Tag Archives: laurie

Best of House, M.D. part 1

New feature in this space, not found on my Blogcritics pages.  Best of…House, M.D.

I’m putting something big together right now, and I would love to know what you think are the best. . .

Answer any or all…

Silly moments

Best Musical moments

Best Chase moments

Best Cameron Moments

Best Foreman Moments

Best TAub moments

Best Kutner Moments

Best 13 Moments

Funniest moments

Best Wilson moments

Best House moments

Best Cuddy moments

Huddy Moments

Hameron Moments

Wilson-House moments

Angstiest moments

Best clinic patients

Best Guest stars

Best Patients of the week

Best “teasers:

Please respond below. . . Have fun!

Advertisements

House season finale–Both Sides Now

Review is up at Blogcritics. Hope you enjoy.

House, M.D.–Saviors: my take

What did everyone think of Monday night’s House, M.D. episode “Saviors?” I thought it was awesome and very reminiscent of, say, season two. Loved it. My complete review is up at Blogcritics.

I’m adding a new feature, exclusive to my WordPress blog. House Poll of the week. This week’s poll concerns Amber’s surprise appearance at the end end of the episode.

 

Hugh Laurie and House Earn Emmy Nominations

Hugh Laurie and House Earn Emmy Nominations

Written by Barbara Barnett
Published July 17, 2008 at Blogcritics.org

Hugh Laurie and House were both named when the 2008 Emmy Award nominations were read this morning. It is the series’ third Emmy nomination; its competition includes Boston Legal, Damages, Dexter, Lost, and Mad Men. It is very tough competition for the show, but the strike-shortened season has offered some of the series’ best episodes to date (even if you were not a fan of the “survivor arc”). Particularly notable episodes (in my opinion, anyway) were “Ugly,” “97 Seconds,” “Frozen,” “Don’t Ever Change” and the dual finale episodes “House’s Head” and “Wilson’s Heart.”

It has been reported that House submitted the episode Ugly to the Emmy organization for initial consideration. That episode broke with the series’ usual format by adding the element of a documentary crew, which followed House and his team as they diagnosed a young man with a facial deformity. Interspersing black and white footage of the team as the camera saw them with the live action, it also set House in direct conflict with one of his new fellows, a plastic surgeon with a professional interest in the case.

Laurie’s episode, unsurprisingly, is the wonderful “House’s Head“. In the series’ penultimate episode, House experiences a severe head injury and amnesia, losing the previous four hours. As House pushes himself to remember, recalling only that he “saw” something about a fellow passenger that was important and possibly fatal, he grows more and more desperate to know. Laurie is mesmerizing in the episode, appearing (quite literally) in every scene of what must have been a physically and emotionally grueling shoot.

This is Laurie’s third Emmy nomination, having been inexplicably snubbed two years ago, much to the bewilderment of critics and fans. He has never won an Emmy, but has been much lauded both by fellow actors, having won the Screen Actors Guild award, and television critics — twice winning the Golden Globe and twice winning the Television Critics Association award for his compelling and textured portrayal of the complex Dr. Gregory House. Many critics believe that Laurie is long overdue for his consistently excellent performance in the demanding role. He carries the series, which has the distinction of being both critically acclaimed and a ratings hit, perennially being one of television’s highest rated scripted series. House also received nominations for directing (Greg Yaitanes, “House’s Head”) and music composition for Jon Ehrlich (“Guardian Angels”).

Completely unrelated to my House obsession, I have to say that I am positively giddy that the HBO miniseries John Adams received a slew of nominations (26 of them)! Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney were both deservedly nominated, as were three supporting actors: David Morse (who played the vengeful Michael Tritter in House last year) for his portrayal of George Washington, and British actors Tom Wilkinson (for his wily and ribald Benjamin Franklin) and Stephen Dillane (brilliant as the quietly intense Thomas Jefferson).

Here’s rundown of the major prime time Emmy nominations:

COMEDY SERIES

  • 30 Rock
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
    Entourage
  • The Office
  • Two and a Half Men

DRAMA SERIES

  • Boston Legal
  • Damages
  • Dexter
  • House
  • Lost
  • Mad Men

ACTOR IN A COMEDY

  • Alec Baldwin — 30 Rock
  • Steve Carell — The Office
  • Lee Pace — Pushing Daisies
  • Charlie Sheen — Two and a Half Men
  • Tony Shalhoub —Monk

ACTOR IN A DRAMA

  • Gabriel Byrne — “In Treatment
  • Bryan Cranston — Breaking Bad
  • Michael C. Hall — Dexter
  • Jon Hamm — Mad Men
  • Hugh Laurie —House
  • James Spader — Boston Legal

ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

  • Christina Applegate —Samantha Who?
  • America Ferrera —Ugly Betty
  • Tina Fey — 30 Rock
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus — New Adventures of Old Christine
  • Mary-Louise Parker — Weeds

ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

  • Glenn Close — Damages
  • Sally Field — Brothers & Sisters
  • Mariska Hargitay — Law and Order: SVU
  • Holly Hunter — Saving Grace
  • Kyra Sedgwick — The Closer

The complete list of prime time Emmy award nominations is available at the official Emmys website. The Gala 60th anniversary Emmy awards will be broadcast live on ABC September 21.

An Interview with Lisa Edelstein

The strike-shortened season of House draws to a close with what looks to be an exciting and emotional two-part finale. Part one, “House’s Head,” airs Monday night and concludes May 19 with “Wilson’s Heart.” The two-parter was originally to air following the Super Bowl, but was put off when the writers’ strike hit. (“Frozen,” guest-starring Mira Sorvino aired in its place.) In advance of the finale, Lisa Edelstein (Dr. Lisa Cuddy) chatted about the double episode, the series, and the compellingly sexy, yet adversarial relationship between dean of medicine Cuddy and iconoclastic diagnostician Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie).

Article continues here at Blogcritics

I will post the complete transcript sometime on Tuesday 😉

 

Hugh Laurie, before he was House, MD

The label “Renaissance man” is one that is sometimes bandied about too freely when speaking of those in the public sphere. But when referring to Hugh Laurie (House, MD on the critically acclaimed FOX show of the same name), the title is completely appropriate. And there is no question that right now, Laurie is at the very top of his game. With three plus seasons of House behind him, he has received both popular and critical acclaim for his nuanced and complex characterization of the intense and troubled diagnostic genius.

During the course of the last 20 years, Mr. Laurie has assembled an impressive professional resume as comedic and dramatic actor (on stage and screens large and small), director, writer (of both sketch comedy and novel), musician (on several instruments), composer, and athlete.

I thought I might assemble a little guide to Hugh Laurie’s other available works; some are hard to find, others less so. Any would make a perfect holiday or birthday gift for that Hugh Laurie fan on your list (or for yourself). Just one word of warning: this list is not intended to be comprehensive, nor objective. So enjoy your Hugh Laurie fix and let me know what I’ve left out below in that little comment box.

TELEVISION

Blackadder (1983-1989) Blackadder was created by the very talented Richard Curtis, Ben Elton, and Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean). The entire series presents British history coupled with biting social commentary through a very comic lens. Laurie appears in the final two episodes of season two, before creating the rather iconic fop George, Prince Regent of Regency-era England. In powdered wig, satin clothing, and pop-eyed innocence, Laurie plays the idiot Prince George for broad comic effect. It is one of his most beloved early roles, and in it, he could not be farther removed from Gregory House. In season four, Laurie returned to play Lieutenant George, an equally daft (but slightly less over the top) Oxbridge educated young officer in the trenches under the World War I command of Atkinson’s Blackadder. There are some touching and deeply chilling moments (particularly in the final episode) of the clearly anti-war Blackadder Goes Forth fourth season. The four seasons of Blackadder plus a one-episode Blackadder V, and some one-off sketches are all available individually (except the one-offs) or in collector box sets (that include the one-offs).

A Bit of Fry and Laurie (1987-1995) Smart wordplay, quick repartee, silliness, and satire characterized the four seasons of this BBC sketch comedy series. Sometimes the sketches ran a bit long, but more often, they showcased the amazing physical grace, sly comic acting, and musical talents of Mr. Laurie, not to mention the fabulous writing talents of Stephen Fry and Laurie, who wrote and performed each sketch. Many of the sketches are as timely now as they were when they first aired. My favorites include the Tony of Plymouth sketch that ends season one and features the two engaging in swordplay on the stage; and nearly all of the original satirical musical numbers that came from the pen (and the guitar and piano) of multi-talented Laurie. The most ironic (if not iconic) of sketches is from the fourth season in a great parody of It’s a Wonderful Life, skewering Rupert Murdoch (a favorite target of the show), who, of course owns FOX, the network on which Laurie now stars! My favorite musical numbers include: “Mystery,” “Kickin’ Ass” and “The Protest Song.” Okay, and the Steffi Graf song. Soupy twist! (Hey, if you don’t know that particular term, Google it!)

Jeeves and Wooster (1990-1993) When Fry and Laurie weren’t engaged writing or performing ABOFL, they were playing Bertie Wooster (best described, by Laurie as a sort of male flapper) and his faithful valet Jeeves. Although the Wodehouse novels have been brought to the small screen by other actors, no one will dispute that the two were perfectly cast in their roles. Laurie imbues his indelible Bertie Wooster with a kindness of heart that offsets his inherent goofiness. He isn’t a blithering idiot, as he is so often characterized. (No one who uses language like Bertie does can be considered stupid.) But Bertie is rather disorganized and feckless, often getting into trouble trying to aid his friends who are even more incompetent than he is. Good thing Jeeves is around to help him out of hot spots. We are again treated to Laurie’s wonderful piano playing in many of the episodes. One of my favorite moments: Bertie trying to make sense of singing the syncopated “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” at the piano. And Jeeves and Wooster singing “Minnie the Moocher!” (I’ve heard Laurie sing “Minnie” more recently and comparing the two renderings of the Cab Calloway classic as sung by Hugh Laurie is a great study in stylistic contrasts).

All or Nothing at All (1993) Now out on DVD in the US, the series stars Laurie as a charming con man. I recently reviewed this series for Blogcritics.

A Pin for the Butterfly {1994}This one is available through various Australian distributors, and very much playable in American DVD players.  Hugh plays Vladimir, a lawyer in Communist Hungary of the 1950s.  Unwilling to particpate in goverment actions, he delivers coal rather than compromise his principles, much to the chargrin and disapppointment of his upper-middle class parents and acrtress sister (Imogene Stubbs). The story is told much from the point of view of a little girl, whose imagination and independence are a source of distress to her grandparents and source of strength to Uncle Vladimir who only wants to escape to Freedom.  A beautiful (nearly operatic) film with wonderful acting and a very serious, soulful and emotional performance from Laurie. An absolute must-have!

Spooks/MI5 (2002) Laurie appeared in two episodes of season one of this popular British series starring Matthew MacFayden (Pride and Prejudice). He played the director of MI6 Jools Siviter, a smart, tough, and icily charming man dripping with disdain for the mere mortals of MI5.

Fortysomething (2003) Just before he did House, Laurie starred in this multi-part British series. The show was received with mixed reviews by the critics, but stands as a lovely showcase for him, playing the perpetually bewildered Dr. Paul Slippery. I loved watching Him in this show. Now available.  See my Blogcritics review

FILM
Laurie has appeared in numerous film roles — small, medium, and large. The following are several that contain some of the more interesting characters he has created over the years. The films themselves have been great, fair, and not so good. Consistently, however, Laurie has created complex, multi-layered characters, often rising far above the material given him.

Peter’s Friends (1992) Written by Martin Bergman and Rita Rudner, this is the tale of a group of college dramatics club mates (not unlike the Cambridge Footlights, of which Laurie, Stephen Fry, Tony Slattery, Emma Thompson, and Bergman were all part) who reunite ten years later to celebrate the New Year in this drama-comedy. Laurie and Imelda Staunton play a jingle-writing couple grieving the loss of one of their infant twin sons. Their subplot packs the biggest emotional wallop of the film, portrayed with great emotional depth and nuance — to me, an even greater dramatic impact than the main reveal of the film. Once again, Laurie gets to display his substantial musical gifts as he performs on piano (the Jerome Kern standard “The Way You Look Tonight”), and on guitar. A must-see film for Laurie fans, it is not easily available, but does play on channels from time to time. Peter’s Friends is only available on DVD in a Region 2 version, but a US-playable VHS tape of the film is occasionally offered on eBay!

Sense and Sensibility (1996) With a screenplay written by his friend Emma Thompson and directed by the brilliant Ang Lee, Sense and Sensibility is a beautiful adaptation of the Jane Austen novel. Although Laurie’s role in the film is small, he makes the most of it as the dour and sardonic Mr. Palmer. Married to a vacuous and overly-gregarious woman, toward whom he shows nothing but annoyance, Mr. Palmer shows a kinder and more compassionate nature when it is required.

Cousin Bette (1998) Starring Jessica Lange, this film got very mixed reviews. However, it is a treat for Hugh Laurie fans, as he plays a character of dubious morality and great greed in this period piece set in France. Based on the Balzac novel, Laurie plays Hector Hulot with great relish. His best scenes are with Bob Hoskins, who plays Hulot’s rival.
The Young Visitors (TV film, 2003) Based on a novel by a child writer, Laurie plays Lord Bernard Clark. The film is a delight as Laurie and Jim Broadbent play rivals for the hand of a young, socially climbing Ethel. It is a fantasy, but not really a children’s movie, with a great supporting job done by Bill Nighy. Watching Laurie as the smitten Lord Bernard as he courts the pretty Ethel is a real treat.

Girl From Rio (2001) Okay. I’ll say it. This movie is pure guilty pleasure. It’s not a great film, or even a very good film, but Laurie plays a geeky and oh-so-repressed Englishman, a banking cipher (with a secret life as a samba dancer), with great charm. After learning that his boss is having an affair with his wife, he embezzles a fortune from his London bank and flees to – where else? – Rio. Laurie’s meek banker makes a pilgrimage to Rio in search of the queen of the samba, who he finds, but not before getting into an immense amount of trouble. It’s fun, and silly, but I’m a softie for romantic comedies, so… Besides, Hugh Laurie dancing? The samba? Cool.

Maybe Baby (2000) Two versions of this romantic comedy exist on DVD. The first is the original, released in Britain. It is ten minutes longer and fathoms better than the American release. It’s amazing how ten minutes of edits can substantially harm a film. I have seen both versions, and if you can get a copy of the British version (Region 2) and have access to a multi-region DVD player or software, you should get that version. Laurie and Joely Richardson play Sam and Lucy Bell, a childless yuppie couple who go through all of the machinations required when infertility issues hit. (Having gone through some of these myself, I found the film very resonant). The film is based on Ben Elton’s novel Inconceivable, and the stars do a great job as the couple. Unlike the US release, the British version of the DVD features a running commentary track by writer/director Ben Elton and Hugh Laurie (alone worth the price of the DVD). There are fun cameos by Rowan Atkinson, Emma Thompson, Dawn French, and a host of other British comedy comedy legends.

Flight of the Phoenix (2004) Not critically acclaimed, this remake of the classic film is actually not bad — and quite engaging, especially if you’d never seen the original. The movie stars Dennis Quaid and Giovanni Ribisi. In a supporting role, Hugh Laurie plays a buttoned up corporate bean counter who, of all the characters in the film, undergoes the most striking changes — physically and emotionally. This film is also noteworthy because it was during filming this movie in Namibia that Laurie was sent the original audition pages for House, MD. With the difficulty of the shoot, in harsh conditions, the scruffy, weary, and haggard looking Laurie filmed his audition tape for the House pilot sequestered in his hotel bathroom. The rest is history.

IN PRINT

The Gun Seller. Laurie’s beautifully crafted novel is funny, dark, and chilling all at the same time. It got wonderful reviews on both sides of the pond — and for good reason.  I’m a big fan of political thrillers and spy novels, as well as a fan of wry comic novels. The Gun Seller blends it all together into a tasty treat. One cannot help but hear Laurie’s own voice in the novel’s hero, Thomas Lang. Laurie has written an as yet unproduced screenplay of the novel, which lies simply in wait (I think with MGM).

If you like what you see here, please visit my feature Welcome to the End of the Thought Process on Blogcritics.