Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sepinwall on TV: 'House' season five review

In today's column, I review the first two episodes of "House" season five. Some entertaining stuff, but they still have a major overcrowding problem, one that's not helped by the arrival of the potential spin-off character (Michael Weston, pictured above with Mr. Laurie) in episode two.

I don't think I'm going to have a chance to do a separate episode review for the premiere, so feel free to comment on it here.

34 comments:

Grunt said...

Okay, is it just me, or is somebody else surprised that when you say "Michael Weston" it's not the guy from "Burn Notice"?

dez said...

^It's not just you.

"My name is Michael Weston" must have a whole new meaning for him now :-)

Alan Sepinwall said...

Different spellings, though. "Burn Notice" is Michael Westen.

dez said...

Sounds the same though, right? :-) And really, it's a much better association than dogs and 6FU!

Rev-Views said...

When you're burned (by House) you've got nothing...

Pamela Jaye said...

not reading this just yet but i see i've had a wrong picture in my head about the new guy. I was picturing Micheal Easton. (no, I don't watch soaps, he was on Ally McBeal)

speaking of which, i miss Mark Feuerstein

ghoti said...

When you say Weston's episode of "Six Feet Under" was not memorable in a good way, does that mean you didn't like the episode or that his character was so harrowing the show was hard to watch?

Alan Sepinwall said...

It means I hated, hated, hated that episode with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns, and considered it emblematic of everything that was wrong with latter-day "Six Feet Under."

LA said...

I hated that episode, too; and I loved Six Feet Under.

Anthony Foglia said...

Cuddy's appearances were never uncomfortable, and not just because of she looks good dressed as a stripper. Yes, her screen time was reduced, but that's more because Cameron and Chase are still on for no good reason.

And I like Kutner. The fact that he seems to be more of the frat/partying type is a nice change. It makes me anticpate House slapping some sense in him any time they're on the screen together.

Tonight's episode was good, but not great. The Thirteen stuff was a little over the top. I half-expected her and the patient to end up dating by the end of the episode, especially during the scene with the leukemia treatment.

Bix said...

So the numbers still aren't in the opening credits. Interesting...

Chris said...

Can someone fill me in on the end of the final scene with House and Wilson in Wilson's office? My DVR cut off the last minute or 30 seconds or so as Wilson was saying House breeds misery or something along those lines.

Christy said...

I found tonights episode almost unwatchable. Boring or unbelievable nothing in between. The final minute didn't make up for first 44 minutes.

Christy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M.A.Peel said...

How the hell do they put House on at 8:00??? Kinda insulting, I'd say.

Carson said...

Was it just me, or did the first ten minutes or so seem a little off? House's quips didn't seem to have the zing they usually have. Might this be because he is suppose to be more miserable than usual, or did it just fall flat?

dez said...

Can someone fill me in on the end of the final scene with House and Wilson in Wilson's office? My DVR cut off the last minute or 30 seconds or so as Wilson was saying House breeds misery or something along those lines.

Wilson said he wasn't House's friend, and that he wasn't sure they ever really were friends. Then he took his box of things and left.

Mrglass said...

A bit off and lazy, but the ending was interesting. With the PI twist next week, it could be another great season for my favorite show.

Was it the first time there was an abortion on House, for any reason?

Carson said...

There was an abortion in season three in the episode "One day, one room" where House, in an episode that broke from the formula, was counseling a woman who was raped. Which incidentally featured, in my mind anyway, one of House's better lines: "Yes it's a life. And you should end it"

Carson said...

And I agree with the column's dismissiveness of Kuttner. The only salvageable team member is Taub

Bruce Reid said...

I'd agree with carson and mrglass that the episode felt off, but argue it was meant to; House's anxiety over Wilson was quite palpable however flippant he pretended to be. I know I'm in the minority for enjoying all those mini-arcs in the past where an outside force tries to change House and fails, but that makes me look forward all the more to see if the threat faced in losing Wilson actually nudges him a bit.

The episode was fine I thought, nothing special or egregiously wrong, though I was a bit perplexed by the "spread your wings and fly" bit of bonding between 13 and the patient. It seemed out of place on the show and indeed was, soon set right by the patient's resumption of her old habits.

My only real complaint: from the detached way the boss in the opening snapped at the suit to call the hospital, I was really looking forward to seeing more of her.

CarolMR said...

I also agree about Kuttner serving no purpose. I like Taub.

My DVR also cut off the last few seconds of the show. Maybe Fox's timing was a little off.

I believe there was also an abortion involving a teenager. She asked House if he had to inform her parents that she was having an abortion and he replied something to the effect of - New Jersey law requires me to inform your parents when I give you an aspirin but not when you have an abortion. Or something like that.

amysusanne said...

Yeah, the first abortion ("Kids") was back in season one. Then there was much abortion talk in the ep with Meredith Monroe and Scott Foley which was someting like episode 12. I used to know these things without looking them up and being that I'm too lazy to look them up now I'm just sticking with the "something like episode 12".

I liked last night's episode in the sense that I got it, I thought that it was entertaining enough and none of the characters pissed me off or seemed particularly OOC. The only problem with it for me was that it was clearly a set up episode. And that's fine, but it's generally not something I expect from a season opener. Everything seemed done strictly to set future events into motion.

Like bruce, I've enjoyed many things about the "outside forces" arcs. I think it'll be interesting to see where things go this time out with the outside character being someone actually brought in by House himself instead of someone who comes in independently to play nemesis. I like Michael Weston in pretty much everything I've seen him in so I have no doubt that even if his character proves tedious, I'll still enjoy seeing him on my television.

CarolMR said...

As much as I love Hugh Laurie, I am getting disgusted with the character of House. His lack of concern for the patient of the week was not only unbelievable but completely unacceptable in a doctor. He's almost becoming a caricature of himself. He was much more interesting in the first couple of seasons.

How did House finally come to the conclusion that the POTW had leprosy? Maybe I missed that but it looked like it just dawned on him all of a sudden. Did something trigger that conclusion?

amysusanne said...

I've never really found House's lack of care or interest in patients (which has happened quite a bit over the years) to be unbelievable because most of the time it's because of House's own self involvement. And last night was all about self involvement and the typical "House can't deal with emotions" thing. Seems pretty much in the character's wheelhouse. He's an ass and he's been an ass since day one, but there are varioue levels of his asshattery based on what's going on in his life at the time. It's all about House until some character other than House makes it all about House and then, in spite of House's denials, it's *still* all about House. Last night was clearly one of the more important episodes wrt House being the center of the universe. And while I completely understand that Wilson is going through and dealing with a lot (and the bit about nobody even liking Amber was particularly sad) it was pretty easy for me to take House's side in the matter even if he was being a baby about it. I mean, Wilson and Cuddy and, to a lesser extent, his team, have always been about forcing House to remain a part of the hospital and a part of society. They know what's best for House and back before we even met any of these people they were forcing him to work and trying to get him to take cases and *not* drop out of the world. It's interesting to see House take that stand and be met with reluctance from the guy who, the first time we met him, was lying to House to get him to take a case and not just hide away in some exam room watching soaps and trying to disappear in order to keep from dealing with himself and the world around him.

There was a trigger to House's realization, but given that I was distracted during the last half of the episode I couldn't give you the detailes or the quote. There was a reason it dawned on him and it tied back into the very few things he had learned about her when he was actually paying attention. It made sense and was believable, but it did seem very abrupt, almost an afterthought to tie up that part of the story so they could get back to the House/Wilson angst before they ran out of time.

Matt said...

1. It felt a bit like they were deliberately trying to give Hugh Laurie a light week--most of the "diagnostic" scenes didn't involve him at all. Indeed, we didn't even have a traditional "differential" scene with the whiteboard.
2. "Thirteen discusses feminism" was not the best decision of the week. At least give her someone stronger to play against (e.g., Cuddy).
3. The overrun decision is common--it allows Fox to count the last minute as part of the 9 PM hour and boost ratings there. ABC does it all the time with Grey's Anatomy in particular.

Anonymous said...

THe parts with Foreman, 13,Taub and Kutner dragged on. I think it's because they had most of their scenes without House, and Hugh Laurie can have chemistry with a rock.

Debbie

emeraldliz said...

I thought House knew the diagnosis because he saw she had looked so young and then aged as a symptom of the disease.

Amy- that's exactly how I felt about the Burn Notice episode, that it was all just set up for more rather than really exploding with the potential it got from the previous season ender. And I also agree- I think every House fan goes through period where they just go "Enough is enough dude" and then fall back in love, kinda like Wilson. But his behavior really wasn't any different than previous.

I love Kal Penn so I want him to stick around and just be his goofy self, but they do need more to do. And yes, Enough with Thirteen. I'm supposed to not be a feminist because I'm happy with my life and not fighting in the dog pen?

Antid Oto said...

One thing I'm finding is wearing thin about the show is House's snap diagnoses. The problem is, every week he and his team get it wrong about three or four times and then get it right. So the first couple of times he's totally sure he's got the right answer, the audience knows he doesn't. Tends to undermine his supposed brilliance after a while, no matter how complicated the cases supposedly are.

LA said...

I can't believe the newbies, including Foreman, missed the ectopic pregnancy which would never happen in real life. Even I knew it was an ectopic pregnancy.

Weak episode.

Bix said...

Antid Oto-

He knew the correct diagnosis immediately when Thirteen accidently killed the guy and his dog last season by not making sure he took his pills. The process was just prolonged because of the confusion.

la G├╝era said...

My dvr didn't pick up the episode at all. Weird? So, I watched at the 15-minutes-in point and was b-o-r-e-d. I missed who Patty was (yeah, controlling boss lady) and couldn't connect with anyone last night. Plus, I cannot stand a single minute of 13 and her storyline.

pamelajaye said...

my dvr sometimes has had problems with House under the following circumstances:

every tuner card is booked, either with a real show or overrun minutes

and

Thiss same ep of House will reair in 10 days on USA.

it might be planning to record that one, if USA still does that.

Pamela Jaye said...

someone reminded me - Polite Dissent is back at reviewing

http://politedissent.com/archives/2077