This is the second TV series I have completed (watched all seasons) after Friends. Given that it held up to my interest till the last scene of the last episode of the last season, I must say it’s one of the best, if not the best, TV series I have watched till date.
The plot revolves around the life of a maverick diagnostician, Gregory House, played Hugh Laurie, who has most outrageously wacky ways of reaching to a diagnosis.
People around him often describe him with various adjectives like “an ass”, “self-centered bastard”, “childish”, “egoistic”, “jerk” and more. He often takes audacity to the levels never imagined of and somehow pulls out himself safely every single time (of course, credit to the writers). His perceptions about the world and relationships are annoyingly disturbing and, unfortunately, right as well – often at odds with the hypocrisy the world depicts on a day to day basis. “Everybody lies” is his catch phrase and busting lies is his favorite pastime – be it of patients, peers or team members.
However, in the midst of all this, he has his own struggle with the pain he never wanted for himself but is made to live with. Deep down, the pain has made him what he is. Camouflaging it under the recklessness and avoidance of any kind of relationships is the only way out for him.
There are very few profound characters like him, I have seen till date.
I always felt Big Bang Theory is the best TV series ever written in the history of television just because of the technicality involved in the overall scriptwriting process and embedding humor into that. After watching House MD, I feel BBT has some serious competition.
It’s a mammoth task to come out with an almost unsolvable medical mystery that sounds innocuous in the beginning but builds complications incrementally as the time progresses.
The complexity of writing an episode becomes exponential considering that it cannot be completely fictional and has to make some sense to the medical fraternity. I could only imagine the plight of writers. Full marks to the writers for that.
Plot and Sub-Plots:
One thing which I have found unique about this series is that while the central plot is always a disease to be diagnosed, the sub-plots in each episode focused on little idiosyncrasies humans from all walks of life exhibit. These subplots emerge from the personal life of the patient, house’s team, peers or even the outpatients visiting the clinic in the hospital. I can practically write one blog per episode if I want to.
Other Lead Characters:
Due credit goes to the writers who brought extremely strong character sketches of all the supporting cast – be it of Lisa Edelstein (Cuddy) who plays a no-nonsense, go-getter hospital administrator who knows very well how to manage a “free child” like House or Robert Sean Leonard (Wilson) who plays an altruistic, always there, comforting, righteous and idealistic friend who always try to keep House’s actions in check but fails most of the times and yet, never shies away from taking the fall. Omar Epps (Foreman) is a sincere and ambitious doctor who moves from being a team member to become dean of medicine, yet often clueless in tough situations and messes up more often than not.
The consistency of characterization has been so good that by a couple of seasons, you are often able to predict how a character would react in a particular situation. The other characters like Chase, Cameroon, Thirteen, Taub, Adams, Kutner, CTB, Masters and Park are brilliantly conceptualized as they balance their own life falling apart in the midst of a medical mystery every episode.
I also loved the creative idea of swooping in a small song at the end of each episode whose lyrics that sums up the entire episode. Some of the music pieces are amazingly well composed and written. You can actually watch them in three parts here – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. In addition, the overall background score is brilliant with genres ranging from blue to rock to jazz.
The brilliance in conceptualization and execution often results in some of the best works created on television or silver screen. House MD maintained that level of consistency throughout eight seasons and full credit to the writers and the director for bringing a closure to it in an absolutely spectacular manner!!