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.

Resurrection: Nobody Leaves Arcadia

Hello everybody! Today we have a supernatural show about the dead rising (not zombies though) called Resurrection.

RESURRECTION

DIRECTOR: Aaron Zelman

STARRING: Omar Epps, Frances Fisher, Matt Craven, Devin Kelley, Mark Hildreth, Samaire Armstrong, Sam Hazeldine, Landon Gimenez, Kurtwood Smith

GENRE: Fantasy, Science fiction, Supernatural

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: United States

What happens when the people you have mourned and buried suddenly appear on your doorstep as if not a day’s gone by? Would it be a miracle, madness and is it even real? The people of Arcadia are forever changed when their deceased loved ones suddenly start to return. An 8-year-old American boy wakes up alone in a rice paddy in a rural Chinese province with no identification and no idea how he got there. Details start to emerge when the boy, who calls himself Jacob, recalls that his hometown is Arcadia, Missouri and an immigration agent, Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps), takes him there. The home he claims as his own is occupied by an elderly couple, Harold and Lucille Langston, who lost their son Jacob more than 30 years ago in a drowning accident. While they look different, young Jacob will recognize them as his own parents. But how can this be?

 

The boy that stands before them looks like their son and knows details about their lives that no one else can know, but this must be an elaborate hoax. Lucille wants to believe but Harold Langston can not accept it. Those closest to the family try to unravel this impossible mystery, including Sheriff Fred Langston (Matt Craven, CRIMSON TIDE), whose wife Barbara also drowned 30 years ago trying to save Jacob. But this boy who claims to be the deceased Jacob knows secrets about the events of his own death that no one else knows-secrets that Fred’s daughter Gail will begin to investigate and discover to be true. The child’s return will have everyone questioning faith, miracles and the supernatural. When other mysterious strangers start to arrive in Arcadia, we come to know that Jacob is not the only one FOREVER. From Executive Producer Aaron Zelman (DAMAGES, THE KILLING) and Brillstein Entertainment and Brad Pitt’s Plan B comes a character drama about what happens when the dead come back very much alive.

 

Resurrection is a very interesting show, and one of the few shows that ABC has produced in the last couple of years that I actually enjoy. Sorry ABC, you just don’t make shows that I like to watch. There is just enough surprise and suspense in each episode that it kept me coming back every week, hoping to have the answers for plenty of my unanswered questions. The main cast performed very well, I wasn’t disappointed in their performances as much as I normally am. Where Resurrection really strives are the moments full of emotion and intimacy. Why do you make us feel Resurrection?

What disappoints me about many of the Resurrection episodes is that nothing much of interest happens until the last 10 minutes. I worry too that this premise may be too incredible to have a satisfactory conclusion, but I hope I’m wrong. All too soon, however, the mystery that I like about Resurrection turns into soapy melodrama, and the supernatural is superseded by the clichés of network drama: stock characters, obvious plot twists and too much heavy-handed exposition. Lastly, the show is bogged down by mundane subplots and generic characters.

PROS:

  • Surprise and suspense in each episode to keep me coming back each week.
  • Plenty of unanswered questions.
  • Main cast performances.
  • Moments of emotion and intimacy.

CONS:

  • All interesting points of the show happen in last act.
  • Premise may be too “out there”.
  • Mystery turns into melodrama.
  • Mundane subplots and generic characters.

SCORE: 6.5 / 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.