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House, M.D.: Gearing up for Season Eight

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Okay, House, M.D. fans. The House folk are back to work filming the new season, and I’m back from my little hiatus. So let’s get the conversation flowing as we count down to the start of Season 8 (October 3) when House will premiere at a new time (at least for the first half of the season): 9:00 p.m. ET. There are a few spoilers herein (nothing big, since I don’t know very much—and nothing that hasn’t been already reported elsewhere), so if you be a spoilerphobe, then stop reading…now! But be sure to take the poll on the last page.

Most of us mourn the loss of Lisa Edelstein from the House cast and wish her well as she steps into The Good Wife. She will be missed.

From what I’ve heard, there are significant changes afoot on House this season (besides, of course the disappointing loss of Dr. Lisa Cuddy) and there is much secrecy on the set at this point. Of course many of us have heard that House (Hugh Laurie) begins the season in jail, paying the price from the disastrous events of the Season 7 finale. There is also reporting that Season 8 opens a year into the future, and that House’s year in prison is told in flashback. But we shall see.

While in jail, evidently House meets a prison doctor with whom he forms a connection. Played by Odette Annabelle (Brothers and Sisters), the new doc reportedly will be signing on as the newest member of House’s Princeton-Plainsboro diagnostics team as well.

Also joining the team will be another new female physician played by stand up comedienne Charlyne Yi. But if the Diagnostics department seems a bit overstaffed with two new additions, it may be because Oliva Wilde’s film commitment will keep Thirteen on a part-time status during Season 8.

There will clearly be a new dynamic on the diagnostics staff with five or six doctors under House’s command. If, indeed, he has command at all. Once House is freed from prison, will he even have a remote chance of regaining his license? Will he simply be a consultant? Or will he have paid his price and step right back into his old role (and his old ways)? I sincerely hope it’s not quite that easy. (But that’s fodder for my next article, so stay tuned for that.)

The season premiere is entitled “20 Vicodin,” a typically enigmatic title for a House episode. However, as most House episode titles have multiple meanings within the series context, the season premiere title is sure to be a comment upon whatever happens in “20 Vicodin.” Perhaps 20 Vicodin are all House has left in his stockpile. After all, I’m guessing that Wilson isn’t writing prescriptions for him these days, if he’s even speaking to the self-destructive (or should I say self-destructed) House at all. Last we saw, Wilson was nursing a broken arm, having become collateral damage to his friend’s outrage (and outrageous behavior) in “Moving On.”

On the other hand, maybe that’s how many Vicodin House has in his system when he indulges in his supremely irresponsible and incredibly destructive behavior in the Season 7 finale. We actually do not know the charges for which he’s sent to prison (or how he is captured and convicted).

Or maybe House has been rationed 20 Vicodin to use over the course of a week—or a month. At any rate, “20 Vicodin” must have some significance for House, and doubtless for the patient (if there is one in the premiere) as well.

But the big (perhaps the biggest) question on fans’ minds these days is who will named the next Dean of Medicine at Princeton-Plainsboro? Showrunner David Shore is quoted as saying that it’s “someone in House’s orbit.” Now, some may take that to mean a promotion from within the ranks of the series regulars, but I’m not so sure. “Someone we’ve seen before” can include guest physicians (and even physician-patients) from the past seven seasons.

But first let’s consider who’s available from among the likely suspects. A lot of people are thinking it’s going to be Dr. James Wilson, House’s best friend and enabler. After all, he’s on the hospital board, a department head, and he’s very organized and diligent. Personally, I would not like to see Wilson as dean. Going back to the first season, House’s relationship with Wilson has always been voluntary—a relationship of peers. It’s a unique relationship on the series, and to suddenly make Wilson House’s boss would destroy that uniqueness—and strip away House’s only voluntary friendship. But there’s more.

Usually, House and Wilson’s relationship provides a lot of the series humor. Their repartee is great and fun, and often silly—and fun. And although Wilson knows House well enough to effectively manipulate him—and even control him (perhaps better than Cuddy), I can see a little too much humor creeping into this relationship, sapping it of tension. There’s too much opportunity for Wilson to become “Colonel Klink” to House’s “Hogan.” Don’t’ get me wrong; I’d love to see more House-Wilson interaction—just not in this context. But I could be proven wrong.

Some fans are predicting Foreman (Omar Epps) as the next dean. Can I just say how completely wrong that feels? Foreman is arrogant (in ways of which House can only dream), self-righteous and does not have a great understanding of how House thinks. I think it would be disastrous, not only for House’s medical practice—but for the series as well. Just, no.

Besides, I can’t believe that Foreman will react well to House’s actions at the end of Season 7. His inclination to say “no” to House will not bode well for anyone.

On the other hand, I’d wouldn’t mind seeing Chase (Jesse Spencer) pick up the dean’s stethoscope. Chase is a creative thinker, but also stable enough to manage House. He knows when to refuse House—and when to go along, even with House’s more extreme measures. His character has always been well written, especially his complicated relationship with House. Although he’s had less to play over the last year, I think an altered dynamic between House and Chase might be very interesting. There is not only a natural affection between the two doctors, but a natural tension as well. I could see this working out in some very interesting ways with Chase as the new dean.

I cannot see Taub in the role at all; he just ain’t ready. I’ve also read speculation that other doctors, from Sam (Wilson’s ex) to House’s psychiatrist Dr. Nolan may step in, but I find that unlikely. As much as I’d love to see Andre Braugher in a regular role on House, I just don’t see that happening. Although as the director of Mayfield, Nolan would have the required administrative experience, I can’t see him being able to trump House on purely medical decisions as Cuddy has done. As far as Sam (Cynthia Watros) goes, she simply does not seem to be a very good doctor. Full stop. Can’t see anyone offering her a position as dean.

Hey, maybe it will be Dr. Simpson, a recurring character on the series since Season 1. After all, he’s on the board, has had run-ins with House and there’s lots of tension there. Hmm. Other than that, I’m stumped. Suggestions, anyone?

I’ll be back in a couple of days with my thoughts on what I’d like to see happen in the Season 8 premiere. But in the meantime, do tell. What would you like to see?

And be sure to vote below in this week’s poll:

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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.
  • Oversimplified

    Hi Barbara! It’s good to have you back.

    Honestly my gut feeling is Foreman for DoM, and like you I can’t say I’m massively happy about it, but it does sort of make sense in terms of how ambitious he is. I think Chase’s role will have changed though and he’ll either be heading up the diagnostics department or have shifted to a leadership role in surgery. More likely the latter. Out of the team Chase is also the most likely to be hacked off with House which means he’d be less likely to want to work under him anymore I think. As for Taub I’m guessing he’s the most likely to basically stay where he is and actually still be willing to work alongside House because he needs the money what with the tinier Taubs.

    There’s no way they’d go there with Wilson I don’t think. They’ve already blown up one of the core relationships and I doubt they’d want to fundamentally change the dynamic of the other this late in the game, even though it really should be effected by what happened at the end of season 7. (I really hope that they don’t just gloss over how much the ‘crash’ would have messed up Wilson too. He’s lost one of his best friends, as well as having to witness what House was capable of. Shore’s recent interviews haven’t given me much hope on that front.)

  • Charlotte

    I wonder if Dr. Hourani could possibly be in the running for the new Dean??

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Charlotte–Like Dr. Simpson, Hourani has been around since Season 1!

  • Shane

    I’m not sure the DoM position is actually the biggest question. After three months, a lot of fans still believe (even after “re-watch and reflection”) that the humanity and heart of House was stripped away in that finale and he is no longer a man we can root for on a journey. And, since DS has let us know it’s not really a journey anyway, but a series of situations that test the subject for a socio-phychological study to see how he reacts, it feels a little useless to follow House the character. The House audience has always been very thinking and analytical, as you have proven through your studies and writing. Knowing that, it would seem the bigger question is who is this House that isn’t on an epic journey to find a semblance of peace, but exists only as a lab rat on a treadmill?

    I would hope TPTB are more challenged to address those concerns than to touch on the superficial stories.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Shane, you are right of course. That is a huge, looming and critical question for those of us who watch House for his journey. I am very much hoping that the writers (whom I do trust) will make the disastrous events of the finale a cornerstone for the next leg of that journey to find elusive happiness.

    The finale must have changed him in some very fundamental ways.This is something I’ll discuss in much more detail in the next article.

  • Shane

    DS doesn’t seem to feel it is a journey, though. That burns a lot of us who have followed it as a journey. Most of us didn’t expect happiness, but just him finding the right path. Now, DS says it’s more about just putting him in situations to watch him act and there’s not a lot of planning involved. That doesn’t bode well for S8. It would be nice to believe they are going to make that a cornerstone of that journey, but his interviews of late have only suggested a glossing over. After faith and trust was ruptured in that finale (I’m glad you still have that trust, but a lot of people need reassurance from them) this brand of talk isn’t the best course of action and certainly doesn’t give any indication that they understand the severity of the damage as being about House and not about LE/Huddy.

    They admittedly didn’t look at all aspects of the violence or anticipate the reaction, and they seem to be asking for grace while they deal with the loss of LE/Cuddy. What they are not doing is suggesting any change in House. Ironically, LE is the only one who has suggested that at all. Guess what, she’s not there to know. And, if they had “planned” (which we now know they don’t) for change, the wisest course of action would have been to use that line in all it’s vagueness in their forward campaign. They have not.

    I hope you’re right because it they fail to address this properly, it will be a disappointing final season for this series and that’s not fair – especially to Hugh Laurie.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Shane, David Shore has always said that about watching House react–since Season one. We just don’t know at this point what to expect for Season 8. All we can do is guess (which I hate doing). So I guess we’re going to have to wait and see what they have in mind to deal both with the finale and with Lisa’s departure.

  • MusicandHouse

    AUsiello said that the new dean would definately be on of these 6 people (there may have been a 7th choice but I can’t remember it)
    Sam Carr
    Foreman
    Wilson
    Big Love (Cole)
    Vogler
    Chase
    As much as I agree with your points, I think it will be Wilson or Foreman. No one else has the experience or skill. I really wish they had just created a new character for the role, although I can see their logic in promoting within.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    It’s not going to be Vogler. That much I can guess. He’s not a doctor.
    Hadn’t thought about Cole. Hmmm. Interesting choice.

    Don’t like either of those two as dean, but it depends on what they do with whomever is chosen.

  • Earth Orbiter

    Sorry, I gotta agree with Shane. David Shore has ALWAYS said “Its about House’s JOURNEY.” Even YOU have written that, Barbara, especially with respect to House+Cuddy; you claimed you weren’t necessarily a “Huddy,” you watched for “House’s journey.” Hugh Laurie, on the other hand and if he can be believed, just comes to work and does what he’s told. He’s getting PAID a WHOLE LOT MORE money than last season (hence LE’s departure) and therefore probably doesn’t particular give a righteous rat’s @ss, at this point. After all, come next spring, he’s gone.

    As for DoM, Foreman is my choice. I don’t think there’s anyone who knows House better than Foreman (except for Wilson) and he is probably the only one who would have a chance at either out-witting House or saying “no” and sticking to it. Cuddy always caved in the end, always.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Earth Orbiter: The two aren’t mutually exclusive. And Shore often says things that his work does not affirm. Yes. The show has ALWAYs been about House’s journey. ALWAYS. Whether Shore has said it or not.

    HL has always said he just comes in and reads out the lines. Again, viewing experience simply does not bear this out. (I talk about this a lot in Chasing Zebras). There is much that goes into Hugh’s performance.

    Hugh is still working off the contract he signed back at the start of S. 5. He did not sign anything for this year. His salary for S8 has nothing to do with LE’s departure.

  • Lisa

    It really doesn’t matter to me if it’s a journey or a treadmill. The violent act forever altered my perception of House. When I look at reruns, I don’t see the sarcastic, bitter, yet somehow noble House. Now I see the man who drives a car into an occupied home because it will make him feel better. That man who had the presence of mind to plan trajectories and controlled enough to veer the car away should he see people in the room (according to the writers), but lacked the dignity and self-control to stop his anger from almost running his friend over while destroying the home of someone he “loves.” There may have been evidence of anger brewing for years, but what made it part of what was endearing was that he didn’t let it go in such a disgusting manner. He understood the depths of pain and anger, without resorting to the lowest level that he often mocked. Now I view House with a different set of glasses, and he’s not the man I love. I am heartbroken and saddened, but putting him in jail to punish him doesn’t change the fact that they added an element to his character that removed the balance of good and evil. The scales are heavily tipped now. DS wants to go back to the roots (the past), but the roots have been forever altered by the present. You can’t go back. Perception is reality to the viewer; and the preception now is not the same as the perception in earlier seasons.

    None of the people suggested really fit the role of DoM. They all have points against them, so it will just be playing with power dynamics as a creative choice, not a story of any believability. The new dynamics and new cast will provide fun and a sense of change and perhaps possibility for POTW, but House the character remains tarnished as long as this act was real, which apparently it was.

    Gearing up for Season 8 is much more difficult for some fans than others, obviously.

  • Jane E

    What a great article to start the season. I totally agree with your thoughts on the House Wilson relationship. I would want that to stay the same. Taub is a definite no. My two choices are Foreman and Chase. Foreman is hands down the more intelligent of the choice. I always considered him near House’s level in that area. When we first were introduced to the House/ Chase relationship it was Cuddy her self who said Chase would do anything to prove you right. But over these last years, we have seen Chase grown as a person. He learned to stand up to House and say no and one example is in Last Resort when he would not consult on that case. I was first so upset over Lisa, I never thought I could watch it again. But, I have view the episodes over the summer and will give it a chance. But, if they do get House back on track, I would love to see it go more than one more year. It is hands down the best show ever on TV and I will watch reruns of House before other new shows. I look forward also to your weekly blogs.

  • Mike

    Regretfully, I feel the same as Lisa. This was their creative choice, but it was the game changer, not the Huddy story as they seemed to predict. They didn’t take that story serious and thus failed to engage non-huddies, and they didn’t explore it with authenticity, which failed to engage Huddies. Since it was all for a plot device to get House to his lowest level to reveal this side of him – a side that a lot of fans didn’t see and certainly don’t appreciate in any form – the entire “journey” has fallen short. Their journey took him down a path that has alienated a lot of fans. It is a good thing they didn’t show the “layer” early on; the show wouldn’t have lasted as long.

    I’ll play the game, though. The DoM role doesn’t fit anyone they have listed, but I agree Wilson would be the worst choice. It would kill the bromance. But maybe they are headed that way. Sink all ships and end the series alone. I could see Sam with some creative adaptation, especially since Wilson and House seem to be the only two who know she altered the meds on her patients, so House could blackmail her to get his job back. I really think they’ll toy with several of these people and none of them with really stick. It won’t be a focus anyway. Just a support story. Too much focus on that role would be detrimental.

  • Mary Jane

    @ # 10 Earth Orbiter

    He’s getting PAID a WHOLE LOT MORE money than last season (hence LE’s departure)….HENCE LE’S DEPARTURE??.. You actually think she left because he got a raise in his salary?
    She has done nothing but praise him for the hours and work that he put’s in so i do not think this had anything to do with her CHOOSING not to renew her contract.

  • Earth Orbiter

    Mary Jane: Yup. That’s exactly what I think and here’s why:

    The scuttle is that Hugh Laurie was making $400K per episode for the past 4 seasons per his renewed 5-year contract that he signed 4 years ago. Now its all over the ‘net that he’s being paid $700K per episode, the same as Ashton Kutcher. That’s a $300K per episode bump in salary from Season 7 to Season 8. On top of that, Lisa Edelstein, RSL, Omar Epps and Jesse Spencer were all asked to take a pay- and episode cut, and all of them were making substantially LESS per episode than HL’s salary INCREASE. So, of COURSE Lisa Edelstein walked and good for her. She gave FOX millions of dollars of FREE publicity over the past couple of years and got hosed in the end. So, yeah, I think she left because HL got his raise, directly or indirectly. I didn’t say she was running around bad-mouthing him, but she certainly cannot be happy with the way FOX treated her, especially since RSL basically said, “Screw you, pay me what I want or I’ll walk,” and FOX did. So pull your panties out of your crack and look at the big picture. You’ve no reason to be indignant.

    Lisa & Mike: I like what you both had to say. Good job, you two.

  • housemaniac

    Hi Barbara,
    Welcome back! I take it as a good sign that I checked this site today after a couple of weeks off and…there you were.

    I want to pick up on a different point in your excellent preview, which is that of the consequences of House’s actions in the finale. This is what I was obsessed with at the end of last season, and apparently I still am. You mentioned that it is hard to imagine House getting back his medical license, or that at least it should be hard for him to get it back. In theory, I agree. However, I have come to believe that *House* does not work if it rigidly adheres to so-called “reality,” whatever that is. (For what it’s worth, I had this epiphany after re-watching the entire run of *Twin Peaks* this summer. And, no, I am not suggesting that *House* veer off into surrealism, but watching TP did make me realize that perhaps we don’t know as much as we think we do about what is in or out of character for one as complex as House.) For the sake of House’s journey, for the sake of the storyline, I hope that he *does* get his license back and we can still watch a crazy, wonderful series about DOCTOR crankypants. Anything less than House as a medical doctor would be a disappointment and a huge alteration in the dynamics of the show. Besides, wouldn’t they have to change the name of the show, which, in full, is House, M.D., no?

    p.s. Earth Orbiter: can you please keep your disgusting language (“pull your panties out of your crack”) off this blog and save it for the locker room or some blog where graphic language such as this is deemed appropriate. It offends me, and I imagine I am not alone. Thank you.

  • Earth Orbiter

    Housemanic: Lighten up.

  • AreKay

    “HL has always said he just comes in and reads out the lines” is just Hugh’s always low-keyed “aw, shucks” way of semi-dismissing the enormous talent that we all know he possesses.

    IMHO, he is worth every penny of whatever his salary is, which I believe also includes his dual role of actor and executive producer. And in that position he has input regarding the direction of the show and particularly that of his character.

    After last season’s “what the heck were they thinking” finale, while I’m looking forward to season 8 I’m doing so with extreme trepidation. Cuddy’s line at the end of season 6 seems to sum up my feelings…”I love you. I wish I didn’t but I can’t help it.”

  • AreKay

    P.S. – Note to TV Academy voters: Please, please award an Emmy to Hugh Laurie, who has more than earned it for his years of brilliant performances as House!!!

  • DanieGermany

    First of all: Great article, Barbars, as always !

    I think that no one will be able to fill the now vacant Dean of Med. spot as well as Lisa Edelstein did.

    Her chemistry with Hugh Laurie got me hooked to the show right in the very first episode years ago and I was conviced that their bumpy relationship would eventually lead to a good ending by the finale of the show. Well, whishful thinking :-(

    When I heard that Lisa Edelstein was leaving, for me it had the same impact, that Edie Falco would have done if she left The Sopranos, or if Courteney Cox would have left Friends.

    Just devestating if that happens to your favorite show!

    Now, that Lisa’s gone, my enthusiasm about the show has plummeted quite a bit. That sparking electricity between House and Cuddy will be gone and only the onther key cornerstone, Wilson, is left to do some good old sparring with House.
    I would hate to see Forman as DOM, because I never liked that character and seeing him have even more power over House would just suck. I’d be OK with Chase as DOM, because, like Cuddy he knows how House ticks and is able to play him and persuade him in critical situations to do the right thing.
    But, beyond that, I don’t really know.

    Actually I really don’t care who’s going to be the new Dean of Med or who the other new Team Members are, because the show’s never gonna be the same again to me.
    IMO, the show’s mojo was the dynamics between House and Cuddy, House and Wilson, House and his team to keep up the exceptionally great quality it once had. But now one of the pillars has been removed from ths show House and I don’t think it’s gonna work that way… Don’t get me wrong, I’ll keep watching the show til the very end, because I just love Hugh Laurie, but I think the ratings will further decline…

  • Daniel

    Your article got me excited for the House return ….

    As for the new Dean of Medicine? My prediction is Dr. Hurani. Remember him? House pretended to be him in the episode where he went to the school and it had all the movie scene parodies … Anyway, in a few episodes after that, if you look close at House’s prescription bottles, it has Hurani’s name on them … meaning Hurani either wrote the scrips for House or (more likely) House forged them … either way, a character like that seems much more likely than any of the regulars.

  • John

    I have a feeling that season 8 it’s gonna be much better than season 7!!! Hugh Laurie is an amazing actor -personally I believe that he is one of the best actors on Tv ever! BUT David Shore and writers/producers must understand that Hugh is tired,he said it many times .What they do for that?HL is so brilliant person,gentle soul and if people still watching House is for Hugh … I think that Emmy awards are gonna show if Hugh it’s gonna stay or leave House and the show will end…. He deserves the award 5 seasons now when all critics said that he was amazing and so talented! The Emmy award I think is gonna give Hugh and all the team the fire to continue in a good way!

  • maria-eleni

    Thanks to Barbara Barnett for her new article. It was a nice surprise this morning.

    However, as I was thinking over the article and gathering my own thoughts, I made the mistake of strolling down the comments. I had a second surprise, a nasty one this time. All my well organised thoughts scattered. So I need to comment on this before restarting:

    16 – Earth Orbiter
    I really do not understand this bashing of Hugh Laurie lately because of Liza Edelstein leaving the show of her own accord. It seems to me you spend time “orbiting” on other sites where the language and tone of comments is not consistent to what we are used here.

    1. It is well documented and undisputed how hard working HL is and that the actual creation of the character House is due a lot to his own input.

    2. And yes, he is paid a lot more but, comparing his screen time and contribution to that of his coworkers, $400.000 per episode to their $175.000 is being grossly UNDERPAID.
    $700.000 is more appropriate to what he is worth.

    3. I like LE and I shall miss her character. I also enjoy her interviews, even her more risque comments. However to imply that [H]ouse owes its international success to her promotion just because she went around in Spain or Malaysia giving interviews is taking it too far. Actually it is the other way round, promoting [H]ouse, she was the one who mostly benefited.

  • Tina

    And here we go. People have become adept at blaming the actors and spinning Cuddy/Wilson into bad guys all to deflect from the seriousness of the violence and hide from the overwhelming discomfort in the House the writers revealed. Contracts negotiations fail, but were there not already some fundamnetal issues in characterizations and story plot, there would have been a little less frustration, just a lot a sadness. These actors/producers don’t resent or hate each other for collateral damage in a network’s laughable negotiations and limited vision. They understand the business. The fans are the ones reading so much between the lines. This story brought out the worst in House and the worst in the fans. It’s no wonder the excitement is waned. And this idea of trusting the writers, just not what they say is a kind of reverse cultish effect. After the car crash and relief-at-the-beach ending, these people need to be beliavable in their talk. They have to sell their show now. No more taking the fans for granted. They should accept some accountability for the numerous fails last season, starting with the redirection from Mr. Shore and moving down the list. They are not going to reignite the fans with a sad list of a possible DoM and talk of new people who the fans have no connection with. For the fans that will follow HL anywhere, they don’t have to work, to get the other fans back they. Have to work. Too bad for DS because it will require speaking.

  • Melanie

    Hi Barbara!!! I think that the new Dean of Medicine will be Chase. He is the only one of the group you mentioned that can and has stood up to House besides Wilson. Chase is smart, is a good doctor, has been there from the beginning learning from the best, and has experienced first hand many of House’s antics. I think Chase could be a good boss. I think he would be stern when he needed to be and caring and supportive when he needed to. I think it would be very funny as well. I’m sure House would do many funny and cruel things to
    Chase before he would ever accept him as his boss. It would be funny to watch. Also, I would love to see the look on Foreman’s face when HE finds out Chase is in charge. OH SNAP!!!!!

  • Ben

    God I hate it when people try to say it’s all about Huddy. If in his fit of rage House had elected to run into Wilson’s occupied home and risked lives there the conversations would still be flying. Oh but then it would just be Hilson shippers upset, right? Ridiculous! The act itself destroyed the character, regardless of what ship was affected. It was a creative choice the writers made and it did not fly with a lot of people. Let’s not keep reducing the intellect and heart of the viewers down to simple Fangirls. People can argue that the choice was made because Cuddy is not as important, but that’s not what the negotiations were about, it’s not what TPTB felt and it’s not the way the story was written. The writers failed to anticipate properly and quite frankly didn’t see an act of violence as anything more than a Kaboom. They were a bunch of kids playing at shock values and they lost sight of the character. It’s sad that they realize they need to take him back to his roots now, since they can’t. He’s THIS guy now. They would have done well to keep his character in mind before they crashed.

  • cata

    kabom was for the fans and the series

  • Oversimplified

    @27 Ben

    I have to agree. I’d have been just as disgusted with House’s behaviour if it had been pointed directly at Wilson. Pandora’s box has well and truly been opened and rather than going with it and following things to their natural conclusion it appears Shore’s policy is to brush things under the carpet. I really think they went places that they didn’t particularly understand at the end of last season, which is pretty unforgivable considering the subject matter. This is probably going to be made a little worse by the admission that we’re going back to ‘fun times'; fairly unpalatable to be quite honest.

    There’s no doubt about it Shore is exceptional at some areas of his job, but terrible at others even by his own admission. The fact that he said planning ahead isn’t his strong point speaks volumes in my opinion. He’s great at throwing balls or ‘interesting new plot threads’ up in the air, but it’s amazing how many end up falling to the ground as the writing team either forgets about them or focuses too much on one arc or one character. I watch other shows like Breaking Bad where nothing is forgotten about and even the props get meaningful reoccurring roles, and there really is no comparison. The Devil is in the Detail.

    I still can’t come to terms with the showrunner’s constant assertion that House won’t change. Nobody expects the protagonist to magically turn into a benevolent uncle type figure, but at least someone who learns from his mistakes and evolves because of them. Nobody and nothing stands still. If they do they either end up rotting or with weeds lapping round their ankles. That’s why season 6 was initially so promising when it seemed like House was facing his demons and the root of his addiction. It’s also technically suspect as Shore appears to be favouring the sit-com format and hitting the re-set button as and when, which is deeply unsatisfying for a drama series that I’ve always seen as just as much a character study as a procedural.

  • Earth Orbiter

    maria-eleni: At no time did I “bash” Hugh Laurie in my post. I simply pointed out the discrepancies in salaries and postulated as to why LE did not renew. It is you and “housemaniac” who are behaving in a contentious and confrontational manner by attempting to “read between the lines” of my post and let loose your unwarranted attempts at discipline. You are not my parent; in fact, I suspect you are both some years younger than I. Additionally, you are not a moderator of this forum, and the very definition which speaks to debate and expression of opinions between people with a common interest.

    So I will say it again, to you: Lighten up.

  • Sacha

    Chase/House did have a great and intriguing dynamic in S1-3, and it was lazily re-lived in hints and glimpses over S4-7 but sadly, I feel like the writers abandoned Chase/House and did basically nothing with the character over the course of last season, let alone giving him some substantial interaction with House. After S7 and the man s**t arc, how credible is Chase as a new dean? I can see how ‘KA-Boomish’ it would be if they give the job to him. However, apart from the sensation alone, it just wouldn’t make sense. Chase has never been a department head. He has no ambition whatsoever. He doesn’t seem capable of tough negotiations, he has no diplomatic skills, he shys away from confrontation. He also has a suspension in his record (The Mistake). Besides, he seems way to young. I simply can’t see him administring a hospital, unless, of course, they leave logic behind once again for sheer amusement. Chase would be in pretty much the same position where Cameron had been in Big Baby. If they keep him in character, he will always trust House’s judgement and won’t refuse any questionable medical procedure. In Instant Karma, Chase told House that he’ll always be in charge, whether he wants it or not. Not exactely the best premise for a dean of medicine who has to reign House in. Of course, it would be fun. Foremans jealousy. House’s reaction should be priceless. And wait, wasn’t there something he knows about some African dictator? House could really make Chase and Foreman’s medical life miserable if he feels like it. ;)

    I still don’t think it’s enough to make it work. I hope Chase will promoted the new head of diagnostics while House is in jail. I much more see him as House’s successor than anybody else on the team. It would make sense to me.

    I think Wilson as the new dean would be the most plausible choice. Given that Cuddy would probably weigh in, I think she would suggest Wilson. Foreman? Been there, done that. It’s hardly an exciting choice.

    @Earth Orbiter, I too think that it is weird to be cutting costs on dispense of the fellow actors whereas HL goes from 400K to 700K. Contract or not, it just doesn’t seem fair to play it out on account of the cast. Has nothing to do with Hugh Laurie bashing since he couldn’t see it coming, but it is still disturbing. Just my opinion.

  • Sacha

    #29 Oversimplified, I forgot to say that I so agree with your post, especially the last paragraph. Thank you.

  • Mike

    Glad I’m not alone in my thinking here. TPTB pretty well left fans disappointed through S6 by not continuing or following up with the alleged growth potential in Broken. They ended the season with a couple of good points with baggage and Help Me, but it really was an unsatisfying season based on the potential and direction they began at the start of the season. Then they went into S7 with the intention of blowing up House (yes, House, not Huddy. Huddy was a plot device) instead of using the relationship or even the failed relationship as a means to turn House back to dealing with his issues. After Hours at least would have ended the season with an idea that House is still trying to change, but struggling with how. Moving On just destroyed the very tiny progress he had made and pushed an audience that is tired of the dropped plot syndrome over the edge. The crash just made House look like a pathetic man who believes violence will make him feel better and then he can walk away into the light. It’s a terrible statement for the character and a worse one for the show. I hate that they made this character so pathetic and weak. Hugh Laurie would have had his emmy by now if they’d actually pursued the many plots and issues they have opened over the years but then failed with follow-through. He is continually given appetizers to perform when the main course is what is required and is long overdue. This pathetic House-gone-wild theme and the crash removed years of character development and trying to re-start it with all the talk of fun and roots doesn’t change that. For a group of writers once admired and trusted beyond reason, they have lost credibility over the last two seasons. And their talk does matter at this point because their work is not speaking for itself any longer. The fact that it took LEs departure and a mistake of this magnitude to breathe new life into them — well, that frankly ticks me off. They had amazing story potential and fan and critic excitement for two years and they blew it off! If they wanted a re-set they should have fallen back on their old hallucination standby. At least House would still be in tact and not a disgusting shadow of what could have been.

  • Earth Orbiter

    Sacha: Thank you. You are correct; there are other ways to cut costs other than at the expense of someone’s salary, i.e. location shots, behind-the-scenes perks that have nothing to do with the quality or production of the show, etc. When I owned my own business, I never compromised my employee’s wages in an attempt to cut costs. I found another way. LE was treated very badly, most likely because she is a woman, and as much as I grew to dislike Cuddy, for her seven years of hard work and devotion, LE deserved better. And I cannot get behind outrageously high salaries for actors, athletes, and the like, not when there are families losing their homes and children going without food, and far too many of them sleeping on the street.

  • Tina

    It’s ironic that LE seemed to be the cast member who gave the most back to the communities and to charities. Actors and athletes, celebrities as a whole are obnoxiously over paid, which is why people find it easy to bash one when they refuse to take paycuts. The business itself is rather screwed up. HL had a contract and it is what it is, but the network could have cut in other areas. HL is not to blame. LE wasn’t at fault either. No bashing on my end. It is one of the disparities in society, though.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    The amount of hostility on this thread makes me wonder if no matter what the Powers that Be do in Season 8, it will be wrong. I think they made some mistakes last season, no question. And the response to the finale I think took them by surprise. That combined with Lisa Edelstein’s departure has made the fandom rather toxic now.

    What I have found outside the fandom among other fans, but not necessarily plugged into the Internet forums, etc. is a different reaction. Some people upset, others really excited (and bummed that it’s not until October 3). But the reaction in general is much more varied. Not everyone is upset with the direction of the show.

    I have had a lot of conversations this summer with people from all around the country (and beyond) who watch House. The range of opinion is pretty diversely spread.

  • LesleyChar

    DoM: Let’s see
    Vogler’s not a doctor, Cole couldn’t have gained experience and met requirements since S4, Foreman can’t do trials and has failed numerous times, Chase has damaged reputation w/playboy attitudes and the dist fighting with surgeon in S6, not to mention experience issue and relationship with House, Sam overdosed cancer patients and really didn’t appear that strong as a doctor since Wilson was helping with audit, Wislon would ruin bromance. Basically they are playing with the audience again. None of these are viable options. They are just place holders and opportunites for fun. Maybe we can hope none of them will stick and Cuddy will be asked to return the end of season. But that’s wishful thinking. Fans haven’t been that lucky and the writers have known been that smart.

  • Mike

    Yes, the response is varied. Some of us talk outside the internet, too. They shouldn’t have been taken by surprise by the reaction. It’s a simple question. If you had a friend crash his car into his girlfriend’s occupied home would you feel comfortable supporting him or would you look at him with guarded eyes and with distance? Suggesting they would think it was cool and would celebrate the act as a next step in his growth as a person is just a lie. Nevertheless, they have a challenge, and part of it could be helped and “done right” if they admitted the severity of the act and stopped saying it’s a logical progression, and the hated “he wanted to hurt her house, not her.” Toxicity started at the writers table and now has created a circular virus.

    The viewers not on internet and the forums have the luxury of not hearing these excuses and the new outook for the future. They are not as invested, so the reactions are not as frequent and strong.

    The moral of the story: 1. Don’t become invested in a television character. 2. Don’t trust creative teams behind the TV. 3. Don’t go on the internet; the ignorance of casual viewing is more peaceful.

    We should just shut up and stop watching. But relationships are hard to end after 7 years and mourning the loss takes time.

  • Jess

    Sorry Barbara but the 98% of your readers were huddy/LE fans so you shouldn’t be surprised by the bitterness and nasty comments now. A lot of people who could care less about huddy and LE are eager to see season 8 but they don’t post here because this place used to be a huddy sanctuary. Now you have to deal with bitter, disgruntled huddys the same ones who glorified season 7 and the writers until the huddy break-up.

  • Jamie

    Having read most of the comments, I can see where most of the people get their frustration from. Of all the routes they could’ve chosen to take House in, they chose what they did in the finale. Honestly, after all the interviews from writers/producers, I haven’t found one that convinces me that that was the right choice. I can only hope that season 8 will restore my faith, especially after Shore said they will be returning to their roots. I will be tuning in because I’m curious about the new doctors and how House will be mentally/emotionally/physically. But most of all to watch the Hugh Laurie. He’s probably the reason why I’m sticking it out. If this turns out to be their last season, he deserves a good one as does the rest of the cast that were here from the beginning. (Btw, out of curiosity, has his 700k paycheck been confirmed or is this just something that’s been floating around the internet?)

    Unfortunately, the House fandom has been quite a disturbing place to be nowadays. People placing blame on actors out of sheer frustration and lack of answers. Fans vs former fans. I don’t think it’s fair to blame anyone really. We don’t know what happened with LE’s contract. We can only assume/guess/deduce what we will and form our opinions based on that. The anger for the finale/LE’ contract falling through is quite understandable, but it’s time to move on

  • kel

    rating will be the best judge

  • Mary Jane

    @16 – Earth Orbiter

    Your whole explanation is nothing but a conspiracy theory of what you have read and decided to extrapolate upon. There is no real FACT of anything you have stated. The supposed salaries have never been confirmed by a reliable source “hence” they were stated as APPARENT!

    The two FACTS that can be classified as true in all of this (since they have been stated by both sides) are that Lisa Edelstein “CHOSE” not to renew her contract and that they both said they were “Disappointed”? We do not know anything from there and probably never will, i could chose to go on about what i think happened there but i won’t because i chose to believe FACTS.

    I wish LE good luck in her future career.

    BTW “So pull your panties out of your crack and look at the big picture” is uncalled for and rude and makes you sound like a silly fan girl…just saying!!

  • Leiney

    Barbara, thank you again for proposing a dialogue on the upcoming season. It’s generous and, these days, rather brave of you to provide this forum.

    As much as I’d hope for something a bit more interesting, I’m in the camp that expects Foreman to be named DOM. It’s certainly a position of power that he would aspire to, and I’ve always felt that tptb have wanted to solidify his stature, certainly as they work their way towards the end of the series, whether this season or next. I’ve thought that Ausiello’s guessing game might have been sanctioned by tptb to create some excitement over what may end up being anticlimactic with the usual suspect…Foreman. Chase would be an interesting option, obviously for the shock value. (Actually, we do know he’s notoriously anal about his paperwork, as per his conversation with Lucas, season 6.) But beyond the surprise, though, I agree with you that the potential for interesting interaction and personal revelation is greater between House and Chase, in a kind of reversed power dynamic, than what we would see in a retread of House and Foreman. I’ve always found the House/Chase dynamic one of the most interesting in the show, but I’m doubting tptb will revisit. Obviously, in the real world, neither Chase nor Foreman would likely be given this position due to many prior screw-ups, but I’d really dislike seeing the only truly qualified candidate, Wilson, in the position. You’re spot on with your reasons against that move. I doubt that we would be looking at a more high profile hire, such as Sam or Cole, with 2 new team members, alrady. If it is someone like Hourani, I’m guessing that he wouldn’t be seen that often.

    I’m very interested to see where everyone ends up. I’m thinking that part of the “getting back to basics” that tptb keep stressing will be a focus on medicine and patients, House mentoring the newbies, and House and Wilson working their way back to friendship. Will House be looking to make amends? Or will his arrogance and confidence be his guiding force and defense? I hope we do eventually find House truly feeling “satisfaction” in and with his world.

  • Mike

    @Jess I was not a Huddy, but I do not like what they did to House. I also don’t feel like they wrote House very good in that relationship, but understanding they forced that relationship so they could bring him to that degradation makes it worse. I don’t know about the percentage of BB readers, as I am fairly new. But, I do believe there are valid reasons for discontent outside of Huddy. It’s been a grave error all along to disregard thoughts and opinions based on shipping assumptions.

  • Lucy

    Hugh Laurie will bring the ratings in enough for the show to be fine. The enthusiasm will not be the same. There’s no way to monitor that, though except through social media, which is dismissed by this group.

  • mooseonajew

    Earth Orbiter: RSL signed on for S8 at his OLD salary and reduced episodes. He was on the fence because he was more interested in returning to theater work, which he prefers over tv.

    Your characterization of him saying “screw you” to Fox is a little over the top. He said he assumed he would be back if the negotiations between NBC/Universal worked out, which they did.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Mike, I don’t know the percentages either, but although a lot of the commenters have been “Huddies” I have a pretty substantial readership–and they are not 98% Huddy-folk.

    I prefer to look ahead. The show is what it is, and what is done is done for better or worse. I’m not going to prejudge Season 8. Life’s too short.

    When I no longer like a show, I stop watching. I fell out of love with the X-Files (my last TV obsession) early (very early) in Season 7. I never wrote about it again, nor did I tune in very often (not even to the series finale)

  • Earth Orbiter

    @Mary Jane: Duh! Of course its speculation and extrapolation based on certain facts. Go back and re-read the definition of “forum” that I previously posted. And you need to lighten up, too, and stop your neophyte needling. (Why does everything have to be an eff-ing argument with some of you people?) And “Fangirl?” No. I despise Lisa Edelstein more than I do “Cuddy.” But I still don’t like what they did to her, and that’s a fact.

  • Visitkarte

    So, here is the correct reaction:

    I refuse to read other comments on the blog, and the poll is answering the question about who is commenting on it.

    I am excited about the new season, there are so many possibilities open. I personally prefer the idea of the 20 Vicodin as a story telling vehicle, flashbacks of memories connected with specific occasions when House took a pill that brought him in jail.

    My own idea was that it’d be about the 20 Vicodin House get’s to make a tad slower, more human detox, and if I’m right, I’d love to find out how he’s going to use them and when.

    Chase as DoM I could see. On the other side, I don’t think it fits with the rumors of Chase starting a relationship with the ex prison doc.

    Sam… We know a little about her, and they can make her be a Ok enough doctor to be a DoM. It’s not as if they cared all that much about continuity. She would make for fun interaction with House and with Wilson, and the upside, she has zero romantic interest in House. Good thing.

    I don’t want the show to end this year. I hope the numbers will catch up and they get a 9th season. I’d love to have 200th episode before House M.D. goes in the TV heaven. And by that, I mean the show. I don’t want them to kill him off.

    All in all, as far as I’ve heard from the new season, it sounds very good. I hope the viewers will go along. I know I will.

    I wish you more fun with this blog and I wish everyone who is fed up with the show to Move On.

  • Anne

    It’s interesting. Other than a few questionable comments regarding the business/personal side of the show, the comments here have been valid expressions of concern that the issues are not being addressed and fear for the show they love. It’s become a sad situation when the only reason you can comment is if you agree or are fully excited. That becomes a very droll discussion. House would hate that. He likes to be challenged, but his “fans” don’t (apparently real fans are only the ones who loved the finale). It was once fascinating to hear varying viewpoints that challenged the status quo. The fact that you are not considered a real fan or told to “move on” if you have trouble swallowing the violence is a testament to the damage that has been done. The toxicity runs both ways; it’s just in a different form.

    As for the poll, I am not sure it’s indicative of “haters,” although there may be those. People are well aware that HL is not signed on for a Season 9 and has expressed concern on several occasions that he would not want another season. Perhaps he could be convinced, but since the man is tired and he feels it’s been way too long apart from his wife, I think it shows some support of him as a person. I voted – didn’t think it would go on, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hope it will. So, in regards to the negative explanation surrounding this poll, toxins come in many forms.

    For the record, I’m interested to see how they pull House out of this hole, which of these unlikely candidates will be the DoM, and how the new additions will be absorbed into the dynamics. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel for people who feel betrayed and frightened of a failed last season of a show they have been passionate about for years.

    I vote for them trying a few people in the role of DoM and failing. Sam, Foreman and maybe end with Wilson, but him resigning in the end because he chooses his friendship over that position.

    I hope the writers do surprise us.

  • Francine

    @Anne
    Haven’t you heard? If you’re not excited, you should leave. This comes from the people who were not excited last season, but they weren’t told to leave. If we pasted their hate from last season, it would prove the hypocrisy. People can feel what they want, and hopefully the show will rise and interest both sides again. I doubt we’ll ever have the discussions of the golden days. Too many venemous muzzlers.

    I like your idea of testing a few DoMs and them failing, but especially Wilson choosing House over the position. If he saw it was damaging their relationship, even as the audience feels it, I believe it would be such a powerful bromance moment for that choice to be made. Fans have good ideas like that! I hope TPTB are equally and/or more creative.

    BTW, I don’t think it will go past S8 either because Hugh is ready to move on. Something tells me we’ll see more of him on the big screen.

  • Maria-Eleni

    30 – Earth Orbiter
    Please read again your post No 10, it comes out as being very derogative about HL.

    By the way you could be right, about lighting up.
    So, concerning our respective ages, do you have grandchildren?

  • Earth Orbiter

    @maria-eleni: Yes.

  • Maria-Eleni

    57 – Earth Orbiter
    Wow! Congrats.
    Some of my friends and contemporaries do have, but me, not yet!
    Still 57 is a significant number for me, though not my age.

  • ParadoxHugh

    Barbara,
    I am actually finding this discussion board to be pretty valid, interesting and quite tame. There are some very nice posts with good explanations about how people feel rather than just being contentious. I would like to commend Ben and Mike for their comments about shipping not being the crux of the issue anymore. It IS having to accept House as “This Guy”. Violence as part of his response mechanism is canon now. At least it is when he is on Vicodin. That may be where they make their stand. Twenty vicodin may just be the total he took that day and the amount it takes to deaden House’s conscience completely. I still want to believe he has one. That has always been more important to me than any relationship issues. It made me believe he could progress focusing on the good side of him. The drug scenario is actually valid. When clean he was able to reign in his rage as when Lucas tripped him and throughout all the other indignities of season 6. He was rational. Back on Vicodin he exploded into irrational behaviors culminating in that crash. And yes this is all rationalizing on my part as I can’t accept House as a sociopath. So the devil Vicodin made him do it. Actually I believe he wanted to act out and express his hurt. These were his true emotions. But he may not have acted upon those thoughts without the drugs. He wanted to beat Lucas to a pulp but he didn’t when he was clean. So I can accept this scenario if they go there. I just don’t look forward to it. They severed the emotional connection I had with House. I can’t root for him anymore at this point. And with DS fueling the flames of doom, I think it is safer to watch from the nosebleed section of the stadium now. From a distance I can just watch for the entertainment value. There will be no analyzing parallels and metaphors anymore. They have not been writing it that way for most of last season anyway, preferring more seperate stories than the clever interweaving of plots. So I am accepting my position as a relic of the past. A dinosaur so to speak. But I prefer not to go extinct. So I’ll travel this new path with House but from much further away. As Mike said, it is dangerous to give this much investment to a TV character especially when DS keeps making it clear that it will end ambigously and he prefers this treadmill of misery, not a journey of progressions and setbacks ultimately leaving House in at least a slighty better place. I do truly hope that they can get me to purchase better seats toward the middle of the season. (Yes, I do love sports metaphors.) I want the show to go out a winner. I want to love House again. But I don’t trust DS and ergo, I can’t trust House, the character anymore. So trepidation is all I feel for the coming season.

    There are changes that sound interesting. I think I will like the newbies. And my two cents on the DoM: it will be Foreman in charge. In the real world there would a lineup of associate and assitant deans waiting to move up the ladder, but given the list we got to choose from, Foreman is the best fit. He is a “suit”. Image makes a difference at the top and Chase is too playboy and immature to make sense to the board. If it is not Foreman or Chase, there are just too many on the team now and they wanted to “simplify”. There are so many changes that they must keep something the same. And that is the House/Wilson dynamic. And despite what some seem to infer, rooting for a certain ship does not exclude loving the bromance as well. Imagine what the comments here would be if it was Wilson who were suddenly missing or who was on the receiving end of that violence with no possibility of closure now. Believe me that I would have been writing the same stuff that I did following the finale. It was and still is a problem of stripping House of his conscience that crushed my hopes for the show. Not even the act itself but the bar scene at the end that did the trick. So now we wait to see if they try to bail him out with a drug explanation. And if I am rooting for one thing, it is that House gets off the Vicodin again. He can have his hookers, he can behave like an ass, he can take advantage of Wilson, but he is fooling himself if he still believes the stuff makes him “neutral” at those levels.

    Rambling again. It is what I do these days with my compass points scrambled.

  • freelancer

    Great review, Barbara, as usual!

    I may be alone here, but I’m really curious about Season 8. I wish I could be a fly in the writer’s room.

    I wasn’t at all shocked by the season’s finale, and I’ll explain why: I didn’t take what he did literally. If House were a real person doing this to somebody’s home, it would make me very upset. But Gregory House is a fictional character in a TV show, so everything is symbolic. When David Shore and other writers said in numerous interviews that House didn’t want to kill Cuddy or anybody else and that the room was empty I took their word at face value.

    I also don’t think that driving a car through Cuddy’s home was out of character for House. To me, this is the same man who destroyed Cuddy’s office and then went to great lengths to restore her desk and gave it to her as a gift; this is the same man who kept a book written by Cuddy’s grandfather for years before offering it to her as a gift. Those two acts show intense affection for Cuddy, but he never verbalizes his feelings and instead demonstrates them through these gifts.

    In “Moving On”, Cuddy pressures House to talk to her about their breakup, but he can’t. He never talks about his feelings (good or bad) He doesn’t go to her house with intent to hurt her, remember? He was just returning the brush. But seeing her with another man, happy, moving on with her life, caused very deep and confused feelings to surface and he didn’t know how to handle them. In the past, he would just keep it to himself and self-destruct. This time he drove his car through her home and gave her the brush without a word. Metaphorically, it was somewhat cathartic for the character, probably his first step to deal with those very intense feelings he has for Cuddy and for how it all went between them.

    The last two minutes give me hope, because instead of going binge drinking as usual, he stops on his own and actually smiles and goes for a walk on the beach.

    I may be overtly optimistic here, but I think the end is a silver lining to the character. I’m curious to see where they go from here.

    I don’t think the writers wrote the finale as if there was nothing to worry about regarding what House did, that’s why the new season starts with him in jail. Actions have consequences, even in a fictional universe.

  • Tina

    @Freelancer – But the writers didn’t plan on those consequences when they wrote the finale. Jail only became an “opportunity” when the fan/critic reaction came in to play. Also, it is good that you believe what the writers say, but a lot of people don’t even listen to those interviews and vlogs. They just saw what they saw, and his intent was not clear. It was another ambiguity that they love, but in this case was too much.

    That said, I hear what you’re saying. There have been “signs” in the past that could be used as arguments that he was in character, just as there were “signs” that could be used to validate that he was out of character. The ambiguity given to such violence was very risky, and I am not sure it really paid off for them in the end.

    I hope this fiasco has stirred their creative juices and instilled a little more concern for the details, as they’ve shown in the past, but somehow lost the past two years.

  • Lisa

    Yeah. That silver lining may have been there, but then David Shore spoke and negated all hope. And if that act of violence brings the peace he needed to not binge drink but walk on the beach, that’s a horrible statement. It was a violent act whether he intended to hurt Cuddy or not. Violence is cathartic? Wow. Maybe. But is that really acceptable? No. Now the audience has to choose if violence is okay if it brings peace to the character or is it not acceptable? I don’t want someone catharticism to be pointed at me. They made a very negative statement there.

  • Gloria

    I’d be okay if they made it a hallucination or coma or something like that. I may “deal with it” if they say it was the drugs that caused the problem. If they just continue to say it is a part of who he is as a man who just blew up and committed that act I will not be able to watch anymore. The premier will be a deciding factor. I have been watching House since the beginning and I hoped to watch it to the end. I won’t be able to do that if they continue to make him this despicable person.

  • Kaliera

    Barbara,
    I am an X-files fan as well – and I find myself with House at the same place I did when Duchovny left X-files…screaming at the networks to “let it go!” FOX. I am begging you – LET THIS GO.

    Here’s what we know as truth from David Shore’s own mouth. House and Wilson will go back to their “fun” relationship and House will go back to PPTH and basics. The ending of season 7 was written with no plans for what would happen next. House WILL NOT CHANGE but will continue to “strive” towards happiness, but ultimately fail, and Shore prefers ambiguous endings. These are all reasons why I have no plans to watch next year unless I hear from you and your commentors as the season progresses that somehow brilliance has been restored.

    House/Wilson: DS want to take this back to the relationship of earlier seasons. The problem is we the audience are expected to forget the prior 7 to make that happen! It is completely understandable that House would want this relationship to go back to the way it was. But how do they get Wilson to that point without destroying what’s left of him? House was AGAIN stealing his prescription pad (something that almost lost Wilson his license back in season 3), he watched House drive his car into the home of a close friend with a small child. For Wilson to go back to any old behaviors with House takes him from enabler to pathetic and I lose any and all respect for Wilson that I had left.

    PPTH: There is no way in any scenario House would get his job back at PPTH in the real world. And while television always demands for some suspension of disbelief (murder trials in just DAYS!), this is the equivalent to me of “Mulder left his lover and son to keep them safe on the word of Alvin Kersh and Scully gives up her baby” level of absurdity. Or for Grey’s Anatomy Fans – Izzie steals a heart and keeps her medical license. The BOARD controls House’s contract – not the DOM. Even if he somehow got his license back we are supposed to believe that this group of House Haters and Money Lovers would vote him back/give him tenure? Priveldges? Budget for him? and his lawsuits? Allow his clinic cutting and blackmail? What Board would allow this Headline? “Board of Directors rehires addict/relapsed Doctor who committed act of Domestic Violence on one of a handful of female Deans of Medicine in the country” Gloria Aldred would have a cow. Only a deux a machina (spelling?) of massive proportions gets House back in PPTH and I can’t do it. Just Will Not.

    DoM – Every choice on that list of 7 is ridiculous beyond measure except 1. Somehow everyone guessing (and the writers too?) seems to think the job of the Dean of Medicine is to “control House”. And here I thought the DoM had to shmooze doners, manage stupid doctor tiffs, balance budgets, negotiate contracts with HMO’s, etc. – so let’s evauluate.

    Foreman: Has proven to have no people skills. He’s going corral the other dept heads? Suck up to donors? He falsified a trial, got blacklisted from other hospitals, and couldn’t even negotiate a recomendation letter from Cuddy let alone a salary increase on his return. He’d be able to take on insurance companies? Put up with donor demands? People Skills: 0, Proven Ability to control House: 0

    Chase: Has no experience as the head of even a department. No proven managerial skills. Head of Surgery hates him. I love Chase as a doctor and hope he took over when House left – but again – no way he should have this job. Managerial Skills: 0, Ability to control House: 2 ish?

    Volger – not a doctor – would fire House in first episode = -10.

    Sam – wasn’t she overdosing patients which was easily discovered in a review of her files? Budgeting Abilities: -1, Ability to control House: -2

    Wilson – The worst negotiator ever gets the job? He couldn’t even say no to a kinda friend who wanted his liver! He’s the perscribing doctor on the Vicodin house took before the Cuddy Act? Job Skills: 4, ability to control House: -7

    Cole: It’s been 5 years (counting House’s jail time) since we’ve seen Cole. Possibly been running a department? Known to have moral values. Ability to create deal with Cuddy for Panties…Calm personality, likeable.
    Job skills (unknown): Ability to Control House: 4 – hmmm

    House’s Journey: People Don’t Change is a television trope especially used in comedies. The first episode of the show to the last should have the same stuff going on. Networks love this because you need to know very little beyond the show premise t follow the plot line. House is technically a procedural. And if in the last seven year we spent as little peronsonal time with House as we do with the Law and Order people, then yes – House could go on forever.

    But DS has instead said that this show is actually a character study. Again this is fine, but we are in the resurgence of this type of drama. And in 2011, The descerning audience now DEMANDS shows actually GO SOMEWHERE – see complaints on Heroes, Lost season 3, The Killing, 24. If your audience has no hope that the character/story is going somewhere they get disillusioned and wonder why they are spending time on this show vs many other options. House doesn’t have to change completely. But he has to not only learn SOMETHING, but then he has to APPLY IT, not just forget it the next episode. Ie. House learns from Wilson’s anger post Amber to not take Wilson for granted – how long did that last? Or House learns that Rachel Cuddy really cares about him, then the next week drives a car through her house in a fit of anger at her mother. Or House learns he cares enough about 13 to kill her when needed, then commits an act the could lock him up in jail forever so that he could be in prison if/when that time came.

    The problem with 1 forward, 2 back, is that on the gameboard of life at this point we are now 7 spaces back from where House was in season 1! I want to see House “in the black” emotionally in the end. He doesn’t need to be at a 10, but even a nice +4 would be progress! They’ve got 1 season to get him there at minimum. Sadly, I don’t see how that’s possible if DS is still counting +1, -2 as he says he is.

    At the end of the day, I NEED (not want) House to “win” his core inner battle over misery just enough to have one good friend, one good love, and ONE good team to help him, even if the rest of his world (including his leg) continues to suck. Otherwise, my seven season investment is not worth it. I don’t want to be there for an end scene where House overdoses/gets shot/falls off motorcycle, etc, we fade to a beach with a happy House, and then fade to black, THE END leaving me to wonder if he died or not. Fool me once, David Shore, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    Wow that was long. Sorry!

  • Doya

    WOW! Excellent @Kaliera! This is exactly what a lot of us are struggling with. The glimmer of hope that the writers allegedly (according to fans) were shwoing at the end is no where near what anyone is saying. The little bit we know about the plan doesn’t create much excitement because it doesn’t make sense unless we forget years of the narrative. It’s hard to understand how they ever thought this would be acceptable to a large portion of the viewers, but here we are and DS and the writers are certainly preparing us for an ending that does not show the progress in this journey. We are much further back that we were at S1, and that is disheartening.

  • Mikey

    I was not happy with season 7 at all. I think the best way to make season 8 good would be to have the dean of medicine be Dr. Cameron. I realized she was what made House good. She had this wierd relationship/connection with him, and was the only person to tell him no. She would be the best dean. That one episode where she was dean was awesome.

  • neverending0410

    As far as a new Dean, what if Vogler were to re-appear and step into that spot?

  • Ben

    @Mikey Jennifer Morrison is now in a critically acclaimed new show. It’s very unlikely they will revsit any of Cameron’s storyline and as an actress she would be taking a step back to return to House rather than stick with this new show. I wish her success. She deserves it.

  • Ben

    @neverending0410 Vogler didn’t have a medical license, so although he could do the Administrator role, he could not be the DoM. At least that’s the real life argument. If the writers choose to continue on this route of perposterous storylines, he could return. However, being fully in that role, it’s unlikely he’d ever hire House back at the hospital, so they’d have to REALLY distort the past and the character to make it work. They did that in S7 and it didn’t work well. I hope they won’t go that route.

  • 08joanna

    “Moving On” was certainly a divisive episode. Some people loved it (it’s currently near the top in the TWOP episode ranking game, for instance), and some hated it. At first, I was one of the haters, and then I rewatched it a couple of times and completely changed my opinion. It starts out with House really trying to change, trying to close things with Cuddy on a mature, positive note (returning her possessions), and listening to his doctor for a change (i.e., staying in bed after his surgery — at least for the first part of the episode). Even after his disastrous lunch with Cuddy, when he’s feeling awful, he goes to her house and calmly walks up to the door to return the brush. It all goes terribly wrong when he sees her inside on a double date, after she’d just told him earlier that day that she wasn’t seeing anyone. The lead-up to the crash is more and more understandable and believable on repeated viewings. I still think what he did was horrible, of course, but I no longer think it was out of character, and I don’t think it makes him irredeemable. So, I’m eagerly looking forward to Season 8, to see how he’ll fare in prison, how they’ll explain how he got there (I’m betting he voluntarily turned himself in after a few days of thinking about what he’d done), and how he returns to PPTH. The new characters sound interesting, and I don’t think I’ll miss Cuddy at all, as the writers had turned her into a very unlikeable character at the end of Season 7. As for the new dean, I think either Foreman or Chase could work, but not Wilson.

  • housemaniac

    Kaliera #60: I enjoyed your comments but I really don’t think House’s act can be considered domestic violence. In fact, I don’t think the law would see it that way. Domicile violence, perhaps. The issues for his medical practice seem to me to be: 1) the crime; 2) the drug addiction; 3) the other erratic, irresponsible and criminal behavior he has been known to engage in. The only new dimenson here is 1. Lots of doctors are (or at least used to be) drug addicts. Freud, for one. I would say the illegalities of various sorts are the hurdles. And here, yes, we may have a little suspension of disbelief or a lot of hoops for House to jum through, or both. Could be interesting, though I do not think, as I said before, the writers should dwell too much on getting House back into practicing medicine somehow. If nothing else, House has always been unorthodox. Nor has he ever irreparably harmed a patient. That’s the most important thing for any doctor, and all too rare.

    My two cents on the most popular topic on this thread: Foreman will be dean.

  • ann uk

    Re H.L.’s salary. Can anyone imagine any other actor bringing the essential subtlety and complexity needed to make a character like House believable?Or sustaining such a way out drama over eight years? David Shore has said himself that H.L. made the show work.
    I think the writers faced a dilemma with the House/Cuddy relationship. If it worked it would destroy the vital tension between them and if it was going to fail it could not simply fade away- it had to end with a bang.
    House has always had the potential
    for violent emotion. He fears it and supresses it.I dont say what he did was excusable but it is understandable. Remember he had brought himself to the point of taking the blame for the breakdown and Cuddy’s turning to another man is almost cold-bloodedly practical. House feels betrayed and belittled and his long-tried self control finally snaps.
    I dont know what will become of him now but I cant wait to find out.

  • Too Funny

    #67 and #68: Who could get through the day without at least one rationalization? Especially if he has big blue eyes.

  • Bill

    I agree completely with those who have said last season’s finale permanently altered the main character of this show, and not in a good way. Among others, House could have killed Cuddy’s young daughter. The writers and producers know they made a mistake and have been doing damage control by claiming House knew no one would get hurt seriously injured. That is so ridiculous it’s humorous.

    I won’t be watching what should be the final season of what has been a great series, simply because I no longer have any interest in what happens to Hugh Laurie’s character.

  • Too Funny

    #70 Yet you come here to comment on a show you are no longer going to watch?? You silly fan-girls make me laugh by using male names to try and hide yourselves!

  • Anne

    After the comments regarding the way the script read, I’m actually convinced the stage direction did suggest this would be more comic than dramatic, however the topic itself, along with faulty execution caused this to be so tragic. The intent was not to destroy the character, or degrade him to this level, but unfortunately that is exactly what happened. It was classic tunnel vision, failing to see the forrest for the trees. Perhaps it’s because they are tired, or have other interests, or just lost their mojo, but the loss of dignity in this character has been a tragic casualty. A lot of people are feeling this loss – even after multiple viewings. Understanding the metaphor does not change the overall message and impact for many of us. I hope they do find a way to fix this in S8.

  • Sam

    68 @Ann UK I think the kind of thinking that limited them to only those two outcomes for Huddy is what got them into the mess. They didn’t think inside the story, within the relationship, they just anticipated two outcomes. Exploration is much more than that. If they had actually explored the issues of House within the relationship, the break-up would/could have been received better. TPTB have even admitted they knew the dysfunction was working and so they created shallow challenges for the couple. They also admitted Huddy could only break-up if they established an issue inside Cuddy that didn’t really involve House. In my opinion, they failed, but after admitting that, it’s obvious they saw more than these two options. They chose the route that would require a lot of manipulation of characters and cannon to make it work. In the end, that choice is what hurt them the most. In the past they showed more courage and creativity. The fears behind this storyline robbed them of what was most needed for it to work. In the end, the “only” way they could see to truly end this was with violence, thus damaging House in the minds of a large part of the audience. It was all very limiting in their direction. There were many, many directions that could have gone. The one the chose hurt them the most. Sad, but true. Besides, They say they like pill-popping House who wants to be alone best. So, they chose the route that would get them to that point with as little exploration as possible. Totally unworthy of their gifts and talents. The S8 DoM quest sounds like more of the same.

  • Too Funny

    Oh, I beg your paaaaardon, Too Funny #71. You stole my nom de plume and chastised another under my auspices. I’m scandalized! In future, please have the courtesy to bad-mouth others using your own anonymous sobriquet. Respectfully Yours, “Too Funny #69.”

    @Anne #72: There may be some truth behind your statement that the penultimate scene might have been meant to be “more comic than dramatic.” Its just too bad that David Shore is the only one laughing. But you do make a good point and I can certainly follow your reasoning.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    To the author of comment #71:

    As one of the site’s comments editors, I refer you to the Blogcritics comments policy, which states that it is grounds for immediate banning to post using another commenter’s name. If I am forced to do this, I doubt you will find it Too Funny.

    Final warning.

  • 60 plus

    (Contains spoilers.) I decided to do this in order to try to put myself in the shoes of the House writing/production team, based only on what I know to be fact. I wanted to look at the reality of the task that faced them, without trying to ascribe motivation or blame or make inferences about events of the past few months that were not based on fact.

    Let’s play a game called “Showrunner.”

    You are David Shore. This is your reality.

    1. On or about May 10, your show is renewed for an eighth season, the end of Hugh Laurie’s current contract. There is no guarantee that this won’t be the last season.

    2. A few days before May 23, you learn that Lisa Edelstein has chosen not to renew her contract. This came as a surprise; it was not your choice, and just recently, she was with you and other House people in Israel.

    You know how you wrote the last episodes of the season, including the finale, which was written and filmed a month or so ago, but not yet aired; you know the general vision you had in mind for Season 8 when the finale was completed; and you know that that vision included Lisa and her character, Cuddy. You are immediately confronted with the question: “How do we regroup without them?

    3. The season finale airs on May 23, followed by a large negative response from many viewers. This also comes as a surprise to you, because, for whatever reasons, and rightly or wrongly, their interpretation of what aired is not what you intended when the script was written.

    4. At some point, it is decided that Olivia Wilde will not be available for many Season 8 episodes.

    5. Now, you have to fulfill your contract to produce Season 8. In light of Numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4, how do you and your team best plan for the season’s story line while staying true to your vision of the show and its characters?

    ****************

    I don’t think I could come up with anything better than the scenario that is emerging. I am hopeful. It is apparent that there will be serious consequences resulting from House’s actions in the Season 7 finale, not limited to the jail time. Two new actresses have been hired to balance out the loss of Lisa and Olivia. Rumors are flying about the new Dean of Medicine. (My personal opinion is that it will be Foreman. I don’t like it, but it seems to me that with the addition of the two new gals making a total of five, one of the men has to leave House’s team. Foreman seems the logical choice to me in terms of setting up the new power dynamic at PPTH, which I believe will be significant, especially to House. I can’t see Chase or Taub as a realistic choice, although I could be wrong…this show has surprised me many times!) I am glad that there is no hint of ships and that House and Wilson seem to be headed for their “baseline” relationship of best friends. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even see clinic patients! And, because this is a TV show and not reality, I am more than willing to suspend disbelief about how House regains his license (if he does) and gets back on staff at PPTH. I’ll be only somewhat interested in knowing what happens to Taub, although I love his comic relief. I am curious about what will happen to 13, especially if this is the last season. On a lighter note, I’m sorry that it looks as though we won’t see or hear from Domenica again. I was never convinced she was a hooker, and I liked her spirit!

    All in all, after the turmoil of the past months, I am eagerly awaiting October 3. This remarkable team has given me so much pleasure for seven years that I can only give them the benefit of the doubt, trusting that they have regrouped under difficult circumstances and will continue to produce the awesome show that is House. My biggest regret about the season’s beginning is that I’m sadly of the opinion that it will be the last.

    Thanks for playing. :)

  • EuropeanFanHouseFan

    Yay for season 8! Can’t wait.

    Out of the choices available I have to say Wilson is the most logical choice but I really wouldn’t want him as House’s boss. No way! *fingers crossed*

    I’d rather have Foreman. Lots of conflict to be had between him and House. But he would probably say no to House just because he can.

    I have never seen Chase as ambitious at all so would he really take that job? Maybe, but I can’t see it. It could be interesting though.

    Taub? Just NO!

    If there is one person I’ll be missing next season it will be 13. *sighs* What I’ve read she’s only in for tops 3 episodes. Liked her with House.

    I watch for Houses journey. Moving On did not change that for me. It was another side to him that has been boiling inside him for a long time. What happened was violent and extreme. The problem is how aware was he? Does he regret it at all? I hope we get some answers there despite the time jump, cause that could change my view on him. I’d like to see remorse and his realization that it was a horrible act.

    I hope the prison doc will be ok. I am definitley intruiged. Maybe she has been sort of his “shrink”. Someone he could confide in while helping out in the “clinic” and hence their working well together.

    Bring on Season 8! And please give Hugh his Emmy!

  • Action Kate

    Kaliera, you made many excellent points. I agree with much of what you said.

    I am pleased to hear House will be in jail because he deserves it after that violent act. And frankly he needs to go back to rehab and dry out again, because a sober and stable House wouldn’t have been capable of such violence.

    I vote Chase for Dean, for many of the reasons Barbara mentioned.

    And I’m also happy that Olivia Wilde’s movie career is taking off, because she’s been a hundred times better in any other role than 13.

  • Jules

    Thanks for the pick me up Barbara!

    My first choice is Chase because i think he is the one that has grown the most out of the original ducklings and he understands House more than any of them, he also has experience of working outside of House’s little world and demanded evidence before agreeing to a procedure.

    Foreman’s my second choice but as much as he wanted to break out of House’s grip he has become more like House IMO. The show claimed they were alike in earlier seasons but now he is a whipped puppy when it comes to what House does because he has experienced it first hand and respects what House does too much. As evidenced in season 7 he cannot sleep at night thinking about ‘one’ patient so what would he be like if he was in charge of all of them?

    I would personally like an outsider but i think the show are right in keeping it in the family since whomever takes over will be compared to Cuddy anyway.

  • Jules

    @76 60 plus

    Brilliant!! I am right there with you, i cannot wait to see what they come up with for season 8 and have complete faith that they will deliver. Back to basics is music to my ears.

  • Lance

    @60 Plus. DS would have more sympathy if the bulletpoints you listed were all factual. Unfortunately, there have been interviews, admissions and reports that suggest some of what you list is not fact. DS didn’t have an idea of where he was going in S8, he did know he was writing LE out of the script in S8 (the missed negotiations just sped things up). There has been some subterfuge behind the scenes so trusting these so-called facts is not easy for a lot of people. He didn’t anticipate the finale reaction, but he should have, so clearly there was a fail behind the scenes that did involve him, the showrunner. So, he is accountable. Now, he does have to do whatever he can to salvage it, but it’s going to be a challenge and he is partially responsible for it even though he was surprised by some circumstances.

  • Oversimplified

    @60 plus

    With regards to Shore not being certain if the show will be renewed he has the power to pull the plug whenever he wants. I genuinely can’t get my head around why he’d want to continue in a job he’s admitted he’s bored of for a season further than this one, aside for the obvious financial one I guess.

    Generally, the showrunner’s aversion to biting the bullet and setting a definitive end date which they can work towards creatively is proving problematic, as is his lack of planning regarding where he’s ‘ultimately’ taking his protagonist and it’s probably half the reason why Fox seem to have him over barrel in negotiations. It’s like going in to see the bank manager for a loan and having no business plan: it puts him in a weak position to negotiate. I’d also go so far as to suggest that it puts his actors in a weaker position too, especially if their character is easily written out because of what’s happened in the narrative and you’re not in a place to say that they’re essential to the next season because they are integral in X, Y and Z narrative arcs as you haven’t even discussed that yet. Both Vince Gilligan and Matthew Weiner have faired better with AMC because they know essentially where they are taking their shows and when they’ll end. On the other hand House has been treading water for a couple of seasons as the writers take shots in the dark hoping it’ll make sense in the general context of what’s to come.

    My gut feeling is that we already saw the ending that Shore wanted for House at the end of Season 5. The trouble was the ratings were still good and I imagine the offer to continue was too hard to refuse, especially as he was given the opportunity to side-step and work on the Rockford Files project, whilst Katie Jacobs took more of the strain. Now we’re in the situation where a significant number of people working on the show just doesn’t have their heart in it anymore and it’s got to have an effect on quality. People who are apathetic about their work just don’t go to the same lengths as those who are still passionate about it.

  • Al

    I like Cameron for the next dean

  • Kaliera

    #67 Housemaniac,
    I would respectfully disagree. Cuddy is his ex, he used a “deadly weapon” (his car), he inflicted major physical damage (on her house) and psycological damage (on Cuddy and her guests). His motivation was (on the surface at least) jealousy over a new suitor and the act was completely intentional. Sadly, it’s the very definition of domestic violence More importantly – within the episode – a POLICE OFFICER referenced it as a “domestic situation” and his action when Cuddy at first previcated was “oh look another victim of DV not willing to press charges.”

    They wrote themselves into a horrible corner – made worse by House’s run to the beach all smiley-faced, and made even more worse by David Shore’s continued attempt to explain that “House was only trying to hurt Cuddy’s home.” Ugh.

    David may TRULY believe that – and it might have been interesting to see how this had played out if it had happened in March as originally planned. Instead, the very people who should have red flagged this as an issue (the show’s current execs) were the ones who suggested it be moved to the finale so we could all stew on it for months extending it’s impact. And where was the networks standards and practices person in this? There should have been LEVELS of people who caught/anticipated this but didn’t.

    I know that I would feel differently if S8 was truly going to be an exploration of a House who had irrevocably burned all his bridges (as Peter and Kath suggested he had in their post episode vlog) like the burning of Agrestic in Weeds or Walter’s descent in Breaking Bad. Hugh would act the hell out of that and it would make sense to me as a natural progression. But this has been rejected by DS. Strange to me that they can WRITE the words “You can’t go backwards” but are actually going to try it narratively. The mood of the country has changed dramatically since 2004. What worked then (even done well) may not work now.

  • Mariana

    May I suggest Chase’s former wife for next dean? This will be fun :)

  • BrokenLeg

    First of all, thank you Barbara for this new article,I can’t wait next one, but….polling?This is HL last year contract, he has said many times he want to return to the UK, and without him there are no House,so…?

    @ 82 Oversimplified

    As you wrote: “With regards to Shore not being certain if the show will be renewed he has the power to pull the plug whenever he wants. I genuinely can’t get my head around why he’d want to continue in a job he’s admitted he’s bored of for a season further than this one, aside for the obvious financial one I guess.”

    As a member of a creative profession myself, I can’t agree more!But not even generous earnings can substitute never the passion on all creative process.

    I can see too a great amount of improvisation, both not beeing able to foresee fans reaction about Season 7 finale, and not knowing how to begin and develope next and last 8 Season, without LE and mostly OW.

    I agree with @ 81 Lance post,in most of it too.

    About new DoM, I have no preferences, but I think that if is one of the main team members,is only dued to budget reasons, and that is not a good reason at all.

    I’d pray that the writing of this new season recovers again its brilliance of old times, and take again good care of all the details, as one of the first post of this thread said before me.No more of “kabooms”, please.

    And about Season 8, lets we see, after all we are always free to continue watching or not.But just right now,in the next [H]season, I need to see some light at the end of the tunnel…..

  • Linda

    Guys! People love Cameron, but Jennifer Morrison is on a great knew show as a lead. A wonderful opportunity for her beyond House. This isn’t about not liking Cameron, because I do, but the actress has moved on and she deserves success. She won’t be the DoM.

  • Austin

    His Ex wife?

  • Austin

    Stacy Warner I believe her name was

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Stacy is his ex-significant other, not ex wife. She’s a lawyer, however, not a doctor :)

  • Earth Orbiter

    Hey, Broken Leg! How’s the knee?

  • Mickey Duo

    Have you guys seen the first promo for Season 8? It looks intense!

  • lobentti

    Hey, everybody!
    All these speculations only hide the main challange: How are they going to explain why Lisa Cuddy left her beloved PPTH ? to get married? had a heart attack and died? moved to other country???? Lisa Edelstein, the actress, we know is now in The Good Wife show; but, for Lisa Cuddy, no explanations :/ Anything to say? hope they do this in a very good way or the House show will suffer a lot. Let´s wait and see.

  • Earth Orbiter

    @Mickey Duo: Seen it. Looks like House gets the sh*t kicked out of him once or twice. Good. Its been a long time since he got his @ss kicked. Too bad its not Cuddy doing it with a steel-toed boot (Ferragamo, of course).

    @lobentti: Actually, I think DS said something about that in an interview, that a reference to her absence will be made, which I imagine will suffice for an explanation. Therefore, we can assume that the subject will not be ignored all together.

  • BrokenLeg

    @ 91 Earth Orbiter

    The knee is doing very, very well.Still in my late rehab. I just can ride my motorcycle “peacefully” these days again. And I hope I’ll be able to do alpin skiing these winter again, and I can work now as a “fully functional” human being again!! Many thanks for asking!But I’ll conserve my nickname in the future, as a remembering of how fragile one can be sometimes….

    I hope the holiday hiatus were a good,good time to you, and to everybody in this blog

  • lobentti

    @Earth Orbite thanks, I hope so!

  • Kunuk

    @Mickey Duo:

    I watched this yesterday when I saw the link over at MaryKir’s site, and again just now. I’m not surprised that House seems to be up to his usual antics even in prison, but I honestly can’t decide if I feel any excitement towards Season 8 at this point.

    I’m just hoping Shore and Co. don’t kill him off at the end of this season. The House we know is screwed up and dysfunctional, but he’s stronger than that. I’m sure Hugh would think it would be spectacular (he loves the unusual stuff), but seriously, anything but death. I don’t think I could ever watch another episode again even in syndication. It would be tainted for sure.

  • BrokenLeg

    97 @ KunuK

    I fear that Greg House death will be exactly the end of the series. Due to the pesimistic view of life that Shore has( as can be easily understood from his interviews)I fear that this will be the end at all. Maybe “a redempteion death”, maybe a glorious one, maybe another kind of it, but, just at this moment, I can’t see any other possible end. And it’s an end that assures no further seasons, spin-offs, etc..

    As I myself post in other thread of this blog at the end of season 7,”That’s exactly my feeling!!! I feel myself drained, exhausted, and many times I ask myself why I’ve watched all these seven years, and if it will be worth seeing next season. And if the only reason to watch [H] is HL great acting, or even if that is not enough….

    And , as seem on this journey to the darkest side, the end rock bottom is House’s own death or not.Hopeless.”

    I’m usually a half-full glass person, but I can’t see any kind of future peace in Greg House life, as David Shore is developing the events.Remember the mantra “People don’t change”…

    Although I desire to be absolutely wrong.

  • dago

    But don`t forget:They play with our emotions.Never ever in my life I got so involved in a TV series like with House.I aöways liked to watch a well done series like NCIS or various CSI spinoffs or to name older ones like Magnum or Rockfort.I always liked the characters but they never got me like House does.It is in fact extraordinary but also very disturbing –
    wich is simply the nature of emotion.

  • Charlotte

    The end of the series will probably be Greg House contracting and eventually dying from a fatal disease that even he himself is unable to accurately diagnose… Personally, after viewing the season 8 twenty second promo as well as the episode 1 sneak peek, I can hardly wait for the new season to begin!

  • The Other Barnett

    I’m not going to get bogged down with whether House will be a Dr. or not (of course he will) or what the dynamic will be with House returning after a year (it will be weird and he will overcome it and overwhelm it). I am very curious about who wil be Dean.

    I agree with Barb about Andre Braugher (I love him, but his professional background does not fit the Dean’s position,,,,unless. The one interesting approach to take if Braugher does get inserted (I am rooting) for) is if it is to “diagnose” the dysfunction of the hospital as a whole for the Bd. of Directors. What if House returns just a few months after Cuddy leaves to discover his shrink trying to do a full-on hospital psycho-analysis? This could cover a half-season if the writers could handle it.

    I agree that Waltros’s character did not impress as a physician, but I never thought Cuddy was much of a Dr. She was a paper pusher and negotiator – maybe an average Dr. So, maybe she gets in as a nod to experimental medicine.

    I agree that Foremna would be a horrible permanent Dean, but imagine if he is placed in the spot and run off by House? It happened to Cameron, why not Foreman. And, I must disagree with Barb on one thing she said about Foreman. I think that Foreman’s self-righteousness makes him only more galling than House…not more arrogant.

    Chase as Dean is interesting, but only in a similar temp. job way. He is best as Tonto to House’s Lone Ranger. Maybe he could emerge from House’s shadow, but not to the point of being Dean.

    Do not bring Cameron back just to be Dean. She was run off before. The only story gold in this is Chase and her interaction with House’s prodding.

    I think this leaves three people who could (theoretically) be in House’s life and be familar, but maybe not in any obvious way.

    Ron Livingston comes back, after saving half-of Africa, to take on this Dean’s position in more of an ornamental way than a serious manner. The dark lord House vs. the humanitarian Dean….lovely opportunities!

    Why not think of Mira Sorvino! She could come back from Antarctica to be the actual Dean of Medicine. She has academic credentials, research background, and seems like someone who could manage House and the others deftly. And, of course, we always have the potential of a love-interest.

    Finally, if I may be humble and pleading – MAURA TIERNEY! The writers could concoct some history between them (maybe they were at Johns Hopkins together, went down to Atlantic City and got a quicky wedding and divorce all in one week). Tierney has this gritty, feminine, spunky way about her. And, if anyone has seen her with short hair, you do not think of Abby from ER, you only think – ‘smart and sexy’.

    Now I’ll read everyone’s thoughts and start responding….and look forward to anyone’s comments on mine.

  • Earth Orbiter

    Ron Livingston? That’s an interesting idea. I hadn’t thought of him. And he would be a logical choice, too, considering his background.

    Maura Tierney would be great, I agree, and your suggestion could work, especially since these writers are really, really, really good at re-writing history. My TV Guide subscription comes with a bottle of #20 Ret-Con capsules for just those occasions (or if I want to immediately “forget” a really crappy episode, such as “Moving On”).

  • Austin

    The dean is an administrative position and does not necessarily have to be filled by a doctor

  • housemaniac

    Kaliera#84: Well, I think we can agree that DS et al. did not *intend* for it to be an act of domestic violence. The policeman’s comment is interesting, but imprecise. The bottom line, though, is that whatever one calls it, the crime was a nasty one and it’s right that House go to prison for it. Looking forward to seeing how he get’s out and back to being a doctor, which I really hope he does. Yes, he deserves to be punished and kicked around and whatever else. But I think the main setting of this show *has* to be the hospital!

  • RobF

    I felt massively, massively let down by the Season 7 finale. It had been an uneven season, and we were all expecting something drastic, but they just went too far with it. The final scene, showing House actually pleased with himself, took House too far down the path to WalterWhiteVille. The series has been about showing how this man, who believes nobody can change, gradually changes. Despite his glaring faults and emotional hang-ups, he has been developing as a person from the beginning of the show. He has certainly taken backwards steps along the way, but we’ve seen him grow as a human season after season. Tragically, this last action removes our sympathy for him.

    I will probably watch the show in Season 8, even though I feel no enthusiasm for watching the new, diminished man try to gain back a shred of his former self. It is just too thoroughly depressing, and feels like an epilogue to the series.

    Who knows? Maybe the writers will surprise us all and the show will be brilliant.

    I don’t have much preference for any particular character to fill Cuddy’s position. It has to be someone who could plausibly take the role, so not Cameron, Chase, or Thirteen. One of the minor characters who has a history with House would be fine, depending on the actor’s ability.

    As for the team, they have pretty much used up each character’s role as a certain type of foil for House. The writers need to move past those one-dimensional characterisations and take the interpersonal relationships somewhere with more depth.

    I know the writers and the stellar cast have it in them to give us something special. I hope they step outside the worn-out formula and give the show a worthy farewell.

  • Cyndi Tessler

    What about Stacey?
    Most hospitals CEO’s are not Docs, that is what the Medical Director is for. Please, please, let House find some peace and happiness this last season. If not, writers have simply been jerking us around for 7 seasons.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Cyndi,

    Cuddy is the Dean of Medicine, most importantly to the show’s narrative. She has to be replaced by a doctor–Stacy’s a lawyer.

  • Daniela

    What about Dr. Cameron as the new Dean?

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Daniela–she could certainly do it, but Jen Morrison is starring in a new television series, debuting at the end of October. So I doubt she would be even remotely available.

  • Cyndi Tessler

    Barbara, You are right. But in the real world the DOM is not the CEO.
    Creative license let Cuddy run the hospital. How about a new DOM and Stacy.
    As you can tell, I want House to find some peace. And while we’re at it. Give Wilson a break! He is always looking for love in all the wrong places too.If this is the final season, end on a positive note.

  • My Three Sons

    I’m with Mikey (#62) regarding Dr Cameron. I think she’d be great as Dean of Medicine.

    IMO, it’d be tiresome to see Chase, Wilson, or (especially) Foreman as DoM. He’s already trumped all of them time and again, so what would be the point?

    The only character with anything left to explore is Cameron. Too bad she’s booked with a new series. She did say in a recent interview that she’d like to come back to help “end” the House series. I wondered if that might be a slip… I don’t know if it’s humanly possible to film 2 series at the same time, but it sure would be fun to see her come back.

    I’ve been a House Fool from the beginning, but the S7 finale wrecked my love of the show and the House character. So I hope that S8 is indeed the final season.

  • BCO

    I think it would be cool if Cameron returned to the show as DOM.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Doctors can be hospital CEOs, but a dean of medicine requires medical expertise lawyers can’t have (unless they’re also doctors). So, I’m afraid Stacy would be out of the question. The dean of medicine is the expert’s expert. Has to be a doctor.

  • Angie

    I was so disappointed with last season, but not because of the last episode. The last episode made sense to me. Once again, people try to tell House how he should respond and behave and when he does what they suggest, disaster follows. He was told repeatedly to “face his anger,” and then people were shocked when that turned bad. How much anger does House have? An entire lifetime’s worth. Almost every time he takes a step forward, something shoves him back. Sometimes it’s his own failings, but often it’s because his efforts are not rewarded or seem to be punished. There is a streak of magical thinking in House. As much as he pretends to be purely reason-based, he believes that people get what they deserve–or at least HE does (other people exist under different rules, mostly.) Since he never gets what he really needs or wants, he must deserve pain. He must be BAD. I think House cares very much about whether he’s good or bad, but he can’t break free of the notion that he just IS bad and people don’t change. If House were an actual person, I’d put money on a narcissistic, punitive father who projected his fears about himself onto a child who didn’t know any better than to believe what he was told about himself.

    I love the character, and think he is beautifully portrayed by Hugh Laurie. I was not put off by the last episode. I don’t need House to be “good,” I need for the story to make sense. Sometimes we have to fill in the gaps (House’s childhood, for example, is sort of a mystery), but I think overall, the writers have done a good job with House’s character development.

    I just hope there aren’t any more arbitrary jerk-the-audience-around episodes. I despise those.

  • Lyle

    What about Stacy Warner? She was House’s first love intrest and at one point she worked Along with Lisa Cuddy during the episode with the convict granted she’s a lawyer but I have a feeling she’s going to have something to do with House when he is released from prison or how ever there starting this new season

  • Joe

    I never understood this stance held by many here that “the character of House is ruined” after the season 7 finale. These people see him as an irredeemable villain now. Do some of you not realize that good people are still capable of making horrible mistakes? Have none you ever done something reckless under the influence of (pick one) drugs, alcohol, anger, jealously, hatred that, when you come to your senses leaves you sick with guilt? House is fortunate that other than a destroyed dining room, nothing irreversible has happened here. Yes, he has probably lost Cuddy forever…but imagine if he had actually killed her? I am of the belief that redemption is always possible. In the case of House, he is (privately) exceptionally hard on himself. The show has hit this note a few times now: when he goes to a bar and provokes a beating, it is because he thinks he deserves it. In a sick way, he is trying to atone for something. His prison stint is going to be interesting, if only because his own guilt is going to eat him alive.

  • marolize

    Where does House’s old flame fit in? Maybe she could come back as the new DOM. I am talking about the girlfriend who gave the ok to cut out his muscle tissue.

  • Bill

    20 Vicodin is the tax he has to pay since he’s a short timer. I.E. he’s getting paroled.

  • mj

    After having watched several season eight episodes, I’m quite disappointed. Odette Annabel in no way replaces Lisa Edelstein. LE added much needed sex appeal, style, maturity and a provocative relationship with House. Annabel adds nothing. The cases now are so convoluted that they’re boring. If this is a desire to make this the final season of House, this wish soon will be fulfilled.