Wednesday, November 28, 2007

House: And the winners are...

Brief spoilers for last night's "House" -- including a photo of the newly-configured team, so avert your eyes, RSS reader types -- coming up just as soon as I turn on my garbage disposal...

As mentioned in the past, the representatives for the three winners leaked the news of their hiring to the trades weeks ago (I think Fox may have even put out a press release announcing Kal Penn's hiring), which meant I spent most of this episode trying to figure out what House's reason would be for dumping Amber. (And good on the writers for giving Anne Dudek a really nice showcase in her farewell episode. If there actually winds up being a pilot season this year, I hope between this and "Mad Men," she gets a good role.)

That knowledge of the results makes it hard to judge the episode as it was intended to be viewed, and made me focus more on the parts I didn't like -- the heavy-handed "sometimes, dying/losing is easier than living/winning" theme of both patients, in particular -- than on watching House manipulate Cuddy into the result he wanted. I also still don't feel like the writers ever gave us a justification for hiring Kutner; despite my Kal Penn love, Kutner hasn't been right enough or prominent enough, and they'd better start giving him more to do now that the team is established.

Even if the news hadn't been leaked, I probably would have figured it out by now, as Penn, Wilde and Jacobson were easily the three most recognizable faces of the entire search (not counting Michael Michele, I guess), but for those of you who managed to remain unspoiled, how did you react to both the episode and the results?

45 comments:

nfieldr said...

Somehow, I had remained "unspoiled" on the new team (except that I knew that Kal Penn would be one of them). I was completely surprised that CTB was fired. I totally expected 13 to be the one fired.

Anonymous said...

"Spirit in the Sky" by Greenbaum was the best part of the episode. 13 and Kutner are boring choices; I would have preferred Amber and Big Love. I like Taub. I agree that Kutner never did anything to deserve being chosen, except for the fact that he is Kal Penn.

Why is House always broke and borrowing money from Wilson? I never understood that.

Lisa Cuddy is a second-rate doctor - who knew? She used to be close to House's equal. Now the writers are turning her into a joke.

Another thing I never understood: This is New Jersey yet there are few - if any - Italian characters on the show, either in the leads or as guest characters. Hey, writers, come on - this is NEW JERSEY!

Matt said...

Hasn't House explained that his "borrowing money" from Wilson isn't because he's broke, but as a "test?" (IIRC, Wilson responded with a prank of his own.)

And I don't think Cuddy is a second rate doctor (or even that House thinks that)--House was deliberately gaming her there.

christy said...

Random sharing time:

I'm reading this new YA book, Before I Die by Jenny Downham. (My ALOTT5MA cohorts know I'm their resident kidlit fanatic). It's about a teenage girl with terminal cancer. I don't think it's a spoiler to tell you that this morning on the train, in the section I was reading, the book introduced a new character, Dr. James Wilson. The main character is trying to get him to give her a prognosis, and he's waffling because he knows that both an overly pessimistic or an overly optimistic one would be equally damaging. She smiles at him and says, "I won't sue you if you're wrong."

max_headroom said...

I also didn't know who House would hire in his final team (not even Kal Penn). Maybe because of this, I was really tensed and excited during the episode. I like all four of the remaining candidates, but I was especially pulling for 13 and Taub not to get fired. I thought 13 bought it when she backtracked on her previous diagnosis that the patient's condition wasn't drug-related. What was House's ostensible reason for firing 13 at the end?

All in all, I thought it was a real rollercoaster of an episode to cap off the candidate search. I was wondering whether the show still needs Foreman, Cameron and Chase around, or they could just push forward with the new crew.

Guen and me said...

I, too managed to stay unspoiled as to whom House would choose for his final team. I have to say I was disappointed that CTB was the one cut, of all of them she was the most entertaining. I enoyed watching House scam Cuddy into getting his way, and I wanted to shoot Wilson for being dumb enough to offer the "cancer" guy money. Wilson's constant Pollyanna attitude is grating on my nerves.

dez said...

I think House's reason for firing 13 was just the flipside of his reason for firing CTB (re: their opposite feelings about the patient's drug addiction).

I was completely unspoiled and stayed up past my bedtime to watch last night so I wouldn't risk getting spoiled today. I was happy with the results, as I've wanted CTB gone for a long time (nothing against the actress--in fact, she did a great job of making me hate CTB and then actually feeling a bit sorry for her at the end). The only thing I wish is that Big Love was still there, although I guess having a team with the exact same ethnic and gender makeup as the prior team wouldn't fly.

I loved how House manipulated Cuddy into letting him have three members, and the heavy-handed stuff didn't bother me. And I hope Cameron stays around a while longer because I have a feeling she is going to become increasingly jealous of 13. Oh, and I think he kept Kutner, the "dangerous" candidate who could well set someone else on fire with the paddles, to ensure Cuddy would give him 13 to up the team's competency :-)

Taleena said...

Wow, I didn't think CTB ought to hang around until this very episode when they unexpected gave her depth and interest.

Yay Taub! I like his interactions with Foreman too.

BigTed said...

Loved the meta-joke in the beginning, when House griped that his favorite medical soap opera had been beset by spoilers on the Internet.

It did seem like an awfully long, involved process just to wind up with playing a simple trick on Cuddy. (And unlikely that she wouldn't have told House not to choose an all-male team much earlier.) But the candidates certainly added a lot to the show over the past few weeks.

TuckPendleton said...

As someone who didn't know who the final choices would be, I was surprised.

I figured Kal Penn's film career was too much on the upswing for him to do TV. Plus, his character sort of backed into the job. This leads me to believe he's not going to make it to the end of the season, or at least the next one.

Really wanted for Dudek to get the part. Very disappointed. I thought she was a good foil for House, and it would have been great seeing her face off with Cameron. While obviously she isn't as pretty as Wilde, traditionally speaking I guess, I found her very attractive. I just thought her character offered more possibilites for the show. Oh, well. (However, it also makes me think she has something lined up already. Best wishes to her. Looking for her to pop up again. Could also easily seeing her being a Garrett Dillahunt type, with many great parts in several shows. Good luck, Anne!)

I feel very "meh" about Wilde. I guess it's not too much of a surprise. She is beautiful, and I guess becomes the new Cameron. I'm sure Wilde also has some holding deal with Fox, after Skin and The OC, so it's not surprising she's sticking around. But what does she bring to the table? We now know her character's big secret, otherwise she's pretty bland.

However, psyched for Taub. The guy is hilarious, and in a different way than House, which the show needs. From the time he manipulated Chase into performing the surgery, I was hoping he'd stick around.

The big question is, how does the show serve so many talents?

While House (at least to my memory) has never done the big "disaster" show, we might be due for one in order to thin the herd a little.

Anonymous said...

I love Taub, too. So glad he's sticking around. But I really wanted Amber to stay. She and Taub had a little thing going there.

13 is dull. Dull, but pretty. Guess that's why she's staying. Ugh.

Kal Penn...now who is he again? I have learned almost nothing about this guy. And why didn't House go for the typical racist type of comment about Kal being Indian (or whatever you want to stereotype him as), etc? That is totally something House would do. And it would have given the character a little more depth to have him defend himself or get angry. He does nothing for me right now.

Chris Littmann said...

Just based on recognizability, I always figured Wilde and Penn would be around. Didn't expect 'em to keep three.

I remained unspoiled, and really went out of my way to do so after you kept saying the news was out there.

I think you're right though, this season really did give the series a shot in the arm.

Kat said...

I was spoiled, but before that, I figured it would be Penn and Wilde for sure, as they are so recognizable. It's unfortunate because I really don't like 13 as a character (Wilde as an actress is fine, nothing special), but what can you do.

Jacobsen is fun, but I think he had better chemistry with Dudek than he does with the other too. Actually, so did Penn. So if House fired 13 and brought CTB I would be completely satisfied. :)

Anonymous said...

I also thought Penn and Wilde's burgeoning film careers would prohibit them from taking part in a regular series. Perhaps it means, like others have pointed out, that they won't last the entire season.

However, best part of the episode, hands down? Chase sitting on the couch next to Foreman and quietly observing, "You know, House doesn't wear his lab coat either."

Stef said...

This was a great episode! I only knew about Kal Penn going in, so I spent the whole time wondering if he'd go with both the women or how he'd choose between them. Somehow I did think he'd end up with 3, just based on the previous format, even after focusing so much on just 2 slots. I am happy with the way it ended up, because I think we're just starting to see 13 develop as a character... she'd been a real enigma on purpose, but now is starting to show both spirit and vulnerability. And I love Taub.

My favorite moments? Other than what I thought was one of RSLeonard's best performances of the season, there were two moments that just kept so true to House's personality (pardon my, ahem, French):

1. When House wrote their names on his whiteboard to start assigning points, he actually wrote "Bitch".

2. When she was about to be fired, CTB knew instantly because he called her Amber.

James said...

when I read the spoilers a few weeks back my initial thoughts were 'yay' to kumar, not surprised but not delighted to 13, and 'really?' to taub. taub's selection has become much more justified in the past few weeks (lately he's been the only one i thought house definitely had to hire), 13's become a more interesting character (not hard since initially she seemed just a blander cameron retread), but kumar they really haven't justified/utilized at all really. ctb brought the most as a character so far this season but i'm not sure how much she would've post competition. my hunch is none of these guys are here by at the lastest the middle of next season - taub's gets another option/goes back to his old practice, kumar fucks up some big way fox will tease the hell out of, 13 dies (house cries???). I have to say I've enjoyed this season alot, the new team more than the old team, and the old team in their new roles more than in their old roles (how many eps are left in the can btw? last night had a vague 'finale' feel to it a la the office where i wondered 'is this it til the strike's over?'), i know 'guest actor' emmys tend to go to 'omg I can't believe this MOVIE star is doing tv' shots or 'tv legend (hi mr. alda) comes by with a spin on his icon/image' but dudek deserves a nomination i think.

alex said...

I thought CTB was getting a little tiresome, since "CTB" pretty much summed up her entire character (until a little bit this episode).

The Cuddy manipulation was amusing, but played a little false for me. Wasn't the whole reason for firing Big Love last week that he substituted Cuddy's choices for his own (which were different than what she said this week).

I'm okay with the way they're using Cameron and Chase, but Foreman? Big waste of space. Do we really needs someone on-screen who is always unhappy and contributes nothing much more than disapproving looks?

Anonymous said...

Her?

Anonymous said...

I thought it was pretty obvious that Amber would be fired. She was spectacular for a competition type theme on the show, but once she had the job, where would that character go? I was pretty certain that 13 would be hired because the character was so much like Cameron and it seemed like the writers felt comfortable with that character. I'd like to see a case that ends up comparing the old team to the new team as they work together. Taub and Foreman, 13 and Cameron, and Kutner and Chase. The characters are a good deal similar, in my mind.

I hadn't heard who was going to get hired, and that made the episode much better, I would think. Even with that, I thought the medical storyline was a little weak the entire way through. That being said, this show is still one of the most compelling shows on television in my mind.

Kat said...

I'm okay with the way they're using Cameron and Chase, but Foreman? Big waste of space.

Word to that. Which is why I feel that all of the new people can't possibly last. At best, I see House keeping Taub the longest, along with some new version of the old team.

I remembered something that has been bugging me, though - how in the heck did Chase manage to become a surgeon in such short time? It's been, what, around 4 months since he was fired? And now he gets to schedule his own surgeries and operate without supervision. That's the biggest credulity strainer this season.

Anonymous said...

Why no new shows until January? I have a feeling it has nothing to do with the strike.

David J. Loehr said...

Another thing I never understood: This is New Jersey yet there are few - if any - Italian characters on the show, either in the leads or as guest characters. Hey, writers, come on - this is NEW JERSEY!

In all my fourteen years living in Princeton and Plainsboro, NJ, watching them grow through the '80s and '90s, I have to tell you, I didn't know a single Italian person. So while the look of the locations around the towns is patently false, and the occasional palm tree makes me crack up, I'd have to say that their casting and characterization seems pretty true to the area.

Now if it were North Jersey...

Matter-Eater Lad said...

Why are Epps, Morrison, and Spencer still on the show? I know network series regular money is nothing to sneeze at, but couldn't they find more interesting things to do than show up to film a scene or two a week?

Anonymous said...

Tsk! Tsk! Alan!!! How could you not notice??? Yes, the hiring of the 3 was the main part of the episode, but how about some credit to how the ep-writers gave a shout out to the band that they took the title song from???

"It's a original Teardrop Guitar - and look, not a mark on it!!" Right before the patient-du-jour drags it along a very dirty and very shitty alley ground!!!!

I like the team that's been hired partly because I think we can look forward to 13 driving House mad with her "no clue about her past" deal!!! Her mysteriousness is going to drive him mad ... ooohhhhh, can't wait!!!

And maybe, just maybe, Kutner might be like thousands of people like me who're good otherwise, but just suck when it's exam-time.

According to me, Amber was just too b%^$#y to be good to have along for a long time. Taub is too boring, despite the way he talks sometimes. I do like the uneasiness that Kutner and 13 bring to the show - watching them is waiting for something to happen. Plus - that chemistry between 13 and House is just that one notch below his chemistry with RSLeonard

Anonymous said...

Why is House always attracted to women who are young enough to be his daughters? The writers can do better than that.

Anonymous said...

I was spoiled by the Internets and knew who the final three would be, but I still found this episode extremely entertaining and rewarding. I have enjoyed all of Amber's scenery chewing this season, but her focus on the competition rather than the patient was a tip off that she wouldn't be kept for House's team. Taub, Thirteen (I like this character, but I hope she gets a real name soon), and Kutner have strong, snappy interactions in each of their one-on-one scenes as well as those with House. I have not missed Chase or Cameron one bit this season and am happy with the minimal intervention from Foreman. This formulation is just right in my estimation. I love the intensifying House relationship with Cuddy: he adores getting the upper hand in their long-standing contest, but equally he loves it when she catches on to his ploys. Their conversational gambits and the unspoken looks and gestures that punctuate each of their scenes are gems of sexy, funny chemistry. I think of Myrna Loy and William Powell when I watch Laurie and Edelstein in action. Equally entertaining is Robert Sean Leonard's Wilson -- eternally exasperated and faithful and drop-dead funny.

Joel said...

I haven't watched this seasons episodes of House but when I saw Anne Dudek being mentioned I had to comment. If you liked her here, and see that many did, you should definitely check out an old Channel 4 series called "Book Group" where Anne Dudek starred. It's hilarious, she's hilarious. 12 half hour episodes.

Mac said...

Fox has "House" in the post-Super Bowl slot, right? I can't imagine they don't have that episode shot. Plus, there were scenes in the previews I didn't recognize, with at least two different patients.

Jill said...

I actually like the dash of Chase we're getting this season. Something's different about him, but I can't quite put my finger on what it is. Foreman and Cameron have been much less enjoyable to watch this time around. I'd just as soon they'd left the show altogether.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:52: thanks for the Arrested Development laugh. -- Ted

Byron said...

Olivia Wilde is 23. She'd be a first or second year medical student, not a fellow. If you graduate from everything on time, and have a four-year residency, you're still going to be 30 before you're applying for fellowships.

Anonymous said...

obviously 13 isn't being pitched as a 23-year old - she isn't doogie houser (or maybe that's her real name).

I don't have a heard time seeing wilde play a 30 year old.

max_headroom said...

Lol @ Doogie Howser! Maybe it's a shoutout to HIMYM like this week's Chuck's pineapple reference?

Hyde said...

I'm looking forward to some interesting clashes between Taub and House. Taub just strikes me as someone who, due to his age and previous prominence, is not going to be a good fit as a subordinate, particularly working for someone like House who really lets you know you're subordinate.

It was good that after treating Amber as a joke to this point, we got to learn a little something about her before she got fired. What it came down to was that while she's no more of a misanthrope than House is, at least House was able to make that connection between the patient's love of children and his problem, something Amber never could have done.

I also thought it was interesting that Amber was the only candidate to get a scene after her firing.

Anonymous said...

Fox is saving the next HOUSE for after the Super Bowl? That's the end of January. Why the long hiatus?

Stacey said...

don't forget about Dudek's role in Big Love as a sister wife. I'd love to see her in a pilot this year.

I would have liked 13 to be fired. She kind of bores me. Love Kal Penn in everything he does, but this character is either still developing or destined to be boring too.

Also where is Cuddy going to get the funding to pay another doctor? Is it through the magic of television? I'd love to see Cuddy tell House that he has to take a pay cut to fund his additional doctor. The fallout from that would be awesome.

Anonymous said...

"Loved the meta-joke in the beginning, when House griped that his favorite medical soap opera had been beset by spoilers on the Internet."

Yes, and let's not forget the doctor in the soap opera wanted 'to keep the quadruplets'.

--AH

Anonymous said...

There's an article in today's New York Post in which HOUSE creator David Shore (?) said that he wanted to keep all five finalists and was told he could keep only two. They eventually settled on three. Something like what happened on the show.

Karen said...

I, too, remained resolutely unspoiled, and was therefore really tense when it looked like Amber was going to get the job. I appreciate the job the actress has done with that character, but I just LOATHED the character, and was not looking forward to a season's worth of her.

But, when Cuddy said to hire Kutner and Taub, my first reaction was "Hmmm! She's assembling an all-male team. Well, that fits with her consistently work-inappropriate wardrobe, not to mention her tolerance of House's even more inappropriate comments. She must just like knowing that men admire her."

Which disappointed me. And, thus, which made me all the happier when it turned out that that was absolutely NOT what she wanted.

I'm happy with the final team. They're all interesting characters, and there must be something about Kutner that House likes--maybe the chance to bring someone's potential talent to actuality. I thought 13 (do we know her name yet?) became far more interesting in this episode.

I was pleased that the punk rocker's entertaining of children--which seemed so out of character when we first saw it--turned out to be a plot point.

Anonymous said...

I was unspoiled (though I assumed Kal Penn would be hired). I loved the entire arc and found the ending very satisfying. Honestly, House has been the only show this year (that I watch) that has been highly entertaining week in week out. Would have loved to keep BigLove and knew CTB would have nowhere to go after the competition was over.

christy said...

This was the ninth episode of the season; last season, they only aired ten episodes before the end of the year. Doesn't seem weird to me that they're off until January, especially having wrapped up such a big arc.

on the dole said...

Haven't seen the ep yet, but had the results spoiled long ago. Also, since my own choices were Scooter, Big Love, and Cutthroat, she was obviously doomed. Completely disagree with those who claim she would've lost interest as a character once she'd won the job. Her personality dictates she'd remain competitive and manipulative, and once she had some job security, she'd be more likely to screw with and undercut House.

BigTed said...

In a TV Guide interview with executive producer Katie Jacobs, she says they're hoping to bring Cutthroat Bitch back to the show at some point.

Anonymous said...

To answer JILL :

You liked the brief flashes of Chase and can't quite ut your finger on why????

It's cos he's grown a pair!!! :)

Pardon me for being so blunt ... but that brief scene with him and Taub and House - WOW!!!!!

I was almost half-watching the episode and even I loved the way he finally stood up to House instead of his usual "bend over" tactics!!!!

Jill said...

Yes, good point. Even though Chase was the one fired, he seems as though he has grown the most of the three former fellows. Now I know how!