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House: Where Did It Go Wrong?

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When I headed over to the wonderful Barbara Barnett’s The End Of The Thought Process to check out her thoughts on season seven of House, I found that yet again she had put her finger on a key issue about the show. Her article asked about the nature of some of the dissatisfaction being voiced by some fans of the show and I realised I fall into the camp of the dissatisfied. For me, it’s been a long and winding road getting to this point, rather than a reaction to this season alone. I have had issues with the writing for some time now and I think the weight of writer room mis-steps for me may have reached critical mass.

House Cast ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Justin Stephens/FOXI’ll begin by saying in my view the show has always had ups and downs, right from season one. I thought Vogler was a cartoon and largely wasted villain, I never bought into the Cameron/House thwarted love story plot and I thought the wind up of the Tritter arc was poorly done. So I do not look upon the first three seasons as a Golden Age of House. Indeed, I count several episodes of season four among my favourites, including of course the glorious two part finale, House’s Head and Wilson’s Heart.

The writers have also always had annoying problems with continuity. Showrunner David Shore has said his staff have no need of a show bible, but I would argue that not only would a show bible help keep facts like characters’ ages straight, but a timeline up on the wall would help the show’s scribes make back-story fit canon. Trying to make sense of when exactly House and Cuddy were at the same medical school taking the same class is a losing proposition and that kind of issue seems really unnecessary to me.

But these problems were quibbles rather than deal breakers, because what I thought the writers nailed were the emotional truths about the complex problems they explored. I love the character of House, defiantly breaking the rules to tell his perception of the truth, despite having a degree of self-loathing that may skew his vision more than he admits. I love his complex relationships with the people he allows to get close, as he both pokes at them like lab rats in his desire to uncover facts and very subtly also tries to get them to acknowledge unpleasant truths so they can move forward. The writing of the show was layered enough to allow for multiple viewpoints on who needed to learn what and why and that certainly fuelled a lively fan debate about House.

However, at a certain point, the writers began to play with the different ‘ships on House for the sake of playing with the fans rather than serving the story. And around the same time, they also began to offer plot and relationship twists that offered shock value but little fallout in the story. For a show that depends upon delivering emotional truth to offset often ridiculous story set ups, this is the kiss, if not of death, of at least many dissatisfied viewers.

My first taste of a plot twist that rankled because it felt false was during the Tritter arc. The story line raised the possibility through Detective Tritter that House was not a pain patient, as he claimed, but an addict who would be a better doctor without the vicodin. I had always liked the exploration of a man in constant pain with no good choice on how to manage his chronic pain. The vicodin appeared to me to offer House some but not enough pain control while allowing his intellect to operate unimpaired. I accepted he also used the drug sometimes to dull emotional pain, but I felt it was an honest portrayal of chronic pain where the emotional and the physical aspects of pain are hard to untangle. With this lens in mind, I found the way the Tritter arc wrapped up to be problematic.

Lisa Edelstein and Robert Sean Leonard   2011 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Michael Yarish/FOX The biggest issue for me was the impact on House’s relationships with Cuddy and Wilson. Cuddy seemed to have a foot on both sides of the line about the issue of addiction. She never disputed Tritter’s assertion House would be a better doctor off vicodin, but she protected House nonetheless so he could continue to practice medicine. In my view, there is a dissonance between these actions that needs to be explored once it is set up. As dean, Cuddy has to care if House is impaired and high from his vicodin intake. I wanted more than we got on how the dean of medicine wrestled with the vicodin question. Wilson had to struggle with the same issue as he refused to write more vicodin prescriptions for House, but even more importantly, he drew a huge line in the sand when he walked out on House passed out on the floor and vomiting from mixing copious amounts of oxycontin with even more copious amounts of alcohol.

The writers intended that scene to ratchet up the dramatic tension and they were successful. It was not clear if House intended to commit suicide or if he was just in such bad emotional shape he didn’t care if he lived or died, but either way, it was a shock to watch Wilson walk away as a doctor, never mind a friend. And leaving aside the intriguing and much debated question on whether he was right to do so, there is the dramatic requirement of the smoking gun. If you show it, it had better go off at some point. Wilson’s line in the sand was so high stakes, there should have been some fall out between House and Wilson. At the very least, Wilson writing prescriptions for House again should have been a very big deal.

But alas, we found out Wilson had resumed his former role through a casual comment later on in the season. Wilson as enabler is something the show touches upon when it suits the plot, but does not explore in any depth. And that’s as frustrating as the on again/off again addiction issue for House. Wilson’s issues were raised again—beautifully—in Wilson’s Heart, but the fall out in season five was again unsatisfying, because House’s willingness to do the DBT procedure at Wilson’s request was never addressed. Despite Wilson’s questioning of House’s friendship, what he did in the name of friendship was not part of the narrative. These kinds of huge plot points cannot just be used for shock value. They have to impact the relationships. David Shore is fond of saying people don’t change, but of course people change.

We all have core aspects of our personality—strengths and weaknesses—that tend to be stable. However, we are also able to hone our strengths and grow our weak areas, often through painful life experiences that help us grow. Our brains are able to change and put down new neural pathways during our whole lives. Emotional intelligence, unlike IQ, is not stable. And relationships certainly change, for good or ill, as we learn more about those we love—except on House, where too often complex and very dramatic issues get a reset button instead of exploration. It should matter that Wilson walked out on House when he was in danger of ODing. It should matter that House did the DBT for Wilson. It should matter that Cuddy in her capacity as dean thinks House’s use of vicodin means he is an addict and high.

I found the entire exploration of House and Cuddy’s relationship unsatisfying from season five on. I loved Joy, but then did not recognise the House who grabbed Cuddy’s boob or who went home with a hooker instead of obsessively waiting to see how Cuddy reacted to his gift of a desk. I didn’t recognise the Cuddy who laced her hospital with trip wires and laxatives. And most of all, I didn’t recognise a relationship between House and Cuddy with no sparkle, no clever snark and no underlying feeling of two people who understand the other’s outlying areas.  Their shared sense of humour always seemed a key point to their relationship to me.

House and Rachel ©2010 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ray Mickshaw/FOX  I thought there was enough fodder for dramatic tension between the two characters based on House’s obsession about his work and how much either he or Cuddy really wants to give up some control over his or her life. Rachel was a huge issue between the two—does House want to be a father? What are the implications of his relationship with his own father? And would Cuddy actually allow House a voice in raising Rachel? She likes to be in control and obviously has relationship issues of her own.

But instead of relationship difficulties of these kinds, we got awkward boob grabs and Cuddy getting upset about House needing a vicodin to handle the thought of her death. She was upset about the vicodin because it meant House was high and therefore unreliable, something not to be tolerated in her partner but again apparently fine in a doctor practicing in her hospital. As in the Tritter arc, this kind of dissonant dichotomy should be inherently unstable. There needs to be fall out. Instead, the addict question is tucked away until the next time a dramatic plot point is needed. I am tired of trying to make sense of the emotional threads on this show, because I think I spend a lot more time on this task than the writers do. And that, in a nutshell, is the crux of my dissatisfaction.

House with his new team ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Adam Taylor/FOX To me, the writing, while still often sharp, has too often gone for dramatic situations that were (and are) either poorly set up, poorly wrapped up or both. The new team was brought in without any plan for what to do with the old team. Cameron and Chase stumbled around the edges of the show for two years with nothing to do but remind their fans how much they missed them. Cameron’s exit was predicated on her judging House for shaping Chase into someone who would kill a patient because he morally judged him, when House has never advocated or acted on that kind of principle. Thirteen was given a huge dramatic arc concerning her Huntington’s before the audience had bonded enough with her to care. I need more care for the emotional through lines than I’ve been getting on this show for some time. Without that care, there is nothing to help me swallow the more ludicrous plot points, like House driving his team around in a monster truck. I watched that episode with my sister, who is a more casual House fan, and that scene prompted her to look askance and say, “I’m not down with this.” I could only agree.

And yet, I still tune in to House, if not live, then sometime in the week. I still care about House and love Hugh Laurie’s portrayal. But I wish the show had come with a set end point, probably at about five years, so the writers had more impetus to have the relationships make sense and to be less afraid to commit to exploring something that could impact the way House goes through life.

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About Gerry Weaver

  • Robin

    Thank you for saying everything I’ve been thinking about House for several seasons now, but couldn’t seem to put into words. I feel the same way about the show–I love Hugh Laurie’s work, he rarely if ever disappoints, but the story has moved so far away from the premise set up in the first season that it’s becoming painful to watch. (Re: the monster truck, my first thought was ‘Every cop in Mercer County would be ready with ticket book in hand, if the first one didn’t arrest them all. Even for a medical procedural/allegory, this is nuts.’) At this point we still don’t know if the seventh season will be the final one, but with the way the writers have painted this show into a corner I don’t know that it really matters. I’ll watch to the bitter end, but I’ll continue to miss the House I fell in love with watching the pilot episode in 2004.

  • Kim in California

    Thank you for writing an article that says what I have been thinking and arguing all along. Plot points that should have been explored have been ignored and continuity has been a joke, but I’m still a fan of House.

    The writers should have had a Bible because poor House still doesn’t know when his own birthday party will be. I once had an argument in an online forum with Doris Egan about the ‘Cuddy in same class as House’ timeline and she informed me that Cuddy was an undergraduate who had talked her way into the med school class just to be around House. Wow, nowhere in any episode do we discover that. When I pointed that out, she simply said that the majority of the audience didn’t care about House being ten years older and thus not in med school with Cuddy and it would take too much time telling these little factual points just to make the story make sense. I wanted to point out how illogical it would be for Egan’s ‘fast-talking Cuddy’ scenario to happen, but realized it was futile. Med school is a completely different college from the undergraduate school. You’d have to have the required courses to enroll in med school to get credit and it would be so out in left field that an undergraduate could ‘talk herself into another college’ for one class that it was laughable. That’s when I realized that I had to sit back and suspend both my disbelief and my logic.

    I loved Tritter’s arc because the entire time it was going on I hated Tritter and sometimes I hated House (the way he treated Wilson was despicable at times.) The fact that I had such mixed and strong emotions made me realize that the writing was excellent. Merry Little Christmas is still my favorite episode because we finally see House hit bottom (I think this was more a bottom in ways than when he hallucinated.) The fact that House tried to kill himself brings home just how desperate he is knowing that he may lose his ability to solve medical puzzles if he goes to jail. There’s nothing left to live for at that point. Frankly, to think he’s not trying to commit suicide flies in the face of logic too. He was taking OXYCONTIN, not Vicodin. It’s a stronger, longer acting version of Vicodin and much more dangerous when a lot is taken at once and then taken with alcohol. House had been taking the drugs all day, taking the last of it with at least a four shot glass of alcohol. Either he was committing suicide or House is a really stupid doctor—and I think we all know the answer to that.

    But I agree about the ending to the Tritter arc and have never understood Cuddy’s willingness to look the other way when she employs a high profile doctor who is addicted to Vicodin. And, after giving him the placebo shot, she’s known that he wasn’t just physically, but more importantly, psychologically addicted. The fact that he could go two years without Vicodin and apparently his leg got better (judging from the many times he abandoned his cane and walked around without it) just shows that the Vicodin wasn’t actually needed to control the pain to a point where he could function. I would have loved to have seen Cuddy face the fact that she’s using House. She’s more of an enabler than Wilson. She allowed House to practice medicine while addicted, failed to require he get help with his addiction until he had a psychotic break and then recently allowed him to start using again without yanking his privileges to practice at PPTH. The woman is a walking legal liability to that hospital. (I’m a lawyer and I cringe all the time.)

    I thought the Cameron dumping Chase for murdering a patient was a little two-faced considering she had murdered Joel Grey (I know the circumstances were different, but if she’s claiming murder is murder, then she’s just as guilty.) I’d like to know why Chase was written out of the will or does he have a trust that he gets when he’s older? I’d like to know what happened to Foreman’s brother. I’d like to explore Wilson’s loneliness a little more, his need to be House’s friend.

    I agree that there are many loose ends that would have made good television if they had been explored and yet we got Huddy, a relationship in which neither House nor Cuddy ever seemed to really be having any fun. Our entire impression of the two together is one of misery and walking on eggshells. And you can’t tell me that House wouldn’t be fun to be with…Stacy stayed with him five years and admitted that there were a lot of good times.
    And thanks for pointing out that people can change. I argued that on Barbara Bennett’s post. Even House has changed over the seven years we’ve all watched. Sometimes he changed into a caricature, but mostly we’ve watched his humanity come out, slowly, but subtly.

    I’m hoping the last season, Season 8, will be an exploration of the loose ends and that House will go out like the Sopranos—where we can each form our own version of what happens after the last shot.

  • Oxbridge

    When I saw that Monster Truck, I swear there was a shark sitting in the front seat.

  • Artgirl

    Spot on.

    I’ll watch to the bitter end because I love Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard, but good heavens. I know a dozen fanfiction writers who care ten times more about continuity and characterization than the show itself does.

    The show gives us Wilson’s brother and then we never meet him. He’s this huge thing in Wilson’s life, and next week he’s forgotten. They give us relationships that don’t develop in any way that makes sense. They give us House and Wilson knowing each other twenty years, beginning at the time of Wilson’s first divorce; then when the first ex-wife shows up they tell us the divorce was ten years ago. Nope, this show doesn’t need a bible at all.

    Someone mentioned arguing continuity with Doris Egan. I’ve read a lot of her blog posts, including her response to the fans who were pissed off about the 20-versus-10-year discrepancy in Wilson’s (and therefore House’s) timeline. That one, she outright admitted was a mistake. Reading the rest of her thoughts, I concluded that she was frustrated and in a difficult position. She could either defend the showrunners’ blunders, and look bad to the fans, or not defend the blunders, and look bad to the professional world in which she must live. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she left the show when the House/Cuddy romance was about to start; I think she gave up, and I don’t blame her. I do miss her, though. I thought she did some of the best and most thoughtful writing.

    I never did like the notion of House and Cuddy dating, because the Cuddy I originally knew was too smart to do that. Professionally it was a disaster waiting to happen for both of them, and while I might expect House to court disaster, Cuddy was supposed to be the sane one. The laxatives and tripwires disgusted me; that wasn’t the character I loved. Now House, for spite, has married a green-card bride/maybe prostitute, and that doesn’t feel like the House I knew and loved, either. At this point, if the show gets cancelled, I’ll be more relieved than sad, and that’s the saddest thing yet.

  • Committed

    Gerry – loved the article – very well done. Thank you. You obviously have given this much thought.

    I’m still torn over this show. I want to watch it until the end and then I read another David Shore interview and it gives me reason to reconsider. I realize this is his show, he has the right to tell it his way but he is telling it to an audience and the truth is the audience matters because they care. Maybe he doesn’t care about the ratings, maybe he doesn’t want to get sucked into the desires of the populace for fear that will influence the story, but paying attention to feedback as delivered in this article is a must. Everyone needs a critical eye now and then in order to improve.

    Even more than that though, I’m left asking myself, if “people don’t change”, will TPTB change? Will the story of this tortured man change – even a little? Will we get some type of exploration of the complex relationships you speak of? Will House ever find some small slice of happiness or will it end as it began with “pass the vicodin”?

    That is where I find myself torn. Do I risk the dissappointment that it isn’t going to change or do I just walk away and limit the loss? I really want to stay with it and have encouraged others to do the same but at this point I just don’t know if I have it in me and sadly I see time and time again that I am not alone.

  • sdemar

    Thank you for the excellent article.

    Is it any wonder that we have a mass of inconsistencies in the show when the writers themselves have a mass of inconsistencies in the character of House. It makes you wonder if they watch the show.

    The

  • Gerry

    Thanks everyone for the thoughtful comments!

    Robin, I have the same problem with thinking the original premise of the character seems to have changed, despite David Shore’s feeling that people don’t change. I think an argument can be that it’s just more layers being revealed, but I feel like I have to re-evaluate much of the first few seasons in light of House’s ability to use ibuprofin to handle his leg pain.

    sdemar, I know what you mean about the writers not necessarily having the same view of House. I suspect sometimes that works to give House layers and keep him surprising, but occasionally the surprises feel more like inconsistencies. I still think that show bible would be helpful!

    Committed, I’m not sure David Shore’s end game is to allow House to change–but then again, I think Hugh Laurie has said he wouldn’t mind House finding a little happiness, so who knows? I wouldn’t myself mind House ending up where he began, walking down the hallway with Wilson, as long as I enjoyed the ride getting there. It’s the ride I’m finding a little bumpy. (-:

    Artgirl, I agree exploring Wilson’s brother sounds intriguing, since he was brought up twice. I’d also like to learn more about House’s relationship with his dad, since he’s was contemplating fatherhood this season. I wasn’t against an exploration of Huddy, as I think the two characters were intriguing and fun together–until they actually got together. I’m not sure it’s the Moonlighting curse, either. I think it was more a case of writing at all times with the end in mind instead allowing the characters to breathe.

    Kim, I like your idea of an ending that allows multiple interpretations. Most story lines on House have been like that, so it would be very fitting!

  • Jum

    Nice write up! Myself, I don’t like the show. But you write so well, I might be tempted to see an episode that you write. Have you been approached by the show runner to create your own episode?

  • housemaniac

    Well said, Gerry! As is happens, you articulated here, much more eloquently, a mundane but I think revealing thought I had last night: one never hears any longer at the outset of an episode, “Previously on House…” This perfectly enscapsulates the lack of emotional through lines that you describe. If we don’t need to know anything about the program’s past, why should we care about its present?

  • Frustrated

    I agree with many of the things that you have brought up in this article. The show feels like there are many different writers writing their own show instead of a cohesive team that is writing for one show. More apparent this season, we have episodes showcasing character emotions that contradict each other. We have characters that are suppose to be best friends or be in love acting not in sync with what is suppose to be emotions I would expect to see from these characters I’ve been watching or the past 7 years. What I also don’t enjoy is having the show constantly force unpopular characters on its viewers with storylines I could give a crap about instead of focusing on important storylines involving House. Throughout the House/Cuddy relationship, I was waiting for some serious discussions or issues to be tackled. Instead, the show made the whole relationship into a three-ring circus act and treated it like any other relationship that was on this show. Quite a disservice when viewers have waited for 6 years to see it play out.

    What has happened is that the writers have turned the characters into very unlikeable beings. As a viewer, I now could care less about what happens to many of these characters. They’ve become so despicable that I find myself sometimes wishing death upon them so that the writers don’t screw them up anymore than they are. The writers said that they wanted to keep the show realistic. Yet, what I’m watching right now is far from the realistic world. There’s no repurcussions for these Instead, it’s just become one silly antic on top of another so that the show can try to bring in the much need 18-49 male demographics they so eagerly covet.

  • Dalilita

    Excellent article and comments. I can´t express how much I agree with almost everything you´ve all said here so far. I don´t know why, but this gives me a kind of confort. And I deeply appreciate the fact that you put the responsibility for the evils of the show where it belongs, instead of taking it out with a given character, relationship or actor, like so many people do. Thank you all so much!

  • Dalilita

    I mean, I agree with -and am grateful for- what is expressed both in the article and in the comments.

  • HouseShoesLA

    Bravo, Gerry. Bravo. Bloody brilliant. Thank you for saying what (imo) needed to be said about the show [H], and so eloquently at that. While your entire article strongly resonated with me, I particularly liked this:

    “ I need more care for the emotional through lines than I’ve been getting on this show for some time. Without that care, there is nothing to help me swallow the more ludicrous plot points, like House driving his team around in a monster truck.” YES!! ‘NUFF SAID. :-)

    I also find myself nodding vehemently in agreement with everyone’s posts above in response, screaming “EXACTLY!” at my computer screen as I read them. Woah. I so need to chill and break my addiction from this show.

    I could have sworn that I read/saw an interview somewhere long, long ago, where someone in the [H] PTB universe said something to the effect (and with some pride I thought) that the [H] fans/audience were a smart, insightful bunch. (Or maybe that was never said and I just hallucinated it…. Sorry, I get sarcastic when I’m irritated). Nevertheless, the commentary by [H] viewers on this site throughout the years certainly seems to be a testament to that statement. So it boggles my mind that these “clever as cats” [H] writers/show runners/network execs would apparently choose to rely on/ put forth such a relentless stream of hollow (but masterfully produced with the actors valiantly giving it their all) dreck in Season 7 (altho there were certainly lots of signs of it in 6 and some in season 5 as well) , apparently believing that this makes for “must see” television for the [H] viewing audience. Have there been infrequent flashes of brilliance in the writing for me this season? Yes…..but seriously? 3 ring circus act doesn’t even begin to cover it, altho I suppose that concept does dovetail nicely with the “House in clown makeup/clown shoes” publicity photos all over the place this season.

    Yes, I get it; it is their story to tell and in the manner they’ve decided. I’ve always respected that and went along willingly for the journey and watched—despite the inconsistencies, dropped plot lines in prior seasons as other folks here have passionately stated—until Season 7. Because, what is the story now exactly? It seems to have been abandoned in favor of gimmicks solely for shock value, over the top antics, out of character behavior, “plot twists” that don’t serve the characters as we bear down on an angst filled CANNOT WAIT FOR IT FINALE. **Sigh** I guess it is never a good sign when the writers/showrunners take to the social media/video logs to explain, defend, justify, loudly foreshadow, perhaps even mock, what [H] is all about as much they appear to have done this season. I’m sorry, aren’t we, given the smart, insightful [H] viewers that we are, supposed to get all that from actually watching this season’s episodes?

    Again, I’m sorry. I’m ranting; let me get down off my soapbox. It is just a TV show, after all. I don’t know if I’ll be here to the bitter end. I sincerely applaud those that can. I’m still watching this season due largely to the commentary I read here—trying to hang on until this season’s finale—hoping it will all make sense at the end of the finale. I’m also sorry to say that I’ve been watching most of this season with the same frame of mind as when I come across a “sig alert”(bad traffic accident on the freeways here in Southern California): simultaneously rubber necking to see how bad the “train wreck is”, hoping it’s not horrific (e.g. fatalities), and resenting the fact that I’ve spent an extra hour (maybe 2 hours) trapped on a freeway, just trying to get home and get on with my life.

    Thanks again for the article Gerry. And thanks for letting me vent!! :) Have a good weekend everyone.

  • ReadingRat

    ‘I am tired of trying to make sense of the emotional threads on this show, because I think I spend a lot more time on this task than the writers do. And that, in a nutshell, is the crux of my dissatisfaction.’

    Of mine, too. You make a number of very good points, especially the one with the smoking gun and the unexplored dichotomies. Thank you for your objective, clear analysis.

  • Madfashionista

    Thank you so much for this article! Thoughtful, articulate, and so true. I felt the show jumped the tracks (not shark) when House went to Mayfield. I did not believe for a minute that he could manage his pain with ibuprofen, which basically not only badly damaged the original premise of the show, and invalidated much of the previous five seasons! I don’t mind a little ambiguity, but don’t insult my intelligence (and, incidentally, millions of chronic pain patients). And then he drank, which no one was concerned about–to the point of getting into a drunken bar fight in a blackout–and his therapist doesn’t put him back in rehab?

    The numerous stunts and ridiculous premises this season are degrading the memory of a once magnificent show. When I think about Season 7 House behaving that way in Season 3, and how even MORE ludicrous it would appear, I feel very sad.

    A particular thank you for writing about Wilson’s abandoning House during his OD. I always thought the intention was suicide, and yes, there was no fallout. Is there ever?

  • Kiri

    Thank you! I agree with all of this.

  • peggy06

    Interesting article. I’m a disaffected fan too, but for a slightly different reason. Where House went wrong IMO was to change the formula to concentrate on soap-opera-ish storylines instead of being about House the doctor. The “procedural” episodes of the first three seasons (and some of the fourth) were on the whole a richer experience, and included better characterization, than most of the late season episodes that focused overtly on personal storylines. Partly this is because their vision of personal storylines is basically love affairs, which pose problems for a show when they take place among the regular cast, and are at all times liable to fall into cliche. Partly it was because the serial storylines started to be mechanically written; they picked Point B and then did whatever was needed to get there. Whether it fit the characters and previous storyline or not. Or, they wanted to use certain bits, so an episode was constructed around said bit. That type of writing tends to be obvious and clumsy. Despite a number of Big Shock plotlines, there was little surprising character development after S3.

    I will continue to watch till the end, but it’s getting harder all the time, and the incessant commercials do not help. I blame the showrunners for trying to fix something when it wasn’t broken, and the writers for not letting the plots develop organically. It’s truly sad.

  • Habitusa

    Thank you for this article. What you are saying is very true, and it’s sad that so many loyal fans of the show are now unhappy.

    I don’t necessarily agree regarding your issues with Season 3. In my opinion, the Tritter arc was the best the show has ever done; and though its resolution was indeed somewhat anticlimactic, it didn’t leave me dissatisfied. Wilson’s walking out on House in “Merry Little Christmas” was explained beautifully two years later in “Birthmarks” – he had reached a point where he felt the only thing left in his control to avoid losing House was to walk away from him BEFORE House kills himself, intentionally or not. As for House never mentioning that incident (actually, he kind of did, saying “Not since last year’s Christmas party” to Wilson’s “Are you curious about heroin?” in “Half-Wit”), as well as his willingness to risk his rational mind and his life for Wilson in “Wilson’s Heart,” I think it was very House-like. Remember, he thinks that people around him have no expectations of him, and he doesn’t expect others to care about him, either. Yes, Wilson should have felt guilty, but I don’t find it odd that House “forgot” both incidents.

    I can cringe and pretend to ignore the stupid thong challenges, mayonnaise scares, tripwires and laxatives, but where my personal dissatisfaction truly began to grow was the end of “Broken,” showing House “cured” with IBUPROFEN, of all things, for crying out loud. Then for the entire 6th season, instead of exploration of how a man in severe chronic pain struggles to live without drugs, we got … nothing. And then, when I thought there was nothing worse than curing House’s pain with ipubrofen, his misery was also cured with love in “Help Me.”

    I can reluctantly agree that the writers had to finally put House and Cuddy in a relationship after all the setup of S5 and S6 (at that point the only way to find out whether the cat was alive or dead was to open that box … well, as it turns out, too bad for the cat), but the portrayal of it was completely unsatisfying. It took over the entire show and – even worse – it was BORING.

    That’s probably my main issue: I think the writers have forgotten what this show was REALLY about, what is really important. The two major sources of conflict are gone (House vs. his pain and House vs. puzzle). House is doing fine off the drugs, thus thowing out of the window all the wonderful ambuguity of the first 5 seasons. And House does not seem to care about medical cases any longer. Instead of House’s head (where, in my opinion, we should be spending 80% of time in each episode), we get Foreman / Thirteen romance, Taub and his wife, Cuddy’s sister and mother, Chase’s girlfriends, Masters’ roommate … Half the episodes don’t even end on House anymore. And then they play House’s theme song for Masters’ departure. Grrrr …

    I will always care about House, but in the past this show kept me alive from week to week, and now I have to be content with only a couple of great episodes per season.

  • Cleide

    The first four seasons are my favorite and I do consider him a Golden season of the show.
    I think the big mistake of the creator / producer was tinker with a formula that has worked very well: the original team (Cameron, Chase and Foreman) and develop a relationship that’s my point of view, was not there since the beginning of: huddy.

    I dont blame the writers for breaking into writing, because they had to explore new characters (13-Taub, Kutner, Amber) and start “inventing” a story believable that would support a new love relationship to House (huddy).

    Note that from the 6th/7th season the original team return: Chase and Foreman, but Cameron not, she left the show… (in my humble opinion Cameron was the romantic partner most viable and likely for House).

    Then comes my first question: Why does the old team could interact with the new team, but without Cameron?

    Almost all 6th/7th season of Huddy has turned around and we saw was the inability of writers to deal with the bow “romantic.”

    To justify the “love” that House had for cuddy over many years, the character cuddy was gaining more space inside the plot (well, let’s not forget that Foreman / Taub also had a bit of their lives counted, but admit , no utlilidade any, added nothing).

    The point is: they had a large number of writers who write for a particular staff of characters, with their importance is already pre-established and the nothing, the writers had a lot of new characters that had no roots in the beginning of the show …
    It was as if they had to start from scratch, trying to connect them to House (old team/new team/huddy) and his alleged personality changes.

    For many older fans of the show, the change did not please (and here I include myself).

    There is much talk about the character’s growth and its interaction with the people who surround him, but in reality House remains the same in his personality: sarcastic, curious, funny, humane and cruel in their truths…when need be.

    The difference is that we have characters weak (Taub/13), others barely explored: Chase / Foreman / Wilson ( well, dont know NOTHING about Cameron) and some overvalued: cuddy/13.

    I’ll not mention Masters, cause she’s a poorly made copy of the original: Cameron.

    My opinion to the show again be large: House / Wilson interactions (I know it will be almost impossible, whereas RSL is participating in a Broadway show), back in the original team: Cameron, Chase and Foreman and possibly some other trainees and EXTERMINATE any idea about huddy, because we have seen what does not and will never work.

    I wish the producer / creator of the series gave the couple Cameron/House a chance ,cause it is more credible, same more that many dont admit (huddys), Hameron is canon.

    I want to comment about the idiocy that people often say about Cameron (eutanazia) and Chase with his criminal act: Cameron shortened the suffering of a dying man, while Chase has decided to be the hero and settle with the life of the dictator Dibala! Between the two attitudes is a big difference.

    (Just to finish, I’m not a bitter Hameron … I’m a fan Hameron proud of my ship).

    *SORRY MY ENGLISH*

  • Gerry

    Wow, it’s great to come here to find so many interesting comments!

    Peggy06, I kind of agree in a way, in that if the writers don’t follow up on shock story lines, they turn into soap opera instead of interesting character development. I’m not sure, though, that the show could have continued in season one and two form, with mostly stand alone episodes, and lasted much more than three seasons. A lot of critics have jumped ship on the show at this point, but I think they would have jumped even sooner if the format had not changed at all. Many were grumbling at being bored by the format by season three.

    I think it was inevitable that the character driven story lines would get more and more emphasis, especially since IMO House is really about House and not realistic medicine. The medicine, while interesting, was always sacrificed for story whenever the writers deemed it expedient. I had no problem at all with this when the story justified it. (-: To me, it only became a problem when the story was dissatisfying. That said, I’m with you on welcoming episodes where the patient pulls me in and they have gotten rarer as time goes on.

    Habitusa, nice to see you! I know we disagree on some points of the Tritter arc, though I agree with you that it packed a serious punch. However, the ending did leave me dissatisfied, because whatever Wilson’s reasons were for being able to walk away, I wanted to see them. And I wanted to get a peek into House at what it meant to realise Wilson walked away. I think he cares very much about the few relationships he has, much as he doesn’t like to show it. And if Wilson was going to resume writing prescriptions after deciding to walk away from House the addict, I REALLY needed to see that, because I don’t believe for a minute that could have happened without the two men having to hash things out, as we’ve seen them do before. If Wilson was deciding he needed to be in control of leaving House because he was afraid House was going to die, I don’t believe the two men just resumed their relationship as it was as soon as House sobered up. It’s not that I think there could only be one outcome, just that there would have been some fall out of some kind. It’s the kind of thing that I could get over at the time, but it lingers, so the next time the writers pulled the same thing, I had less patience. And the next time, less patience again . . .

    I totally agree with you about the ibuprofin issue. Taking away the ambiguity about the vicodin hasn’t helped the story in my opinion because 1) the ambiguity was the better dramatic choice but also 2) the writers haven’t followed up on the choice they made with the addiction. He’s a practicing doctor. It matters.

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with the focus I would have liked to see the writers keep: House vs pain and House vs puzzle. I think the relationship issues, which are an inevitable part of the story, should fit into those issues.

    Welcome Cleide! Your English is fine. There are and were many ways to view this show and I know many fans were disappointed with the way Cameron was handled. I wished the writers had been more decisive about the way they handled the ducklings moving on. I view the Hameron and the Huddy relationship differently than you, which does give me some sympathy for the writers, as it’s hard to please an entire fanbase. However, I still want that follow up to big story moments!

  • peggy06

    Gerry, it doesn’t matter so much what the critics think. It’s what the viewers think. From Law and Order to CSI to NCIS, procedural-based shows have satisfied audiences for years and years by sticking to a formula. And the fact that they aren’t water cooler shows and don’t get much notice from the critics hasn’t hurt them at all. In a procedural model, there is just enough time for personal revelations to keep the audience intrigued but not fatigued. I think we started suffering from fatigue with House when the show moved the medical part into the background. They wore out certain characters and relationships, boxed themselves into a corner, and had to mess with the timelines to make their stories work. Just my opinion, and I know most of the fandom feels differently.

  • Gibbix

    It all falls down from the 4th season..

  • Sacha

    Cleide, you wrote: “I want to comment about the idiocy that people often say about Cameron (eutanazia) and Chase with his criminal act: Cameron shortened the suffering of a dying man, while Chase has decided to be the hero and settle with the life of the dictator Dibala! Between the two attitudes is a big difference.”

    I can’t help but to disagree. Both were playing God, and both were feeling guilty about it. Chase never acted because he wanted to become a ‘hero’ but because he didn’t see any other way to prevent a man from killing thousands. Cameron, OTOH, let Powell die because she felt he ‘deserved’ it for his unethical medical trials in his past. She didn’t feel pity and it was never an act of mercy. She knew the facts just as well as House. She was terrified by her action when she cried in the chapel. Euthanasia is not more tolerable or heroic or even legal than preventing mass murder, and she crossed a line that she never thought she was capable of crossing. The ep shows clearly how she changed her mind about Powell. The more she learned about his medical trials, the more she lost her objective point of view.

    The same happened to Chase with Dibala. He tried hard to see the man merely as a patient but couldn’t when his true motives were more and more revealed to him. Where was he heroic in that ep? He became more and more involved when the assasin pledged him to let Dibala die, when Cameron told him what an evil man they were treating, when Dibala finally showed him his true nature. He took a shot with the forged blood sample and was shocked when it actually worked. In the end, he did save lives, whereas Cameron was seeking revenge for the damage Powell was causing a long time ago. Now I would think that it is more helpful to kill a dangerous and genocidal dictator than euthanazing a ruthless scientist who was experimenting on babies. The damage was already done.

    Cameron turned into a hypocrite by S6 and was poorly written. She judged on a patients sexual life (wasn’t she seperating sex and love just as much in S3 when she formed a relationship with benefits with Chase?), she ranted about treating Dibala but left Chase when he had the guts to do what she kept talking about, and she accused House of ruining his fellows. I lost all respect for her when she left and I don’t want her back. Masters has never been a copy of Cameron. She didn’t judge. She had her own moral code but in contrast to Cameron, she was willing to act upon it.

    Gerry, the article reflects very much what I find disturbing and indeed wrong about the show. The new team was badly introduced. Nor the audience or House were given the opportunity to bond with Taub, Thirteen, or Kutner. We saw House as a mentor and teacher in S1-3, working on innocent and idealisitc young doctors who were gradually sucked into House’s world. They were learning a great deal about human nature and themselves, and I think that’s what made the series so compelling for me. Cuddy and Wilson were the icing on the cake. We saw a lot more of the team and the patients. S4 & 5 concentrated on House’s addiction and misery, Thirteen’s mysterious ways and soapy elements such as Cuddy’s desperate wish for motherhood and the insufferable Foreteen drama. There was no real connection or interaction between House and his fellows anymore. I missed that. I was confident when S6 brought back Chase into the team (I thought the Dibala arc was fantastic, as was the Mayfield episode), but unfortunately, the whole drama had been dropped by mid-season. As much as I enjoy Cuddy and House together, or the House-Wilson friendship, it became more and more evident that the characters are incapable of understanding each other. There is no development. House is going backwards and turned into a bigger jerk than he’s ever been. I was hoping that, after Mayfield, he would be allowed to mellow a little. He’s never been as immature and juvenile as he was as soon as Cuddy became an item. David Shore is most probably right when he says people don’t change, but to at least give them a little hope wouldn’t hurt.

  • anonymous

    Sacha, You don’t understand anything about Cameron.

  • Derdriui

    Sacha, you might have ‘understood’ that a little… backwards. Cameron killed a dying man so he’d have a less painful and slow death. A man who, by the way, had been trying to get them to kill him.

    Chase, on the other hand, just knew that this guy was a dictator in ‘Africa, over there’ and killed him for moral reasons.

    That is murder. Arguably what Cameron did was murder too, but it was requested by the patient and it was a mercy-killing. And House approved of that, but it’s weird to think he’d approve of what Chase did.

    Anyway.

    Really good article, the biggest issue really is the lack of follow-through and generally… crap writing, really. The writers seem to have run out of interesting things to say. The characters used to show some insight into their patients and through them into various issues, from childhood obesity to autistism, child molestation to insanity. Episodes like The Socratic Method and Forever had a lot of human empathy, and even the side stories were strong.

    Nowadays. there’s just… crap. Huddy was a spectacular failure but it please some of the fans who just wanted that to happen, at least. Now even they are unsatisfied. Compromising Cuddy’s character and turning her into Admin Barbie really sucks; compared to other women in leadership or strong professional roles on TV, such as Catharine Willows and Sara Sidle on CSI or Miranda Bailey, Callie, Arizona, Meredith and even Lexie on Grey’s Anatomy, Cuddy is by far the most professionally compromised, with a wardrobe more similar to Sofia Vergara’s hilarious Gloria on Modern Family rather then anybody even playing a professional.

    More importantly, they haven’t given her any real power: House walks all over her, and yet she was in love with him AND did not think to put her career in front of him… who would hire her when she sleeps with her most favoured employee, who also racks up a large liability for her hospital? When Huddy happened, the illusion that what House does is ‘rebellious’ went away. He just had to tell the truth to his girlfriend and everything would be okay!

    It would be one thing if Cuddy was allowed to be a deeply flawed character: they don’t follow that through, we are supposed to believe she is competent, getting awards on the side for being so competent, with mysterious higher ups who think it’s perfectly sensible for her to supervise her boyfriend (both those things happened earlier this season) instead of just firing them both.

    When they had that Drama Llama blackout episode, Family Practice, I thought they set up a great moment with Kaufman, when he found out that Cuddy switched meds behind his back following House’s directions. That’s a clear medical ethics and possibly LEGAL violation and he has a duty to report her. Also, House’s power over Cuddy was very evident. But nope, nothing interesting came from there.

    Instead, nothing happened and they’re going to play it for shits and giggles with ARLENE, that 2D master villain, coming back to make some shallow fuss about nothing.

    If Cuddy has no consequences, on top of the lack of consequences House gets, then why is there any dramatic tension? Who cares if House staples the patient’s face to his elbow or uses camel urine for enemas or brings the rest of the menagerie into the hospital? He doesn’t even do that enthusiastically anymore, just turns up in a certain act to look pensive, pulls some corny lines out of his ass and then fucks off somewhere to be an asshole. (Yeah, I used to love this show…)

    Previously, House had to risk himself to do the right thing. Then he sat around thinking things through.

    And Wilson. Ugh. He just… sighs, so much. And his lines are crap. He just hangs around, doesn’t have any meaningful conversations (just helpfully explains useless crap like ‘LIE AND KEEP YOUR MARRIAGE STABLE, LIKE ME, Love, signed, Three Divorces’) and that’s when he’s not just… there, playing with chickens or sighing at Cuddy instead of House. RSL is a great actor but watching Wilson almost cry at the death of Huddy was a moment of accidental comic genius sparkling through.

    And, speaking of follow through, if my best friend jumped from a hotel balcony into a fucking swimming pool, there would be fisticuffs before playing with chickens. Wilson just sort of… goes away and gets over it.

    A lot of the stuff they missed out on, there was great fic to fill it in. For example, that moment in MLC when Wilson walks away, there’s been a lot of insightful fic on that. Nowadays most of the fic writers have given up, and who can blame them? House isn’t inspiring anymore, it’s just, to borrow Stephen Fry’s phrase, ‘bottywater.’ Or do I mean ‘arse gravy’? Both, probably.

  • Cleide

    @Sacha

    Pay attention to what you’re saying:
    Cameron deliberately shortened the suffering of a dying man because she disagreed with the experiments he did in the past?
    Note, there is no logic in your comment. If Cameron were searching for “justice” she let the patient die a slow and agonizing …

    Now tell me, why did House told Cameron that she was proud of her because of her attitude?
    Do you by chance remember the ep (S3E7 – “Son of Coma Guy”-House took the patient’s coma)that House “facilitated ” the suicide of a patient (Gabe) who wanted to donate his heart to his son Kyle?

    In Lockdown House is retained in the bedroom of a terminally ill patient and offers morphine to shorten his pain, in other words facilitating suicide.

    Note that the three cases have the same common point: mercy by the patient.

    As for Chase, even though the reasons were “valid” he still had other options … Dibala was an acquaintance African dictator, in a hospital in the USA! He could have appealed to the authorities and informed Dibala intentions, but never murder.

    About Cameron/Chase: The relacionship start wrong from the moment that the writers have opted for a “romance”.

    Cameron never loved Chase. She just tried to move on and forget her feelings for House.

    Chase has always prevailed this whole situation including “to force” marriage, giving her an ultimatum: either married or they end up (S5E21 Saviors), where including Cameron, helps House team to diagnose a patient (House wanted her to stay) with the intention to postpone a trip with Chase because she knew he would make the application (she literally hid behind the House).

    The point is, the writers have never defined what real feelings between House / Cameron (Why House always wanted to have Cameron around?) even on the day she left the hospital, House refused say goodbye AGAIN when she held out his hand?

    I’m aware that the proposal of the show was never “soap”, but they embarked on this path since the beginning (House/Cameron). (I could cite several episodes, but i dont ever finish my comment…laughs).

    In my opinion, Cameron was a great character and I really miss of interactions between she and the other characters, especially House.

    In the 1-5 season had the characters’ private lives in small samples, but to becomes huddy credible, the writers opted for less time for the patients and clinical cases (which I think was an essential part of the show) and invested massively in the personal interactions between House/Cuddy.

    If the creator/producers wanted huddy from the beginning, who made more credible and less forced and idiotized (there are several critics/fans who simply were shocked by the change in personality cuddy) not to mention that House has become almost ridiculous, a caricature of what was.

    In short, the way they conducted huddy ruined the show and in my opinion, the departure of Cameron has to do with it too (House/Cameron had a fantastic chemistry and their characters are complimented and antagonize the same time, or that is, the perfect relationship for House and for the show) and if she continued in the show, huddy certainly would have no chance…

    Now, I leave my question and please anyone who has any theories…

    Why Chase and Foreman takes place in the team of House and Cameron do not?
    Or rather, that takes place in the show for Jesse Spencer and Omar Epps and Jennifer Morrison does not?

  • Ali

    It’s funny, when huddy was on all you huddys kept saying how great the season and the writing were, and calling all us non-huddy ‘haters’ or bitter hamerons/hilsons when we dared to point out that the show was deteriorating.
    Now, huddy is over and all of sudden we aren’t haters anymore, no, now you say “even non-huddys agree with us huddys that the show is going down the hill”. Now for the huddys the writing is bad and DS should listen to the huddy fangirls. Really? What did you guys tell us non-shippers when we complained? Oh, yes, this is DS’s story, he has to tell his story, if you don’t like it don’t watch!
    So, I guess this is true only if the story he tells is about huddy.

    To sum it up huddy’s approach to the show:

    Huddy is on: best season ever, brilliant writing, etc..

    Huddy is over: bad writing, the show is going down, etc..

    This is what I call hypocrisy

  • Gerry

    Ali, that’s pretty broad strokes to be applying to other fans. Conversation generally goes better when we refrain from attacking each other and state our own opinions. Many people who like all the characters have been mentioning things they’ve concerned about in the writing over several seasons.

    For myself, I didn’t enjoy the Cameron/House arc from the beginning and was thankful when it finally ended, though I thought the way it ended made little sense. I also didn’t enjoy the Huddy arc, because I didn’t like the way the characters interacted during it, though I’ve enjoyed both over the years. I enjoy House and Wilson very much indeed, and that includes when they chase chickens (-: but every major arc they have had has left me unsatisfied due to poor follow through. No one relationship has made or broken the show, IMO.

    Cleide, IMO the reason the writers finally wrote Cameron out is that they had written themselves into a corner with the character. Her main purpose morphed from being a naive voice for conventional morality who both had to learn shades of grey and push House to look at her viewpoint into being in love with House with no room for self-analysis and thus development. Cameron IMO was the poster girl for no follow through because she had character traits that should have caused her problems. Instead of facing those issues, as the other ducklings have all had to in one way or another, she firmly believed she was the Voice Of Morality, to the point of being comfortable as the Voice Of Judgement. The writers never allowed the character to have real issues with her choices, so as the show was never about Cameron schooling House in how to be a good person, she eventually had to go. The romantic arc was as much about Cameron’s blinders as House’s defenses, IMO. If it hadn’t dragged on so long, it would have been a strong arc.

  • Sacha

    #24, 25, and 26… The writing of Cameron (and, for that matter, most any other female character on the show) is probably one of the main issues I have with the show. Maybe I never understood her at all, true. Maybe I don’t ‘get’ her. I don’t understand or identify with hypocrisy, which I always saw in Cameron, and Cuddy, who pushes a guy away she’s been telling to love no matter what. I don’t identify with a dying woman whose main characteristics is being uber-cool and tough and cold as a robot. I didn’t even find Masters plausible, as a character, but at least she took a stand and showed some continuity.

    I agree that Cameron never loved Chase, but why the heck didn’t she have the nerve to tell him so before it was too late? Why make things worse by becoming a matrimonial martyr? Why did she marry him in the first place? Out of pity, probably. Or because she didn’t have the backbone to come out with the truth until Chase forced her to spill the beans in Lockdown.

    So you say House respects Camerons mercy killing, but it would be weird if he approved Chase’s actions re. Dibala. It’s up to interpretation I guess. He never said he was proud of her BECAUSE she fulfilled Powells wishes. He says “I’m proud of you”, not one word more. I doubt that he appreciated her Mother Teresa-qualities in saying so. He was never fond of that; actually, he seemed to find any good-doer attitude rather annoying. IMO, he respected her for her actions because she was learning something about herself the hard way: if doctors get too involved into their patients, they’re prone of losing objectiveness, hence acting emotionally. Cameron did act emotionally with Powell. Just watch the scene where she cuts his arm. It’s scary how revengeful she comes across. You say she killed him out of mercy. I say she didn’t have to. The meds were doing their job. Powell would have died slower but not necessarily in an agonizing way. When Cuddy enters House’s office the next day, she said that Powell was stable before he died. For me, it indicates that Powell was not suffering too badly. Cameron could have left things well alone, yet she chose to let him die.

    I understand your bitter sentiments of how Cameron was written out. I wish they’d have given the actress a more dignified and more plausible exit. Her character became a card box figure who couldn’t face reality but living in her own illusional world of how things should be, yet she had never given the strength to act on it. In my language, we call them Gutmenschen – people who want well but are totally incapable of respecting any other point of view but their own. It’s not a coincidence that House calls her the ‘Circle Queen’ somewhere in S3.

    I would also like to point out that House did suggest scleroderma BEFORE Chase was using the blood sample to confirm a diagnosis that would most likely kill Dibala. It might indicate that House didn’t care enough to let Dibala leave the hospital and following his plans for genocide. He wasn’t even considering firing Chase after the incident, but instead helped him to cover it up. He didn’t tell him he was ‘proud of him’, but he didn’t condemn his choice either (as did Cameron and Foreman).

    I think what makes those episodes (and the characters involved) so compelling is the fact that we can have a different approach to them, sometimes to an extent that is almost baffling. As long as we disagree respectfully, there is nothing wrong with sharing opposite opinions.

  • Sacha

    One more thing…

    Cleide wrote: “Chase has always prevailed this whole situation including “to force” marriage, giving her an ultimatum: either married or they end up (S5E21 Saviors”

    He DID end their relationship in that very episode. He was willing to let her go. It was her who came begging him to propose after he split up with her.

    There was no ‘forcing’ her into a wedding at all.

  • Reality Check

    Gerry: Now that the writers have written Cuddy into a corner (like the woebegone Cameron, RIP), do you think they’ll write HER out of the show next season? What else could they possibly do with her?

  • Hyacinth

    Thanks for the article, Gerry. I think about the only thing that I disagree with is when you said, “Trying to make sense of when exactly House and Cuddy were at the same medical school taking the same class is a losing proposition and that kind of issue seems really unnecessary to me.”

    I think that particular issue was important to many of us who were not buying into the whole House/Cuddy pairing. This stretching of the show’s timeline to fit the “Huddy” storyline was not an isolated event created to further the so-called romance of House and Cuddy. As others have said, putting House and Cuddy together at that particular point in time was virtually impossible and completely ridiculous, as was the horrible scene where House (in a crazy kind of “Look at ME!” costume from the 1780’s) is dancing – DANCING! – with Cuddy while they swap sappy recollections of their old college days. (Ah, the wondrous healing powers of ibuprofen.) I kept thinking back to the opening scene of the terrific Season 1 when House did not want attention called to himself because of his limp.

    It angered me that House’s 5 years of living with Stacy (and 5 years of mourning her absence) were basically forgotten, and I got sick and tired of everyone – and their priests – dropping anvils on my head about how “hot” Cuddy was, and how much they cared about each other. Remember the episode with the SWAT guy? He was talking to the hospital administrator about the crisis in HER hospital, yet when she expressed concern about the situation, he Greek Chorused the viewers to tell us that she had a “loved one” in there. Hmmmm… That must mean Cuddy loves House. Yeesh! If they have to TELL us through convoluted means that House and Cuddy love each other, rather than show us gradually that House cares for Cuddy, they shouldn’t be doing it at all. If the writers can convince me that House loved Stacy without all those silly contortions, why can’t they do it with Cuddy? If I have to go by what I’ve seen, I’d say that House cared more for both Stacy AND Lydia than he does for Cuddy. With years to build this up, there is no excuse for all the shortcuts and anvils.

    While I’m here, I’d also like to say that I have never been a disciple of the “Holy Trinity” idea. It was my impression through the first two years that House/Sherlock was at the center of the story, with Wilson/Watson in the closest orbit to him. The original ducklings – Chase, Cameron, and Foreman – were closely orbiting after Wilson, with Cuddy (as the authority figure) orbiting last. I loved those six characters equally. The stories were well-balanced with subtle and intelligent humor. The team was actually a TEAM, not an ill-fitting collection of doctors with random (and constantly shifting) specialties. Once the original team was broken up, the show became the Thirteen Show for quite a number of episodes. The original team never had that kind of focus; we learned things about them gradually, as they related to the medical case and patient. I cared about the original team, as did many people I know. As for the humor these days, it’s better suited to silly over-the-top shows like 2 1/2 Men. It’s about as subtle as a… well, as subtle as a Monster Truck.

    I don’t understand how Taub’s marital and financial difficulties relate to House, other than to give him fodder for cruel and immature barbs. I don’t understand how a character like Chase can be reduced to a shallow man-whore. Is Foreman still around? When was the last time he had anything worthwhile to add?

    As for Cameron, I deeply resent the way she was written off, and the foolish way in which Katie Jacobs kept promising her return “in full force.” I am angry that people like Greg Yaitanes can jerk everyone around on his Twitter account by implying that things are not what they seem. If you are upset that Cameron is leaving, let Greg Yaitanes hint that it’s all a ruse. If you are upset that “Huddy” is over, let Yaitanes reassure you that things are not what they seem, and give you some false hope in the process. There is no excuse for this man representing the show. With viewers leaving in droves, this is no time to lose those they have left.

    Whew! I could go on and on, but this rant is already too long. Thanks for letting me get it off my chest.

  • Cardiac Monitor

    @Hyacinth: Nice rant. You managed to cover a couple of issues that Gerry didn’t.

    What amuses me at this point is the “devastation” that House will be facing in an up-coming episode. I love the hyperbole that accompanies previews and the fansite blog speculation that results. The “devastation” may mean that House accidentally catches part of his willie when he zips up his pants – who knows? 13 and Master’s “juicy” scene turned out to be a lumbar puncture. Yawn.

    If tonight’s episode is too boring, I can always turn on CNN and watch Osama Bin Laden’s autopsy.

  • mmg930

    where oh where has doctor house gone. where oh where can he be?

  • Gerry

    Hi Hyacinth, thanks for the wonderful post. I should clarify that when I wrote that “this kind of issue seems really unnecessary to me,” I meant that the writers really should be able to keep timelines straight, not that fans should not care.

    I have always seen build up to Huddy, however, right from the first season. While Cameron was certainly teased, I don’t believe the writers ever intended her as the end game and instead were intending to raise her as a possibility only to sweep the curtain aside for Stacy, the true love. I thought they then spread some pretty strong hints that House and Cuddy had some backstory Stacy was a little jealous of.

    So I was onboard for the writers choosing to explore House and Cuddy, though again I have never thought they had to be the end game. I rather expect House to end up walking down the hallway with Wilson, both men’s strongest relationship being with each other, but both still, in their own way, looking for a romantic partner.

    The biggest issue I have with the exploration with Huddy is not that it happened, but how it happened. Same as I did with Cameron’s arc. I do agree with you that it’s irritating that the writers wrote House throughout the Huddy arc as if he had never had a serious long term relationship and had no idea how to act in one. Stacy was clearly presented as a very serious relationship and she said there were lots of fun times as well as difficult ones with House and in fact was ready to try again with him.

    So far, I think Masters has been the best written female character. I think she was consistently and believably written and I really liked that she evaluated for herself whether Houseworld suited her and when she decided it didn’t, she didn’t blame House, she just removed herself. And I loved that the last shot of her was of her smiling at the ridiculousness of the chickens, because it showed that she appreciated what she learned from House about shades of grey–there’s a lot of humour in the grey areas as well as pain. I didn’t need the arc to be any longer than it was, but I did like the way it was wrapped up–which is unusual for me on House. (-:

  • Gerry

    RealityChick: I think you raise a very pertinent question! What indeed will the writers do with Cuddy now? If they decide to finally at this late date have Cuddy take on the vicodin issue and her own relationship issues, I guess they could find somewhere interesting to go. But they have IMO written her into a corner if they do not have her make her stance clear on House taking vicodin. I can’t sweep that aside any longer, given why she chose to break up with House. If she’s raised the vicodin issue as a concern because House is addicted, she can’t get away with sweeping it under the rug as his boss. The tension between her two roles in House’s life has always been there, and if the writers don’t acknowledge it with something this important, it just makes House and Cuddy’s interactions unbelievable. We’ll see what happens in that corner . . .

  • Lanne

    The show was still fresh when they began to modify its structure.
    Everyone has their opinion and I have mine, huddy was the the main reason for deterioration in the quality of the show.

  • Em

    #Lanne

    I agree, huddy is the reason the show went from being a brilliant medical mistery to a boring medical romance