchange for the loan of my Blackadder and Jeeves & Wooster DVDs (I might add that so far she can't make head or tail of J&W, it being set in a culture so alien it might as well be science fiction).

But I digress.

I'm getting near the end of the first set of disks now, and the series has definitely grown on me. I'm starting to get a feel for the characters, and I really like what they do with Cuddy (especially) and Wilson. I also like Foreman, although I think they missed a trick there – I enjoy his confrontations with House, but there would be so much more to it if he really had been a ghetto kid, with first hand experience of drug addicts and homeless people, so that when he challenges House over that kind of thing, he's talking not purely from the medical perspective, but from real visceral knowledge. I know it's unlikely that a ghetto kid would turn out to be a brilliant neurologist, but he could have had a millionaire mentor, like Vogeler, recognise his potential and put him through medical school, and that would have given the whole patronage issue a new twist as well. As it is, though, all three of the young doctors are what passes for "normal" on American TV, ie. exceptionally good-looking, rich and nice, and I'm sure they all live in ridiculously spacious apartments that are never less than immaculate. For some reason no-one on American TV ever leaves their clothes on the floor or can't be bothered to put their coffee mug in the dishwasher, let alone neglecting to hoover or letting the dishes pile up in the sink.

The whole Vogeler storyline had me banging my head against the wall. There is no way he could even run a board meeting of his own business in that manner – that's the point of having boards, rather than a single autocrat in charge – let alone a training hospital. And even if it was okay not to have someone taking minutes, to refuse to allow discussion of issue before voting, and to blatantly vote everyone who refused to back him off the board, you'd think the rest of the board members would have figured out the moment Wilson came under fire that any time anyone opposed him, he'd get rid of them. "First he came for House, and I did nothing. Then he came for Wilson, and I did nothing. Then he came for Cuddy and… and I thought, oops, it could be me next!" So they'd have voted him off the board out of pure self-interest, long before Cuddy had to make her motivational speech.

Since the Vogeler storyline was so crap, it left me rather distrustful of other plot developments. Chase, for instance, who for the first few episodes was a rather dull but perfectly nice young man, was suddenly revealed in the course of about ten minutes to be (a) Vogeler's stool pigeon, (b) prejudiced against fat people, (c) nasty about small children if they're fat, and (d) to harbour gratuitously insulting sentiments about the obesity of the American nation (okay, that last one garnered some sympathy from me, I must admit, since I once worked in a burger bar in California and was amazed by the number of heavily overweight people who would come in and say "I need a Mega-Whopper-Tripleburger and jumbo fries". I doubt, however, if that was the intent of the scene.) I am still hoping that Chase will turn out to be suffering from Angst-Induced Nastiness, due to his unresolved daddy issues (at least, they struck me as unresolved, although the way the episode ended, it looked awfully like the writers thought they'd wrapped things up nicely), rather than Plot-Induced Character Bashing. But we shall see.

As for Cameron, I liked her until she started mooning over House. How I hate it when Lurve raises its ugly head. We have two female regulars in this series (count 'em, two. Out of a cast of six. That's still better than Hustle or Life on Mars, but Buffy it ain't), and BOTH of them have a "thing" for House. Cuddy's previous affair/fling/relationship strikes me as particularly gratuitous, given that her love-hate attitude to House is perfectly well justified by their professional relationship – he's a total pain in her administrative bum, but he's too brilliant and saves too many lives to be ridden roughshod over. And she admires his integrity but thinks he's often wrong. I really enjoy watching two people at loggerheads because of their principles, not because one is Nasty and Evil, à la Vogeler, but because both are trying to do what they believe is right, and I don't want it to be turned into "She supports him against Vogeler because she's still sekritly carrying a torch for him."

At least it's possible to ignore Cuddy's possible Feelings for House, because that belongs to the past. Cameron, unfortunately, is obliged to act them out in front of my eyes. It was a great relief when she decided to resign, but unfortunately I suspect that she'll be back and we'll have to go through hours of will he-won't he romantic suspense. After all, what else can you do with a female character?

Other than that, I have been keeping a tally of which patients die. So far, we've lost two women and one baby. The baby surprised me, I must admit. In fact, for a couple of days I told myself that there was no way I was going to watch any more of a show that KILLS BABIES. Gratuitously. And then shows you their tiny, pathetic corpses on the autopsy table. I couldn't help wondering why the writers thought that most of their audience weren't going to be so miserable about the DEAD BABY that they would stop watching, and concluded it was because its parents were lesbians rather than a nice, normal heterosexual couple, with whom we would naturally identify more. The baby of those parents, I note, survived.

The other dead people were both mothers. One had lost her husband and son in a car crash, for which she was responsible. She felt she deserved to die, and at some level the show clearly agreed with her, or at least felt that life under those conditions was intolerable for a mother, and she popped her clogs accordingly. The other mother had a choice between her life and her baby's. She chose the baby and, once again, the show agreed with her (actually, so did I, given her chances of survival, but I still think it's interesting that the show so closely equates motherhood with self-sacrifice).

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