Why House M.D. is a bloody mess


No stars.

The Mail on Sunday called it “the best thing ever to have been on television anywhere in the world”. As this is the only review quoted on the box, I’ll presume that more discerning publications thought it was absolute bollox. Which it is. Having watched my third and final episode today I feel in a position to give some sort of critique.

House is a medical drama with a twist — our protagonist, Dr. House, has no bedside manner. What a brilliant premise! If only there was something more. Oh no wait, there is. He also has a limp. The limp is there to explain why he is permanently scowling and grumpy. The limp is the good doctor’s backstory.

Dr. Limpsalot hops around the hospital studiously avoiding speaking to patients and brooding over seemingly random symptoms. He has been given a crack team of specialists, who would be completely interchangeable but for the fact that one is a woman, one is black and one is neither black nor a woman. There might be another guy, I forget. Who knows.

Though House is apparently the best doctor the hospital has, the sadistic overlady of the hospital forces him to work in the drop-in clinic everyday. She does this because she doesn’t like him. He also doesn’t like her. Working in the clinic allows for random scenes of House shouting at not very sick patients or scaring people who don’t give their children vaccinations or fobbing off hypochondriacs with placebos. House can always guess what the patient has got wrong with them before he speaks to them or examines them in any way. Patients are amazed.

Everyone but House is permanently confused. House flips between pensive contemplation and manic explanation. We are to believe that he may be a grumpus, but this is acceptable as he is also a genius. Genius or not, watching someone be a massive prick to dying people gets old quite quickly.

Plot-lines are so formulaic that after three episodes I feel in a position to present you with the patented House formula. Just add cringingly bad dialogue and irritating music and you’ll have your very own episode to keep!

How to build a House M.D.

  1. House is made take a patient. He never wants to. Shows a hilarious lack of interest in the patient as a person. Makes many sarcastic quips. Think Dr. Cox but not funny. Like, not even a little bit funny.
  2. Cut to House’s bland interchangeable teammates swabbing worried patient and variously slagging/praising House.
  3. Woman who manages hospital and House have a run-in with pithy pathy dialogue.
  4. Scene from subplot of House working in a clinic, fobbing off hypochondriac patients.
  5. Back to main plot, patient admitted at the start is getting worse with treatment. Uh oh.
  6. Team Bland reconvenes. Ponder what else it could be. Team give suggestions. They think they’ve cracked it, but always miss one vital symptom.
  7. House shoots them down, ploughs ahead with his own theory. Refuses to test patient for whatever he thinks it might be and opts instead to go straight for treatment. What a badass.
  8. Patient gets worse.
  9. More scenes of House bored in clinic/trying to get out of clinic duty.
  10. Patient gets worse.
  11. During banter with collegue about some random thing, House’s giant brain figures out what actually might be wrong with the patient.
  12. Back to the room with the big board where he explains the problem. Cut to computer generated sequence inside a patients body, complete with red blood cells, dying ligaments, beating heart etc. This sequence is the most self-indulgent bit of the whole shoddy mess.
  13. Wrong again.
  14. Oh wait no, turns out a patient or member of patient’s family lied about something somewhere along the way. House finds out this deception, which is the key to the case. Shouts about how he was right about never speaking to patients. One more cut to computer-generated patient insides and hugs all round.
  15. House goes home to sulk.

It’s not going to get better.


Sunshine makes me happy, as does Hugh Laurie.

As today is a lovely summer’s day, I’ve spent it mostly lolling about sunning myself and occasionally yawning. I did however, manage to stumble down to a shop and purchase House, season one.

Hugh Laurie, DILF extraordinaire.

Tremendously exciting. I’ll post a review once I’ve watched it, though I’m sure it’s on like series 4 or something at this stage. I’m so late that even the bandwagon’s moved on without me.

Anyways, in lieu of more interesting content, here’s a video of chat-show hosts being lazy while interviewing the delectable Mr. Laurie. You’d never know he wasn’t American!

Published in: on May 12, 2009 at 7:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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