House MD - The Elementary Medical Doctor

Gregory HouseImage via Wikipedia
Dr Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) believes that everyone lies. That’s because he lies, has been lied to and has seen people lie to each other. With so many lies going around him, it’s no wonder that he has such a pessimistic, bleak view of life and no bedside manner to speak of.

For three seasons now, House MD has captivated audiences and reinvented the medical drama, a genre previously perfected by ER and the infamous M*A*S*H series. But House MD brings an element of mystery and detective work to the medical genre along with sharp, witty and thought provoking dialogue.

The premise of the series is a medical mystery drama and what better inspiration than Sherlock Holmes. Creator David Shore modelled House on Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous English detective. Certain mannerisms like drug addiction and a friendly sidekick crossed through verbatim in the adaptation. An irony unto itself, however, since Doyle based Holmes on his associate Dr Bell, whose specialty was diagnosis.

Through the seasons, both House as a character and Laurie as an actor have progressed considerably. Laurie brings a wry, sarcastic touch and at times a sense of anger to his character. Known for his small British comedy roles, the actor fooled producer Bryan Singer, with a deadpan audition, into believing that he was an American.

Joining him, are Lisa Edelstein as Dr Cuddy, House’s boss and the punch line for many of his jokes. Omar Epps portrays Dr Eric Foreman, a headstrong doctor, who always gets in House’s way, because Foreman sees House as more of a nuisance than a genius. But time and events have made Foreman make peace with both the nuisance and the genius. Jennifer Morrison’s character, Dr Allison Cameron, starts off as a near-romantic interest to House but quickly pulls back. Dr Robert Chase, Jesse Spencer, is an ambiguous character: at times he’s tried his best to get House in trouble, but at other times, he’s probably the only ally he has.

Robert Sean Leonard portrays House’s polar opposite, Dr James Wilson, the Watson to his Holmes. Leonard’s astuteness for stating the obvious to House is what keeps the doctor detective at bay and in check. But through all the show’s seasons, we see even Wilson starting to see House as a burden.

Three seasons of House MD are now available. Each season has bonus material, including commentary and behind the scenes features.

(This review appeared in the 26th June, 2008, edition of The Review)

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1 comment:

sidrah said...

laurie is my hero! :)

just read this piece, i dont get dawn on wednesdays. well down :) but House has reclined in my adoration since seson 3 :*( the first 2 were so stellar!