For the House, M.D. or Hugh Laurie fan on your list. Taking off from my popular Welcome to the End of the Thought Process, Chasing Zebras is a deep exploration of the FOX series as well as an atlas for the newer fans of the show. Available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Borders and indie bookstores online and in your city. Also available in Kindle and PDF ebook editions.
Published at Blogcritics.org
by Barbara Barnett
The substantive difference between words and deeds is one of House, MD’s most important themes. Wrapped in a medical procedural package, and occasionally bordering on comedy, the series is essentially a detailed character study of one of the most complex characters ever written for television (and certainly network television).
House is played by the ever-amazing Hugh Laurie (please forgive my entirely forgivable use of hyperbole), each week peeling back minute facets of this intricately crafted character, letting us glimpse the wounded, intellectual and deeply sensitive man beneath the sarcasm, cynicism, rudeness, and labyrinthine game-playing of his façade.
Left at the end of season three with no team, House, under pressure from Wilson and Cuddy, set out to hire a new staff. The “hiring arc,” also known as House Survivor lasted for eight episodes (not counting the season premiere). Had this been a “normal” 24 episode season, it would have taken up only a third of the season four narrative. As it played out, however, with the season delivering only 16 episodes, the “survivor” arc spanned half the season, giving it too much weight and not quite enough room for everything else that might have gone into the series’ fourth season. A very good (but slightly lopsided) season might have been exceptional had the full slate of 24 episodes aired. (The nine post-“survivor” arc episodes contained some the series’ best, including “Frozen,” and the breathtaking finale episodes “House’s Head” and “Wilson’s Heart.”)
On the other hand, the “survivor” arc serves to give us some insight into the “real” House; what he values and what he does not value in a medical colleague; how he thinks, and even how he feels. And it gives us a rare extended glimpse of House, the teacher.
Continued here….. http://blogcritics.org/archives/2008/07/01/072141.php
After what seems to have been a century (but was only, in fact, two months) we finally have solid information on the four remaining episodes of House’s fourth season. The series will be settling into its Monday night post-Bones time slot at 9:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. CT on April 21, with a re-airing of “Don’t Ever Change,” which is where we last left off.
Then. (Insert fanfare-ta-da-da-da!) Then the new episodes begin April 28 with “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” featuring a “too nice” emergency room patient with a potentially much more serious problem than has been diagnosed. Of course, House thinks the guy’s “niceness” is a symptom.
In the meantime, as Amber and House continue their competition for Wilson’s attention, chaos is certain to ensue. Since most House episode titles convey a multitude of meanings, one can only guess who is no longer going to be playing “nice” (along with the patient, that is). Is it Wilson? Amber? Or is it House himself, who seemed to have given his blessing to Amber and Wilson’s relationship when last we saw them in February? Let the speculation begin!
In the May 5 episode, “Living the Dream,” House’s obsession with soap operas comes into play as he notices something is not quite right with an actor on his favorite show Prescription Passion. Neither House’s team, nor the actor himself, believe anything is awry, as they dismiss House’s assessment that the soap star (Jason Lewis) has a serious medical condition.
The fourth season finale, a two-parter called “House’s Head,” will air on consecutive Monday nights, May 12 and May 17. In part one (May 12), House is a passenger on a bus when it is involved in a serious accident. With a head injury causing him short-term memory loss, he begins to piece together recalled fragments about a fellow passenger who was exhibiting signs of a “deadly illness.” Unable to recall who the person was, or even how he came to be riding on the bus, House desperately tries to process the information from “fleeting flashes” to save the life of someone who may not even know he or she could be dying. As part two, “Wilson’s Heart” (May 19) unfolds, and House continues to pieces together his murky memories of the accident and the night before, his friendship with Wilson is pushed to the limit.
I have not seen any of the episodes, so this is all I know from the latest FOX press release. Sorry. If you’ve seen the previews shown following recent reruns on FOX, you can see flashes of the accident, and House inside the bus as it happens.
One more bit of news for readers of this column. I will be interviewing House executive producers/writers Garrett Lerner and Russel Friend after part one of the season finale airs on May 12. I’m very excited to have the rare opportunity of a one-on-one (I guess it’s technically one-on-two) converstation with Friend and Lerner, who are the writing team behind several particularly character-driven episodes, including “Skin Deep,” “Meaning,” “Cane and Able,” and “97 Seconds.” Oh, and I almost forgot to say — they are also two of the season finale writers. So stay tuned!