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House, M.D. 2011: The Great, the Good – and the Not So Good

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It’s been a rocky, roller-coaster of a year for Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), and indeed, for the House, M.D. series. For Dr. House, 2011 saw his relationship with Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) crash and burn, just before he did the same. The series itself has varied from excellent fare like season seven’s “After Hours” to episodes that had the doctor go so far off the rails that he ventured on the other side of that fine line between “yeah, he’s a jerk, but I get why he’s doing that” to “he’s just a plain old jerk.” It’s on that side of the line where House becomes so unlikeable, it’s easy to stop caring about his fate, his pain or anything else about him.

The Great…

There have been some excellent episodes over the past 12 months; some of my favorites include season seven’s “Larger than Life,” “Family Practice,” “Bombshells” (despite some flaws), “Out of the Chute,” “The Dig,” “Moving On,” and the aforementioned “After Hours.” Only eight episodes have thus far aired in season eight, but “Twenty Vicodin” (especially) and “Perils of Paranoia” both were excellent outings for the current season.

One of the highlights of the past year (for me at least) is Candice Bergen’s appearance as Cuddy’s mother Arlene. She makes a great Jewish mother, and her scenes with Hugh Laurie crackled. I loved to see House’s protective side emerge in “Larger than Life,” and his wise side pay a visit as he advises Cuddy in “Family Practice,” both spurred by Arlene’s presence.

Although I loved to see House and Cuddy together, I was not bothered by their breakup, and feel that episodes like “Out of the Chute,” allow us to see the depths to which House fell after Stacy left him. We know he fell apart, and now we understand why Wilson has always been so protective of House in any relationship situation. Out of control and reckless on the surface, emotionally shattering inside, House was a wreck, and I think we all feared for his safety (and sanity) along with Wilson when he leaped from that balcony at the end of the episode.

Now I know some of you will scold me for putting “Bombshells” and “Moving On” (the season seven finale) on my list of 2011 bests, but I feel that both episodes get into House’s psyche, his fears—and his anger about so many things. I may not have liked what House did at the end of “Moving On,” but it is plausible, given his state of mind.

I also very much liked “The Dig.” It is a brilliant way of exposing Thirteen’s inner turmoil, while allowing House’s more human side to surface in unexpected ways. The best of season eight so far has to be (for me) “Twenty Vicodin.” I love seeing House powerless and getting by solely on his wits (and not always coming out victorious).

…The Good

I have to admit that coming into season eight, I was not a big fan of making Foreman (Omar Epps) dean of medicine. But I think, for the most part,  it has worked pretty well. Other than bringing in an outsider, I like the way this new position is beginning to affect Foreman, particularly as Chase (Jesse Spencer) and Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) have begun to work their mojo on him.

I like the addition of Odette Anable (Adams) and Charlyne Yi (Park) to House’s team, but it’s been too few episodes to put them in the “great” category. There is a lot of potential there.

I was also a bit bothered by Wilson and House getting their rhythm back so quickly after House’s return from prison. But not as much as I thought I would be. I think Wilson understands what in House’s psyche provoked him to act so rashly and recklessly in “Move On,” and now that House is out of prison, it’s easy to slip back to old patterns. And season eight has been full of much House-Wilson goodness.

…And the Not So Good

So, now for the not so good. I think Lisa Edelstein’s departure was a terrible loss for the series. Although “Moving On” left the series in a reasonable place for her absence in season eight, I feel that her presence at the would have created an enormous amount of dramatic energy off of which to play into this season. Would House have even had an office to which he could return? Would his professional value to the hospital have trumped Cuddy’s fury? Would they at some point come to some sort of understanding? We’ll never know. (Unless the recent rumors pan out and she returns for a few episodes). It was shortsighted of the network to let her walk away with only one (or possibly two) seasons remaining to the show. Along with Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) and House, they had always been the core of the series. Can it survive without her? Of course—and it has, with a very solid opening eight episodes. But it would be nice to have her back for some closure.

I will also miss Thirteen, now that Olivia Wilde has gone to more lucrative pastures on the big screen. I know a lot of fans were not crazy about her, especially early on in her tenure, but like Cuddy, Thirteen had always been able to get under House’s skin and out him as being rather more human than he might wish to be.

I think, though, the thing I feel is most lacking from the series at this point is the troubled, introspective genius that has been so much a part of this complex, flawed character since the very beginning. House has become less three-dimensional of late, and whether that’s because, post-prison, he’s just happy to be out (and not prone to too much introspection) or it’s something The Powers That Be have decided not to make us privy to that side, I don’t know. I do know that, for me, the jokey, boorish, flippant House without the serious, intellectual, driven man underpinning him is incomplete. It’s not the House I fell in love with back in 2004.

My House Wish List for 2012

I’d like to see the character of House be less over-the-top manchild, balanced with some of his earlier seriousness. More one-on-one conversations with patients, moments of poignancy, and an occasional emotional punch to the gut. Gregory House used to make me cry at least once a season (sometimes more).

Chase needs more to do. Jesse Spencer is such a good actor. He brings a lot of complexity to Chase, and his journey from spoiled brat to intelligent, thoughtful healer has been such a joy to watch. I’d like to see more of Chase’s journey.

It would be sweet to bring Cuddy back to Princeton (if not the hospital) for at least a short arc. And speaking of bringing characters back, I continue to hope for a return of Dr. Nolan, House’s psychiatrist. House has seemingly stopped dealing at all with his issues; the return of his shrink would be huge, and the scenes between Hugh Laurie and Andre Braugher always sizzled with tension. 

We observed at the end of the “Perils of Paranoia,” that House is obviously thinking about his father. As season eight progresses, I would like to see this narrative thread come to the fore. House’s parents are such an important part of who he has become, it is a dramatic diamond mine worthy of significant exploration.

And finally, I hope The Powers That Be decide very soon whether this will be House‘s final season. The creative team need time to plan if season eight will be it. Perhaps they already know and just haven’t yet told us. In any event, if this is the end, my biggest wish is that House ends on a high, with a brilliant final run of episodes with a powerhouse series finale.

I still love the series; season eight has been thus far filled with good, well-written, nicely acted episodes. There has been nothing since the season premiere, however, to grab me viscerally and not let go. But the season is young, and 2012 is a new year. And I’m looking forward to the return of Dr. Gregory House and the team when new episodes resume January 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

If you want something to ease your House withdrawal, I heartily recommend Jennifer Morrison’s new show Once Upon a Time. Tune in New Year’s Day at 4:00 p.m. ET, when ABC is rebroadcasting the season in advance of its return from hiatus on January 8. It’s a great show, with some excellent writing and terrific performances, especially from Jennifer as Emma Swan, Lana Parrilla (as Snow White’s evil queen), and Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty, Stargate Universe) as Rumpelstiltskin.

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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.
  • MusicandHouse

    I agree with all of your “bests” with the exception of Bombshells. I think I would put Charity Case in its place on my list. As for Chase, some recent internet spoilers say you will get your wish. I will say no more so to aviod spoiling those who don’t want to be.
    I agree that TPTB need to decide/announce if this will be the last season. I have a feeling that they already know, but I think the audience deserves to know as well. I need time to prepare.
    BTW I think when House returns it will be January 23 at 8pm. At least that is what I remember reading when FOX released their midseason schedule. I think the remainder of the season will air at 8pm followed by Alcatraz

  • http://barbarabarnett.com Barbara Barnett

    You are right about the time and about Chase :) It’s my living in the central timezone trying to finesse the ET thing :). I knew the time changed, tho. But it’s corrected.

  • rjw

    I,too,enjoyed “Twenty Vicodin”.I also really liked “Transplant”.Most of the season has gone well.I don’t think “House” is standing pat.For the most part,I have found that each season starts off slowly,then really revs up.I do miss Cuddy (sort-of),but can’t fathom that House would be back at PPTH if she stayed.”Bombshells” might have been controversial,but it was very well-done (the best script that Hess/Friedman has co-written).”Out of the Chute”,”After Hours” and “Moving On ” were also excellent.I’m looking forward to Jan.23rd,to see what else will happen.I understand there will be at least one Chase-centered episode coming up (glad to see because Jesse Spencer is a terrific actor).Still not much of a Foreman fan,but it does make sense to have him be Dean of Medicine (I think he likes to feel that he’s in charge).Sorry if this comment seems to ramble on.

  • The Other Barnett

    Barb,
    I agree with the feelings about uncertainty with the PTB about whether House returns or ends this season. I, of course, think the show is good to go for another couple years beyond this year with the current cast (Annabelle and Yi have potential that I hope the writers can tap). Still, I am a bit afraid for the announcement…don’t want the show to end.

    I agree that more patient interaction is needed. House shows his humanity through actually brushing with humanity (if it is a good POTW, which has not always been certain this year).

    I agree with giving more focus to Chase, but a team of four makes it difficult for each individual to stand out. If Chase takes on some kind of secondary House-whisperer/Interpreter role for the newbies -and then throws in a decent confrontation with House or diagnosis miracle every few episodes…then I’d be happy.

    I like the notion of House dealing with his father and mother directly this season. Which leads us to Nolan as the perfect conduit for this family drama.

    Either way, I agree Nolan is needed. I think it is possible that the show could avoid House going into his troubled introspective side at work or in public if he can open up to Nolan about his troubles.

    I do not share your hunger for House’s tormented genius side to come out – I am perfectly happy with the slightly warped, cock-eyed, selectively-immature, and flippant House. No matter what Shore and others think, people do change and the prison experience may have shaken loose some cobwebs in House’s psyche. No one can operate with a dark cloud introsection holding pattern over them without either relying heavily upon a narcotic crutch and/or blowing up his whole relationship community. If one or both of those things happen – House is back in the pen. I don’t know about you, but I can certainly agree with the notion that it does not hurt to have a very limited temporary lobotamy once in a while.

    Now if you want House to be (to paraphrase a John Mayer tune) ‘slow-dancing in a burning room’, bring back Cuddy. I see the story value (especially if this is -gulp- the last season)but I honestly believe Cuddy was harmful to House emotionally and (maybe) mentally. She enabled him and yet tried to shame him, too. How is this healthy? All of her good qualities can be replaced by different individuals and I certainly never believed that she was the love of his life…..she was the convenient one to love. If Lisa Cuddy returns to PPTH, House will drop into his old dark self. If the writers put House into a period that includes a confrontation with a biological father and his mother; followed by Cuddy…..the tether will break and Nolan better be present. Those who have been talking about the end of the show including House killing himself…that would be (or should be)very likely.

    If I had my opportunity to supplant Shore as show runner til May (knowing there is going to be a 9th season), I’d do the following storylines:

    1. House confronts his family situation, leaving him angry, warn, and leaning on Wilson to deal with his hurt feelings with mother and confused feelings for biological father. Nolan also enters to allow House to share whats going on in his head.

    2. Chase has brief tryst with Park – weirdness, hilarity and warmth ensues.

    3. Taub’s daddy-conundrum fades into the woodwork.

    4. Adams asserts her diagnostic and street/prison-wise techniques/skills in a couple episodes.

    5. Foreman has an internal moral quandry in his adulterous relationship that can only be noticed by House, Taub and Chase – to their intermingled humor/concern.

    6. House returns to the prison as a means to blow away all his back-logged clinic hours and discovers some shocking illness – this gives us more chance to get some back-stories.

    7. To close the season, Cuddy returns for a couple episodes to take care of a few pieces of personal business and to attend to her dying mother (another Bergen appearance). House gets to unload, Cuddy gets to unload, Wilson gets to unload on both, and Nolan refs. But House also gets to be the one who helps usher Cuddy’s mom over to the other side, while also gently closing the chapter with Cuddy while helping her accept her mom’s role in her life and her death.

    Thus allowing for the 9th season to be purely about diagnostics and character interplay….and maybe a return to patch things with parents….maybe.

    What do you think?

  • http://twitter.com/elcristinap elcristina

    I agree w/ some points of your comments,specially about the Drama on the show. I miss the times when the episode was 90% drama and 10% comedy (today is more like the opposite) and mostly because this drama was always present in every episode of the first to third season and this is what made [H] the big tv show that it became. After that, Wilson’s Heart, Broken, Help Me, After Hours was in my opinion individual stuff that always remember the good drama that made me falling in love about it. Twenty Vicodin was good but after that and until now I don’t see where this season is going, is it going to be centred in House’s relations with his mother?! His lack of relation w/ his father or a relation w/ his real father?
    This lack of commitment is what make terrible episodes without any continuation.

    And the return of Lisa?! I really don’t understand. One of the producers (I don’t remember wich one but I can look for his name after) said when Lisa left that her exit was a relief because they didn’t know what to do with her character on this season. And now they want her for what exactly? And don’t get me wrong I want her back because deep down I know it’s the only chance that House has to have some other closure than death.

    But this is my exactly point in all of this, for example after ‘Moving on’ Shore came and said that this was House dealing and ending his relationship with Cuddy once for all but on the Season Premiere he (or the producers or whatever) show him with no lawyer trying to punish hisself for what he did. This is the lack of commitment that I mentioned and this way at the same time I want Lisa back it’s hard to imagine something good for her and for her character.

    I’m hopeful that when the show returns on January all things can become clear, the arc of the season, the end (or not?) of the show so this way the producers can really put their mind on something good to closure the serie.We, fans, we all want that !

  • http://blogcritics.org/video/article/will-prison-change-doctor-gregory-house/page-2/ Max Durdy

    I’ve said this since the end of Season 7: I think bringing Nolan back would be a great thing for the show. Look at the episode “Baggage”: it was one of the best in Season 6, and went deeper into the character of House.
    I agree that House hasn’t quite been as compelling as normal so far this season. I enjoyed “Twenty Vicodin” and I loved “Dead and Buried” because it posed the question of why House was helping the grieving father. There were several scenes I loved in that episode. To me, that felt like an episode from an earlier season because I honestly felt he connected with people more in the earlier seasons.
    For me, we don’t see House interact with patients enough. In the earlier seasons, House does seem to fight for patients a bit more (the season 2 episode “Deception” an example.)
    There are episodes coming up that make me feel Season 8 may step up a gear:

    “Nobody’s Fault” is written by Friend, Lerner and David Foster (three of the veteran writers).
    And there’s an upcoming episode called “Chase”, so it looks like we’ll get a deeper insight into Chase’s character.

  • 20V

    It’s been a shaky year. I’d probably replace “Moving On” on your list with “Charity Case”, which I felt was the strongest of Season 8 so far.

    We’re due for an ongoing plotline. A shot in the arm is needed. House, as a character and a show, really feels like they’re both in a state of stasis. Maybe that’s the point; getting out of a hostile environment such as prison and slowly assimilating himself back into his world takes time. I think the problem is the cast isn’t really balanced well and the patients incapable of taking control of their own stories.I know we have new characters, but Wilson and Chase need to be given more to do.

    Crazy thought: I’m 80% sure the show is getting a ninth season. Announcing any show in its final season is a pretty simple marketing campaign. The show comes back in a month. If we are staring down at the end, there’s no reason to withhold that information. Unless we hear something in the next two weeks, I’m working under the assumption it’s coming back.

  • ann uk

    Barbara, I agree with most of your reactions and, like you , I really miss the glimpses into House’s dark heart.
    I specially miss any exploration of his relationship with Wilson.Why did he never visit House in prison.? He had already made it clear that he thought Cuddy had treated House badly and he, of all people, would have understood House’s emotional explosion although he could not excuse it.However angry he was ,I don’t think he would have wholly abandoned House

    And would House have accepted that abandonment so passively ?

    This missed a chance to explore and develop a key relationship in depth as they renewed their friendship.

  • donna

    Totally agree with you … especially about move on ! S7 was about House;s psychology …he broke my heart when he said to Cuddy that he was feeling hurt and pain

  • Erin

    I really enjoyed reading your review of season eight so far, and agree with most of your insights. The only thing that I might differ on is I really loved Dead and Buried which made up for any jerkiness from House in any previous episode to me. Hugh Laurie was so compelling and his understated nuanced performance was wonderful to see. I’d love to see more episodes like it. Happy New Years!

  • rbrown205

    I really liked the way that House smiled to himself when being driven away toward the end of Dead and Buried. He actually got satisfaction from figuring out a way to avoid the death of another child. I would like to see more of that kind of House.

  • tahina

    I want Cuddy back, and would like to know how she’s been doing, has she thought about House all this time? I bet she has, and maybe Wilson knows. Also, OMG, how much I miss Hugh and Lisa’s sizzling presence on the screen! On that thought, Happy New Year!! :)

  • http://barbarabarnett.com Barbara Barnett

    Happy New Year to you all!

  • bigHousefan

    Ann UK #8 – I agree with you totally!

    Barbara, you said, “I’d like to see the character of House be less over-the-top manchild, balanced with some of his earlier seriousness.”

    I miss the soul-searching, thoughtful piano-playing House. I have wondered though if the change is by design. As the years go by, House has racked up additional emotional scarring. Perhaps gone are the days of a reflective House because it hurts too much. He seems to have replaced this with the childish bratty House…

    I’m eager to see the upcoming exploration of House and his biological father as mentioned by David Shore in Fans Ask House. It’s been a long time coming.

    Happy New Year All!

  • spitza

    I just saw on Internet that Hugh Laurie died in an accident in New Zealand. I hope it’s not true.

  • sara

    I prefer House and Cameron much more, and com’on, the real House md was the first 3 series, after this there is just a worst parody.
    And I totally disagree, House, Wilson and Cuddy aren’t the core of the show,it’s completely untrue. I hate some people continues to repeat this false thing, there is a total lack of memory of what the show was at its best.
    House is the core of the show.
    And Bryan Singer was the real creator, he had all the best ideas at the beginning
    (the style, the atmosphere, plots, characters and patients were built according to his vision) and after his departure there was the disaster because Katie Jackobs and David Shore are incompetent and have no real talent so therefore have not been able to continue to write a good show. This is the truth.
    House died 5 years ago.

  • Paulac45

    Agree with most of your choices for S7. As for S8 think you have overlooked how much House showed his very human side – albeit in a very Housian way – in Dead and Buried. The way he answered the father when he asked how the child looked and the look on House’ face when he was looking back from the police car were exactly the House things that have always tugged at my heart strings and proved there is a very human side under the exterior jerk. The big downside, for me, of S8 is the dreadful acting – and I use that term very loosely – of CY. OA is not great but not as bad. My one wish for the rest of S8 is for Park and Adams to move a bit more into the background now their haracters are established and bring Wilson more to the fore – H/W (HL/RSL) on screen together are always the best moments of any episode IMO and I want more of them. Look forward to the Chase centric episode too. Would definitely like to see an arc involving House finally resolving/coming to terms about his parents – have always thought it a bit strange that nothing has been seen or heard about his mother since Birthmarks. My main wish, however, as I am sure it is for all us diehard fans is for the announcement of a S9

  • Djesus

    As much as I loved Cuddy in season 1 to 4, I don’t understand that some of you want her back, House and Cuddy are now both better away from each other, House is ok, Cuddy probably married and happy.
    I want dramas but certainly not again between House and Cuddy.
    Bring her back would be like with Olivia Wilde, more a gift for the actress than a real need about House’s story (13’s character had long time ago left the show).
    Separations are often difficult and with no return, and this is the case, there is no need for an explanation or excuse, anyway House’s behavior is unforgivable though Cuddy had not also clean hands.
    But I agree with you Barbara about this :
    “I’d like to see the character of House be less over-the-top manchild, balanced with some of his earlier seriousness.”
    Something is missing in this season 8, more emotions and less comedy, I just liked the episode with the father who lost his son.

  • Marie

    “Would House have even had an office to which he could return? Would his professional value to the hospital have trumped Cuddy’s fury? Would they at some point come to some sort of understanding? We’ll never know. (Unless the recent rumors pan out and she returns for a few episodes)”

    Barbara, how do you imagine to find out all of this even if LE returns? Cuddy can’t get her position back, can she? I mean, what could be the reason for Foreman to give up his ambitions and give DOM job back to Cuddy? I think Foreman’s death only. Sorry, I can’t see the place of Cuddy on the show now. she’s not DOM, she’s out of hospital, she’s out of House’s bed, what’s the point of her presence?

  • lobentti

    Hey !
    Happy New Year to everybody! and our beloved characters, the actors, etc etc. Yes, there were ups and downs lately; IMO the best episode season7 was ‘Unwritten'; the worst thing was to make Dr House pathetic and disrespectful with kids; the presence of Candice Bergen was a ‘must’, the absence of Lisa Edelstein was understandable, her character was going down and down, the ‘candidate’ that motivated House´s worst action looked like her son, not a man to confront House; and Olivia Wilde, for her understanding and dealing with House, as she was a dammaged character too (and accepted that, instead of Wilson and Cuddy that only blamed him); so far, here we had 5 eps of season 8, and it´s so… something more than cold, less than warm … don´t find the right word. But, Mr.Laurie is great, although a bit ‘tired’ now that he found a new source of communication, the music. The two new Drs are out if the place, but it´s ok , so … let´s hope for the best,and wait … each week a surprise, without the former impact, butgood to watch.
    Thanks for that.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com Barbara Barnett

    sara–Bryan Singer directed the pilot. He did not create the series. David Shore created the series. He wrote the pilot and has been the creative force behind the series since day one. You are simply incorrect on this.

    Marie–we wouldn’t find any of that out, necessarily. If she had returned (and I’m not saying “now” I’m saying if she hadn’t left) we’d get some sense of whether (or why) she would still value House as at least an asset to the hospital. Her returning now would answer none of that. And that’s not what I said.

    I’m fine with the series sans Lisa Edelstein. She may never return (or do it briefly like JMo did in late season six) and life at PPTH will go on. I’m just sayin’ it was unfortunate that she left the series. There could have been some interesting fireworks. Her absence is missed (by me, at least).

  • spitza

    Hi guys, what do you think of this? It makes me really worried.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com Barbara Barnett

    It’s a story from a satirical NZ news site. In other words, don’t believe it

  • spitza

    I thought that it was a joke too at first but then I thought that it would be a very sick joke and wasn’t sure. Thank you.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com Barbara Barnett

    It’s a very sick joke.

  • lobentti

    @the other Barnett – What if the ‘sick’ one that needs House´s help is Rachel? Uhh??
    Kind of what moved Stacy to look for his help;and considering Rachel´s birth, something should be wrong with her, as House always suspected … but it´s just an idea.
    And House has already said what he thinks about his biological father and his relationship with his ‘married mother’ , so …

  • BrokenLeg

    26@lobentti
    I’m on your ship.
    I’m sure now, due all this well orchestred rumors, that LE will be back soon than late, and that there are strong signals that will be a last 9th [H] season (if this 8th one were the last one, people on charge and writers must know it from time ago to properly write the final arch, so there will be no reason to avoid that knowledge to fandom, on the contrary, marketing reasons induce to use that knowledge as a shaker of the fandom and a reason to rise current ratings).

    Said that, I’d be glad if LE-Cuddy returns (I strongly miss the GH-LE banter), and I would prefer that if so, she returns as an equal to GH, not as his boss, because that equal level must be necessary to try to amend things as much as possible.( And “try to amend things” must not be understood as justifying any kind of past domestic violence…).

    And yes, if the ‘sick’ one that needs House´s help is Rachel, must be the only reason that can move Cuddy to beg GH’s help, move GH to give it and ask forgiveness, and possibly the only one that make both of them put some hard things apart for a while.

    And I think, as you, that GH has said all about his parenthood, biological father vs the father who raised him. But maybe there is a loose end about Blythe explanations to the son.

    And 25@BB in answer to @spitza and notices of HL’s death in a NZ web: one thing is a joke, even a sick joke, and other the fruit of someone’s mental illness!It’s beyond satyrical!!!

    Good 2012 to everybody out there!!

  • Martha Lee

    I guess that I am in the minority. The only episode in season 8 that I have enjoyed thus far has been “Dead and Buried”. I am still waiting for a WOW episode from David Shore and Co. I do not care for the new female doctors (they are just retreads of 13, Cameron and Masters) and the actresses are just not memorable or Foreman as the Dean of Medicine (really, they are just giving him Cuddy‘s lines and having just as much success as she did dealing with him). I also just do not see him running an entire hospital. Even Wilson has had little to do. Don’t even get me started on the whole Taub baby daddy soap opera. The show was so much better when it was just about House and patients with odd diseases. Now each and every patient is tied to House and it has gotten very old. In the past 2 seasons, we have seen other outside characters added to that have had nothing to do with House or his family and repeated diseases. The first 3 seasons, the show did not give any backstories to the Ducklings and now we have had 4 years of added characters that have brought down the drama of the show making it borderline a comedy. The whole arc with House being on parole and having an ankle monitor is just getting dumber as the plot goes along. A Chase centric episode just bores me to think about. I have low expectations on the rest of the season. I do not think the writers (none of them impress me much) have a clue on what to do with characters (they have ruined all of them and have a real problem with continuity, and I hope this season will be the last. I know David Shore wants a season 9 but where can House go now. They have hit all the low points thru each of the past seasons (Looney bin, OD’s, jail, being shot. lost loves, anger issues). David Shore does not do happy so where does the show go from here? Too little too late on the whole “father” issues of House.

  • The Other Barnett

    lobenti @ #26
    I like that story-line, but House has an affection for Rachel and (while it may be easy to say byue to Cuddy, I think Rachel would be more difficult. He admires her and I think Rachel makes him think about fatherhood….It would be cleaner to kill off Cuddy’s mom and only have Cuddy there…but Rachel would pose a real dramatic challenge…good idea!

  • The Other Barnett

    BrokeLeg#27 –

    Cuddy is broken, why wouldn’t she ask for help for her mom of House? Who knows, maybe the mom asks for his help and will only take him as her Dr.

    The conversation between Cuddy and House never seemed great on both sides, she put up the ally-oop pass and he dunked it. I watched the whole 1st season of House yesterday and Saturday and saw nothing from Cuddy to intrigue me. Its one think to be an Edelstein fan, but I don’t see the chemistry….

  • The Other Barnett

    Martha #28
    Why are you still watching?

  • 20V

    @Martha Lee

    Taub’s kids have literally been the focus of one episode and haven’t been mentioned since. Faulting the show forcwhat you think will happen seems rather silly to me.

  • Sun

    #31 The Other Barnett Your comment to #28 Martha was rude and a conversation stopper. This is a place to discuss House in 2011 and I haven’t seen The Real Barnett limit the dialogue to only people who are enjoying the show in Season 8. When you are confrontational to another poster, it spoils the discussion for everyone. I think it’s better to just ignore an all negative post than to start judging who should or shouldn’t watch the show. You might wonder why I’m saying this? I and others hate coming here to find confrontational and judgmental posts to people who are expressing their opinions in response to Barbara’s blog.

  • Susan (from Brooklyn)

    Today’s New York Times had an article about most talked about subjects on social media for 2011. Facebook made Top Ten lists for various subjects discussed on the platform and “House was No. 1 on the list for television shows”!!!
    #12 Tahina – agree with you
    #27 Broken Leg – Besides many comments on Facebook asking for Cuddy back, where are you all seeing rumors of her return?

  • lobentti

    27@BrokenLeg, 29@the Other barnett
    Thanks for your support, may be one day I move to be tv show writer :) My point is that Rachel is now the only common love, significant one for both Cuddy and House; Arlene should be good too, but she already tried and failled, so … and yes, House and Cuddy being equals seems a good solution, from my poit of view the 7th season started to crash when Cuddy (IMO) startd fearing to be out of controling the realtionship and assumed all that ‘boss-ite’ position even in their personal relation; treating Arlene against her and House´s wish is one exemple.
    But let´s the writers do their job, ok?

  • lobentti

    30@the Other Barnett – Cuddy and House didnt show a deep relation from the beggining, sure; piece by piece we learn that they had a night together and he left her without a word; than he met Stacy and lived together until the infarction in his leg, and re-find Cuddy now as Dean of Medicine, a well-succeeded woman, while he has another woman, is crippled, and as far as is seems, unemployed. A difficult situation, about what they never talk; he makes some comments, she avoids confrontations, she is the boss (Why did she hire him?)but when Stace leaves for the first time … a door is open, but is dark inside there … so, only when he finaly lets Stacy go, after all this time with Cuddy, and mainly after their kiss in season 5, their personal relation gains another significance … what do you think?

  • Susan (from Brooklyn)

    #36- Lobentti – you’re exactly right about the blossoming of their relationship. And to me they always had “chemistry”.

  • BrokenLeg

    31 @ The Other Barnett

    Well, my friend, I’m not specially a LE fan ( I do not see TGW, for ex.or previous roles of her), but I think that Cuddy ( please, distinguish actress and character) was part of the “triunvirate” in the series developement.
    And yes, I miss their banter a lot

  • BrokenLeg

    34@Susan (from Brooklyn)
    Ask Ausiello!!!

  • BrokenLeg

    36@lobentti &37@ Susan(from Brooklyn)

    Agreed!!..And Susan, “bloosoming” sounds poetic!!!

  • The Other Barnett

    Sun #33 – I understand why you may thin I was being a conversation stopper, but I was honestly curious how Martha could continue watching when it seems she is almost in psychic/artistic pain when viewing the show….I’d like reasons…thats all. And the kind of question I asked would be asked by Greg House should he be in the chatline. :)

  • The Other Barnett

    Lobentti#36 –

    Some good points on the dynamic between House and Cuddy.

    The first season -Cuddy explains that she hired House because he is “the best”. Later she even mentions to House that she is aware he may get sued so she has money set aside for legal defense. Throughout the first season we see how Cuddy feels some guilt over what House has become. And yet we also see her (probably hardened by the rough and tumble with House) challenging and verbally knifing him as often as she can to get back at his remarks and actions all the way up to season 5.

    Cuddy knows Stacy’s love for House, but she never really gets an idea of House’s love for Stacy. Otherwise, she would not have been so half-hearted in checking with House about hiring Stacy on to PPTH. We see in Cuddy’s relationship with her mother (in both episodes) that Cuddy is screwed up by her mom. She does not know love, even in the way House may know it. Even House has made references to that in past seasons, that Cuddy is longing for someone to say that she is loved “one grunted syllable at a time”.

    Rachel’s sickness is a great choice for a medical emergency if the show is closing out and we need to see some warm and fuzzy closure with a relationship potential. Cuddy’s mom dying is a great opportunity to either close the season out with Huddy closure, too or to close out the show in an even-natured Huddy closure along with showing House is not the man he was when we first tuned in eight years ago.

    Broken Leg #38
    I see the logic of putting Cuddy back in as a part of some kind of low-grade renovation of this House series. Cuddy is the counter-balance (more than Wilson) to House. The banter carries so much weight between them because of the sexual tension – which is probably gone after the motor-home incident. Foreman has been using Cuddy’s lines from season 6, but he seems to be carrying it off well – even though he does not look great in a tight red cleavage-baring dress. Shows like MASH, Law and Order, and Dallas seemed to role along as their core cast changed. Why not House? I see where you are coming from, but from a purely personal perspective, Cuddy is more damaging to House than she is a help.

  • The Other Barnett

    20V #32….thanks for the comment, the Taub story-line needed to be addressed and I think it was handled well. Its not enough to say it has runined the show or demonstrates a declining show.

    Martha Lee #28 –
    Just in case the Sun was right, that I was rude, I apologize. But everything you are pointing out about House I can relate to. Still, you are wanting a House that will never come back. The House of seasons 1,2, and 3 is gone. While Shore tries to demonstrate that people do not change, situations and scenarios do. Life goes on and people adapt (even if they do not fundamentally change), thus shows will alter, too.

    C.S. Lewis once talked about courtly love as a love that combines humility, courtesy, sexual and the religion of love as something meeting at a perfect moment….every show has its perfect moment. House had its perfect moment, but it is still a show to set aside time for (in my opinion). Anthony Hopkins have SIlence of the Lambs, but it does not mean I still won’t admire him and watch a movie he is doing just because he did lesser roles in Remains of the Day and Shadowlands.

    The question you have to ask (since you have apparently suffered through the last 4 seasons) is if the love is completely gone for you with this show. Has this love turned into resentment? If it has, you cannot continue watching it. You must wait til it is out on DVD or Hulu and enjoy it at your own convenience…do not punish yourself. Check out this blog, see if it sounds like a watchable show and then wait for hulu (or xfinity) to have the episode available – surely you could have 7pm free on a Monday for other things if you think this show is going to dissapoint you.

    I know how you feel, a bit. Last year I was opening a vein on this blog about how much the writers were messing with this show and how horribly it was being handled. The shows were haphazardly constructed; storylines during the first half of the year were arranged in a manner that suggested that shows were written for Emmy’s not for the show’s healthy progression. In my opinion, the first 8 episodes of this year has cleaned up the mess that was left at the end of Season 7 better than I could have expected….so far. This is why I am still with the show.

    If I have offended your sensitivities or Suns’ I apologize. I was not trying to kill off conversation, at all.

  • BrokenLeg

    43 @ The Other Barnett

    “….Still, you are wanting a House that will never come back. The House of seasons 1,2, and 3 is gone. While Shore tries to demonstrate that people do not change, situations and scenarios do. Life goes on and people adapt (even if they do not fundamentally change), thus shows will alter, too.” How true and wise your words are!! I share your oppinion, as I wrote more or less the same in my last years posts.

    And don’t apologize yourself. Your comments had been always, from the very first days I’d been on this chat, polite and correct. If a message is misunderstood, many times is a problem of the receiver of it, altough I do not see #28 Martha Lee offended.
    And your post #43 is more than an explanation, is a message of confort to a deceived fan.

  • ann uk

    Like some other bloggers,I think Rachel in danger would be a fascinating plot line. House was obviously fond of her and she responded to him.I think he was experiencing a kind of love that was new to him and which might make him reflect on the lack of it in his own childhood and to seek answers from his mother and his real father.

    Having her life in his hands would put him under enormous stress.Much worse than Cuddy’s mother or even Amber. How would he react to failure ? If he saved her he might reconcile himself to his failure with Cuddy, but I think ( and hope ) not to the resumption to their affair which was always unstable.

  • lobentti

    OH,my… if I see this storyline in the show, I´ll … at least… faint!!! Are you sure the writers, or whoever, never read these lines ?? But thank you anyway for reading and considering the idea :)

  • The Other Barnett

    Thank You Borken Leg, I appreciate the assurance. I mus say that I have been on the verge of being discourteous about the show when it has upset me, but hopefully never to others.

    Ann UK #45
    First of all, good call on Rachel possibly causing House to consider his childhood and parents. But, I am wondering, if Rachel is sick, would Shore try the “child dies, House and Cuddy all forgiven and back together” storyline to close the show? I say with great trepidation because I’d have to buy a cheapo tv to watch that episode on – since I’d then throw it through my window. :)

    EVERYONE IN THIS BLOG…..What if we all got a free ticket to Hollywood to have a townhall meeting with David Shore…what would we say to him – would he come out alive? :)

  • lobentti

    Just to clear up my point, I think Arlene failled because she tried a ‘common enemy’ to put House and Cuddy together; but sometimes a ‘beloved one’ in common is much better!

  • Susan (from Brooklyn)

    #47 the Other Barnett – I know I’m a hopeless romantic but I would love to have Rachel sick (not dying),saved by House and then “House and Cuddy all forgiven and back together”.
    That would make up for all the misery during and after the break-up.

  • MeMe

    Barbara:

    I’m sorry that I’m late to the party, but is there any merit to the rumors that House’s biological father is going to pop up in some form or another (POTW?) this season? If so, does that also mean that Diane Baker will make her (very) long-due return as Blythe House? Thanks.

  • BrokenLeg

    49@Susan(from Brooklyn)

    Yes, you are a really unrepentant romantic!!…But I also want the return of little Rachel,and due to her origin maybe sick of an odd rare illnes only House can diagnose, and at least, I hope it can induce forgiveness…from both parts,( and, sure,I’m also an unrepentant romantic too!)

  • lobentti

    Again, you all got my point! I have this incurable ‘romantic disease’ too… We can also rationalize and say that a relationship built during 6 years doesn´t deserve to end in 15 episodes! I also think that they need to say everything they didn´t all these years, to be able ‘to rest in peace’ when the show comes to an end.

  • Susan (from Brooklyn)

    Thumbs up to Broken Leg and Lobentti!

  • lola

    wilson best in a situation of danger is a friend of both

  • spitza

    Brocken Leg, Lobentti, and Susan (from Brooklyn) – I am in the same boat. I just can see them, Cuddy and her usual “You owe me” and Rachel “House, why did you break our house?”

  • BrokenLeg

    Wow, things seems to go other way ( or not and means readdressings wrong ways, beginning to tie loose ends?)because in episode 12 or 13 someone is back:Dominika,the green card wife ( and with that, again is back this strange, or better said, unrespectful way to treat women and immigrant people that DS has…)

  • lobentti

    @ 42 The Other Barnett : yes, hiring ‘the best’ and cheap Doc was Lisa Cuddy version; House has another one:(to Cuddy): You hired me and gave me everything I asked, because one night I gave you everything you wanted!”(Top Secret ep season 3).So …
    And yes,, we should write a book on Cuddy x House interaction; some of my favorites are in “Hupty Dumpy”, “Who is your father?” and “Top Secret”, but there are many others, of course.

  • ann uk

    47 The Other Barnett
    These blogs have become a sort of unofficial script conference and I am fascinated by the differing view points. I don’t think DS could survive because we all feel so strongly about House.
    For instance, unlike some of my fellow bloggers, I think it would be too obvious for House and Cuddy to get together again.On the other hand, if he failed to save Rachel I think it might destroy him and cause the tragic ending some of us envisage.

    PS. I still rather fancy Lydia as his true lover. She met him at his lowest and she LIKED him, which I don’t think Cuddy ever did.And he responded to her trustingly and without his usual doubts.

    What do the rest of you think ?

  • http://barbarabarnett.com Barbara Barnett

    Ann UK–Interesting point about Lydia. I think, though, she liked House (maybe it was his vulnerability that got to her), she wasn’t willing to leave her husband for him. In a way, she also stomped on House’s heart. Dont’ get me wrong. I loved Lydia and their relationship (see my review of Broken for more on that).

  • BrokenLeg

    58@ Ann uk
    I never thought Lydia’s love to GH were really true , altough then, in the lowest moments GH’s was, as you say,he responded as trustingly as he could… while in phsychiatric treatment.
    She used him more as some entertainment in a “parallel life”, while visiting her sister-in-law, and did it in a very safe place to her, without other possibly family “disruptions”(aka husband, children, etc..).Maybe was his vulneralbility that got her then, as 59@Barbara Barnett say, but she hurt him as many other women had done: finally she wasn’t willing to leave her husband, and her safe life with him, to engage a new one with a broken genius. IMHO, GH was only an adventure to her, but he responded in a more giving way than she’d expected. And despite that,it was good to GH in some rude way, because, as Dr.Nolan said, was his awakeness to begin giving without expecting something in return.
    And he upgraded this at his best level while being in his relationship with Cuddy.

    About GH and LC being togheter again, is not exactly my point. It’s finding mutual forgiveness and let an open way to their possible relationship, maybe in some future to come.
    And I do not expect now a tragic ending (as I did it last year after the season finale),because there are no more possible levels of tragedy in GH life yet, after being shooted, in a pschyatric hospital,in jail,etc.. but more a Housian worthy ending( more like a “final curtain” full of loose ends to be understood in as many ways as fans remains that day)

  • Jules

    58 – ann uk

    I liked Lydia too but she was really just a prop to serve the purpose of making him aware that if he tried he could connect emotionally.

    The show portrayed House giving his brain a bit of a rest in “Broken” and focused on him as a “man” outside of the pressure of his puzzle and outside the environment that contains his puzzle.

    Once he returned to his old life him and Lydia would never have stood a chance IMO anyway?

  • lobentti

    @ ann uk and others
    Lidia was nice at that point, but as Stacy,she didn´t want to change her life. I agree that it was a good way to make a change in his relationship with Cuddy, and make different moves, but Cuddy had her issues too, and it didn´t work. So, true love? I don´t see any; but I see Cuddy more plausible, because of their long term story. Maybe she married that young man (so alike to Lucas…), maybe she changed too , let´s wait and see!

  • lobentti

    Barbara, have you seen this?
    :(

  • ann uk

    Perhaps her children , rather than her husband ? Looking back at Broken, I think Lydia’s feeling s were genuine.
    House is a powerfully attractive character and is capable of profound love – don’t forget that Stacy chose him , not Mark.It was House who ended it , not because he did not love her, but for fear that if he yielded to his feelings he might be hurt again.This fear always inhibited his relationship with Cuddy ( and her’s with him) and that’s why his trust of Lydia is so. significant.

  • andreec

    Barbara,

    Like you, I felt the show’s executives hurt the show immensely with the stupid decisions made that caused Lisa Edelstein to depart the show before season 8. You are absolutely right in that it was a terrible loss for the season. After all she did on the show, promoting it like a trooper and even on-cam nudity, there really should have been a more respectful negotiations process especially now that she had become the female star with a significant following on this show.

    I respectfully disagree that the show is surviving without her. The ratings have seriously dropped and are the lowest they’ve had in years throughout a season. I suspect if the show is canceled its because its lost so much of the dramatic energy that was there when “Lisa Cuddy” was part of the cast.

    I can only hope someone at FOX grows a brain and gets Lisa Edelstein back. There are so many dramatic opportunities should she return. My understanding was that Foreman was the acting Dean of Medicine initially. Has that changed? Foreman’s track record of screw ups seems to defy logic that he would gain the DOM position. Sorry but it didn’t make sense then and it still doesn’t.

    Cuddy returning from a sabbatical of some sort especially if her mother Arlene’s health were to be an issue might be sufficient cause for her return to the New Jersey area. Personally, I’d like to see House and Cuddy run into each other at a medical conference and see what has changed or not changed between them.

    However, as a woman, I would hardly expect Cuddy to allow House back in her private life. That is unless we find out he had a chemical imbalance or brain tumor to cause him to snap and drive through her house. How could she ever trust him not to do something worse without a medical reason as its cause. Lets hope Wilson finds this to be the case and it brings back the best trio on TV once more.

    As for House finding his biological father and all that, I no longer really care. I’ve come to dislike him too much now to care. As for Wilson falling back into their old bromance so quickly, I was really disappointed in him. THere was so much more dramatic opportunities for House to learn from had this stretched out longer. Now its just more about mean guy doctor’s antics sporadically interrupted by rather dull medical cases.

    I appreciate your loyalty the show and love of the characters and I wish I felt like you still do but honestly this show is not going to see a season 9 at this rate. The only chance this changes is if the ratings improve and right now nothing seems to guarantee that …except for maybe the return of Lisa Cuddy — the “heart of the show” according to critics.

  • bigHousefan

    I’m so glad I decided to check in. As always, I enjoy all of your thoughtful insight.

    I am haunted by David Shore’s comments that House MD is at it’s core a Greek tragedy and the hero’s failings ultimately bring about his demise.

    However TPTB decide to end this story, I’m grateful that we’ll have Barbara and her blog to gather and console one another. It’s going to be a busy place…

  • The Other Barnett

    Ann UK #58:

    Bless your heart, Ann, I agree it would be nice to see some scenario that brings Lydia back into House’ life. And I agree, Lydia may provide a certain positive energy to House that re-uniting with Cuddy would not do.

    Cuddy’s love (to everyone but Rachel) is so much like her mother’s toward her – conditional and guarded – and kinda twisted. House re-uniting with her, even if he saves Rachel’s life (which does seem to be increasingly lame once pondered), any re-igniting of the flame with Cuddy does not ensure happiness ever-after.

    Lydia seemed less inclined to see all the flaws of House. She seemed to see in him this incredible soul that is both hoisted into greatness by his intellect and plunged into destruction by his inner demons. She impressed me as someone who could accept the good with the bad.

    And that (HOUSE BLOGGERS ALL) is the great negative with Lisa Cuddy. She cannot accept the good with the bad. She cannot accept the fact that love carries pain. She is so deeply damaged (maybe more so than House) that she could never accept a love that is going to require effort. Lucas was perfect for her. She could be mentally challenged by him, but never emotionally tried by him.

    #65 – Andreec
    What dramatic energy does Lisa Cuddy provide to the show now, outside of the “ex-girlfriend returning to the hospital of her greatest bureacratic triumphs and her greatest pain in the rear? I share in the interest of seeing how they’d interact the first time they meet after her “delivered her brush”; but then what?

    Cuddy, the “heart of the show”? Obviously you never had much interest in Chase, then. The character of Chase showed a real growth in the arc of the show. In him, outside of House, we have seen the most emotionally effective scenes (reciting a prayer over a patient, unloading his guilt to a priest over Dibala, opening his heart to Cameron, showing his vulnerability (and possibly how easy he can be manipulated) to a cancer-stricken tween girl. Cuddy is a selective bleeding heart, but she is far from the “the heart” of the show. In fact, I’d rank her after Chase, Wilson, and House.

  • lobentti

    Ohhh, come on, people, let´s face reality! This is a TVshow, created by David Shore and it has some statements that will never change: 1 – Nobody changes; 2 – Everybody lies; 3- Happiness is impossible, we allways make wrong choices. It´s supposed to be a drama, not a love story! There’s not even a dialetic movement, only statements! So, it worked for some time, all this “Sherlock” method for diagnosis were great, but now … it is what it is, no Fox, no Universal , not even Hugh Laurie´s intervention wil change it because it´s a David Shore story!
    We can play ‘writers’, we can show our ‘likes and dislikes’, but that´s all we can do. IMO, the show took a dark path, lost perspective, broke the main stream of the relationships that gathered everything, I´m sad for this, but…is is what it is. I like very much all these considerations, they show how deep this story touched us, and I hope we go on doing this, changing our poits of view, enlightning some significant moments, so we keep this show alive for a long long time!

  • BrokenLeg

    68 @lobentti
    You’re sadly right.The only touching certainty is your last paragraph: “….they show how deep this story touched us, and I hope we go on doing this, changing our points of view, enlightning some significant moments, so we keep this show alive for a long long time!”

  • lobentti

    @ 69Broken leg
    Thanks, and… by the way … I hope your leg is already healed :)

  • BrokenLeg

    70@lobentti

    Yes!!!! I can work again and ride my motorcycle as used before my accident,and lead a normal life, with the only exception of hard sports like my beloved downhill skiing,which I may not practice until next winter. Maybe now I do not have much time for blogging, but it’s great being “fully functional”. Thanks, my friend.

    The one that is with her knee broken again is our fellow blogger @Maria-eleni. By the way, if you read us: How are you doing? Best recovering wishes!!!

  • ann uk

    67 The Other Barnett
    Well said.
    I would like to see Nolan again.Itwas an inspired thought that he should seek House’s company when his father died. He recognised that well hidden empathy in House and had he not been his shrink might have become his friend.

  • The Other Barnett

    ann uk #72

    I agree on Nolan. I have been a huge fan of Andre Braugher since his days in Homicide:Life on the Street.

    The way that Nolan approaches House is both direct and forceful, as well as unconventional. Nolan wanted House with him for selfish reasons (what child would not ignore all ethics to help family), but he had a decent undercurrent of professional reason behind this action that it really only served to help House.

    I’ve thought for a while that, if this Cuddy thing is going to be handled or if House is going to be fully “renovated”, Nolan has to be present. Though I think he’d probably have an issue with Lydia coming back into House’ life….something just tells me he’d say its not a healthy way to return to the “affairs” of the heart.

    But I am with you, I want Nolan back.

  • Susan

    I could never get into the House/Lydia thing because she was only on for one episode. And in that episode, I forget, how long was their relationship supposed to be – was it once a week for a few months or did she visit her sister-in-law more than that, or less?

    Lydia only knew House in the limbo world of the psych hospital, not real life; how would their relationship have fared on the outside?

  • BrokenLeg

    74 @ Susan

    I fully agree. My #60 post went that way too.To me Lydia didn’t never fit well to GH out of the protected enviroment of Myfield.

  • Susan

    75@Broken Leg – I should have mentioned your post because I read it the day before I wrote mine . Probably some of what you wrote was subconsciously in my head at the time. Credit goes to you first!

    65 @Andreec – I agree.

  • BrokenLeg

    76 @Susan

    Please, do not misunderstand me!! I was not trying to claim the property of any though.Then, do not apologize yourself. I was only agreeing and sharing your thoughts about Lydia, a GH ¿relationship? about which we both think the same.

  • Susan

    77 Broken Leg – I know, I just have a guilty conscience. Sometimes, on this blog people get testy and since no one knows each other I tend to err on the side of apologizing, rather than get people that I don’t know, mad. Thank you for your post. I think this blog needs a psychologist. Barbara, are you there?

  • Susan

    A thought – Barbara, could you do a survey of the demographics of your readership? There seems to be a really international audience here, and it would also be interesting to know gender and age, education, etc.

  • BrokenLeg

    79@Susan

    A psychologist? I think it’s not needed. If we all mantain an educated and polite point of posting it is not needed. And having as much different,diverse as possible points of view of the same thing, [H], is simply wealthy.
    And about surveying the readership demographics, although I consider it’s a good idea ( I have no problems:for my previous posts other fellow bloggers know a lot about myself) , possibly may go against the rules of the blog.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com Barbara Barnett

    Susan–

    Yep! I’m here. Hmm. Interesting idea about the demographics. Maybe I’ll do a poll later this week :)

  • BrokenLeg

    81 @ Barbara Barnett

    Well, it’s not against the rules!!!To your poll:Woman, european, middle aged,architec,married,just recovered of a broken knee,avid books reader,motorbike rider,downhill skier,born Gemini but with no faith in astrology,hardcore fan of FC Barcelona (soccer European Champion)and,.. obviously of [H]ouseMD

  • The Other Barnett

    Talk of demographics reminded me of a Stephen Wright joke:

    “I was riding a bus when I met this lovely blonde chinese girl. She looked frustrated, so I asked what was wrong. ‘Well,’ she said, ‘I’m a nymphomaniac that is only turned on by Jewish cowboys, oh sorry, my name is Hilda.’ To which, I said, I’m sorry you are in such a tough situation, and my name is Bucky Goldstein.”

  • BrokenLeg

    83 @ The Other Barnett

    Ah!! It’s good. Demonstrate how statistics can be misleading, if are not well managed!

    And a good joke too!!

  • Oversimplified

    Thanks for another interesting piece Barbara. I do agree with a lot of what you say, especially about them veering into total unlikeable jerk territory on occasion. For me that shows no finesse in the writing when the triumph of this show has always been that whilst House’s behaviour might have been unlikeable, often we could understand why he did what he did and that generally he was being cruel to be kind. I’m really missing the introspection too because it humanized him, but I’ve sort of come to the conclusion that House no longer playing the piano/guitar etc is more to do with Hugh’s music contract than a creative decision on the part of the House writers.

    Looking back over the eps you mentioned in season 7 I forgot how much I liked ‘Family Practice’. For me the dark side that we saw to House there when he threatened to end Masters career mirrored when he threatened Sam in Season 6 and was completely spot on. I’ve always thought he was capable or ‘ruining’ someone, but that it’s generally born out of his fiercely protective streak, and not for the out and out selfish reasons that he drove into Cuddy’s house for. ‘After Hours’ was indeed an excellent episode too and for me should have been the season finale. The direction was great and despite the subject matter it finished on a positive note and hope for change that left room for both Wilson AND Cuddy (as well as little Rachel) in his life. I rewatched ‘Moving On’ recently to see if my opinion of it had changed and if anything it got worse. Aside from anything else I just don’t think it was that well put together and a bit of a waste of a potentially interesting POTW. It just didn’t have the gravitas of a season finale. At this point as well, nothing will convince me that the crash was anything other than offensive, ill thought-out and creatively suicidal. Regarding season 8 I really enjoyed ‘Dead & Buried’. Sapochnik’s direction was great again, and I loved the case and the connection House had with the little boy’s Dad, as well as the fact he acted like a fully rounded, if flawed, human being. There’s been bits of other eps I’ve liked, but generally they’ve fallen flat for me. I’m missing Lisa Edelstein’s presence greatly too, and for me Cuddy’s absence is having an impact on the balance of the show. Generally it’s hacking me off that they don’t currently have a female lead, or indeed a female character over the age of 30 and I’m saying that as a woman in her mid-twenties.

    Interesting discussion about the women in House’s life. I liked Stacy a lot and whilst I do think that House loved her I just don’t think he could trust her not to leave him again, which I actually think he was justified in believing. I totally get her reasons for walking out on him (feeling lonely), but she did do it very soon after the infarction which was the lowest point of his adult life, leaving Wilson and Cuddy to pick up the pieces. It begs the genuine question that had there been another set-back on the level of him going into Mayfield would she have stuck by him? I’m inclined to think she wouldn’t have coped personally. As for what happened with Lydia I think Susan and BrokenLeg have hit the nail on the head. Their relationship could only work when they were divorced from the ‘real world’. I guess it was a bit like a rather bizarre holiday romance: intense, short-lived, but ultimately doomed. There’s no way I could imagine House being comfortable with either bringing up somebody else’s kids when there is a Dad on the scene, or indeed pulling a Mother away from her children. He knows all too well the damage that a disruptive childhood can cause.

    With Cuddy things are a hell of a lot more complicated. It’s too twee an assertion to say she’s the love of his life, but their shared past and their push/pull relationship was always an integral and intriguing part of the show for me, which they never fully dug into even when they were together. Aside from her guilt over the infarction, their mutual respect for each other professionally (which in spite of their banter to the contrary I genuinely do think they shared), and their attraction/affection there was always something else going on that was linked to her wanting to have kids I think. I remember watching ‘Known Unknowns’ and discussing it with a friend afterwards who was convinced that Cuddy’s reaction to House telling her he wanted to see her again after the one night stand in Michigan was because she’d been pregnant and had either lost the baby or had an abortion. I don’t know, but that theory does put a rather interesting spin on Cuddy thanking House at the end of ‘Who’s the Daddy?’ followed by the rather awkward silence where it seems she’s about to ask him to be her sperm donor. It’s always struck me that Cuddy has held something back in relation to House specifically, i.e. she’s always been emotionally drawn to him, but not just for romantic reasons. If she’s capable of concealing a marriage for so long then who knows? House’s reaction to her telling him that she was going to adopt was really interesting too, and left no doubt in my mind that he would have quite happily fathered a child with her either naturally or artificially, almost in spite of himself. Maybe it was about them righting wrongs in their own childhoods, but even through Rachel I feel that the writers missed out on exploring something really important there.

    With the greatest of respect Barbara I just can’t see how Cuddy could have worked with House after what he did, and I suspect ‘Moving On’ was a lot more about the network lessening it’s fees for the series than intending to make any sort of sense in terms of the season’s overarching narrative. What he did was hugely destructive and psychologically damaging for Cuddy, and if I’m honest any sort of quick resolution where she agreed to hire him again would have undermined the gravity of his actions. That said, however, I would like to see her back for the end of the series perhaps as a result of a chance meeting. In my mind the downfall of their relationship wasn’t that he took the Vicodin, or that she just couldn’t deal with him, but more to do with BOTH of their inabilities to be honest and lay themselves open to each other because there was so much at stake. Now that there’s nothing left for them to lose there’s the stimulus for them to be brutally honest with each and for some home truths to be told. I also think that seeing Cuddy face-to-face and realising the emotional damage he would have done could spur to him to get and stay clean once and for all, especially if his personal justification for driving his car into her home was that he was stoned.

    I’m not sure I’m entirely sold on the idea of him either treating Cuddy’s Mum or Rachel, but it’s definitely a possibility. I’d much rather he made some sort of amends through Cuddy herself, whether that means him using his medical expertise to treat her, or something else, but for me I’d like to see him finally man up and pick her up either physically or emotionally in the same way she’s done for him again and again over the years. We glimpsed that he was capable of it at the end of ‘Joy’, and I’d really like to see something as raw as that again. It doesn’t necessarily have to have romantic connotations, but just the sense that he’s prepared to put himself on the line for her emotionally without having to prop himself up with the contents of a pill bottle to do so. Either way, in my mind, there’s going to come a time when he needs her again either as a friend or something more. It could be years in the future, but it will come.

  • Susan

    85 Oversimplified – what a magnificent post. You mentioned some of my favorite episodes – Joy, Who’s Your Daddy, Known Unknowns and left me with a good feeling that maybe we’ll have some reconciliation at the end of this House mess. But do we have to wait for “years in the future”???

    It’s amazing how many people on this blog can put into words what I’m thinking.

  • The Other Barnett

    85 Oversimplified – Outstanding post, but I disagree on a few items.

    * Stacy left House at his lowest moment? I always read the storyline as Stacy was pushed away by House because of his resentment for her choice to follow the middle-ground choice on his leg. House has always pushed her away, no the other way around. House may not trust Stacy, but only because of whatever tortured twisted stuff is going on in his head and heart.

    *Lydia coud always be a rebound relationship. Imagine Lydia deciding that she needed to confront House about how they left the things – and then not being able to resist his baby-blues and then engaging in some kind of adulterous down-low relationship. It would certainly be a challenge for House, but it would also be something of a rehab emotional assignment for him. Certainly dysfunctional, but it could even provide House a humorous opportunity to bond with Foreman (who is “the other man”, too). Maybe it would even allow Dr. Nolan to enter the fray.

    * I don’t see this wonderful quality about Cuddy that everyone else sees. I thinkit is good to bring her back eventually to attain some ype of resolution, but more so for House’ emotional health than any kind of relational healing between the two of them. Your reference to the college trist they had makes me think that maybe Cuddy (who I believe has never been able to fully mature in the field of romance) kept this school-girl longing for House – which was constantly battling with the supposedly adult-liberated Cuddy and the emotionally discarded daughter Cuddy. Maybe that longing is tied to an abortion or a baby put up for adoption from the one-night stand – which only enables the feelings Cuddy has toward House. either way, House and Cuddy should never be again. Cuddy is more harm than good to House.

    I will agree passionately on one thing you shared,The writers have (the last few years) not shown any finesse or class in the development of the stories. Its all over-stylized, shock and awe. This season is, so far, at least better than last year.

  • BrokenLeg

    85 @ Oversimplified

    As 86@Susan I’m impressed by your magnificent post!!Specially about women in GH life analysis, and more than that, in the way you’ve trated the LC-GH past-present-future relationship, that I passionately share ( maybe to me that “years in the future” may only be glimpsed…)
    As said, great post!!!As Susan say: “It’s amazing how many people on this blog can put into words what I’m thinking.” ( about all, women in GH life,favorite episodes,- I must add “Joy”, “Three Stories” &”Help me”,and about feelings regarding “Moving On” that I rewatched too in this hiatus again waiting to find a thin excuse in GH’s behaviour after watching his feelings in “20 Vicodin”, and as you I found it “offensive, ill thought-out and creatively suicidal”, and altough TPTB say, ordered by NBC/FOX to try to justify LE leaving the show, and as a result totally against the narrative coherence of “After hours”

  • maria-eleni

    NOTE: For some reason my previous post was not accepted so the first paragraphs here are a synopsis in case it gets posted eventually.

    @ 71 – Brokenleg

    Thanks ex-fellow sufferer! I am very touched by your concern and happy for you getting back to normal life.
    As for me, well as you know, a broken kneecap is both painful and inconvenient.

    I have been lurking here from time to time but up to now I felt too exhausted to write anything. Your concern however galvanized me to get back to the keyboard. So thanks again!!

    It seems it is the time for long comments! No [H]ouse detoxing in sight. So be warned: I am going to follow the trend.

    @ Barbara Barnett

    As always your articles generate all these interestingly conflicting comments by your readership and provoke me to reexamine some preconceptions I have, either reaffirming or changing them.

    I too miss the “the troubled, introspective genius that has been so much a part of this complex, flawed character” which is why the first 3 seasons are my favourites. So much that I suspect that if I did not watch [H] at one go up to “Bombeshells” and had to wait week after week I might have abandoned the show sometime in Se4.

    I did not find in 2011 H. to be more of a “a plain old jerk” or a “jokey, boorish, flippant House” than previously.
    I have just rewatched Se 4 -5 & 6, and for me Se 4 has just replaced Se5 as least favourite;. Although it has some of the very best episodes it also has the jerkiest, most boorish and buffoonish House of all. To paraphrase BB “yeah, WHAT a jerk, I do NOT get why he’s doing that” just about describes the CIA episode that still makes me cringe, not to forget some of the survivor arc moments.
    Actually I place the buffoonish H. on HL’s shoulders, not so much as being his decision to highlight his comedic talent as the show runners’ wanting to exploit that talent of his to somehow cover the diminishing quality of the storytelling. It also seems to me that the more HL is involved in the creative side the more the show veers to comedy. (I stress this to show that I am impartial in view of what is following). Another strong impression of mine is that the astounding success of [H] took them by surprise and, as it was probably never planned to run for so long, the TPTB never managed to recover. That is another factor that might explain certain stylistic and contextual differences between the first Se 1-2-3 and Se 4-5-6-7 and now Se8.

    I find 2011 H. more “childish” to contrast with “adult” Cuddy (on purpose?) and in Se 8 almost carefree. I agree with BB about H. being less three dimensional, though not in all Se 8 episodes, the reason being that he is out of prison which for an anarchist like H. must have been particularly difficult. I shall add, however, another factor: the literally shattering of his connection with Cuddy that lightened his mood and for which he subsequently atoned by voluntary seeking civic and very public punishment. That must have assuaged part of his guilt.
    Of course DS did promise a more lighthearted Se 8, a mistake that has lost the show a lot of viewers; not everybody is as obsessed as we are.
    It is interesting, though, and I very much like to watch a new side to H.: concerning himself with practicalities, like funding his department, choosing furniture – I love the bar and the martinis -, maliciously babysitting!
    However my Se 8 list of favorites comprises of “20 Vicodin”, “Transplant” and “Dead and Buried” mostly because H. is driven and even quietly emotional. In “Transplant” in particular I appreciated the fast way the two friends got back together, as I do not like repetition. H. was intense, but very contained and simple and Wilson accepts that they are friends because of who they are, not because of what they do. Let’s be as honest as Wilson: life must have been very boring without H. and letting him stew in prison for almost a year, without ever contacting him, shows enough disapproval and punishing estrangement from Wilson.

    As for Foreman, although doubtful at first, I find him a good choice for DoM. He was always the most antagonistic of the fellows and that does create a tension, not the H/C kind but anyway since Se 6-7 that had almost disappeared. Whatever, it works for me, it is refreshing. As for credible realism I think it is too late in the show to quibble about such things!

    Se7- 2011: I belong to the club that liked Se7 as an entity, certainly more than Se 4 or boring Se 6. It had less perfect episodes but more good ones.
    I would exchange “Family Matters” with “Recession Proof”.
    Candice Bergen had little chemistry with Cuddy though lots with H. / HL, so I could not “get” the connection mother/daughter. And my deeply suppressed impression that Cuddy was almost as unethical as H. (law suits and not ethics was her usual mantra) was consolidated. I disliked the stylistically dark and rainy atmosphere as too obvious and tiring. On the other hand chillingly evil H. / HL was excellent so I wonder why his actions in “Moving On” shocked so many people. As any larger-than-Life anti-hero he is capable of more evil – and is more open about it – than good.

    As for “Recession Proof” I empathised with the patient and his wife and liked the interaction between Chase and Masters, one gently guiding and the other starting to understand the nuisances between truth and compassion. There was growth for both, playboy Chase and naively intransigent Masters, which led smoothly to later episodes. I am also morbid and realistic enough to want H. failing and patients dying, so much more drama and introspective H.
    Mostly, I was moved by the last scene and LE’s acting. Just by her expression, she conveyed the realisation (more than any toothbrushes, toilet seats or even vicodin) that House, ready to settle being less than “the most incredible man” for the love of her, was not the House she was wanted and for whom she would accept his other shortcomings. I was pretty sure that by next episode they would separate and at those golden days I knew nothing about spoilers!

    “Bombshells” might have been a favorite for the all-round excellent acting but I found the dreams rather disjointed and disruptive, a failed stylistic ploy for such an emotional episode. For the rest I agree and… I shall not “scold” you, BB, for ‘“Moving On” as I consider it a milestone episode. I loved disliking the Artist for her Art and I finally re-appreciated Foreman and his remarks (as an art historian I am still unsure whether this is real creativity, – without which you cannot have art – and not sensationalism).
    I cannot excuse H.’s action, but I do find it explainable. This is an unstable person and, in a state of post-traumatic mind, he is losing an ally for his saving-face-and-heart theory that mind-is-more-important-than-love, he is having to admit his hurt to Cuddy chivalrously accepting all the blame as the one unsuitable for a relationship and he is probably returning the brush as an olive branch. So to find himself again on the outside of what he had aspired to, a warm scene of family and companionship with the added possibility of younger handsome boyfriend for his ex-love (who had recently denied it)….eh…what would one expect?…he snapped. A perfect setting for a “crime passionel”. Yes, it definitely sounds better in french and being Greek I agree with DS: H. belongs to a greek tragedy –I am greek,trust me- where the protagonists commit patricide, fratricide, infanticide through twisted reasoning or in an inexplicable state of divine madness. For House, I suppose that both apply!

    And the acting was superb. Even in re-watching I get tense and then burst laughing at the brush scene! Yeah, I know, I might be a little immature but then it is a just TV show….mon Dieu, I am still spending hours writing about it! Still it is part of the enjoyment, so… mille-merci Barbara Barnett for creating this space!

  • Oversimplified

    @ 86 Susan

    Thanks. I’m not entirely sure on the ‘years in the future’ front. This is why realistically if the show is going to end either this year or next I’d prefer the situation they use to bring back Cuddy (should it happen) to be a chance encounter, rather than something where she has to come back to him cap in hand asking for his help. Let’s face it what he did to her was despicable, especially after she’d pretty much saved his life a few days before and I really hate the idea of her being in a position where she has to ‘beg’ for House’s help to either save Rachel or her Mum etc. There’s ways and means. Her Mum still lives in the area. They both still work in the same profession. (Well probably).

    @ 87 The Other Barnett

    I was a little unintentionally harsh with Stacy when I didn’t mean to be. You are right, House absolutely did push her away both before and after the infarction and apportioned blame on her for agreeing to the procedure. Whilst I can completely understand why she walked out on him, she still did so at a point when he was at a dangerously low point in terms of his physical and mental health, leaving other people to pick up the pieces. I’m not judging her on that because I know what it’s like to look after someone who isn’t the most pleasant of patients. There’s also the matter of her being capable of cheating on her husband when he was ill. Let’s face it House is never going to be a well man and I could totally see him having thrown that back in her face if/when his health deteriorated. If he’s capable of driving a car through someone’s home when said person isn’t with him anymore and they’re only having coffee with another man, then what’s he capable of if he ‘thinks’ he’s being cheated on?

    With regards to Lydia, please God no more rebound relationships! The ‘Green Card’ marriage was more than I can stand anyway. I’m sure Barbara’s mentioned it before, but House just doesn’t do casual relationships unless it involves the clinicality of him opening his wallet because he doesn’t let people in easily, and for the reasons I’d already mentioned regarding her kids I just can’t see him revisiting that..

    I’m not sure if you misunderstood my thoughts on Cuddy. I’ve always thought she’s spectacularly screwed up, probably on a par with House, but that’s part of the reason why they have the connection that they do. House will never be in an entirely ‘normal’ relationship because he’s drawn to people who are as messed up as he is. Functional bores him to tears and is probably part of what drew him to medicine. The same could be said for Cuddy too. She’s endlessly seeing the bigger picture and he’s all about the fine print, but they are both incredibly idealistic in their own respective ways, often to their detriment. Because of it they both need someone who isn’t intimidated by the other’s standing and is smart enough to call the other one out on their bad habits. Had House not gone to her after she lost Joy and told her to stop giving up on everything it’s debateable whether she’d have had the stomach to adopt Rachel. Likewise had Cuddy not insisted that he connected with his patients and undertook clinic duty etc over the years then he’d have remained woefully adrift from the rest of humanity, which is massively dangerous for someone who’s prone to depression. The issue with their relationship breaking down (aside from the fact that the writers reduced their characters to caricatures and basically used it as a tool to get him back on the Vicodin) wasn’t that they weren’t ‘right for each other’ in my opinion, but that their timing for getting together was spectacularly bad. House was on the verge of a relapse and literally substituted one safety net for another, not dealing at all with the real root of his addiction; whilst Cuddy leapt from one serious relationship into another, still clinging onto this idealized notion of what getting involved with someone ‘should’ mean, which has been handed down from her Mother who’s always privileged Julia with her perfect marriage and umpteen kids. A notion which in reality is never going be enough for her.

    I really don’t think you can reduce her feelings for House to some sort of ‘school girl longing’. If there is any truth to her having been pregnant after they slept together at college then her either losing the baby, or more likely, choosing to have an abortion because she didn’t want to be a single parent at that time and/or to jeopardise her career, which then affected her subsequent fertility, brings with it a whole load of emotional baggage. Not least among it the’ fact that House would have been the father of her first born child, a connection that really can’t be reduced to something juvenile. Just because a woman didn’t give birth to a baby it doesn’t mean that it meant any less to them, or indeed that the relationship with the father wasn’t/isn’t any less meaningful. Even removing that possibility from the equation you don’t put yourself on the line for someone by creating a department for them, jeopardising the career you love by first standing up to the Board and then perjuring yourself, walking away from your fiancé for them, and continually picking them up from rock bottom whilst facing a barrage of their BS without genuinely caring for them. The arguments that their attraction was solely about sexual chemistry, or indeed the even less plausible idea that she was just using him for what he could bring to the hospital make little sense to me. The stakes for her were too high to jeopardise her career and her emotional well-being on a whim. I whole-heartedly disagree that Cuddy is generally bad for him. If she hadn’t been there during his infarction and suggested the operation then he’d in all likelihood be dead. If she hadn’t offered him the distraction of the Diagnostics department he’d have overdosed a long time ago, or been institutionalised for long periods of his life. By the way he pleaded with her to sit in on his operation in ‘After Hours’ it’s clear that he trusts her pretty much with his life, and with the damage he’s done to his body over the years through his pill popping, if this show was going down any sort of realistic route, there’s going to come a time when he needs to rely on someone who isn’t phased by seeing him at his worst and who he trusts implicitly. Wilson might be part of that, but it’s always interested me that almost exclusively he’s gone to Cuddy to help him out with his pain relief etc or anything else to do with his leg when he’s constantly asserted that she’s a ‘crappy doctor’. Is their relationship messy, dysfunctional and imperfect? God yes! I’m not even sure they can make each other completely happy in as much as anybody can, but I do think they are ultimately capable of being there for each other when the proverbial hits the fan in a way that other people can’t, IF they are allowed to evolve as characters and face their demons head on in their time apart. I genuinely think that they’ll be missing out on something pretty important if they don’t find a way to bring Cuddy back. I, for one, would like to see a plausible reason as to why she went from being determined that House wouldn’t set foot near her or in her hospital again, to handing in her notice within the space of a few hours.

    I really wish I could share your enthusiasm about this season. On the whole I’m starting to tire of the procedural aspect of the show, and I haven’t really come across any concrete themes that have really piqued my interest, or that I feel they’ve built on strongly yet. Hopefully this is going to change.

  • Oversimplified

    @ 89 Maria-eleni

    I am genuinely interested as to why you found that scene at the end of ‘Moving On’ funny? I’m not being disrespectful here, and I realise that they were on some level aiming for comedy, but I just don’t understand how an act of violence that involved destroying someone’s home can be perceived as humorous in this day and age when women (and men) are subjected to domestic violence on a daily basis. For sure it may just be a tv show, but everything has a context and popular culture can be influential in normalising behaviour, which is why companies spend ridiculous amounts of money on product placement in order to have their wares associated with a certain show or character. I personally feel that when writers attract such large audiences there’s a great deal of responsibility resting on their shoulders, and portraying violent behaviour towards somebody else as somehow cathartic or indeed comedic is shirking that responsibility, especially when the victim isn’t in a position to defend themself. I’m just interested in your logic on that point.

  • spitza

    90 – Oversimplified
    I couldn’t say it better about the relationship between Cuddy and House. She is probably not ideally “right” for him but definitely “less wrong” than anybody else.

  • The Other Barnett

    Maria-eleni!

    Thanks for the posting….so much to agree with or to be drawn into comment upon…..

    I must be greek, too. While I found the vehicle mating with the house a bit extreme and horrible for a storyline to progress….I was slightly amused, too. But in a “you ripped my heart out, what do you think of this!?” retributional manner. I think the 1st episode this season gave an insight to House’ thinking (or at least his rationalization) on his actions. Heck, he knew he was wrong, that’s why he was in prison “serving penance”. The writers went too far with the car crash, but they certainly left any viewer affected by what they were seeing….and the episode Moving On (I’ve seen it a few more times since May) really progresses nicely to the “House crash”. It does make one think about what art really is, ties into House’ either being true to his “bad-ass damaged, but brilliant” persona or giving something up for happiness/peace. And, though I am not an art expert, I remember an art history professor saying to me that “pushing the boundaries of what we perceive is art….does not always result in art – sometimes its just a restless mind convulsing for the public.”

    I also whole-heartedly agree with your questions or hesitancy to praise “Bombshells”. It had some great pieces to it, but it was just so dis-jointed and so dysfunctionally presented and unfolded. If anyone longs for Huddy again, they should only look at the two episodes leading up to Bombshells and then that episode.It may be the worst “must-see House episode” I’ve ever seen.

    We’ve had some interesting interactions in writing before, M. I am wondering if you could respond to this observation….I actually think House is more healthy emotionally and mentally now than he has ever been in his life. While that is not really high praise (considering his past), it seems to me that he is more self-assured and less artificially angst-ridden than ever. This includes his leaving the loony bin, the romance with Cuddy, the new team (the Kutner,13,Taub crowd)…..any time. What do you think?

    Finally, I also noticed how Oversimplified kinda disagreed with your view of the crash as comedic. This points out something I notice in this whole blog. People who want to invest in the lives that have been created for artistic/entertainm,ent purposes, but not accepting that part of the dramatic presentation of a story cannot be the regular, repetitious astounding day in the life approach. Life progresses and there is a point in dramatic representations, that the viewer has to decide if the show is worth watching because of the show itself or if the characters (not only their entertainment/dramatic value – but their actual tv-created soul/personhood) are really what matters to their viewership and enjoyment. Real life at some point must be divorced from entertainment. Otherwise, professional wrestling would be gone, as would most avenues of the porn industry.

  • Maria-Eleni

    @ 91 – Oversimplified

    “Even in rewatching I get tense and then burst laughing at the brush scene!”

    That is what I wrote: I LAUGH AT THE BRUSH SCENE.
    In fact, even in rewatching, I spent the whole episode hoping against hope that H. would not crash his car (that was the worse spoiler ever) and the whole scene from the moment he stares through the window makes me breathlessly tense. The tension breaks when H., eerily calm and surrounded by dumbfounded, openmouthed, fishlike people, pauses and…just tends a…brush! Sorry, even now I chuckle.

    But this is how I am and, fortunately I think, some other people.
    To explain: I recently broke for the second time the same kneecap by slipping on a pavement at a very frequented spot. For me this was catastrophic; the first few minutes pain was the least of my concerns. I could only think of how n earth I was going to pay for the operation as the excellent private surgeon who did the first one is not covered by public insurance, my non-existent finances (crisis here!), my once just-to-occupy-time-and-mind job which is now vital, my not yet 18y old army conscripted son whom I have to ferry back and forth to the army camp at ungodly hours (too young for driving license but apparently not too young for handling heavy arms and defending his country!), household chores and so on, and on, and on. Then I saw all these people milling around me open mouthed, barely venturing to ask what to do and if am in pain. I burst out laughing……Why?
    1. I always find falling down funny, myself mostly.
    2. I could see the scene from above (it really was funny!).
    3. It is a healthy natural response.
    I remember reading about this years ago: the mind compensates this way to drama or crisis to be able to confront the situation. This is what makes some people impervious to panic and so capable to react in extreme situations – not the laughing specifically but the distancing oneself and so thinking clearly.
    In some people this quality is well developed and very useful.
    I am by no means heroic but I realise this is what makes heroes. The downside of this is that this quality rarely goes with the capability of making everyday decisions which is why heroes usually fail in commonplace situations.

    In a personal level, after laughing I was able to instruct the onlookers to find in my bag the cellphone and call the clinic for an ambulance (I was only capable of holding my leg), to ask for something to sit on (the pavement was wet and cold), and…I shall bore you with the rest.
    More interesting is that I have helped several persons in accidents and most notably saved a friend’s son after a suicide attempt. And…. I have made a mess of my life.

    It may seem as insensitivity to you but I am quite happy to be like this. Being able to distance oneself from tragedy to react practically does not eliminate the feelings of horror or despair. They are just momentarily suppressed and come into full force later on.

    As for domestic violence, I do not see a singular act as such. Domestic violence is repetitive, a way of life. When I had spare time I was involved in charity funding and managing homes for of domestic violence so I have some first hand experience.
    In this case there is an OUTBURST of rage and despair. To repeat:
    89 – maria-eleni: “I cannot excuse H.’s action, but I do find it explainable. This is an unstable person and in his state of post-traumatic mind, losing an ally to his saving-face-and-heart theory that mind-is-more-important-than-love, having to admit his hurt to Cuddy, chivalrously accepting all the blame as the one unsuitable for a relationship, probably returning the brush as an olive branch, to find himself again on the outside of what he had aspired to, a warm scene of family and companionship with the added possibility of younger handsome boyfriend for his ex-lover (who ha d recently denied it)….eh…what would one expect?…he snapped. A perfect setting for a “crime passionel”. It definitely sounds better in french and being Greek I agree with DS: House belongs to a greek tragedy, trust me, where the protagonists commit patricide, fratricide, infanticide through twisted reasoning or in an inexplicable state of divine madness. For House, I suppose that both apply!”
    I forgot regicide!

    “…through twisted reasoning or in an inexplicable state of divine madness.”
    From the first viewing I saw the whole act as the writers apparently intended: That H. aimed at the building and, risks apart, had no intention to physically hurt anybody.
    H. wants to destroy the environment, where he had moments of happiness which he hoped against hope to be able to prolong, now apparently successfully invaded by a seemingly superior replacement. Jealousy, feelings of failure, despair at what his life will be engulf him and the “divine madness” kicks in. But he is H. who by [H] canon has the above described quality to process practicalities in crucial moments so, as he observes the people getting up to leave the room and being privy to Cuddy’s habits, in “twisted reasoning” he plans the destruction of that environment. Of course such an act will psychologically damage Cuddy and at the same time completely eliminate the risk of any type of future relation with her, thus sparing him of more pain. He is evidently a crack driver and so believes he can control the car in case he sees somebody returning to the room. He has always been reckless so he takes the calculated risk. He is not consciously trying to achieve catharsis; it is a by-product that has no part in these calculations and only becomes apparent after the act.

    I see nothing that would shock me and could not tie with the H. I love/hate through 7 seasons at least in the way I perceive him.
    For 7 [H] years (a month for me) I am waiting to see H. explode. But he is always passive/aggressive and only attacks verbally. For such a restless, intensively physical person (glimpses of pre-infraction sportsman) almost never to react in physical violence shows that he consciously suppresses it but also how very repressed he is. He can use no more the usual venues for defusing either his physicality or his rages. He is probably exercising at a gym as he seems quite fit but that is in no way working as long walks or running would. In extreme circumstances all that suppressed violence would eventually burst out, as it did.
    He is also a horrible, egocentric person who expects everyone and everything to revolve around him. Remember the absolutely horrific way he behaved to the Mayfield interns to serve his own agent. I did not see many people being repelled by such a cold blooded act. If one continued to watch [H] after that I see no excuse for being shocked by the car crash.
    But let’s be honest; apart from the tragic Byronic hero aspect, plainly we have been charmed by H. with all the connotations of the word involving magic! I seriously blame HL for this. He has morphed from a charmingly ungainly young man to a dangerous charmer. Finally a French presenter said it to his face after the performance of a song in a backhanded compliment as he said nothing about the song: “vous ?tes un grand charmeur!”. For once he did not react coyly!
    The so called domestic violence is no more to be condemned than the psychological attacks against those poor defenseless people; mental cruelty is as serious as physical. I tend to suspect that the act of violence being aimed against another beloved charmer Cuddy/LE might have something to do with the outcry. On the other hand, the creators of the show have always been mischievously pushing the boundaries to see how far they can go with the character. Maybe now the glass has overflowed and
    the circle of charm has finally broken for many.

    “….portraying violent behaviour towards somebody else as somehow cathartic or indeed comedic is shirking that
    responsibility,”

    Last thing first. I am pretty sure that there was no intention of portraying the crash scene as comedic. My laughing, as I described above, is mostly my own nervous reaction to break the tension which , yes, it is a kind for catharsis but for me, the viewer.
    However, the “brush scene” contains some comedic elements, intentional or not I do not know. Comedy after all is the result of juxtaposition of certain situations and depends on the rendering of the actors which is why natural comedians are rarer than tragedians. In this case the expressions of the victims/actors facing destruction strikes me as more appropriate to comedy than tragedy. They look more surprised than terrified. Then H./Hl’s gesture, spot on, handing over the brush and Cuddy mechanically accepting it….. Oh really I do not know. It might have been failed acting and direction or it might have been intentional. [H] after all is characterised by a mixture of comedic instances in the middle of tragedy. However after rereading the writers interview by BB it is obvious they intended the scene to be purely dramatic.

    As for Catharsis, one is not supposed to act violently or to get oneself in a tragic situation to achieved it. In Drama, Catharsis is what the viewer/reader gets by sharing indirectly the characters’ emotional reactions.
    After all Drama generated through religious reenactments so that the priests at first and the laity later could personally participate in the ‘passions’ of the deities. The Greeks, in their obsession with psyche, wisdom and philosophy, stumbled unknowingly on the subconscious so they transformed these religious enactments (devoted to Dionysus) to Drama (tragedies, satyres and even comedies), an almost civic art form. In Athens and other city-states it was obligatory to participate and for the rich to finance it. The public was supposed to watch those still religious dramas, to get lessons from the lives of the heroes and also to achieve Catharsis, a cleaning of the soul, as part of a religious experience. This way the viewer was supposed to relieve oneself of one’s negative emotions, rage, grief, despair, and so avoid acting them out in real life.
    The dramatic characters, even gods or heroes, ultimately make the wrong choices and so fail. They used to get punished for their crimes but in our “advanced” but definitely more cynical culture, pop or serious, this punishment, if it ever comes, is very indirect. In this I agree with you, 91-Oversimplified; popular shows should ultimately promote ethical values. However to show the good you have to juxtapose it with the bad and its repercussions.
    The criminal car crash is not what might have “cleaned” H. of all the negativity bottled up for years within him. It landed him in prison and made him even more of a pariah. It is the letting out of suppressed feelings that gave him the relief. What should be deduced is not that one should resort to violence to achieve this but that feelings should not be suppressed because one might end up miserable and violent just like H., a most undesirable situation.
    For me, [H] is a cautionary tale; not what to imitate but what to avoid, as are dramas. At the end of the day Gregory House is a failure. The only thing he achieves is solving medical puzzles which as a result saves lives. His professional life is stagnant, he is socially unacceptable, his personal life is in shambles, he has been unable to overcome the infraction and his misery. So one thing that should be deduced from [H] the show is: do not follow H.’s path, avoid his choices. But amidst this disaster of a life and talents wasted, he still tries to survive and in the course of the show makes repeated efforts to find different incentives, to change and improve his life. Well, he still fails but he retries. That is what I love in him and that is what I, at least but I hope others as well, get as a “message”.

  • BrokenLeg

    89&94 @ maria eleni

    Great to hear you again!!(altough I do not share a word of your “Moving On” analysis) As an ex-fellow sufferer of the same kne damage, I send you great doses of patience and courage to your recovering time. And please, let me know about how are you doing from time to time!And yes,full of physical pain, I’ve laughted with the ER doctor too the day of my motorbike crash ( by the way, a handsome and full of humor sense young man), when I was only worried by my new trousers to be fully destroyed by doc’s scisors in the ER room,and, with that, for a moment been able to forget both the pain and future hard times to come)Unconscious wisdom of the human nature!!

    90 @ Oversimplified
    I share 91@Spitza words!! An fully share your analysis of [H] the series, its seasons, GH-LC, etc..Exactly my thoughts ( but much better articulated..)

  • Maria-Eleni

    @ 95 – Brokenleg

    It is great to be back for me too, although all this writing is soooo time consuming. Well, I guess I had a lot of suppressed thoughts that needed to come out.

    As for my news, here is the rest of my post that was rejected!
    This time several circumstances made my situation less difficult than the first. Strangely enough the first break rendered the knitted bone harder so it broke in less pieces and appears to be healing faster. The previous time I was also very depressed (divorce, loss of my mother, job dissatisfaction) which made every thing seem worse.
    This time I had to go back to work a week after the operation as we had a lot of deadlines to meet: civic projects cannot be delayed . Apart from the pain and discomfort (I had to be carried around by my colleagues!) interacting with people and occupying my mind helped immensely. I also found I was indispensable which boosted my ego no end.
    The downside is that I come back home unable to do anything but lie down, watch DVDs (films and inevitably… H]ouseMD) and passively surf the internet.
    I have been lurking here from time to time but up to now I felt too exhausted to write anything. Your concern however galvanized me to get back to the keyboard. So thanks again!!

    Yes, we have always disagreed, but then this is how we have started communicating. And where would humanity be without diversity of ideas?
    Be prepared for more disagreement in my next post which I have not finished yet!

  • Maria-Eleni

    @ 93 – The Other Barnett

    Thanks for the support and …hey…I do accept your offer of marriage made in the summer!!!!

    “…….House is more healthy emotionally and mentally now than he has ever been in his life.”
    I absolutely agree.
    1. He has freed himself (granted in a most reprehensible way) from the bondage with Cuddy/Vicodin.
    2. He recognised his wrong-doing and legally punished himself at the same time offering a very public mea-culpa, so he has minimized his guilt.
    3. During his incarceration he comes to accept that he is a pariah “there is a reason we are locked away from nice normal people” and so frees himself from fruitless efforts (usually pushed by the well-meaning Wilson) to integrate.
    4. He also realizes in a crucial moment of his existence that what drives him is not just “solving the puzzle”; he could have abandoned the sick prisoner’s case and moved on to solve nature’s greatest puzzle. But no, what really drives him is solving the puzzle that would save a life even if in serious detriment of his own life.

    All these probably improved his self image which is a major step in “getting better”. Definitely compulsive love affairs are not.

    And on the subject of compulsive love affairs……and the love of H.’s life, here I find myself going with
    58 – ann uk
    “I still rather fancy Lydia as his true lover. She met him at his lowest and she LIKED him, which I don’t think Cuddy ever did. And he responded to her trustingly and without his usual doubts.”

    Although I do not buy a lot the “true love” or ‘love of one’s life” as I believe that is or should be the current love, in H.’s case I do think, brief though it was, Lydia is the one who touched him the most; “she changed me”. For a character and a show that act on the premise that H. cannot change I find this statement very significant and poignant.
    Sometimes summer romances can leave very deep impressions, possibly due to the fact that there is no tomorrow to dispel the magic. They have a purity and intensity not deluded by the corrosion of everyday life.
    Nonetheless, Lydia strikes me as kind of female Wilson. Very devoted to a friend who is above the husband, ready to participate in and be amused by H.’s escapades, needing to be needed, being attracted by a sick person. In a way she is for H. what Amber/House was for Wilson. Adding her musicality to the mixture, I find her the best match for H.
    He must also have been touched by her trust which he returned and her willingness to erotically connect with him in his present state. More unkept than ever, an interned mental patient and no halo of the genius miracle worker he carries around him in his milieu. She is also softer and ready to admit to weakness and failure, something that neither Stacy or Cuddy are. On the contrary both were prone to try and dominate H. But she is married, has children, and a friend to whom she is devoted. Very honorably she abandons H. Does anybody think that it would have worked if she broke up her family to be with H.? He knew it was doomed from the start and he tried to escape to avoid the pain of the break-up. When he got the courage to love her, he also accepted the inevitable pain and because the break-up had to do with external circumstances and not his shortcomings he was able to bear it. And I must admit, that for me, the chair (!) sex was the most emotionally charged erotic moment of the series.
    Do I want Lydia to reappear? Maybe, in a fleeting chance meeting just to pull H.’s heartstrings and mine vicariously. But not permanently; I do not want her family to suffer for H.

    After Lydia H. was in state of mind and heart that helped him open up to the possibility of a relationship with Cuddy. She unfortunately did not have certain of the qualities Lydia had, compassion, acceptance of abnormality, forbearance. I lost Cuddy (and my Huddiness) by the end of Se5 when she could not discern the turmoil H. was suffering and when, after his realisation of his state, she “delivered” him through half the hospital to Wilson’s office instead of calling Wilson to come to her office. Further more, in Se6 I found she was repelled by the idea of the mentally sick H. which is my explanation as to why she protected herself with a relationship with Lucas. I do not doubt her love for H. but I question the foundations of it: sexual attraction, admiration of his abilities and the added spice of the struggle for dominion, plus (horror of horrors for a sane coupling) guilt and an outlet for her mothering instincts. Almost the same applies for House only for him guilt comes from his despicable behaviour towards her and he is the receptor of the mothering. They were too similar in all the wrong elements.
    As 85 – Oversimplified puts it “…..the downfall of their relationship… (had)… to do with BOTH of their inabilities to be honest and lay themselves open to each other because there was so much at stake.”
    By the end of it I wanted them to get together just to get over it and to see the dramatic consequences of the break up. My wish was more than fulfilled!
    I do not want Cuddy back. It will be forced. Closure? H. gave it in a horrifically definite way. To have H. grovel for forgiveness? No thanks! He punished himself voluntarily, fittingly and very publicly. To discuss who failed in their relationship? Both, and they (and we) know why. At least they did not analyse it ad nauseam as we do. No enough is enough, For various reasons Cuddy is no more part of the show, let’s move on.

    However H. has one point in his favour: he had had a long term relationship which only broke under very difficult circumstances. On the other hand, Cuddy, apart from Lucas, is known to have been unable to sustain a relationship.
    Which of course brings me to Stacy. She is my personal favorite, as a type, for her poise and looks, her quiet professionalism, her directness and decisiveness, but mostly for her ability to love two men at the same time. Ethics apart, these qualities and the decisions she was obliged to take (on behalf of the men she loved) in a unhesitant way confer to her the status of a 19th century literary heroine at a par with Byronic House. They must have been a striking couple. Her emotional strengths evidently opened up the repressed H. and having her as his mate must have given him an enormous boost against his insecurities. On the other hand, they are both enormous egotists; that must have been a very intense and explosive relationship. If nothing catastrophic happened they would probably have managed to stay together, not a very happy life but interesting.
    After all that happened to H. he must over Stacy by now. So I can see her returning in his life but as a friend,

    85 – Oversimplified poses an astute question: would Stacy have stuck with House in Mayfield? Possibly not, but after the infraction it is House who pushed her away. Cuddy definitely abandoned the idea of House as a lover after Mayfield. Only Lydia, in view of her history, might have had the character to stay with a mentally ill H.

  • spitza

    97 – Maria-Eleni
    “Cuddy definitely abandoned the idea of House as a lover after Mayfield.”
    I don’t agree with you. She came to his place when he returned and tried to talk to him about their relationship. H was in his cooking stage at the time and wasn’t ready to discuss it. He was trying to move on. By the time he was ready, Cuddy moved on (or at least she tried).

  • Maria-Eleni

    @ 98 – spitza

    Well, and did she not?
    From her point of view, she was justified.

    Let us interpret the result of that conversation in your way:
    Cuddy decided to “move on” only after she read in H.’s words and his decision to leave the hospital that he was “moving on” away from her.
    But if we add to it what happened in “Known Unknowns” and how she behaved afterwards, then I am even more correct:
    H., in a rather delicate and tender way, reveals his feelings for her by going back to their past. He clearly had not “moved on”. She runs away and later she tells Wilson that now she has a child and H. is an undesirable partner. Next day Lucas makes his appearance.
    If, as you put it she “moved on” with Lucas because she got the impression that H. had “moved on” then, as soon as he made his interest clear, she should have broken up honestly with Lucas to prepare for a relationship with H.. But no, she kept on with Lucas and behaved gradually more insensitively and cruelly with H.. After all the man had just come out from a mental institution after the horrific experience of losing his mind, and was trying to improve. He was in need of some support and consideration.
    It is clear that she considers H. to be an undesirable man in her personal life and his being mentally ill clinched her opinion. She is repelled by the weaknesses of H. and his mental break up is certainly a major weakness. Yet she is still in love with H. and that is her way of blocking her feelings and distancing herself from him.
    I use the word “repelled” on purpose. As I have expanded in my previous posts here, she loves the “heroic” H. but she does not comprehend or empathise with the inner turmoil and demons H. lives with that, together with his genius, define him.
    In some way, I believe the same applies to the latest bashing of H. after the car crash: the realisation that the “heroic” aspect of H. might not be enough to excuse his “badness”.

    My interpretation of her freaking out in “Known Unknowns” is that she had a vision of lost happiness, of what might have been if life had taken a different course. Not only of a vision of the lost opportunity of a love affair with young H. but also of a vision of a H. without the consequences of the infraction.
    Early in the series, H. described her as being able to see what is apparent and how it should be but not what is in between, the grey areas, which is what makes good at her job.
    She is always recognising his medical superiority and at the same time denigrating his personal life and choices. Remember their very first conversation? House says “I am going home”, “to what” is Cuddy’s reply that clearly hurt H.. In view of the way the past was revealed I found her, in retrospect, insensitinve.
    Contrary to many, I do not consider Cuddy’s character to have been altered for the worse. It was sketched out from the first episodes as well as her imaging of H.. but really filled out when Cuddy came to the fore in the latest seasons.
    I do not blame her in not avoiding an affair with H.. I would probably behave in the same way. But I do find her unsympathetic to H. problems. She does support him professionally ( with a self-serving note there, as she considers him a feather in her cap) but, even though she worries and meddles, she does not show warm tenderness or when H. is at his lowest. We only got to see this in H. hallucinations that shows how much he needs this.

    In case I sound too “antiCuddy”, let me make it clear that from all the [H] characters I am most similar to her. But then, I do not much like myself.

  • spitza

    #99 – Maria-Eleni
    “She is repelled by the weaknesses of H. and his mental break up is certainly a major weakness.”

    I am not sure I agree with you though there is some truth to that. I think that the main problem with Cuddy is that she actually doesn’t want to see that House is ill. Most often she treats him as an absolutely healthy person. She looks at all his actions as the result of certain personality. It’s almost like in her mind she blocks the fact that some of H actions are drug induced or influenced by the constant pain.

  • maria-eleni

    @ 100 – spitza

    Well yes, “she actually doesn’t want to see that House is ill”.
    Mind I do not say she is repelled by House but by that aspect of his. Probably because it negates this image she has of the “worthy” House and so would make her love for him dubious.

  • spitza

    #101 – maria-eleni

    Well…Love comes in all shapes and forms. I still think Cuddy loved House (the way she could, and she knows she failed him, and she said so herself talking to Wilson) but she is not Jeanne d’Arc type, never was. She didn’t love him enough to stay with him the way he was (who can blame her, I, for one, can’t). She thought that she could do it but failed. She always knew she shouldn’t have been involved with him, said so on many occasions. You can love someone but not to be able to be with them, it’s not that unusual. It’s just self preservation because those who we love can hurt us the most.

    One still shouldn’t push those who are in love with them away altogether (driiving through their dining room or otherwise). There are never too many of them in our lives. And I am sure House regrets it.

  • maria-eleni

    @ 102 – spitza

    So true! It was doomed because of who they were.

    That said and although I have behaved in similar circumstances like Cuddy (so I definitely do not blame her), I feel more sympathy for House. It might be because of acting/directing but apart from the break-up moment of “Bombshells” Cuddy became shrewish to me. I could feel no regrets or pain in her tone and facial expressions when she had that first conversation with Wilson in OOTC ending with “ But this isn’t about what he deserves. When things go wrong, I don’t want to hope that I’m not alone. I want to know it. With House… every time I needed him to step up… He’s just never gonna be that. It’s not his fault. It’s who he is. I should have known it. This is my fault.”
    I could only feel antipathy for her egocentricity and exasperation for her spoiled naivety that the person who will be there when needed is by default the man in your life! More often than not, it is the women who support their men, or their friends.
    And I also find that, for a so-called superwoman, Cuddy was a betrayer to all of us, who finding ourselves alone to raise families, do not spend our lives thinking we are entitled to a supportive man. We have to fend alone and more or less succeed.
    House is, of course, immensely egocentric, childish, malicious but he had one quality above Cuddy in their relationship. He was actively trying to make it succeed by going beyond himself. Cuddy, on the other hand, was trying for the same success, not by compromising herself, but by pushing House to make the necessary adjustments. In a way she was doing that as a reformed House would justify her caving in to loving him, which of course beats the purpose.

    However I disagree with you in one thing. House did lots of stupid things to hurt Cuddy back (he was always vindictive) but afterwards he came to his senses and actively tried to bring things to a pre- Huddy status quo. Hence his last, fateful gesture to return the brush. So he did not want to push Cuddy out of his life.
    The car crash, I endlessly maintain, was the IRRATIONAL, unforgivable result of the explosion of suppressed negative feelings. He was hitting at Cuddy but the same time at himself. I believe he deeply regretted the violence (for which he sought punishment) but not the complete estrangement. He probably feels Cuddy to be the cause of this weakness, not blaming her, just that her existence caused him to do something so criminally extreme, and so would not want to meet her again.

  • spitza

    #103 – maria-eleni

    “And I also find that, for a so-called superwoman, Cuddy was a betrayer to all of us, who finding ourselves alone to raise families, do not spend our lives thinking we are entitled to a supportive man. We have to fend alone and more or less succeed.”

    I am not sure I follow your point. That’s exactly what she chose – to be alone. She snapped, she just couldn’t take it anymore. Too much pressure. She didn’t exactly leave House for another man. She just left.

    “House is, of course, immensely egocentric, childish, malicious but he had one quality above Cuddy in their relationship. He was actively trying to make it succeed by going beyond himself. Cuddy, on the other hand, was trying for the same success, not by compromising herself, but by pushing House to make the necessary adjustments.”

    I don’t understand why everybody assumes that she didn’t try hard for this relationship to work. I don’t see any indication of this really. My mom was the head of the hospital and she adopted me and brought me up alone. In her case it was a lot easier because my grandmother lived with us and supported her (cooked, picked me up from school, did homework with me and so on – took care of me and my mom at home). My grandmother also supported her morally because she really loved her (Cuddy doesn’t even have that). And let me tell you, running a hospital is not easy. She used to come home after work half dead. It’s almost never 9 to 5 and takes a colossal amount of energy. I could go on an on about it but I think you got my drift.

    Now, imagine, Cuddy’s strength was already stretched by all this pretty much to the limit and on the top of this she is now trying to take care of House not just at work (this alone is a full time job) but also at home – she cooks for him, and cleans after him and what-not on every day basis with no help whatsoever. He takes it all for granted. This alone is a big adjustment, I would say. It might sound ridiculous but all these small things take time and effort. It’s like adopting another child – a difficult teenager. All his shenanigans at work also hurt a lot more now than they used to because she is more vulnerable. It’s also a lot more difficult for her now to defend his actions before the colleagues because she is defending her boyfriend. Their relationship lasted almost a year and you are telling me that she was not trying. Oh, come on…

    “Hence his last, fateful gesture to return the brush. So he did not want to push Cuddy out of his life.”

    I didn’t mean he deliberately pushed her out of his life. I agree it was totally irrational. The amount of drugs he took during those couple of days didn’t help either. What do you expect? I meant he regrets that it all went this way. As you said “he actively tried to bring things to a pre- Huddy status quo” and I agree with you. He still could have her as some kind of a friend, one more person who cares. And remember he doesn’t like changes. I bet it’s actually very difficult for him not to have her around though a relieve too at the same time (considering the car crash). Nothing is ever simple, is it?

    I actually liked season 7 and didn’t find anybody so out of character. The only thing I find out of character is the fact that Cuddy left the hospital. But then again, they couldn’t help it, I guess.

  • maria-eleni

    @ 104 – spitza

    I appreciate the fact that you continue our discussion.
    It is very interesting that your personal life is parallel to Rachel & Cuddy.

    You and your mother were lucky to have a supportive person in your life. I wish I did as well, but, just after I divorced, I had to face my mother’s loss from pancreatic cancer and take care of my father who in his 80s, although fully functional, was unable to help with my son.
    Cuddy however has financial resorts she should be using.
    “she cooks for him, and cleans after him and what-not on every day basis with no help whatsoever.”
    Why not use her hard earned income, instead of micromanaging at home? She could definitely have a full time housekeeper/nanny so as to use this extra time for her daughter and also to avoid the inevitable conflict with H.. Still H. got the message and tried. Eventually he did become supportive, in his own way, where Rachel was concerned. In “After Hours” it becomes evident that he spent enough time babysitting alone with Rachel for her to learn “pirate talk”.
    Of course H. is an overgrown difficult child and of course Cuddy knew it so she correctly hesitated to get involved with him. But from the moment she took the big step she should have accepted the limitations in her life, if she loved him enough as a whole being and not just the “genius”. This is what she did not TRY to do, accept who H. is. It is not as if she had the big revelation of his shortcomings (which is what led me to divorce.)
    Her problem was not in the everyday life where H. more or less forced himself to comply. It was his inability to face her loss and overcome his fears, whereas she was unable to face his weaknesses.
    That is why I say that a lot of us have to go through life without this support. When I got divorced, although devastated, I had to support my mother who hated the whole situation and my ex-husband (!) to overcome his guilt. Only my friends helped me.
    I would have expected Cuddy, the successful superwoman who apparently inspired so many fans, to have been able to, if not support, at least tolerate H.’s shortcomings in her superiority. So I feel betrayed.

    “I bet it’s actually very difficult for him not to have her around though a relieve too at the same time (considering the car crash). Nothing is ever simple, is it?”
    Exactly how I feel.
    I like the fact that we find points of agreement!

  • maria-eleni

    • 104 – spitza

    I do not find Cuddy leaving the Hospital so OC.
    1. After such devastating happenings it would be difficult to reprise her life without everyday reminders. H. was for years a major part of her life and hospital life and he willfully wrecked their connection.
    2. She is socially conscious. She probably felt unable to face her employees and donors after such a crashing failure (pun!), and loss of judgement.

    Actually I believe something of the kind might have been planned by TPTB which is why LE was led to quit.

  • spitza

    #105 – maria-eleni

    “This is what she did not TRY to do, accept who H. is. It is not as if she had the big revelation of his shortcomings”

    Now I see where we disagree. I think that she tried and failed and you think that she didn’t try.

    I think that she thought that she can live with his “shortcomings”, that everything that she loved about him would make her accept him the way he was, but she couldn’t. After the events in “Bombshells” she realized that she can’t. You know how we sometimes hope that what we suspect about the other person is not actually true, and we hope that they are ultimately better than that, and that they are not there for us in small unimportant things but when it’s really important they will be there for us and all that… And then something “really important” happens and we just realize that all of it was wishful thinking. And more than that – we realize that we can’t accept it …

    I somehow have a feeling that you can relate to this.

    “I would have expected Cuddy, the successful superwoman who apparently inspired so many fans, to have been able to, if not support, at least tolerate H.’s shortcomings in her superiority.”

    I don’t think that she inspired so many fans by being a superwoman. Actually I think that she is totally screwed but she is still one of my favourite characters (I might be an exception here given my background). I think that she has so many fans mostly because LE did a wonderful job portraying her and also because people can relate to her with all her imperfections.

    “So I feel betrayed.”

    You feel betrayed because you thought that she was stronger and better than this?

    Why do I have a feeling that we lingered after some kind of gathering and now are chatting in an empty hall? I am Russian by the way, to give you some additional point of reference.

  • spitza

    #106 – maria-eleni

    “Actually I believe something of the kind might have been planned by TPTB which is why LE was led to quit.”

    I was wondering about it. Totally possible. I think we will never know why LE actually left. Something happened. I don’t think it was planned though. It was abrupt and negotiations are never that abrupt without a good reason.

    I still think that it was OOC for Cuddy. She was always confident enough to be able to face her employees and donors and continue running the hospital that meant so much to her. Let’s disagree on that.

  • maria-eleni

    @ 107 – spitza

    Hallway discussions! I love them; I am always the last to leave because they can be the most interesting.
    I am Greek, living in Limassol, Cyprus where we have lots of Russians. I always maintain to my friends that Russians elevated our standards of living. My favorite uncle was a Russian émigré, so I have half Russian relatives. And finally I grew up on Russian literature mainly Tolstoy, Russian classical music and Russian ballets! Forgot Russian Art: Kandinsky is my absolute love between painters. Vodka! only second to red wine
    Maybe that is why we are in the hallway!

    Even though I partly blame Cuddy for the overall failure of their affair I do not blame her for breaking-up but. After all I did the same. It actually happened as you describe it: “You know how we sometimes hope that what we suspect about the other person is not actually true…” But I least I tried for a time to overcome and endure what was revealed later in my marriage, I did not abandon as soon as my worst premonitions came to the fore. At the end I failed of course.

    We evidently disagree on the following:
    I did not feel her pain for the break-up or anxiety for H. who she admits she hurt. It may of course be the way she was portrayed either by acting and/or directing. I found that LE failed to portray pain, tenderness and empathy towards the weakest, in general all the subtler feelings, which HL spoiled us by rendering in a heartbreaking way occasionally. She was at her best as the feisty, efficient, sexy administrator who could give back what she got, specifically to H. Her interactions with the baby also left a lot to be desired especially when I compare the way PJ (Taub) is acting. She has no small gestures like touching the head or even looking directly and tenderly at the child…She usually holds Rachel with their torsos held apart and her head turned away. And I have repeatedly watched the series (addiction, addiction!!)

    As for the fans, I fell by chance in some sites where you would suppose that Cuddy is the perfect example of successful womanhood to imitate. For me, as most of the characters in [H], she represents what to try and avoid. I suspect what captivated some fans is LE’s lively personality.

    So, no, I do not feel betrayed because she was not stronger or better, but because she was advertised as such.
    After all H., in my view at least, is partly redeemed because he accepts he is screwed-up and tries to improve and although he fails, he starts again however ineptly.
    Cuddy, on the other hand, although it is admitted that she never achieved a long standing relationship (Lucas was used as a must for a single mother and to shield from H.) and has a problem mother, does not come out to say “we are both screwed-up, we are both at fault”. She tells Wilson it was her fault but her meaning is in starting the relationship not in how it developed or who they BOTH are (“It’s not his fault. It’s who he is. I should have known it. This is my fault”). So what is at fault is only H.’s character as if she is blameless and did everything correctly?
    Even when she wants to “talk” and H. admits his hurt she is just “sorry”. She misses to say I hurt too, she is only pitying H. not sharing (again acting? directing?). When H. takes all the blame she does not hold him back to say “no, we are both at fault”. She finds absolution and prepares to moves on to the next Man. Would you have done the same? I did not but then I am the worse example for moving on.

    Of course I am talking about Cuddy and how the character was written and interpreted, which I actually find quite believable because it is imperfect.

  • spitza

    # – 109 – maria-eleni

    “We evidently disagree on the following:
    I did not feel her pain for the break-up or anxiety for H. who she admits she hurt. It may of course be the way she was portrayed either by acting and/or directing. I found that LE failed to portray pain, tenderness and empathy towards the weakest, in general all the subtler feelings, which HL spoiled us by rendering in a heartbreaking way occasionally. She was at her best as the feisty, efficient, sexy administrator who could give back what she got, specifically to H. Her interactions with the baby also left a lot to be desired especially when I compare the way PJ (Taub) is acting. She has no small gestures like touching the head or even looking directly and tenderly at the child…She usually holds Rachel with their torsos held apart and her head turned away. And I have repeatedly watched the series (addiction, addiction!!)”

    There are different types of “strong”. Most women are typically more flexible than men. That makes them better at tolerating all kind of crap (or pain) for longer time periods. They also usually show more compassion than men. And that’s why you are a lot more likely to get the support you need from a woman friend than from a guy next to you. Cuddy is a different type of strong. She is strong enough to run a hospital. It’s an entirely different story and personality. There are not so many of those. In fact I only met two women who were really good at it. And as a child I saw quite a number of women who actually did run hospitals due to my mom being one of them. I think that LE did a fantastic job portraying a successful hospital administrator (character wise, we are not talking about some unrealistic details). Those people are not really good at showing tenderness. They are not so good at small gestures either. In fact they generally avoid showing their deep feelings because it would make them vulnerable and they can’t afford it. Overall the expression “made of steel” comes to mind. They are usually unsuccessful in their personal life – not enough energy left for family or just not flexible enough. The great thing about this type of women is though that if you are their friend or family they ultimately are going to be there for you (in a big way, not small gestures). Like “put themselves on the line for someone by creating a department for them, jeopardising the career they love by first standing up to the Board and then perjuring themselves, and continually picking them up from rock bottom whilst facing a barrage of their BS”. Not everybody can do that. The only two things that they can’t take are betrayal and genuine disrespect. That’s where they draw the line. Cuddy saw GH’s actions in Bomshells as a betrayal. Whether we agree with it or not is irrelevant.

    “As for the fans, I fell by chance in some sites where you would suppose that Cuddy is the perfect example of successful womanhood to imitate. For me, as most of the characters in [H], she represents what to try and avoid. I suspect what captivated some fans is LE’s lively personality.”

    I totally agree with you on this one. Relax though, not everybody can be a screwed up hospital administrator. You need to be born like that.

    “Cuddy, on the other hand, although it is admitted that she never achieved a long standing relationship (Lucas was used as a must for a single mother and to shield from H.) and has a problem mother, does not come out to say “we are both screwed-up, we are both at fault”. She tells Wilson it was her fault but her meaning is in starting the relationship not in how it developed or who they BOTH are (“It’s not his fault. It’s who he is. I should have known it. This is my fault”). So what is at fault is only H.’s character as if she is blameless and did everything correctly?”

    The reason she broke up their relationship was GH’s betrayal (the way she saw it anyway, as I said whether we agree or not is irrelevant). And for once it actually wasn’t her fault (the betrayal I mean).

    Even when she wants to “talk” and H. admits his hurt she is just “sorry”. She misses to say I hurt too, she is only pitying H. not sharing (again acting? directing?).

    She broke up with him, not the other way around, so it’s not her place to say that she is hurt too. And anyway as she said “you can’t go backwards”. If anything I would say it wasn’t a clean enough break-up. The only thing all this “caring” would do is just create a false hope in House that they can be together again and more frustration when he would realize that it’s not true.

    When H. takes all the blame she does not hold him back to say “no, we are both at fault”. She finds absolution and prepares to moves on to the next Man. Would you have done the same? I did not but then I am the worse example for moving on.

    I don’t see it this way. I don’t think she found absolution and that’s the reason she decided to meet the guy. I just think that she didn’t want to go backwards so she decided to break the circle and move forward. House said he wants to go to pre Huddy relationship, didn’t he?

  • maria-eleni

    @110 – spitza
    I believe now we have moved to a coffee shop. Hallways are so uncomfortable!
    I completely agree with your analysis of the “strong woman”. I have met a few in my life, and in a way I am one also.
    “The great thing about this type of women is though that if you are their friend or family they ultimately are going to be there for you (in a big way, not small gestures)” So true!
    One thing however: unless they are counterbalanced by a softer constant presence in their lives (husband/lover/partner, relative, friend) they do not make good mothers. They tend to care more for the practical and social aspects of motherhood and less for the emotional needs of the child. This is actually a description of Cuddy-mother.
    Speaking of myself, I decided to abandon a career (which I reprised lately) to concentrate more on those emotional needs which I had to do consciously as it did not come naturally to me. Two CEO friends of mine have excellently supportive husbands and that is how they brought up well-balanced children.

    “The only two things that they can’t take are betrayal and genuine disrespect.” I agree a very typical characteristic of the “strong woman” which unfortunately springs from their insecurities. Everybody is betrayed in their lives and, by definition, by loved or trusted ones: otherwise it would not be a betrayal.

    Why do you say: “Whether we agree with it or not is irrelevant.”
    I believe it is very relevant because it highlights how we see the breakup. It possibly illustrates in the most complete way where we disagree. It shows how every viewer, possibly drawing from one’s personal experiences, perceives the characters through their actions and so empathises or “antipathises”.

    You see, I do not find any betrayal from H. to Cuddy during her crisis. That happened when he lied. Here there is negligence because of his inability to overcome his fears and pains to stand by his loved one. The only way to do that was Vicodin to numb these feelings. Cuddy, on the other hand, acknowledged that he would find it difficult but she believed he would eventually find the strength. She is still having the heroic image of H. in “Help me”. But H. can overcome himself in crises where he can act by using intellect & body as heroes usually do. They also famously fail when they have to stand by and endure incapable of reacting. The only thing H. was able to do was “sacrifice” his abstinence to be able to stand by Cuddy. “Heroic” action of a weak man. And Cuddy abhors “weak House”
    Add to this the declaration of H. that he would sacrifice his professional excellence for Cuddy’s love, in “Recession Proof”, and H. falls of the pedestal. All the qualities she loved him for take second place to his weaknesses and inabilities.
    …….I circled back to where we started: 100 – spitza, #99 – Maria-Eleni
    “She is repelled by the weaknesses of H. and his mental break up is certainly a major weakness.”
    Needless to say I see everything through GH’s eyes. So I feel he was the one betrayed: She declares her love, calling him the most incredible man, and most importantly that she does not want him to change. Well, she deluded herself and misled GH.

    I do agree she cannot go backwards. Actually, as I do not blame her for the break-up (she made a mistake, she did well to correct it) neither do I blame her for wanting to move on after finding absolution.
    But the whole setup shows that she is shallow. Is she not the one who told H. that being together means sharing the misery?
    After the breakup she is more motivated by guilt than by lost love. And GH is a weak person who needs the validation of being loved to move on. She did not offer this to him, not even as a parting gift. If he could feel a reflection of his own pain in Cuddy he would have found it easier to overcome his situation. That is what he was trying to reveal in Cuddy with all those shenanigans that culminated in the green card marriage. He calmed down after that when for once he saw her hurt.But only that one time.
    This reciprocated love is what he saw in Stacy & Lydia and so was able to let them go. It did not diminish him the way he was diminished by being “dumped” for his weaknesses and so shown he was not unconditionally loved. He needs that; it is shown also in the way he behaves with Wilson.

  • spitza

    #111 maria-eleni

    “I believe now we have moved to a coffee shop. Hallways are so uncomfortable!”

    Let it be at your place. It’s kind of cold and unpleasant right now here in Michigan.

    “Why do you say: “Whether we agree with it or not is irrelevant.””

    I meant in the discussion if the character is realistically written / portrayed by LE.

    “I do not find any betrayal from H. to Cuddy during her crisis.”

    Of course it’s the most controversial part of the plot as it’s a grey area.

    I think her point of view was that he wasn’t really there for her. “Not really”. Let’s say for the sake of the argument that she actually were dying. In the situation like this she would have needed all the support she could get. How does it help on top of worrying for her life, her child, even the hospital probably, in her case, also to worry about House who is back on Vicodin? This way she wouldn’t be able to really rely on him. Not that she ever could before anyway (not sure thing I mean, she could hope). Supporting her in this way he would make the overall situation even worse for her (looking at the big picture here, which strong women like Cuddy tend to do). It’s a valid point of view. I don’t think it makes her “shallow”.

    “Add to this the declaration of H. that he would sacrifice his professional excellence for Cuddy’s love, in “Recession Proof”, and H. falls of the pedestal.”

    I understand it differently. I think it’s still about him being there for her. Probably wasn’t as important for her as when she thought that she was dying but still important enough. And Cuddy told H that it’s important for her that he is there. She does have a reputation to think about which is already ruined enough by her choice of a boyfriend. I think she wanted him to show her colleagues that she is important to him. Again she hoped (couldn’t even be sure of that). She didn’t get the support she needed and she ended up worrying about him the whole event. Then he shows up drunk and tells her that she made him a crappy doctor (read “she ruined the only thing that was important to him”). How on earth was it supposed to make her happy? It’s still all about him. No sorry, no nothing.

    “Needless to say I see everything through GH’s eyes. So I feel he was the one betrayed: She declares her love, calling him the most incredible man, and most importantly that she does not want him to change. Well, she deluded herself and misled GH.”

    And she is sorry for this. She saw him being there for this girl and acted on it. She wanted to believe that he is capable of being there for her. After all she does love him. And of course I am trying to present Cuddy’s point of view (the way I understand it anyway). And the truth is as usual somewhere in the middle.

    “After the breakup she is more motivated by guilt than by lost love. And GH is a weak person who needs the validation of being loved to move on. She did not offer this to him, not even as a parting gift. If he could feel a reflection of his own pain in Cuddy he would have found it easier to overcome his situation. That is what he was trying to reveal in Cuddy with all those shenanigans that culminated in the green card marriage. He calmed down after that when for once he saw her hurt. But only that one time.”

    Again, she is not big on showing her feelings (House is smart, he knows that) and we do know that she is hurt too. Not showing him that she still loves him is a part of not going backwards IMO.

    “This reciprocated love is what he saw in Stacy & Lydia and so was able to let them go. It did not diminish him the way he was diminished by being “dumped” for his weaknesses and so shown he was not unconditionally loved. He needs that; it is shown also in the way he behaves with Wilson.”

    Neither Stacy nor Lydia thought that he betrayed them and they still left him. You can’t compare them with Cuddy. All three are totally different situations and relationships. I still mountain that if H were able to be there for Cuddy (the way she understands it, which is not all that unreasonable) she would be less wrong for him than others. And my mom taught me that there is no such thing as unconditional love. Love is something you need to deserve. And the longer I live the more I think that there is something to it.

  • maria-eleni

    @ 112 – spitza

    At my place gladly, although this year we have the rainiest winter since the 1890s! Usually we get anxious about future desertification.

    “Of course it’s the most controversial part of the plot as it’s a grey area.”
    Indeed! But then this is what the show usually does: leave us to our own interpretations.
    To recap:
    You take the view that Cuddy feels betrayed by H. for not “really” being there and so would be unsupportive in the future.
    I think that H. feels betrayed because although she knew of his weaknesses she dumped him when at an extremely stressful moment he took one(1) Vicodin so that he could be there for her.
    It is evident that each of us watches the show through the eyes of a character; for you it is Cuddy for me it is House. So by now we should agree to disagree on the subject of the breakup. I shall not comment again on Lydia & Stacy as it is tied on these conceptions.

    “…he shows up drunk and tells her that she made him a crappy doctor (read “she ruined the only thing that was important to him”).” He does not say at all that she is the responsible. It is HIS LOVE for her that made him less of a genius. But that is a recurrent theme in the series: H. repeatedly chooses his intellect above quality of life. Now he feels that he finally found something more worthy i.e. to love her. Well, it is truly an enormous compliment from H. to Cuddy and at the same time an enormous burden for her. He knows it and so tells her: you need to sit down for this. And Cuddy (excellent moment for LE) shows in her face how much she does not want this burden, she wants H. the Genius. Add to this the subsequent events in “Bombshells” and you see why I have these views.

    One last remark: I do understand, as I have said before, Cuddy’s decision. But understanding does not make me appreciate her as a human being. The same way I criticise H., e.g. for his inability to confront his psychological problems and not to resort to Vicodin or his use of mental cruelty to vent his frustrations or to serve his agenda etc, I also criticise Cuddy for what I consider her shallowness.
    Some examples:
    1. As a single mother (not through choice), I consider an ego booster her decision to become a single mother while holding a high powered and time-consuming position and with no support system (relative, husband/lover/partner, friend).
    2. Telling Lucas about H.’s hallucinations and not silencing him when he needled H. about it.
    3. Absence of support towards H. post Mayfield, she only wanted to get away.
    4. Professional dress code/mode.
    5. Concentrating on molding H. to her requirements during their affair but making no effort to adjust herself.
    6. Hiding behind H.’s peculiar ethics when she is every bit as unethical. This was perfectly illustrated in “Family Matters” but I had noticed it further back in the series.
    7. Not facing her mother!
    Finally what clinched it for me was:
    8. Knowingly having an affair with a notorious addict using his one relapse (in order to “be with Her”) as an excuse for breaking-up, all the time bypassing the fact that the problem is his general weaknesses.

    Again, all these are my very subjective impressions and part of my judging with equal harshness all these highly dysfunctional characters. However, most people around me, myself included, are also highly dysfunctional and as I reserve the right to severely judge us, I do not see why I should be more lenient with fictional characters.
    I do find in H. one redeeming quality that most of the others do not possess. He knows his weaknesses and for all his arrogance he is quite humbled by them. He also tries to improve even change albeit failing. I do not see this in Cuddy, the need for self acknowledgement of character failings and for altering.
    One example: you say “…she is not big on showing her feelings…” I agree. But she does demand from H. to express his own. Double standards.

    By the way I thoroughly enjoy our exchange of views. In case you move on to epi 8 x 10, see you there!

  • spitza

    #113 – maria-eleni
    As a matter of fact I agree with all your 8 points (almost) but that is not a deal breaker for me. I still like Cuddy with all these flaws. Both Cuddy and House are responsible for the break up. I never said it’s all Houses’ fault. They are both totally screwed up. And that’s exactly why I like their relationship so much and miss it a lot in season 8. It’s anything but boring.

    I think you can relate to Cuddy more yourself and so you demand more from her. I, on the other hand, never was a “strong woman”. I don’t see myself in her and her flaws don’t really bother me that much. I admired strong (as in “can run a hospital”) women all my life (my grandmother being a surgeon and my mom being the head of a hospital) and I can live with the fact that they are not perfect.

    See you in other rooms.