Sunday, January 20, 2013

House MD Review

Also known as House, M.D.
Genre Medical drama
Format Medical drama
Created by David Shore
Starring Hugh Laurie
Lisa Edelstein
Omar Epps
Robert Sean Leonard
Jennifer Morrison
Jesse Spencer
Peter Jacobson
Kal Penn
Olivia Wilde
Amber Tamblyn
Odette Annable
Charlyne Yi
Opening theme "Teardrop" by Massive Attack
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 177 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Paul Attanasio
Katie Jacobs
David Shore
Bryan Singer
Thomas L. Moran
Russel Friend
Garrett Lerner
Greg Yaitanes
Hugh Laurie
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Heel & Toe Films
Shore Z Productions
Bad Hat Harry Productions
NBC Universal Television Studio (2004–2007)
Universal Media Studios (2007–2011)
Universal Television (2004, 2011–2012)
Distributor 20th Television
Original channel Fox
Picture format 480i
720p (HDTV)
Original run November 16, 2004 – May 21, 2012

At first, the producers were looking for a "quintessentially American person" to play the role of House. Bryan Singer in particular felt there was no way he was going to hire a non-American actor for the role. At the time of the casting session, actor Hugh Laurie was in Namibia filming the movie Flight of the Phoenix. He assembled an audition tape in a hotel bathroom, the only place with enough light, and apologized for its appearance (which Singer compared to a "bin Laden video"). Laurie improvised, using an umbrella for a cane. Singer was very impressed by his performance and commented on how well the "American actor" was able to grasp the character. Singer was not aware that Laurie was English, due to his convincing American accent. Laurie credits the accent to "a misspent youth [watching] too much TV and too many movies". Although locally better-known actors such as Denis Leary, David Cross, Rob Morrow, and Patrick Dempsey were considered for the part, Shore, Jacobs, and Attanasio were as impressed as Singer and cast Laurie as House.
Laurie later revealed that he initially thought the show's central character was Dr. James Wilson. He assumed that House was a supporting part, due to the nature of the character, until he received the full script of the pilot episode. Laurie, the son of a doctor, Ran Laurie, said he felt guilty for "being paid more to become a fake version of [his] own father". From the start of season three, he was being paid $275,000 to $300,000 per episode, as much as three times what he had previously been making on the series. By the show's fifth season, Laurie was earning around $400,000 per episode, making him one of the highest paid actors on network television.

Hugh Laurie made his own audition tape while shooting a film in Namibia
Robert Sean Leonard had received the script for the CBS show Numb3rs, as well as that for House. Leonard thought the Numb3rs script was "kind of cool" and planned to audition for the show.However, he decided that the character he was up for, Charlie Eppes, was in too many scenes; he later observed, "The less I work, the happier I am". He believed that his House audition was not particularly good, but that his lengthy friendship with Singer helped win him the part of Dr. Wilson. Singer had enjoyed Lisa Edelstein's portrayal of a prostitute on The West Wing, and sent her a copy of the pilot script. Edelstein was attracted to the quality of the writing and her character's "snappy dialogue" with House, and was cast as Dr. Lisa Cuddy.
Australian actor Jesse Spencer's agent suggested that he audition for the role of Dr. Robert Chase. Spencer believed the program would be similar in style to General Hospital, but changed his mind after reading the scripts. After he was cast, he persuaded the producers to turn the character into an Australian. Patrick Dempsey also auditioned for the part of Chase; he later became known for his portrayal of Dr. Derek Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy. Omar Epps, who plays Dr. Eric Foreman, was inspired by his earlier portrayal of a troubled intern on the NBC medical drama ER. Jennifer Morrison felt that her audition for the part of Dr. Allison Cameron was a complete disaster. However, before her audition, Singer had watched some of her performances, including on Dawson's Creek, and already wanted to cast her in the role. Morrison left the show when her character was written out in the middle of season six.
At the end of season three, House dismisses Chase, while Foreman and Cameron resign. House must then recruit a new diagnostic team, for which he identifies seven finalists. The producers originally planned to recruit two new full-time actors, with Foreman, who returns in season four's fifth episode, bringing the team back up to three members; ultimately, the decision was made to add three new regular cast members. (Along with Epps, actors Morrison and Spencer remained in the cast, as their characters moved on to new assignments.) During production, the show's writers dismissed a single candidate per episode; as a result, said Jacobs, neither the producers nor the cast knew who was going to be hired until the last minute. In the season's ninth episode, House's new team is revealed: Foreman is joined by doctors Lawrence Kutner (Kal Penn), Chris Taub (Peter Jacobson), and Remy "Thirteen" Hadley (Olivia Wilde). The candidates rejected by House have not returned to the show, with the exception of the last one cut: Amber Volakis (Anne Dudek), who appeared for the rest of season four as Wilson's girlfriend,and in season five as a hallucination of House's.While Penn and Wilde had higher profiles than the actors who played the other finalists, Jacobs said they went through an identical audition process and stayed with the show based on the writers' interest in their characters. Kutner was written out of the series near the end of season five after Penn took a position in the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs
The contracts of Edelstein, Epps, and Leonard expired at the end of season seven. As a cost-cutting measure, the three actors were asked to accept reduced salaries. Epps and Leonard came to terms with the producers, but Edelstein did not, and in May 2011 it was announced that she would not be returning for the show's eighth season.

Series overview (Stolen from Wikipedia!)

Anytime you try to summarize a show in one word, you sound like an ass. It's about truth.
David Shore[80]
Gregory House, M.D., often construed as a misanthropic medical genius, heads a team of diagnosticians at the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey.[71] Most episodes revolve around the diagnosis of a primary patient and start with a pre-credits scene set outside the hospital, showing events ending with the onset of the patient's symptoms.[17] The typical episode follows the team in their attempts to diagnose and treat the patient's illness,[77][81] which often fail until the patient's condition is critical.[77] They usually treat only patients whom other doctors have not accurately diagnosed,[68] and House routinely rejects cases that he does not find interesting.[17] The story lines tend to focus on his unconventional medical theories and practices,[dubious – discuss] and on the other characters' reactions to them, rather than on the details of the treatments.[3]
The team employs the differential diagnosis method,[81] listing possible etiologies on a whiteboard, then eliminating most of them, usually because one of the team (most often House) provides logical reasons for ruling them out.[82] Typically the patient is misdiagnosed at least once and accordingly receives some treatments that are at best useless;[81] this usually causes further complications, but—as the nature of the complications often provides valuable new evidence—eventually these help them diagnose the patient correctly.[17] House often tends to arrive at the correct diagnosis seemingly out of the blue, often inspired by a passing remark made by another character.[81] Diagnoses range from relatively common to very rare diseases.[83]
The team face many diagnostic difficulties from patients' concealment of symptoms, circumstances, or personal histories, so House frequently proclaims during the team's deliberations, "The patient is lying", or mutters "Everybody lies"; such an assumption guides House's decisions and diagnoses,[9] and makes the countermeasure of housebreaking a routine procedure. Because many of his hypotheses are based on epiphanies or controversial insights, he often has trouble obtaining permission for medical procedures he considers necessary from his superior, who in all but the final season is hospital administrator Dr. Lisa Cuddy.[84] This is especially the case when the proposed procedures involve a high degree of risk or are ethically questionable. There are frequent disagreements between House and his team,[85] especially Dr. Allison Cameron, whose standards of medical ethics are more conservative than those of the other characters.[77]
Like all of the hospital's doctors, House is required to treat patients in the facility's walk-in clinic.[71][86] His grudging fulfillment of this duty, or his creative methods of avoiding it, constitute a recurring subplot, which often serves as the series' comic relief.[77][87] During clinic duty, House confounds patients with unwelcome observations into their personal lives, eccentric prescriptions, and unorthodox treatments.[71] However, after seeming to be inattentive to their complaints, he regularly impresses them with rapid and accurate diagnoses.[15] Analogies with some of the simple cases in the clinic often[dubious – discuss] inspire insights that help solve the team's case.[17][88]
It's not a show about addiction, but you can't throw something like this into the mix and not expect it to be noticed and commented on. There have been references to the amount of his consumption increasing over time. It's becoming less and less useful a tool for dealing with his pain, and it's something we're going to continue to deal with, continue to explore.
Shore on House's Vicodin addiction[89]
A significant plot element is House's use of Vicodin to manage pain, caused by an infarction in his quadriceps muscle five years before the show's first season, which also forces him to use a cane.[90] In the first season; eleventh episode "Detox", House admits he is addicted to Vicodin, but says he does not have a problem because the pills "let me do my job, and they take away my pain".[b] His addiction has led his colleagues, Cuddy and Dr. James Wilson, to encourage him to go to drug rehabilitation several times.[91] When he has no access to Vicodin or experiences unusually intense pain, he occasionally self-medicates with other narcotic analgesics such as morphine,[92] oxycodone,[93] and methadone.[94] House also frequently drinks liquor when he is not on medical duty, and classifies himself as a "big drinker".[95] Toward the end of season five, House begins to hallucinate; after eliminating other possible diagnoses, he and Wilson determine that his Vicodin addiction is the most likely cause.[96] House goes into denial about this for a brief time, but at the close of the season finale, he commits himself to Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital.[97] In the following season's debut episode, House leaves Mayfield with his addiction under control.[98] However, about a year and a half later, in season seven's 15th episode, "Bombshells", House reacts to the news that Cuddy possibly has kidney cancer by taking Vicodin,[99] and his addiction recurs.[100]

Actually, there are tons of things that I should be doing right now, but somehow I feel like talking about my favorite TV show ever, House MD. I started watching this show when I was thirteen. My sister just installed Astro to our TV so we got to watch AXN which aired House Season 1. The show aired in Malaysia a little bit later than in US and some countries, but I watched it like it was a premiere. But who cares right? And of course, the main thing that attracts me to the show is Dr. Gregory House. I watched ER and Grey Anatomy too but still House MD was and still my favorite medical show ever! Many people find that House’s attitude is kind of annoying and irritating but I like him a lot. He was a genius doctor who spoke his mind. He could not care less about what others think of him. He was real (although I am well aware that he’s a fictional character!), while others go around being hypocrites. And although he was rude almost all the time, he did tell people what they have to say and not tell them what they want to hear only. It may sound like I am a little bit ignorant of his bad attitudes, but I am well aware that the attitude is forbidden in real life. But honestly, I like his honesty in voicing his opinion because in my life, I am sick and tired of people coating the truth with a bunch of lies. I prefer a naked truth than a disguised one because in the end, the truth is going to float to the surface and due to the lies, it is going to hurt even worse than it is supposed to. No, I can’t live in denial like some people because I don’t have any resistance towards the pain that comes with it.

Now, enough with my stupid rant, lets move to WHY I LOVE HOUSE MD.

Honestly, it is because I like Dr. Gregory House and how Hugh Laurie delivers his character. I am a teenage girl and I am infatuated with him! The reasons? One, and only one, because he is like my father. I love my father, more than I love my mom although she is maybe more caring than him. House is like my father, funny and smart and honest. When I say my father was smart, it means he’s really smart. However, that is where the similarities end because my father was not as rude as him, and he was not a doctor too. And whether you notice it or not, House has a soft heart too, just like my father. Trust me, half of the time I was scared of my father. He was hot tempered and could breathe fire just over a cup of wrong coffee. Okay, now moving back to the similarity we were discussing (House=Nice=My Father). Many of you may think that House is a heartless guy who knows nothing but how to treat others horribly. But one of the episodes that I have watched shows the opposite of that. I don’t remember which season is the episode but it really touches my heart. The episode was when one of Wilson’s patients. Both Wilson and House went to a conference where Wilson had a speech to deliver over his research on his dying and dead patients. Wilson was kind of sad (and depressed) over it because he was really affected by his patients. House however was not needed at the conference, he just tagged along. And he was blissfully ignorant of Wilson’s sadness. However, on the day of the conference, House drugged Wilson and stole his speech text. He sneaked in using a doctor’s ID and delivered the speech, literally pouring his heart out and getting a round of loud applause for it. He delivered the truth, in his own way which was both enchanting and heart wrenching. Many people may think that he was just messing with Wilson’s work, but the truth is he was trying to spare Wilson from tearing his own heart again over reminiscing his patients’ lives. (This episode brought tears to my eyes!) Okay, so what does this has to do with my dad? Oh right, I have forgotten bout that part, thanks to House! So the situation sort of reminds me about what my dad did for me when I was a kid. We were not rich, so our lives were pretty much horrible. My sister and I had to do the laundry because we couldn’t afford to pay our housekeeper’s salary anymore. And because of that I had to do my own laundry. I had to wash my own uniform. And at that time, I had only two pairs of uniform so I had to wash it every two days. So one night I washed my uniform (well, I did not brush the dirt away clearly because I was like only 11 and spoiled). I hung it while my father watch me amusedly. I went to sleep and the next day I picked the uniform and wore it to school. All day long at school, I felt sick of my seatmate’s deodorant. However, at the end of the day I realized that it wasn’t the seatmate’s deodorant that smell weird, but my uniform! It hit me right away that the night before my father rewashed and bleached my uniform for me without informing him. I never discussed bout it with him, but I know he did it. And I also know that he did not want me to know. That’s how I think he’s just like House, he did a kindness but did not flash it to your face. (This example is just one of the many, so don’t call me naïve okay!)

Okay, now that the main point is out, let me list down the other things that I enjoyed about this show:

-Wilson is such a good friend, I’d love to have a friend like him (supportive and stuff)
-Cuddy is just the perfect match for the insane House
-Foreman is so soft behind his hard façade
-Thirteen just knows how to be the ‘cool’est one ever
-Chase is just funny lol
-HOUSE? The best doctor ever! (HE's ENGLISH!!!)

And guess what? I cried because the show ended when I have never ever cried over an ended show ever!

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