Saturday, September 16, 2006

I hate House!


[posted by dinah]


There is a piece of my brain that is missing, I'm sure of it. It's the part that encodes names and facts about, and truly understands, Pop Culture. I think I had a little of it when I was a kid-- back then I could remember what artist sang what song, I could even remember their names, I watched the more popular TV shows (hey, if you check out the comments one of Dr. A's old posts, you'll see that I know all the lyrics to the Gilligan's Island theme song...so it was once intact), I knew who was in and who was out. Now, well, I recognize names, but I'm not so good at putting names and faces together. Whitney Houston, I was informed yesterday by a CNN BREAKING NEWS ALERT, has filed for divorce (for this they send me a special e-mail???) from her husband, some guy I never heard of. Is this something people care about and why don't I get a CNN alert for every celebrity divorce? Oh, the list of what I don't know is pretty long and I get some pretty strange looks from patients who are forced to explain a lot of things to me when I say "It's a familiar name..."

Okay, so some of my family members like this show House. The premise for the show, as discerned by the family member stuck with the option of either watching or relocating to another room in our house (that would be me) is as follows: There's this unshaven, utterly obnoxious doctor who is nasty to everyone from his co-workers to his patients and he has some problem with his leg-- until this season--which forces him to walk with a cane; just in case that's not enough, he pops narcotics throughout. He calls it like it is in the most unsavory of ways, a disenfranchised misanthrope, his saving grace, and the premise for the plot of each show is that he's an intelligent, unyielding diagnostician who refuses to settle for anything short of cure for his patients---when push comes to shove either he's devoted to them or devoted to his narcissistic need to be right in every show.

So if the medical puzzles were interesting, with some hint of realism, that might carry the show for me. Ah, last episode, we started with a psychotic kid with night terrors-- hallucinating and convinced that objects had been implanted in him by aliens-- gosh, the kid even gets one of the housestaff to believe in the aliens. House pieces together that his problem is the partial chimeric brain from a failed twinning process during the boy's invitro conception 10 years earlier. A psychiatric consult is never called -- I was dying to slip just a little anti-psychotic into the kid's ginger ale-- but by the end of the episode, Dr. House (he's either an infectious disease doc, or some super internist) is seen performing an open neurosurgical ablation of the brain tissue formed by the twin's DNA and the child can now live happily ever after.

Nothing about this protagonist is likeable, in fact, he's every patient's nonchalant, flippant, acerbic nightmare of a doctor. His only saving grace is his limp, it somehow makes him vulnerable, and that of course was cured serendipitously by the ketamine he was given intra-operatively during the final episode last season (who would have guessed ketamine could have such magical powers??) -- surgery of course was required to treat the gunshot wound he sustained at the hands of a disgruntled patient's husband : this fits in nicely with the current medical blog concern with violence to doctors. According to a DJ in Baltimore, the limp was cured because it was hurting the actor's back to walk that way, but he was back to both his cane and his vicodin by the second episode of the season.

My family loves this show, my friends love this show, my patients love this show. In my state of Pop Culture Brain Disorder (PCBD--what do I take for this, Roy?) I just don't get it.

23 comments:

Sarebear said...

Besides his oh-so-blue eyes (I'll just forget that colored contacts might be behind that) . . .

I like the moments where he actually shows some humanity.

He has this thing, "Everybody lies", but there was one patient, that actually got him to set that aside, and BELIEVE him, which was crucial to House continuing to treat him and solve the case . . . of course, near the end of the episode, when House realized, wait, everybody DOES lie, and this happened to be thought in conjunction with an early part of the history given when the patient was admitted, wa-la, House figures it out.

But, he seemed to be sad that his, "Everybody lies" was right.

Is that black or white thinking, or what? lol. He was right both times, both for believing (cause the thing he was asked to believe about was true, but he wasn't right for believing because it was true, but because it was going out on a limb for someone who was a fellow human being) when the patient needed it, and for finding the lie, when the patient needed it but didn't know it.

Er, sorry to go on, there. Seeing his stretching beyond his usual House-ness is what I like to see.

Well, and then there's those eyes . . . .

I've been told there's a British series on PBS with him in it, from I don't know when, that I'll have to check out, and he's also in my FAVORITE MOVIE, that is the best for soothing me when frightened and agitated and stuff. Sense and Sensibility. He's not the nicest there, either, but his wife kinda is an understandable reason for that.

Whoops. Sorry for the House chronicles. I am also very curious to see whether he's addicted to this NEED to be RIGHT and solve EVERY case, or whether there's more to it than that. They are really pushing that part of the storyline right now.

Oh, and when I first started watching House a year ago, and saw that his character had a limp, I said, they are gonna have to get rid of that, or he's gonna develop back, leg, etc. problems . . . .

It's SO nice to be right!! Wait, I sound like House . . . (just joshing here w/this last paragraph, you DO know I like to be funny, if you know anything about me at all . . .

Oh, and I'm with you on the, where was the psych consult? Many times, psych seems to be almost non existent on this show . . . there was the patient who, for many years, had been treated as a schizophrenic, and seemed so, but then, wa-la, House figures out differently . . . c'mon, where's the psych?

Shoshana said...

I think the unshaven face, the rudeness, the smarts, that's the charm.

If you stare long enough, you find he's *gasp* sexy! But you have to invest time to like him.

I guess house is like Seinfeld. you either get it or you don't or in HOuse's case....you dig or don't.

Are there shows you like at all?

jw said...

I didn't even know there was a show called "House."

Dinah said...

Even by this standard:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/16/opinion/16hauck.html?ex=1158638400&en=7bae1b2c6201df65&ei=5070
I'm still allowed to watch TV!

My favorite shows, Homicide and NYPD Blue, are gone. Since I started blogging, I've less interest in TV (funny how that works)...email in general has captivated me. I never was a big one for TV. I liked Law & Order until it became ubiquitous. I used to like ER and Chicago Hope but Chicago Hope is gone and everyone on ER left or died. George Clooney is much sexier than the House guy.

ClinkShrink, I think likes weird stuff and Roy has the pop culture gene.....

JW: you are one lucky dude.
Sarebear: I expected you to chime in with an "I like House" comment! I wonder if Carrie likes it too?

Dinah said...

Oh, and my teeny-bopper says everyone likes House and will now boycott the blog because they don't want to be associated with me...

NeoNurseChic said...

I do like House - but not for any medical reasons. There are no nurses in the show - or any other hospital personnel at all really. Ever notice that? How they can all just jump from being diagnosticians to MRI techs to being able to resuscitate patients entirely on their own to brain surgery, etc etc....

It's really medically inaccurate and frankly that is frustrating. But I like the drama and such. When it originally came on, my mom said to me, "You need a doctor like this. One with perhaps no likeable personality at all, but one that will stop at nothing to find out what is wrong with you and get a treatment for it." ha....

You know that the character that plays House is actually from England? I love hearing him talk when he's interviewed on various shows as he is so soft spoken and seems very friendly! If nothing else, he is very convincing as an actor!

Take care!
Carrie :)

Sarebear said...

I just put Wooster & Jeeves (British show from early 90's w/Hugh Laurie, aka Gregory House) on my TIVO schedule.

YUM.

Oh, there was a moment, in the season finale of last season, where he actually said, "I'm sorry.".

Granted, it was all in his head as he was unconscious and hallucinating (er, unconscious hallucinating is dreaming, isn't it? lol), but he still came to a point where he realized that he WAS sorry . . .

I like how they conveyed how he came to that.

I actually think he hides his caring under all that gruff stuff. I get to be an armchair shrink, I guess, with this guy. Maybe THAT's why some people like the show.

Oh yeah, Carrie, where ARE the nurses? Seems to me the only other non-doc hospital staff shown, was when Wilson would flirt with a file clerk, or I think the one nurse I saw on their briefly once . . . .

Oh, and I remember they used to send patients to say a neurosurgeon, to do whatever brain surgery was needed, and so that's why this time I was surprised, like, um, hey, I didn't know House was qualified/certified to do that . . . Not that I know much about such qualifications/certifications, but . . . and I guess for cancer stuff, the go-to guy is Wilson. They need to add a shrink to, help House get a grip. I woulda thunk it'da been almost mandatory, given he'd be coming back to work to the very spot of the trauma . . . and given the nature of his job, they'd want to make sure he was, well, together.

Except he's never been, really.

Sorry for along comment again, lol.

It's a nice distraction from facing/confronting some HUGE fears, some HUGELY frightening for me situations today, this week, and next week.

DocMalk said...

I was waiting for a psych consult in that episode, too. The evil twin did it! Buahahahah!

I like "House" because of the actor. BTW, Hugh Laurie was also in several seasons of "Black Adder."

Dr. A said...

The rumors are true - House is based on my life. Believe it or not. HA!

BTW, good call on the Gilligan's Island theme. I never answered your question from back then. I have no idea why I blogged about that story. Probably three words: Out of ideas -- at least for that day.

Roy said...

I don't know so much about ketamine (an anesthetic used more on animals than people, due to its unpredictable psychotomimetic properties) on House, but a recent Archives article found that i.v. ketamine had a rapid (hours) antidepressant effect.

The NIMH researchers gave a low dose of ketamine in a double-blind fashion to folks with treatment-resistant major depression. Almost a third of them had a complete remission within 1 day! Pretty amazing. The effect lasted for about a week.

It may not cure your limping, but it sure seems to getcha walking tall again.

ClinkShrink said...

I have it on good authority from NIH that Pop Culture Brain Disorder does not exist. Personally I think it's caused by dinoflagellates.

foofoo5 said...

A few moons ago, I recall some ER visitations from folks taking "Vitamin K." As near as I could tell, they uniformly had trouble standing, let alone walking without a limp - "listing," I believe, would be the proper description. Likewise I have witnessed a horse "dropped" by the K. I wonder what effect it has on hair?

healthpsych said...

I love House but it requires a substantial suspension of belief.

It has also become a little formulaic of late.

The attraction is probably Hugh Laurie, who is a great actor. I've liked most shows he's been in - check out the earlier Fry and Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster for his comedy days.

NeoNurseChic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Murky Thoughts said...

Rented one disc and couldn't stand it. Totally addicted to Gray's Anatomy, though.

Sarebear said...

All this talk about Gray's Anatomy has had me trying it the last few weeks. Never watched before.

Well, I know why it's called that, now; intern Gray sleeps around, spreading her anatomy all over the place. Er, that sounds alot worse than I mean it . . .

I love how different the show is from ER, though. I got tired of all the times the ER got invaded, assaulted, or blown up. Although I must say, last year the scene where Carter sobs in his father's arms over the loss of his baby . . . . that is one of THE BEST scenes ever, with all the layers going on, estranged father, and all that.

Oh, I also tried Wooster & Jeeves; Hugh talks WAY too fast, in a British accent that isn't cockney, but is a common, lower class type, and I had to concentrate just to understand what he was saying, mostly from the speed. Plus, his character has no brains. I guess I like a man with a brain, lol. Although his eyes were still nice . . .

Alastair S. said...

I hate house with a passion :D I just dont get the show. Ive watched House twice and both times I wanted to slap him around something fierce. How can you like someone who is a complete ass to everyone.

Check out this link if you hate house LOL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwIbz9SEzRI

Gravity said...

I watch House not for the medical stuff, but because I think that Hugh Laurie is an INCREDIBLE actor. He does an excellent American accent. Check him out in Blackadder the Third as George, Prince of Wales (as loveable a dunderhead as ever there was.)

In reality, he just seems like such a good guy, I can't help but like him.

I started watching House when it was in the mid-second season, and then only because I read that he was in it.

I keep watching it because I love to watch him act ...and because his character reminds me more than a little bit of my grampa.

Emy L. Nosti said...

Frick, Yor beat me to it. And I was so proud of myself.

For those of us without Medscape subscriptions, there's this too.

From the headline, ketamine sounds pretty magical to me!

Trish said...

I totally agree! I hate House with a passion. I think my problem with the show is definitely the "hero's" bedside manner (or lack there of). I deal with doctors a lot, as I have Lupus and a life threatening Lung Disease no ones ever heard of before. I'm pretty fed up with haughty, unfeeling doctors, and feel blessed to have finally found a nice crew of stellar practitioners. It's like…"Now, why would I want to watch a 'vile Dr. euphemism' as my weekly entertainment?"...Nope, I just got rid of all the Dr. Euphemisms in my life and I’d prefer not to rehash it all for fun and relaxation. Ah but everyone I know seems to love House, CSI, and Ugly Betty and I just don't “get” those shows. I must be a freak of nature or rather a freak of pop culture. I do “get” Heroes, Lost, and Desperate Housewives, so maybe there’s hope for me yet.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I hate House too...nice to know I'm not alone!
BUT and this is a BIG BUTT (er, I mean BIG BUT), I LOVE Hugh Laurie from his pre-House days, when he was in Blackadder, Jeeves and Wooster, Fry and Laurie...
I'm a big fan of britcoms, and Hugh is the cream of the crop when it comes to outright silliness...on a par with Monty Python. He is hilarious!
That's why I was so deeply dismayed to see him become this mumbling, grumbling American-accented House thing.
I just laugh and roll my eyes when I read of people who think Hugh Laurie is American and only puts on a British accent for roles!
It's the other way around, people!

It saddens me to see these great British actors having to take these stupid roles, that so totally attenuate what they are really capable of...same goes for Ian McShane who I LOVE as Lovejoy, but detest in that stupid Deadwood series.

Anonymous said...

WTF people??? house is funny! It is fiction. It is NOT real. It is just a TV show. You weirdos who keep bitchin about it obviously have nothing better to do..........i pity you

TTFN

Anonymous said...

It is the most inane show on right now. And worse, its on, on and on again. I cannot figure out why this stupid show did not die the first season.