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House, M.D.: Heading into the End of Season Seven

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For weeks now, I’ve ruminated upon why some of my friends in the House, M.D. fandom have become frustrated with the series. Why am I’m still enjoying House’s (the ever-incredible Hugh Laurie) journey, while others have become disenchanted? And still others, who a year ago or more wondered why I was still so intrigued, have rediscovered House, finding it once again enjoyable?

I know the arguments on both sides: what people have told me;Hugh Laurie  as House and Cuddy - Courtesy FOX what I’ve read on the couple of fan forums on which I participate—and of course the very lively comment thread at Blogcritics’ Welcome to the End of the Thought Process feature. Personally, I continue to be captivated by House’s story. I love that he has struggled this year with his tendency to screw things up, putting in an effort to make things work with Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein). I’m sad it has ended, yet I’m incredibly curious about what will happen now that they have to really deal with each other for the first time since “Bombshells.”

I hated that House had gone insane after the breakup, setting his self-destructive button to “11.” But it is perfectly in character. We know he fell apart after he and Stacy broke up. I don’t imagine he sat in a corner and cried; I do imagine that he set out to destroy himself, leaving Wilson to pick up the pieces.

Yes, he indulges himself with a bevy of hookers, trying to bury his pain over the breakup. Yes, he tries his best to hurt Cuddy back, finding no satisfaction in it. Those two episodes following “Bombshells” are very hard to watch, but not because they are “bad.”

Hugh Laurie as the much battered House, M.D. courtesy FOX

I’m certainly disappointed that the pivotal House-Cuddy relationship fell apart so quickly after a multi-year build up, although in “real time” they’d been together nearly a year. But, I’m a big fan of the boy meet girl-boy loses girl dramatic structure, so I’m not entirely sure if in the end, we don’t see House back together with Cuddy (or even Stacy, for that matter).

But the comments from some long-time fans, many of whose opinions I’ve respected since almost the start of the series, have to make me wonder whether there’s something I’m missing? Has the series begun to lose a step? Or has genuine disappointment with the series’ main story arc formed a tipping point after which all the small irritants become now become magnified?

Does, then, the tolerance for those smaller annoyances (like plot holes, timeline goofs, or temporarily setting a favored character into the background, for example) depend on your disappointment with the larger story? Have the little things that have annoyed many viewers for years come into high relief and hence a step too far, after sending House tumbling once again very close to the abyss as he had been in the aftermath of “Bombshells?” (And for other fans with the scuttling of Jennifer Morrison’s Cameron?)

In seasons past we’ve heard some of the same complaints: too little House, the absence of clinic beats, too little interaction between House and the patient; House isn’t being serious enough; House’s misery is to unrelenting.  I would agree with many of those grievances and have aired them myself. Where I disagree is in the notion that the writing has suddenly become “bad,” and that the overall story has derailed into a black hole.

Although I’m disappointed that House and Cuddy’s relationship ends in “Bombshells,” I’m not unhappy with the show; I don’t think it’s necessarily time for House to be happy and healed. I’m also an unrepentant angst whore, so I would not be crazy about a happy and lighthearted House, if that ever happened for very long. Does he deserve happiness? Absolutely. Does he deserve to be loved? Of course. And I’m thrilled we’ve gotten to see this side of him during Season 7. But where would they go from here?

I know the one of the series’ main tropes is that “people don’t change,” and I accept that. People can want to change; people can reveal heretofore repressed and hidden parts of themselves, but they are who they are. They can cope better or worse as the years pass, and their own situation and relationships change around them, but the fundamental person doesn’t change. Maybe House can learn to better cope with life (and perhaps this is a perfect opportunity for the return of Dr. Nolan, the wonderful Andre Braugher!), but he is who he is.

We’ve known House for nearly seven years at this point. The surprises are fewer, and maybe his behavior after seven years of misery and angst is less forgivable now than it was before we knew just how set into the fiber of his being it is. Fans sometimes tell me that they watch an episode from one of the first few seasons and marvel at the subtle storytelling: how it begins to weave House’s story through the patient’s experience, and how that doesn’t happen nowadays. I would agree that there have been missed opportunities to explore House’s relationship with his father—and his mother; even his codependent relationship with Wilson through one or another patient these past couple of years. But that’s always been the case with the show (and I would venture to guess other series as well).

But as Season 7 winds down to the final four episodes, I wonder if some of those disenchanted fans will come around? Might they be happier with the show’s direction and story line come the season finale?

That definitely happened in Season 4, arguably the most controversial season for fans. Many intensely disliked most of that season, admittedly an aberration broken up with a long writers strike.

The hiring arc cast as a game show struck a lot of fans as too over the top and unbelievable, even from within House’s world. Upset that Chase, Cameron and Foreman had been cut from House’s team at the end of Season 3, fans were in no mood to see Chase return not to diagnostics, but to surgery, and even more unbelievably to see Cameron suddenly chief of the Emergency Room. That elicited a big “huh?” from regular viewers.

Episodes like “Whatever it Takes,” in which House is whisked away by black helicopter to the CIA did Season 1 no favors. Yet the power and impact of the season’s final episodes, “House’s Head,” and “Wilson’s Heart” left all the rough parts forgotten in the dust; those episodes regularly rank among the most popular and best of the best among seven seasons of House.

Every year has had points at which many fans thought the show had seen its better days. Maybe they’d had enough of House making two steps forward and three back (or even one back).

Hugh Laurie famously said several season ago that House stand on the ledge before people shout “For heaven’s sake jump already!” House has certainly been on the ledge more than a few times. The Season 2 finale finds House having been near-fatally shot; in season three, House nearly ODs on Oxycodone.

The end of Season 4, he nearly dies from brain trauma, and at the end of Season 5 he hits rock bottom as a direct result of all he suffers starting from the end of Season 4. Each time, House picks himself up to push his way forward bit by bit. He slips and falls; he suffers emotional and physical setbacks; he endures. It’s what he does.

During Season 6, House tries to be a better person (most of the time). He expresses remorse and tries to make amends. When he stumbles, he tries to repair the damage; he’s a jerk, but he tries not to be. But in the end, it’s to no avail and by the opening scenes of the Season 6 finale, House has come to the conclusion that no matter how hard he tries, it’s not enough. He’s no happier than he ever had been, despite his efforts; he’s gotten no satisfaction from his efforts. But something changes, and then at the end of Season 6, we get the taste of potential redemption.

And for the first time, many fans have hoped along with House that finally he might get a bit of happiness. During Season 7 we’ve seen House happy, tender and in love. He’s been as adult in his behavior as he’s ever been, trying to confront issues with Cuddy straight on instead of with game playing (except for those times when his fear of losing her have messed with his mind). But even this is not enough, and in the end, Cuddy makes a difficult decision to end the relationship.

House reacts to the breakup badly, reverting to his most self-destructive basic instincts. If he is going to be assumed to be irredeemable, then why not act the part? But as he tells Wilson in “Out of the Chute,” he thought he would need a couple of weeks to sort things out. And true to his word, by “The Dig,” his bender had ended. And despite the sense from some fans that House is back to “square one,” I don’t think he is. His comforting words (well, as comforting as House gets) to Hadley at the end of “The Dig” suggest a person changed by his recent experience.

There are four episodes to go in House’s Season 7. My sense is that House’s journey in those last episodes will be a bit of a roller coaster. Next week in “Changes,” Cuddy’s mother (Candice Bergen) is back in the picture, suing Princeton-Plainsboro for malpractice, and putting both House and Cuddy’s jobs on the line. The situation will undoubtedly place House and Cuddy in a position where they must finally deal with each other in the breakup’s aftermath. The remaining four episodes appear to be intense, and as always, I wait to be blown away as the seventh season draws to a close.

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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.
  • On the ledge

    Interesting article. I am hoping to see some adult conversation between Cuddy and House about their break up. The absence of that would be, quite frankly, unforgiveable.

    For me – coming back as a viewer next season heavily relies on the above, as well as a solid finale, where we are given a glimpse of direction. Of hope. A sense that we haven’t been watching the same old storyline over the past 7 years.

    Show me something new. Show me something interesting and enthralling.

    And for goodness sakes – don’t have a finale that reveals that this was all some sort of hallucination. Been there, done that. Multiple times.

  • Annie

    I wholeheartedly agree that the season finales of House are always amazing. The show really steps it up at the end of the season, and I have never been disappointed before.

    Regarding the controversy over Season 7: I’ve never thought that the writing on House was really “bad”. However, I do think it isn’t as good as before, and I can’t really blame the writers for this. The show is nearing the end of its seventh year, so it’s unreasonable to expect that the patient cases will be as engaging and the comebacks as snappy as before.

    One of my big problems was not that House and Cuddy were broken up (even though I’m an H/C shipper, I also love angst and could never see how House and Cuddy as a content, happy couple), but how the relationship was handled while it lasted. I think H/C shippers like myself were disappointed that we didn’t get to see some of the moments between House and Cuddy that we would have liked. For example, they never discussed their past together. Perhaps House would want to avoid this type of conversation, because it must be pretty painful for him to recall those memories, but I still would have liked to see something along those lines. Something like this could have replaced some scenes in the more filler-like episodes, like “Massage Therapy”, “Unplanned Parenthood”, “Carrot or Stick”, “You Must Remember This”, etc. More importantly, though, I really didn’t like what the writers did with Cuddy’s character. In “Now What”, she said that she didn’t want House to change. While I knew that she wouldn’t be able to fully follow through with that promise, I also didn’t expect her to go on a three-episode bitchphase where she was angry at House for lying to her.

    I understand why she would be upset, but it seems to me that throughout the whole short existence of their relationship, House was the only one trying, not Cuddy. I think that this is my biggest beef with this season. House tried so hard to make the relationship work, and I loved that he did that. But I just didn’t see much effort on Cuddy’s end. I guess it’s enough to “tolerate” someone like House, but come on, she’s supposed to LOVE him. I dislike that the writers seemed, from the start, to be bringing the relationship to an unhappy end. Starting from episode 4, Cuddy seemed to be on a scavenger hunt to find more and more reasons why she couldn’t be with House after all.

    Another thing, semi-minor in importance, was House’s relationship with Rachel. It seemed to be developing, and it was interesting to see House interacting with a child and developing a genuine affection for her, until it suddenly stopped. I hope that the writers will address this sometime in the last four episodes, because I remember how Cuddy warned, in “Massage Therapy”, that if she let House into Rachel’s life and they then broke up, there would be consequences. I wonder if Rachel has also been affected by their break up.

    Overall, however, I still have faith in the writers, despite the disappointment that I’ve felt during this season. I believe that they will give us an amazing finale, as they always have, and I’m really looking forward to the last four episodes. :)

  • Elisabeth

    I, too, am disappointed with where things stand and I question some of writer’s decisions that #2 Annie explained above. But I am going to wait until the end of the season to pass judgment.

  • MusicandHouse

    I totally agree with You Barbara. After each episode, I felt I had missed something because I was liking episodes others hated. Out of the Chute and Fall From Grace were two of my favorite episodes in a season of wonderful episodes. Were they sad?? Yes but the sad and over the top episodes have always been my favorites. The descriptions for all four upcoming episodes have been released and they all sound intreagueing and the finales never dissapoint so I am looking foward to the rest of the season and (*hopefully*) a season 8

  • Cate

    I am one who has gradually grown disappointed with the show. Things have reached a tipping point for me, things that I earlier tolerated, I haven’t been able to since the shoddy way they got rid of Cameron and Jennifer Morrison. I’m not a shipper, so the Huddy break up has had no real effect on me, other than to make me smack my head in the way the break has been handled. It has just been a series of disappointments the last season, and the final four episodes will probably be make it or break it for me, in regards to returning for another season.

    I’m not saying the entire season was a write off, I really enjoyed the episode where House was babysitting Rachel, but other than that? I can’t remember much of any patient of the week, unlike earlier seasons. Whether it is fatigue on my part, or shoddy writing, I’m not sure which. I’ve just been spectacularly let down by the show as a whole and not just by this season. It began it’s slide in season 4, and it’s just reached a point where I can’t invest my time and energy into excusing it anymore. Perhaps I expect too much, but some people do seem to have blinders on and forgive the show for everything it throws our way. I used to be, but this season makes it very hard to do that, when it’s just become overwhelmingly disappointing. Hopefully the finale will make me change my mind. Hopefully.

  • Doyle

    To the credit of the writers, they crafted the relationship between House and Cuddy as real people with real problems. If these two were perfectly compatible about everything, there would’ve been no opportunities for each of them to show how important that relationship meant to each other. Everyone has issues; Cuddy realized too late that the only way that House could be there for her then was if he were under the influence, but she should have also noted that he was willing to do whatever it took for him to give her what she needed, even though at that particular time he was not ready to do it while not drugged, and that this was an expression of real love.

    She also could have considered that House was clean for a year and a half while he was working on his issues with professional help, and he had been relatively successful in overcoming them without resorting to drugs. His needing Vicodin during that particular crisis did not necessarily mean that he would always need it to deal with his issues, and it also did not mean that he would always need to use it to avoid feeling pain.

    The only reason why I think that the writers did it this way was because they already decided that this relationship was going to end, and that the Vicodin, which we saw that House was addicted to at the beginning of the series, was going to return as though it were an ingrained part of his life, and this would be the means that they would use to terminate the relationship. But this decision kind of overlooks the efforts of so many, many people who have had emotional, psychological and addictive issues, but with a lot of effort and help have learned to manage them for the remainder of their lives.

  • Shannon

    @Annie

    I completely agree with everything you wrote here. I think House believed that he was making a sacrifice in order to be there for Cuddy. It broke my heart that she couldn’t see it that way. He had a lapse for what he believed was a desperate situation and it blew up in his face. (Especially sad because he had managed to find a way to do what Wilson had been encouraging him to do all along.)

  • http://barbarabarnett.wordpress.com barbara barnett

    Doyle, House was off vicodin for almost 2 years. This was a slip, perhaps just one. But the people around don’t trust him, and never have. Remember in Now What? Wilson’s first thought was that House had gone back to drugs. All during S6 as well.

    We don’t know what House is doing now that he’s coming back to his senses post Bombshells.

  • http://barbarabarnett.wordpress.com barbara barnett

    We sometimes forget that Cuddy has her own mishegoss (it’s Yiddish). She wants House, tells him that it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t change (which isn’t realistic). But I believe she believes it at the beginning, but begins to have doubts almost right from the start, which work against her (and House). There’s blame aplenty between House and Cuddy.

    In response to the comment above–I don’t have blinders on. I just think my perspective is different than yours. I didn’t like Seinfeld; my husband did. The show bored me to tears, yet it’s considered a classic. It’s a good show, but in my opinion not so much. Perception, perspective. Doesn’t make it bad, makes it not your cup of tea anymore. Completely valid, but a different argument.

  • Cate

    Barbara, I never said you have blinders on. I read your column, trying to get a perspective on why I’m seeing an episode as disappointing(and the season) and others are perfectly fine with it. I don’t know why I’m so dissatisfied with it, just that I am. It’s a combination of things. I just think that there has to be a problem somewhere, given that so many people seem to be growing disillusioned with the show. It’s good to see everyone’s opinion on the show, I’ll give it that, it does have people discussing it, regardless of what it’s been like.

    And I agree with you on Seinfeld. Can’t stand the show myself, yet my husband liked it. I have never understood why it is considered a classic.

  • http://barbarabarnett.wordpress.com barbara barnett

    Cate–This is why I decided to write the article. I wonder if people experienced some sort of tipping point moment. What is so weird to me is not that I’ve not experienced it, but that I’ve heard from so many friends who’d become disenchanted a couple of seasons ago, telling me they’ve started watching it regularly again!

  • Doyle

    @Barbara:

    There seem to be a LOT of trust issues threading their way through almost every episode this season, don’t you think? And everyone seems to be stuck in that “never trust House” rut after all this time. It is especially painful to see it still there in Cuddy and Wilson. In fact, it was obvious throughout the relationship that Cuddy never truly got over those lingering doubts about House’s potential as an adequate partner (which unfortunately turned out to be valid just that one time in “Bombshells”). How can House ever hope to achieve some sense of redemption with everyone around him (with the possible exception of Thirteen) refusing to honestly acknowledge his efforts at being a better man?

  • http://leakey-lover.livejournal.com/ leakeysfriend

    No one would like to see House, the show and the character, thrive more than I. The first epi of Season 7 told me were headed for trouble–no, it clobbered me over the head with the news.

    I keep watching, but I keep finding myself picking up a book or journal halfway through or switching to the news.

    I respectfully disagree: it’s precisely the declining quality of the writing. Your mom was the best mom in the whole world, interminable caressing shot of woman holding baby. Fade. Good god.

    If we admit senescence, the truth may yet set us free. It’s an old show, it’s full of poorly realized retreads, the medicine is dreadful, it has traded shadows and whispers for anvils, yet occasionally has enough of the old character that I can’t take my eyes off him.

    I want to see what happens. But it’s kind of like watching several cars crumple in fastec high-speed digital. Fascinating while upsetting.

  • ruthinor

    I think that the biggest problem for me this season is that the episodes didn’t flow well from one week to the next. And I disagree with those who say that the writing has not deteriorated. Part of good writing on a series is making sure that things make sense from week to week. If the writers were going to put House and Cuddy together after years of flirting and more, then they should have done it with more integrity. In the first few episodes, the characters remained pretty true to the people we’ve come to know. But suddenly, House was combination of mama’s boy (“I can do better”) and someone who was subtly trying to sabotage the relationship (slammed doors, toothbrushes, toilet seats, not showing up at the awards etc). Meanwhile, the writers also destroyed Cuddy’s character by having her totally lose her sense of humor. Couldn’t the writers have come up with a relationship in which the characters did not become unrecognizable? All the things we loved about them were gone. No snark, no fighting about anything important, no discussions about anything relating to their lives together, past or present, few scenes of intimacy (not just sex). There is no way anyone will get me to believe that the end of the episode before Bombshells in which House comes to Cuddy’s house drunk and tells her she makes him a crappier doctor flows easily into the first loving scene in Bombshells. What the hell happened between those two scenes? IMO it makes no sense at all. The break-up was also not in character for Cuddy. It just seemed way out in left field for someone who knows House as well as she does. If the object from the beginning was to break them up, what was the point of putting them together in the first place?

  • Jaim

    I think that what has bothered me about the show for some time is the fact that we must rely on the finale episodes to redeem an entire season worth of somewhat superficial plot-lines. Another issue I have is that potentially interesting story-lines are abruptly dropped in favor of plots that are somewhat predictable or over the top.

    I also think that the most frustrating aspect of this show is the unwillingness to allow the characters to naturally evolve. The old saying, People don’t change, is just completely redundant at this point. I feel like it is possible for people to change, in small ways and huge ways. I have noticed changes with all the characters and I don’t understand this stubborn need that the writers have to keep House in abject misery. He doesn’t have to become Mr. Happy Go Lucky, but he does need to have gained some kind of peace and understanding. I get so tired of House never really learning anything or gaining a changed outlook on humanity. Yes, he has gained some lessons this year, but how soon will the writers drop that bit of character development?

    For me, the last four episodes will really determine whether I watch this show next year. If Cuddy ends up not coming back, either through resignation or being killed off(as has been rumored), then I will really be done. I am so tired of female characters being written off so easily. The treatment of the female characters on the show has always bothered me, but never more than in the last few episodes. Hopefully, the writers will redeem themselves but part of me feels as though things will only get much worse.

  • MHM

    Simply put, the writing has gone bad.

    Style

    I do not understand why the style of writing has been so heavy-handed and less intelligent than prior seasons. Even with the “huh?” factor in prior seasons, the dialogue never felt “dumb.” Now, to me, it does.

    Content

    I do not understand why the content of writing seems to recycle past ideas and bludgeon audience members with obviousness. This includes the medicine. This feels like they just don’t care that much anymore or that they are not taking the show as seriously as they did before.

    Lack of seriousness/gravitas

    The lack of gravitas is showing in the work product. House, while funny and full of quips on the outside, always was serious in its look on the hard issues that patients of the week and/or the main characters faced. I think that sense of seriousness has gone missing. Why are POTWs brushed off and not interwoven better into the show and why does the writing refuse to approach the characters’ struggles in a serious manner? That has been the tipping point for me.

    I do believe that the lack of seriousness/gravitas with which the stories are written are why I feel like I am watching a skit (or a farce sometimes) as opposed to the great drama that the show used to be. House has never shied away from pushing, from analyzing why things were the way they were. I don’t think the writers pushed or analyzed much substance this season. This feel very much on the surface, and this lack of depth, the lack of serious intent is what puts me off. House might say that intentions don’t matter, results do.

    Well, intentions do matter when they affect the work product.

    Yes, I do know that it’s ridiculous to accuse people I have never met of lacking some sort of intent because, really, how can you ever prove anyone intended to do something? But, with all the interviews (why does there seem to be one after every single episode now) from the writers and from the producers, I think it’s fair to say I can inter intent to some extent. Put into the equation the diverse interests people are/need to pursue in light of contract negotiations, yes, I think I can say that I can infer some intent.

  • Zaze

    Yes House has changed, but following his evolution through relapses is a bit boring, and most important, writers should write more supporting characters and powerful POTW. It’s quite normal to see House relapsing (Cuddy was only used for that this season) but we would like to see better written episodes, and less depressing as the first seasons.

  • scotty

    Im just upset about the time intervals inbetween episodes :(

  • Linda

    There has been a big shift in fandom. I have been a part of it for many years and there’s a very different feel in it, different than I’ve ever seen. The Huddies, after ‘Bombshells’, were furious or at least very upset. Mostly not just because they broke up, but because of the interview David Shore gave afterwards saying that’s it. That’s all you get. Then it seemed time after time Huddies tried to rebuild their hopes and another interview would come out and destroy those hopes, not only for Huddy but for House too. After a bit, I think about the tenth or so interview roughly, it felt like something snapped in the fandom. Now it seems the anger has largely faded into apathy and weariness and pessimism. The fight and passion is gone from a great many Huddies.. And most of the ones I’ve talked to over the past month or so are all waiting on the finale to see if it gives them any hope. If it does, then many or most will be back. If not, then I truly believe they will not be back next season.

    I think much of what Anna said is what I’ve seen around fandom as common disappointments. People are disappointed because they didn’t get what they’d hoped. They got a lot of really great moments but people wanted to see some of that passion and wit that was present before season six between House and Cuddy. They wanted some interviews with Hugh and Lisa. People begged for them, but never got even one and this on the season House and Cuddy became canon. I think that’s a large part of why people resented them doing one for Olivia’s comeback episode. The whole season was about the couple they’ve been slowly drawing together all this time finally coming together and they can’t spare one interview for the Huddies who’ve hung in there waiting all this time? Hugh hasn’t done a video interview with anyone this season but Olivia. They do it for a single episode on a character that’s moderately liked. People wanted to see an in-depth exploration of certain issues and also get a little of that passion that House and Cuddy had before they were an item. The flirt, the spark, the chemistry was weaker this season, strangely enough. We got better kisses in ‘Joy’ and ‘Under My Skin’ and ‘Help Me’ than any this season. To be fair, the writers wrote a lot of kisses between them but it seemed Hugh and Lisa lost something between last season’s finale and this season in that regard. Cuddy used to bat things back to House and be able to stand toe-to-toe with him. This season, because they had only fifteen episodes for the relationship in mind (which is another sore spot) they had to cover the fights and drama (also because this season focused on them so they needed things to have drama about since the show is a drama) most of the season. House had a lot of things he needed to work on and he tried and because Cuddy was the ‘normal one’ she was always exasperated with him over much of the season instead of having fun with him, flirting with him and debating him on interesting or serious matters. That’s why I think some people, not me but many, felt she came off as a whiny b–ch this season. Many people didn’t know if they would stay together but they hoped for at least a season’s worth of exploration for the show’s main relationship because it involved House being in love, taking a chance on it, and actually trying for the first time ever on the series.

    All of this would’ve boiled over quickly if it hadn’t been pounded home time and again that Huddy was doomed from the start, it was originally supposed to not even last fifteen episodes, that House and Cuddy would probably never get together ever again because they didn’t want to jerk Huddies around. That was the killer. If people thought there was a chance to still get some of these things they wanted this season someday, they’d have held on. But it seems like this won’t happen. House and Cuddy lasted only fifteen episodes and people waited years on them only to get told after that that’s it, folks. I’m trying to convey the disappointment that people felt after that. I know that something has changed in the people around me as a fan. I like the show a lot and I am still a House fan. But I don’t even know if I’ll be back next season. As I said, many people are waiting to see what they do in the finale. I really hope it’s as fantastic as their finales usually are. I hope everyone is so bowled over they want to come back and find their love and passion for the show restored. I hope that’s what happens.

  • DanieGermany

    I still have faith in the writers and am sure they’ll give us a kick-ass season finale, but, as some people here said earlier I am also pretty dissappointed by the way the writers handled Huddy this Season.

    House himself in a relationship behaved like I expected him to behave: he’s a romantic, who tried everything to make the relationship work. But Cuddy wasn’t the Cuddy I new before. She didn’t come across as if she was happy to finally be in a relationship with a man she had all this sexual tension with over 6 years. Instead she always seemed to be afraid it couldn’t work out in the end, like she was always keeping her guards up, as if she was sure the relationship would fail eventually. If you always think a piano’s gonna fall on your head it will. House was trying and trying, working his ass off to please Cuddy and make her happy and she so often showed House and us her pissed off, whiny, bitchy side, that I though: Man, these people have been together for not even a year and the toilet-seat debate comes up already, WTF ?! In my view, House’s only mistake was to have his Vicodin-relapse, but the break-up was entirely Cuddy’s fault. And here I blame the writers. They let her act totally out of character from the beginning of that (not very credible) “you lied to me” arc, from were the relationship went down the toilet. Cuddy has been a strong, understanding and very TOLERANT woman all the years before and more importantly she always knew how Dr. House ticks. And suddenly she’s staring to get upset when he lies to her to save a patient or if he left the toilet seat up. With all these thing the writers killed Huddy before it even started, plus it made Lisa E.’s character really look bad. House so often showd her love for her and she almost never really did. I really hope the writers give her and us a second Huddy-chance and show us the loving, caring, hot and spicy relationship we all expected to see right from the start.

  • http://gagascorner.blogspot.com Jessica aka JLCH

    Good article Barbara. One of the biggest flaws of this season was that the House-Cuddy relationship was not really explored. After nearly six years of build-up and an obvious history between the two characters, we were left feeling incomplete. These two complete each other and the usual banter, tension, chemistry, and obvious longing for each other is a part of who they are. These two are naturally drawn to each other. They are both lonely, flawed, workaholics who throw their everything into anything but a real relationship. Cuddy has Rachel but her baby is the hospital and House of course has his puzzles. But that’s all they have. Other than Wilson they have no friends, they have no real relationship with family, they’re two lonely souls that keep circling each other. As flawed and screwed up as both are, they do make each other better and I think that it would have been interesting to see them together battling all their inner turmoils and deal with the baggage both bring to the relationship and both have a lot of baggage! The House and Cuddy we know are NOT quitters and I can’t see them giving up as easily as they did, it simply isn’t in their character, not when you’ve longed for someone for so long and have so much in common (as much as they may not want to be alike, in many ways they are).

    I don’t mind House taking a step back but I want to see him take a step forward too. I am hoping that he isn’t back to square one. Obviously in the last two eps House was sans Vicodin. Not sure what he took in the beginning of Ep 19 but it did not appear to me to be Vicodin.

    The House we know is not a quitter. He’s faltered many times but he’s no quitter and I don’t believe he’ll give up on himself, his patients or the people he cares about most which is obviously Cuddy and Wilson. He has a hard time facing pain, his own and that of others but I think he can slowly try to sort that out. House has come a long way in seven years, we have seen him at his worst and his best. Despite what TPTB try to imply, House does care and he has a heart. It’s hard to see sometimes but it’s there. There are countless examples over the past seven years, examples in which House, in sometimes the tiniest ways has shown himself to care for his patients, his friends and his coworkers. You can go back to Season 1 and begin thinking about the little things, they’re there.

    This season we’ve seen some pretty over the top things and yet I still have hope because we’ve seen House overcome a lot of obstacles and we’ve seen him face some pretty bad things and yet somehow he manages to overcome them. I think with every obstacle overcome he changes just a wee bit, for the better.

    I don’t expect House to get happy overnight and find love and meaning in the world and ride off into the sunset with Cuddy. But what I do want to see is House facing life’s challenges while juggling great POTW stories, dealing with this team in the same manner as he always has, with wit and sarcasm and humor, and also maintain his dysfunctional yet obviously meaningful relationships with Wilson and Cuddy.

    Can House change? Yes. Does it have to be major changes? No. Each of us at our core are who we are and that core really doesn’t change but circumstances and experiences in our lives change us, sometimes for worse, sometimes for better. But we do change.

    House has changed, over the years we’ve come to know and love him. And I believe even though he’s still a misanthropic SOB, I think he can find some good things in his life. He doesn’t have to always be ok with it, doesn’t have to be comfortable with it, but it’s there.

    I want to see House facing challenges and obstacles, sometimes taking a step back but always taking a step forward too. And he can do this while trying to build a meaningful relationship, struggling with his addiction and his past, solving his puzzles, and being the same sarcastic misanthropic SOB we know and love.

  • Sam

    Thanks for you article, it was an interesting read. House was at one point my favorite tv show, but I have to say I no longer watch it.
    I found the approach to what was the House/Cuddy relationship cowardice, and after the build up it was given for the 6 years prior – I have no idea why. I found it to be portrayed as a shallow, passionless checklist of immature obstacles leading to what felt like a predetermined expiration date, in which the character of the female lead was disintegrated. I tried unsuccessfully to watch the following episodes and to put it simply… was utterly disappointed and disgusted.
    I miss the show terribly, but my time can be better spent, as I know longer care about any of the inconsistently portrayed characters.

  • tauwja

    So many people have put it so well already, I can only say I completely agree.

    Doyle #6: “To the credit of the writers, they crafted the relationship between House and Cuddy as real people with real problems.”

    TBH one of my problems was that that was all there was to it — the writers seemed meticulously follow the check-list of ‘what kind of issues do regular couples come across’, apparently completely forgetting that this couple was supposed to be anything but regular! Something they had Cuddy say in Unwritten, so it seems they did still realize this early on. Then why did it soon after become so utterly common? Why were all the deeper and more interesting issues they could have explored abandoned in favour of the silly little ‘problems’ we got? This relationship should have been anything but common, it should have been a continuation of the completely unusual, complicated, passionate and fascinating relationship House and Cuddy had always had, and then perhaps with something like the toothbrush/toilet seat thing thrown in way in the back of an episode (covered in a single line or short scene) to humourously show that in some ways, sometimes, they were almost normal. But seriously, what we got? Was quite possibly the most boring couple ever. It definetely lacked all of the passion and snark and intelligence House and Cuddy had before. And indeed, very early on already, Cuddy suddenly had me wondering whether she wanted to be in this relationship at all. Which is not as I know her at all. My god woman.
    It would have been so much more interesting if they’d have managed to keep the snark, the wit, the passion, the humour, keep the characters who they’d always been (indeed especially Cuddy was way off this season), have them struggle and fight and give it their all, but in the end it still not working out because they’re both so fundamentally flawed. That’s not how it felt here. The exploration was ridiculously shallow, Cuddy seemed to hardly try, and then they gave up so very easily it made my jaw drop. Seriously, that’s it? After all these years?

  • tauwja

    Oh, and I, too, am one of those people who is wait till the finale to decide whether she wants to watch at all anymore. But it’s going to take a LOT to make up for the huge disappointment and mess this season has been. They’d better have something utterly amazing planned.

  • Veresna

    This is still the only network show I watch, and I hope to stick with it until the end, but I do find myself actually hoping that next year will be their last, and that it will be a well thought-out and intelligently-scripted season. Of course the show has evolved, it never was the straightforward “procedural” that it was tagged with, but I do confess that as much as I have enjoyed seeing more of the characters lives outside of the hospital, it has been at the expense of interesting, absorbing patients that were seen at the beginning of the series. You can flash pictures of patients from Season 1-3, and I can probably identify most of them. From Season 4 and onward, there are much fewer patients that have remained memorable. I was certainly one who was bored by Season 4, and for me the last four episodes (particularly the two-parter that ended that Season) were the spectacular reason I came back for 5. This is not the first time I have stated it, but I feel that in the end Season 4 was saved in a weird way by the Writers Strike, because it pushed their “oh, let’s have House have amnesia” idea from what would have been a promisingly interesting show into an outstanding episode when the story threads came together with the Wilson/Amber story. And Season 5 was uneven in quality, but their decision to write Kal Penn’s departure as Kutner’s suicide again opened up an unexpected opportunity that turned into a spectacular late-season arc of House in a downward spiral that eventually led to Mayfield. I found his attempts to continue therapy and attempt to find happiness in Season 6 very involving, and just when I had given up Huddy ever happening, we were handed that in the season finale. But, I’ll echo others’ sentiments that it ended up being dealt with in a very unsatisfying way as far as I was concerned. I am crossing my fingers and hoping these final episodes once again astound me. But, I just read one of HL’s interviews about his blues album, and for the first time he made it sound like he was fully committed to his contract calling for another year, but sounded disinclined to continue with the series after that. To me, that’s just confirmation that a great series is showing its age, and the people who care about it want it to go out with some dignity.

  • Flanarchiste

    The main problem for me is that for 3 seasons now,House has become a looser, a victim.I’m tired of that. He’s an anti-hero, non politically correct, and he looses people he loves sincerely, he’s less good in his job and whatever he does,he looses, he suffers. I’m tired of these long sad faces. It’s boring or depressing. I understand why some people are coming back : it’s because House begins to win a little bit again.
    So the morale is safe : if you’re different and non politically correct,you have to be alone, you have to accept the fatality and to accept that people will reject you whatever you try. You’re not in the line so you will suffer and pay for that.
    I hoped that this show could have been a little bit more subversive than that.
    I’m disappointed too by the way the episodes were written. I find the relationships superficial. Wilson is poorly written like a dummy who says : “crap, crap, crap…”
    Cuddy… The same…
    I hoped a Huddy relationship like in “Adam’s rib” and it was boring after “massage therapy”,with just some deep discussion in “family practice”( I love PBlake’s writing ).
    It’s too much between psycho-drama and farce.
    Sometimes,when I watch the episodes,I find that the characters are aliens. It’s more sci-fi than Fringe.
    In the same idea, the promotion is axed on the directors works, the special effects, the cameras employed. It’s great for the directors. Personnaly, it doesn’t interests me so much. I prefer less special effects and good stories.
    At the end of the episodes, I don’t feel excitation. I tried in the past to find a way to prove myself that it was a wonderful episode.
    I really don’t want to rant because I loved this show. That’s why I will watch later the last episodes of the season in a marathon and I hope it will end in a “WOW”. House had a special part in my heart as a show. It’s difficult for me to watch it like a “lambda” show, without passion, but I think it’s the only way to like it again.

  • tauwja

    One more thing and then I’ll stop spamming this thread (sorry!) — Linda, #19: you’re right. The main reason so many people feel like they don’t even want to watch anymore is not how things turned out this season, but the many interviews in the last few weeks telling us that yes, seriously, that’s all there is to it, that all we can ever hope for, and there’s no chance of these characters ever finding their way back to each other. Not so much the disappointment with this season, but knowing that there’s no chance of ever getting any of the deep exploration everyone was hoping for and was expecting. The crystal-clear message that TPTB have no intention whatsoever of using any of the immense potential these two characters have, and that they never had that intention in the first place. It just feels so completely respectless to the characters and their story and history. And I just don’t understand at all. How can you craft such an exquisite story for so many years and then lose all interest in it so very quickly? It was all supposed to be more amazing than ever this season. This is what they’d been working towards for so many years, after all. Instead they skimmed right past all the interesting stuff heading steadily to a dramatic end scene. Which, admittedly, was well done (though OOC for Cuddy IMO), but also would have had that much more impact if the story that lead up to it had been deeper and more interesting.
    All of this, and then the message that there’s no hope at all in this show. And that the disappoinment over this won’t end because they’re not going back there and try again. And that TPTB apparently don’t see how much potential they missed. That’s what took all the fun of watching away.

  • Julia

    I agree with what many said re: huddy. The problem is not the fact that it ended, but the way it was written while it lasted.

    I get the general idea: House is a damaged guy who can’t really be completely happy and can’t be a good boyfriend. Cuddy, while loving him, wants her boyfriend to be a reliable person, an equal partner, somebody to count on every time something goes wrong. And that can’t be House.

    It makes sense in theory. But the way they wrote it was stupid and disappointing.

    I get that Cuddy could be hurt because of House lying to her, but I hated that she displayed that annoying bitchy passive-aggressive attitude for 3 episodes. She is right to be annoyed by his self-centeredness, but the fact that she was dumping him over a toilet seat and a toothbrush is idiotic. Also I understand why she was disappointed by him in BS, but again she broke up with him in like 5 minutes, it didn’t make sense.

    I never expected their relationship to be easy and to last forever, but both the romance and the character of Cuddy were written in a very unidimensional way.
    It seemed the writers were just interested in the obstacles of the relastionship, in the reasons why it couldn’t work. And Cuddy basically played the annoyed girlfriend who wants more from her boyfriend for 13 episodes. Everything was so limitative, semplicistic, superficial.
    I won’t deny that there were some good moments, and some good episodes. But this is the feeling I get if I consider the huddy arc as a whole.

    And it wasn’t my only problem with S7. I think generally, the writing on this show is… not bad for sure, but not as good as it used to be. Patients are often uninteresting, their stories lack depth and House is uninterested in them; gravitas is gone and the show sometimes seems a sitcom (chicken bet? House and Wilson babysitting?); episodes are often badly organized with the various parts not mixing well together (Unplanned Parenthood); secondary storylines are uninteresting (Taub’s marriage) or badly handled (Sam and Wilson).

    I know that many of these problems started in S4 and even probably before. But I have the impression – even if it’s difficult to say – that the average quality of the episodes was higher (for example S5 had many flaws but some potws were really good). And the show still managed to produce some great episodes that compensated the missteps (I didn’t love S6, but Broken and Help me were really outstanding, for example). This season had some very good episodes but none I found really great and unforgivable.

    Let’s cross our fingers for the final four :)

  • Committed

    This season House had a chance to be happier. No one expected him to be clicking his heels happy, no one expected that he and Cuddy would be without problems, quite the contrary, but after six years I thought we would finally see them deal with their issues head on. If this is the way they were going to write it, they should have done it earlier in the series – before House went to rehab, before Cuddy was engaged to Lucas and before the countless times they each made it clear to one another (and us) that they loved each other. It would have made more sense.

    The desire to stay so true to the character of House is causing quite a bit of controversy. Can’t he change just enough to have one of the things he wants most in life? Some fans want that to happen, some fans want him to stay the same. I don’t envy the writers on this one but count me in with the fans that want the change because this character deserves some peace.

  • Jane E

    I agree with you that the writing has been good on House this year. There was only one episode that did not stay true to the show and that was Bombshell. The House/Cuddy breakup was not consistant with the first 12 episodes. This could have been done differently. I felt as if those sets of writers did not watch the show.

    I love House. What a fascinating lead character who has so many flaws, but for some reason you cheer this man on. Never in my life would I have suspected that I would even watch a show about a drug addict. Never would I have thought I would be telling people it’s my favorite show. But, see unlike the writers of Bombshell, I do believe people change, maybe not 100% and I felt that is what all the previous episodes had shown. House didn’t change 100%. His thought process was always how does this effect me, but he still had made giant steps over the House we have know for the past 7 years. In conclusion, I am enjoying the episodes post H/C, but not as much as the beginning of the year.

  • nitemar

    Dont the writers have to go through David Shore’s scrutiny and editing? Maybe Barbara can answer this better..so, we are watching the finished product. I got to admit have liked the previous seasons including season 6 AKA*cough* Luddy because we know how it ends..maybe it’s perspective, I would love season 7 if DS shows us an amazing season 7 finale.

  • Sue

    The show started going downhill with the cast change at the end of season 3. The casting has been horrible since then. House is a character who cannot stand in a bubble. The beauty of Hugh Laurie’s talent is how he interacts with the actors around him. Lisa, Robert, Jennifer, Omar and Jesse were the perfect storm of actors and characters for Hugh to work off of. When that chemistry vanished, the show lost a lot of its energy and intensity. House became comical and silly and vindictive. The antics they had him doing, such as propositioning a CIA doctor and investigating his team lessened the value of what House could accomplish. The new team brought nothing to the show or to House as a character. The stupid story lines of Taub’s marriage and 13’s drug trial and 14 distracted from the true nature of the show and the main character.

    There has been a lot of arrogance from the producers, believing that everything they dished out we should revere. They didn’t listen to fans who were begging them for cast changes and more integrity in the characters. The show has been too slow to evolve with changes that the fans have clamored for. Most shows bring in new talent on a regular basis. This keeps the show fresh, and it avoids retreading over the same story lines again and again.

    Getting rid of 13 for most of this season was a plus for the show, but Amber Tamblyn wasn’t the one to replace her. While Olivia Wilde was expressionless in voice, face and body, Amber Tamblyn was too expressive, to the point of appearing phony. I cannot think of one scene with Taub that was worth watching the first time, let alone a second viewing. Omar let Foreman become a boring, totally expressionless oaf while he was involved with 13. They have retread the same issues with these boring supporting characters for so long, we stopped caring about them and about how House interacts with them. That caused us to rely too much on Huddy and Hilson. Those relationships have dried up to the point that there is not much new and creative they can give us to keep us interested.

    The producers tried to give us too much with House and Cuddy that the relationship became confusing and inconsistent. They waited until year 7 to get them involved, then they acted like the characters did not know who the other character really was. Some of the issues they stumbled over, like the toilet seat and lying, were so insignificant to what was taking place between them, I did not find that worth wasting an episode over.

    I have found the writing arrogant to the point that the stories have suffered for the benefit of quips and social references that often are confusing to the viewer. The writing is too complicated, and the producers and writers take too much pride in how much they can cram into the script. This is a turn-off to viewers. While some may find the writing “clever,” others find it confusing. Writing that is great and creative should not be difficult to understand on the first viewing. The relevance of the patient’s stories to the main characters’ sagas has waned, likely because I could care less about the sagas of the supporting characters like Taub and 13.

  • http://barbarabarnett.wordpress.com barbara barnett

    Nitemar–To my understanding (from what the writers all have told me over the years), everything gets a “final wash” from David Shore.

  • nitemar

    Thanks Barbara, knew you had the answer :) then, fingers crossed!

  • housemaniac

    Thanks for the article, Barbara. One question, though: You have said several times that you have a bunch of friends who have *come back* to House. At what point did they come back, and why? I could imagine coming back, for example, just to see what all the angst in fandom was about!

    Two other quick points: First, I have never understood why some people think the show died after Season 4. To me, the two-part “Broken” was some of the best, perhaps THE best, television I have ever seen. I also think the fallout from Mayfield made for a generally great Season 6.

    I also do not understand the redemption narrative that so many people seem to be buying into. How can one episode– the finale–redeem an entire season? It cannot change the way the House-Cuddy relationship and break up were handled; it cannot change the uneven POTW stories this season; it cannot change the details that have annoyed people, the absence of snappy writing, etc. For my part, I will be looking to the finale to give me hope about Season 8. Yes, it could change a thing or two about how I view Season 7, but not much. I think one can redeem a life by one great act, but not a TV show.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    I want to post my fresh thoughts before reading all other comments. Barbara, I find it interesting that while I’m trying to find a reason to keep watching the show, you’re trying to understand why many of us are not liking it, doubting the quality of the scripts.

    I confess I became emotionally involved with the show through the House and Cuddy relationship. I wanted to understand how this grumpy, socially inept, “genius” of a doctor could be so appealing to so many, especially Cuddy. I learned to love House the character through Cuddy. It’s one of the most complicated, beautiful, adult relationships in the history of television. Not to mention we’ve been watching House improve and “heal” over the past few years. So, to simply use his relationship with Cuddy as a temporary story arc to build him (and us) up only to send him (and viewers) crashing down HARD is beyond painful.

    As I’ve said in other threads, I expect a roller coaster in dramatic television. I didn’t want a blissfully happy “Huddy,” because that wasn’t realistic. It’s also unrealistic to put such a sudden end to a long-standing, deep relationship between two characters. Without that significant draw on the show, I’m just no longer interested. The patient stories have been repetitive, predictable, and mundane, to say the least. At this point in the show’s legacy, those of us still watching do so because we love (loved?) the characters. I loved Cuddy, but not as the writers have changed her in the last two seasons. I now fail to believe that she really does love House, and without that, the show suffers. Then there are the factual inconsistencies that other viewers have mentioned, and I just can’t help but feel very, very sad for the down-slide of a once great show. I’ll gladly take the ups and downs … that provides the adrenaline rush that makes drama fun. But I just feel this time the story has taken a really bad turn, and I find myself no longer caring, no longer wanting to watch.

    Thank you SO MUCH for your insight and providing this opportunity for discussion. I will be reading all comments posted here and will undoubtedly have more to say.

  • Julia

    @ Housemaniac, n. 35

    “I also do not understand the redemption narrative that so many people seem to be buying into. How can one episode– the finale–redeem an entire season? It cannot change the way the House-Cuddy relationship and break up were handled; it cannot change the uneven POTW stories this season; it cannot change the details that have annoyed people, the absence of snappy writing, etc.”

    You’re right that even a good finale episode cannot erase the flaws of the previous ones, but IMO in this series many arcs cannot be fully understood until they’re completed.
    A good example for me is the final huddy scene of Help Me. One of the reasons why I didn’t love S6 is that Cuddy really seemed cold and indifferent to House during the whole season. It seemed that suddenly, she had no feelings for him. In Help me we got an explanation for that: it was not that she didn’t care for House anymore, but on the contrary, she cared too much for a woman with a boyfriend. That scene, to me, put under a different light other scenes from previous episodes that I hadn’t particularly appreciated. Then of course, weak potws remained weak; bad-conceived storylines (luddy) remained bad-conceived.

    Then, I think great episodes can help improving the overall judgement on a given season. Ok, so S4 wasn’t that great. BUT it had episodes like Frozen and of course HH-WH, which IMO more than compensated for other not-so great episodes (which, of course, remain not so great).

    More specifically about S7 finale: I hope it will be an outstanding episode which will give a meaningful closure to some storylines, but honestly, I doubt that. So it would be enough for me if the finale menages to set the ground for S8 in an interesting and unexpected way.

  • http://gagascorner.blogspot.com Jessica aka JLCH

    Ya know guys I was looking forward to the finale until David Shore’s recent BLURB that House and Cuddy are NOT getting back together in the finale. What is the point of giving away such information? Why attempt to alienate some viewers? I don’t get it. What does he have to gain from it? Nothing.

    I’m not saying they should be all lovey dovey again (as if they ever were) but damn, we were sold a bill of goods that was never delivered..which was an honest attempt at a real relationship for a couple who has danced around love and sexual tension since their college days 20 plus years ago. I really want to see House and Cuddy try a go at some kind of relationship where they can be themselves and comfortable around each other, hell where they are friends again and can trust each other would be nice. But the way Shore words things, House is going to be a miserable lonely SOB for the rest of his life with no hope for any sort of sliver of happiness, contentedness, nothing. Just pure misery. So frustrating. Good grief, we’ve seen him at his lowest, how much MORE crap are they going to pile on him.

  • vermeer

    @Sue #32: I agree that they were the perfect storm of actors. The originals really haven’t been beaten. The best one they’ve brought on the team since they separated the originals was Kutner, and he was killed.

    @SneakyMicrobe: I think what you said about it being one of the most complicated, beautiful adult relationships on T.V. is true. I’m trying to think right now of a couple like them and I can’t. This show can be deep and unusual and one of the problems was with Huddy in season seven is it felt they went generic with them, like things a 100 other T.V. shows do to “explore” their couples.

    I think it’s true that Cuddy seemed different this year. Not totally but in the past she used to put up with his antics just like she had to this year. But there was a sense of humor in their interactions, of mutual enjoyment and play and flirtiness. Most of this season was about House screwing up and trying, which makes sense because how many women has he really dated and been in love with? And how long has it been since he’s been in love and tried to have a relationship? Of course he’s going to be bad at it because of that and because of the type of personality he has. But still because the story was told like that it was a constant barrage of Cuddy being exasperated with him and angry with him. If they had had it play out over a longer period of time instead of all condensed into 15 epis then they could’ve added more of the banter, the humor and the fun and the flirtiness they had in the first three episodes this season in. Then it wouldn’t have come across as badly as it did. It might not have been so disappointing.

    People wanted the writers to have fun with us. They gave us Huddy and they created it. They made it awesome. I think the biggest issue was that it wasn’t intended to last beyond a certain point. So they used three episodes to give us the fun and hotness of Huddy and then the remaining episodes were all about problems and then the breakup. I can understand them needing to show House struggling with this. It makes total sense. The show is told from his perspective and Cuddy did have a lot to put up with being his girlfriend. But it came across as most of their relationship that the audience saw was a brief honeymoon period followed by continuous problems where House was trying his best and Cuddy was suffering through it and that’s it. There was no enjoyment of each other (except for in Larger Than Life) that I can recall and no fun and no heat. But Huddy had that in the past. Now they get together and it’s gone. Why couldn’t the writers have given Huddies another great scene like in Joy or Under My Skin this season? They’re a hot and passionate couple when they want to be. And the writers used to sense this and use it in the past, why not this season? Why couldn’t they give us some fun moments and episodes scattered between the angst and the struggles? A great portion of their relationship in the past had the struggles and the arguments and even fights (Tritter, anyone?) but it also had its share of fun too. I think the problem was because they had an end date in mind and they had to build up to it. And so instead of it unfolding more organically to viewers and keeping in character with their relationship as it was in the past and Cuddy as she was in the past with him, the relationship had all of the angst and struggles packed into twelve episodes all squished together with no respite, which was sorely needed. The content itself wasn’t stupid, it was the over-all vibe that was wrong and different than in the past. And left many people disappointed. People wanted some of what Huddy was in the past but amplified now they could be more free with each other and their feelings for each other. But it didn’t happen that way.

  • ThanksForTheMemories

    Just read the tv guide quote from Shore. So I guess it really is time to give up and leave.

  • Kim in California

    If I had been a Huddy, I would have been very disappointed with the entire year. Sure they were together, but there was never an episode where you saw them happy or even close to being happy. I don’t think Cuddy’s face has ever been so long as it has been while being House’s girlfriend. The only time I saw any real ‘fun’ and affection (not sex) between them, was when he was under the bed. Otherwise, these two were constantly on eggshells around each other and even I began to feel sorry for the Huddy’s.

    I’m very tired of people saying that people don’t change. That’s absolutely malarky. Ask a fifty year old if they’re the same person they were in their twenties. Putting aside the physical aspect, I know that I have changed dramatically over the years and so have many of my friends. Oh yes, there are aspects of our personalities that will never change, but we certainly can overcome some or our most basic flaws. I have seen changes in House over the last few years because it is only inevitable that he would learn not to beat his head against the same wall over and over.

    Putting all the above aside, I guess it is only natural that we see the last few years of a series as the ‘wind-down.’ I can’t think of a television series that was putting out its best work in the last year–it doesn’t happen. Even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fans were not as appreciative of THE CASE BOOK as they were THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. The writer admitted he was tired of his character (had even tried to kill him off) and so he did not put out his best work. However, the writing could be better on House. I do miss watching House actually work on a case rather than just send his minions to do tests while he chases chickens. I miss the clinic. I even miss the classroom from Three Stories. The closest we came this season to a glimpse of what made House great was his interaction with Masters. We got to see a new aspect of House as he gained respect for Masters. Despite breaking her down, he also admired the ethics she brought to the department, the way she rose to his challenges in her own ethical way and the fact that she had a mind to rival his (R-pox instead of Small Pox–brilliant.) That’s why I think it was a mistake to lose her. It would have been a great way to further explore House while also watching Masters come of age. But like Amber,the best ancillary characters are killed off or kicked out of the nest.

    I hope they can dazzle me over the next few episodes. I’d like to watch the final season next year (8) with some enthusiasm.

  • Hayley

    Sooo-we have a depressing finale after House gets bad news and examines how no matter how hard he tries he fails. Sign me up for some of that. :/

    Oh and House and Cuddy will not reconcile and people don’t change. Basically David Shore eliminated any reason for me to watch the finale. I don’t want to watch House be depressed yet again. I don’t want to continue watching him fail at everything but diagnosing. I also want to know what we Huddies did to David Shore to make him so angry at us? He’s like raking our hearts over a cheese grater and kicking us to the curb.

  • Kate

    @Barbara
    Great article. Still, there is another important thing to mention. The network wasn’t happy about the writing at least for a one story arc. It is not a secret that David Shore had to stop working on his new pilot to work on re-writing the road trip arc, which was planned for the second half of the season. Although it is not confirmed, some argue that there was a similar glitch for the early episodes dealing with Huddy relationship.

    In other words, whether it was about the costs or the content of the storyline, the network was not pleased with the course of the show. David Shore had to pitch in.
    As a big fan, I really hope that the writing turned out to be problematic because of these interventions. Because the other possibility is that the writers wanted it this way and that option would dissapoint me.

    I get people don’t change. I get House is House because he is miserable. But I am getting tired of hearing that constantly. As if it is not enough to write accordingly, the show’s creative team keeps on reminding us these in interviews. Sometimes I wonder whether they are trying to convince fans or convince themselves. Or maybe, they are simply trying to prepare the fans for the catastrophic finale of the show.

    Besides, isn’t the entire show is about how the infarction changed House’s life? Yes, Stacy and Cuddy mentioned House was not so different before the surgery, but it is impossible not to see the difference. At least, he had a long-term relationship with Stacy. Something like that didn’t happen until his relationship with Cuddy.

    David Shore shared his intention to go on until the end of the Season 8, but I really doubt that they will go beyond the Season 8. They still have four more episodes to end this season on a high note. Then, just like you wrote, we might remember the final four rather than this poorly written season.

    Yes, I am not enjoying the show as I used to do. And I am still watching because I still have some hope left. David Shore is very good at his job, so there is a chance that the bigger picture will be more meaningful.
    However, I think the entire creative team should stop for a moment and accept the bad writing is the problem of this season. The problem is not about pursuing or not pursuing a Huddy relationship on show. It is true that there is no way to please all fans for some worship Huddy, while some don’t. People from both groups have been complaining about the course of this season. That is something worthy of mentioning.

    I personally hope this season ends at a better place. Even if it doesn’t, I hope there is some meaningful closure at least at the end of the series’ finale.
    And for the record, meaningful closure is not a closing shot of miserable House losing his medical licence after euthanizing Thirteen. A dying House would not do any good to me either. But, it would be unbearable to watch everyone moving one and House still suffering at the end.

    That would make me erase House from my list of favorite TV shows.

  • @Kim

    Kim, thank you. It feels like we were taken to the top this season just to be pushed off the edge onto the concrete. Thanks so much for your compassion. It’s really needed right now.

    I think TPTB just want to get rid of the Huddy fans. I can’t see any other reason for the way they talk about Huddy in interviews anymore. They want us gone. If I knew what we’d done to them I would fix it but I can’t. And I can’t fight against them or make them do anything they don’t want. So I guess I’ll just give them what they want and give up and go.

  • Anliah

    I don’t see the point of watching the show or waiting to see what the finale brings now. House has a horrible life and no hope. He can’t even keep Cuddy. I can’t keep watching a character like this. After seven years knowing that it’s going to be more of the same for him. There’s no point in continuing to watch him be miserable and a failure for the rest of the series.

  • jake

    ouch! it must suck to be a house/cuddy fan and have the creator and exec. producer of the show hate on you that much. he hasn’t let up on house/cuddy fans since bombshells. i guess if he really is p!ssed with them like some people are saying, he’s paying them back tenfold.

    as for your finale talk, barbara, you had me thinking that maybe they could make the finale like season four. but after seeing the comment shore said about it it looks like there’s just more of the same up ahead, even if they do pull off a spectacular finale. i really think it’s time to move on from this once great show after this season.

  • MHM

    Why does the creator of a show give away massive spoilers for the finale? In the hopes of staving off backlash after the finale airs? Aside from House and Cuddy’s relationship, how many times can you say people don’t change and imply that House will still be miserable?

    Shorez, you don’t need to say people never change in every single interview. This echoes the writing of this season. When they latch onto an idea they feel they need to communicate, they think the audience has such low intelligence that they feel the need to chant the motto in a never ending mantra.

    Ugh. That’s how it feels. Ugh. Either they think the audience is REALLY STUPID or I their well of ideas has run dry. Fine. People don’t change? Can you please come up with some different and interesting ways of getting that message across instead of recycling storylines or going off on shallow expeditions with juvenile scripts? (PKB, should I hold out hope against hope for your work? Hope fading…) Oh, but people don’t change so you’re justified in running the same hamster wheel over and over again.

    Ugh. Seriously disgusted. I think TPTB want to move on from the show itself and pursue interesting storylines in different shows and areas of entertainment. I think the winding down theory is right.

  • Cassidy

    Alright, David. You win. I’m throwing in the towel.

    Thanks, Barbara for all of your great episode reviews and discussions that your thoughts have provided for the fans. I wish you the best.

  • jeremiah

    These house writers should watch the movie WALK THE LINE if they don’t believe a self destructive person can change and find redemption with the help of love.

    They say it’s unrealistic but walk the line is based on a true story which legendary Johnny cash was able to do so…

    Anyways since the creator just said House will fall yet AGAIN in the season finale…I will not bother watching the show from today onwards…it is ridiclous and appaling.

    There is ENOUGH sadness in this world already…

  • http://quarryhillcreativecenter.blogspot.com Ladybelle Fiske

    Do you– I do– worry that they WON’T do something incredible for the end of the season (and the series)? But they always have before.
    And what will happen if Wilson never returns?
    I can not believe FOX and NBC allowed this to happen to such a beloved show and one that surely still makes money for them. I’ll stick to the bitter end, of course.
    Hey how about Stacy coming back. I’d love it.
    Though I’d not mind Cuddy taking House back, either.

  • MHM

    Had to add in another thought.

    Occurring to me now:
    What disgusts me is that House has become a pathetic character. House, despite the mess his life could be sometimes, never elicited a “that’s pathetic” response from me. He struggled with his numerous problems, people pointed out how lonely and miserable his life was, but House as a character never felt pathetic to me, even if he was passed out in his own vomit in his apartment. I felt fear for his character, not pity. That’s because the show wrote his character in multi-faceted ways, showing the numerous sides to his character.

    Now, they way the character is written, the character is cartoonish, one dimensional. The only message seems to be that he’s a miserable character who is alone, alone, alone. Is that really why the audience liked the show? The audience liked House as a character because, yes, he was miserable, but he had conviction, drive, humor, beliefs, and courage to stick up for what he believed in. His solitude was compelling. Now, he is an over 50 year old man who is alone, alone, alone, with no real friends other than Wilson, who is disillusioned even by the thing that drove him in his darkest hour: his interest in medicine, his quest to look unflinchingly at the truth. Why is he a compelling character now? Are we supposed to pity him?

    Disgust and pity. Seriously. *Sigh.*

    My apologies for this depressing post. But, hey, it’s in line with the message of the show right now, right?

  • Jess

    Good, it looks like DS&Co realized that turning House into the huddy show was a bad idea, they alienated all the viewers (me included) who didn’t want to see a silly relationship eating a show like House and now they’re trying to win us back by screaming that huddy is over. I only hope it’s true, I don’t want to see the huddy thing anymore, give back the smart show of the first seasons.
    Meanwhile, huddys can go watch soap opera, if relationships is all they care about.

  • GabbyG

    @52 – Jess: I second that!

    @31 – nitemar:
    Quote: „Don’t the writers have to go through David Shore’s scrutiny and editing? Maybe Barbara can answer this better..so, we are watching the finished product.”
    David Shore has been MIA for the first 15 episodes because he was working on a remake of “The Rockford Files” Katie Jacobs was the one in charge during the Huddyrelationshiparc.
    Since David Shore is back on board, the episodes have become far better. At least they are not so sappy anymore.

    -House can be a good boyfriend. He was in a relationship with Stacy for five years.

    Here are my thoughts regarding this topic:

    -I think TPTB have waited too long to bring House and Cuddy together. Huddy has been fun in the first four seasons, but since season five it has become annoying with the childish Pranks (replacing House’s Vicodin with laxatives in season three, stink bombs, tripwire, kidnapped cane, elevators out of order, Thanksgiving goose chase and so). Cuddy pulled on House.
    TBTP should have had the guts to bring them together in season five or never. After the kiss in “Joy” there should have followed a one-night-stand after which House had asked Cuddy “Now What” After season six there has been no real reason to bring them together. Cuddy could easily have married Lucas and went away from PPTH. And House has been devastated enough, that he would have started a relationship with anyone who would have come into his apartment to bee not alone anymore.

    -This ridiculous House lying to Cuddy plot: Given the superficial way they’ve handled other storylines in the past, they could have done it in two instead of three episodes. Missed opportunities: I have missed a scene where House couldn’t sleep at night because of his leg pain and Cuddy witnessing it. They should have spent at least one episode on Cuddys role during Houses infarction.

    -Cuddy dumping House after his first relapse: I might have understood it if he had several relapses before. I think she believes that she loves House, while she realistically only loves the idea of House or the version of House she met back to the days at Michigan University, a much healthier and happier, while much more self sufficient and arrogant version of House we know. But this version of Houses died with the infarction, at the latest. Because if Cuddy really loved House, she would never have constantly tried to change every single bit of him since the beginning of the series.

    Cuddys statement “I don’t want you to change” was a big fat lie. I don’t care if she meant to lie to him or if she just lied to herself, the second doesn’t make it any better. By the way, I have never seen big love between House and Cuddy, but rather crispy sexual attraction. And if you removed the sex out of the equation of House’s and Cuddy’s relationship, then there isn’t much left there.

    -During season seven I often got the feeling as if the first two seasons never happened at all. I was squealing with joy as Wilson mentioned House’s girlfriend. Because there is still at least one writer among TPTB who still remembers Stacy, Houses love of his life.
    TPTB and the writers should use the hiatus to re-watch the first two seasons.

    -Wilson’s downgrading into a Huddy – whisperer and under using of RSL’s acting skills. Robert Sean Lenard is such a fine actor and the only things TPTB gave him to play were relationship advice scenes? No wonder he is dissatisfied with his Job at House. Even if he is an actor who loves money with as little work as possible. Since Wilson is the most important person in Houses life (he is, after all, his ‘Watson’), he should have at least the same amount of quality screen time as Cuddy.

    -I’m still mad at the way Jennifer Morrison and her character Cameron have been written / thrown out of the show. That was really handled poorly.

    -Then the dropped plots: If they have no intention to continue plots like House’s biological dad, then they shouldn’t bring them up in the first place. Same goes with Wilson’s long lost brother Danny. How I wished to see since House and Wilson visiting him in the episode after “The social contract”. But what happened? Nothing! Aren’t the writers talking to each other?

    -The imbalance TPTB handled almost everything on the show is bugging me. We get three episodes with Cuddy’s mom and three episodes with Cuddy’s sister, but we still haven’t seen Houses biological father and not a single scene with Wilson’s brother. I missed Houses mother. What would Blythe have said about her son’s relationship with Cuddy?

    -People want to see Huddy? No, only the Huddys wants to see it. I hope that Cuddy is leaving the show in the season seven finale so that House will be able to really moving on.

    -If there’s a Huddy reunion in the season seven finale and/or no Wilson in season eight, then I will be done with the show. I’ve had enough Huddy for an entire lifetime and House without Wilson is an absolute No-Go!

  • housemaniac

    @37 Julia: You make a great point about later episodes casting new light on earlier ones. And I agree with your examples. However, I can’t imagine what could possibly happen in the finale to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. And now I see that DS pretty much confirmed my fears– not that the return of Huddy would have been the ONLY road to redemption. But I’m just not gettin’ that vibe.

    Still, I agree with several of you that it is very odd behavior on Shore’s part. Would love to hear Barbara’s thoughts on this.

    @43 Kate: Are you suggesting that Fox censors, or rather exercises ultimate creative control over, House? Is this true? When you say “it’s no secret that…”, what are you referring to?

    @51 MHM: I think you’re spot on here with the word pathetic. Alas.

    To end on a bright note, I am really enjoying all the thoughtful posts here. Thanks Barbara and thanks thoughtful fans!

  • Susan

    ijdgi – or, as my friend says “I just don’t get it”. Something is rotten in Denmark. I’m reading all the posts, agreeing totally with everyone (especially Vermeer #39).

    Why does David Shore do this – abandon hope all ye who enter here. Like an idiot I’m hoping for some happiness in the finale and of course, he says no. Why are we watching? Why are they telling us it’ll all be bad? This is not the way to run a PR campaign – see how fast your fan base can run screaming from the show? And MHM #51 – House is pathetic now. I want him happy.

    Last night was a rerun of the small pox episode and at the end, House is alive and well, goes to Cuddy’s office to take her to breakfast and she says no and looks at him like he’s a worm. As Vermeer wrote, where is the love and enjoyment of each other? Why was she such a b*tch this season?

    I throw my arms up in the air in exasperation. I want to enjoy this show, not approach each episode with “fear and trembling” (I think those are the words from the holiday prayerbook). Or worse, boredom.

  • housemaniac

    One more thing: @52 Jess: I would give up Huddy (as much as I liked it) if it meant getting back some of the that “smart show” you refer to. But the causal connection you are making between the House-Cuddy relationship and the decline of the show I think is a false one.

  • Susan

    Jess #52 – you call House and Cuddy a “silly relationship”. If they did become that after the first few episodes of season 7, that was because the writers wrote it that way and killed it.

    For the six years (and the 20 year history before) House and Cuddy were fun, flirtatious, sexy and loved each other (even if they didn’t realize it). The writers of House created them that way and I bought into it. But it’s not a figment of the “Huddy fans” imagination. (Can someone second this?)

  • Who’s the man

    52 – Jess

    Well said, the show should never have delved into the House Cuddy relationship to begin with, it was a completely ridiculous idea since the show claims to like to deal with issues as if they were real life when AS IF in real life a respected hospital administrator would hook up with a drug addicted bad boy whom most of her staff cannot stand?

    I love the show and House but for the first time in seven seasons i have tolerated more than enjoyed much of this season and that is because i have cringed through the silliness of this relationship, post bombshells my man is getting back on track and i am now very much looking forward to where he is headed. God bless David Shore.

  • MHM

    2nd-ed.

    The shallow way they treated House and Cuddy is in line with the other shallow , terrible writing of S7.

    BTW, at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if House discovers he has some kind of liver failure or illness because of his long-term drug abuse. That would fit in with the whole alone and miserable theme.

  • Committed

    @57 Susan –

    Totally agree with you. I did feel duped as well – like I missed something so obvious.

    Never thought I would say this but I am in the camp with those that wish the House/Cuddy thing would just go away. It’s taken me awhile to come to that conclusion but it is obvious it’s over. Just give House (and me) something to be happier about – anything really, anything at all.

    How about turning him back to music? He loved it, Hugh loves it. I have been listening to some of the music featured in the earlier seasons and have downloaded quite a bit of it. It was edgy and very Housian. Seems to be a hit with fans – how about starting with that?

  • Susan

    Committed #60 – Why didn’t House ever play the piano for Cuddy?

    Re. House and Cuddy – If I knew TPTB would kill the relationship I would have wished they had never gotten them together but since they did it won’t just go away for me. (And it’s not just the getting together since Now What – it’s been since the kiss in Joy.) Their relationship, unfortunately for me, is what hooked me into the show and why I watch it. So what do I do now?

  • Sneaky Microbe

    Ya know…I really think I’m about done with this show. It pains me to realize there are people who LIKE House as a miserable, drug-addicted jerk. I say, let him suffer from liver failure and sexually transmitted infections (thanks to his “lady friends”). Yeah! And let him be lonely and miserable! Yeah misery!!! Yeah DS, you’ve created a miserable, jerky character!!!! You’ve made your $$$$, had your success…time to move on. I’m sad though. I REALLY wanted the show to turn into a soap opera. Just romance after romance, constant sex! No intelligent thought at all behind the stories, just juicy smut. Because I’m a HUDDY and all I care about is ROMANCE!!!!! (OK, I’m obviously a little worked up here. Trying to calm down…)

  • Sneaky Microbe

    BEFORE Season 7, there were sparks if House and Cuddy were just in the same room. The romance arc? Well, I agree with many who describe the actual attempt at a relationship as rather tepid. “Normal”??? Really David Shore? House was trying to be “normal”? WHY?! Does “happy” equal “normal”? Does “content” equal “normal”? I had a sincere problem with House thinking that his love for Cuddy made him a “crappy doctor.” Wow, DS, you must have some SERIOUS issues! (maybe I shouldn’t drink wine and post online, but MAN I’m upset about the show!)

  • Committed

    @61 – Susan –

    I can only attribute the piano to all of the other missed opportunities – I don’t know why they did it that way but I do know that it is at the heart of why many people are so upset and why I just need to step back from all of it for now.

    Try to hang in there – maybe they will reunite next season. For now, TPTB want us to return our focus to House – there has to be some reason why. Maybe it is meant to be a time for true reflection for him. Maybe this failure is significant enough to be the catalyst for change despite the continual claims from TPTB that House really won’t change.

    House is a fascinating character, he is so deep, so many layers. The more you think you know, the more there is to discover. Strangely, if we only focus on House and Cuddy, we are apt to miss something, something subtle but significant enough to eventually lead them back to each other.

    Again, hang in there, I think you will find it will be worth the journey regardless of the outcome.

  • Lia

    Jess and all the anti-Huddies on here: I’ve sat and watched you guys gloat over Huddies’ pain and tell them to go away ever since they broke up. You behave as if your wishes were more important than mine. Why is that? Why can I say I want Huddy without insulting those who don’t but you can’t?

    One more thing, if they turn this all around and somehow Huddy isn’t completely over what are you going to do then? I want you to remember how you guys have treated everyone of us who like Huddy, like we’re all one mass of horrible, stupid people just for liking a ship. If it turns back and it’s your turn to be upset again, remember how you gloated and mocked our pain and told us we could move on.

  • Lia

    Susan: I second that.

    Committed: I know your words were meant for Susan but they gave me some hope to continue watching too. Thanks for that.

  • Ruth33

    57 – Susan

    Regarding the 20 year history here’s how i see it:

    * They had a one night stand at med school then he got thrown out so they didn’t see each other for ? years. He meets Stacy 10 years before the show started since he was with her for 5 years and she had left him 5 years before.

    * In season 1 Vogler said House had worked at the hospital for 8 years (so before the infarction) and never made her a dime yet she stuck with him and fired Vogler because she believed in House’s ability and also that Vogler would affect patient care etc.

    During this season the show established the banter between them with Cuddy making boundaries for him and him refusing to believe they existed or finding any loophole he could just to disregard her authority over him, he also knew she had a guilt complex and used that as a weapon where necessary.

    * In season 2 it was pretty much the same regarding the boundaries and guilt but the flirtation stepped up a notch, initially because he was trying to make Stacy jealous but then it remained because he found a glitch in her armor in that the flirtation worked better for him in dealing with Cuddy in certain situations than just battling with her so he used this to his advantage and she bought into it as her new way of dealing with him and so the game began.

    * Season 3 saw the game fully established and saw them becoming a lot more flirty and her more touchy feely with him. He gained a new respect for her after she perjured herself for him but he also started becoming too dependent on her always having his back.

    * In season 4 they took a step back whilst he went all out trying to develop a new team, he then fell out with her for bringing Foreman back against his wishes and so battled with her for a while. They eventually re-established their respect for each other and she shown him how much she cared by staying with him at his bedside at the end.

    * In Season 5 they became much closer on a personal level and it scared both of them, then the baby came…. As time went on it was revealed that House wanted a relationship with Cuddy but as was shown he wanted it because he thought Cuddy was the only one who could save him from his dark abyss.

    * Season 6 revealed that he was trying to be a better person to fit the picture in which he thought Cuddy wanted him to be but she had moved on and told him she didn’t want to play any more games so he pretended to accept that and seemed to concentrate on making his life better but as was revealed he had never gotten over her and made that point clear. By the end in her witnessing his empathy and vulnerability with Hannah she went to him and declared her love.

    This to me is where the show went wrong and where they put an obstacle in the way of House’s development in the form of Cuddy.

    House was on the ledge, he had lost his patient, he had been told by Cuddy he had nothing and then Cuddy showed up to save him which of course he accepted but with obvious doubts about her intentions which she successfully quashed.

    This was the last thing House needed at that moment, he needed to face the crisis head on and deal with it. All the Huddy relationship has done is make him more confused emotionally and now angry because the issues he had beforehand are still there and now the break up is added to that. Of all people Cuddy should know you cannot mess with House’s emotions but these writers are sadistic, i just hope House has learnt enough through therapy to deal better though am preparing for a big emotional finale.

  • Eileen

    @Susan #57 – I second what you said…I’ll even third and fourth it if would make a difference. But it won’t.

    In my heart House and Cuddy belong together. They always will. It is the way this couple has been written for so many years – even when Stacy was around! But, it doesn’t matter what all we “Huddies” say. It just doesn’t matter.

    But, Susan, and all you wonderfully eloquent Huddies, I hear you…I feel your pain…and am on board with you. I feel no excitement or angsty anticipation towards the next four episodes.

  • Belle0308

    I have watched this show since day one and I love it, but I guess in all honesty, the collapse of Huddy has gotten to me.

    I felt that their friendship and deep affection was always at arms length and when they got them together, I really did expect more. The way the characters are constructed, I have a hard time truly believing that they would break up that quickly. THAT is the part I found the most un-real about the situation.

    So now if I am being asked to just accept that its over and that there will never be anything more, I guess that is the one thing I find impossible to get my mind around.

    I am sure this is a stupid way to think, but I have taken it to heart and so the show isn’t as full of possibility to me. It’s like any hope he will “improve” seems gone.

  • http://barbarabarnett.wordpress.com barbara barnett

    I guess maybe what I’m seeing differently is that we are intended to see “reality” from inside House’s POV. Right now House and Cuddy have broken up, presumably forever. People break up–even after long (very long) strange courtships. They aren’t being kept separate from each other. They’ve broken up. They still love each other, there’s still going to be tension between them.

    Fact is, I don’t know if even David Shore knows where next year will take House. In broad strokes, yes. So to pin him down to “no they’re not getting back together” suggests that he knows exactly what will happen to House next year. The show has always been more organic (and messy) than that.

    So when he says that they aren’t getting back together–I’m guessing he means this season. These last episodes have to deal with how House is dealing with the breakup. We’ve never really seen him in this situation and I agree that I’d like to know where it takes him–how he handles it and what he learns about himself (and how he moves forward) from here.

    I’ve loved the House Cuddy relationship, I suspect I still will. But it’s changed. I can live with that. I’ve always been able to live with that.

  • http://barbarabarnett.wordpress.com barbara barnett

    Sorry. Pushed publish before I finished my thought.

    So within the “reality” of their relationship it’s over. Why would TPTB offer hope? Or even suggest they’ll get back together (I’m not saying they will, but what would be gained by disclosing a major plot point).

  • housemaniac

    Barbara:
    Another option is that TPTB could stay silent on the matter. That’s certainly what I would prefer. It is still tipping their hand to say that House and Cuddy *won’t* get back together. Why say that? Why not preserve the mystery? Reading DS’s comments is like turning to the end of a novel and reading the last chapter before getting to the end. I don’t want to know what is or is not going to happen on the show. In fact, I’m surprised the writers want to know what is or is not going to happen for the rest of the show’s life. I hope you’re right that DS was just referring to Season 7. One of the things that I miss most is that sense of organicism that you mentioned. It seems like TPTB are trying too hard these days. The question is: trying to hard to do what?

  • MHM

    #72 housemaniac: Your post is made of awesome.

  • http://barbarabarnett.wordpress.com barbara barnett

    Housemaniac: you’re right, they could stay silent. Refuse to talk about the show at all. It’s funny you mentioned “novel.” It’s just what I was thinking. I don’t want to know how it’s going to end. Does House get redemption of one kind or another by the end of the series – and by whose actions? His own? Wilson? Cuddy? Someone else? Or it could end tragically. Or ambiguously.

    We don’t know, and Shore didn’t really say anything. I remember back in the Xfiles heyday when Chris Carter kept insisting that Mulder and Scully would never, ever get together. Ever. He was wrong.

    Fans were so upset that he couldn’t see what they saw, except I’m not sure he wasn’t tossing red herrings.

    I usually take DS’s words with big barrels of salt. I generally think the writers and KJ are pretty straightforward — either that they can’t say or only give morsels.

  • fatOlady

    #72 housemaniac, I agree with you. To leave the question “of will they get back together or won’t they?” open ended would make sense. Then ALL your viewers could interpret that response the way they wanted to. DS would come as close to making everyone happy as is humanly possible. I don’t get “the Why” he has to continually drive the nails in the coffin everytime he has a chance to speak to the fans?

  • Jaim

    I think another tipping point for me is the way that the writers seem to focus on big showy episodes or weird visual techniques instead of concentrating on the story itself. Bombshells could have been a lot better if they connected the dreams in a more organic manner. It was a bit jarring at times. They were able to do this sort of thing much more flawlessly in Three Stories and No Reason.

    Often when I catch the mini-House marathons on USA or Bravo I find myself remembering how much more invested I once was in this show. I used to be so excited about seeing a new episode because the plot lines were so gripping, as were the characters. This season I’ve kind of lost that kind of anticipation for the newest episodes.

  • Jaim

    Another thought I had was about the show’s adage that people don’t change. I remember in Words and Deeds when House said that the hospital rehab wing was nothing but a representation of idealized despair. Well, I kind of feel that the show has embodied this ideal for the last two seasons. We get that House is sad and angry and often too cynical to connect to something greater than himself, but seven years of near death experiences and two lost colleagues, should also begin to show his inner emotional world expanding. He should have gained some lasting lessons and realized that even small changes matter. I think that’s what really bugs me about the writers and David Shore. Even the small changes people make about their lives or viewpoints matter. He doesn’t have to be the nicest person or become another Wilson, but finding some small amount of inner peace, well, that’s profound and eternal. Happiness and sadness are fleeting but inner peace remains forever. It is with peace that people are able to move forward,through,and above the negative experiences that happen within their lives. I wish they’d stop arrogantly placing apathy, rigid thinking, and cynicism on some kind of pedestal. These things are a part of House’s mindset but in the end what pushes him to get up and face the day is the desire for something much more pure and tangible:Peace.

  • dvbfan

    Dear Barbara,very interesting article and I am agree with what you said about House MD .
    As a fan of this show, I watch this show just because of House and I am sure so many fans are the same . This show is about House and we are enjoying watch his ups and downs in his life. But for me,personally,I have some similarities with House character. Like House, I had a bad childhood and like himself, I had problems with my depression and It is kind of standing in front of a mirror and look at yourself whenever I watch House .

    Because of that this show is like a review of my life and I want to know how he deal with his problems and what ever happens to this show , I just want to follow this amazing character and see what is going to happen for him in next episode .

  • troyica

    Interesting article, Barbara. I`ve always enjoyed your reviews, they`re thoughtful and insightful, but I must admit, lately I`ve mostly come here because I want to like the show again, I want to be excited for new episodes, I want to see if I`m missing something, what didn`t I notice that could make the episode watchable, or even good. But despite the fact that your reviews make sense and are beautifully written, I just can`t bring myself to watch some of the episodes this season again. I guess I`ll just have to accept that I don`t enjoy the show anymore. Such a pity, because it was one of the best shows on TV (the only other show that I got so into was The X Files, and I think that cracks also began to show in season 7, but seasons 8 and 9 were ridiculous). I completely agree with whoever said that House has become a caricature of himself. Half the time when I`m watching an episode, I`m cringing and just thinking “that`s so pathetic”. And I don`t want to feel like this.

    I agree with those who say that writing has become worse. That`s why so many fans were outraged. Not that they broke up, but that we got 15 episodes of absolutely nothing. And then we were bombarded by “RIP Huddy, that`s it, over and done, never again”. It felt like the writers were all mocking us for even liking H/C relationship, saying “phew, glad that`s over, now we can move on”. And that`s what made fans so outraged. That it seems like they didn`t even care, that this relationship will never be more explored than what we got this season, will never be more than just a plot to get House back on Vicodin.

    These 15 episodes felt like I was watching “how to make House and Cuddy break up by episode 15”. No passion. No flirting. No banter. No chemistry. Nothing even resembling the incredible relationship they had before they got together. The first 3 episodes were fine, but then it all started to go downhill. Cuddy acted like she didn`t know House at all. She was supposed to know how House thinks, and yet she acted like some random woman who has never met House before and was just thrown into a relationship with him. There were hardly any scenes with them just enjoying each other`s company. Anything to show us that these two people liked spending time together. All we got was Cuddy looking like someone forced her to be with House and House having a big “WTF should I do now” sign on his forehead.

    I was really looking forward to seeing them together. But if I try and ignore this, and look at the season from the perspective of someone who didn`t want H/C as a couple; If even H/C fans hated it, than it must`ve been excruciating for those who didn`t want it! Because it was so boring, meaningless and superficial. We learned nothing new about House, he acted out of character most of the time, I can hardly remember any patients this season because they were just not memorable and the side stories were dragging out (Taub and his marital problems, every freaking episode!). So I don`t think it was just Huddy, the writing wasn`t good this season in general. But in my opinion, it just got worse after the break up. Come on, countless hookers, team not blinking an eye when standing in front of House in a bed with his hooker, differentials in monster trucks, House climbing on the fence of the balcony and jumping off of it when he has to use a cane to even walk, marrying a random hooker and I could go on and on. I just can`t bring myself to enjoy this. If they wanted most fans to feel as crappy as House, well, they succeeded.

  • Casey

    My problem with seasons six/seven is cuddy. She was bearable as a bit player as I find LE and cuddy awful. LE’s acting is not up to the level of everyOne else on the show and that’s ok if she’s got a few minutes a show but putting her front and centre didn’t work for me, it just displayed how
    Shallow, insecure, desperate, unprofessional and incompetent she is. I never understood how House could ‘love’ her when there is nOthing to respect about her. She’s an incompetent doctor(shown multiple times) barely manages as Dean,terrible mother(she’s more interested in amquickie with her manny bf than her sick daughter&rather than check on her daughter after leaving her with house despite multiple checking in moments, she goes after sex) and LE wanting to be ‘hot’ rather than professional did the character a disservice. She looks like a mid price call girl. She
    Was so desperate in season seven, forcing him to say he loved her(desperate much?) taking over his life, bringing up their personal stuff at work(which she chastised him for doing)’used sex as a
    Weapon and in no way ever ever changed for him. Thats not love, it’s lust. I disliked the
    Writers trying to push that cuddy was the love of houses life despite spending two
    Seasons setting Stacey in that role. It was a one night stand, he got what he wanted &didn’t come back, yet that’s pining fOr each other? I hated how Wilson has been sidelined. Most critics don’t like cuddy, don’t care for huddy but Wilson is as necessary as air but he was turned into a pathetic 15yr old girl, obsessed with his ex, desperate to have her and throw house over&as much as I hated Amber and the stuPidity of the arc, Wilson was supposed to have learnt to stand up for himself and what he does and doesnt want from a partner yet his advice to house was to just go along with anything to keep the sex. This poor continuity ESP. After suffering the Amber arc just irritated. Wilson has just been pushed out in favour of cuddy and the ridiculous Marsters. If there’s a season eight, all I can hope is cuddy goes back to set dressing and some storylines that don’t revolve around sex lives. Time was the arcs would contain moral quandaries, ethics, prejudice etc but that’s been long gone and that’s a disappointment. a person isn’t defined by who they sleep with yet that’s what these characters have become. I used to love this show but I sort of wish it’d end sooner rather than later if this is a sign of shaw to come as I’d hate tO see this show ridiculed any further. Best to go out on top.

  • Julia

    Re: Shore’s interview about the season finale, I kind of appreciated that he just said the truth and didn’t try to win huddy fans back by hinting that House and Cuddy could return together (while he knows that they won’t). And honestly, I never expected them to return together so soon, and I agree with Barbara that with one more season to go, if House were in a happy-ish relationship, tptb wouldn’t really know where to go from there.
    But I also agree that the less they talk about huddy (and about the show in general), the better.

    To be sincere, I have very little hope for House and Cuddy to return together in the future. House cannot be a good boyfriend – Cuddy wants a good boyfriend. The reasons for their break up left almost no space for a reconciliation, IMO, especially since according to Shore ‘people don’t change’. Maybe I’m wrong and surely many things can happen, but I have the impression the writers have definitively closed the huddy chapter.

    And despite, Shore’s depressing words, I really hope S7 finale doesn’t terminate the main storyline of the last 3 season, which isn’t House trying to be with Cuddy, but House trying to get some happiness, to be better. There are different ways of being ok, and being in a relationship is just one of them. If S8 is just about House being miserable and accepting that his destiny is to be miserable because ‘people don’t change’ and ‘House can’t be happy’, I’ll be very disappointed.

  • troyica

    There`s one thing I don`t understand – DS uses every opportunity he gets to say how House will never change and will be miserable till the end of his days. Fine, if he wants to end the series with House alone, miserable, depressed, hopeless, commit suicide (that`s where we`re going, with everything he`s been through and always ending back where he started), that`s his right. But somebody should really tell him that fans tend to root for the main character and are not overly excited when he is back at square one after 7 years of suffering. So even if there really isn`t anything good waiting for House and we`ll only see more suffering and House hit a new low, he still shouldn`t promote the season finale as such! Leave some mystery, some hope, don`t say “yeah, it`ll basically be what you`ve been watching for the past 7 years, nothing new really”!

  • RedTulip_Ana

    @80 – Casey
    I totally disagree with you about what you said about Cuddy and Lisa Edelstein (especially).
    LE seems to me a good actress and I think it’s a very natural and sincere. Just naturalness and sincerity are qualities difficult to find in people who spend a lot time with the public.
    Regarding the character of Cuddy. I think LE is precisely the one who has succeeded to give life to this character. If the scripts are not good, that’s another matter. The interpretation that the actress makes of her character is excellent.

    @Barbara
    Thanks for your article and for care about House´s viewers. Later I will make my own comments. I just wanted to make a small intervention, because I have found quite inappropriate the previous comment of @Casey about Lisa Edelstein.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    @83-RedTulip_Ana
    I LOVE Lisa E! She’s a great person, great actress. It’s just the writing that she has no control over. Cuddy is not the greatest character, but that’s not Lisa’s fault.

    I’m certain now that I fear all future episodes of House. FEAR. I do not look forward to them, I fear them. Will watch with one eye open. It’s THAT bad. TPTB have shot an arrow through a show I loved because they feel House has to be miserable. Thanks for giving us a few years of watching him make progress. Oh, and thanks for destroying one of the greatest relationships on TV.

  • troyica

    @ RedTulip_Ana, Sneaky Microbe
    I agree with you completely, I don`t always like how Cuddy`s written, but LE`s interpretation of the character is still great.

    #80 Casey
    I respect other people`s opinions, but your post sounds like you`re having trouble distinguishing “horrible actress” from “I absolutely hate the character she plays”.

  • ruthinor

    Actually, it sounds like Casey is just a disgruntled “Hilson”! Can’t really blame him/her. Neither RSL nor LE are responsible for the way their characters have been written lately.

  • MHM

    I think the much hyped finale is like the hype that surrounded “Three Stories” and “Bombshells.”

    Lots of hype, shallow content, and crude delivery. Yeah. I can see “Moving On” being another bookend from “Bombshells.”

    I have always loved Peter Blake’s writing because I absolutely love his layered, witty, complex writing. But, as had been said on this forum, even if he pulls out an incredible script for the finale, I don’t think one episode can raise the show from how far its fallen in terms of quality this season.

    I feel like I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop so that it can finally be over. That’s really…sad and, yes, maybe pathetic. But I need closure, dammit. It’s like I need confirmation of my fears so that I can extinguish all hope. Thanks, TPTB. Is this what you wanted? For the audience to identify with the no-hope-land and constantly-expecting-the-worst motto, “landfill of loserdom” you’re so intent on repeating ad nauseum?
    Thanks a million. (I’m interested to see how the ratings will play out for the rest of the season. Will they lose another million or gain them back?)

  • Ale

    Reading the bitter posts of the huddies almost make up for the huddy nonsense, you guys are so amusing. Anyway I hope the dumb huddy mess is over for good, I still don’t get why tptb had to ruin the show with something so stupid and boring like huddy

  • Ale

    @ruthinor #86

    “You must be a hameron or a hilson” is the tipical mantra of you huddies, you guys have no shame

  • What the Freud

    #89 Ale:

    But apparently, they can spell.

  • Ale

    @What the Freud

    English is not my language

  • MHM

    *groan* Can we please not snipe at each other? Diversity of opinion is awesome, but why does there have to me derision? People love the show for different reasons. How is one reason better than the other?

  • Casey

    @troiyica Im not a child, I can distinguish between a character and an actress. I am also allowed my opinion that LE is a bad actress. I cannot stand her being on screen, it’s the visual equivalent to nails on a chalk board. She has two expressions. One where I assume she’s attempting to look sexy and he one for everything else. It was the same in the west wing, although she has apparently learnt to stop holding one eyebrow permanently raised. She actually still makes whole episodes of the first season unbearable for me with her flat intonation and lack of any noticeable charisma. That that was the role that got her he part speaks volumes. From one call girl to another. I find her portrayal of cuddy terrible and I’m allowed that opinion without name calling or being a hilson. I like Wilson, I hate what’s happened to him in favour of Pushing cuddy to the fore but assuming I’m anti cuddy BECAUSE I favour another character when I’ve listed he reasons I don’t like her is childish. I don’t really care about taub or 13. OH NO that must mean I love Chase.i put forth My reasons for disliking both actress and character but you treat me like an imbecile that I can differentiate. And if youre going to put quotes around things, at least make sure they’re quotes. I never said horrible. Yes I think it of her but I never wrote it. Don’t put words in my post, and don’t act like yours is the only opinion out there or the only one that matters whilst belittling those that don’t agree. I’m not the only one who hates cuddy nor the only person who loathed LE on screen. Get over yourself. The world is big enough for more than one opinion

  • ruthinor

    “You must be a hameron or a hilson” is the tipical mantra of you huddies, you guys have no shame”

    Perhaps, but it doesn’t make it any less true! And how are you “Huddy” haters any better? Whatever floats your boat.

  • HouseShoesLA

    Nice article Barbara to generate some insightful discourse; and I am in desperate need of some. I caught myself nodding at my monitor again, saying “ME TOO” to 99% of the posts here and thought I’d jump into the fray.

    For the record (and at this very moment since my feelings about this show wax and wane hourly), I am simply a bitter, confused, House fan. And not amused as I watch this show devolve into a hollow imitation of itself. In my most humblest of opinions and to paraphrase an overly used slogan,”It’s the writing, stupid”. Not that I’m calling anyone here stupid, I most definitely am NOT. Aside from the occasional troll baiting/insults, this site and a couple of other [H] forums I read daily are consistently filled with eloquent, insightful, compelling posts on both sides of the “fenceline”. To a great extent, sites like these are why I am still watching, trying to hang on, waiting for House to get better this season, when the urge keeps rising up in me to stop watching, just delete the dang show off my DVR already and move on.

    Depending on which episode I am watching, (particularly seasons 1-5 and only a handful here and there in seasons 6 & 7)), I proudly admit that I am a “HACY”, a “HAMERON”, a “HILSON”,a “HAMBER”, a “HALVIE”, a “HOLAN”, and yes a “HUDDY” because the [H] writers through the dialogue and story telling in those episodes made me BELIEVE in, and CARE about, the connection that HOUSE had/has with that individual, whether romantically based or not. The show has always been about relationships, including the one House has with himself. And yet, between the hookers, green card marriage, DDXs in monster trucks in the city streets of Princeton, drugging the elderly at a dinner party, jumping off hotel room balconies, chickens running amok in hospitals, spud guns, creepy Clockwork Orange song and dance routines, toilet seats, chewed up toothbrushes, martini parties in front of jails, and Pavlov techniques/dog clickers to train small children and dogs, I feel like the “dumb soap opera” I am watching is House. Apparently, I no longer need to go elsewhere to get my “dumb soap opera” fix. In addition, to the mangling of the House Cuddy relationship this season, the [H] writers have also managed to convince me that House’s journey isn’t that interesting anymore. All the technical virtuosity, high production values, and yeoman’s job the actors are doing rising above the material in these last two seasons, in particular, only seems to illustrate that show has lost its way; its integrity gutted, again, IMHO. Apparently I am missing something and I’d like to sincerely understand what it is. So for those here who are truly enjoying this season, can you expound a bit more as to why that is (aside from the “silly ships” argument)? I suppose I’m just as much as of an unrepentant angst whore as the next person, otherwise why would I still be watching this show. But I’m trying to make sense of what’s happening to my beloved House and I don’t appreciate having to wait until the season finale to gain some clarity/redemption. PLEASE AND THANK YOU! :-) Rant concluded!

  • MHM

    #95 HouseShoesLA: Your post is so spot-on. I agree with every.single.sentence.

  • Ale

    @ruthinor #94

    “Perhaps, but it doesn’t make it any less true!”
    Really? I didn’t know you had the power of reading other people mind! Let’s see, I’m not a hilson, I dislike Cameron but according to you I should be one of the two just because I dislike huddy. Don’t be ridiculous, please!

    “And how are you “Huddy” haters any better?”

    I don’t hate huddy, I just find it stupid.
    And yes, we are better. Why? I’ll use Casey’s post: she/he explained the reasons of her/his dislike and what did do do? You called Casey a “disgruntled hilson”. That’s what people do when they have no valid arguments.

  • Jaim

    Can everyone just voice their opinions without attacking other people’s preference for certain relationships or reasons for disliking a character portrayal. Let’s just say why we personally have issues with a show and stop trying to tear other people down who differ from us. Thanks.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    @95 HouseShoesLA: Thoroughly enjoyed your post! It amuses me to remember that the character House LOVES soap operas! He would approve. And, of course, with most daytime soaps being taken off the air, we’ll only have our lovely evening dramas.

    [**quietly retreats into the background** Some posts have “put on their angry eyes” and that scares me. It’s fiction, people. No point in getting in a fight over something that’s not even real.]

  • screamingmimi

    Sneaky Microbe (#100) is right. IT. IS. FICTION. And it’s David Shore’s show, not mine. He’ll do with it what he pleases. When i don’t like the direction of a show I just rewrite it in my head. I’ve been around a long time & have lost track of all the television shows i’ve “improved” in this fashion.

    No need to even write a fan fic. The good thing about having a rich fantasy life.

    (I have my own ideas about the finale… DS & crew are a pretty inventive bunch. If not, there is always my own imagination.)

    Now, back to my real life.

  • HouseShoesLA

    @100 Sneaky Microbe: HA! I know, right? Prescription Passion ain’t got NUTHIN’ on the DRAH-MA this season. :-) Thank you for making me laugh.

    @101 Screamingmimi: wish I had your talents. Perhaps if I have another glass of wine….

  • http://goldschmiede-nolden.de dago

    I am midway through reading all the comments and I feel I have to share my notion: To me it seems like they are taking away the looking glas und wich House was at least in the first couple pf seasons.Slowly evolving we got to know him in tiny bits through his own actions or through various reflections.We had those beautiful moments of him at close ups-gone.We saw him thinking and processing in his apartement either playing the piano or just beeing there-gone.His interaction with his team,his boss and his patient were much deeper-gone,There was more gravitas and deepth in almost everything to introduce the character to us.It seems to me that everything gets more generalised and superficialised until everything becomes small and unimportant so they can ride into the fading sunlight and into the darkness of the natural end of the story.
    It also seems to be a time problem as of having only a certain number of episodes to tell what they want to tell.Everything has to go a bit faster at the cost of narrative beauty.I still marvel at HL acting skills,that is why I am still with the show.Even I have to admit that sometimes it is not made easy.But anyway I will ride the journey to its end and then we will know.

  • nitemar

    So many of you guys are so smart with vivid imaginations, and although its true is fiction, those who have little imagination like “moi” need these escapades to get away from RL turmoils. To those angry posts, no need to throw mud at the actors, by doing so, you are showing little capacity for discussions.

  • marian

    I’m wondering whether the break-up between House and Cuddy would have worked better and been more acceptable if House had broke up with Cuddy at the end of recession proof because he thought she made him a crappier doctor. To me it would have made more sense.

  • http://barbarabarnett.wordpress.com barbara barnett

    I’ve been away for a couple days, I have my own speculations and ideas, but I’m going to withhold them for a few days. I read David Shore’s comment in TV Guide, and I think the reaction to it is a bit of an overreaction. He’s saying don’t expect a happy makeup in the finale. I hadn’t been expecting that, so it doesn’t surprise me.

    I would ask again…please cast your opinions as opinions. Not “I’m right and you’re stupid.” (Or words to that effect.) It chases away people who want to discuss the show and diminishes the comment thread to a shouting match.

    Most of the discussion is great, passionate and civil. Let’s try to keep it in that tone. No attacks. On anyone. If you disagree with the show’s direction, say that. Thank you :)

  • Elisabeth

    I’ve loved the House-Cuddy interaction from the very start – particularly the witty and flirty repartee. What saddens me is that I don’t view that sort of interaction as possible between an ex-couple. So even though I enjoyed the physical relationship, I’m sort of regretting it now, knowing that we won’t have that always amusing banter anymore.

  • Eloise

    Brilliant article Barbara, I just dont understand all negativity, there have always been weaker episodes in every season and that must be the same with most tv programmes. Sometimes i feel like I’m on a different planet because I’m still loving House and particularily HL and his incredible acting. The ratings have dropped but surely that is normal for a long running programme, is it really not to be expected. Is the opinion that the programme is not as good a true representation as not everybody comments and reads the net related stuff so it does seem that some of this is definately about not getting what you want. As has been stated by other posters it is DS’s project not ours and i really trust what he has done and continues to do. I really am excited for the next few episodes and i hope for a season 8!

  • RedTulip_Ana

    Good afternoon everyone! Took a few days thinking how to express my feelings about this season of House. Actually, I still do not know how to express my disappointment. In fact, I do not know how to justify this deception. Because, in my heart, I know I should not be disappointed with a television show. I’ve always said that I see House because I like it, entertains me, and I think it’s a show unusual, uncommon, different.

    I will not be repetitive, and probably if I go on, I will be. @Barbara, I sincerely believe that the great fans of House are in a difficult point. We are sad, disappointed, angry … But still we watch the show. Perhaps because we still have faith in David Shore and his geniality. Perhaps because we admire Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein and Robert Sean Leonard, or even the rest of the team. Perhaps because House is our Vicodin. I do not know.

    I agree with your article. I know it’s true that in other seasons, the Viewers also have gone through these states of anxiety and disappointment. But I think now is different. We are in the seventh season. House has long been part of our life. We know very well the story. I would buy all these interviews about the development of the show since Bombshells, if we were in season 2 or season 4 or 5, but not now. Now I can not. It is not all for the rupture of the relationship between House and Cuddy, but it is very much part of the problem. You can not spend seven years to show one thing and want to turn around in five minutes. It sucks, unless you intend to start from scratch. Unless you intend to start again.

    This afternoon I have seen again ep16 “Out of the Chute”. I’ve watched again this episode because at last I got the Spanish version. And here is what I want to say. In Spain, the episode title has been translated as “Volver a empezar” = “Starting again”. That is, the Spanish translation clearly expresses the intention of this new period. We have to start again.
    And here I remembered David Shore and his expression “back to the first square”. After seven years, we can return to the first step? I do not want. I do not buy this idea. But I see clearly the intention of David Shore. Show us how House came to the state that started the series. That is, before season 1, had been four years since Stacy left House (when Stacy appeared on the scene is at the end of this season). I remember that Stacy said that when he was with House, she always felt lonely and so she broke up with House. This is the same argument that Cuddy used to break up her relationship with House.

    And finally, I found an explanation to my disappointment. I do not see that is justified this step backwards. Why? Because after seven years, I have seen an evolution in House (I say evolve, because the characters do not change). So, no, no, no. This “start again” not working in my mind. Not buying it.

    Well, I can not leave this post without talking about the relationship between House and Cuddy. From season 1, David Shore has been growing this relationship. Throughout the seasons we have been knowing about the story of these two. They met in college, had a special night…Then Cuddy searched for and hired him. Cuddy was the first and only boss that House respects. We saw their chemistry, sexual tension, attraction, affection, trust, friendship…their love.

    I disagree with those who say that this story is absurd or stupid. Maybe they do not like. But it was not invented by us. This is not an either arc, or a story as others. It is not Foreman and 13, or Taub and Rachel … is a much more founded relationship.

    And for all this, I see no credible that Cuddy, she broke her relationship with House, the way she did. And I can not agree with the way they have treated the relationship after the breakup. It has been four episodes and we have not seen a single honest interaction between them. House is married to Dominica before Cuddy! Cuddy went to the wedding! Please … who is overseeing a House? For me, these four episodes after Bombshells, them missing something, them lack a sense…

    What can we expect from the last of episodes? This is the big question!

  • RedTulip_Ana

    @95 – HouseShoesLA

    I like so much your comment, specially when you talk about the relationships.

    “…I am a “HACY”, a “HAMERON”, a “HILSON”,a “HAMBER”, a “HALVIE”, a “HOLAN”, and yes a “HUDDY” because the [H] writers through the dialogue and story telling in those episodes made me BELIEVE in, and CARE about, the connection that HOUSE had/has with that individual, whether romantically based or not. The show has always been about relationships, including the one House has with himself…”

  • Susan

    RedTulip_Ana #108 – Bravo.

  • RedTulip_Ana

    I have to be honest with you. Before writing my long comment, had not yet read all your comments. I’m on it …
    For now I can say about them … I LOBE YOU PEOPLE. Barbara, your blog is a great therapy!

  • Eileen

    RedTulip_Ana#108

    I agree with Susan. Your words deeply help to describe my feelings. Someone earlier gave the suggestion that we could use our imaginations to have the H/C story (or any story for that matter) go the way we want it to. But that just does not work for me. I want to SEE the emotion on HL and LE’s faces, not just imagine it.

    Again, RT_Ana, thank you for writing an incredible comment on this (depressing) issue.

  • RedTulip_Ana

    WOW, I’ve just finished reading! Actually, enlightening all your comments. Many of them expressed practically the same feelings. And this suggests that something is wrong here (S7).

    I have to make a point to my post #108: First, sorry for semantic errors in my last paragraph. Secondly, when I talk about the four episodes after Bombshells, I mean, these episodes may have worked better in my head if we had that post-breakup interaction between House and Cuddy.
    – The EP16 and EP17, were extremely painful.
    – This fact made ??the EP18 even better than it actually was.
    – For ep19, frankly I expected much more from the Masters goodbye, and of course, in this episode I missed the conversation between House and Cuddy about the future of Masters.

    Well, keep coming here over the next few days … on Monday begins the race to the finish line of this season!

  • Frustrated

    The finale will decide for me if I should continue or stop watching the show that I’ve dedicated my valuable time to for the past 7 years. David Shore said that people don’t change and that what we see is the peeling of the layers into the characters. Well, what he is showing with his characters have become quite unlikeable. I did not wait for seven years to be told that House’s character would evolve to going back to square one. I did not think that Cuddy would be revealed to be a selfish, heartless bitch that treats relationships like playthings. No woman would treat a man who supposedly she’s been in love with and protected for the past 10+ years the way she did. It was bad enough that she dated Lucas last season knowing that Lucas was one of the few people that House considered as a friend. What does it say about a woman that whines and nags and acted like her boyfriend was never good enough for her? Throughout the relationship, we never once saw Cuddy acknowledge the good or efforts that House put into the relationship. My problem is I never saw Cuddy bring anything into the relationship. She acted like she didn’t know who the real man is. In S5, she knew that House was hurting from Kutner’s death. But in S6, she broke up with House because he couldn’t bring himself to feel the pain? The last time he felt pain, he ended up in a nut house. The writers turned Cuddy into a stranger and I hate them for this. They said that people don’t change, but these writers have always found it very convenient to change these characters in order to suit their storyline. The Cuddy from early seasons would not have reacted this way towards House. She was too strong and independent to act like a whiny and needy girlfriend. They turned her into the stereotypical girlfriend just so they can push the break-up and use it to put him back on vicodin. Well, congratulations writers. What I’m currently watching is not House MD, but House MD in an alternate warped universe.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    @114 – Frustrated: ^^^ THIS!^^^^ I second your comments. And I’m trying to forget about this show, because I somehow know deep in my heart that we’ve been let down and are about to be dropped a whole lot further. Yes, perhaps Huddy should never have happened. There’s no going back.

  • fatolady

    Hi everyone. A thought has occured to me about why we have heard nothing from the actors on the breakup. What if DS had to break them (House / Cuddy) up because one or more of the actors (LE or HL) asked him to because it was becoming to, uh shall we say …………..personal.

    I have heard the writers say something to the effect of “we noticed the chemestry between House and Cuddy early in the series and started to write their interaction to take advantage of that energy”.

    I’m sure we all know HL had an affair several years ago. I could see him being afraid of having that type of situation develope again.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    You know, I just realized . . . I’m hoping the finale is just as dark as I’m expecting it to be, because then I can move on and have no regrets for leaving the show.

  • bigHousefan

    Barbara, I loved your article and your thought “Or has genuine disappointment with the series’ main story arc formed a tipping point after which all the small irritants become now become magnified” really rings true for me.

    If the writer’s aim was to explore ‘let’s see how House and Cuddy screw this (relationship) up’, it could have been so much more interesting. It’s almost as if they intented to REFRAIN from peeling back layers – how do you do NOT peel back layers once you put House and Cuddy “in a beaker and add heat”?

    That said, I’m hopelessly addicted to House. I could sit and watch Hugh Laurie watch paint dry. Ok, maybe not…but it’s almost that bad.

    If I remove from the equation the lack of real exploration (insert angry eyes here) I actually liked Bombshells and the rest with the exception of Fall From Grace. Cuddy goes to the wedding? (add rolling eyes here)!!! And I really liked The Dig.

    I like the new and improved Foreman and his friendship with Taub. (Although I’m bored to tears with Taub and Rachael. What’s the facination with exploring THAT relationship and not House and Cuddy? More angry eyes…) And I love House’s unique relationship with 13.

    I wish someone would ask David Shore why he feels so compelled to comment on a plotline before the audience has even seen it. I know they’re going to break my heart with the finale. They have before and I’ve survived it only to come back for more.

    I just hope that whenever the series ends, it comes with rewards for House and for the audience.

  • sophie

    Go read this awesome article on Blogcritics by Gerry Weaver who used to review ‘House’ (she references this article by Barbara :) ). It’s called House: Where Did It Go Wrong? and it’s the best summary I’ve read of what’s happened to the show – the lack of follow-through on major plot points, the Cuddy issues, Wilson issues, Thirteen drama issues, continuity issues, etc.

  • RedTulip_Ana

    @114-Frustrated — Yes!
    @116-FatOlady — I have to say that I was thinking about this. Maybe DS couldn’t handle this big situation and its interation with personal lifes of LE&HL. I thought that when he decided to shot again the first episode of this season, because when some people saw the beach’s pics didn’t know if them are real or fiction (I think these people may be blind because cameras are there). But is possible they decided to make a relationship more soft after that moment. But, even if that was true, this fact don’t justify the development of their storie, because they could break up the relationship with a fight, for example at the beginning of the season and keep the characters like ever…or even, they could make Cuddy and Lucas again…Not neccesary make Cuddy so different this season…or House like the child-man who ever say I can do better…Also, like HL said…They are proffesional of interpretation.
    @118-bigHousefan — I think, even we still will be sad about the end of the H/C, if we would have a conversation between these two after the breakup, we would enjoy the episodes a bit more, but if we would have this conversation, is possible we didn’t have hookers, swinmingpool, monster truck, wedding…I still don’t understand Why they did it? Sad…

  • 2 lightworker

    this is indeed a blog that offers thoughtful response with a spirit of civility. However, I am troubled that aspects of Mr. Laurie’s personal life that occurred 15 years ago are raised in connection with the development of the relationship of House and Cuddy. Let us be respectful and let that be laid to rest as a painful time for which he acknowledges responsibility, has declared the remorse he feels in causing much pain, and also learning about his own emotional issues.

    I, too, allowed myself to respond emotionally to these fictionalized characters, and was in shock from Ep. 15 on. I remembered being able to “feel with” the characters over the prior seasons, but never had such a reaction, and my lack of objectivity puzzled me, until I realized that our life experience affects how we do or do not identify with characters. I recall reading that Fox insisted that the initial lovemaking in Season 7, Episode 1, be cut because it was not acceptable for Broadcast television in the mid-evening hours.
    I also think that the way the earlier seasons suggested the connection and the tenderness shown at the end of Season 6, made the sudden termination all the more raw.

    I was very troubled by the depiction of women, which IMHO included the one-dimensional Season 7 development of the character of Lisa Cuddy, and more so, the multiple “hookers” and the “green card wife,” which in fact represent the desperate situations for women (and children) all over the world, including young girls led into the sex trade.

    That alone makes me very wary of the intentions of the creative team.

    As to the infamous “beach scenes,” it seemed at the time that camera equipment was obvious, but when the remark was made that the stars were “just relaxing between scenes,” and then the comment that Lisa Edelstein’s mother asked her about the picture with her “boyfriend,” THAT was when there was a noticeable change in the way the actors were shown, with no more informal interviews and pictures together at events. I thought that probably had a lot to do with hype for the upcoming Season 7 relationship, but could imagine the reaction of Mr. Laurie and his family to that kind of public comment.

    There is also at large on the Internet an alternative script for Season 7, Episode 1, that includes the scenes at the beach, restaurant, etc., and is quite long; I have no idea whether that is authentic or not.

    The thoughtful comments here are helpful to me because I don’t have friends who are engaged enough to want to unpack this – regardless of our accuracy.
    My hope is that the remainder of the series will be on a deeper level of characterization and mature dialogue, albeit with wit and fun moments, and that an awareness of the social implications of themes will lead to writing that is serious about human suffering, rather than using it for a clever diversion.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    #119 Sophie: THANKS for the link! Looking forward to reading this one.

  • http://www.nor.org bigHousefan

    RedTulip_Ana 120

    ***Not a spoiler, just hopeful speculation below…

    When I saw the previews for the next episode, I thought perhaps Arlene is deceiving House and Cuddy for their own good, the way they thought they had to deceive Arlene for her own good (treating her). Maybe this is the manipulative means (threatening to sue the hospital) she is using to make them deal with each other and provoke a conversation. (Like many well-intentioned mothers!) There should have been conversations throughout their short relationship, but I’ll be happier if they finally have one. Especially if it’s a good one!

  • Susan

    116 Okie Grandma – I like your theory.

    121 – 2Lightworker – could you elaborate on the connection between Fox’s censoring the risque scenes from Now What, and the rest of your post.

    I also noticed the many joint appearances in the past between HL and LE, press shots where they seemed uncommonly “close”, awards shows, interviews etc. I figured that they were just PR and now that those have stopped they were probably only for promotion of the House/Cuddy “consummation”. But taken together with the beach scenes do you (FOL and Lighworker) think they upset Hugh’s family and/or TPTB and could have been stopped for that reason?

    (BTW, how do we get to see those out takes from Now What!!!!!)

  • 2 lightworker

    124 – Susan – My intention in including what I had read about the network’s limiting the amorous scenes (the suggestion was about intensity and length) because it is broadcast, not cable, had to do with the many levels of ambiguity in the way the show is promoted and how we as viewers are affected by that in terms of trusting our perceptions; I considered omitting that, but having read speculation on why the scene was not longer and more explicit, I thought that might shed some light -probably not enough. And wouldn’t many of us be curious to unearth those out takes :-)

    I am not in media, but have worked in an area of public presence and am aware how the slightest gesture can be interpreted many ways.

    It is only my opinion, and I respect the views of others from their particular vantage point, but it seemed that the very gifted creator of the show’s remark about the beach scenes’ snuggling as “just relaxing between scenes” encouraged imagination about the RL relationship, and I kind of felt Lisa, who has been so enthusiastic as a spokesperson for the show, got carried away when she made the comment about her mother’s response to the pictures.

    Yes, there were “close” photos at events as the seasons progressed (in early award shows, Mr. Laurie’s wife, Jo, and Stephen Fry, were often present) and I, too, thought it was a PR strategy, so when there was a change in photo ops and interviews after the beach scene comments, including no scenes together at a September 2010 (I think) Fox event before Season 7 started, I wondered (as did others) if there may be a connection. I have no knowledge of how Mr. Laurie and his family may have reacted, but it seemed disrespectful to me – the comments were NOT about the fictional characters. And this spring, a video has appeared of Mr. Laurie and his wife, Jo, arriving at LAX in June 2010, when the filming started, which makes me think there is a perception gap that has been encouraged in SOME fans by those who wanted to provoke interest in Season 7 and the relationship that the promos described as “going nuclear.”

    So my surmising about all of this, with all the limitations that suggests, would be that someone put his(?) foot down and said what the Brits and Irish say, “enough is enough.”

    Thanks, Susan, for checking in. I find the coverage of Mr. Laurie’s music tour, in which he is accompanied by his family, to be a total delight, and seeing how refreshed and relaxed he appeared to be as soon as he hit Paris, as well as his music and the way he relates to the audience, leads me to continue my commitment to follow his work on [H}ouse and other things to come.

  • anonymous

    *(Sorry, english is not my native language because I’m Switzerland girl.)

    Jennifer Morrison abrutly dismissal is the worst (and shame) decision ever.
    They don’t have any respect, love and caring about her (after six years) and treat her in a very very horrible mode:
    – They concluded a contract to her for 7 years (not honored) and a option to 3 more epsode this year (not honored)
    – They promise (for years) to reintegrate her because they declare ”loveeeee her so much” (ah!) (not honored)
    – Shore, in the first years spend so many words about this pairing and promise hameron exploration many times (not honored)
    – DS say (end of the 5 series) she is in his ”a long term plans” only few mouths before they rid her for good (Ah!!!).
    (not honored)
    – And (two last years) they umiliate her with a very very little role (2 second to episode and so much episodes without her, even three consecutive)
    – And KJ invent a false ”SPA day with Jennifer” (when they dismiss her) to appear a good and caring boss. It’s a shame.
    – And they do a great goodbye party to AT (a recurring guest star stay only 6 months) and nothing to Jennifer Morrison after 6 years.
    – Hugh Laurie no spend ONE word about Jennifer bad treatment, no one word, neither a hypocrite ”I am sorry for her, I will miss her, good luck”. Nothing.
    And now TPTB simply ignore and forget her existence all the time and Jennifer is out forever like she is don’t count anything.
    How horrible are this people?!
    I loss my faith to this people like professional and like humans after this event.
    I’m sorry but many people are not forgotten all this injustice that ONLY HER has suffered on this show (All main actors have
    the possibility to stay until the end,
    have their support, caring, love, gratitude
    and a safe work..except her. It’s so unjust and deprecaple!).
    Barbara, I hope you don’t forget ask of her in the interview with TPTB because she don’t deserve all this. I love all your recap and your sensibility :)

    They tease all fans: hamerons in a greatest mode, and in minor measure even huddies, hilsons and ”I’m no-ship-but-I love-procedural-medical-show” fans.
    No one like new team (a worst carbon copy of the original team) and they new conception to the show (with patient in background and all this crap soapy plots) created after wonderful first three seasons.
    And they treat a sweet woman and good actress like Jennifer Morrison without any respect after so many years.
    I think Bryan Singer absence ruin the show because he is the most clever brain they had.
    I hope some day Shore realize his error and close his show with some dignity.

  • Frustrated

    I’ve always been of the belief that Hugh Laurie was not and is not very interested in the Huddy relationship. It’s very interesting that he seemed more comfortable in his scenes with the actresses who played hookers than LE with whom he has worked with for 7 years. It’s just my observation.

    Anyways, I was upset at the beginning of the season to see no joint promotion from HL & LE for Huddy. I used to think that someone was not comfortable in promoting the coupling. But after hearing the writers say that it was always intended to end, it make sense why there was never any promotion. The only promotion came in the form of a TV Guide interview. Kind of a rip-off when everyone was hoping for more after waiting for 6 years.

    HL said that it was most important HOW things happen. For me, the show did a disservice to the Huddy fans with HOW they handled the relationship and the interviews thereafter.

  • Susan

    127 Frustrated – You’re bursting my bubble. I always thought HL was into the Huddy relationship. Probably because of all the promo pictures that I saw AND the TV Guide interview which was filled with innuendo and flirtiness. I’ve been duped again.

  • fatolady

    Now Susan, Frustrated #127 is only the opinion of one person. I saw more of what you saw in many interviews AND that impression came through to me even though HL”tried” to “play it cool”. I think it was too tempting an attraction. You don’t avoid a situation with someone you are indifferent to. You work to avoid someone who moves your emotions in some intense way, whether it be antagonistic, or romantic.

  • ruthinor

    Seems to me that HL has some power behind the scenes..he is a producer on the show. If he was uncomfortable with the presence of LE or anyone else, I would guess he could lobby for that person’s dismissal. OTOH, if you have seen outtakes from Bombshells, for ex., you could see HL and LE laughing together during the Butch Cassidy-Sundance Kid portion of the show. Or you could have seen them dancing together in a post-production party at the end of the season.

    I don’t think HL is comfortable with love scenes in general, he has stated as much. LE has done them on many previous shows and has less trouble with those scenes. Of course he was comfortable with the hookers, what did he do with them? Lie in bed? So what.
    I think LE was just joking (as she is prone to do) about her mother’s reaction to the beach photos. I find it hard to believe that anyone with more than half a brain took that seriously. Also, LE has been seen with a particular guy for several months now, including at the PCAs. Is she just using that guy as some sort of distraction? These kind of rumors happen on lots of TV shows in which there are romantic couples. The fact that HL’s family has remained in Europe I think has contributed to all the speculation.

  • 2 lightworker

    127-Frustrated
    128-Susan
    129-fatolady
    All of our perceptions of the chemistry between actors may be true at some point and not at another. And your eye may perceive what mine does not, and vice versa.
    I have at times had an impression, and then realized I was responding to people who are performing, and I have no way of knowing whether what I am seeing is personal or strictly professional. I, too, have perceived energy in interviews, but finally come to say, “I just don’t know. It’s show biz,” or it becomes a way of driving myself crazy.
    It has been said widely that there was a chemistry between HL and Leighton Meester; it seemed that way, but I ask myself if it was just fun, and the repeated statement really has to do with setting up promo for “The Oranges.”
    There’s an interview with HL on You Tube, on Hardtalk (UK) in 2000, about making “Maybe Baby.” Interesting in light of these posts about his feelings on sex scenes.
    The only actor I remember quoted about this in a streetwise way was Humphrey Bogart, who is reputed to have said,
    “Once you get the juices flowing, it’s hard to make them stop.”

  • byzantine

    Hugh Laurie will have chemistry with an inanimate object, if he chooses to. Just saying…

  • Switman

    Season 7 in a nutshell – Acting good, writing bad, hope gone.

  • lobentti

    Barbara,
    Ié been an attentive reader of your writting, and it´s the firts time I write something;you said may be you missed something, and I´m just trying to help with this, as I have a different point of view. I always saw House show as the best in TV; but I think it went down with small things, yes.I saw the way they put Cuddy in this relationship realy weird since the epis ‘Now what?'; and now, all those durty words in House´s mnouth, talking to kids, all this unnecessary extreme bad behavior for a show seen by sucha alot of teen-fans, well that seemed too much for me. Disgunsting and unnecessary.
    There wew a lot to say, but I hope tha this should help :)
    thanks for the opportunity.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    By my very rough calculations, of House fans who care enough to post comments/rants/raves online, I’d say AT LEAST 85% are very unhappy with the show right now. I’d estimate 60% are so unhappy they’re considering not returning to watch a Season 8.

    Again, very rough estimates. I’m sure there’s a larger number of people who just don’t care one little bit. Still, if I were The Powers That Be, I’d be just a tad concerned. Or maybe they’re just rich and don’t care.

  • http://barbarabarnett.wordpress.com barbara barnett

    I agree with a lot of what Gerry says, but I’m not at the point yet where I’m ready to write off the show. Maybe as the seasons have gone on, the internal issues become more apparent; there’s been a longer back record to call up to mind.

    I though the antics of “Fall From Grace” (the monster truck DDx and the “wedding” were way too over the top). But I also think it’s equally valid to say (despite spending a lot of season 7 on it) the Cuddy/House story seemed too compressed. I can see why people feel cheated by that.

    I will have less patience at this point if the last four episodes do not give lead somewhere. As far as David Shore goes, he talks without thinking, making remarks that I don’t think he’d actually believe if he was really pinned down about it.

    Of course House has changed; of course House has humanity. David Shore has written some of the best of House’s steps forward and some of his most poignant moments.

    I think what Shore is actually saying is that a person doesn’t change who he or she actually is: I know I have an obsessive personality, I won’t change that, but I might try to control it or change my obsessions over the years (except for British actors and writing ) I will always have a problem with food, but I can acknowledge it and try to deal with it, only to fail. But the problem is still there.

    I’m curious and always have been; but how that manifests changes. I’m stubborn, but again, I can learn to deal with that. I think (although I’m in no way in DS’s head) he was being literal. What he says in the TVG blurb is that House is dealing with having made changes&mdashpositive changes—and failed to be able to benefit from them. What effect does that have on him? He’s an introspective character, so how does he internalize that? Yeah, he’s going to slingshot back, but how much and for how long….?

    Now, that said, if the end of the season (and I mean all four episodes, not just the finale) disappoints, I’ll probably join you guys. Personally, I hope the series ends gracefully at the end of season 8, letting House get some closure — the character and the show. HL will be able to pursue the next phase of his career and we’ll all go on to find other obsessions

    I do find it interesting, as I said in my article, I have a bunch of friends with whom I work. They’ve really disliked the series as it’s gotten more into the Huddiness. Every one of them, who’ve watched the series since season one have begun to enjoy the series again. One of my co-workers saw me last night, telling me how much he’s enjoyed the last two episodes and how he’s become a fan again. So go figure!

  • lobentti

    Hey again :)
    Hope I´m not becoming addicted! Just want to say that “Unwritten” and “The dig” were just perfect! We can still have hopes :)
    see you

  • Susan

    I just spoke to a friend, a fellow House fan, who said she is very disillusioned with the show – she didn’t even know where to start, she was so riled up. She had been enjoying the “new” House, seeing him in a new light as a boyfriend, and then….

    “It was almost as if they didn’t want to take House and Cuddy any further and they just stopped it, he went on a rampage, got married and now it’s going to be the old, same old,same old. They took everyone on a different path for a while and then we had the rug ripped out from under us”.

    She also said, “The chronological order is killing me, because there is no chronological order… About the year anniversary with Cuddy – how could it be a year? It felt like a few weeks…”

    And still her teen-age son sits in front of the TV for hours watching House marathons.

    David Shore – is any of this getting through to you yet?

  • MHM

    I just heard a song on the radio by Mumford & Sons called “After the Storm.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DPbJorCcNw

    Can House’s ‘moving on’ path please be something remotely like this? He’s House, he doesn’t have to have “flowers in [his] hair,” but, wow, the song is so beautiful and I think it fits into something like what I hope for House as a character, for personal growth.

  • MHM

    #133 Switman: LOL!!!

  • http://www.ctropical.org/ RedTulip_Ana

    @123 – bigHousefan
    Thanks for trying to bring a bit of hope on the next episode. But honestly, right now, I hope little bit of Changes. Actually, I thought like you, “the mother who worries about her daughter and tries to help”. But after seeing the promos, I’m not so committed. First, the first interaction between House and Cuddy after the wedding, takes place in front of the whole team. And second, it seems they (H & C) will not have minutes alone, and must be Wilson, who mediates between them. I hope I’m wrong, but I can not see the rainbow at the end of this storm.

    – I would like to make another comment. The truth is that Bombshells entail such impact on our lives that we often forget how much we entertained this show. I disagree with those who says the series started to get worse from season 3, for example. Let’s see, if someone did not like House since season 3, why did not leave to see it then? I think this kind of comments remove the credibility of their authors.

    – On the other hand, sometimes we forget the episodes that we do have liked this season. It seems that Bombshells got to erase from our minds all the good moments of this season. I loved the episodes: Now what?, Unwritten, Unplanned Parenthood, Carrot or Stick and Family Practice. I think in these episodes the characters acted like they really are. But, I did not like those episodes in which Cuddy began to be a shadow of herself, and House became a puppy looking for approval of his mistress. With this, I mean that not all of this season has been bad.
    So I can not share the idea of David Shore and company about that the relationship between House and Cuddy had to be broken yes or yes, or that House is not a good boyfriend or House can not be happy … It seems really strange that existing episodes as Family Practice or Carrot or Stick, they can say that. I do not know if it’s me, but I there I saw an opportunity to build a family (not common, but a family).

    – To finish today, I want to comment something else. This morning I read this french interview with Lisa Edelstein (I took it from @HouseDailyDose, so thanks to her and @LapizSilkwood for the traslation):

    Q: You’re currently fighting for the abortion right. We know that FOX is pro republicans…
    LE: I indeed received a warning call from FOX…
    Q: How do you plan the “after House” ?
    LE: Menopause and Hollywood never worked so well together… If there is a season 8 – they’re still negociating – then a S9,I’d come out of it at 47 or 48 y-o. I’d be too old to play the young firsts. And too young to play grandmothers.

    Well, this interview worries me about one thing. It is possible that the actions of Lisa Edelstein supporting abortion and against the Republicans, have affected her character in House. But on the other hand, it seems that she is sure that if there are season 8 and 9, Cuddy will be there. What do you think? This comment is closely related to everything that we talked about the relationship between the personal life of actors and the evolution of their characters in fiction.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    #138 Susan: I like your comments. A LOT. Sums things up pretty well.

    #141 RTA: Even the thought that this issue plays into LEs continuance on the show ANGERS ME TO NO END. Not even gonna say what I’m thinking. But, I must point out that FOX hosts shows like “Family Guy.” They get away with such offensive stuff that it blows my mind. (I usually like it, FYI, if only for how it gets around censors.) Conservative network with quite a few shows that are offensive to many. Go figure.

  • Susan

    #142 – Sneaky Microbe – thanks for the compliment but in #138 I paraphrased what my friend told me over the phone. It was just so funny the way she started ranting and she sounded like all of us here so I wanted to write it down as the thoughts of a “normal” viewer as opposed to us addicts!

    #141 – RedTulip – I can’t believe Fox called LE to warn her about being pro-abortion. But her views will not have any affect on her character on the show because I think House’s writers and producers are on the liberal side of the spectrum.

  • Susan

    I just read a site called TV Squad that said that House was “likely” to be renewed.

  • http://www.ctropical.org/ RedTulip_Ana

    @144-Susan —>
    Someone (@Aizeak) said to me on twitter one thing and I look for…to find this:
    “We will start season 8 as fresh as the first day sometime at the beginning of August…I just hope i can get back my great crew back, who have to survive 3 months of potentially little work…” (Gale Tattersall)
    It seems ALL people think they will back for a new season…

  • http://www.nor.org bigHousefan

    Susan 144, RedTulip_Anna 145

    Thanks for cheering me up!

  • Susan

    bigHousefan 146 – It’s a double-edged sword. We’ll get another year of House but it could be another year of torture and misery….but glad I cheered you up anyway!

  • http://www.ctropical.org/ RedTulip_Ana

    @146 – bigHousefan @147 – Susan
    When we see the final episode, we can decide whether it is better or worse a new season. I’ve already bought a truck full of tissues for 23May!

    Tonight begins the race for the final! ;-)

  • The Other Barnett

    Barb,

    You were mentioning friends who are happy with House again……its clear why. House is House again.

    ‘Huddy’ was horribly handled, to the point that the whole show was being hurt. It is one thing to watch a relationship take flight and go through its rough patches. It makes sense that an individual like Gregory House would have to be a difficult animal to domesticate; and such challenges could definitely be the material of great story-lines. Even if the writers had handled this well, this was just too much for a fanbase that grew with a person whose quirks and failures became embraced like that of a family member. The fact that the writers (and Shore) did not do well (they did not stink,they just were criminally inconsistent)only created an angry fandom.

    Since the break-up, the ship has almost been righted. The stories are more balanced and the actions of House (though erratic) seem to be more within true personality and character. We are still seeing a House who is more considerate, without having to be subjected to the vascillating, nearly emasculated House that would show itself way too often throughout the first half of the season.I am seeing a Cuddy who is not making me beg for her to go on a long sabattical and a Wilson who is not making me want to push him on to Broadway. Foreman is actually being Foreman, not a weak carbon copy of the norm.

    The two highlights of this season that did stand out (either because of or despite the writers) are Chase’development in the team and personally and Masters’ presence. These two characters kept the show going and kept me engaged when I was almost embarrassed by House and his Cuddy-dramas. I’m a bit annoyed that Chase has taken a step back the last episode or two, but hoping that corrects itself.

    And the Edelstein interview kind of annoys me…….anyone who watches Fox knows that it is not run by Republican (or conservative) principles. Glee, Family Guy, The Simpsons, and House are not Republican shows…….in fact they are almost progressive beyond compare. That a French interviewer would mix up Fox News’ perspective with Fox entertainment’s may be understable, but Edelstein could have cleared things up a bit more than she chose to. I’d also not take her reference to 8th and 9th season for much, unless she is slipping out something about her contract.

    I am hoping for a good close to the season, but I am seriously hoping for a season finale that is not stupendous, shocking, orgasmic or life-altering. I just want a great episode that sends me into the summer content…..not manic over what is next. Lets just hook up 13 and House for some coital enjoyment…..and leave it at that.

  • The Other Barnett

    Microbe, Two of your comments caught me…..

    First you gave a rough estimate on the House fans…..I assume you understand that those on Blogs are usually fanatic in nature in comparison to the regular viewer (especially the DVR crowds). My wife says House is one of her five favorite shows, a co-worker never misses House, my youngest cousin sometimes outsmarts me on House trivia….but none of them take such a deep interest as to come on this blog as I.

    I also assume you understand that TPTB see themselves, at this point in the show’s development, not as purveyors to consumers, but as artists to be appreciated independent of the market interest. If that is the case, which I think it is, Howard Shore could give a rip about what we think.

    Finally, I am certain Fox entertainment is not conservative (or even moderate). Therefore, the network is merely hypocritical to have issues with Edelstein’s abortion stance when it has made fetus-abuse humor on the Family Guy.

  • Jillian

    I get the feeling that something has happened behind the senes this year, that has led to my feeling that nobody is really invested in the show any more. examples being, the opening episode leaked pictures, then reshooting the whole episode? David Shore being pulled back to the show, Katie Jacobs being pushed to the side, not saying anything these days. The hostile way Greg Yantaines talks to fans who dare to question, even the cast appear to be only going through the motions. Nobody going to the peoples choice awards except LE, and then almost being forced to do a thank you to the fans. Even Robert Sean Leonards I thought very angry rant about the show. No something has changed, and it is reflected by the episodes. They dont feel as thought out as they once where. Then there was Bombshells! what should of been a truly amazing classic episode of House, left me and no doubt many thousands of fans around the world, sitting saying what the F#%@ just happened. Then all the episodes after that especially “Out of the Chute” to me was just too painful and cringe worthy to watch! then there was more insult to injury, the writers have to make excuses why they wrote an episode the way they did, and David Shore himself declaring that everything was back to square one, the House-Cuddy relationship was done, and just like they did with Jennifer Morrison, said, there was no more to explore!!!!! I will watch till the end of the season, but I no longer get the exicted feeling in my stomach on a monday, knowing that a new House is on tonight. I feel I don’t care anymore. Because all the hard work House invested, his journey towards getting off Vicodin, working to have a relationship, only to be told that, House will never change period! well to me that is the end of the show, House has gone as far as he can, there is nothing to look forward too any more. Unless they do end this season with some kind of hope that all that House has jorneyed too is still there. Then I wont be back for another season.

  • ruthinor

    The other Barnett: Fox entertainment is run by MONEY. They don’t give a crap how they earn it, even if it goes against the principles espoused by their ludicrous News division and the right wing dirtbags who run it .

  • RedTulip_Ana

    @151-Jillian
    You did a very good summary of this season! That’s it!

  • Amie

    “Or has genuine disappointment with the series’ main story arc formed a tipping point after which all the small irritants become now become magnified?”

    => Exactly!!!! Count me in one of those.

    Very interesting comments by everyone. And as much as I agree with the H/C hookup being boring, out of character and a real missed opportunity for great explorations of relationships, it seems people are only focusing on this season and not really answering Barbara’s answer about when was the tipping point for us.

    I love this article and the question it asks as I have been wondering the same thing for sometime and trying to find an answer, comparing my liking of the different tv shows I watch. I loved reading what others had to say.

    I have noticed 2 things :
    1) I gladly rewatch season 1-4 episodes and almost none of season 5-7
    2) I started becoming spoiled during season 5 and it is the only show I look spoilers for even though I like other shows as much (for example The Good wife).
    This made me realize I didn’t care for spoilers about other shows because I didn’t care WHERE the story went because HOW it is done is always exciting. If its a comedy, I just want to laugh and don’t care about the story. If its a drama, if the drama is good, I don’t care where they take me. That was the case for House until season 5.

    And so I’ve come to realize that the HOW in House has not been as good as before, so I came to be interested only about the story, the WHERE they took me (hence looking for spoilers because that’s all that was interesting). And now the story has dissappointed me, it doesn’t make up for the rest.

    For me, season 1 to 4, even if there were episodes I didn’t like, are a pleasure to rewatch : great one-liners, great clinic scenes, potw that we cared for and were interesting, potw that House cared for, moments with music where time stood still and we could glimpse a bit of House, subtlety, ethical dimenas, duckling that argued with House…

    Then, during season 5, we got more lesser episodes than good ones. We got a lot less of all the things listed above. And, dare I say it, almost none in season 6 and 7 (I have not rewatched a single episode of season 6 and 7 – except the first two of S7).

    But I stayed for the story. House’s slow descent into the loony bin in season 5, his trying to redeem himself in season 6… I did think these seasons were a bit boring but I stayed because I’m curious and wanted to know what became of House the character and I thought it was consistent and intersting to watch his evolution.

    But then the storylines started annoying me : the droped ones (wilson’s brother?), the ones I didn’t care about (13), the incredible ones (Chase surgeon? then back on House’s team??? the Chase-Cameron breakup, the “you don’t lie to me”), ducklings that weren’t foils anymore for House (I missed Cameron for that, and I was glad Masters was here for that).
    But I still watched because I thought putting H and C together would make great tv, great storylines. What a dissappointment! Except for the first two, after each episode of this season I would think “ok, next one is where the exploration will start.” “ok next one” “ok next one” And so the breakup came as a shock because I was still waiting for the exploration to start.

    And so I’m sad of the wasted opportunity and the fact that they will not explore the H/C relationship more. I’m bored. And annoyed with the inconsistencies. And annoyed by the lack of seriousness, as MHM said (#16). The ddx are boring I don’t even pay attention anymore. It seems no one really cares about the potw anymore. The ducklings aren’t interesting. Only Masters shook things up a bit. I still can’t believe Foreman was ok with the foot massage and the pingpog table. He really is a useless character now. At least before, he used to confront House.

    Another thing that annoys me is what Flanarchist said (#26) : “The main problem for me is that for 3 seasons now,House has become a looser”.
    Thank you for pointing that out for me!
    He has always been an outcast, a rebel, miserable, but he acknowledged it, lived with it and, dare I say it, was proud of it. It defined him. For him, it wasn’t failure, it was not wanting to fit in.
    I’m really bothered by the “he failed the relationship” speech because I never saw him as a loser. He’s more of a fighter and I don’t understand why they didn’t have him fight back. It would so have been in his character to yell to Cuddy his hard truths like he did tons of times before.(something like a mixture of Finding Judas, Humpty-Dumpty and No More Mr Nice guy speechs : “you suck at being a girlfriend. you don’t copromise, you want your partner to change. you have “common” you dump him, you have “uncommon” you dump him too, you don’t know what you want and you’ll never find true love and happiness.”)
    For all these reasons, House has sunk low in my favorite tv show list and I don’t dare say outloud I like the show like I used to.

    Why I am still watching? Hope? Hope it gets better like it once was? Hope to watch once again what was my favorite show every week? But I’m running out.

  • http://barbarabarnett.wordpress.com barbara barnett

    I’ve been crazy busy, but I’ve been reading everyone’s comments. Just to let you all know that the next couple of Mondays I have meetings at work (yes, I have a job outside writing for Blogcritics :)) that will last until late. I won’t be able to see the episodes (unless I get a screener for next week) until I can watch them via DVR. I am a perfect example, by the way, these days of not being able to watch the show as it airs. And if I get home very late, I’ll probably just view the Amazon download and even skip the DVR (no commercials).

  • MHM

    Have come to a point where I feel bad for myself for watching week after week to subject myself to depression after watching.

    The final 4…1/4 of whatever hope I had left about the show improving in quality has been deflated, so 3/4 deflation to go. I get the feeling that they’re just going through the motions now.

    Wow. Self-pity is really not where I want to be. That is beyond angry and sad. Well, 3 more to go until closure.

    The 7-year itch? At this point, I think the show should have stopped before it developed an itch.

    *shaking myself to get over it, to “move on”*

    Good night, everyone. Apologies for the negativity, but it’s my honest opinion, so that’s allowed, right?

    Sweet dreams.

  • The Other Barnett

    ruthinor……calm down about FNC, you have MSNBC or Current or Al-Jazeera TV to watch….no need to call people names :)

    Amie, how can you still be watching House? I stopped watching dozens of shows that used to be favorites when the writing went off the rails. House’s writing and the staff attention has gone side-ways, yet I’d still rather watch this than some other dancing with the stars or another “collagen-lips sound like a fart” on CBS, or many other shows. There is still quality in the acting, the moments of the confluence of writing, story background, and acting; House is still House. I agree the notion of taking a fatalistic view could drain some enthusiasm held by viewers…but those viewers have to make a decision – Do they want to watch a good show or do they want to see someone they love improve…….it would be nice that both could happen, but maybe it can only happen a little on the latter and more on the former.

    MHM – What disappointment? Last nights show was pretty good. Was it ‘3 stories’? No. But it was a welcome episode and an interesting possible set-up for something to hit at the end of the season. Heroin?……everyone loves rubber-necking a car-crash.

  • http://www.cadiz-turismo.com/playascadiz/playascadiz.php RedTulip_Ana

    Well … last night was the first assault! My impression? Good and bad. BITTERSWEET.

    Our thoughts were true. Arlene wanted to reconcile House and Cuddy. It did not work. I don´t understand the attitude of Cuddy and her irrevocable decision to never back with House. On the other hand, yesterday I had moments when I hated profoundly House.

    Brief analysis:

    – As much as we like the chemistry between House and Cuddy will not return. I did not like at all, to see the “game” between them: I forgive you hours of clinic, I ask your underwear … It’s not funny. It is no longer fun. Does not work anymore. Sad.
    – First I hated House, and I loved Cuddy. Then I loved House, and I hated Cuddy. At the end I came to hate (without malice) DS by these feelings.
    Wilson was good. My first impression was that he was fantastic. I loved Wilson for a moment.
    Arlene, as always, fantastic.
    Cuddy … what happens with Cuddy? “I had every right to break up with you. ” Not a bit of regret. I still think that his reasons are not valid (my opinion).
    House was a jerk at first. An asshole lover. Once again proved to be the smartest in the class.
    – The Vicodin … The Vicodin? Seriously? Wilson agrees with Vicodin? Cuddy agrees with the Vicodin? The last time the House was on Vicodin, he lost his medical license. On Now what? Wilson analyzed his pupils and entered through a window to verify that he was not on the vicodin! I do not believe it, sorry. By the way, those boxes of Vicodin, are not like before! (am I right?)
    13 is a bad influence on House (my opinion). She’s not a double … is worst.
    – The patient. I could clearly see House in the place of Cyrus.

    @Barbara, thank you very much…even when you are bussy, you have words for us!

  • Eileen

    156 – MHM –
    I completely agree with you about last night’s episode. It left me feeling the same way.

  • MHM

    159-Eileen,

    Thanks :)

    I don’t want to go into an in-depth analysis of why I didn’t like last night’s episode because I think I’ll rehash all the problems I’ve written before about my issues with S7 writing and direction.

    But, yes, there you have it. I didn’t see significant “changes” to change my mind about where the show’s at.

    Cheers,

    MHM

  • vicpei

    I like coming here because I feel like I did not finally went dumb, and there are plenty of other people feeling the same way about House. It is a wonder how we all eagerly wait for something better to give us an excuse to love it again. I don’t know about other shows. Is it the only show whose fans can’t face that it became average, after being outstanding?

    Tipping point for me : end of Bombshells. Completely unexpected in a bad way, OOC and made for shock value. And with the added bonus of Greg Yaitanes bragging about how brilliant it was, so good if we were all so upset. Sorry, shocking does not mean good.

    Breaking point : Dominika. NO WAY vintage House would do something as stupid as this wedding, and people don’t change, do they?

    Added grudges : Shore and the writers interviews, feeling the need to explain why they were doing everything perfectly and we were the dumb ones not understanding. Stubborn affirmations of no change ever, RIP Huddy, no hope. With a special mention to Liz Friedman on Bombshells, then her interview with you (no offense to you, Barbara), then her V-Log where she could not remember the title of the episode she wrote.

    I won’t insist on Taub’s love life and “Thirteen has to be the 2 most important character” on the show, because it has been said to no end. You don’t have to give viewers what they want, because you can’t please all of us, but you can at least spare them from things they clearly don’t want to watch. Name one person you know waiting eagerly for the fate of Taub’s marital vows?

    I, like many others, could watch and hear Hugh Laurie read a phone book. Main reason why I’m watching. I still watch, but with no preemptive excitement. I watch quite in disbelief for the past few weeks. And I am deeply sorry about that.

    And I can’t say how much I agree with this review on Blogcritics : House-When did it all go wrong? It summarizes pretty well what we have all been saying, while staying polite and respectful. You can feel the sadness of the fan – writer. Kudos to him/her.

  • Ellie

    I’m a bit late coming to this discussion, but Barbara, what a great article for generating feedback about this show, its history and what remains of its future. I am as devoted a fan of this show as anyone else although I wasn’t there from the beginning. When House first came onto the air I was in rehab…probably not a show for a newly clean and sober person. It wasn’t until 2 years ago that I (quite accidentally) watched an episode and was immediately hooked. That episode was House’s Head/Wilson’s Heart. At the risk of sounding a bit silly, it was magic for me. Literally. I watched because there was nothing else on tv on a Friday evening and it was just magical. I didn’t see an actor playing a character, I saw a REAL person in Greg House and here again at the risk of sounding silly, I saw a person that I related to by virtue of the fact that this was an addicted person and with all of the multidimentional flaws and quirks and issues that go along with addiction. Whether the addict is high-functioning, as House is (mostly) or in the gutter, all addicts are like onions. you just keep peeling layers. Hugh Laurie portrays this character so beautifully I have a hard time believing he is still so underrated. I’m not a tv addict by any means, but his work hooked me, to the point that within two weeks after watching my first episode of House I had worked my way through all 5 seasons and was panting for August. it was only May.
    while I will stay with the show till the end I have to agree with so many of you about becoming gradually disillusioned with the writing, the direction of the show and how they have handled so many plot lines and character development. something is missing and I don’t believe that it is because the show is old or they are running out of ways to write it. I’m not really sure what it is, but my case in point right now is how Huddy was handled. they dropped the ball on that. and that is and understatement. it could have been, SHOULD have been so much better. after the buildup of the dynamic between House and Cuddy that was evident from the pilot, for those of us that were pulling for them we got the shaft. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, they should have waited to put them together until the final season of the show. when a show ends, especially a show like House, you want to think it’s going to be a mostly happy ending. we all know that House never stays happy for long, but why not leave it with ‘maybe this time he will be’? leave it with some promise that he will be happy with this woman he loves, and has loved for so long. there was no interaction between the two of them that was meaningful past the first few episodes this past season and for me personally what I did see with Cuddy made me frustrated and irritated with her. she was petulant and touchy and never seemed to be content. first she says she loves him and doesn’t want him to change and then she goes back on that, gets all bent out of shape because he uses her toothbrush or leaves the toilet seat up, and then, KNOWING how he is and how hard certain things are for him to handle, dumps him after he slips back into his addiction. first of all, if she ‘deserves better’ than a man who will put the seat down or wipe the shaving cream and toothpaste off the counter, she’ll wind up a spinster. men who pay attention to that crap are rare. but the way she dropped him after her health scare just sucked. I don’t know how else to put it. all those seasons of buildup for THAT? not even a year of them together, not even a GOOD year at that, and its over. I know this is too long and I could go on and on, as I know many of us could, but it almost seems to me that the writers are too bored to really put any quality effort into making the show as good as it once was. I have had a hard time watching this season and have only done so because Hugh is so amazing he can still serve it even when the writers are serving him crap. and this upcoming descent into complete and total madness has me worried that even though I know Hugh will still be awesome, the plot itself will stray so far into crazy that the show will cease to be credible. at all.