Tuesday, February 17, 2009

House, "Unfaithful": Father McPoyle, I presume?

I've been wondering all morning what I have to say about last night's "House," and I think I've plain run out. It's the same issues every week: boring Foreteen, too on-the-nose parallels between patient and doctor, and a general formulaic quality to it all. The show isn't quite at That's It For Me! levels, but increasingly it's become this thing I have on in the background while I pay my bills and clean the living room, as opposed to something that engages me the way it used to.

What does everybody else think?

70 comments:

olucy said...

Ugh. Why didn't Cuddy write House a note in study hall and tell him she really *did* want him to come to her party.

Even Hugh Laurie doesn't look like he's having fun anymore.

Pamela Jaye said...

the most exciting thing about this week's episode was noticing - at least - that the channel I watch House on is... Thirteen.

It was nice to see Cameron and Chase (do they get paid only when they are on, or salaried, for being in the credits?)
It's sad what Foreman did to his career.
Cuddy just confuses me, and Wilson isn't even funny anymore (I think he's been funny since Amber died. Has he?)

Nothing memorable except wndering why Chase was wearing a yarmulke.

Anonymous said...

I want to know what is so wrong about not believing in God? They try to make House into this man of science and rational thought but every time someone of faith is a patient, the patient's faith is eventually rewarded. They show House as supposedly lost and empty with this desire to feel a deeper connection to God. Let him be an atheist and be proud of it. It works on Bones (but even 2 weeks ago she had a conversation with a ghost). He doesn't believe in fairy tales and I don't want him to. There shouldn't be some phony religious redemption. It's patronizing to rational people everywhere.

amysusanne said...

Hated it. Hated it in a way I haven't hated an episode in a very long time. Save for Kutner and the awesome patient (*loved* him), I hated every character for a multitude of reasons. I hated House for pretty much every single thing he did, I hated Cuddy for being such a crappy boss and an even worse twelve year old girl with a crush, I hated Foreman and thirteen for letting House get to them in the first place, I hated Taub for his behavior towards the patient and so on and so on. Wilson wasn't offensive, but he's guilty by association wrt the Cuddy/House carnival of BS. I'd have been much happier if we'd just stayed on the patient for the entire 42 minutes and avoided all the nonsense. I loathed this episode in a way I haven't loathed on since back in season two with the lesbian liver transplant clusterfuck of crazy, passive agressive hatefulness.

Weirdly, I think my biggest frustration is with Cuddy for not writing Foreman a recommendation. Should she have in real life? Probably not. But, it's not real life, it's House's Playland and Foreman didn't do anything House doesn't do twelve times a day. Having her say no was fine. Having her say no and give the reasons for it? Nope. Cuddy should have been the one to fire Foreman for what happened with the trial, not House, but since she's become a joke of a boss, she wouldn't do that. And if House had screwed around with a trial, she would have covered his ass. So, write Foreman a recommendation and send him on his way so you can get back to writing House's name on your binder with little hearts and stars around it.

Otoh, House has a picture of Stephen Colbert in his office and that is awesome. And Hugh Laurie's piano playing at the end was nice, but not enough to redeem a lousy episode.

legion said...

Yeah, I agree. I found myself ranting at the television after that last episode.

I don't even hate Thirteen that much. I'm just getting bloody sick of the stupid backwards way everyone communicates. All that business over whether House goes to the baby naming - give me a break. They had the most interesting patient in a while and they're just wasting my time with all this other junk.

The show is just pissing me off lately.

Mo Ryan said...

Given the Monday logjam, I took House off my DVR rotation -- even on the second DVR (or TiVo Jr, as we call the little fella).

Anyway, it was a drag to finally drop House, but it was either that or continue to rant about it to my husband every week, and neither of us had the stomach for that.

Looks like I haven't missed anything (last ep I saw was the 100th, which was That's It For Me time). Last night, surprisingly, I didn't miss watching House. And I watched a good Big Bang Theory repeat, so I'm good.

I'll keep an eye on Alan's site to see if things revive before the end of the season. Otherwise, I'm kinda done with this show for now.... sad.

amysusanne said...

@legion: maybe that's part of why I hated it so much...they had a really interesting patient and I would have liked to spend more time with him instead of listening to their childish dysfunctions.

@anonymous: they don't "let" House be a straight up atheist because in addition to him *not* being a straight up athiest, that's boring. Less boring is the fact that his belief or lack of belief in God is more complicated than just "he doesn't exist". That's been a running theme since season one when the Nun called him out on his anger towards a God he claimed to not believe in. Bones being an athiest works and her back and forths with Booth are fun and interesting. House being an athiest is boring because we have enough of House Right/Everybody Else Wrong. The way they deal with it is deeper than that and far more fun to watch. At least more fun to watch in episodes that don't frustrate to the point where you don't *care* to watch.

Anonymous said...

But Mo Ryan - how about how good Chuck was? You watched a repeat over that?

Mrglass said...

It was a great episode, and Alan couldn't be more wrong, or the few comments above.

(By the way, it seems clear Alan's opinion of a show really influences the quantity and quality of comments. And it makes sense. You don't want to post your opinion in a blog if everybody else, and most of all the blogger, disagrees with you.)

The Foreteen stuff was OK this time, because it was entirely about House, and not their fake, uninteresting, relationship. The patient was interesting, Wilson and Cuddy got great scenes, and we even got to see Chase and Cameron.

The only complaint I might have is that the big twist was very predictable: the priest did not molest that kid. Every time religion actually appears on House, you can bet the religious person will be vindicated, whether it is a Jewish orthodox woman or a Catholic nun. Has a show starring an atheist ever been kinder to religion? (mmm... is there any other hit show starring an atheist?)

And I really like the fact that House didn't show up at the party.

Ariadne said...

Intermittent reinforcement is the toughest way to break a habit. A good episode like Big Baby keeps me watching this show in the hopes that I will find gold again among the dross of these past two weeks.

Peter Jacobson said in an interview that he was surprised that the third graders at his son's school ran up to tell him how much they loved the show. I'm not, between toes falling off and House acting exactly like an eight year old boy (he really likes the girl but he's too scared of that girly stuff to tell her so) it's perfectly set at the grade 3 level.

Even Cuddy is acting like she's twelve. How sad is it that Cameron has to tell her to act like an adult, just as Wilson had to tell her that she's hurting House last episode? Is there an audience for two people in their forties acting like they are 12? And how is it that she's willing to lie in court that House didn't steal the drugs that he did but unwilling to write Foreman a recommendation when she was the one who brought him back to PPTH?

I'd have to go back over the scenes with the priest (if I cared enough to) to find out what that was about because House's replies didn't make any sense to me. It was like the writer was trying to recreate the success of earlier episodes like the one with the nun or House vs God but didn't have the analytic ability to be able to.

Foreteen continues to bore. One of the deadest things about this show is that they keep threatening to get rid of Thirteen just about every episode and surprise, surprise, it never happens.

Anyone who didn't see it coming a mile away that the kid was lying about being molested deserves what House has become.

Namaste said...

I find this season getting stronger and stronger with themes of loneliness and trying (and failing and trying again) to make human connections running through multiple threads. At the same time, multiple laugh out loud lines ("You can buy a shovel" being just one of them) and I'm not a person who laughs out loud at most comedies.

Obviously others feel otherwise. Some people preferred the hijinks of the Survivor episodes. Some prefer the (to me boring) procedural aspects. What some people deride as "soapy," I love as more focus on personal issues and how the patients affect the doctors.

Different strokes for different folks, obviously. (Me, I don't know why anyone watches Chuck. Boring, boring, and boring.)

Andrew said...

Otoh, House has a picture of Stephen Colbert in his office and that is awesome.

Makes sense. Stephen Colbert has a picture of House on his mantle.

dez said...

For reasons that seemed to make sense at the time, I watched "House" and saved "Chuck" for tonight. I won't be making that mistake again next week. The patient was interesting, but I'm effin' tired of The Thirteen Show. Bah, humbug.

The image of Cuddy writing "Mrs. Gregory House" all over her desk planner that I conjured up after reading the comments here is amusing, though.

Mo Ryan said...

Anon, of course I watched Chuck first, forgot to mention that. After two weeks, I was dying for a new Chuck ep. Loved it.

I guess I was just saying, right now BBT deserves to be in my Monday rotation. House, not so much. Which last season -- I would have said that's straight up crazy talk.

Mary Yanni said...

I reluctantly quit House after it came up against Chuck and HIMYM on Monday nights. I didn't want to do it, but now I find I don't really miss it.

Andrew said...

(By the way, it seems clear Alan's opinion of a show really influences the quantity and quality of comments. And it makes sense. You don't want to post your opinion in a blog if everybody else, and most of all the blogger, disagrees with you.)

I suspect that more of the issue is that many of Alan's readers and commenters share his taste. Those of us who don't get paid to write about television may may have a lower level of tolerance for shows on the cusp of interest and just not bother watching anymore. So fewer commenters may still be watching House (or Heroes) and focusing the TV time on shows like Chuck or Lost that are batting somewhere above the Mendoza line for this season.

I hadn't been getting around to watching House for a few episodes, and now that it gets crowded off my TiVo by Chuck and HIMYM, I'm not missing it.

Anonymous said...

I thought the patient storyline was weak and the stuff about God and beliefs felt like we had already done that episode. The Cuddy/House stuff was also very weak... they do not make a good couple AT ALL. In fact, the only thing keeping my attention was the Fourteen stuff. I really like Thirteen, Kutner and Taub.

Wilson is a bore these days, but I am curious to see where they are taking House. I agree that he needs to grow and change, but he should still be funny!!

Anonymous said...

I;m sorry, but Chuck stinks. There is no plausible explanation for why he still works at Buy More. And it's lame that every other week someone from his past also turns out to be a spy (like his ex-girlfriend). Also, the Sarah/Chuck stuff is confusing as to where they are in their relationship week to week. I give up on this show.

amysusanne said...

That's a fair point, Andrew, though while I share Alan's taste in many things, I actually don't have the same problems with "House" that he does, nor do I feel towards thirteen the way many others do. Last night's episode managed to make me hate it without any outside influences at all.

To Namaste's point, about loneliness and isolation and the personal struggles, I enjoy those things. I also didn't find the show soapy, don't care one way or the other about the "hijinks", don't have a horse in the shipper race and enjoy both plot driven and character driven shows...I just think last night's episode was an enormous fail. I didn't feel sorry for House, I found House obnoxious. His batting Foreman and thirteen around was tedious. I didn't feel sorry for Cuddy because she was acting like a child and, as I noted above, her blindspot for House was way too much for me when she was dealing with Foreman. I didn't care what happened to the people on my television last night. Previous episodes have done a good job of making me feel *something* for them when they were showing us what screwed up people they are, but last night all I felt was irritation. Kutner and, in their brief moments, Cameron and Chase were the only ones I didn't want to punch in the face.

Anonymous said...

Fourteen was the best part of the episode, though I was always one step ahead of their plan.

Mrglass said...


I suspect that more of the issue is that many of Alan's readers and commenters share his taste. Those of us who don't get paid to write about television may may have a lower level of tolerance for shows on the cusp of interest and just not bother watching anymore. So fewer commenters may still be watching House (or Heroes) and focusing the TV time on shows like Chuck or Lost that are batting somewhere above the Mendoza line for this season.


Well, I share most of Alan's tastes, and follow this blog religiously. Thanks to Alan, I discovered shows like Dexter, Chuck or 'Mad Men'.

Yet I don't always agree with him, and when it comes to posting a comment or not, what he writes matters a lot. Case in point: after any episode of Lost, he writes a mini-essay, prompting many people to react. And I actually think Lost is now a very average show. After a negative comment for one episode, about a dozen people piled on me, which is a bit frightening. So I won't post anymore on this blog about that show.

And I can't help thinking that Alan's review generally sets the tone for comments. What could you write about a ten lines post on this House episode, compared to a 1000 lines Lost review?

In any case, the ratings don't lie: even after being moved around and ending up at 8pm, House still attracts 14 millions viewers (5.1 in the 18/49 demo), a lot more than Lost. So people still like this series a lot, even if TV critics apparently have jumped on a bandwagon.

(not that ratings say everything about the quality of a show. My point is: most of the viewers who used to watch House are still watching it every week.)

Anonymous said...

I got tired of the House formula last season. I have only seen a handful of episodes this year. I love Hugh Laurie but he isn't enough to compensate for the downward spiral of a once beloved show.

EOTW said...

Stopped watching it after Wilson's gf bought it. But it was going downhill long before that. Feel free to stop posting bout it. I didn't even read this post.

Andrew said...

And I can't help thinking that Alan's review generally sets the tone for comments. What could you write about a ten lines post on this House episode, compared to a 1000 lines Lost review?

I won't disagree-- the tone of the original post is always going to affect the nature of the comments. After all, they are reacting to the author's review and there's definitely more to pick at in a detailed review than a short opinion.

But after seeing most Heroes discussion devolving into a series of "I'm outta here" comments (or "I'm still watching, but I don't understand why")-- I suspect that the same sentiment is affecting other former House fans, since I mourn the passing of my relationship with House, er, the show, that is.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Yet I don't always agree with him, and when it comes to posting a comment or not, what he writes matters a lot.

I think you over-estimate my power, even on my own blog. If you read through the comments on the latest Lost post, very little of it is people even commenting on anything I had to say, while a lot of it is people discussing their own theories with each other. (Lost, good or bad, is also the kind of dense show that provides a lot of things to analyze and argue about, whereas a more traditional procedural like House doesn't, even in its better weeks.)

And there are times when some of the longest comment threads come from very brief reviews, or from reviews where the readers strongly disagreed with me (see the first Jon Hamm episode of 30 Rock).

It's not a cult of personality. People talk about what they want to talk about.

Forrester said...

To me, the problem with House is not Thirteen or even Foreteen (love that name!), it's House himself. When was the last time we learned anything interesting about him? I don't feel like we've learned anything about him at all this season and that's why the show is boring. If House the character is unchanging, then that's why all the cases and shenanigans with his underlings seem like they don't matter.

Everything on the show is just background noise for the House character. I still find him immensely interesting. I just wish the writers would have him conquer one of his afflictions (addiction, loneliness, etc.). I don't think it would ruin the show. I think it would be interesting to see a House that grows. I bet he'll just find an all new and exciting way to be miserable.

Granola Mom said...

Blerg. While I actually liked the POTW, and his interaction with House, the entire rest of the episode was blech.

I haven't liked Cuddy since she got the baby. She's been alternately uncharacteristically weak, whiney, mean and now apparently, she is a 13 year old girl. "Do you want to come to my party? Circle Yes or No!!!" Puke.

The whole Fourteen mess is just aweful. No chemistry, no originality. I'd rather see Foreman hook up with Kutner.

I'm not ready to give up on House yet, but I'm close.

Mary said...

"Foreteen" is killing me. I really enjoyed the interaction between House and Father Patient this week. Yes, it was kind of obvious and formulaic, but the two actors had a very believable chemistry. In his own guarded way, House really did seem to like the patient, and in their lunch conversation I could believably see them becoming buddies. But when Father Patient got his faith back at the end of the episode, the look Hugh Laurie had as that connection slipped away... amazing. The "revelation" about the alleged child molestation was equally predictable but again, SO well acted by the patient and the teenager that it still got to me. It probably helps that I'm an ex-Catholic on the House end of the belief spectrum.

But Foreteen? Man, every time the priest story started to rev into high gear, one of their scenes would drop and absolutely kill any momentum the show had built up. Every single one of their scenes was like the static test pattern interrupting the episode. Omar Epps is phoning it in, and I'm all out of patience with Thirteen's issues. They need to give some of this excessive screen time to Kutner, please, because he's been getting more likeable every week and anybody who saw "The Namesake" knows Kal Penn is capable of more.

Huddy is a guilty pleasure for me this season. I know the writing isn't that much better than it is for "Foreteen," but Hugh Laurie and Lisa Edelstein have enough chemistry that I completely don't care.

angela said...

So Colbert has Hugh as House in his bookcase on the Report and House has Stephen Colbert in his office.
Why Alan Why?!

Pamela Jaye said...

Mo, welcome to the dark side :-)

I loved House when it premiered, a year later it was supplanted by Grey's (I didn't really adore it till Addie came, so that wasa November - just a year after House premiered). Got bored with House during the Teflon days (especially Tritter) when nothing ever changed. Loved Amber and Wilson, hated the 13 show, perked a bit with Foreman saying to hell with ethics, and now I'm bored.

Wouldn't if be a lovely world if Chuck got better ratings than House?
I didn't watch the BBT rerun, but the DVR recorded it anyway.

btw, did the Presidential interruption drop Chuck back to its pre-3d bump numbers?

Pamela Jaye said...

And it makes sense. You don't want to post your opinion in a blog if everybody else, and most of all the blogger, disagrees with you

see the first Jon Hamm ep of 30 Rock.

LA said...

I've always found House to be formulaic, that's nothing new, but it was always worth watching for Hugh Laurie. As olucy pointed out in the very first comment, even Hugh doesn't appear to be having fun anymore. Last night was the first episode I had watched since the schedule change because I'd prefer to watch the CBS comedies and I don't have DVR (gasp), but after checking in with the gang at Princeton Plainsboro, I realize I'm not missing a damn thing.

Karen said...

I liked the patient of the week a LOT. Not his symptoms but his philosophy. But the episode really was dreadful. Cuddy, never one to take the strong hand in the first place, has passed spineless and entered nearly vegetative. If I were Lisa Edelstein I would be offended at the way they portray this character, who is supposedly capable enough to run a large teaching hospital. It's offensive and it could even be argued that it's misogynistic (although I did like their dealing with her buyer's remorse over the baby, it disappearing in a flash was ludicrous). When she berated Wilson for getting House to come, indicating that she really didn't, and then it turned out she really did, it was like the worst, most sexist depiction of women as slaves to their emotions and their hormones.

Also: dear GOD I'm sick of Foreman and 13! I'm sick of their storylines, I'm sick of their staggering lack of chemistry, and I'm sick even of their voices. And I'm sick of being teased with 13's departure--by death, by career move, whatever--only to have her around still at the end of the episode.

Also: wasn't Foreman brought back BY Cuddy to keep an eye on House? How does House even HAVE the authority to fire him?

Oh geez. If I wasn't so hopelessly behind on HIMYM as to make a mid-season switchover impossible, I would yank this from the DVR lineup tonight. I feel dreadful for Hugh Laurie.

Chris the TV Sage said...

After a negative comment for one episode, about a dozen people piled on me, which is a bit frightening.

If you're talking about episode "The Little Prince", then it was more like TWO people responded to you, and they weren't terribly mean. Hardly a pile-up.

Anonymous said...

Can we hire the writers from The O.C. so that Thirteen and Foreman can die in a fiery car crash?

BigTed said...

I knew right from the start that Foreman and 13 were only pretending to fight and break up for House's benefit. The fact that he bought it, and that they were supposedly good enough actors to pull it off, was as unrealistic as plotting gets on this show.

As for House's religious objection to the barely religious baby-naming ceremony? Silly, and tiresome.

Also -- am I the only one who always gets the guy who played the priest confused with the guy who played the private eye in the recent spinoff-promoting episodes?

Mrglass said...

Thanks Alan for replying. I find it very interesting to find out what a blogger thinks of his own comment, for no other reason than, hum, I read a lot of blogs (although only yours and Mo Ryan's are about TV!).

It would be a great field of study for sociologists to see what influence bloggers have on their readers, given the recent rise of blogs.

To go back to this actual episode and most comments talking about the declining quality of House suggested here, I can only repeat: House ratings are much like they have always been (except after American Idol), unlike Lost that indeed lost about half of its followers. What's going on?

Dumbledore said...

@MrGlass: Your comparison with Lost ratings makes house look even worse. Lost a HEAVILY SERIALIZED SCINECE FICTION show; there's 2 ticks against that show right there whereas HOUSE is a generic procedural designed to let a casual viewer drop right in, house unlike lost does not expect the audience to remember events from the past 4 season. Lost's competition is the biggest show on tv right now (AI) and a hit show Criminal minds whereas House's competition last night was REPEATS of CBS comedies, The Bachelor and Chuck which gets horrible ratings... as you can see the competition that the two shows face is not even close, yet, with all this taken into account House is barely beating Lost(house got 5.1 the 18-49 demo where as Lost got 4.4). Add to that that House had the privilege of airing after AI for like 3 seasons where it was exposed to 30million+ viewers every night, it had the advantage of airing after the superbowl compare that to LOST which did not have the chance to air after a super hit show or air after the super bowl but has changed timeslots 7 times in 5 seasons. With all this taken into account House should be doing a lot better then it is now and it should certainly be beating LOST by a bigger margin then it is. House ratings are not even close to what they once were. I remember last season it used to average around 7.5 rating in 18-49 even when it did not air after Idol, now it has dropped to 5.1 which is a massive drop for a procedural.

Mrglass said...

Dumbledore,

House in its first season did very poorly (around 6-7 millions) until it got the American Idol bump. But even at its best, without this amazing lead-in, it never got above 17-18m viewers, at 9pm (a more favorable schedule). So getting 14-15m in its 5th season is quite an achievement.

By contrast, 'Lost' was regularly above 20m viewers in its first and second season. Half of them flew the show. What does that tell you about the quality and consistency of the writing?

And I wouldn't describe House as a pure 'procedural'. It has nothing in common with CSI, 'The Mentalist', or 'Lie to Me'. True, nothing much has changed since the pilot, but that is true for pretty much every TV show, including 'The Wire' or 'The Sopranos'. The end of the third season was a real game-changer, whether you liked it or not.

amysusanne said...

Totally agree. "House" isn't a straight procedural and they do ask that you remember previous events and character developments. I'm sure people can tune in when they feel like it and not feel lost if they're solely interested in POTW stories, but so much has happened through the years that it's definitely a different viewing experience if you actually bother to take it in.

Clevelle said...

I stopped watching HOUSE a few episodes ago. Seems like I hear a lot more talk about the drop in quality and performance (ratings-wise) of something like GREY'S ANATOMY, when HOUSE has not only taken a similar nose dive, but also seems to be adopting several of GREY's tactics: soapy plots, a forced pairing between actors that have no chemistry, patients who pay unrealistic attention to the interactions between the doctors/staff, character assassination to serve plot and using indie pop in scenes meant to tug at the heartstrings. I used to love both shows and watch them faithfully. I guess TV really does belong to reality shows and by-the-numbers-rinse-and-repeat procedurals.

R.I.P. House.

renton said...

@Mr. Glass

Let's not make the mistake of judging quality by popularity.

If that was the case, McDonald's would make the finest meal in America.

Chuck said...

We watch with the closed captions on. At the end, House played the piano. The attribution for the song he played was "Hugh Laurie's Cuddy's Song."

Interesting that he wrote the piece.

Andrew said...

By contrast, 'Lost' was regularly above 20m viewers in its first and second season. Half of them flew the show. What does that tell you about the quality and consistency of the writing

I would say that the popularity of a show has almost nothing to do with the quality of the writing.

belinda said...

I don't want to rant once again, but I barely stayed awake on this episode, so I'll just say this:-

I can't believe how little I care about everyone on this show (yes, even House bores me now, to a lesser extent), or the fact that I'm starting to miss Cameron, who I never particularly liked because of the whole cliched "I care" doctor persona, but I find now to be a component that's sorely missing in the new team.

But, there was one thing I remembered from the episode. Chase's line (paraphrased) "It never works out when you get involved with someone you work with.....We're the exception" was probably the best (well, funny AND sad) line in the episode.

Dumbledore said...

@MrGlass:



House in its first season did very poorly (around 6-7 millions) until it got the American Idol bump.


And that is completely irrelevent. The fact is that since the end of its 4th season it has dropped from averaging around a 7.5 rating to a 5.1 rating which is considered to be a massive drop for a procedural in a such short time especially when it just aired after the superbowl.

But even at its best, without this amazing lead-in, it never got above 17-18m viewers, at 9pm (a more favorable schedule).

The fact that it had an amazing leadin for 3 whole seasons means it should be doing better then it is now. LOST's leadin for the past 3-4 years has never been more then 5-6million viewers yet it is only 7tenths behind House.

By contrast, 'Lost' was regularly above 20m viewers in its first and second season. Half of them flew the show. What does that tell you about the quality and consistency of the writing?

First of all you are wrong, Lost got more then 20 million viewers for about 7-8 episodes early in season 2, look it up. And Lost viewers drop tells me that the show is very complex and the average American who watched season 1 to see pretty people hanging out on the beach is not to excited to see dense mythology. Norbit made $100 million at the box office whereas 'There will be blood' made less then half of that, yet, that box office gross is not a commentary on the quality of these two movies. It just shows that a large number of Americans prefer 90 minutes for fart jokes and fat jokes to a well acted drama.



And I wouldn't describe House as a pure 'procedural'. It has nothing in common with CSI, 'The Mentalist', or 'Lie to Me'. True, nothing much has changed since the pilot, but that is true for pretty much every TV show, including 'The Wire' or 'The Sopranos'. The end of the third season was a real game-changer, whether you liked it or not.


Actually I would say that House is an even bigger procedural then something like 'The Mentalist', The Mentalist has an overarching story (no matter how feeble it is) that alone makes house more of a procedural. House is the same character that he was in season 1. There has been absolutely 0 growth for him

Anonymous said...

why are they obsessed with olivia wilde?

we get it. shes hot and bi. but shes not interesting

Mo Ryan said...

I'd rather see Foreman hook up with Kutner.

As far as that goes, I might start watching if Kutner and Taub hooked up. Anything but Foreteen and all the other maladies affecting this show.

Alex said...

Mr.Glass: I would like to know why House has lost over one million and a half viewers in three weeks.

Corvus Imbrifer said...

I want to disagree with everything amysusanne said up at the top. But I don't; I quite agree, so hrmph. And I am not influenced by anything Mr Sepinwall says, at most he is like a dinner party host who opens a topic of conversation and allows the guests to take over.

I am bewildered by the number of shows that feel the need to concentrate on soap opera. My attraction to House was because initially it was intelligent.

A toe fell off? Who examines the patients? Other than criminally sanctimonious Taub and distracted Kutner. It's not like House deigns to stroll in till Act Three. Who pays for all those wasted of time tests? And Dr Cuddy is snippy about the hospital's reputation?

I feel for the actors, who are talented and working so hard. Particularly Misses Wilde and Edelstein. Sheesh.

I do want to put in a big huzzah for Jimmi Simpson, who I've long thought deserved better roles. Even with the rest of the episode drooling its way along, he was compelling and engaging.

Anonymous said...

Mary said: But Foreteen? Man, every time the priest story started to rev into high gear, one of their scenes would drop and absolutely kill any momentum the show had built up. Every single one of their scenes was like the static test pattern interrupting the episode. Omar Epps is phoning it in, and I'm all out of patience with Thirteen's issues.

I couldn't agree more. If the show runners were in front of me, I'd drop to my knees and BEG them to just stop beating the audience over the head with 14. Together or separately, they are both a complete drag.

The show lost its balance when they shoved Chase and Cameron aside. Foreman, 13, and Taub are all cynical people who treat their patients badly. They treat each other badly. It's like watching House and four mini-me's. The mini-me's take away what made House himself special.

OTOH, Chase and Cameron actually cared about the patients and their coworkers. That's why seeing a glimmer of positive light when Chase says that maybe House was trying to help 14 is a moment that stands out. Again, if I were on my knees begging the producers, I'd beg them to bring Chase back into focus. He lights up the screen and he provides a counterpoint to the negativity.

Granola Mom said...

Can someone tell Foreman to cut that darn chin hair off?

I keep waiting for him to break into song and dance, a la "Sweet" from Once More With Feeling.

Stef said...

I'm pretty mixed on this episode. I always like it when they have House debate religion, and he and the priest were an interesting match. But I'm also just annoyed that they are continuing on with 14. More Taub and Kutner, more Chase and even, egad, more Cameron would make me happier. I agree with everyone who's said that Cuddy has just become a horrible character this year. Though, I did notice that she's now wearing clothes that cover her up more and are seemingly more appropriate for her position - has she been doing that ever since House called her out on it? (Though it's scary how tight her skirts are, it was distracting to see how they barely fit.)

Pamela Jaye said...

well, apparentl Bill Lawrence likes House.
http://forums.abc.go.com/scrubsramblingsHis reply to all those "favorite show" lists that he asked for last week is up. I didn't know where to post it, but since he mentioned House...

Andrew said...

I do want to put in a big huzzah for Jimmi Simpson, who I've long thought deserved better roles. Even with the rest of the episode drooling its way along, he was compelling and engaging.

I'm conflicted about Jimmi Simpson. One one hand, he's a top notch actor, so I'd like to see him reach a certain level of recognition. On the other hand, that would mean no more Liam McPoyle or Lyle The Intern.

Brandy said...

When House made the move to Mondays, I did not. But On nights like Monday where Big Bang and Mother were reruns, I was undecided if I should record the house instead. I didn't. So, glad I didn't miss anything, I guess.

But I wish it was still a show I missed.

Susan said...

On the argument over whether House is a procedural:

I just recently started watching House. I've been watching the new episodes, but mainly I've been catching up on reruns on USA and Fox, which means that I see them all out of order - I printed out an episode guide so I can figure out where each episode is in the timeline. But I really feel like I'm missing some essential parts of the show by watching it out of order. One week I'll see Cameron get mad at Foreman for stealing her article idea, and several weeks later, I'll see her risk her life to save him while House reminds her of the "We're not friends" conversation in the article episode. That would have been much more powerful for me if I'd seen them back to back. I'm finding that while I can't even always remember what was wrong with the patient or how it was resolved after I've seen an episode, it's the continuing relationships of the characters that keeps me hooked.

Which is why I do miss Cameron and Chase - as someone said above, they seemed to care about their patients, and I miss that attitude bumping up against House. Thirteen and Foreman together have no chemistry, and they bore me as characters. People say House hasn't grown, but neither has Foreman, and I'm so bored of him.

Since I'm new to the show, and have only watched about half the total episodes so far, I'm lucky - I can just watch old ones and experience them as new.

Pamela Jaye said...

intern? where?

Brandy,
try Chuck :-) Be conlicted like the rest (most) of us :-)

Pamela Jaye said...

Susan - so sorry they are airing out of order! (or that you are catching them that way). You're right that they make more sense arced properly (though if tritter or vogler is involved, just ignore it. also if Foreman has brain damage (that lasted one ep) or House is able to jog and play on a skateboard (I complain at how Grey's ends arcs - considering these two things, I should stop!)

Anonymous said...

I'm a big enough fan of "House" that I actually pay a buck 99 to download each episode from Amazon.com - and I have every episode that's ever aired. So it's more than passing fandom.

So while I remind you that the word "fan" has its roots in the word "fanatic", it pains me to actually write that I have discovered what I hate most about Foreteen.

Foreteen highlights something that has been lurking just below the surface for me for quite some time, and that's that I'm beginning to see that Omar Epps is not the gifted thespian I once believed him to be.

I can't find any flaws with Olivia's portrayal of 13. She comes across as believable, passionate, and I forget sometimes that she's not really a woman who's dying and trying to make her life matter.

But I'm beginning to see that Omar Epps has all the depth of a Britney Spears song. And that's sad, because I like the character, even though I've started to hold my nose with the way Omar plays him.

Think about it for a second - we all have a billion favorite "House" episodes, and a bunch of favorite "Cameron" eps, "Chase" eps (like the one with his father), and we're already declaring Cutner/Taub as a modern-era Laurel and Hardy.

But can you name one episode where Omar Epps stole the show? Even in the one with his parents in the nearby hotel while he killed a patient, he's just a guy reading lines in a script. He did nothing to make those lines jump out at me. A storyline like that would have been any other actor's opportunity to get an Emmy nomination. Omar's performance left me flatter than his patient's heart monitor.

Pamela Jaye said...

and now you have my attention.
The only ep I really remember featuring him was the one where he was dying, then didn't (then had brain damage, then magically didn't). Did you see him when he was on ER and if so, do you feel the same way about him there? (I can't really argue with you and don't feel inclined, you may well be right)

brumanda (an evil step sister or just my captcha?)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...maybe I should revise the above to suggest instead, that maybe Eric Foreman doesn't play to Omar's strengths as an actor? Dug him in "ER", and I'm probably one of the few who remembers him in "Major League 2". But in "House", I'm unimpressed, and I think he might even be dragging down the ensemble.

Everybody in the cast has a show they stole.

Except him. And he's been the focus of several different plotlines - even more than Cameron.

Pamela Jaye said...

I've only seen ML3 (not 1 or 2) which basically leaves ER as the only other place I remember seeing him. Time to imdb I guess

wayingen
something they do on the biggest loser?

Corvus Imbrifer said...

Defending actors and Epps: there are quite a few cooks in the kitchen, and by the time he gets to do his thing, it may be too late. The producers, the network, the writers, the director all come first. There may be a point beyond which Streep Herself can't spin dross into gold. Sometimes an actor is that good - Simpson in this episode managed to work around a staid script, and sometimes a show gets lightning-strike lucky (Supernatural, anyone?) but my first thought is not that Epps isn't good enough but that the show isn't letting him.

It's also possible that he cares about the character too much, and finds it difficult to behave in a way he thinks implausible or contrary for the character. I first saw this in the eyes of no less than Nichelle Nichols, when Uhura (the most stable member of the crew) was expected to say 'Captain, I'm frightened.' When she clearly wasn't. In fact her eyes said 'If it were me in the captain's chair instead of your fat ass, we wouldn't be in this predicament.'

It may be a problem for an actor, but it makes me like them because it shows they care about the character as much as I do.

Or Epps could just be phoning it in.

Anonymous said...

...or maybe I am being too hard on him.

It's just that lately, he seems to have all the passion of the actress who played the woman that said, "One Adam Twelve, One Adam Twelve, see the man..."

Pamela Jaye said...

Corvus - that was fascinating. (and I'm not sure I've seen the scene with Uhura, but I've heard of it, and that, too, is interesting,)

Clevelle said...

Quite frankly, the Foreman character is probably the worst written of all the main characters. I think the "brain" episode confirmed that Epps definitely has chops (It aired around the same time DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES featured "dramatic scenes" starring Eva Longoria and I remember thinking just how laughable her attempts were in comparison). But back to Foreman. I think his character has been pretty much assassinated on this show, to the point that it almost has me wondering if Epps pissed off TPTB. The show has gone to ridiculously contrived and contorted subplots which do little to develop the character. Two episodes that stand out as an example are:

The one where one of the interns was so desperate to make the case for polio, that he was either screwing with the results or the treatments (can't remember), but 90% of the episode was Foreman getting "owned" by the intern until House saves the day at the end by revealing the intern's shenanigans and dismissing him.

Another episode was at the beginning of last season where Foreman is at another hospital and like House, breaks the rules and saves the life of a patient. He's immediately smacked down and when he returns tail between legs, he's forced to be go-fer/assitant for House, who undermines him enough in front of the interns that none of them respect him.

I guess Epps is fine with getting a steady paycheck in these troubled economic times, but the Foreman character is in my mind, irreparably damaged and not even a young Sidney Poitier could do anything with the character. Perhaps the people who are fans of the characters of Chase and Cameron should consider the decreased screentime to be a blessing in the disguise.

Lisa said...

I thought I was the only one who noticed that the POTW was Lyle the Intern. Lyle on Letterman last night was way more entertaining than this episode. I think House may have jumped the shark after Amber's death.

Ariadne said...

I've never been a big fan of Omar Epps or Foreman. I thought he was best in scenes with Chase when they were razzing each other; anything more like dying or the constant going head-to-head with House and he's either chewing the scenery or so down playing it as to be non-existent. I much preferred seeing Chase or Cameron interact with House in the early seasons.

I think one of the big problems these past couple of seasons is that the show isn't playing to the actors' strengths. I love PJ/Taub when he's in snarky mode but give him an A or B or even a C plot and I start snoring. I really don't care about his issues with his religion or his problems with his wife. Likewise Olivia Wilde is good with caustic one liners but she cannot make me believe that she is a doctor much less a great one although her limit of 2 facial expressions doesn't help. One of the most WTH? things in this episode was when House told Kutner that both Foreman and Thirteen were better doctors than he is because House must have been watching a different show than I've been because Kutner is the standout thinker among the new team.

Robert Sean Leonard, who I think is as good as Hugh Laurie, is sadly underused on this show and Lisa Edelstein is overused. For all the great interactions House and Cuddy had in the first seasons, she overdoes it when she tries to play this weepy neurotic mess of a woman that appeared in season 3. Meanwhile Jesse Spencer, who can make subtlety out of sticking a pen in his mouth, appears only occasionally and Jennifer Morrison, who is very good in screwball scenes opposite Hugh Laurie, is inexplicably angry at House most of the time.

Part of being a good show-runner is playing to the strengths of your cast and not overusing them just because you're in love with the idea of the character. I wish someone would point out to David Shore what he's got and what he's squandering.

Granola Mom said...

Is it just me or is Amber now playing crazy Alby's #1 wife on Big Love?