Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"I don't wanna chat about philosophy!": House

Hoo boy. I still enjoy House and all, but the Tritter storyline really struck out for me (especially considering how good it COULD have been). I was hoping for a nice typical episode, complete with acid-dripping barbs and multiple misdiagnoses, to snap me out of my disapproval. Instead we got...this. "One Day, One Room", to be precise, which seemed to me like an attempt to do a very special episode focusing on patient tragedy. In season 2, "Autopsy" did this very well in tackling a cancer patient and House's mask of indifference to her, later cracking to reveal a sliver of sympathy. This time around it was rape victim Eve (played with some competence by Kathryn Winnick). And Eve, instead of trying to find House's inner good person, looked for his inner darkness, i.e. whatever's the cause for his outer darkness.

She managed to get a story of child abuse from his father out of him, and, for want of a better word, ugh. They've brought up House's daddy issues before but this seemed so obvious and way too on-the-nose. Explaining House's nastiness at all is a bad idea--explaining it in such a lazy, simple way is even worse. I don't really want them to delve into it further (cause it's such a lame idea) but I don't want them to just leave it either. All in all, a totally bad idea, I think. House's interactions with Eve were in general not too fascinating. It's nice that the writers want to depart from the formula once in a while and it was in some ways an admirable effort (bringing up a rather heated religion/abortion debate was a little daring, although it didn't feel organic), but it was too moribund and not very arresting or dramatic.

The subplots ranged wildly too. Cameron had a bizarre solo effort where she treated an odd old man who wanted to impress the singularity of his death upon her. Or something. I was left scratching my head. Did I miss something? Why did he know about her husband? It's nice giving Cameron her own subplot (I like her a lot more than most people do), but this was so limited and bizarre, it was really a hindrance to an already sparse episode. The clinic, on the other hand, returned for the first time in a little while, and that's always a lot of fun. The first five minutes of this episode were great. Too bad about the rest of it, I guess. I never thought I'd be saying this about House, but more formula please!

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