Tuesday, October 02, 2007

House: Crowd scene

Brief spoilers for "House" coming up just as soon as I convincingly argue for the value of the designated hitter rule...

Boy, that was fun, wasn't it? House behaves like an overgrown child half the time anyway (that's a conservative estimate), so why not just give him an army of underlings he can treat like so many toy soldiers? Randomly firing people (including the sassy ER doctor from last week, lest we assume she was in line to be the new Cameron), forcing everyone to go by a number, making people wash his car, constantly mixing and matching them into trios (usually in the same two guys and girl configuration of the traditional cottages), making the Mormon drink, and, in my favorite moment, breaking up an argument between the twins with "Stop it! This argument is distracting every male and lesbian here!"

While I miss Foreman and, to a lesser extent, Chase and Cameron, it's nice to see different personalities in the mix -- to see Olivia Wilde refuse to tolerate his psychoanalytical BS, for instance. And I like most of the actors who seem to have made the cut (including Wilde, Kal Penn, Peter Jacobsen, and the guy playing Scooter). And, in their brief appearances, both Chase and Cameron seemed far older and more confident than they did only a few episodes ago. I'm still sure we'll see a status quo reset by November sweeps or so, but I'm digging the current arrangement very much.

I have a couple of minor quibbles with the medicine -- like why they couldn't give "Osama" the breast implants and then immediately remove them, with her claiming she had second thoughts for chart purposes -- but no more than usual, and I like that House didn't, in fact, rat out Osama.

What did everybody else think?

18 comments:

BigTed said...

I enjoyed the way the prospective employees included so many character types: The old guy, the go-getter, the plastic surgeon, the African-American Mormon, the twins, and of course several hot babes. But it was pretty much a foregone conclusion who he would end up with in the end. And having the original three (I assume) stick around but display some character growth is also a nice touch. Now if they could only make Wilson a little more interesting....

TomV-Piscataway said...

I'm loving the "interview process".I'm sure somehow the other three will be back in some capacity this year, but I would like to see some of these candidates stick around for a while.It's a nice change.

Matt said...

My understanding was that they are planning to add one or two new regulars to the cast from this batch. If I were betting, Cameron stays as an ER doc, House rehires Chase, and Foreman gets his own competiting team at PPTH. Olivia Wilde and Kal Penn complete the Cottage team, and old guy becomes House's "executive assistant."

Anonymous said...

Ah, not a Stargate fan Alan? Carmen Argenziano, Scooter, had a recurring role. Happy to see him on this and hope he makes the cut. It will be interesting to see House interact with someone older than him.

Anonymous said...

Au contraire, Wilson's been very interesting so far. He's been skewering House on a regular basis and enjoying the hell out of it. Very seldom he has the upper hand.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Ah, not a Stargate fan Alan?

Nope. I knew him as a Hey It's That Guy, but it wasn't until I IMDb'ed him that I remembered the role I know him best from: as the principal in "Stand and Deliver." (Oh, and as Richard Grieco's boss on "Booker." Why the hell do I know that?)

What I like about all the character names in his filmography is that he can play Italian, or Jewish, or Irish, Latino, etc. The man's versatile.

Olivia Wilde and Kal Penn complete the Cottage team

Wilde, sure, but you think Penn's going to put movies on hold for a while to do this long-term? He's not exactly a household name, but he's got a busy career going, even beyond Kumar.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Nevermind the above stuff about Penn: EW says he's already signed as a regular.

That's just karma messing with me. Gotta go take something off my List.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the episode and I love watching House interact with the new doctors, but I'm not sure how I feel about this development in the long term.

On the one hand, I do like Foreman, Chase, and Cameron and part of me would be sad to see them go. So I won't mind if they're back in a different capacity. But I already feel like there's usually not enough to go around for everyone on this show and the characters not on House's team (Cuddy and Wilson) sometimes go weeks without any significant screen time. But last night also made me realize that the show is good no matter who is working for House, so part of me thinks I wouldn't care if they dropped Foreman et. al. completely and brought in totally new people...

Taleena said...

I have loved, LOVED the last two episodes and the only thing that would make me happier is to see Foreman set up a rival team.

This is my first exposure to Kal Penn and I really liked his character. House wants people with their own thoughts and style and number "9" managed to survive House's random attrition.

I didn't really like any of the women candidates. Scooter, Plastic Surgeon, 9, and Mormon guy were most entertaining.

Mike said...

I like how the twins didn't get their own numbers but were 15 and 15B (with the 15B being the only hand-lettered number)

Anonymous said...

I've really enjoyed House this year. I thought I would miss the Cottages, but I really don't. I miss Chase a tinsy, tiny bit, but I think it's more about the pretty then the actual character. As for the new people, I really like the Scooter character, and hope he returns.

Also, while I greatly enjoyed Wilson in the season premiere, last night he just kind of annoyed me. There was no reason for him to act like that.

And why hasn't House been taking his Vicodin?

Anthony Foglia said...

Kal Penn's joining? Coincidentally I just posted to Polite Dissent's med review countering someone who said he's too big for series TV. I pointed out Hollywood doesn't exactly have a lot of Indian roles. He'd have to fight to get them. Or do Van Wilder 3.

Fun episode. I too think they'll (nearly) reset by the end of November. I hope not, but I can't see the old team's actors hanging around with less to do, nor can I imagine how they'd be worked in without it being awkward. Even if Foreman gets his own team, he and House can't be arguing over every patient every week.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Even if Foreman gets his own team, he and House can't be arguing over every patient every week.

Welcome to the joy of the A-story/B-story format, which would no doubt reduce the insane workload Hugh Laurie's had for the last three years.

Not saying that's the approach they'll take, but having Foreman's team work on one patient while House works on another is certainly one way to fit in all these moving parts.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else notice the opening replicated the "It's Full Of stars" scene from Kubrick's 2001?

Anonymous said...

The highlight of the episode was the scene between House and Chase. Having Chase get the diagnosis was a good followup on the strength he showed as a diagnostician last season. The nonverbal communication between House and Chase was intense and powerful. There's a lot left to explore in that dynamic.

Most of the show, I felt like I was watching something else. They seriously need to bring back the characters we care about in full capacity. The only interaction that felt authentic was that between House and Chase. Even Wilson was acting unusual. The Numbers come across as a silly gimmick. I especially disliked #13. The best moments were when House fired more people, clearing out some of the insanity. I'll be glad if the rest of them disappear too.

Anthony Foglia said...

Welcome to the joy of the A-story/B-story format, which would no doubt reduce the insane workload Hugh Laurie's had for the last three years.

I don't think House can work with an A-story/B-story format. In the best episodes the patient's story helps develop the characters. With two patients, I can't see that working.

If it's a workload issue, I'd much rather they either copy L&O:CI and have House's team alternate with Foreman's, or switch to the British model of less episodes a year. Neither is very likely though.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I don't think House can work with an A-story/B-story format. In the best episodes the patient's story helps develop the characters. With two patients, I can't see that working.

They've done it in the past, though. Maybe not as starkly as I'm describing, but we've seen episodes with multiple patients, or at least with enough time spent in the clinic as to combine to equal the time that could be spent on an additional patient.

Not saying it's ideal, just that it's something they might try if they want to keep everybody -- the classic cottages and the newbies -- around in some capacity.

Anonymous said...

This show is not as entertaining as it used to be. Is its new target audience teenage boys? The jokes used to be witty, now they're sophomoric. And Dr. House's comments to women are becoming even more inappropriate, if not borderline sexual harrassment. If an old, fat, bald doctor said these things he'd be fired. But the female characters on this show absolutely swoon when House says them. And breaking into patients' homes? It's getting old.