NOTE: Welles-Fest will continue with our next installment.
I’ve been a fan of “House M.D.” since its debut in late 2004. I don’t consider it a guilty pleasure. It’s just damn good television. I’ve come to regard it as my favorite major network show.
Much of the appeal originates from the work of Hugh Laurie as the titular character. His performance elevates the show’s sometimes pedestrian writing. His various awards seem to indicate that more than a few people agree with me.
It shouldn’t be a surprise then that there is a growing general discontent with the show this season. We aren’t getting enough House in “House M.D.”
Season 6 began with the stellar 2 hour premiere centered on House’s stay in a psychiatric hospital. It was essentially a House movie, complete with new characters and full fledged character progression for Greg House. It made me genuinely excited to see what the show runners had in store for our genius protagonist. How was Princeton Plainsboro going to deal with a version of House that was actively campaigning against his own substance abuse and misanthropy?
In the 7 months and 17 episodes since then House has been relegated to a mostly supporting role. I’m not talking about the Cuddy/Wilson centric episodes. Those were well done and helped flesh out characters that are an essential part of House’s life. The problem lies with most of the other episodes that push House into the background/comic relief while giving an unncessary amount of screen time to Chase, Thirteen, and Taub.
Notice that I didn’t mention Foreman? It’s because there isn’t enough of him either. Omar Epps’ work across the run of the show has been nothing short of fantastic. As his character has struggled to not become House, he’s also become more interesting and fully realized. I like watching Epps and Laurie work together. They share a nice dynamic that has been woefully under utilized this season.
Some feel tht the show lost something when they shook up the supporting cast in Season 4. I didn’t, I liked the infusion of new blood for House to play off of. Therein lies the key. Supporting characters should illuminate the world of the protagonist.
The show needs to tighten up and focus. Its 7th season begins this fall. Maybe it’s time to really construct a final narrative arc for Dr. House. Let’s see where these changes take him…and for God’s sakes give us a season of “House” that is actually about House.