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InHouse: “Two Stories”

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Last week’s installment of the InHouse app was about the fabulous “Two Stories” episode, one of our favorites here at App’s Eye View. There are lots of kids in this House episode, which is reflected in the Dark Room’s content: kids outside the fictional Brye Park Elementary School, kids in the gymnasium, kids in the classroom (oh, hi, Patrick Price, we see you milling around the scenes trying to look inconspicuous), kids have a great old time chatting with Hugh Laurie. We also get a blueprint of the principal’s office, as well as the episode’s continuity sheet.

Lisa Edelstein and Jesse Spencer answer viewer questions in the Media Room. Here’s the transcript:

Lisa, what was your best on-screen moment with Hugh?

Edelstein: One of the first really incredibly poignant experiences for me with Hugh was where my character thinks she was going to have an adopted baby and at the last minute she [had to give the baby] back, and then he comes over and they kiss for the first time. I just love the idea that these two characters came together through such pain. She had to be in that much pain for him to feel safe approaching her

Jesse, in the beginning, House kept ‘throwing things’ at Chase. Was that in the script or did that just happen?

Spencer: No, that was just Hugh.

Edelstein: I love that.

Spencer: It’s just improvising. You know what I did love? One time he had the ball, you know the ball on his desk? One time he whacked me on the back of the head with it.

Edelstein: Did it end up on the show?

Spencer: Yeah. I just went like that (Spencer bobs his head up and back).

Chase never seemed like a womanizer before Cameron. What do you think happened?

Edelstein: You know what? I think he was a womanizer, even then. Your whole relationship with Cameron started and was totally sexual. I don’t think he was ever the ‘good boy’.

Spencer: No. And that’s ‘cause he’s Catholic.

Edelstein: Yeah!

What is it like to be a sex symbol? Are you comfortable with that label?

Edelstein: I’m very happy at this point in my life that that’s come up because it’s pretty cool!

Spencer: I’ll high-five that.

Would Cuddy be able to work with House and the team if House ruined the relationship with you?

Edelstein: Cuddy is a professional and she’s very serious about her job, and she’s a very tough lady. So I think she’s already survived quite a bit with House and I think she would definitely continue to survive. No matter what. This is her life.

In the Writers Room, we hear from executive producer/writer Tommy Moran, who wrote the “Two Stories” episode. The episode, he tells us, is one he’s been pitching for about three years. He always wanted to have a long backstory to a problem between House and Cuddy. The relationship has gone through so many different arcs over the years, he was never able to fit this story into any of those arcs. His original idea had to do with the Cuddy/Lucas break-up. But it was decided to have them break up in a different way, which meant this episode wouldn’t work and it got put on the back burner.

Each time House and Cuddy would come to a crisis point, Moran would pitch this episode. Strangely enough, when he got approved for “Two Stories”, there wasn’t going to be a huge crisis or break-up between these characters. He then came up with the idea that a small conflict would set the episode in motion.

Regarding the title “Two Stories”, Moran explains: “This story had been through a bunch of iterations and the final outline before I began writing this script still only had one story. David Shore suggested making more of the girl’s black eye and what was the story behind that. So that was a very late change. When I made that change, the title ‘Two Stories’ just kind of came to me and I enjoyed kind of remembering [the episode] ‘Three Stories’, which is one of everybody’s favorite episodes here.”

He goes on to say he likes the idea that the mystery in this episode was just why is House in this principal’s office. The teaser’s surprise is that House is sitting on the bench outside the principal’s office. “To me that’s really the mystery that I tried to structure the episode around. So there wasn’t really much of a medical mystery and I just thought it would be fun to have House and Hugh Laurie interacting with kids in an elementary school.”

One thing Moran was worried about when structuring the story was it being a little…boring. “So I came up with this idea to do these vignettes [which were] a bit inspired by my son, who is just obsessed with old movies. So I came up with this idea of having a character in the classroom who’s obsessed with old movies. House begins to just try to stump him. He tried to come up with lies the kid won’t realize are from old movies and the kid keeps catching them.”

Director Greg Yaitanes, Moran says, spent a lot of time and did a fantastic job with those scenes. “The Pulp Fiction one was one of my favorites,” he says. “It’s one of my favorite movies and I was able to kind of steal a little bit of Tarentino and kind of mold it together with House. I think it worked out well.”

Five writers picks are featured in the Houseisms section. Our favorite this week is “Truth is stranger than fiction, unless it’s written by James Frey…or Alex Hayley…or Jerzy Kosinski.”

And, finally, in the Music Room, the song of the week linked to iTunes is “Cute” by Count Basie, the song heard within the TV playback clip of Cinderfella.

Join us next time when we’ll cover the InHouse update for the “Recession Proof” episode.

The InHouse app is available free from iTunes for your iPod, iPad or iPod Touch. You can also access content online here.

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About Mindy Peterman

  • Grace

    Thanks! Love reading this here. I still don’t like the title though! :)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/mindy-peterman/ Mindy

    Grace: Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m wondering why don’t you like the title of the episode. It’s pretty straightforward and since the episode does pay homage to the classic “Three Stories”, it does make sense.