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DVD Review: House, MD – Season Four

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Okay, House fans, following the climactic events of season four (season four spoilers coming!), is everybody ready for season five? What will happen to House and Wilson? Will Wilson blame House for Amber's death? Will House blame himself? And what do you make of the fact that Cuddy stayed at House's bedside and held his hand as he lay unconscious? There are bits and pieces of information all over the place, and a couple of preview clips up on the official site and elsewhere. But what, oh what to do as the weeks tick down to September 16?

Well… good news! The House, MD season four DVD set has hit the stores. But the question I’ve heard from many fans asks whether to take a pass on the DVDs this year. After all, the shortened season gave viewers only 16 episodes — essentially two-thirds of the usual run of 24. Some fans took great umbrage at David Shore’s decision to jettison House’s staff of three years and are upset at the back seat (particularly) Chase and Cameron were assigned during the fourth season. Other fans fretted at the seemingly more frantic pace of the series (and admittedly, House was a sometimes “wild child” during the early episodes of the season.)

courtesy FOXThe combination of the writers’ strike eradicating a third of the season and the major shake-up of the series conspired to create an uneven, sometimes frantic, and very chopped-up season. On the other hand, season four also treated viewers to some of the series' best episodes (including the stunning two-part season finale).

It takes a huge amount of courage for the producers of a hit (and critically acclaimed) television series to shake things up while the show is still in its prime. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is the conventional wisdom usually bandied about when discussing major changes to a show, its cast, or characters. So, when David Shore and company decided to shake up House, MD for the fourth season, fans (and critics) held their collective breath to see what would transpire.

At the end of season three, the usually change-averse Dr. Gregory House is left with no staff. He seems to be pretty okay with this turn of events, smoking a cigar with a patient’s husband and strumming his brand new guitar.

courtesy FOXSeason four begins with the appropriately titled "Alone," and a House who has no particular desire to replace the departed Cameron, Chase, and Foreman. Knowing that House will likely slink back into isolation, and believing that House is better off with a team (both to help control his wilder nature and against which to bounce off ideas), Cuddy orders House to hire a new team — by whatever means he chooses. And (Cuddy should know better by now), of course, simple interviews would never suffice for the complex and complicated House. Instead, the games-loving House devises an elaborate hiring game — teaching, testing, and observing. It is something that would never happen in a real-life hospital. Yet it works. More or less.

Had the season been of standard length, the hiring story arc would only have lasted a third of the season. As it played out, however, what would have been transitional episodes as House hired a new staff took half the season. This was followed by a three-month hiatus with just a couple of episodes interspersed among repeats (not insignificantly, the wonderful post-Super Bowl episode “Frozen” among them). Then finally, four new episodes, for which, according to David Shore, the producers had to do battle with FOX; the network wanted to lose the end of season four entirely post-strike. Had that happened, we would have been denied what are arguably two of the finest hours of the series, if not network television: “House’s Head” and “Wilson’s Heart.”

In a way, the chopped-up nature of season four makes buying the new DVD set that much more important. Besides the “extras” (and I’ll get to those in a bit), the DVDs allow us to see the episodes, commercial-free and back-to-back. Viewing in this way lends cohesion to the storytelling and lets us see the larger picture. For despite what you may read or hear, House, MD is not exactly a “medical procedural” made up of stand-alone episodes. It actually reveals the story of a compelling character: harsh, abrasive, and rude; brilliant, philosophical, wounded.

courtesy FOXTo watch Hugh Laurie as the troubled, sometimes wildly out of control, House is always a joy. From his loose-limbed physical performance (even more remarkable as he does it with a cane and a limp) to his impeccable comic timing, Laurie can make us laugh with him and at him. Yet in the blink of an eye — an expression, a lingeringly longing look, an abrupt moment of melancholy — he can break our hearts, giving us all a brief look into House’s soul, his secret desires, and his fears. And that alone is a great reason to own the season four DVD set. But it's not the only reason.

If some of the season seemed overly broad, dense, and too quick of pace, the DVDs let you slow it down, re-watch and savor the best of the season. Who can forget the subtleties and moments — moments that are best enjoyed without having to fast forward through commercials; moments that can be enjoyed over and over?

Extensive episode reviews of each season four episode may be found by perusing the index to my Blogcritics Welcome to the End of the Thought Process feature, but here are but a few of my favorite moments from this past season:

  • Wilson’s kidnapping and defilement of House’s expensive vintage guitar in “Alone” (And the barely-there detail of House fixing the Flying V himself in “The Right Stuff”)
  • House’s conversation with the much-beloved Henry — the ridiculously old fraud of a fellowship candidate — explaining why he can’t hire him as a doctor (“The Right Stuff”)
  • “You couldn’t kill her dream:” Cameron’s insightful comment to House in the same episode regarding the patient
  • The wonderful black and white camera work — in fact, all of, “Ugly
  • House treating a magician in “You Don’t Want to Know
  • The final scene in “Games” between House and Cuddy
  • All of “Frozen,” but most especially the intensely intimate webcam examination scene in House’s apartment (“You’d rather show me your soul than your leg” — and House’s response to that later in the episode)
  • The Wilson/Amber/House triangle — funny and ultimately tragic
  • And, of course, the entire final two hours of the season

Which leads me to the extras on the DVD set. I always enjoy listening to episode commentaries, and I’m always disappointed that the House DVDs tend to be very light on commentaries. But Katie Jacobs and David Shore could not have picked a better episode upon which to comment — “House’s Head.”

Other extras include a short feature on cast and producers’ favorite episodes (a couple of surprises there), a nice, long sit-down with three of House’s executive producer/writers: Thomas Moran, Russel Friend, and Garrett Lerner talking about the writing process, season four, and a bit about next season; and features on the series' special effects, re-inventing the series for season four — and a short on House’s own favorite soap opera. Sorry, guys — no blooper reel.

Season five begins in just four short weeks (September 16) and the Emmy Awards air September 19 — so let’s keep our fingers and toes crossed for Hugh and the show. And if you haven’t yet given it a try, I invite you to take my all-new (Son of) House, MD Trivia Quiz.

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is publisher and executive editor of Blogcritics, as well as a noted entertainment writer. Author of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D., her primary beat is primetime television. But Barbara writes on an everything from film to politics to technology to all things pop culture and spirituality. She is a contributor to the book called Spiritual Pregnancy (Llewellyn Worldwide, January 2014) and has a story in Riverdale Ave Press' new anthology of zombie romance, Still Hungry for your Love. She is hard at work on what she hopes will be her first published novel.
  • Sue

    My biggest objection to the season 4 DVD set is the list price-$59.98 for 8 episodes. List price for season 3-$59.98 for 24 episodes. I don’t care how many interviews they add to a DVD, it does not make up for 8 missing episodes. They should have lowered the list price for this DVD, and they would have if they had any respect for the fans. They think fans are so loyal they won’t notice. I will wait until Thanksgiving to buy it.

    The episodes are better in review, and when seen one after another without commercials. The controversial crude, sexist comments by House still resonate as inappropriate in retrospect. They come out of thin air, and they definitely distract from the integrity of the character and the show. The survivor game also is not as radical as it seemed at first.

    But, when seen together, the lack of interest in any of the new team members is intensified. None of the 30 actors other than Amber and Scooter deserved to be even considered for this show. I don’t mind cast changes, just make the new actors AT LEAST AS GOOD OR BETTER! There is a big drop off in intensity when any of the new ducklings opens their mouths or shows any expression. House the character lost his intensity in the episodes between Alone and House’s Head. He is only as good as the characters he plays against. When he was with the first ducklings, what he said and how he said it was balanced and meaningful. The other actors made him better. Now, the new actors lessen him. I think TPTB know this. They minimized the new ducklings in Frozen, the post-Superbowl episode. They intensified the House/Wilson relationship. They made House more sarcastic and rude because they lacked a good interaction between House and his supporting players.

    The last two episodes would have happened, whether it was this season or next. Shore fought to have more episodes because they knew they left the audience unsatisfied with the new team, and he wanted to keep a good following for his program. They also wanted a cliff-hanger, which they wouldn’t have had if they ended the season with Don’t Ever Change. I don’t think the last 4 episodes made any difference in how I felt about the new actors. They stink now just as much as they did then. They can’t get blood from a stone. Even House can’t figure out how to do that.

    Hugh is a very perceptive actor, and I sense he knows this team is not up to the level of the old one. There are times when I felt he overdid some scenes to compensate for the drop in intensity. I don’t believe he is as happy with the new actors as he is with the old ones. There is a subtle change in his comments in interviews and in his enthusiasm for the show. He knows he is stuck with these people for two more years. If we are lucky, they will replace them one by one during the next two seasons. I don’t think they are going to repeat this mistake again.

    Some of the actors who played patients this season did not interest me. I didn’t care for the astronaut in The Right Stuff, the patient in 97 Seconds, the kid in Ugly, the race car driver, Michael Michele as the CIA doctor or the CIA patient, Janel Moloney in It’s a Wonderful Lie, the goofy guy in No More Mr. Nice Guy, or Mira Sorvino in Frozen. She was just uninteresting. If I don’t care about the patient, the episode loses something for me. I did like the magician, the Hasidic woman, the patient in Guardian Angels, the Mirror Mirror patient (he was great), and the incomparable Anne Dudek.

    Robert Sean Leonard raised his game to extreme levels in the season finale. He surprised me with his acting range. He and Anne Dudek did the most believable death scene I have ever seen. I could just feel the life go out of Amber. Anne Dudek did a spectacular job of taking her character from unlikeable to heartfelt in a few episodes. This shows how good this series can be when the acting is up to the caliber of these two very talented actors.

    For me, this season gets mixed reviews. It had the best episodes of the series, and some of the best acting. It also had the biggest letdown of the series, in the hiring of the new team.

  • Veresna Ussep

    I debated responding to this again, because even I am feeling it’s starting to feel like sour grapes…
    But, I have to be honest, as brilliant as the end of the season was, I was bored to tears with most of it, to the point where I could not even bring myself to watch the reruns. I fully agree that it was daring for the producers to get rid of the old team and ‘shake things up’ rather than let things get stale, but I’m starting to think it’s even worse that they won’t admit that they made a mistake in the team they ended up hiring. I am also really tired about hearing how they had ‘no idea’ who they were going to end up with. From the earliest spoilers/news releases from last summer, the only actors whose name were given as some of the ‘contestants’ were Olivia Wilde and Kal Penn. Otherwise, we just got ‘a former veterinarian’, ‘a ‘doctors without borders’ physician’, ‘a plastic surgeon’, ‘a black Mormon’, ‘a candidate who isn’t even a doctor, but someone who’s audited medical school courses’. It’s just a coincidence that they ended up hiring the only two they felt were famous enough already to be mentioned? If they are telling the truth about anything, it’s that they intended to hire only two candidates and bring back Foreman, and they realized that they needed another candidate to balance out Kal’s goofiness and Olivia’s blandness in the role. Again, these are good actors, but I just do not see any chemistry between them or the rest of the cast.

  • Barbara Barnett

    Veresna–

    Firstly, honest opinions like yours never feel like sour grapes and are always welcome here :) So, don’t feel inhibited about responding (and clearly you don’t).

    I think that season four played out differently for different people. I actually do like the three new fellows and I see some intriguing possibilities for all three of them.

    I also like what they’ve done with Chase–he’s sort of the zen guy now: calm, but not afraid of Hosue–how far he has come since his bored brattiness of season one. Cameron, too, has become independent–and I like her better away from House’s sphere–and the few interactions she’s had with the fellows have been satisfying. I’ve never been a Foreman fan and I’m not sure I like him back with House. But that’s just me.

    I wanted not to like the Games arc. I thought it made no sense when I read about it ’round this time last year–and my husband still doesn’t buy it. But I do think it worked, and as I’ve watched the dvd’s there are some episodes I skip (but there are some of those every year)– this year its “Whatever it Takes” that I really didn’t care for; And I wasn’t overly fond of guardian angels either. But I adored Alone, The Right Stuff, Ugly, You Don’t Want to Know, Games, Frozen, A Wonderful Lie, and of course, the two-parter.

    But then again, I’m more interested in House and his goings on than in the rest of the characters (not that I ignore them, just less interested in them–and since it’s called House, that works for me.)

    I honestly don’t know what went on in KJ’s and DS’s minds in hiring the new fellows. I know she’s said that she contracted with eight of the actors for extended runs. But who knows?

    I’m really hoping that the new season, all settled down from both the story-line chaos and the chaos due to the writers’ strike will hit its stride early and never let up. I’m totally psyched for it!

  • http://jesterz.net/b2ev/ Alice Jester

    I wholeheartedly agree with everything Sue said. When season four started, I was an avid watcher of this show. They lost me by episode six. I now casually watch when nothing else is on, and I’m usually on the laptop or cleaning the house when that happens.

    I was open to the idea of new cast members, but the ones they chose were terrible and their execution of the entire season and integrating the new team was poor. Other shows lost episodes because of the strike too, and many recovered in decent shape. House didn’t until those final two episodes, but that wasn’t enough for me to save a bad season.

    Since I’ve ranted about this at length before, I won’t go on, but House went from number one on my TiVo season pass to not even making the list. I also know David Shore and company don’t care, because ratings are ratings, whether they are casual viewers or avid.

    I have the first three seasons on DVD and watch them with delight. The fourth season will not be joining them, for that would be an insult to the quality the show once gave us. I can download the last two episodes on iTunes.

    Sorry for the sour grapes Barbara. For the record, you review the show very well despite the crap you are given! I admire the fact that your love of the show didn’t die like mine. Keep up the good work.

  • Barbara Barnett

    My biggest objection to the season 4 DVD set is the list price-$59.98 for 8 episodes. List price for season 3-$59.98 for 24 episodes.

    I would agree with you there. It’s one less DVD, and it would have been nice for NBC/Uni to have priced it lower.

    The episodes are better in review, and when seen one after another without commercials. The controversial crude, sexist comments by House still resonate as inappropriate in retrospect. They come out of thin air, and they definitely distract from the integrity of the character and the show. The survivor game also is not as radical as it seemed at first.

    I wonder if the near-manic House was intentional–House wanted to do his best to put off anyone who might get close. The ultimate test: can they put up with the worst of what he wants to offer? I was really uncomfortable with him during some of “Whatever it Takes.” He was over the top, certainly. But, as I recall saying back in my review, I think House was so taken by being in “spyland” that he couldn’t quite control (his version) of being a kid in a candy shop–fakey james bondishness and all! If that makes any sense.

    Alice–as always, thanks for your comments–they’re always appreciated whether they agree with me or not :)

  • Veresna Ussep

    Hi again, Barbara. I certainly agree that I really like how Chase has blossomed rather than withered since being fired, and also enjoy Cameron’s admission that she misses the process of diagnostics (even though she may have been fibbing about not missing House). I am hopeful that we may, at least on occasion, see them being more active again in the series. Unlike some other posters, despite my lack of enthusiasm in general for the season, I simply had to buy the DVD set in order to have the finale, and will admit I am looking forward to viewing Frozen and Don’t Ever Change again (and Ugly just for the scene at the end of Cuddy and House watching the documentary in her office). Although No More Mr. Nice Guy and Living the Dream were not particular favorites,their placement as part of the development of the Amber story line makes them essential to me as well. Despite my disatisfaction, I definitely admire David Shore for fighting to complete this season and end it on such a superb note.

  • Robin

    I loved the games arc and still do. There are some scenes I will replay a lot because of so much interaction happening. And this is a fellowship so it did have a time limit for the ducklings. Some of House’s behaviors remained vague to me. Like sticking the knife in the socket. I am not sure what he was seeking. But I thought his death scene was excellent. Or his comments in the CIA story. But even if I don’t get all the meaning in every scene I still enjoy watching HL. There are some gestures and expressions that just touch me to the core. That is reason enough for me to watch. There is no other character on TV that has the same facination for me. The new team is starting to grow on me. I did buy the season 4 and it sounds like season 5 will be more grounded and will start to fill in some gaps. And about the price its available on websites for about $32.

  • http://annuk ann uk

    Re hand holding – it’s even more significant that House didn’t take his hand away when he came round ! I hope this arc wont be left in the air in series 5 as I think Cuddy and her relationship with House is a lot more interesting than any of the ducklings.On the other hand , a resolution of House’s hang ups would have to be postponed to the end of the show, which doesn’t bear thinking about…..

  • Barbara Barnett

    I agree that the fact he LET her hold his hand, to be there for him, was terribly significant. House doesn’t like to be touched–and he doesn’t like to have people meddle in his troubles. That Cuddy stayed with him, essentially telling him, after House’s revelation, that she was his ally and there for him. I think left alone, under those circumstances, House would not have found the strength to come through it.

    How this will play out is another thing all together. If I have an opportunity to interview Katie Jacobs at some point I will ask her about that hand holding thing ;).

    House cannot be cured of his hangups. He is a deeply troubled man with physical as well as emotional issues. To take those away would either make him too nice or too awful. His problems, and his vulnerability are balanced nicely by his affected (and actual) personality of being a jerk. That is one thing they cannot change til the end.

  • Sue

    I did not get the impression that House reacted at all to Cuddy being there. His mind was on Amber and Wilson. I don’t think it would have made any difference if Cuddy was there or not. House was feeling guilty about Amber’s death, and feeling bad about Wilson’s grief and his grief that Wilson would ask him to sacrifice himself to save Amber.

    The price of the DVD should have started at $39.99, and then it should have been discounted 20-25% as it usually is from the $60.00 price. They think the extras justify the price. They don’t. They will make almost as much money on each DVD this season as they did last season.

    I almost don’t want House to win the Emmy for best drama this season, because that would say to David Shore and Katie Jacobs that they hired the right people to play the new ducklings, and that the survivor arc was good. It is not right in my mind to reward a show in its worst year when you didn’t reward it in its best years.

  • Barbara Barnett

    I did not get the impression that House reacted at all to Cuddy being there. His mind was on Amber and Wilson. I don’t think it would have made any difference if Cuddy was there or not. House was feeling guilty about Amber’s death, and feeling bad about Wilson’s grief and his grief that Wilson would ask him to sacrifice himself to save Amber.

    I would agree that he didn’t react because I think he barely processed her being there. The look on House’s face and in his eyes suggested to me that he felt simply dead. His feelings of guilt, self-hatred and loss, combined with how bad he felt for Wilson and for Amber. I agree that he let her hold his hand, because he could barely perceive her presence. But I do believe that a small part of him allowed the contact and felt the contact (IMHO)

    We can agree to disagree about the fellows :)

  • http://annuk ann uk

    I seem to remember ( without checking ) that House actually looked at their hands when he came round.Hardly anything that happens in House is meaningless so I do feel sure that House was aware of Cuddy’ s touch and what it signified. Like you , I dont think House could have come through if he had been alone at that point.On top of Wilson’s abandonment it would have overwhelmed him.

    I agree that House can’t be ” cured “,but his life might change for better or worse as it did with Stacy . The only other end I can imagine for “House” ( the series ) is a tragic one which would be brave on the part of the writers, but probably the most truthful.

    I hope that Hugh at least will get his Emmy this year.

  • Barbara Barnett

    He did glance at their hands as Cuddy was sleeping in the chair next to him. So he was at least somewhat aware. Whether he thought it was in pity for him that she was there or something else, we don’t know. We know that he hates being at all vulnerable, or to let anyone in. But of anyone at all, he does let Cuddy in, after she ignores his defenses completely. He finally gives in and lets her see him (occasionally, I would add). He’s done it with Cameron too (in MLC, Daddy’s Boy). And with Wilson (although it’s usually in anger or frustration). It’s a rare gift that he gives–this very, very guarded and wary man.

    Hugh so much deserves the Emmy, and his portrayal in House’s Head defines the term tour de forces. Every freakin’ frame; every possible emotion played–not a beat missed. Brilliant. It must’ve been as emotionally exhausting to Hugh to act that episode as it was for us to watch it.

  • Orange450

    “But of anyone at all, he does let Cuddy in, after she ignores his defenses completely. He finally gives in and lets her see him (occasionally, I would add). He’s done it with Cameron too (in MLC, Daddy’s Boy). And with Wilson (although it’s usually in anger or frustration). It’s a rare gift that he gives–this very, very guarded and wary man.”

    And don’t forget Stacy. He let her in willingly, and she was the one who penetrated closest to his center. I always thought that one of the main purposes of the Stacy arc was to show what this very guarded and wary man can look like when his defenses are completely down. The emotional depths he demonstrated with her were needed at the time to round out the complete panoply of his range. And if we didn’t know it before – now, after “House’s Head” and “Wilson’s Heart” – we know that he (well, House *and* Hugh Laurie) can do absolutely anything.

  • HOUSE-fly

    I agree that House can’t be ” cured “,but his life might change for better or worse as it did with Stacy . The only other end I can imagine for “House” ( the series ) is a tragic one which would be brave on the part of the writers, but probably the most truthful.

    I totally agree with you. I have long ago “written” an ending for the series that is far from “happy”.
    If House were to ride off in to the sunset and live happily ever after it would completely devalue everything the show has stood for.
    Not everyone’s life turns out like they dreamed it would. In fact very few get to live their dreams.
    The main reason I so connect with the show is House’s struggle to fit in and continue on.

  • Barbara Barnett

    Orange–couldn’t agree more. Stacy really, really reached him. Touched him in a way no one else really can–even after all he’s been through.

    House-fly–I think that the reason so many people love this show is that he does struggle, and we’re with him every step of the way. Beyond the funny stuff, beyond the snark and rudenss, this is the story of a non-circle queen/king and his struggle to somehow fit in. Not be a card-carrying member, but to simply survive.

  • Orange450

    “I agree that House can’t be ” cured “,but his life might change for better or worse as it did with Stacy . The only other end I can imagine for “House” ( the series ) is a tragic one which would be brave on the part of the writers, but probably the most truthful.”

    “I totally agree with you. I have long ago “written” an ending for the series that is far from “happy”.
    If House were to ride off in to the sunset and live happily ever after it would completely devalue everything the show has stood for.
    Not everyone’s life turns out like they dreamed it would. In fact very few get to live their dreams.”

    The series doesn’t have to end like a fairy tale, but I think it *can* end on a hopeful note, perhaps letting us believe that somewhere down the line, House will find a measure of peaceful equilibrium.

    But I’m an unashamed sucker for a happy ending. Unfortunately, there’s far too much misery in real life – I have no use for it in my fiction and entertainment. I can deal with angst, but I like things to work out eventually. I did the opposite – I wrote an ending for the show which provides a resolution that I’d love to see. Not fairy tale, but very optimistic.

  • Sue

    You could have a debate about whether or not House wants to “fit in.” I think he struggles with what “fitting in” means. If he was raised by a tyrannical father, a wimpy mother, and they moved around a lot when he was young, how is he supposed to know what that means? He learned to protect himself from people, to be suspicious of their motivations, to bark before he gets bitten. If you believe the story, he became a doctor because people would have to accept him on his terms. He insulates himself from friendships, relationships and familiarity. He let his hair down with two people, and both let him down. What we think of as happy and well-sdjusted doesn’t compute in his mind. He see things and people as they are, not as others want them to be.

  • Barbara Barnett

    Sue–I don’t think House wants to “fit in” in the usual sense (at least not any more). I do get the sense that pre-infarction, he at least played with his peers a little better–he golfed; played paintball as a team sport with other doctors (it’s how he met Stacy). He knows nice restaurants. My thought is that medicine is the one thing that makes him feel at all normal. Something he has in common with people–a way to relate to them.

    I don’t think House is by nature happy alone. He likes to play on a stage and perform. His story about the Bukaru tells us that he finds medicine is his entry card to society so he isn’t completlely isolated from it. It’s his ticket. Perhaps the only one he has left. His athleticism may have been another, but the infarction ended that. And maybe that’s one reason why he’s never gotten over it. YMMV (as they say) But it is an intriguing question. Maybe I’ll post a quick column later this week asking some of the questions that have been coming up.

  • ann uk

    I think there is an important distinction between loneliness and solitude.I see House as a man who enjoys and needs solitude. You have only to look at that room with its piano ( complete with Beethoven score ) , its overflowing bookcases ( not all of which, pace Cate, will be medical – remember him reading Yeats to his patient ? ), the pictures and antiques , to see that this is a man with an intense inner life and , of course, he must spend a lot of time reading and writing articles for medical journals.What House is short of isn’t company, its love and he has been since a child. I supect he feels the guilt of the unloved child who thinks he is unloveable.

    That said, I agree very much with with Sue’s analysis. He despises the ” circle kings ” and would not want to join them. He needs someone who can share HIS circle. That’s why I think Wilson fails him because his essentially conventional mind leads him to misjudge House and think he should be manipulated into conformity.

    And that’s why I think Cuddy is much nearer being a true friend to him.She too is highly intelligent and brilliant at her job and to some extent she shares his isolation. ( we never see her with a friend or lover ). You could say that her closest relationship is with House.Whether either of them would risk getting closer is hard to guess, perhaps only a crisis like Amber’s death would precipitate it.

    The best friend House never had was John Henry Giles who really DID understand and appreciate him. What a pity he had to go back to California.

  • hl_lover

    Getting back to the earlier part of this discussion, I just want to throw out the idea that character development and interpersonal relationship reveals take place very slooowly on this show. It is possible that, with time, we will learn things about the new ducklings that will make their choice as the new team more understandable. I’m willing to wait on my judgment of the Survivor arc and the new team, in other words.

    As far as House and the Best Drama Emmy nomination, only one episode (or a double episode that was broadcast back-to-back on the same night) is considered by the panels. So, rightly or wrongly, the Best Drama is chosen on the basis of a single episode, not the entire season. And House’s submission was a ‘killer’ one…”House’s Head”. In all the hubbub about “Mad Men” this year, I think people have forgotten this fact. But, Hugh certainly deserves to win if the show does not.

  • Mary

    I’m probably happier about this DVD set than most others who have posted here, mostly because I didn’t buy it, but rented disk 4 from Netflix. That’s the one that has “House’s Head” and “Wilson’s Heart” on it, plus the features. So I had a happy couple of days watching it.

    Things that made me happy:

    1) Watching “House’s Head” in color on a decent screen. OK, so I’m a Luddite, but I watch “House M.D.” on a 13″ black and white TV, or on my computer screen a few days later, thanks to Fancast. Watching it on a decent sized color screen showed me that somebody on the production staff cares enough about this show to see to it that, in the scenes in black and white, House/Hugh Laurie’s eyes are blue.

    While most of us who watch this show focus on the writers and the cast, seeing the features on the making of “House’s Head” was a good reminder for me that dozens of people behind the scenes care deeply about this show and work very hard to make it look and sound as wonderful as it does.

    2) The commentary on “House’s Head” by David Shore and Katie Jacobs. Some commentaries on previous DVD sets have been pretty forgettable, but the commentary on this one was the equal of the complex storytelling that it gave us.

    Things that made me unhappy:

    1) “Prescription Passion” was irritating when it was embedded inside “House M.D.” and it was, if possible, even more irritating in full-screen. As Al Gore said at the Democratic Convention, I believe in recycling, but this is ridiculous.

    2) The notices at the end of several of the features had the copyright date right, but then said “Season One and Two now available on DVD.” Um, what happened to the Season Three DVD, are you not interested in selling that one anymore?

    Just another sign to me that this collection was pulled together in haste. I am hoping that the lack of attention to this DVD was due to the production staff focusing on getting an early start on filming season Five, before a possible strike by SAG – that’s my optimistic take on it.

    Speaking of the features, I have a suggestion for TPTB; there was a mention in the David Shore/Katie Jacobs commentary of a deleted scene in which Cuddy, in the striptease scene, picked up her shed skirt with her foot and placed it on House’s head. Many film DVDs come with an added feature “Deleted scenes.” If you’re not going to give us a blooper reel (heartbroken sniffle), can we at least ask you to include already shot footage like that deleted scene with Cuddy? That would be a form of recycling that we’d appreciate.

  • Marjohn

    Just a side note re the Cuddy hand-holding matter :: in a post-ictal state (following a seizure of the magnitude that was depicted), it is often difficult to move around. House may not have been able to shake off Cuddy’s hand even if he had wanted to. Given, too, that he was probably more focused on the Wilson situation, even if he glanced over and saw it, he may not have cared enough to bother. It’s an awful experience, and even blinking can be an effort.

    And on a side-side note, Foreman said that House suffered a complex-partial seizure, when, in fact, it was a tonic-clonic seizure (aka, grand mal seizure). I know we can suspend disbelief in the interest of story-telling (the Amber-sicle), but does basic medical terminology not get a once over by some M.D. consultants for exactly this type of thing? It’s a minor disappointment for a show of such high quality, but I hold this show above most others to a far higher measure.

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