Stephen Speicher

House (2004)

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75 posts in this topic

Gideon Reich started a thread () on this TV show several months ago, and several enthusiasts in that thread convinced me to give the show a try. I expressed my gratitude to these people several times, because House is an absolutely superb show. One of the finest to ever grace the small screen. This show certainly deserves to be put up for rating, so I did.

I have been watching the re-runs on Fox and have probably seen half or more of the first season's shows. A couple of days ago Fox played two episodes back-to-back. The first episode focused on the relationship between House and Cameron, and the second episode was the one where House teaches a Diagnostics class. This latter is one of the most creative TV shows I have ever seen, a lovely dramatic story beautifully portrayed. Who knows what further joys await me from this magnificent show.

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Gideon Reich started a thread () on this TV show several months ago, and several enthusiasts in that thread convinced me to give the show a try. I expressed my gratitude to these people several times, because House is an absolutely superb show. One of the finest to ever grace the small screen. This show certainly deserves to be put up for rating, so I did.

My dislike for medical dramas goes beyond even Stephen's, I think, so I was a REALLY HARD SELL on this show. I have always been more of a fan of mystery/thriller shows such as 24, Alias, and CSI. Given this reticence, I didn't really want to watch, much less like, House.

Despite my usual lack of interest in the genre, reading all these posts (and knowing that Stephen and I often have similar taste in movies) convinced me to buy the DVD set. I have only watched the first two episodes so far, but my reaction is: WOW.

House is more of a mystery show, I've found, and that's what appeals to me. Hugh Laurie's House reminds me of what I like so much about Gil Grissom on CSI or Jack Bauer on 24: their single minded focus on solving the mystery or crime.

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I found this USA Today article on the hugely-talented Hugh Laurie, who plays House, on IMDB:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/ne...gh-laurie_x.htm

Co-star Robert Sean Leonard, who plays a levelheaded Dr. Watson figure to Laurie's limping Sherlock Holmes, marvels at his friend's ability to stay sane.

"He's got a family thousands of miles away, and he's here pretending to be an American," Leonard says. "This show is all he has. It's lonely. Every time I see him, I don't know how he does it."

Part of it certainly is Laurie's affection for House, the way the character lets him be a tornado in a world that usually asks that we whisper our discontent. But Laurie himself also isn't shy about skewering his personal peeves, employing his driest Queen's English to do the job. For example, he's quite upset that Western medicine often gets a bad rap.

Medicine is in his blood

As a doctor's son, "I grew up with an impatience with the anti-scientific," he says. "So I'm a bit miffed with our current love affair with all things Eastern. If I sneeze on the set, 40 people hand me echinacea. But I'd no sooner take that than eat a pencil. Maybe that's why I took up boxing. It's my response to men in white pajamas feeling each other's chi."

Zing. A House line if there ever was one.

[Emphases original.]

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anyone catch last night's episode?

House has to treat a faith healer, which sets up a really interesting conflict between Dr. House, intransigent atheistic man of reason. vs. his complete opposite.

(And just remember, the theme of House is: House is -always- right, and everyone else is -always- wrong.)

This show just keeps getting better and better.

It made my heart glad to find out that last week's episode came in third in the ratings, after two episodes of American Idol. So, they'll keep making this show, it seems.

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[...] the theme of House is: House is -always- right, and everyone else is -always- wrong.)

Is the theme actually that narrow, or is there a more abstract theme?

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Is the theme actually that narrow, or is there a more abstract theme?

I would say that it is persistence in seeking the objective truth which is always right.

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I would say that it is persistence in seeking the objective truth which is always right.

Yes. It is focusing on non-essentials to state that the show is about House always being right and everyone else wrong. For one thing, that's not even true, at least within the progress of a show. But the real focus is on the fact that House is the *best* doctor of them - the widest knowledge, the keenest insight, the most focused on objectively assessing the real situation in order to find a cure, including non-physical but relevant psychological factors. As a result, he logically *is* right, more often than lesser doctors. House combines an interesting abrasively honest character with brilliant levels of knowledge and logical reasoning. If I had to choose a theme, I would say that it's: the virtue of competence and brutal honesty over touchy-feely-wishy-washy, which is what makes the show so refreshingly different.

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I would say that it is persistence in seeking the objective truth which is always right.

Thank you! I don't now have a TV. One of my lifestyle goals -- for far in the future when perhaps I am too old to do much else -- is to have a video system (in whatever the latest technology is then!) and play my favorite TV series from decades ago, one show per day, everyday, as a tonic.

I have not watched TV for many years, except for an hour or so occasionally when visiting my son and his family. "House" sounds like a series to add to my list, if it is available for sale then.

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I would say that it is persistence in seeking the objective truth which is always right.

Yes. It is focusing on non-essentials to state that the show is about House always being right and everyone else wrong. For one thing, that's not even true, at least within the progress of a show. But the real focus is on the fact that House is the *best* doctor of them - the widest knowledge, the keenest insight, the most focused on objectively assessing the real situation in order to find a cure, including non-physical but relevant psychological factors. As a result, he logically *is* right, more often than lesser doctors. House combines an interesting abrasively honest character with brilliant levels of knowledge and logical reasoning. If I had to choose a theme, I would say that it's: the virtue of competence and brutal honesty over touchy-feely-wishy-washy, which is what makes the show so refreshingly different.

Boy, you two must have taken double doses of your smart and insight pills today! :)

Very interesting identifications.

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Yeah, it was my favorite episode so far. It's refreshing to see heroic characters who are atheists. Here are some quotes that I transcribed (There may be errors though, I don't type quite as fast as House talks :) ):

“If you talk to god, you’re religious. If god talks to you, you’re psychotic.”

“Faith -- that’s another word for ignorance, isn’t it?”

“Trust has to be earned, you can’t trust someone hiding in a closet.”

“Isn’t it interesting that religious behavior is so close to being crazy that we can’t tell them apart?”

“There’s nothing in this universe that can’t be explained… eventually.”

-House

And these two are paraphrased:

“Somehow it’s an achievement to believe something without knowing it.”

“You know, I’d get [religion] if people were just looking to get rid of the holes. But people like the holes. And they get mad if you pour dirt in their holes. Climb out of your holes, people!"

-House

If someone has any corrections, feel free to post them!

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Thank you! I don't now have a TV. One of my lifestyle goals -- for far in the future when perhaps I am too old to do much else -- is to have a video system (in whatever the latest technology is then!) and play my favorite TV series from decades ago, one show per day, everyday, as a tonic.

I have not watched TV for many years, except for an hour or so occasionally when visiting my son and his family. "House" sounds like a series to add to my list, if it is available for sale then.

I would certainly recommend a martini on (the) House along with, perhaps, a little whiskey a la Paladin. :)

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anyone catch last night's episode?

I tape the shows and I just watched that episode ("House vs. God," aired 4/25/06) this morning.

Warning: Spoilers about this TV show follow

This show just keeps getting better and better.

Yes, this episode was astounding. The explicit conflict between reason and faith weaved its way throughout the whole story, an integral part of the entire episode. The consequences of each was beautifully dramatized, and, despite what was written on the final scorecard, reason won out. A marvelous show!

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This current episode dealing with faith versus reason highlights for me why I prefer programs that deal with ideas in daily life rather than politics. My apologies to you West Wing fans, but I never found the show compelling precisely because it's a political show. I can handle the leftward tilt, it's the subject matter I simply find uninteresting.

Even though my favorite programs to watch have been 24 and Alias, two others illustrate my point: House and Veronica Mars. Not surprisingly, both shows are essentially detective stories, but both deal with ideas in interesting and entertaining ways. To be sure, House is the heavier hitter of the two, but Mars' Kristen Bell is fantastic in the title role: pretty, smart, uncompromising, clever, etc.

Hugh Laurie should get a special Emmy for being the most uncompromising doctor ever portrayed on television. I must say this week's episode was the first time I'd seen religion so completely exposed in recent memory.

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House is the best TV show I have ever seen, period. The underlying theme, "reason wins", is pure gold. Hugh Laurie is superb. And what I find surprising: people love it!

It is a clear indication of the rift between peoples professed beliefs and their sense of life that in a country where altruism and irrationality prevail in discourse, this show is so popular.

Does anyone know if David Shore (the creator of House) is an Objectivist or has cited any such influence?

mrock

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Does anyone know if David Shore (the creator of House) is an Objectivist or has cited any such influence?

I do not know if he has any connection to Objectivism, but David Shore is not only the creator of House but, as far as I can tell, he has also written every single episode himself. A difficult task, especially while maintaining the quality that is House.

David Shore was a lawyer before becoming a writer, and he is listed as a "consulting producer" for the now defunct TV show Century City. I really enjoyed this legal show (unfortunately I may have been the only one, since the show only lasted 4 episodes). The setting was a law firm in the year 2030, and the cases involved legalities involving advanced biology and technology. Nine episodes were made but only four were aired; I hope one day to see the remaining five.

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The good opinions of people who reviewed the show in this thread motivated me to rent the first season of House. And while I've been thrilled to find a television show that is so good, I don't think that the writer could be an Objectivist, which, in some sense, makes the consistently good quality of the show that much more of an achievement; because the philosophy is likely implicit, and it's very good. But I've noted a few different lines or elements here and there that indicated an occasional clash with an Objectivist principle or two, one of them very fundamental.

Unfortunately I cannot recall them exactly. I relegated these instances to the relatively unimportant, because they were not at all indicative of the overall quality. But one was a line that Dr. House makes regarding reality that an Objectivist would certainly never have him say, which was something like "Well, sometimes reality is wrong." That was the worst of it, and pretty anomalous.

At first, I didn't think that the quality could last beyond a few shows. But each show in the first season offered further developed characterizations, usually some interesting content presented almost mystery-fashion, and the often comedic elements provided by some of the clinic scenes. (BTW, I have never liked a 'hospital' show in my life. The last world I normally want to find myself in is a hospital. Nevertheless, I like this show.) And I look forward to seeing the shows from the later seasons eventually. But (thanks to this forum and HBL recommendations) my list of things to watch is longer than it's been in ages. Anyway, fortunately for me, I still have everything beyond the first season to see.

The episode that is my sentimental favorite so far is still the very first show, for a couple of reasons. First, I don't know if I'll ever get over the shock of watching a recently-made, and new for me, television show by which I was riveted and simply amazed to be seeing this character and this point of view. And secondly, I loved the very ending of that show, which touched me more deeply than any scene I remember ever having seen in any other television show. There may be future shows that are better overall, but I don't think anything will be able to eclipse the impression left by the first one.

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It doesn't matter if David Shore is an Objectivist or not. He created (along with Hugh Laurie, I believe) one of the most vital, moral characters ever to grace the small screen. I can see each episode, emotionally, as if I hadn't seen it before, the experience is that good.

If anyone saw Hugh Laurie on "Inside the Actor's Studio" last Monday; It was a special treat to see that he is not too far away from the character he plays.

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This episode of HOUSE--Tuesday, November 7, 2006--was a very special one for me. It was the first one that made me experience fear. It was fear for the fate of DOCTOR House.

Yes, the cop was right--if he speaks for the artistic context of the show as a drama--that HOUSE has gotten away with too much. It has been too easy, though that has been a major contributory aspect of the show's excitment. That his personality gets away with it, I mean. His talent and knowledge is not what I'm discussing in this paragraph.

What the cop's persistence brings to the show's drama is a life or death situation for Gregory. What would he do without being able to practice medicine? For, that is what threatens House in this current period. Where does the cop get off in pretending that he knows what's best for Greg--master doctor--and the University Hospital! A man like House, today, maybe wrong indeed. (I'm no doctor). But the show does not believe that.

This is what I want to see happen:

The cop will win the first battle. Gregory will lose his license for a year. His best friend will still keep his license, despite his transgression. House is the important scapegoat. Until the time when House will not be allowed to practice, House will manage to live without his drug; perhaps with the help of his friends.

But after, there will be a point where, unexpectedly to the show's fans, the cop will appear as a terminal patient. House will not save him. It will be Justice. The cop will have one year to live ...

The Next Season:

The hospital will secretely go to House for the answers to each case. This is in the midst of a new character, an obnoxious and small but educated foil to House. Somehow, House finally gets his supply of his drug. At the end of the season the cop finally sees that House is a great man. He pleads, pitifully, to House to save his life. House confronts him with the knowledge that he can.

Will House save him or no? ....

What do you think, folks?

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... You see,

The time period when the staff will be getting the secret answers to their legitimate patients' illness, is a time when the thrill of spy gadgets can be introduced into medicine.

I imagine special pens, hi-tech watches, eyewear with cameras and listening devices, electronic communication gadgets, old-fashioned courier mail, etc.

And if they can pull off making believable a sexy, fast sports car that can fly, and has missiles, I will be a very happy fan of the narcotic that is HOUSE.

Jose Gainza.

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In regards to the gadgets:

For example, I can picture Chase pretending to be deaf in one ear so tha the can carry a hearing aid, actually a transmitter, in which the voice of House will instruct him.

Jose Gainza.

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The main goal of Tritters actions is to humiliate House and drag him down. He seeks to wrongfully deprive him of the freedom to practice medicine because he has a personal beef with House. I think David Morses character is pretty evil.

That being said, I want Tritter's efforts to humiliate House to be fruitless. I want House to be pronounced not guilty at his trial and not be forced to apologize for who he is or have to compromise. I want this scene to be pretty similar to the scene in Season 1 where he's asked to give a speech that goes against his medical judgement and refuses to compromise and do so. Giving Tritter a larger role in this season would make him more important. He shouldn't be, because he's evil. If House is going to change for the better, I'd like to see that change be catalyzed by his own rational thought process, not a series of external events where he's under the control of a character I love to hate.

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The main goal of Tritters actions is to humiliate House and drag him down. He seeks to wrongfully deprive him of the freedom to practice medicine because he has a personal beef with House. I think David Morses character is pretty evil.

That being said, I want Tritter's efforts to humiliate House to be fruitless. I want House to be pronounced not guilty at his trial and not be forced to apologize for who he is or have to compromise. I want this scene to be pretty similar to the scene in Season 1 where he's asked to give a speech that goes against his medical judgement and refuses to compromise and do so. Giving Tritter a larger role in this season would make him more important. He shouldn't be, because he's evil. If House is going to change for the better, I'd like to see that change be catalyzed by his own rational thought process, not a series of external events where he's under the control of a character I love to hate.

I think that Tritter actually is against House from a moral standpoint. According to his morality, House's morality and personality is evil. I think he's on a moral quest to stop men like House. Notice also that he is a good cop in the sense that he knows his job well. Therefore, if Tritter does take his morality seriously then it is not external forces that will interfere with House's career but another man's moral values. I don't think Tritter's moral status has been established yet. We may disagree with his values but if he's dedicated to his values, then he still shares in moral greatness, i.e., he is not a small man.

So far I must give credit to a character who can inspire genuine fear on the face of House, which I can't recall anyone doing so far.

Jose Gainza.

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But after, there will be a point where, unexpectedly to the show's fans, the cop will appear as a terminal patient. House will not save him. It will be Justice.

I think that would be an inversion of justice. I am more on the side of the policeman than House's side on this. I do not like at all the way the show has been going lately, at least as far as House's character is concerned. He has been getting increasingly hostile, and obnoxious, to the point where his behavior now detracts from my appreciation of his medical brilliance. In the past I put up with his biting and sometimes irascible behavior, because it was a limited aspect of his character that was outshined by his accomplishments. Not so recently. I hope the show gets some new writers.

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