House: The Medical Genius

Hello everybody! This week we have an interesting pick (as I binged the last few months watching the whole series). We have the medical drama House.

HOUSE

 

DIRECTOR:

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

# OF EPISODES: 177

GENRE: Dramedy, Mystery, Medical Drama

YEAR: November 16, 2004 – May 21, 2012

COUNTRY: United States

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. 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. The typical episode follows the team in their attempts to diagnose and treat the patient’s illness, which often fail until the patient’s condition is critical. They usually treat only patients whom other doctors have not accurately diagnosed, and House routinely rejects cases that he does not find interesting. The story lines tend to focus on his unconventional medical theories and practices, and on the other characters’ reactions to them, rather than on the details of the treatments.

The team employs the differential diagnosis method, 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. Typically the patient is misdiagnosed at least once and accordingly receives some treatments that are at best useless; 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. House often tends to arrive at the correct diagnosis seemingly out of the blue, often inspired by a passing remark made by another character. Diagnoses range from relatively common to very rare diseases.

I would categorize House as a very good show that had some great moments.  Something like The Wire or Lost is just going to rank higher because of the ambition those shows had.  The were trying to make something all time great, whereas House was more of a procedural show.  There’s nothing wrong with that, its just that procedurals tend to aspire to less thanks to their basic structure.  Most House episodes have an identical story to tell with certain variables (patient, symptoms, disease) that get changed out.  I don’t think there has been a show as that followed as rigid a formula as House other than Law and Order.  It is quite an achievement that given that story structure that the show was so good.

Despite that structure the show would occasionally step away from the formula.  When it did so, it was clear that the writer’s behind the show had some serious chops.  I’ll quickly countdown my top ten episodes before returning to my series recap.

Here are my thoughts on the series finale.

While I am happy that House changed himself by ‘killing himself’ or faking his death in the fire allowing him to take on new meaning and a new life, I am quick to remember House’s own mottos of Everybody Lies and People Don’t Change. And I guess I don’t buy it for a minute. I want to. Deep down I want to. Perhaps if earlier episodes had paid this more off, I would be more accepting of it. You could argue House in “Holding On” accepting Wilson’s decision was the beginning impetus for House changing, but I feel that it should have started much sooner than that. It is usually wise to champion letting the audience put 2+2 = 4 but here it feels X + 2 = XY and solve for X and XY leaves you with just an calculation that the calculation itself feels faulty. The answer makes sense but…

As much as I liked the series finale of House M.D. I really didn’t love it. I liked it, but I loved the penultimate episode “Holding On” more yet one digresses.

Ultimately the only thing that really matters is how creator David Shore wanted to end the show. Did he end it the way he wanted to end it? And really, as someone who loves storytelling, that is all one can ask for. Because it means that David ended the show his way and on his own terms with what he could make do with. And that to me, is sometimes the sign of great endings as well.

PROS:

  •  Main cast performances.
  • Number of episodes.
  • Interesting cases.
  • Character design/relationships.

CONS:

  •  Differentials began to be repetitive after season 5.
  • Guest stars.
  • Structure of each episode.

SCORE: 9.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment! Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.

Her: Your A.I. Can Be More Than Just Your Assistant

HER

DIRECTOR: Spike Jonze

STARRING:  Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Scarlett Johansson

GENRE: Science fiction, Dramedy, Romance

YEAR: 2013

COUNTRY: United States

In today’s world, much is accomplished through the use of computer systems which use voice recognition, those computer systems which in turn communicate to their user often through a generated voice. Theodore Twombly, who works as a writer of computer generated handwritten letters for clients, is an introverted man who is on the verge of divorce from his long time love, Catherine, a marriage with who he is hanging on for dear life. Beyond his purely platonic relationship with longtime friend, the married Amy, Theodore is having problems moving onto other satisfying female relationships, either romantically or even sexually, until he realizes that he is falling for his confidante who has become possibly his best friend, Samantha, the name that he has given to the artificial intelligent operating system that powers all his personal technological devices. As Samantha is designed to cater to Theodore’s needs, she evolves to a point of falling for him as well. Beyond the fact that Samantha does not have a body, they have to come up with ways of evolving the relationship into one that is truly fulfilling in every component. Three of the many questions that may arise are if Theodore’s relationship with Samantha is preventing him from having a more satisfying relationship with a female human, if they truly can be bonded in all aspects being two different beings, and if Samantha’s quick evolution means that she will evolve even further to her own form of self-fulfillment.

I just have to say this, I love Her. Her has to be my favorite film of 2013, I actually found out about Her after a conversation with one of my colleagues about the taboos of today’s society. Specifically we spoke about Siri and how lively many of the AIs are in today’s market. I have to point out that Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson’s voice performed perfectly. I actually started to fall in love with these characters, I loved this film that damn much. Hit pretty close to home in my earlier years.

I loved Her so much that I really don’t want to write this paragraph. So guess what, I won’t. Nah I’m just kidding. I have to say, while I loved Joaquin Phoenix’s and Scarlett Johansson’s performances, I felt that Olivia Wilde and Amy Adams were almost turned into side characters! What the fuck?!? They are amazing actresses and deserve to be acknowledged for their work. Also, without spoiling too much for you, there is a twist in the third act to pissed me off. I get why it was necessary just didn’t like it one bit.

PROS:

  • Interesting take on a not so distant future.
  • Joaquin Phoenix’s and Scarlett Johansson’s performances.
  • View of relationships and Intimacy.

CONS:

  • Olivia Wilde’s and Amy Adam’s performances.
  • Third act twist.

SCORES: 9.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music for me to review, drop me a comment! Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.