Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fatal errors

Spoilers for last night's "House" and "Gilmore Girls" coming up just as soon as I straighten my UPenn diploma...

Just the other day, Fienberg was complaining to me that it had been a while since "House" had killed a patient, so he's obviously very pleased with last night's episode. Patients have died before on occasion, but usually because the team couldn't find the right treatment in time; other than maybe that Chase/House inquisition episode from last season (the details of which I don't remember), this was an extremely rare case of House's "treat first, diagnosis much later" strategy backfiring and being directly responsible for a fatality. Omar Epps gets another potential Emmy reel in an episode guest-starring Roc Dutton, but he didn't really grab me until the last scene with Foreman's mom. Various TV guides spoiled the Alzheimer's revelation, but it was devastating anyway. Beautifully played by Epps and the actress cast as Mrs. Foreman.

Meanwhile, after an episode so boring I felt absolutely no need to review it, "Gilmore Girls" was back to at least decent levels, thanks largely to the biggest Paris spotlight of the season. The envelope-opening scene was priceless in its many mood swings, and I liked Doyle finally figuring out how to handle her after all these years of being the bottom in this relationship.

The use of the Jeep and the broken dollhouse as metaphors for Lorelai and Luke's relationship was a bit sledgehammer-y, but I'm glad that they're finally getting significant screentime again. Whatever personal problems may or may not exist between the two actors, they have good chemistry, especially when they're as annoyed with each other as they were for most of this episode. It's just a shame that Amy's parting gift and Rosenthal's decision to really deal with the consequences of it has kept the two of them apart for almost all of what could be the final season. I expect in the end that the CW is going to come up with some sort of compromise, an abbreviated season or whatever, to get Graham and Bledel to commit to one more year, but in the event that falls through, I can't imagine getting any real closure on this relationship over the next three episodes.

What did everybody else think?


AndyW said...

I thought Foreman grappling with killing a patient was kind of after school-specialy. They had a musical montage, for goodness sakes!

The final scene with his mom was nice, though.

Pamela Jaye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

House, the program, is getting a little too introspective. Many of the episodes have forgotten what made the program in the first place: the mystery disease. Now we are exploring the relationships between the principals. Which might be fine, except these relationships never go anywhere. By the end of an arc, the characters are in the same relationship as when the story began.

I guess the writers don't think they can change the dynamics between the principals without ruining the series; but, for the audience (at least me), it's difficult to invest emotion in characters who I know won't change.

Anonymous said...

did we not already know that Mrs Foreman had Alzheimers? Or have I been reading the same articles you have?
I know there was a reference made to her when his father visited. I'm not sure it was mentioned when Vogler was on. And I may be getting those mixed up cause it seems Vogler's parent had Alzheimers too.

Cute article header. (stop watching those Mac commercials ;-) )


Anonymous said...

I'm not nuts.
according to

[Foreman's] mother "can't travel anymore." She has problems with new memories. Foreman's father says of her, "She's lost a lot of who she was." [[ep] #221]


Matt said...

At minimum, it was at least strongly hinted at in the early scenes this week, in which Foreman Sr. says something along the lines of "you need to see her while she still remembers you."

And I stand by my suggestion on Gilmore Girls--I would watch a Paris/Doyle spinoff. Or better still? Paris travels the world with Emily Gilmore, since they're apparently the only characters the current staff knows how to write right.

Anonymous said...

It's the emotional stasis of six brilliant people that I find fascinating, especially House's obsession with keeping Wilson and Cuddy separate. For me, the series has always been a study in dysfunctional personality--the disease of the week was just a backdrop.

Anonymous said...

It was in Eurphoria 1 and 2 last season that we learned that Mrs. Foreman has alhzeimers. I thought the episode was a nice change from the usual formula, every now and then the show does get a little too formulaic and changing it up is not only good for character development (hello Mrs. Wilson Number 3) but also for viewers such as myself who are getting a little tired of the procedural dynamic.

Anonymous said...

I did like learning about Wilson's ex-wife.

Aside from that, the use of the reset button is far more annoying than it ever was on Enterprise (cause in Scifi, you expect such things)

Apparently Carla is dealing much better with Turks "other wife" than Wilson's ex did.

One interesting thing I noted about House -- and it may just be me - I never watch procedurals: House is one of the the only shows I watch that never says "Previously on..." (and the other would be Scrubs. but Scrubs is a sitcom, so maybe that doesn't count)

ever since 1994 I've found I have to watch shows in order. Once I sat down and caught up on two whole seasons of ER in three weeks. Thankfully I still have one VCR that date stamps everything...

Pam (who still watches for the mystery and the sarcasm, but really prefers Grey's, when a choice has to be made. Say what you will, but Cristina had actual character growth last ep, asking Burke a question she already knew the answer to)

Anonymous said...

There's something wrong with this post when you click it on the main page - all that comes up is the html text of the link to the picture.

Anonymous said...

I disagree that the procedural elements are what make "House" great. Witness the slew of CSI shows and clones, but the Coke Classic version is the only one that's remotely watchable.
The characters do change, if only in small increments, but that's how real people do it, too.
So, any suggestions for rules to the House drinking game? We try to keep it reasonable, so we don't use character tics, but things like doing a shot when a patient unexpectedly coughs/vomits/otherwise expels blood, or when a CT scan/MRI goes wrong.

Unknown said...

Wow, I had to fast forward through the Paris/acceptance letter scene -- at least the middle of it. It was just the same old Paris doing the same old crap. For a really long time. I did like the close of the scene where she huddled on the couch because at least she wasn't talking anymore.

And are we finally supposed to be getting the idea that Rory is just not all that as a journalist?