Monday, September 21, 2009

'House' season premiere review - Sepinwall on TV

In today's column, I review tonight's two-hour "House" season premiere, which I thought was a wonderful showcase for Hugh Laurie, and one that will likely have him making a trip up to the stage at next year's Emmys.

17 comments:

mrsb said...

Really looking forward to this episode. And for the naysayers, the show is called "House" not "Ensemble".

Art Fleming said...

Well, this does sound amazing, but im not gonna get my hopes up that House (the show) or House (the character) is actually gonna change and be interesting. Im pretty sure in 5-6 episodes its just the same show as least season.

Anonymous said...

Problem is, its back to the same old, same old at the hospital the following week. The risk Shore et al are taking is that they will alienate viewers by emphasizing what a mess the regular show has become or, as you say, annoying those fans who think the detour away from PPTH is a slap at those who watch for the medical environment (complete with subplots & ships). And there probably a lot of people who fall into both camps.


I'll be watching the season opener of Big Bang Theory instead.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I'll be watching the season opener of Big Bang Theory instead.

That's not on till 9:30. You've got time to check it out.

I'm well aware that the show likely won't follow up on it once we're back to PPTH, but it's a very good episode on its own.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

"Problem is, its back to the same old, same old at the hospital the following week."

House has been on for six season now. It is a formula show that has done very, very well for itself following its formula with minimal tweaks and the occasional ongoing subplot or episode-specific format shift. I understand why some viewers might not like that formula, but not why those viewers continue to watch the show and complain about it, rather than watching something else. (Nor do I understand the subset of the viewership who are under the impression that Dr. Cameron is not only the star of the series, but could apparently cure any illness simply by laying her hands on the infirm.)

Anonymous said...

I am a fan who watches the show for Hugh Laurie's amazing performance. I can't wait for tonight. The cast will be back next week. Tonight, it's Mr. Laurie's time to rock! Bring it!

I am sure 13 will be back next week to suck the life out of this awesome show. I'll take the one man show, thanks.

Art Fleming said...

Well what most people, or me at least complain about is less the formula (its a great formula) more than the annoying details like Cameron and Chase sucking up time etc., basically everything that isnt about House (the character).

Evie Garland said...

"also 'House Calls.'" Hehe.

I'm not a huge House fan, but tonight's episode sounds great. I'm looking forward to watching.

Brandon said...

"That's not on till 9:30. You've got time to check it out."

Where I live, HIMYM airs during the first half hour of House, and The Big Bang Theory airs during the last, since tonight's House is two hours (and one minute, according to the schedule online). I'm in the central time zone, but I'm pretty sure the same is true for everyone in the US.

Anonymous said...

Matter-Eater Lad, sure its a formula, but its one I've become tired of. I'm not complaining about something I'm watching, I'm making a statement about why I won't be watching the show, either when it returns to the formula next week or today either for that matter, because I don't have much interest in investing time in a one-off when I know I won't be back. As I said, I'll be watching Big Bang Theory, its smart & fun & also maybe DVRing Heros because that's such a train wreck it verges on genius. At least there I've got actual sucking the life out of people as opposed to 13 doing it to the entire show.

olucy said...

For the last season (or maybe two), I've only been watching because of Laurie, so I'll really enjoy tonight's ep, I think.

Ingrid said...

I had stopped watching House because it had become too repetitive for me. After reading your review, I will definitely be checking out tonight's episode.

JanieJones said...

I've watched House from the beginning reeled in by Hugh Laurie's performance. I look forward to tonight's episodes with great anticipation.

ariadne said...

"It is a formula show that has done very, very well for itself following its formula with minimal tweaks and the occasional ongoing subplot or episode-specific format shift."

I think the problem is that it let the formual that works behind in season 3 and turned into something more trite.

When the show worked best, it was focused on a primary patient story which shed light on all the six characters, an amusing clinic patient story, and House interacting with all five supporting characters, not only Wilson and Cuddy as he does now.

The show dropped that formula along with Cameron and Chase and started writing bad soap opera and uninteresting new characters in ridiculous plots. Patients are no longer memorable because they are now not the focus of the episdoe but anvils and side notes to the personal dramas.

I think the changes coincided with a drop in quality. Lately, the only reason for me to watch House is Hugh Laurie's performance and the occasional glimpses I can get of Wilson, Cameron or Chase. I'm looking forward to getting out of the mess that the PPTH storylines have become.

I will cheer if Shore finally lets someone (Nolan) stand up to House and win. It's about time.

I'm not looking forward to the show returning back to PPTH and being the Huddy/Thirteen/Foreman show again.

Maybe Shore can learn something from how well this season premier is being received. If the change is for something better, the audience will embrace it.

Debra said...

Personally, I am a House fan, and have been since the beginning, however tonight's premiere show was NOT what I watch House for. It was almost a different show altogether. I was disappointed all around and kept changing the channel, only to return and find the same boring scene.
Art Fleming said...
Well what most people, or me at least complain about is less the formula (its a great formula) more than the annoying details like Cameron and Chase sucking up time etc., basically everything that isnt about House (the character).
I agree Art, but it would have been nice to see him in his own environment, doing what he does best.

Jaggerbot said...

I disagree. I think the premiere was a much welcome and needed change.

I'm tired of watching the same old house with the same old problems. Always wondering when he'll get over his addiction, and when he'll stop turning everything into an opportunity too manipulate people.

In the previous seasons all he did was be miserable and lie. Sure it worked for a while, but its about time he evolved and grew past some of his problems.

At first I thought this season would go the same path as the others, and that house would eventually break out of the mental ward having accomplished nothing except maybe getting through cold turkey. Glad to see his character is avoiding stagnation. For now.

Nevin ":-)" said...

I'm amazed, simply amazed, at just how many of you know exactly how the rest of the season is going to go. What do you do, dumpster dive for scripts in the back of the Bad Hat Harry production office?

It was a really good episode. I for one am looking forward to seeing what they can pull off for the rest of the season.