Wednesday, November 19, 2008

House, "Emancipation": Double your parallels, halve your fun

No time to write about last night's "House," except to say that the only thing more annoying than this season's insistence on having the patient of the week's life serve as a parallel to one of the doctors is episodes like this one that turn the patient into a metaphor for multiple docs (in this case, Kutner and Foreman).

Fire away in the comments.


Unknown said...

While I thought the episode wasn't bad overall, buoyed by its work on both sets of fellows and still working in some House and Wilson, it was also the most manipulative yet: the girl started as a meaningful case for Kutner, who disappeared with barely a mention once she was revealed to be lying, and then 13 steps in for the rape/Huntington's side of the story, and then House swoops in for a final scene that eventually ties her case into Foreman's via questions of sibling tragedy/near-tragedy.

And while it's even more manipulative than our usual complaint with the show, I was glad for them to try to move them all along at once - it allowed them to emphasize conflict and interaction between them as opposed to only inner turmoil, something that felt more natural even when the machinations were so false.

K J Gillenwater said...

I thought it would've been more realistic to have the 'secret' be she was an illegal. How does a 16-year-old figure out how to steal someone's identity?

I don't have a problem with parallels. I actually thought they were pretty weak ones, considering the Kutner thing never really went full circle and the Huntington's was a short ploy to get the girl to talk.

I liked the fact that Foreman is trying to stretch his wings a bit. Where that's going, I'm curious to see.

The biggest disappointment was the lack of movement on the Cuddy/House story. I wanted a tad more going on there...but you can't have everything.

Did anyone else notice that House was less of an ass this week?

Anonymous said...

Remy Hadley? She introduced herself and my first thought was, no, that's not her name, it's 13. If her name had been revealed before, I missed it.

KrisMrsBBradley said...

I thought this one was a bit blah. I actually fell asleep halfway through. Too much smaltz and drama, not enough Wilson.

Unknown said...

Robynn - We learned her full name in an episode last season, maybe the finale, wherein Cuddy referred to her as "Dr. Hadley." After that point, FOX updated their cast listings and the like with her full name, and I think I remember it being used at least once in passing earlier this season.

This is, though, the first time SHE has used it, I think. Which is kind of problematic, when you think about it: how has she never introduced herself to a patient before? Shows the contrivance, even if humorous, of House's naming techniques extending to the writer's room.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Remy Hadley? She introduced herself and my first thought was, no, that's not her name, it's 13. If her name had been revealed before, I missed it.

Cuddy called her Dr. Hadley late last season, and some of the more obsessive viewers spotted the full name on her ID badge in one episode. But this is the first time Thirteen herself has said her name out loud.

Antid Oto said...

I hate cute child actors. Bleagh.

olucy said...

I enjoyed it just fine. Didn't love it, didn't hate it. But I did like the twist at the end--the final lie. I thought it was a believeable enough reason for her to cut herself off from her parents.

I thought last week's parallels were far stronger. This week didn't bother me too much. But of all the doctors who want to be emancipated from House, does it have to be the black one?

I did enjoy seeing Foreman actually DO something for a change.

For those who are still having your DVRs cut off a minute or two before the ep ends, I hope you noticed the announcement for next week. It runs long. 8 minutes past the hour. So pad your technology an extra 10 minutes.

Will Eidam said...

AVON BARKSDALE!!! Did anyone else see him in the preview for next week? Looks like the Barksdale crew has reformed their ways and are now taking positions on the terrorist negotiations task force. I'm legitimately giddy for next week.

Pamela Jaye said...

thanks for the 8 minute warning! I didn't watch the previews, if that's where they put it.

As for never hearing 13 introduce herself before, perhaps they just never showed a scene where she did? (I sure noticed it when she did)

Anonymous said...

The biggest disappointment was the lack of movement on the Cuddy/House story. I wanted a tad more going on there...but you can't have everything.

I like the slow pace of the story. I'd prefer they didn't rush it, and it should take a backseat to the cases.

I didn't mind this ep so much, but did find it odd that Kutner disappeared from the storyline that way. Guess the writers needed their 13 quotient raised, bleah.

Anonymous said...

I just kind of thought the answers seemed rather obvious. My first thought with the brothers is that the healthy brother did something. I actually thought maybe he was being nice to make up for it but doing something he thought was nice but hurt him wasn't that far off.

And...haven't we had a patient that was lying because they were suicidal before? The whole "if you're lying this treatment will kill you" thing, when it doesn't make them change their story, automatically makes me think they want to die or at least don't mind it. I guess being suicidal is a bit different from failing to cooperate because she doesn't think she deserves treatment, but still.

I kind of like Remy as Thirteen's first name. I know I'm probably going to be in the minority there. I also like how they've dropped her real name so casually here and there after going so long without using it during the majority of last season.

Anonymous said...

I thought most everyone was phoning it in this week: the writers who seemed to have a checklist and didn't care how bad the medicine was; Omar Epps, who should have been rocking it but could barely summon up any emotions; Wilson, who seems to be as bored by the Huddy high school antics as I am; and Hugh Laurie, who seems to be bored by the show period until the last scene with the patient. Even Jesse Spencer and Jennifer Morrison seem to be thinking that what's the point of trying since they won't get any lines anyway no matter what they do. Or maybe they gave up when makeup took away Chase's razor and Cameron's comb.

The only ones trying were Peter Jacobson and Kal Penn.

I was encouraged when it looked like finally we were going to get a Kutner episode but then as always, it turns into a big Thirteen anvil. That the show seems to be unable to give us anything but Thirteen and Huddy shows how creatively dead it is. There's still hope but not if David Shore can't get over his obsession with Thirteen and Katie Jacobs hers with Huddy.

Anonymous said...

The best part of the show was seeing the old team work together. I loved that Chase suspected the brother even without interacting with the family. House taught him well.

The new team is as exciting as watching beige paint dry. Kutner has possibility, but since 13 took over the interactions with the patient, Kutner never gets developed. 13 is obnoxious and Taub is a lost cause. They need to go.

Anonymous said...

Why do so many people dislike the team? Sure, compared to House they are not very interestig, but at least they DO have personalities, not like on most cop shows where theres one charismatic guy and the rest basically looks good and delivers exposition.

Joan said...

Too much smaltz and drama, not enough Wilson.

Yes, but I have to say, I loved Wilson in this episode, and a lot of the time he just annoys me. I think he's handling House's Cuddy-thing perfectly.

The other two stories -- meh. I suspected poisoning when the older boy said something about giving his little brother vitamins. Alarm bells should have been ringing for everyone at that point, but no, that would have made the diagnosis too quick. The lying girl with the arsenic poisoning/leukemia was just off, somehow -- she never sold me, although Hugh Laurie did with his reaction, so that was nice.

I still mostly enjoy this show which is saying a lot -- I've given up on practically every other fiction show I used to watch.

Anonymous said...

Art Fleming:
The only other cop/drama shows I watch are NCIS, CSI and Life where the secondary characters are much more developed than on House. On NCIS, the ratings shot up when they started giving the secondary characters more story lines two seasons ago.

On House, the team has devolved since the show started. After five seasons, Foreman is asking permission of House which he would have scorned to do in season 1, we barely know Kutner, Taub is like watching paint dry and while we get far too much of Thirteen, all the things they throw at us (mysterious, lost her mother, Huntinton's, bisexual, drugs and acting out sexually) don't make up for the fact that she's an unpleasant, sulky egotist who acts like she's too good for her job and only appears to care about people if it scores her points against House. She's like House except without the wit and the charm that saves him from being unwatchable. Chase and Cameron have become are complex and interesting characters but since we rarely see them, it doesn't make a difference.

If all you need is House himself or House/Wilson/Cuddy you may still be enjoying the show. I'm bored with House now because he's so predictable and I want more.

Mapeel said...

I happen to see a rerun of the great Jeremy Brett's The Return of Sherlock Holmes late last night after watching House. It was great to see the blueprint for House/Wilson in Brett/Edward Hardwicke's Holmes/Watson. They really do capture some of the essence of their Victorian predecessors.