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InHouse: “Office Politics”

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Hi all! We at App’s Eye View are thrilled to be back after the show’s short hiatus. The “Office Politics” episode was one of our favorites of the season, so we were especially interested to see what the folks at House had in store for this installment of the app.

Here’s a rundown:

The Dark Room: This time around, there are photos of director Sanford Bookstaver out in the desert shooting the opening scene. We were intrigued by the use of a blue screen outside (we thought this sort of technology was just inside the studio stuff). We also get a look at the patient’s political headquarters. The attention to detail is impressive: there are posters of the candidate covering the walls, and flyers, banners, buttons and bumper stickers ready to be distributed. Then it’s off to the patient’s house with Taub, Masters, and Foreman. A basketball on Peter Jacobson’s set chair is a nice segue into the scenes at the gym. It’s Foreman vs. Taub, directed by Bookstaver, while the cameras follow along. For the last few photos we are back in the studio where the crew shoots the MRI scenes. Last but not least, we get some excellent (and hilarious) shots of Foreman, Taub and Chase in jail. In these prison shots, Director Bookstaver looks like he’s having way too much fun.

The Media Room: This week the Media Room features “Peter and Omar – One On One”, which of course refers to the amusing, energetic basketball scene in the episode. The guys are obviously having a great time working out their moves. The cameras capture it all: the free throws, the gaffes and the laughs.

The Writers Room: this time we meet “new kid” Seth Hoffman, who worked as a writer on Prison Break before joining House. Hoffman admits he is a political junkie and wanted to write about someone in politics-but not a politician. A consultant character seemed like a good choice. The more he thought about this character, the more it seemed like this was the political version of House. When a campaign was ‘dying’ this character would be brought in to do his job in his usual unconventional, controversial way. No one likes his tactics but, in the end, they work.

Hoffman was excited to have the opportunity of introducing the new character, Martha Masters, in this episode. He considered it a serious undertaking to figure out how she would fit in with the team. Masters is a med student, someone who is inexperienced yet brilliant, the sort of doctor who hadn’t been on the show before.

Another cool thing about Masters, Hoffman says, is that she can’t lie and can’t abide other people lying. This is in immediate conflict with the House character, who lies all the time. Masters’ presence is sure to make for some interesting drama.

In “Office Politics” House lies to Cuddy at the end of the episode and it is, Hoffman tells us, a really big deal. “We knew we had to get House to this betrayal,” he says. “So we had to structure the episode around that big moment at the end.” House’s huge dilemma was does he lie to his girlfriend or does he save a person’s life? Hoffman says the writing staff felt “It would be truer to House’s character, in this instance, for him to opt to save his patient life.”

In the Taub/Foreman story, where they would be challenging each other at work, the basketball game came up as another cool way to dramatize their rivalry. “Foreman is a younger, more athletic character. Taub is older, shorter, probably less athletic. You think this would be a blowout,” Hoffman laughs, then goes on to say, “Writing that sequence and trying to keep it competitive was a lot of fun.”

Houseisms: Of the three writers picks offered, our favorite is: “This is Interferon. It delays the onset of rigor mortis.”

Music Room: The song used in the basketball scene is “I Start To Run” by White Denim.

It would have been nice if Amber Tamblyn (who did a wonderful job in the episode playing not-yet doctor Masters) had been featured. A short interview would have been much appreciated. However, we were not at all disappointed with the updates.

App’s Eye View will return next week for the InHouse update on the episode “A Pox On Our House.”

The InHouse app is available for free from iTunes for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. You can also see the content on Fox.com/house.

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About Mindy Peterman

  • Well, I’d have liked to see more about House and Cuddy but it was interesting to see her standing up for Masters and vice versa. I like Masters, though isn’t she supposed to be super-Cameron? (I miss Cameron. Did J. M. get fired because she was too old???) Chase is a great character but better with Cameron. And why doesn’t he seem to be more upset about their breakup? He was always determined to have her with him before.
    But so far, the season is going well. I look forward to seeing House and Cuddy take that beach vacation. I’m definitely more interested in their relationship, though not in the prurient sexual way (everybody lies?) others often seem to be.

  • According to producer Greg Yaitanes, the beach scenes never happened (despite photos to the contrary). Yeah, I’d like to see it too.

    Masters I like a lot and I think this character will be good for the show. She’s got issues, yet she’s got a good head on her shoulders. She’s not nearly as needy emotionally as Cameron used to be in the early days of the show.

    Chase is sowing his wild oats, which could be his way of dealing with the breakup.

    I like this season a lot. Love the House/Cuddy dynamic that looks like it might be heading for some rocky times. We’ll see.

  • Grace

    Masters can’t lie??
    I thought, EVERYBODY LIES???? 🙂