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Catching Up with House, M.D. Executive Producer Katie Jacobs

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With the ink barely dry on an agreement between Universal Media Studios and FOX to renew House, M.D. for an eighth season, I had the opportunity earlier this week to catch up with series executive producer Katie Jacobs. Jacobs acknowledged by phone that agreement was “quite a hurdle, and it’s not over yet.”

With not everyone yet signed for Season 8, “all the pieces necessary to live up to what I think this show can be next season are not quite in place.” But she is also hopeful that everything will be “any moment.”

It’s been widely reported that Lisa Edelstein has not yet signed on for next season. But Jacobs is committed to “giving it my all” to sign the actress, who plays Dean of Medicine Dr. Lisa Cuddy. Jacobs agrees that Edelstein is a crucial piece of House’s (and House’s) world.

“Lisa is such a valuable member [of the cast]. I challenge any other actress on TV to do what she is so—does so, you know, seemingly effortlessly. She goes between drama, comedy, intelligence, sex appeal… It’s certainly not my plan or David’s plan or the creative team’s plan to not have Lisa in the show, and I can just say that I will not rest until I figure it out.”

But signing contracts with the network and the actors is just the start. “In terms of getting ahead of the storytelling” (which is where they need to be by the time they start shooting later this summer), there is much, much more to do. Until all the actors are on board and they know exactly what they are dealing with as far as budget and cast, it’s harder to sit down and plan out the season. And until negotiations with Edelstein are concluded, Jacobs is missing a very important piece of the Season 8 story. “When you don’t have a deal done, you can’t then go and do your job, which is to make the creative right. “If I know how much I have or don’t have, I can’t even begin to do my job.”

Although the series usually begins production in July, this year they’re starting a bit later—in August. A lot of fans read this news to mean the series would be airing later in the year, and not premiere, as it usually does, in September. According to Jacobs, “It was a personal request from [series star] Hugh Laurie, who very rarely makes personal requests. That’s why, I think, if he’s going to make one, he’s certainly entitled to it.” Laurie is releasing a Blues album, Let Them Talk this summer (it’s already out in Europe). He’s been touring Europe in connection with the release, and then he’s also filming a movie, Mr. Pip.

But the slightly later start to the shooting schedule won’t delay the Season 8 premiere. “Usually, you start out [shooting] the season [over the summer] and get ahead of everything; by the end of the season, your time in post production becomes crunched.” The shorter schedule just gives the crew less time to work with each episode before it airs. But it should not affect the season’s start at all.

With the agreement between the network only for Season 8, fans have speculated whether next year Dr. Gregory House will be hanging up his stethoscope and cane. Jacobs admitted to not being “good at predicting those kinds of things. Everybody has an opinion on it. Some say yes, some say no. I honestly—I don’t have any idea. All I really try to do is—I know this sounds like incredibly corny—is, sort of put myself inside the character’s head and try and figure out what is true to that character and where he will be. Right now, all I have to focus on is Season 8.”

And whether it’s the last season or not, House will be back next year for 22 episodes, according to Jacobs. Although some of the cast have only been contracted for an 18-episode minimum due to budget cuts required by the renewal agreement (including Robert Sean Leonard, who plays House’s best friend Wilson, and Omar Epps, playing Dr. Eric Foreman).

“I think it’s a huge tribute to creative team on House that for seven seasons we managed to avoid getting the phone call to make cuts in our budget. But now we’re getting that call.” But Jacobs perceives the positive in the realities of budget cuts. “We may have less dollars to work with, but maybe there’s a silver lining in that,” she said. Maybe there’s an opportunity to refocus, she noted, “to tell better stories.”

Speaking of stories, I wondered whether the setting of last week’s episode “The Fix” in a boxing ring had anything to do with Hugh Laurie’s passion for boxing. “I can say this,” Jacobs offered. “He has so many talents, Mr. Laurie. I have been looking for an opportunity to get him in the boxing ring, because he’s so passionate about [the sport]. And so I’m told, he is quite the boxer, very good at it. He has incredible stamina, and the pain doesn’t seem to bother him at all.”

In addition to her duties as executive producer, Jacobs has also occasionally climbed into the director’s chair. Several especially notable episodes in the series run have found her behind the camera, including Season 3’s “Half Wit,” Season 4’s “Wilson’s Heart,” and the two-part premiere to Season 6, “Broken.” Jacob’s sensitive touch with the actors and deft touch behind the camera has been particularly effective at tapping into the emotional core of the stories. Although she doesn’t direct often, she says both she and the actors enjoy it. “I think that the cast enjoys it and I enjoy it. It’s a very good time when I get the opportunity to be on the floor and work with them. We all have fun. I love to direct when the scripts are as glorious, when the actors are as talented, when the crew are as talented as this.”

She clearly enjoyed directing “Broken,” which was real departure for the series. It was completely different than anything they’d tried before, featuring none of the regular characters except House, and it is set completely away from Princeton-Plainsboro as it focused on House’s experiences as a patient at Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital. Although, Jacobs notes the risk in doing something so different for the series, she felt that it was important not start Season 6 with House having already gone through therapy over the summer.

“For me, it felt like a valentine.” So, the episode picks up just shortly after Season 5 ends, with House about to enter the the pysch hospital. “Oh, what a cheat it would be if he just showed up [back in the office], you know, having gone through that experience, and [we] didn’t get to see how it went down.”

Jacobs has been working exclusively on House for eight seasons, treasuring the experience.  “How rare it is to work with people you like and to have the audience like your work—is, you know, I pinch myself.” But she is also now venturing in a new direction to work on a project—with Amber Tamblyn (Martha Masters on House). “This is something that’s so exciting. Amber is inspiring and amazing, I will tell you. I was watching this scene she was in with Hugh in [House’s] inner office, and in the four takes that she did, she did a different version of one of the lines each take. And each one of those versions I believed. And that’s very unusual for me. You know, either I believe something or I don’t.” Jacobs realized then that she wanted to collaborate with Tamblyn.

Although the project has yet to be named, the series is set in the “world of public education. Ed Burns, who co-created The Wire and Generation Kill is writing the pilot here at Fox, for Fox.” The “school [at which the series takes place] is kind of a petri dish where all of these different ideas will be represented. [Amber’s character] comes in to work in the school with her own very unique slant. And that is as much as I will tell you,” she said also noting “there’s a big-ass part in it for Lin-Manuel Miranda.” House fans will recall that the Tony-winning Miranda plays House’s Mayfield “manic Hispanic” friend Alvie in “Broken” and “Baggage” during Season 6. Miranda plays another teacher at the school in the new project.

But Jacobs will continue to be very much involved with House. “I look forward to the challenge in Season 8. You know, the longer you stay with a character, the more you’re obliged to look deeper into his soul. And the more life experience he has had… In seven years, we’ve seen quite a variety. So [the question is], where is he now, and where is he going? And, in my mind,  that’s got to be entirely, new in some way.” Jacobs observed of her hero, “for House at this point it’s: ‘I’ve struggled with addiction. I’ve been sober. I tried love.’ So, the challenge—but also the opportunity—is what’s next for him? What I look forward to in Season 8 is getting deeper into what’s going on in his mind. So it’s both a big challenge, and one that I really look forward to.”

Indeed House has been through a lot over the years, but, I asked Jacobs, has he been changed by those experiences? “He’s been through a lot, but I am not sure people change. However, I think they can, through experience, recognize their fears or their Achilles’ heals and overcome them or, reach beyond what they thought was possible for themselves. But, by and large, I don’t think House changes. I think that at its best, House will sort of understand himself better, and understanding himself better, maybe make choices that serve him in whatever it is he wants out of life. It’s up to him now. What does he choose?”

House airs Monday night with “After Hours,” and I will have a preview article up for this season’s penultimate episode sometime over the weekend. 

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books. Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."
  • Brain Child

    After carefully reading all 124 posts, especially from those of you who offered your interpretation of the show, its character’s and their relationships, I really have to wonder if we are all watching the same program. It’s astonishing how much convoluted hyperbole can be sparked because Hugh Laurie quirked his eyebrow.

    There’s an expression: “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Although I am ordinarily in favor of a good smack-down from time to time, I think perhaps some of the more “devoted” fans should give themselves a break and remember that.

  • Damn Skippy, I’m Bitter

    @ Pax: By all means: enumerate and prove me wrong. You take exception to my remarks, which you regard as personal, and then you state that perhaps I didn’t mean them personally? You need to lighten up, little lady, or, at the very least, pay closer attention.

  • Sam

    @Eloise: I think you misunderstood me. I was speaking of his promotion and the marked difference you can see between him caring about his music career and the show. It’s obvious to everyone the difference. I can tell his mind is elsewhere now. If he doesn’t care much about the show anymore, why should I? That was my point. Not that I think he phones in his performances. He’s an excellent, hard-working actor. He’s also a flawed human being. I can see both and acknowledge both.

    The only time I found him lacking in the performance area was with the sort of scenes I mentioned before and I found Lisa lacking as well. I think they knew House and Cuddy were going to hook up and break up so they weren’t invested in it and unfortunately it showed in their performances and in their promotion all this season-of which he did very little except for when it came to his new cd, and which Lisa did a lot, but she was still always negative about where it would lead. TPTB knew it wouldn’t last and it came across in everything-the interviews, and lack of proper promotion for their relationship, even Hugh and Lisa’s chemistry was effected, the “exploration” this season-everything showed they weren’t going to truly explore it and that they would destroy it. You could tell by the way Lisa and Hugh and TPTB kept referring to it as something that “had to be dealt with” or “something that had to be done” because they knew they had built it up. They said they all knew it wouldn’t last from the beginning, that they had an end date in mind. Therefore, they rushed through it, even though they extended it a small amount, went on to the aftermath and now are moving on from it. They made things bad for everyone in this case because no one won in that scenario.

    It wasn’t treated as it should’ve been for a ship they’d built up for years on the show. And I feel that they never valued it like we did. I don’t think they have to value it like us to be good people. I don’t think they’re bad people or stupid like some people do. I just think they don’t get what it’s like for us, and since they don’t it hurts them with the fans. For them Huddy was a storyline they built and had to deal with. For us, they were a couple we’d invested in and believed in because that’s where they led us to. After all those years of loyalty and investment we got 15 episodes of a rushed relationship that was doomed and felt doomed and was spoken of with gloom and then we get to deal with the aftermath, the conclusion, and now maybe if we’re lucky House and Cuddy might get back together someday, if he doesn’t find someone else in the meantime. They carefully built this love story with House and Cuddy in the series only to throw it away quickly after token exploration that was done as a duty. Almost everything about the realization of the ship was disappointing and dissatisfying. What they had with them was something that they won’t get with anyone else and House. But they might try.

    I really feel they don’t understand what it’s like for us as “experiencers” of what they create. I don’t think what they did was out of malice or stupidity, I think it was done out of distant, cold (not to be confused with cruel) calculation of the storyline and what they felt needed to be handled and dealt with so they could move on to other things. They seem baffled at us and we fans are baffled at them and there seems to be a great, gaping chasm of misunderstanding between us. It seems they don’t understand us well at all. That gap is growing instead of narrowing because of the insensitive way things have been handled. Fans feel as if TPTB don’t care about us or what we wanted. Like they gave us Huddy, it’s done, we should be grateful we even got it. And it’s true-we should. But what we got wasn’t right or fair and it was a travesty of what should’ve happened with those two. People are losing their affection and sense of loyalty for the show. This isn’t only because of what happened with House and Cuddy and the insensitivity about it, but also because of the way they got dealt with and disrespected on Twitter and the way our feelings are mocked and brushed over.

    These things aren’t going away. They’re festering and hurting everyone. The show runners owe us nothing and it’s their show and they have to do what they feel is best and keep true to what they feel is right. They can’t give everyone everything they want. But they could and should give people some of what they want. This season was supposed to be all about Huddy and for Huddy fans, but it really wasn’t for us. It was for them-to get it over with because they knew it was a logical conclusion that they had built for House and Cuddy to get together. If it had been about us, then the things we asked for, at least some of them would’ve happened. Instead we got ignored and disrespected and mocked by an executive producer after they destroyed Huddy and people tried to tell them (sometimes in very stupid and hostile, inept ways) how they felt about it. Both sides are to blame for the relations between fans and TPTB, not just one side or the other. Fans and TPTB treating each other this way has ended up being bad for everyone. Everyone has lost. And if it keeps going on this way the future is bleak indeed.

    Things have gotten a little better with Solether handling things more on Twitter. Some people still get a bit crazy but most fans like him and respect him and appreciate that he actually seems to listen and respond to people when they’re scared or upset. Sometimes something so small can make a big difference.

    I want things to get better and for people to get along and treat each other with respect and care about each other’s feelings. Because the retaliation, vengeance, disrespect and uncaring attitudes have made things crappy for us all.

  • ruthinor

    espejoses: I wish I had a direct translation for all your thoughts, because I think you have very interesting things to say and I wonder if I have understood them all. You believe that if House is to move forward and improve his life he must do more to both understand himself and take more responsibility for his own actions. He must also not put the most negative view on his interactions with family or friends. Throughout the series, House has depended on Wilson and Cuddy, especially Cuddy, to “save him from himself”. This essentially gave her the responsibility for his actions. Once they became romantically involved, House continued to lean on her, in fact, making her responsible for his being ” a crappier doctor”. I could never understand how House’s saying that to Cuddy could be interpreted as a romantic or loving thing to say. To me, it’s just the opposite. What happened in Bombshells was just a warning to Cuddy that, in essence, she was still alone in this relationship. She had to be there for him, but he could not be counted on to be there for her. The responsibility was HERS no matter what. She ended the relationship because she could see no good future outcome if House made no changes in his outlook on life and his responsibility both for himself and those close to him.

    I hope you will respond and make any changes to what I think you were saying!

  • espejoses

    Thanks Barbara Barnett for bringing this interview, which for me brings a different reading of that “in general people do not change.” There is also a qualification to this people do not change, which comes to us as she puts it.
    She says the question of whether House has undergone a change after all her experiences, and I quote “He has gone through a lot, but I’m not sure that people change” From what I read, she’s doing personal consideration, not a categorical statement, which comes to us that each person can have a reading or viewing of this issue. But his estate does not end there, she then explained her point of view with the following words “But I think they can, through experience, to recognize your fears or your Achilles heel and overcome or achieve something more than they initially envisioned for them. This establishment does not give it a pessimistic view and model of the myth of Sisyphus,which despite its attempts, always turns to failure and starting point.
    Translating this view the character of House, she then says, he does not think House itself will change, but if you can get a better understanding of himself, and that same understanding will lead to perhaps make some choices that will serve to achieve what he wants in life. And now is the one who makes it.
    In this aspect that I read, is that at this point, he can not remain a passive subject, he can not keep thinking that the status of your best, your happiness will come from the actions of others but of himself. From what I’ve seen over the years on this journey with House, he has allowed the circumstances, that the actions of others (either her father, Stacy, Wilson and Cuddy all) conditioned their lives, as well as stroke, and especially the painful condition his live.
    Many of you have seen in Cuddy’s decision to break as a fact selfish, something I’ve seen yet painfully selfless, even at the risk of appearing in the vision of not only House but fans of the series (not just the shippers) and the bad of the story, the character House traitor leaving in the lurch. Character which for many has been stripped of the power he possessed, making it seem almost a caricature of itself.
    In this regard there are parallels between House / stroke / Stacy and House / breaks / Cuddy brings us full circle and full circle and end point of the story that began with Stacy’s decision to betray their trust and steal him the final decision on tratamineto and thus condemning him to live a life of pain and thus conditioning his life addiction. Something that will come back later.
    In this regard there are parallels between the role given to Cuddy and David Shore is final and needed to break the chain and the vicious circle in which House is undies after infarction, the same has been given during these seven years, which is none other than his constant saving.
    She saved him to mediate between his desire not to be amputated his leg and Stacy ultimate decision as to save the next life. (House knew that if he chose the procedure did not work or you killed, or left him with chronic pain, so this was not caused entirely by the Cuddy procedure itself, although the sense of guilt for this, and House manipulation that made this fact, did believe in the one guilty of it). She also saved him by giving him a job, creating an apartment for him and of course working to save year after year, not only with the board, but Tritter fiasco and swore in the trinbunal. Unless you care to be his conscience and place limits on the procedure. We except to bring to life several times physically, and to make House in his sick mind at their rescuer as love object and the cause to overcome his addiction.
    From my point of view Cuddy remains strong all the time she was in relationship with House, kept fighting with him and helping to overcome the obstacles that might be trying that he could get to see their points of view and still operating when she was also his boss and all that this may cause.
    She had never had trouble accepting the existence of pills in his life and his addiction before, why after premonitory dreams in Bombshells, the consumption of a single pill, made the decision to break. But what event or events occurred to her to be this way with him as intransigent.
    This was not his medical actions were not the physical risks assumed with impulsive behavior, nor were their metiras and childish games, nor the events that occurred in two stories, or even that he did not attend the party on their behalf or simple recognition by the House of his deep love for her, or not being at his side in his medical crisis at the end.
    It was only the knowledge of the profound role that he had assigned, as in life, which did not exist in some way, would the disintegration of its stability, derrumbamineto and possibly self-destruction.
    She realized the true extent of being a savior, which stripped of all romantic charge that this could lead, was a place too risky to take on everything, because if you voluntarily want to host, life, on the other hand, sometimes capriciously puts us on our way, a curve ball that is difficult even if we want to successfully overcome. Cuddy could have forgiven him this time and helped to overcome this little bump, which provably past the danger, had continued as before before it happened, he avoids drugs and she helped out of their mistakes.
    But what happens next time, and had it not been so lucky, if that was before a shock would have been an accidental death. Where would he at that time brutal and haphazard total annihilation of the person that you lean.
    House has placed her on a pedestal too high a place for a mortal. Cuddy does not want to be your love, at least not that way, she wants to be his equal, his partner, someone with whom to share, support, help and support what life will bring even this too is in pain.
    At the end of Bombshells, House is in the same place that was the end of Help me, or apparently is in the same place which is none other than the cliff to choose the easy way out and relapse.
    More as we see in his dizzying relapse also see that satisfaction in their ways to cooperate not only not help but find them more empty and also repulsive. There is comfort, or bring you back to heal the wounds media.
    In this regard the relationship as Huddy says the DS is finite, there is no turning back.
    But, perhaps as Katie Jacobs says, if House will learn from what has been lost, of what he wants and how to cooperate with their Achilles’ heals , there is another possibility for House and Cuddy, which will be over and they had not .
    On the other hand that “people do not change” need not be so unreasonable and it seems to us only because we started from a premise that may be a lie. What is the true nature of the House, is the image that we were in the pilot episode back in the first session, or is this a mask, the shield with which hides the real House and built after the infarction and betrayal Stacy.
    That if the stealing is their own decision, steals, mutilates his ability to act on what he wants, just as it allows Vicodin governs their life, let others, but most especially Wilson and Cuddy are who dictate their decisions and especially the same mistakes.
    Throughout the whole series through performance Tantoo of patients and physicians who treat them tell us that actions have consequences and they end up biting the ass. What we do with the consequences is what will dictate the future.
    The result of House to give Stacy the total power as the person who could decide on their medical crisis, and the acts of this, is not to assume that he would have to live with the consequences it poses, preferring to blame Stacy and Cuddy by extension, its share of blame.
    Assume that guilt is to face their problems and their pain as part of who he is now, and what you can do with the part that I do not like and being that it has become.
    We know that all the features of House atren we like and are intrinsic in him and Stacy were already before, but as he said Hanna House to Help me, being bitter, lonely and dependent has become part of it was not .
    We also became clear that all the abuses and mistakes by the father of House, there was a time in the House that their behavior was not all bad. And as the patient could only recall the negative moments, his mistake was in waiting to feed on these and only these. House may not be much change, but change those whores of behavior led to his being he became.
    Assume that guilt is to face their problems and their pain as part of who he is now, and what you can do with the part that I do not like and being that it has become.
    We know that all the features of House that we like and we attract are intrinsic in him before the Stacy had come into his life and later in life with her, but as he said Hanna House to Help me, being bitter , alone and dependent has become not a part of it.
    We also became clear that despite all the abuses and mistakes and the father of House, there was a time in the House that their behavior was not all bad. But as the patient who only remember the negative moments, his mistake was in eating these with what ended up waiting only these. House may not be much change, but change those whores of behavior led to his being he became.
    As for the parallel House / stroke / Stacy and House / Cuddy break may seem that both Stacy and Cuddy House betrayed in the same manner and on behalf of those he professed love for me is a substantial difference.
    While House was given confidence by naming your proxy, even knowing that she desires, she deliberately did not bring the intermediate option to contention and argument, acting on his back and abuse the power that had given freely. Stacy is an attorney and knows only handle but to convince the best possible deal to their arguments, to make a consent state.

    For Cuddy, even if they decide to try working relationship and discuss its possibilities to operate its history Cuddy not deliberately lied in their arguments, she wants to change, and certainly it is true, but does not measure their strength and especially it acts without the full knowledge that gives power to make their rescuer and solely responsible for his downfall. But even she does not want to destroy you, just do not want to be like her said her addiction, feed it to avoid confronting the true issue, which is none other than knowing not say no.
    From my point of view on the relationship unconsciously used to Cuddy for her as well as to at work, save him from its limitations and its own disaster, so if this fails, it was easier to put the blame on her, not deliberately, but unconsciously.

  • BrokenLeg

    @119 Moving On

    This new 8th season will be the last one. I’m sure that above all DS and writers’ “mantras” about “People don’t change”, they’ll make a worthy closure of [H] as it is deserved (as I heard weeks ago to say same HL at one interview). And House will end his own “Journey to Ithaca”, wiser and hopeful than he was at first days we saw him.

    I’m a “half full glass” person, and usually an optimistic one. But there are not only my own feelings. There are also a lot of evidences. House really has changed over these years, maybe less than many of us wanted, but changed for good. He has done baby steps, but steps after all to the good direction. Sometimes with falls and slips, yes, but that was natural on him more than in any other person.

    Or do you think the Greg House of the first season was the same one he is now after a seven seasons’ journey? No, decidedly no. Essentially he is the same he was, but has adapted himself much more than expected to daily life circumstances, evolved on his own way, fulfilling a nature rule for every being, human or not. The years, the possibility of having a continuous and valued job, Cuddy, Wilson, his team, Kutner’s death, Mayfield, being able to be in love again, etc.. has definitely changed many things about his behavior.

    We can also see year after year a bit more of his humanity. That although he tries always to hide it, is increasingly more evident. Almost is able of having some level of empathy ( with Rachel at the end of “Carrot or Stick”, with 13 in “The Dig”, with the two children of “Two Stories”, with Cuddy trying to do his best, even marrying someone for green card affair…)

    And about TPTB, what do you think they are doing with all those mantras? They are fueling the debate and trying to make us look all to one side, to have they the ability of surprise us. They know [H] audience have billions eyes that see and billions minds analyzing what they do worldwide. And for them, that must be a difficult way of working. How can they be able to catch out us? Doing some kind of “distraction maneuvers” or using some kind of “distraction fire”, even with rudeness, with fool tweets, etc..

    So, all you US viewers, enjoy this Dexterian afternoon episode. I envy you so much.
    And regardless, remain optimistic . And forgive my bad English………….!

  • moving on

    #102 Barbara-I think this season will end with House realizing he still has a lot of work to be done on himself and he will accept this and decide to continue working on it next season. I think the finale will be about: if I continue on like I have been I can see what my life would end up being which won’t be anything good, (I take it that’s what this season was meant to show us and him and I’m thinking there’ll be some bad things that happen to reinforce this heavily in the final episode) so I need to try to be better. The question at the end of the episode will probably be: can he? And we already know the answer. He can’t really change because no one changes. People don’t change. He’ll try and fail to change to make his life better. I’m already bored thinking of watching these events unfold next season and it’s really rather pointless since they’ve been saying people don’t change countless times this season alone. They’ve been shouting it from the rooftops. People don’t change. House can’t change. Why base a season on it then when we know it will inevitably fail? Why bother watching when I already know the answer to the question already? The question isn’t interesting because I already know the answer, they gave it to me, and the thought of watching him do this next season sounds tedious.

  • Book-of-Days

    I have a bad feeling that TPTB want to go back to a safe place of mostly House as he was before, and even if he isn’t precisely the same, and I doubt he will be, he’ll be largely the same. Even him trying new things to make him happy is the same old thing. It just doesn’t sound very intriguing to me after this long in the series’ life *especially* after learning the things we learned about his future in post-“Bombshell” interviews. There are a group of people who are still fascinated by House and his journey, and I believe always will be, and I can understand this. But I am not anymore. Not after what I read is going on in their minds and I know this will influence his future because they control it. Them speaking of him delving further into his issues just isn’t interesting or alluring to me as it would’ve been before the slew of interviews they gave telling us what they thought about everything. It sounds kinda– I don’t know– boring. I think next season many of us will become more casual viewers unless things are much more interesting and tempting to watch than they sound like they’re going to be from the indications we’ve recieved from things like this interview. I *know* there’s a lot of people hanging on till finale time to figure out what they will do next season-whether they’ll even be back or not.

    @ dago: ‘I also believe there is still hope for some kind of relationship between House and Cuddy.’

    I don’t think a lot of people really feel this way and that’s part of the problem. Another part from what I’ve seen is people are worried about what this other type of relationship can possibly be that could still be satisfying to the fans after everything they’ve been through.

    @ committed: I agree we owe a great deal of thanks to TPTB for hanging in there and putting up with our sometimes constant criticisms. It can’t be easy at times I have no doubt.

  • pax

    Damn Skippy, I’m Bitter: Just skimmed a few lines of your post and want you to know I’m not wasting my time giving you a point-by-point analysis on how many fallacies, delusions, blatant misrepresentations, extrapolations based on mere opinion and partial facts, etc., there are in your post. I am not going to waste my time beating my head against a wall arguing against someone filled with so much hatred that they can’t see straight and who I know I won’t get through to to actually listen to me and treat me like a person. The remarks in your post were insufferable, callous and foolish, though I’m sure that wasn’t what you were going for. Perhaps self-righteous wrath and indignation?

    I like this place and I don’t want to get into a long, pointless debate or make anyone else suffer through one. Sorry. 😉

  • Betty

    #110 Harley, Yes, the misery I was thinking of has to do w/ the inner emotional turmoil and hope what you believe w/ KJ’s statements come true b/c I agree that those issues would be good to address. Also an exploration of his relationship w/ his emotions would be helpful as ruthinor #114 pointed out. My concern is that DS will not in the end. He is definitely aware of the fan response but I’m not so sure that he is influenced by them since in his interviews he says as much. He will stick to his vision which is something I do not agree w/ alas. Too much has happened to House since Season 1 to ignore further exploration.

  • Harley

    114 – ruthinor

    This has always sort of befuddled me also but since happiness is an emotion i think he believes it messes with his objectivity to be able to do his job as effectively as his high standards demand since he likes his emotions towards each case to be nullified. I agree with you in that there has been no evidence of him failing when he has been happy and pain free, he just seems scared of emotions and i look forward to them (hopefully) exploring that more.

  • ruthinor

    One constant theme on “House” has been House thinking that anything that makes him “happy” makes him a lousier doctor. I have never understood why he feels that way and what the root of it happens to be. We saw this when Wilson slipped him anti-depressants, when he was on methadone, and in his relationship with Cuddy. To me, this seems to be in his own mind. I hope that his feelings about this are explored more fully in the future.

  • Exfan

    I loved H&C together. As much as I would like to have the break up and the epis that followed not have happened at all, I do know that at this point reconciling H&C would not make sense. Too much has happened to go back and forget everything. I love the show but I think that one of the greatest reason I (personally) watched has been destroyed. I have lost a lot of my enthusiasm towards it. The feeling I’m getting now is either disappointment, disgust, and/or depression. Feelings I do not enjoy experiencing for entertainment purposes. I used to HAVE to watch it live now I record and watch when I get to it… Don’t know how a couple of episodes are going to turn such destruction around.

  • rjw

    I won’t even try to guess what the season’s ending will bring….they always surprise me (and that’s one of the things I love about House)!

  • Committed

    I have no idea how this season is going to end but I do believe that it will transcend any single relationship that he has – and most fans, no matter who they want him with, will be okay with it because it will be an investment in him. I bet it will reset the clock a bit and bring the fans focus back to House which is where it needs to be. From there, anything is possible – we just need to let House figure it out.

    Before tomorrow nights episode airs I’d just like to say that we owe a tremendous amount of credit to all of the actors and TPTB for hanging in there week after week while we (myself included) have been so highly critical. We criticize because we care but it has gotten kind of rough at times. Rest assured most of us hung around even if we had to take a break now and then. Thank you Team House for providing a show that has touched many and here’s to a very successful season eight.

  • Harley

    91 – Betty

    Sorry for my misunderstanding about the alone comment and for my wording of my previous views.

    I do understand some people were passionate about it but that is far as I am going to say on that matter because what I may say will add more ammunition to the war.
    DS certainly put his foot in it but I believe he had gotten feedback about how the fans were reacting about the first half of the season and felt they were getting a little too comfortable in believing House was getting better, the ratings were dropping also so I think he was just trying to reassure fans that House is still House and they were returning him to what he thinks the fans watch him for and some fans took this to mean that they were returning him to when we first met him.
    Regarding the misery, I don’t see House as miserable all the time, he can be extremely funny and witty, he gets solace from his music and he enjoys pranks and silly games with Wilson etc.
    If you mean by misery his inner emotional turmoil and emotional vulnerability that he tries so hard to keep hidden then I understand what you mean, that is his biggest failure because he fears what he may find out. I personally believe with KJ stating that they are getting into his head in season 8 they will have him push past his fears and address why he has become so damaged and is the way he is (I refuse to believe it’s all about his leg), why he cannot accept failure, why does he have to always be right etc, I think once these answers start to be revealed then I think he will be able to move on and his life will become better.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    Oh, BrokenLeg, how I wish such a theory were true. And it would be the FIRST time in my existence that I welcomed a story being explained away with a dream sequence/hallucination. (I clearly remember Bobby appearing in Pam’s shower after her “bad dream.”)

    And #107 Jacquelyn, I totally agree that House’s emotional pain fuels his physical pain. Yet another reason why it was relieving to see him enjoying his relationship this season. I really feel so sorry for the character. He’s supposed to be a genius yet he’s miserable and suffering.

  • BrokenLeg

    I’m beginning to think all this season has been some kind of hallutination. So the “cliffhanger” inside a “clifffhanger” as someone said. And “After Hours” and “Moving On” are the continuation of “Help Me”. So this season bad writting becomes agood one.

  • Jacquelyn

    I hope they can find a solution to House’s pain other than removing his leg. I think House’s emotional pain influences his physical pain, and they feed off of each other. But, we’ve seen before (post-Mayfield, pre-Lucas debacle) that House actually *can* manage his pain, both physically and emotionally. If he did it before, I think he could do it again, and emerge all the stronger.

    How I want the season to end is another story. I want House and Cuddy back together, and written *right* this time, but I know better than to get my hopes up.

  • Eloise

    I dont mind what happens as I trust the writers and DS to tell a good story as they always do and the cast to act their little socks off!
    I think maybe House will see that he has people who care for him and that maybe he can trust them.

  • BrokenLeg

    To everyone.
    I’m absolutely shocked of all the amount of anger, “ships”, and personal attacks which would be logical in some kind of hard core site, but not in a balanced one as this Barbara hosts.

    I think we, all the fans, with respect and politeness, cannot agree in our own vision about what [H] is. That is a good virtue of the series, if after all this seven years still cause as much debate, but “healthy” debate, please.

    Because the way some of the post have been written say very few things of their authors, when instead of reasoning, fall in some kind of personal attacks, most of them addressed to Barbara, if not treating other posts as “enemies”. Of even, in a defense of one loved character, angrily discredited the actor or actress that portrayed another one. Sad.

    I think all we may agree that having a 8 season is a good notice. Being the last one, all we may desire a worthy one and a good closure of the best TV series lately.
    And we all may require TPTB and writing team to maintain the original writing integrity, get there some freshness and a bit of hope in the series ending, be able to write good female characters because with the exception of Cuddy until “Unwritting” no other has been, recover its wise, funny and attractive mocking of political correctness without falling in insult, be able to recover the rich and witty of always verbal language without falling in actual rudeness, and present as good medical cases as use to be.

    And please, to some posts , be able to recognize that in every TV series, film, theater play, novel, etc…there are always “main” characters and supporting cast, liked it or not. [H] series would have survived without these supported characters or they could be changed, and in fact, some of them are no originals(OW in her inside-outside timing, PJ), others disappear (JM&KP), or other stay a while (AT). Others are some kind of main-secondary but original ones (OE & JS). But Greg House can’t be understood without his loved one and his only friend. Both balanced his darker side. Liked it or not.
    In that I agree totally with Barbara’s “triumvirate” theory. Liked it or not. And with all due respect and asking your forgiveness because English is not my language.

  • I’ve still not figured out how the season might end, but I do think it will end with House resolving some nagging piece of his own life’s puzzle and moving forward with it (never mind that we know the finale’s title is “Moving On”) LOL.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    I am expecting a very depressing end to this season. In stark contrast to the very positive ending they gave to Season 6. I’ve mentioned before that I feel like I’m watching the creators TORTURE the character of House. While the quality of episodes have improved a wee bit post-Bombshells, and I’m VERY much looking forward to “After Hours” thanks to your preview, I’m expecting something quite bad to happen. I really hope they surprise me.

  • OK guys. Question for discussion. How do you think Season 7 will end given what we know of “The Fix” and what I’ve told you about “After Hours”

  • Valentina

    Here we discuss the show (characters/actors/producers) and make it clear, I have nothing against real persons, but against their professional performance.

    David Shore ever was the brains of this show, the proof is that even in the 4season under his command, the show was great episodes/ratings.

    At july/2009 was announced the participation of the David Shore in a project of NBC:”The Rockford Files ” and it was from this date that KJ has taken the show (unfortunately! In the 5/6 season, the ratings began go down).

    House MD has a great/complex show for a professional like Kate,(she has a inexpressive producer, his resume only 8 films of little success(production) and a television series that had only 9 episodes -Century City. (Sorry KJ) :p

    She lacked the capacity to manage the success/prestige that the show had (or maybe left your ego control your actions).
    Even with great writers/directors/actors, practically the same as in previous seasons (less JMO, whose departure is still completely inexplicable today), Kate failed.

    A competent professional know when their choices do not bring good results and right thing to do is to reconsider and not keep insisting on something that does not work, BUT in this interview, we observed the insistence of KJ saying that cuddy is an essential part of the show (it is understood: huddy) and we know that is not so.

    About LE: she’s a average actress and this is proved, because in 7years in the show, she has no involvement in other interesting projects. I dont want to diminish it, but his career before House was also expressionless.

    About the character cuddy: I really liked her in the start of the show, but she was gaining a grandeur that were inconsistent with its real importance inside the show.

    The writers have invented a variety of situations to highlight the character, but in my view, they distorted both his personality, which cuddy today is just one “hot” boss/girlfriend. A witty, professional intelligent and shrewd cuddy has become a romantic/tearful and boring,using sex as a bargaining chip to get what want from House.

    The numbers prove that the 7season focused on huddy /cuddy had the worst numbers of the show’s ratings (please dont argument that the show is old and that the ratings fell because break-up huddy, this is definitely not true).
    A lie, even told several times, is still a lie.

    The show will finish this season with the worst ratings, losing even to the ratings presented in the debut season in 2004 (wikipedia) and honestly think that the predictions for the 8 season, if they insist on continuing this line of reasoning (focusing huddy) will be a bitter farewell and shameful.

    I have some dreams: Cuddy does not return in 8season/David Shore take your place, of he where should never have left/JMO return to the show. (I know she will not return, she is now on a new project: Once Upon Time. I wish every success in the world for her).

  • ruthinor

    This site used to have great discussions about the show. Missing are many of the posters who actually had intelligent things to say like MHM, Sera, Delia_Beatrice and many others whose names I can’t recall. We used to argue about what actually happened in the characters lives. There were disagreements, but it did NOT degenerate into “Ship Wars”. Some of us were upset by Bombshells, but NOT because of the break-up per se, but because we thought that the WAY it happened didn’t make sense based upon past episodes. On their own, I have enjoyed some of the episodes after Bombshells, but unlike in previous seasons, I just don’t see THIS season as an integrated whole. It just seems too choppy. The reactions of some of the main characters seem OUT of character, based upon what we’ve seen in the past. Maybe the last 2 episodes will change my mind.

    Meanwhile, it would be nice to discuss the show and its characters and not denigrate the actors who play them. I’m sorry if you miss Sela Ward or Jennifer Morrison or anyone else who is no longer on House, but these folks were not “mistreated”. They earned more money per episode than most of us earn in a year. All TV shows bring in new characters while eliminating others. It would also be nice if people didn’t throw out random insults about members of TPTB. I doubt if anyone here (other than Barbara) knows them personally, so what’s the point?

  • Ingrid

    92 Sam: Interesting comment about Hugh and while I’m not surprised about the insecure part, I am about the mean and self-absorbed parts. Do you know someone who works with him? I’m not discounting what you say but am intrigued.
    93 Pax and 97 Sneaky Microbe: agree w/ your comments. While I don’t ship any specific relationship, I find it rather disheartening to read snide, short remarks that invariably incites some fans. And to see Barbara, whose articles I’ve enjoyed reading, siding w/ someone who was the original instigator was surprising and disappointing. So thank you for your comments and lending support to the fans who seemed to merely be forthright in her opinion but instead was accused of something that she never started!

  • Sneaky,

    You misunderstood me. I was only, only, only reacting to the flaming, what you yourself refer to as the “oh huddy must be together…” I love debating on the merits. The more opinion the better. I can disagree or agree. All points of view are and have always been welcomed by me. My only request is that people discuss (and even argue) their opinions respectful of others’. That includes people interested in the ships, only the medicine, or just House himself.

    Everything’s an opinion (even what I write)–even what the PTB say that isn’t a specific fact about something that’s already or will happen. If everyone keeps that in mind sort of thining…..”In my opinion…” (which by the way is what was required on the TWOP boards when I participated back in the day).

  • Sneaky Microbe

    #86 Harley,

    I am a big fan of the relationship, and I don’t appreciate you saying that my interest is “a bit silly and immature” at this point in the show. You have a very narrow understanding of House fans though speak with presumed authority. It’s comments posted like yours that makes me question whether I should participate in such discussions. Last time I checked, we all have the same Freedom of Speech. As I’ve said before and obviously have to say again, there are many MATURE, educated fans of the House/Cuddy relationship, and we like to discuss it. You have all the right in the world to express that you disliked the season and disliked Huddy, but I urge you and others to think twice before insulting other fans about whom you know nothing.

    I have no desire to read “Ship Wars” any more than you or Barbara, but a character relationship can be discussed in intellectual ways, not just “Oh Huddy MUST be together or I’m not gonna watch.” It’s a major theme of the show right now, and there are a LOT of Huddy fans. Barbara, your response to her post kind of surprised me, but perhaps you refer to the Huddy “flame wars” that are never-ending. There’s obviously a lot of passion surrounding this TV show and characters, and to discount fans’ desire to see where the journey of these characters leads as “silly and immature” is offensive.

  • dago

    The growing hostile animosity leaves me speechless.I just want to say that House still is successful throughout the world even if the ratings are declining wich is natural with a show in its seventh season.I also believe there is still hope for some kind of relationship between House and Cuddy.Love has different ways to show itself .It must not neccesarily be in that way it was already explored.Maybe the events to come leads to a different course of development.The only difficulty I see with this is if there is only one season left and if they allow that course its natural speed then it should at least come to a closure with dignity.Even though I did not like every move the made I still find House`s journey interesting and I think that character will remain fascinating even after the show has stopped.
    Negative emotions deminish the pleasure of watching the show wich is sad.We must remember when the show was fresh everything was new and exiting -like beeing in love with somebody in first fewe weeks.It alters later on from time to time.It doesn`t mean you love the person less but maybe then for different reasons.It doesn`t stay the way it began.Same with the show here.If it`s not bearable anymore quit quietly and not with a big bang.It only frustrates those who still enjoy the ride.

  • Eloise

    @Sam of course you are allowed your opinion just as I am mine. I know Hugh is just a human like us, but I did not know if you had seen his interviews in Europe as he toured. I simply dont agree that he is phoning in his peformances.But I suppose we will have to agree to disagree about that.
    Obviously I dont seriously think I’m the only one watching but unlike some others I have no axe to grind about various ‘ships’ and I’m fed up of all the nasty ness about this programme i enjoy!

  • Damn Skippy, I’m Bitter

    @Pax: “Huddy” IS over, so suck it up and get over it. “Huddy” cost the show nearly half it’s viewers, an exodus which began when the writers began moving in that direction at the end of season 5.

    Following the airing of “Bombshells,” the “Huddy Fangirls” absolutely bombarded Greg Y, David S and Katie J with foul-mouthed, rude and childish tantrums, threats and excoriations. However, and you can trust me on this one, those very same “Huddy Fangirls” are still watching, still hoping for a “Huddy Reconciliation.” If none is forthcoming, I fear there may be boiling bunnies in David Shore’s future, since he was the one who finally put the brakes on the train wreck that was “Huddy.”

    This show, which was once the most unique and interesting on television, has become inert and constipated, wallowing in the mire that is “Huddy.” It was always, first and foremost, supposed to be about the medicine. Go back and read or watch ANY interview with ANY producer, writer or actor from the show during the first 3 or 4 years, and they will all say the SAME thing: “This show will ALWAYS be about the medicine.”

    And then suddenly, David Shore lost interest and wandered away, and Katie Jacobs and her fluctuating hormones took over and created (ret-conned) “Huddy,” and everything went to crap. It was no longer about the medicine, it was about “Huddy.”

    Sorry, but I don’t believe in coincidences. 10 million ex-viewers seem to agree with me and other the posters here who still watch, but support my position.

  • pax

    Harley: I understand what you’re saying but here’s the thing, you seem as if you’re trying to brush over people’s feelings and telling them that something they loved, Huddy, is over and to suck it up and get over it. Not very empathetic of you, is it? But perhaps you don’t care and never did. Or maybe you did but now you don’t because people should be over it by now. People process pain at different speeds. I don’t know what sort of person you are but maybe you think it’s stupid that people cared about Huddy that much, but the fact is people did. People invested a lot of time and feelings into these two and they are very hurt and disappointed. I understand how people can be tired of the negativity, which should be pointed out hasn’t been coming from Huddies solely at all. But also a lot of fans are tired of the negativity from interviews. What they say when they talk to us fans and let us know what’s on their minds matters and effects us and the way we see the show and its future. Even the most patient and sympathetic amongst fans, Huddies or not, are starting to be turned off by this. It would be foolish to bury their heads in the sand and ignore what unhappy fans are telling them and hope it just blows over. Their numbers are slipping and have slipped by millions after “Bombshells” aired. They’re lower than they’ve been since at least season three. Just between the last two episodes they lost around a million viewers. They need all of us fans to come back next season. And while they can’t please everyone, nor should they try to please everyone, sometimes it’s good to listen because in their own way people care and are trying to help them make it better. If people gave up like you want, they would not only do that, they’d also leave.

    After “Bombshells” aired they got a TON of feedback from fans on Twitter and on Ausiello. What they did with Huddy was a big thing and they had a ton of Huddy fans watching the show. Huddy didn’t just benefit us, it benefited them and the show too. They should have a sense of how big Huddy is just from that night. I’ve also noticed that not only have numbers gone down a huge amount since that episode, but that the number of Facebook recommendations and retweets that they get on show articles have gone down a huge amount too.

    You agree with them that people don’t change, well, you’re almost the only one I’ve seen. Now I think the show has to stick with that but I’m just saying you’re saying you agree with them, people need to get over their unhappiness, people need to give up because they can’t change the unchangeabe, you were impressed by the way they handled their relationship, you thought their breakup was inevitable, this and more show that you think largely like the showrunners and have no problem with the way things are. I understand your reasons but I’m telling you that you’re way of telling people to deal with it won’t make things better.

    Some people love the show almost no matter what and that’s okay. I think that’s how they feel and that’s great for them. And sometimes I get tired of the negativity too. But those people who will stick with the show because they love House’s so much and are so interested in everything he does and will do no matter how ultimately hopeless and are pretty happy almost with every episode are not the ones they need to worry about keeping. They already have those people sewn up no matter what. YMMV.

  • Sam

    @Barbara-That’s not what she said but I’ll take your word for it that that’s what she intended to say.

    I disagree that no matter what they say it’s construed negatively. I tried to point out positive things she said in my response and said I wished her well. I meant that. I also meant the other things I said.

    I hate it when people make TPTB almost infallible, I also hate it when they make them out to be almost only failures. People seem to only fall in one or the other category. I was honest with what I felt and I wasn’t hateful. I gave honest criticism and honest praise. And most of the time I’m out in these places defending them and I think they’re good people. I want to be fair to them, but I also want to be honest about what it feels like on the other side of everything that happened.

    @Eloise-I like Hugh, but the man is a human being just like the rest of us. He can be selfish, insecure (and byy this I mean, insecurity leading to meanness to other people), self-absorbed and mean sometimes. I’ve seen it on more than one occasion. He can also make these grand sweeping gestures of sweetness like doing what he did for Amber Tamblyn or buying the crew guitars. Some people want to idolize him instead of seeing him as he is. He’s just like us. So I don’t mind daring to say it when I see it if I so choose. I rarely do because I think his good qualities outweigh his bad, but I’m certainly not sorry for saying something this time.

    I never implied or thought that he didn’t work hard. I think that was pretty clear in my post. As for you being the only one who still enjoys the show, that number seems to be dwindling at an alarming rate lately. I hope things get better. I am looking forward to the next couple of episodes. But I’m not excited about next season right now based on everything the people in charge have been saying. They haven’t engendered any excitement in me.

    I want the show to do well and I want to love it again. I hope that happens. Since I rarely say anything negative about it at all I think every once in awhile I’m allowed to.

  • Betty

    #88 Harley Thank you for your comments. But you misunderstood; my alone comment was not actually directed toward you. It was meant to serve as a general clarification of my viewpoint. Your comments are not invalid about the relationship, and I agree w/ you that House is simply not ready for an equal relationship. It would have been helpful if you had expressed your views in this way originally. I don’t think I’ve ever responded to a negative Huddy comment until this blog and like you but obviously for different reasons, I was annoyed w/ the negative comments about the relationship and felt I needed to say something. The continuing comments about the breakup I think only shows how deeply some viewers were affected. Sure it’s just a tv show but that doesn’t mean no one should feel passionate about it. Perhaps people don’t change is not the right phrasing for what I’m looking for in the character, less miserable is what I’d like to see, b/c one can still retain their core essence and still be less miserable. But it seems to me unless I misunderstood from DS and co. that they want to keep him at the same level of misery. That is something I take issue w/ and find really off. I hope I am wrong. Your last sentence I especially liked, appreciated your comments.

  • Harley

    87 – barbara barnett

    A massive “thank you” to you! for all the wonderful reviews and exclusive interviews that you provide here.

  • Jane 2

    A very interesting interview Barbara, thank you. Thanks also for asking about Lisa Edelstein’s contract situation. I hope we hear something soon, I really want her back!

  • Harley

    55 – Betty

    Sorry for that, you did state the “perhaps”

    I didn’t say I want House alone I said I thought bringing him and “Cuddy” together was a “stupid idea” and I still think so especially in the state he was in when he entered it. I could see where the storyline was heading and I was dreading this season because I thought they were going to damage his character in these unchartered waters but I was impressed with the way they handled it and IMHO I thought they did a good job of telling the audience why it wouldn’t work. The breakup was always going to be inevitable from the start and I thought they did it justice in the reasoning behind it.

    House has a lot of issues to work on before he enters into any kind of equal relationship and I will extrapolate on my stating House has tried love and it didn’t work: he has gotten a taste for it, he wants it and most importantly he doesn’t want to be alone but at this moment in time love is not his answer.
    As I said in my comment to Barbara it annoys me when the show have clearly stated that Huddy are over that the same debate goes on and on, they have made their decision so why try to change the unchangeable?

    Regarding DS and co stating people (well TV characters) don’t change I completely agree with them and cannot understand the problem here. If they changed House then there would be no show but think of the recluse he was in the first few seasons where he wouldn’t socialize and his scenes were mostly between the hospital and his apartment or places where he wouldn’t have to interact with people? then think of season 6 and 7 where he is much more open and we see him going to restaurants, bars, dating clubs, spud gun tournaments etc? his core character hasn’t changed but he has learnt to get over some of his insecurities and I think they will continue on that path in season 8, in fact from what KJ said they are delving more into House’s mind so that can only mean a positive thing since I think there holds the key to him dealing with his issues and him making a serious attempt at trying to make his life better.

  • Harley, I completely agree with you. It distresses me as well. I do not watch the show for “Huddy” and I never have. I watch for House, certainly. I’ve enjoyed the House-Cuddy relationship. I began this column to get beneath the surface of this amazing character and the people in his orbit.

    Thank you for taking the time to express that 🙂

  • Harley

    53 – Barbara barnett

    Barbara I’m sorry for adding to your distress. I completely understand that fans like the show for different reasons it just annoys me that every article you’ve done after the breakup is dominated by upset Huddy fans, it was expected for several episodes after but to carry it on this long and it still dominate a majority of the articles when the show have clearly stated it is over is a bit silly and immature. People wondering about the Cuddy character and how her and House are going to return to some sort of normality is rational. Anyway i will be more civil with my future comments, have a good night.

  • Housemaniac. When people break up badly (and this was a pretty bad breakup) they can become hostile and any affection can be be forgotten. Sometimes it can be repaired when the parties come together for whatever reason–just to talk. Cameron and Chase did last season in Lockdown.

    They may not ever be together again romantically, but Cuddy will always be a part of House’s life. Someone needs to take the first step.

  • housemaniac

    Barbara, thanks for the article. In one of your posts you wrote of House and Cuddy, “Their relationship has always been underpinned by mutual affection, history and respect.” Precisely. But all that (except the history in the most literal sense) is gone now post-breakup. I don’t see how they get it back. I infer from what you have said that perhaps baby steps are taken in that direction in “After Hours” but the show can’t afford baby steps to repair House and Cuddy’s (platonic) relationship. Having them fighting or avoiding each other on a regular basis would not be interesting. I desperately want to see LE return, but I think the Cuddy character has been eviscerated and I am having trouble seeing what role there is for her in the show’s current trajectory. Yes, reining in House, but that is not enough. There has to be a substantial positive dynamic between House and Cuddy to make her role worthwhile. If you or anyone else has any thoughts on how Cuddy can fit in to the current narrative (she has had very little screen time in recent episodes, for example), I’d love to hear it.

  • Susan

    Glad you fixed the Sara-Susan thing. I wondered why my name kept coming up!

  • Betty

    Thanks Barbara and Committed for your latest posts. My faith in the show has been restored albeit tenuously but better than having lost it with the more positive takes of the latest comments.

  • Sara–Sorry to call you Susan (my bad). Absolutely it’s my opinion. I wasn’t there when David Shore made the pilot. Were you? Everyone has an opinion. I only say what I observe.

    Fatolady: you speak truth. I hate this bickering, flaming and name calling. In the end, it’s a TV show. We’re passionate about what we like (and what we don’t), and aren’t afraid to say it.

    Please, no more name-calling, flaming or accusations. Thank You.

  • fatolady

    Okay, I enjoyed the physical tension of Cameron and House and I enjoy the dynamics, male bonding, and brotherly love displayed between House and Wilson. I also love the sexy snarkiness and honest passion between House and Cuddy. The reason I love these relationships is because I love Greg House MD. I want House to have someone who cares for him. Can we all just accept the fact that over 50,000,000 people all over the world love and care about
    Dr. Gregory House. Your ship, my ship, or their ship……..all this bickering is tearing our family apart. For Greg’s sake, can’t we all just get along. Let the ships sail and let us all just enjoy the House we have while we have him to love.

  • Eloise

    People may not change but things around them do that can include characters. Cameron is gone and unlikely to return. With respect you should move on. To most fans not just Barbara, Wilson and Cuddy with House are what counts and what they tune in for.Unthough other characters are popular the series could carry on without them, obviously hopefully that wont happen.

  • Sara

    @ Susan–The series triumvirate is House-Wilson-Cuddy. Whether or not there was ever a relationship planned for anyone, that triangle still stands. It is the basis for the show. That is where the power struggles and conflict and tension boils.

    Barbara, I respect your point of you but it’s just a your opinion. I don’t think his universal objective.
    1) First season(s) have different premises
    2) Shore admit he never have a right design when show start so there isn’t a right design
    3) KJ love LE (she is her close friend, according the rumor) so she push her but she is not the creator.
    4) Shore is the creator and when journalist ask him what is the core of the show is say is not relationship, love, friends, patients etc, but it’s ”How House compares himself with the good or the bad (right or bad) and what is the good choise and why” so Shore deny there aren’t trumvirate or something stuff like this.
    So I conclude that all carachter (except House) are the same narrative importance. (and this is prove OE have the same episodes and salary that LE) just HL have a real different salary.
    5) So triumviarate is just a fans speculation, and still not all fans see things as so it’s not a objective things even among fans.
    Just Huddies thinks there a magic trio. Many Hilson (the majority to be honest) don’t support Cuddy anymore (look TWoP or lj Hilson, many of them simply hope LE is not in season 8)
    5) ”That is where the power struggles and conflict and tension boils”
    Uhm, there are many conflict and tension still in hameron pairing so I don’t think is really universal, this point of you.
    6)All opinions are welcome but I think there are a common ground in which to get stay. I’m partisian (hameron) but I try to be objective, for example I’m big PJ fans (Pacey and Joey- Dawson’s Creek) but I don’t have any problem admits that DJ (Dawson and Joey) are the first ship and my ship is create after, so the original show have the different ideas.

    So, you are Huddy, ok, but why many of Huddy have a real great difficult admit the show when start is different? The original show don’t have huddy ”love of life”, or inttocable triumvirate, or Cameron that don’t count anything.
    And this is not a movie when in the first part is different because is just a introdution: this show is like ”Well, I create a pilot with a protagonist, House, I create a romantic interest (Cameron, he is attrack to her, but denies it and they have a Rockester/Jane Eyre subtex, a faith between The Beauthy and the beast good/bad interation) a great friend (Wilson, he is is family and they have a great bromance(gay or bisex subtex) a strong boss (Cuddy with some flirtation, hate/love, cat and mouse or brother and sister relationship like HL definite it) and two followship (Chase and Foreman) that oppisite with it but in the same thime they want be like him) and a medical mistery and ethicals istance BUT I DON’T HAVE ANY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE, so all is possible.”
    So, he simply finished deny and distort his original idea because he made too much changes so it’s totally different show now, like another show.

    Summarize is: Now House/Wilson/Cuddy is the triumvirate? Maybe, but Shore thinks no and still the original show (the real show at this point!) is totally different so there isn’t a triumvirate. And the core of the show is House/Ethics (according to Shore, the father and the god of the show)
    And now, sorry, but Cuddy have so much screentime (and her mother, sister, daughter etc) that just Huddy fans like her now because other fans are tired about her carachter. So, who believe in this triumvirete? Just Huddies, KJ (the queen of Huddy) and LE. No others.
    And again: all supporting carachter have the same importance.

    There are another year so we will see what is really important to the show at the end.

    Shore. It’s his show so he have the right create last episode like he want but I hope he re-watch the ENTIRE show (not just season 5, 6 or 7) and close with some dignity with ALL arcs, ALL ethics istance, ALL actors, ALL fans and ALL seasons (still first seasons)

    THE END.

    Just a note: Susan? I’m still Sara, Susan post LE contract question. 🙂

  • Sara-that is incredibly common on series. How could the House creators know from the time of the pilot that the series would last 7-8+ years. THey couldn’t

  • Sara

    ***A small addition: on all this happens when you do not decide (in the forst day) all you that must happen on the show but you choose / change things from time to time without have a clear plan from day one (still Shore admit this) and it just so happens that finally things are created which initially did not exist. So, for example House and Cuddy went to bed twenty years before, because this plot was only decided later, they have this idea later (as admitted by Shore), that’s why a first season have a very different premises and there are so great narrative fracture one of the first seasons and last seasons.

  • Susan–The series triumvirate is House-Wilson-Cuddy. Whether or not there was ever a relationship planned for anyone, that triangle still stands. It is the basis for the show. That is where the power struggles and conflict and tension boils.

  • Sara

    Thank you too, Barbara 🙂

    And I’m sorry about my elementary english, again.

    ”The series was build on the trio of House-Cuddy-Wilson with House at the top.”

    I’m sorry but I don’t think this the true. Or rather, it is true now, but it was not true at the beginning. Look season 1, do you really think the original show have this premises? No, it haven’t.
    Wilson maybe, but Cuddy don’t have any real intimacy rapport with House in season 1 (they call each other ”Dr” in the first episodes) she is simply her boss, they have some little flirtation but they are not friends or close, on the cotrary patients and team members are very important in the original show and House/Cameron pairing is the first love and romantic ship, and House/Wilson is the most important friendship relation of the show. If you read first interviews look that. But I don’t deny the importance of Cuddy or the existence of House/Cuddy pairing, just say that all cast members are the same importance. Chase and Foreman are the perfect opposite of House on the team so this dynamics is important too.
    And TPTB created three ships: H/Cam, H/Cu and H/W, so why they don’t the same importance as all three? If they loves only House/Cuddy pairing it’s simply: they were to just create their love. But if you create even House/Cameron romance (for example) you you have to give him the same dignity and importance. We don’t invent Hameron or Hilson subtex, TPTB invent it so they have a debt to their audience. Guest carachter romance (Stacy or Lydia) are differente because they are simply guest so viewers know they are just provisional.
    And poor OE, PJ and JS, they treat them like a wallpaper now (most of the time). 13 have a good fortune.
    And especially fatal error, they have also pushed on the second floor even patients! So in the last seasons House md is less procedural and more soap-operish. They don’t longer find a balance between this two vital istances.
    Bones have two main charachters and a marginal supporting cast. House don’t. Contractally and narratively House have only one star (lead) and a supporting casts with the same importance and salary.
    I’m sorry but it’s ojective. I don’t hate Huddy, I’m ok with Huddy exploration if they explorate other two ship (Hamerson and Hilson) and if they same dignity to OE, JS, PJ and OW (we loss Kunter but it’s a actor decision so TPTB are innocent about it).
    I really hate when the same mother create many children but treats them differently some better and others worse. And why all regulars cast have a the right to stay still the end, Jennifer isn’t? Where is the justice?
    This show chance a lot. This is a fact.
    Maybe Bryan Singer absence have a great impact.
    This is just a commercial produts so money logics (and not artistic logics) reigns but show failed also from the commercial point of view in the last years so it’s really a big mistake.
    House was a international success in the first seasons (critical acclamation, mportant awards and big ratings) because artistic value was higher. All plots (patients, team dinamics etc) are the best.
    I think most of those who followed him think so. In my country House have the same decline and bad critics when ”change” arrived. House now is just a number 2 of a great movie, don’t have the same charm, appeal and quality the first seasons.
    I’d like to call ten major and independent expert critics and ask them if the show was better the first year or (after all this changes) in the last years. I’m sure 80% or 90% choise the first option.
    Do you look ”The silence of the lambs” and ”Hannibal”? I have the same sensation, the first is a masterpiece (mistery, subtex, great plots!) the second is like a worst carbon copy with less quality. Same plot but a very difference results!
    The great problems on tv is that: creators use best ideas and atmospheres in the first years (even Huddy is the best in the early season) but after they totally destroy it’s same creature because long seriality is very difficult to maintain. There are but some exceptions (some sit.co or pure procedurals age more slowly) but are rare. TPTB still crate some good scenes or episodes but the global quality of seasons are worst.
    I Think even David Shore know though but, obviously, he never admit it.

    I have just one deidere: that TPTB use the last seasons to give dignity to all actors all characters, and all the storyline that have created and close all arcs with a good and respectful balance between all of them. All regular character, still Cameron. Because she stay six years so it is absurd to pretend it never existed so I hope they report Jennifer in the last season in some episodes.

    I still have some hope.
    If TPTB are really clever and have really respect for all of them, we’ll see a great final season.

  • Susan

    FYI – I came across a few interesting articles and assorted pictures on the internet of some of the “House” stars, who are on a week long trip to Israel. Lisa Edelstein, Omar Epps and his wife, Jesse Spencer (with a horrible crew cut),Amber Tamblyn and producer David Shore visited two hospitals(among the usual tourist spots). LE tried “her hand at simulated arthroscopic surgery.
    “I’m so glad this is not a living person,” she said Wednesday, shifting the controls over a robotic dummy, eyes fixed on a computer screen that revealed her would-be patient’s internal organs. “I think I just mangled its liver.”

    “The cast members looked on as medical students re-enacted a particularly dramatic scene from the last season of the show in which a patient who was crushed under a falling building has his leg amputated and is rushed to the operating room.”

    One medical student said “The show is good entertainment, but at medical school we learn what not to do from it. After all, this is Hollywood we are talking about.”

    So maybe this is why LE hasn’t signed her contract yet – she’s been abroad – operating.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    Barbara, Thank you very much for your response to my question. Given the climate of late, it is interesting to see what THEY want to talk about, so I appreciate steering away from certain subjects. The ongoing debate regarding whether House CAN change, HAS changed, or has a sense of humanity is central to everyone’s interpretation of the series. Based on what we’ve heard from others recently, it’s helpful to hear/read the perspective of Those At The Helm.

    And I agree with Barbara that Cuddy was never meant to be a love interest for House. That’s why it’s been fun to follow over the years, since the chemistry created itself. Throw in bits from their past together, and you’ve got an interesting relationship. With that said, I sincerely agree with the many who call for a more respectable portrayal of women on the show. I find Dr. Cuddy’s bared cleavage to be a joke, an insult in a way to professional women everywhere. While I like Cuddy (perhaps mainly because I adore Lisa E.), I agree that the character has weakened in the past few years. I think the character has great potential, yet for whatever reason her role has been sub par. Let’s hope writers correct this oversight in Season 8. I honestly don’t know that I’d watch the show without the Complete Triumvirate.

  • Celia

    Is it just my prism Barbara,or did KJ sound deflated and already a bit nostalgic during your interview ? She has to know they’re in this situation because the Ratings dropped…for wahtever reasons. Gotta’ be depressing.

  • Cardiac Monitor. LE’s purpose on House is, has and always will be as his Dean: his protector when necessary and his foil when necessary. Their relationship has always been underpinned by mutual affection, history and respect. No matter what House has done, Cuddy has always understood fundamentally why House does the things he does. No one else (as we say in season 5’s Big Baby, I think) is capable of walking that line: managing him and trusting him.

    There have been sparks there since (really) late season 2 and having gone through this very slow relationship and it’s aftermath, they have to at least get back to “go”.

    Put another character in that necessary role at t

  • Cardiac Monitor

    Ms. Barnett: HOW is Cuddy a “crucial piece of the pie?” I ask again: what else can be done with her character? If it was indeed her purpose to be a “future love interest” for House from Day 1, as many have insisted, well, I’d say that that ship has sailed. Now what?

    If Lisa E was smart, she’d move on. Better to leave on her own terms than to allow the character she spent 6 years building to be further bastardized. And next time, find a writer who knows how to write for women, not the cliche-addled bunch currently employed by David Shore.

  • Hey guys, thanks for keeping this (mostly) civil. Debate is great. Keep it going. Sneaky–I steered away from it intentionally. Whatever she would offer would piss off one or another part of the fandom. The topic is so divisive in the fandom. I just felt I didn’t want to make the interview “about that.” KJ has given virtually no interviews this season. This was her first in month. I wanted to keep it informational and informative, not set fire to a tinderbox in one direction or another.

    She only mentioned LE because she’s yet to be signed (I believe everyone else is on board already). Cuddy is a crucial piece of the pie. House vs. a new Dean would be a disaster. He’d be gone in a heartbeat (or the series would devolve into some sort of Hogan’s Heroe rip. The series was build on the trio of House-Cuddy-Wilson with House at the top. The fellows are important, but are not his main support structure.

    Bluehue–yes. That’s exactly what she meant in context of our conversation. When you have to do with less, you have to get more creative. Maybe that means less blockbuster teasers, but more getting into the emotional core of the stories.

  • Sara

    @ Barbara, thank you for answer. I believe in you so I hope you represent all fans doubts in the next interview.

    @ Lina

    “Dear Kate, there are many actress (even your JMO or OW! for example) with the same talent or capacity of LE so I don’t think she is the best”.

    Are you joking? JMo and OW are subpar actresses. You can dislike Huddy as much as you want but Lisa is a far superior actress than those two.

    She is essential for the show and this is why TPTB is fighting to have her back. If they didn´t fight for JMo maybe it´s because they didn´t find her character so important anymore.”

    It’s just your opinion, JMo and OW have a great career (Jennifer is a lead in a new important show now, and OW is more request in the movies) so I doubt LE is universally considered a better actress than other two. I think LE, JMo and OW are very talent actress (equal quality, no one is better than other two and the facts prove this.)

    And Cuddy is important yes, but Cameron was/is important too (do you see season 1, 2 or 3? She has greatly contributed to the success of the series at the beginning but unfortunatly TPTB don’t remember it)
    They don’t fight for Jennifer because there are many strange logics on this show so some actors and characters have all their caring and other it’s abrutly don’t appreciate at all. This show is about House so he is the core, others are a support carachters so all of them have the same utility and importance. But TPTB don’t have any sense of justice or correctness. I hope some day someone will hurt them as they have dealt Jennifer so maybe they will understand what it means.
    And Jennifer is really a nice person, because many actors, in the same situation, did not have the same class and grace that she had.

    I hope I’m wrong and one day TPTB prove they are a good and correct people.

  • hazel eyes

    I don’t care what anyone says. but I think Hugh asked for the delay of the filming of season 8 was so that his best buddy RSL could be back from the start. Hugh has admitted that he wouldn’t of got through the last 7 years without him.

  • rjw

    i hope that Lisa Edelstein is signed.No matter whether you love or hate her character,Lisa is a very talented actor,and (in my book) very underrated.I do follow House,for House,though.Lisa just happens to be an important member of the cast.

  • Drdiagnostic

    Thank you for this interview Barbara! I gathered the same thing from KJ’s comment about the things House has tried. From those experiences, he’s learned about those flaws. Based upon what he wants in his life, it’s up to him to decide if he wants to keep them or make himself better. For example, if he wants love, then he might have to be able to take on someone else’s pain and try to be more open and conforting. If he wants to be clean again, he has to get his head cleared and learn how to manage his leg pain in a more proactive way.

    Also, I just want to point out your sentence to people where LE and “crucial to season 8″ are in the same sentence. I gather based upon the planning process that Cuddy is going to be a crucial part of Season 8 and that’s why they are really hoping to get her signed.

    I do appreciate the eloquence to KJ’s answers. She makes the bitterness of some of Shore’s and GY’s comments a lilttle sweeter and explains what’s in House’s head a bit better. She’s not quite as…shall we say…blunt.

    I do hope they sign Lisa and give her a reasonable deal. She is a very diverse actress, as Hugh has also stated. She, in my opinion, is detrimental to the storytelling of the show just as much as Wilson is. The show needs that….”grown up” interaction, I feel.

  • bluehue

    Thanks for “behind the scenes” interview & new insights. Nice.

    I like the fact that KJ mentions cuts in funds could actually contribute to “better stories,” like maybe in the sense that less is best, or trims options on the bigger type production extras. No “bunker busting bombs” to open the show is okay-fine.
    Just instruct the writers to “sharpen thy pencils,” or I guess “polish key boards,” & get busy with stories, as she hints..that show us, raveled & unraveled..what is going on in that mind of House..complicated ball of knotted up string that it is.
    P.S. Sorry, wrong place to comment, but I’m liking “The Fix,” more after several days of “sinking in.” It served to warn us “sqeamish” & set the mood for “After Hours.” The images of House on the “butcher block” table, (unintentional) tho foreboding now.
    Also, I was thinking, remembering (sad story/offbeat parallel) about House’s pet rat he named after the actor Steve McQueen, who (so desperate to cure his own cancer) died (at 50) of complications, after taking an apricot derived drug..in Mexico, banned in the USA.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    House’s relationship with Cuddy has been THE big story this season, and that’s following several years of leading up to it. Even if you hate the pairing, THAT is the topic of discussion because THAT has been central to the show this year. Some of us, who happen to be very mature and very well educated (NOT starry-eyed school girls), welcomed House’s evolution into potential happiness.

    I found it interesting, Barbara, that House/Cuddy was not mentioned by KJ in your interview. Did you steer away from that subject intentionally?

    Yes, the show is about Dr. House. About his journey and attempts to have a better life. I can’t understand the intense anger regarding Cuddy, given the multi-year development of these two. I don’t care for many of the other characters, but I don’t see the need to go on and on about how horrible and boring they are. Because I know that hurts people’s feelings. Alas, humans will be humans.

  • Andrea

    I stopped watching when they deep-sixed House’s relationship with Cuddy and declared he’d never change. I’m not interested in watching a character who never changes. It doesn’t make much of a difference if it comes back next season or not.

  • Lina

    “Dear Kate, there are many actress (even your JMO or OW! for example) with the same talent or capacity of LE so I don’t think she is the best”.

    Are you joking? JMo and OW are subpar actresses. You can dislike Huddy as much as you want but Lisa is a far superior actress than those two.

    She is essential for the show and this is why TPTB is fighting to have her back. If they didn´t fight for JMo maybe it´s because they didn´t find her character so important anymore.

  • Committed

    Betty – I agree with you on the misery front. I just don’t see the point of it.

    As far as House/Cuddy – I still think the jury is still out on this relationship. If he really does come to understand himself better and he makes his choice based on that understanding, will he choose to try it again? That is a huge question that I would like left on the table for the final season. The path to that decision will be interesting enough to watch. I don’t think he wants to be alone, I just don’t know if he really knows how to avoid it.

  • Lu

    David shore :
    Huddy episodes were the best, they were inspiring, worth-watching reminders of love, showing that even worst person can change for the loved one Get Huddy back!

  • Betty

    Barbara, I’m sorry if you feel that I have contributed to the shipper flame wars, but Harley and a couple of other posters started making negative comments about Huddy which I felt needed to be addressed. And I’ve never started such a thing here. So it is curious that you would side w/ them.

  • KPP

    Ps. I would chose to keep Houses team over Wilson. I have found him lacklusture this season and disapointing. No ‘spark’. Same with Cuddy. Liked the notion of the Cuddy/House relationship but was disapointed about how it was explored.

    I would like House to find some happiness…….AND the other characters. Their constant state of misery is starting to grate and irritate me.

  • Betty

    #45 Harley This is why I said the ratings decline “perhaps” is a coincidence. Nowhere did I flatout say or imply that the decline was all due to the breakup. I think the ratings are still good but I was pointing out the decline is noticeable.

    As for my take on not wanting to see House alone, I only got that from the character and the scripts not from shipping! I was never a Hameron as I’ve indicated in past posts and only saw a possible relationship w/ Cuddy at the end of season 4. It has been made clear from the scripts that House does not want to be alone, or else he wouldn’t have bothered at least having a try at a relationship w/ Cuddy, and he certainly wouldn’t have been in a 5-year relationship w/ Stacy. And he wasn’t the one who broke it up w/ Cuddy. He said, no, no, no to Cuddy. The self destruction that happened in OOC and FFG further shows how much this relationship meant to House. So…all of this indicates to me, unless I really misunderstood, that House does not want to be alone at this time. That’s all. As for the dominance of Huddy comments, I see the validity of this point, but that can be interpreted as a lot of posters putting a lot of faith in the writers in exploring this relationship. Perhaps it was our mistake to do so. The other point I’d like to make is DS, KJ, and the writers keep going back to their mantra of people don’t change and we don’t do happiness. So then what’s the point? Other posters have said this. To want to keep someone miserable is really off, less miserable is all I’m looking for and is not an unreasonable goal to reach at series’ end. If he wants to be alone and be less miserable, that works for me, but properly show us this change in mindset because so far in the scripts House has wanted to be with someone! Being successful at it is a different matter and not my original point.

  • KPP

    Refuse to watch if LE is not on the show. Plus what is with the minimisation of her makeup this season? Its time to reginite Cuddy……instead of making her permanently tired and sad.

  • Harley, believe me, it distresses me that too many comments are shipper war flames.

    I suppose when I was toting for house and Stacy back in season 2 I would have been ripped for enjoying what the PTB, were doing then. I watch for house. Really. The show is called House. He could be a monk, or simply decide he wants nothing to do with anyone. And as long as I was still with the character, I would be fine with that. If he loses me, I’d be gone.

  • Sara, Lisa’s name came up only because she has not yet signed. Period. I had a very limited amount of time to talk with her.

  • Sally

    Sorry to say, but LE is NOT essential to the show. Hugh is essential. RSL is essential (less than Hugh but still essential, because House needs Wilson like Holmes needs Watson.

  • Valentina

    (For God’s Sake, why Katie Jacobs still in this show?She should have been the first to be fired!)
    In my country often say that to err is human but to persist in error is

    Well…surely LE is essential to the show!
    How TPTB could continue destroying this show without cuddy?
    The other broadcast should be so happy with these developments on the cast …
    (such a predilection for certain cast member, gets to be shameful.
    The only essential part of the show is Hugh, after RSL…the rest is just the rest).

  • Eli

    Thank you, Barbara! Your interviews are always very interesting.

  • Suzy

    Gosh, just have to add to the comments about HL “phoning it” in.

    Seriously? I cannot see that. He gives his character absoutley everything. That he wants to focus on music and other things after 7 long years playing the same character… how is that translated into thinking he doesn’t care about House anymore? Has he said that? No. I’ve seen the interviews for his music tour and when asked about House he still maintains he loves it and his character. But maybe, just maybe after so many years he wants to explore other things he hasn’t had time for before. And music has always been his passion, a dream. Why would any fan hold that against him? Sure, I understand that you’ll miss the show, and so will I, but shows have to end sometime unfortunately and 8 years is a long run.

  • Suzy

    Thank you so much for the great article!

    I too hope Lisa will be on bord for season 8. She is very important to House. But since I am not a Huddy fan I hope to see, if it’s possible after the break up, for them to get back a little of their good natured banter. I hope they can come to terms with each other and eventually get some of their friendship back, that was what made the great chemestry between them. Though it would take some journey to get there I think.

    Oh, yes. Please bring back the clinic!

    I’m very anxious to see where they will take House next season. It doesn’t look good for him and I’m worried. They need to adress his psychological problems. Go deeper. Way deeper if he’s gonna have any chance of climbing out of the desperate dark hole he’s in and stay out of it. And of course I’d hate to see the tumors end up leading to… death. Please no! I couldn’t bear it.

    Bring on season 8!

  • Sara

    I have a dream.
    A (impartial) journalist that asks questions about Wilson, Taub, Chase Foreman, 13 and Cameron (Do you remember Jennifer Morrison? TPTB assicure her three episodes in the seven season but obviously cheated her like usual, why no one ask about it?).
    Instead there are just thousands of interviews about the wonderful Lisa Edelstein, lovely Cuddy, great Huddy past, Huddy present and Huddy future!
    If this place is just for Huddy questions, Huddy answers, Huddy comments or Huddy fans, please, specific it on the title.
    And I’m not troll (I defend Barbara in some occasions in other forum because she is always discredited) but now I’m tired,
    all fans deserve respect, on this show there are multiple ships, many fans and many actors but in the last years all interview is about Cuddy and her world (or she have always a special place on it). All supporting actors have the same importance.
    And KJ lack respect with many fans (exalting always LE, only her).

    ”I challenge any other actress on TV to do what she is so?”

    Dear Kate, there are many actress (even your JMO or OW! for example) with the same talent or capacity of LE so I don’t think she is the best.

    A real journalist or important blogger is not partisan all the time.
    In all this years, I never read one interview with a good balanced so I’m disappointed (like usual).
    I stil hope, but I doubt my dream will come true. 🙁

  • Harley

    43 – Betty

    To blame the ratings on Huddy is ridiculous. The ratings decline has many factors which Huddy holds a percentage to but is most certainly not the overall cause.

    The show is in it’s seventh season and still maintains numbers that other shows could only dream of, it has a competing time slot with DWTS which draws massive audience numbers, what other show could compete there?

    The show is in it’s seventh season and still maintains

  • Harley

    42 – barbara barnett

    I have a great respect for what you do and have been a silent reader of your blog for a long time.

    My mocking of the Huddies may be construed as a disrespect to you and your site and i am sorry for that and it is not intentional but it drives me mad that the majority of the comments these days are Huddy related. Where in this interview was Huddy even brought up? but yet again it has dominated the comments here.

    I know you are a Huddy but are also along for whichever way House’s journey takes him. I watch for House’s journey, he tried love to fix himself and he failed, the failure’s bothering him so he is self destructing?

    Your blog used to have a majority of really intelligent comments after each episode and now they are hard to find because all i read is Huddy this and Huddy that and not only is this an embarrassment to your blog it is a disrespect and embarrassment to the intelligence of the show that fans think this way.

  • Betty

    #39 Sara Thanks for your comment.

    #40 Harley Your comment started great but ended negatively which is precisely why I felt I had to write my original comment. The proof is not the relationship itself but as you pointed out the way it was handled. But the real proof is the ratings which has been in a steady decline since Bombshells. Coincidence? perhaps but there are viewers out there who felt the post breakup episodes weren’t handled well either. Incidentally, not all Huddies believed it was going to last, another erroneous generalization made by non-supporters of the relationship.

  • Sneaky–thank you. People have their likes and dislikes, there are fans of all stripes; people who like one or another relationship and those who prefer House alone.

    I hate when this comment space become a place for differing parts of the fandom to flame either each other or me. Some of the comments suggest that the commenter hasn’t actually read the entire article, or was only looking for something in the interview to flame about.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    I liked these reviews because the following discussions were usually intelligent and civil. We can like different characters and stories and all still be devoted [H]ouse fans. Please take the animosity elsewhere.

  • Harley

    36 – Betty

    I totally understand Cuddy is an important person to House and i like her character but bringing them into a relationship was just stupid on TPTB’s part IMHO and could never have lasted anyway. The proof that it was the wrong thing to do is now evidenced in the Huddies complaining that they never explored it properly yada yada and they could have had a complicated relationship and carried on that way….the show is called HOUSE MD and is about a complex genius who is drudging through a life of objectivity and meaning, he’s tried love to make his life better and it didn’t work, get over it.

  • Sara

    # ”For the negative comments directed toward Huddies”

    Don’t worry, on the contrary there isn’t many negative comments directed towards Hudies (here) because B.B.’s blog have the reputation of being the reign of huddies so other fans simply don’t read and don’t comments here (except few people like me) because this place is in favor of Huddy relationship at all.
    So all comments (99,9%) are created by Huddy fans in favor of their couple (here).
    Other place are more super-partes (impartial) so have a better balance.

  • Leiney

    #30 Madfashionista…I too wonder about Jesse Spencer. It seems to me that if he had a deal, or one was pending, it would be an easy reveal. They’ve addressed everyone else’s status, by name. Thus, I’m not feeling very optimistic about more Chase in season 8, but would love to be proved wrong!

    Barbara, again, thank you for all you do for the fandom. I greatly appreciate your graciousness, evenhandedness and positive outlook.

  • 2 lightworker

    Thank you, Barbara, for providing us with your summary of your conversation with Katie Jacobs.
    There is much feeling and good insight in many comments here, and that is a sign that this show has touched us where we are in our spirits, personalities, histories. I allowed myself to “go with” the unfolding of the story, and have sometimes felt sad, often laughed, and more often than not, reflected on how the characters’ choices and responses connected to my own life history. That kind of response may account for passionate attachments to actors and characters, and enthusiasm or disdain for some story arcs. I let myself be led into the House and Cuddy relationship and found touching moments through “Unwritten.” (I also was moved by House and Stacy’s connection in Season 1.)

    But then I could not understand the change in the characters as Season 7 continued past Episode 3, and still wonder why that happened and why no one seems to take that observation seriously, even though it has been made by many viewers. Comments about a change in the dynamic relationship of Hugh and Lisa, or that he is “phoning in” his work, seem to result from a change in the nuanced complexity of the characters, as well as the introduction of special effects that I found distracting from the story line.

    As to House changing, I think our essence remains the same, but we can jettison behaviors that do not serve our deeper sense of self and purpose, and there can be more integration of all the parts of ourselves. I find the constant refrain that “people don’t change” does not do justice to the depth of interpretation of the characters by the actors.

    I wonder if there would have been the many seasons of House without Hugh Laurie’s charismatic interpretation of the character, and he has risen to every challenge, even when the material has not always been engaging. I found the character of House to be stimulating in his iconoclastic response,as well as touching in his private moments, which have now become very depressing. The writers’ portrayal of women, either as devouring and controlling, as hookers, or as manipulative green card seekers, left me with a distaste that lingers. I am committed to follow this Hero’s Journey, but am wary now in a way that I was not before, even with the searing finales of past seasons.

    As to Hugh Laurie’s other ventures, I applaud his doing what he loves, and the sheer joy he has shown in the European tour videos and interviews is infectious and encourages me to carry on with my own creative endeavors. I hope he will continue both with music and with films after “Mr. Pip,” and hopefully, more British television that is not so demanding as the grueling schedule he has kept for seven years.

    He is an inspiration to all of us when he describes his process in being offered the record deal, that in twenty years he would say “I could have done that” if he hadn’t accepted, and that we regret what we don’t do. I will miss him weekly once “House” ends, whenever that may be, but will be a fan of his extraordinary talent as long as he chooses to share that with us.

  • Betty

    #10 Joan Agree!!

    #33 Celia agree w/ your comment!

    #34 Linda I believe you need an agent to represent you for your story idea to be pitched to tptb. Otherwise your idea will not be heard.

    #35 DebbieJ Agree with your comments regarding HL. But I think HL wrote that in the CD’s notes in anticipation of critics who think that blues music should be played only by a certain segment of humanity.

    For the negative comments directed toward Huddies, Cuddy’s played an important part in House’s life, even saving his life on one occasion, among other things. So to denigrate their relationship is being anti House M.D. the show. No one is advocating anything but House M.D. but to assume that everyone who supports the House/Cuddy relationship as fangirls is rather presumptuous and condescending, and making such sweeping generalizations regarding part of a viewership is not helpful to this discussion.

    As for those who don’t want House happy, I don’t think we can realistically fix House completely or see him completely happy. But who among us is truly and completely happy or personally knows someone who is? Not too many I would guess. But to want to see House stay miserable and lonely, that’s just being sadistic even for a fictional character, and one has to wonder what’s going on with people like that.

  • DebbieJ

    @33 – Celia: In defense of Cardiac Monitor (#31), Hugh himself has described his dabbling in the blues this way. In the Notes accompanying the CD, I quote:

    “I was not born in Alabama in the 1890’s, You may as well know this now. I’ve never eaten grits, cropped a share, or ridden a boxcar. No gypsy woman attended my birth and there’s no hellhound on my trail, as far as I’m aware. Let the record show that I am a white, middle-class Englishman, openly trespassing on the music and myth of the American south.”

    And @31 – Cardiac Monitor: In Hugh’s defense, it is natural to be excited in a new venture and I couldn’t be more happier for him that the CD is getting positive reviews from critics and fans alike. (BTW, the CD is awesome! Just received it today and have listened to it twice so far.)

    I don’t get the feeling that he is phoning it in, although it must be challenging for him to work with such weak scripts. I had read that he said, “that’s all they have me for”, referring to there being an 8th season and that he has one more season left on his contract. I have also read that he still loves the character and still is interested in knowing what will happen to him, but I find it completely natural that his head and his heart is in his music right now.

  • Linda (HAPPY)

    I loved the interview, you hit right on Katie, To me House is Gutsy with himself. determine to go thru what he wants, and he gets it. I’d Love to play an extra on the show just to work beside Hugh. It would be an honor of my life to give something back I want to give in life and for others. I have an episode in my mind that would be good for Season 8, but don’t know to whom I need to get in touch with to talk too on this idea. Hugh is a great actor, Love him for who he is and what he does.

  • Celia

    “And he’s getting mostly good reviews for an upper-class, white, Englishman with absolutely no roots in the genre”.

    Wow. Pretty condescending. Didn’t know ‘the blues’ were limited to only a section of humanity.

  • Sam

    Lol at the huddy fangirls who think the show should be called huddy md. If you guys watch House because of Cuddy/huddy then you must find the first seasons of the show awful! Maybe you should try soap operas, they suit you huddys much better

  • Cardiac Monitor

    I agree with Reality Check: The Cuddy character is completely “burned out.” They took a smart, strong woman and turned her into a controlling, whiny shrew. How can TPTB possibly fix that? Let her “move on” to something or somewhere else. “Huddy” was a disaster and I’m in the “I told you so” group; the show lost nearly half of its audience this past season, and the numbers are dwindling weekly. (And I’m sorry, Ms. Barnett, but no amount of cheerleading, “Huddy” or otherwise, is going to change that.)

    I also agree that GY behaved very badly in his tweets about up-coming episodes; however, his job was to get viewers to tune in. Nonetheless, the episodes rarely, if ever, lived up to his hype. And his response to tweeters who complained lacked dignity and were often downright rude. Shades of David Shore.

    As for the blogger who thinks Hugh Laurie is “phoning it in,” on some level I agree with you, too. Clearly the man is getting tired of this role after so many years, especially with the loss of viewers and quite probably due to bad story lines. I’ve seen a couple of videos of his European music tour; he’s much happier doing that than anything else right now. And he’s getting mostly good reviews for an upper-class, white, Englishman with absolutely no roots in the genre. Its something of which he can be very proud.

    I say: cut next season down to a dozen episodes or so, tie up loose ends and call it a day. “House” won’t be going out on top, but at least it can try to go out with a little class.

  • Madfashionista

    Thank you so much for this excellent, straight-to-the-point interview! There is so much kerfuffle out there, and you got an interview with actual substance.

    I refuse to read anything, positive or negative, in her comments. I shall take them at face value and see what happens. Here’s hoping the budget cuts cause less elaborate teasers and tighter plots.

    My only regret is RSL and OE having fewer episodes. What about Jesse Spencer??

  • Sneaky Microbe

    I’ll just add that, as a fan of the House and Cuddy relationship, I have feared all season that many fans of the show would HATE how it was handled. Because many of us Huddy fans didn’t like it either! I never wanted that relationship explored in a sappy romantic kind of way, which is, for the most part, what they did.

  • DebbieJ

    “We may have less dollars to work with, but maybe there’s a silver lining in that,” she said. Maybe there’s an opportunity to refocus, she noted, “to tell better stories.”

    This quote bothers me. TPTB had to wait to receive a budget cut to refocus to tell better stories? Really? I don’t understand what one has to do with the other. They should have told a much better story in Season 7 no matter the budget. Although I think I understand the story they were trying to tell this season, I feel they did a poor job at executing it. Very fractured and uneven. The three main characters, (HW&C) being bent out of shape to fit the narrative instead of the other way around. But I still do love the show and won’t give up on it.

    I’ve just come to compare this season with a child. You love your child unconditionally. But when that child disappoints you, angers you, lets you down, you need to walk a way from your child. Not permanently, but you need to step away, take a breath. You’d never abandon your child, no matter how much they disappoint you. You can never give up on that child. And that’s how I feel in a nut shell. The past few episodes, I actually said, “oh, it’s Monday? I guess it’s time to watch House.” Not, “OMG only 3 more days before House, only 2 more days before House….. only 1 more hour before House” etc. And I hate feeling that way.

    What I’m really hoping is that my child sees the errors of his ways and decides to go back to school and get a degree! LOL I am hoping that the end of this season will redeem itself, as well as next season. I don’t know how they’ll do it, but I won’t abandon my child!

  • Sara

    Note: English is not my native language, I’m sorry about errors.

    “Lisa is such a valuable member [of the cast]. I challenge any other actress on TV to do what she is so?”does so, you know, seemingly effortlessly. She goes between drama, comedy, intelligence, sex appeal… It’s certainly not my plan or David’s plan or the creative team’s plan to not have Lisa in the show, and I can just say that I will not rest until I figure it out.”

    Ah! And Jennifer Morrison is awful actress so she don’t count anything, right Kate? 🙁


    ”Jennifer is NOT such a valuable member [of the cast]”.

    ”It’s certainly my plan or David’s plan or the creative team’s plan to NOT have Jennifer in the show, and I can just say that I will not rest until I figure it out.”

    That prove TPTB don’t appreciate her at all. *Applause*.

    And thank you Barbara Barnett for just ignore Cameron’s fan like usual and forget Jennifer unfair dismissal like usual (again). No matter TPTB treat her poorly, no one (journalists) spend one word about her.
    Where is the justice?
    Thank you but I’m sure you don’t answer me 🙁

  • Dear Namesake Barnett 🙂

    I think the difference is largely semantic. What KJ said makes sense to me. House is House. Maybe House is ACTUALLY at his heart a noble, idealistic guy and life has shattered that basic personality. It’s changed how he reacts to everything, but his essential humanity is there. We see it. That shattered life has made him make the choices he has. But that elemental person is still there.

    When people call him (deservedly) a jerk, they are reacting to who he appears to be–the persona he’s adapted and adopted to make his life more bearable (I guess). Maybe that’s not “who” House is.

    Weird, huh?

  • Harley

    No damage control witnessed by me and also the mocking that was done was by GY which even though he is an ass was partly justified since some fans think the show is Huddy MD instead of HOUSE MD.

  • Celia

    Sometimes I’m appalled when I hear how much detail goes into producing the Teasers for each episode , which with few exceptions, are the same thing over and over again. Perhaps there’s money to be saved there and originality to be explored. I think the stories should take precedence over the Sets. LE was quoted as saying ” nobody wants it to be over” and I would hate to see her exit before the [H]ouse ring cycle was completed. She’s a fine actress and a fan favorite. I’m also going to miss Wilson presence, although sometimes it’s felt like he was only in 18 episodes this Season. He’s a mensch and his scenes with Laurie are so terrific. But ‘all in all’ I’m delighted to have a Season 8 and I wish the cast & crew terrific Season.

  • The Other Barnett

    “But, by and large, I don’t think House changes. I think that at its best, House will sort of understand himself better, and understanding himself better, maybe make choices that serve him in whatever it is he wants out of life.”

    I know this was an interview, so KJ did not have to give incredibly well-thought-out answers…but that comment either gives an insight to the attitude the creative people at House about life….or it is not as deeply considered as it should be (and may explain the inconsistent quality of this season). House has changed. Maybe he has not made the “Damascus Road” changes that people expect to see, but tell me that he is not living his life in a different way because of what he has experienced and what he has determined to be where his weaknesses/strengths are. Part of change is adapting and that is what Jacobs described in that quote.

    Delving into House’s head. Are we talking about the end of season 5? Are we talking about seasons 1-4? Are we looking into his head or seeing his being through his work? If it is outside in, then all will be enjoyable for the viewer….if it is inside out….then it may be another irritating experience and a tiring one at that.

  • a small microbe

    am i the only one that heard: damage control in between the lines spoken in the interview.
    i am tired of them trying to justify hose tried love and it didn’t work. that is what happens when you rigidly plan something and don’t give yourself space to breathe. characters have a life of their own. i am almost positive that house in the written word borders in unbearable, yet, when hl breathes life in to him, house becomes a different person. the same way if a different actor played house, it would be a different house. what i did notice was that in s7 the sparks between hl and le were not there. how sad. it would have been so novel to see a relationship between 2 painfully flawed adult characters develop on screen. all you get to see are 20 year olds in relationships. they had a 50 and a 40 year old couple to break the mold and what did they do: they broke and killed the relationship while mocking the viewers. smart move!!

  • Tourmaline

    Thank you for bringing us this interview, Barbara. It sounds like so many people central to the show are ready to move on to new projects, so ending the show with an eighth season would be a good idea in my opinion. Best to go out while still popular than fade away. But, TPTB – it may be a logical conclusion to the show but please don’t kill off Greg House!

  • Doreen

    Thanks for the nice interview Barbara

    This is music to ears regarding where they are going with season 8.

    BACK TO THE STORY so less of the silly visual hi-jinx.
    DELVING MORE INTO HOUSE’S MIND i’ve been waiting for this since at least season 5.

    I also completely agree when she states that he won’t change but understanding himself better may make his life better. I have never thought it would be believable to his story if they fixed him by the end and he would be happy so i am glad she has clarified this also.

  • Committed

    “… I think that at its best, House will sort of understand himself better, and understanding himself better, maybe make choices that serve him in whatever it is he wants out of life. It’s up to him now. What does he choose?””

    That’s the most positive statement I have heard in a long time. If they go this route we might see what he really wants, not what he thinks he wants or thinks will lead to greater happiness. All that has done is led him on the trail of self-destruction.

    A greater degree of happiness – that’s really all I want for him whatever that may be.

    Barbara – Thank you, thank you. I have new found hope for season eight.

  • Dalilita and everyone,
    Thanks for your kind comments. I agree: bring back the clinic!

  • Dalilita

    Please KJ, DS and writers, if Cuddy comes back on season 8, would you mind giving her back the sense of humor she used to have (you know, that wonderful sense of humor that you inexplicably took away at the very beginning of season 6), and make her interactions with House sassy and fun again?

    Also I entreat you to please, PLEASE, bring the clinic back as well.

    Thanks a lot for the interview, Barbara, and thanks everybody for your comments :).

  • He’s “tried love”? The more the people from HOUSE talk about House/Cuddy the more disappointing it becomes. I am now convinced that they never saw what we saw with them. That it was just another arc to try, Cuddy and their love was just another lifeless tool to use to “explore” and dissect House.

    What she meant in the context of that sentence is that lots has happened to him. The choices he makes are going to be influenced by that. What’s important to him–really important to him. Is love important enough to him to do whatever it takes? Is being sober worthwhile? Right now, apparently not for him. That’s all she meant.

    But I think at this point, no matter what any of the creative team say will be construed (or misconstrued) as a negative.

  • Berta

    Nope. You are most certainly not, Eloise. I’m very much looking forward to the finale and season 8. I’m glad Huddy is OVER. I’m not a shipper either and felt that Huddy was ridiculous. If TPTB had wanted to show House in a loving relationship, they should have brought in an new actress.

  • Thank you for this. I also think that they didn’t give the love relationship enough time, though I feel they may have based it on the relationship between “Hot Lips” and Hawkeye on MASH. In that show, the 2, who were always attracted to one another, got together briefly, only to realize that it wouldn’t work because she was bossing him around too much and he wasn’t that kind of boy. However, assuming they get Lisa Edelstein back– and I’m sure they will– I wish they would try again and bring some other aspects in such as Lucas and possibly even Stacy. I realize this is unlikely. But you know, I think that the end of the show would be best with the two getting back together– unless they have House die– which would be sad. So there are all those possibilities and I’m sure Mr.Laurie will give the work his all, as he always does. He’s a very great actor.

  • Eloise

    What how can anybody critise Hugh he still keeps giving amazing performances no matter what! He does not owe anybody anything. He has given some recent interviews here in his own country and just this week he said he still loves playing House. I’m not a shipper of any kind I’m just for House and his struggles. But I’m fed up with the whole Huddy fallout, its called House MD and thats what its about. I’m fed up with everybody dissing this show, am I the only person still really enjoying it and excited for the final two of 7 and season 8? Surely not?

  • Sam

    He’s “tried love”? The more the people from HOUSE talk about House/Cuddy the more disappointing it becomes. I am now convinced that they never saw what we saw with them. That it was just another arc to try, Cuddy and their love was just another lifeless tool to use to “explore” and dissect House. Now it’s outlived its usefulness and has been tossed to the side in favor of another tool. It didn’t feel like that to us as audience members but I guess it’s hard as writers and producers of a show to see it from our side. I can see how they can do something like this and move on to the next exciting new thing as storytellers.

    I just don’t get how love is something you try like a different ice cream flavor or a new sport. House and Cuddy were the best ship on t.v., to me, the only couple worth shipping. They had a realness and an authenticity to them and yet were still cool and funny and sexy. All of these things they lost when they hooked them up. Well, they were funny sometimes, but rarely seemed to enjoy one another like they used to, except in the first three episodes and at the end of Larger Than Life, fought the whole way through, there was that awesome first episode but not even in that was there one shred of sexiness, which the couple was rife with before, or one decent kiss (you’d think at least in Now What we’d get one good one. This is not something I blame on the writers though. Many of us read the teaser for Bombshells and I have to say that “a little heat generates” did not happen. They wrote it in for us, but Hugh and Lisa didn’t act it out well. I don’t know what happened with Hugh and Lisa but in earlier seasons they used to do their jobs well at this. This season, not so much), and Cuddy didn’t seem as smart as she was before they got together. We fans saw what House and Cuddy could be and what we got was not that. It could’ve been. Most of these writers are the same ones who gave us the awesome House/Cuddy of past seasons. I can’t tell you how disappointing it is to know that’s all we will probably get. I feel stupid for caring about a couple on a t.v. show more than their creators do. I hate starting out this comment with something negative but it’s so frustrating to hear the way they saw House/Cuddy. I don’t want to be ungrateful like we didn’t get anything. I think the writers did give us some good moments for the 15 episodes they planned to give us.

    To add in the more positive side, I’m glad she’s being so nice about Lisa. That’s another thing we’ve been asking about and it’s nice to hear that at least one of the exec. producers (I don’t know how David Shore feels about her or her character) values her. And I really hope Lisa re-signs for next season. I couldn’t continue with the show if I didn’t at least have her on my screen next season. I’m worried about where she’s going to be delegated off to with these new negotiations and episode cuts. Is Cuddy going to revert back to season 1 with her relationship with House? How unsatisfying. Are they going to be largely boss/employee that with a few oblique, snarky references to their relationship as the only reminder that they were even together?
    Tbh, I’m not really looking forward to the new season at this time. I really wish it were different. And I hope something happens in the finale to make me change my mind to make me excited about where he’s going to be next season. I can’t help but feel uninspired by whatever exploration they do of House. He’s the same and everyone’s the same and that’s all they’ll ever be. But it’s not only that, because I do think that they have to stay fundamentally the same. It’s also that their circumstances change for a little while but then like a giant rubber band, things snap back to the same-old, same-old. The change the character’s lives, in their circumstances, is never permanent. All of the ducks are the same as they’ve always been with the same lives that they had at the beginning of the show-seven years ago. Taub is the only one who’s a bit different, with his separation and getting some girl pregnant.

    Another thing that makes me unexcited for the next season is Hugh. Hugh did interviews last season mostly for his new c.d. not because of us or the show. It’s like he, the star of the show, has one foot out the door. He seems like he’s phoning it in now, like he’s just dutifully fulfilling his contractual obligation and then as soon as he’s free, he’s out of there. Like he doesn’t care to do interviews anymore unless it serves his music career. How does he think that affects fans of the show when the main guy isn’t invested in it anymore? How can we love the show if he doesn’t seem to anymore, if in his mind he’s already moved on to his music career? This season started out being the best season ever. I loved the show, the people behind the scenes who worked hard (and I still appreciate all the hard work they do, that hasn’t changed at least) to bring us each new episode, the characters, I loved Huddy and thought Hugh was the best. Now it all seems tarnished with all the contract negotiations, Hugh half gone from the show in his mind, the way the season unfolded for Huddy, the fighting between Greg Y and the fans which have really strained relations with them and their fanbase, the dismal interviews about House’s future and the future hope of Huddy, Lisa’s not signed on yet and I’m just as a fan going through all of this for the past few months, after awhile, it gets to you.

    I hope for all of us next season is better than this one turned out to be. And I hope Katie (and Amber Tamblyn) has great success with her new show. And thank you very much for doing this interview, Barbara.

  • Eileen

    “Jacobs observed of her hero, “for House at this point it’s: ‘I’ve struggled with addiction. I’ve been sober. I tried love.’”

    He tried love. Really? Wow, so that’s how TPTB continue to look at season 7, even with the declining ratings since the Huddy breakup? How sad.

  • Joan

    Nice interview! I was curious to hear what KJ would say about this ‘change’ issue and I must say I don’t understand why she and all tptb, and actors who toe the ‘party line’ all have to keep saying that no, no, no he really doesn’t change and can’t change etc.. I do not see what the big deal is, why they all ‘protest too much’ on this point.

    KJ says that House has had these different experiences, that he is processing them and understanding himself better and may then make some different and better choices in his life. Umm, excuse me but is’nt that exactly how people (shhhh) change their lives? I don’t even want to belabor the point but it is OBVIOUS to anyone who has watched the show that House has changed through the years, thru therapy, trying to live off drugs, being in a committed relationship, etc..and he did all of those things because he did’nt want to live the drug-addicted, lonely, miserable life he had before trying therapy, trying to be a good boyfriend, trying to be a better man. Who could see what he did with Hannah in Help Me and not see that he is not the man he was in season 1. What part of any of these big storylines did not show him changing? Its not just ‘revealing’ who he is — Who House is changed a good deal since we first met him still licking his wounds over Stacy and hiding from patients.

    If they admit that there has been incremental changes in the heart and mind of their lead will Fox implode? Have they convinced themselves we think House will change into a purple elephant or something rather than a ‘slightly’ evolved human being??!! I know I’m just being snarky now but I am tired of getting this odd and rather disingenuous line from everyone, esp. Shore, Lisa E. repeats it, Hugh, now KJ. If we all hold hands and take a deep breath I think we are all grown up enough to say that the character of House has changed over time and thats a good thing. And we all agree to the proviso (which seems to be the nub of the problem) that House will still always remain an arrogant, annoying, narcissistic, somewhat insane genius and an ass…but a noble ass…who has gorgeous blue eyes. OK? Come on, tptb, try it!

  • Reality Check

    The Cuddy character has been burned out; there is absolutely nothing left for her to do. If Lisa E was smart, she’d wave bye-bye to House and go off an get her own projects. Surely she has enough mojo in that town to score her own gig?

  • Laura Saxon

    I don’t care about season eight at all at the moment. I’m mostly angry that it might be the last.

  • Berta

    This part killed me: “And so I’m told, he is quite the boxer, very good at it. He has incredible stamina, and the pain doesn’t seem to bother him at all.” lol! Thanks, Barbara, for a speedy job well done.

  • Betty

    Thank you for the interview, Barbara and for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this. I have to say I am once again disappointed to read that tptb really don’t do change and happiness. So what’s left to explore then? Does that really constitute creativity? I can only think of a couple of scenarios as the endgame with their way of thinking, and with that, they’ll be losing yet another viewer for season 8. What a waste of a tremendous creative opportunity. It’s cowardly of them. Sorry for the negativity but I’ve lost faith in them.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    Excellent interview, Barbara! Have been holding my breath for this one.

    Lisa E. is a MUST-HAVE for [H]ouse. I honestly don’t think I could watch it without her. The chemistry between her and Hugh L. is the main thing that got me hooked to the show. There are sparks when those two are simply in the same room for whatever the reason.

    Finally, it has hurt tremendously to watch House the character evolve over the last few seasons, find happiness, then come crashing down hard. And now he possibly has tumors secondary to dabbling in an experimental drug???!!! KJ obviously cares about the characters, so I simply don’t understand why it feels like they are TORTURING the main character here at the end of Season 7. It’s torture that is tortuous to watch.

  • El

    Thank you Barbara, that’s the way to do a write-up on an interview with Katie Jacobs, other critics should take notice.

  • sunnysea

    Thank you for getting this interview out so quickly!

  • Switman

    Good interview. Thanks. Again.

  • MusicandHouse

    So 22 episode but some actors are only signed for 18, that means all those actors will miss 4 episodes over the season. I guess that could work as long as they are not all missing at once.