Today on Blogcritics
Home » Film » Interview: House Executive Producer/Writers Garrett Lerner and Russel Friend on “After Hours” and Season Seven

Interview: House Executive Producer/Writers Garrett Lerner and Russel Friend on “After Hours” and Season Seven

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

It’s been about a year since I last caught up with House, M.D. Executive Producer/Writers Garrett Lerner and Russel Friend. We last spoke after the Season 6 finale “Help Me,” which they wrote along with Peter Blake. This time we spoke less than 24 hours after the news that Lisa Edelstein (Dr. Lisa Cuddy) is leaving the series.

Everyone on the House creative team was still processing the news. “Obviously, we’re upset about it. It’s not a happy day,” said Lerner, although he didn’t feel he could comment officially until Executive Producers Katie Jacobs and David Shore make a more formal statement. “It’s very disappointing,” added Friend.

The creative team at House, of course, has not yet begun to think of the impact on Season 8’s storylines. “This is all fresh news, noted Lerner.” Friend mentioned that the writers are still on hiatus for another week. Once everyone’s back “We’re going to pick up all the cards and look at them,” he said.

The long-time writing team has penned (sometimes in tandem with other writers) several of the series most outstanding episodes over the six seasons they’ve been with the series, including “House’s Head,” “Wilson’s Heart,” “Broken,” “Under My Skin,” and “Help Me.” Last week’s “After Hours” was the first Lerner-Friend script of the season after a taking on a “more managerial role” in Season 7.

The idea “After Hours” was to do an episode taking place during the characters’ off hours. They also wanted to pursue a story idea of Peter Blake’s to have a prison mate of 13’s (Olivia Wilde) show up in some fashion.

The creative team had also been discussing the idea of House trying to fix his leg since early autumn, and to ultimately do it “in a real scientific way,” explained Lerner. They also thought it might be interesting to have House use an experimental medication “that isn’t even supposed to be used on humans yet. And then what happens if that goes horribly wrong?”  Friend added, “We just felt that would be really cool and a really great way to explore all the stuff that House (Hugh Laurie) has been dealing with this whole season. And it culminates in this insane thing he does. And then, of course, he realizes afterwards just how insane.” The payoff, of course is House’s understanding in the end that something has to give. “He has that great line at the end,” noted Lerner, “where he just says, ‘I have to change things. Something has to change.’”

I wondered if the writers had intended to echo back to other seasons when House had also contemplated things equally crazy, like transplanting nerve fibers into his leg taken from a patient with the inability to feel pain (“Insensitive,” Season 3) or the brain implant he almost succeeded in having in “Half Wit” that same season. They were aware of this part of House’s history, of course, but didn’t want to repeat themselves.

“You know, it’s hard, because, obviously, we have this incredibly interesting character, and he’s got this huge problem with his leg, and he’s got the problem with the drugs,” offered Lerner. “Sometimes [to the point where] it’s almost like drug abuse, but then, of course, he does have pain problem.”

But how many times, they considered, can you explore that over and over during the course of the series. “We wanted to make sure it was different than anything we’ve done before,” Friend added. So they wondered, “What if House actually gets these tumors and then he decides he can take care of them himself?”

Lerner suggested that House “was in such a terrible mental state from breaking up with Cuddy and obviously being through this whole drug trial that doesn’t work.” Of course the story had built up to a point as well when House’s usual minders Cuddy and Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) aren’t really paying attention. Cuddy is distant and angry, while Wilson by the time of “The Fix” is just happy that House is engaging again. So House’s state of mind just slips under the radar. “There was a lot of lead-up to that in the previous episode,” said Lerner, “where Foreman (Omar Epps) kind of sounding the alarm bells and, basically, nobody’s listening.”

House’s state of mind by the time we get to “After Hours” is pretty shaky. It would have to be for him to try something so insane. “His ultimate goal is to find this elusive—he’ll deny it—but to find this elusive thing called happiness. He talks about getting through his leg pain, but they’re connected.”

Friend noted that they’re both at this point “connected to his heartbreak after losing Cuddy—focusing immediately back on fixing the leg, because he’s hurting right now. And it’s not rational.”

But because it’s House, maybe he’s thought it through enough to make it work? “Our approach,” continued Friend, “was that it shouldn’t be crazy at all. He will go to great pains to [do everything correctly and objectively.] That’s why we had the scene play out so long in such a montage where he creates a surgical field.”

The self-surgery scene, I learned, is not as far-fetched as we might think. “House finds himself more qualified than these lesser surgeons, and he has everything set up, from the towel taped to the wall that he can wipe his own sweat, you know, to all the equipment he needs within arm’s reach. They’d wondered if the idea was actually too insane. But doing a little online research, the writers discovered that doctors have been known to perform surgery on themselves. “We actually found real cases of doctors that have done surgeries on themselves,” explained Lerner. Friend added, “In House’s mind this was very rational. These tumors were just below the surface, and he could do this on his own, in his mind. But Cuddy, who discovers him, and then Wilson, correctly think this was completely insane.”

The self-surgery scene was very graphic, even by House standards. But even watching it from behind splayed fingers, it was an amazing performance from Laurie. Friend was on set the day they shot the scene. “In person it was amazing. Even knowing everything is fake, it was still tough to watch when you add in his performance, how real everything became, and how intense it was. And something I’ve never seen before in all my years in TV was when the director yelled, ‘Cut,’ there was applause, spontaneous applause, among the crew. And I have never seen that before.”

One of the episode’s big payoffs is House’s reveal that he’s terrified of anyone (other than himself, obviously) touching his leg with a scalpel. That reveal echoes directly back to the first season episode “Three Stories.”

“We were overtly referencing that,” noted Friend. “That was a big reason why House wants her in that room with him. You know, for him, that was a big emotional moment. That’s a lot for him to reveal on an emotional level. He needs her; he wants her there. And we thought that was a moment we definitely wanted to see: House in this vulnerable state, not only physically, but emotionally, and having Lisa there.”

I thought it was an interesting idea bringing Rachel Cuddy (Kayla and Riley Colbert) back into the picture at this moment. “The reason we wanted to bring in Rachel,” explained Friend was to expand on this story of House and Cuddy breaking up, and the effects it’s had, not only on them, but also on Rachel.”

They wanted to show the audience that House and Rachel have a connection. “They would watch this crazy pirate cartoon together. They have this bond, and she misses House. And, obviously, she’s sort of a surrogate here for Cuddy. Cuddy misses House, and we thought that could be a nice way to tell that story. It could be this really sweet moment. And then, basically, we could hear Cuddy say what she’s feeling through Rachel.”

“After Hours” also picks up on a story thread from Season 6 (“The Tyrant”), when Chase (Jesse Spencer) kills a genocidal dictator under his care. Lerner explained, “we realized that we were going to use the opportunity of 13’s prison stay coming back to her to dig a little deeper into what she went through in euthanizing her brother. And then we realized that Chase has to be there with her, because he basically went through the same things.”

All the characters in this story have had their lives profoundly affected by a single event, the writers noted. “The patient this storyline where she as a police officer had to kill somebody who was wielding a gun, and it was justified, but it ruined her life,” explained Lerner. “Thirteen might be heading down the same path. And Chase was the other character who’s been through something similar. So we knew we needed to put him in as part of this storyline.”

Chase and 13 seemed to bond at the end over their shared torment. So, I wondered whether this might be the start of a closer relationship between the two. “It definitely is,” replied Lerner. “I don’t know if it will be romantic or not. But, definitely, the fact that they confided in each other, and the fact that 13, who’s defined as a character by the walls that she puts up, allows them to come down. Chase is there for her and is able to share and make himself vulnerable in kind, I think that there’s just a new bond that’s formed there that we won’t be able to ignore.”

Spencer really sold those scenes, which packed a powerful emotional punch. “I really felt all the actors were absolutely amazing,” noted Friend. “Chase had a lot to do in this episode,” added Lerner. “He had a lot of vulnerable moments.”

It had been rumored in the fan community that “After Hours” had been originally intended as the season finale, but when FOX ordered a 23rd episode, it became the penultimate story of the season. “It was not intended as a season finale,” Lerner noted. Although it is true that FOX ordered an extra episode, that happened in January, so they’d known for awhile that there would be 23 episodes this season. The writers told me that “After Hours” really builds to what they hope will be a really surprising, cool, great season ender. It plays off the ending of “After Hours” and House’s acknowledgment to Wilson that something has to change.

According to Lerner, they “wanted to end [“After Hours”] on the feeling that House does finally agree that he has to change. Wilson is helping him to the bathroom, and it was kind of this pathetic moment, and House realizes, ‘Okay, I did go too far.’ I don’t want to give anything away about the season finale, but where it does lead is (without giving too much away) is to this emotional place where House realizes he is going to try and make a change; he is going to try and make things better for himself. He essentially says, ‘I can’t go on like this.’”

The character has been at this point before—a low point in his life. Lerner agrees. “He’s hit rock bottom so many times, but we really wanted this to feel like he’s really hit rock bottom. Maybe this is the worst shape he’s been in, and he’s really literally and figuratively and emotionally really hurt himself and could have died. And I think he realizes that, and he’s going to try and change.”

I wanted to get the writers’ impressions of how the season has gone overall. Season 7 has been hugely controversial in the fan community, and the ratings have taken a hit. Lerner said that he’s personally enjoyed this season.

“I’m aware of the ratings, and I’m aware of what some of the fans have said. It’s obviously controversial whenever a show gets two main characters together. We knew that going in, and we were concerned about it. And then we thought, ‘Well, this is where the story seems to be taking us. This seems like the right story to be telling.’ We did our best to tell it honestly, and especially honestly for these characters and, you know, not suddenly make him sticky sweet or change who House is fundamentally. And I personally felt that we succeeded. And I’ve read some other opinions on that. But I was happy with it.”

I asked about House’s Green Card Wife Dominika. “It was obviously a marriage of convenience, explained Friend. “I think it was also a marriage very much to stick a needle in Cuddy.”

Lerner noted that it “succeeded in that front. He saw her get upset and walk out of the room. And ultimately, he didn’t feel great about that. As evidenced by that final scene. But she served her purpose as far as House was concerned. They’re still married, I believe, but she has a boyfriend. She’s theoretically in the background still, and we’re definitely open to seeing her reappear.”

House has now been renewed for one more season at this point, and Hugh Laurie’s contract is up at the end of Season 8, so it’s easy to wonder whether next season will be House’s last. I asked the writer/executive producers whether plans are on the table for how to take the series into what may be its final season. Lerner offered, “I think that’s going to be the first order of business when the writers all get back together. You know, the roles are very different if we know it’s our final season or if we think it’s our penultimate season. We need to make a plan one way or the other.” If this will be the final year, Friend noted, “we’re going to produce a series finale season—really build to the end.”

And, I noted, sadly, without Lisa Edelstein, Dr. Cuddy, in the picture. On that, both writers replied almost simultaneously. “It sucks.”

I asked the writers if they had anything else they might like to say to the fans. They replied, “We’ll just say thanks. We’re obviously always blown away and appreciate the fans, and that people still are sticking with the show. I think the show is still strong, and it’s going to continue to be strong, and that they should, hopefully, keep watching—stay on the ride. It’s going to be fun.”

With that, we made a plan to speak again next year about this time, in what has become an annual tradition at Welcome to the End of the Thought Process. The House season finale airs Monday night at 8PM ET on FOX. 

I will be chatting next week with Katherine Lingenfelter and Peter Blake, who wrote the Season 7 finale “Moving On” to wrap up Season 7, so stay tuned!

Powered by

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.
  • vicpei

    Well, they are definitely more gracious and articulate than other writers you have been chatting with, and dare I say, more cautious about what they are saying. I am sorry to hear they think their handling of Huddy was good, but at least they seem aware of this year’s problems, even if they can’t aknowledge them.
    Hearing them, it seems that they are aware of the green card bride huge problem, now that Cuddy will be gone with Lisa Edelstein.
    It’s going to be fun? Seems more like wishful thinking, sadly. Aren’t they tired of bringing House lower each year?

  • Eloise

    Very interesting interview, I like their take on the character. The green card bride is only a problem with some fans others would like to see the character explored a bit more. Not everybody is down on the show and I personally am excited to see where they take this fascinating story next.

  • Celia

    Thanks Barbara. It’s been such a wild ride this week. This is the first thing that has made me feel better. Now if only FOX could negotiate LE’s return, it really wouldn’t suck.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    I’ve always liked Lerner and Friend’s take on House. They’re excellent writers and always take good care of the characters!

  • Frustrated

    Sorry but why does it seem to me like there’s a blame for the ratings on the bringing together of Huddy. Also, what they say about Huddy seems to contradict from others. We know they brought them together to make it fail. They already wrote the ending before they wrote the beginning. So to say it was a genuine step seems dishonest. Also for them to be able to pay to bring back Domenika without being able to bring Cuddy just shows how disloyal this show is to an actress that was there from Day 1. Sorry if I seem bitter, but the ratings was brought on by that hatchet of a writing they did this season. If they would stop signing guest stars to 3 episodes but only using them for like one episode, if they would only cut back on hookers, strippers and outrageous stunts, we wouldn’t be having an issue we have now. A while back the writers had said that they were surprised that they were able to ask for anything, and the show never refused them. It’s these writers and their spending that caused tuis budget issue. If anyone should be blamed for ratings, writers are at fault for forgetting that quality writing is the characters and the story, not competing to see who could pull off more outrageous stunts and who could blow things up better.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Frustrated, let’s agree to disagree on most of what you said. Thanks for your comments.

  • HouseMDFan

    Lovely interview, I really like what they have to say. This viewer here is still mostly happy with this season and very much looking forward to the finale!

    Also interesting that they seemed to be as shocked as everybody else about LE. I’m really hoping for some interviews with her that’ll explain her reasons for quitting as abruptly as she did.

  • Jacquelyn

    Thanks for this interview. It’s refreshing to see some of the House team handle questions in a mature and cautious manner.

    It hasn’t even been a week and I’m still in shock about LE. I wonder if Lerner and Friend realize how much of their fan base will be lost with her departure? As much as I love House, I can’t see myself wanting to tune in each week knowing that Cuddy won’t be there.

  • ruthinor

    Good interview. They seem like nice guys.

    Maybe LE agreed with a large portion of the fan base that the writers pretty much destroyed her character in season 7 and she decided to move on. Or as Paula Marshall tweeted (sister Julia), maybe LE decided she wanted a life..that the hours are very long on the House set. Or maybe it was the money…who knows?

  • bigHousefan

    Barbara- Thanks for the Friend and Lerner interview! They always have such a gracious nature and I have always enjoyed their work and comments.

    Regarding Lisa Edelstein, it’s just hard to imagine the show without her character. Her comments on Season 8 were always so positive. Any chance it was a negotiating maneuver and there is a behind the scenes effort going on? Wishful thinking I guess…

  • Valérie

    Season 8 will be the darkest one for House, I would be sad if ratings will again fall down after Lisa Edelstein departure, but let’s admit that without her, this show won’t be funny anymore to watch, even with this idea of green card wife.
    The little girl (Rachel) has a bond with House that I’d like to see again, this is not gonna happen for a while… sad…
    I hope they’ll introduce House’s biological father, it’s clearly a better storyline than the green card wife, Taub’s life…

  • Sera G

    Very nice interview, Barbara.
    You always do a super job, especially with this set of writers.
    I must agree with those who contend that TPTB fail to see that the fall of ratings is not due to the pairing of House/Cuddy, but rather the out or character, doomed to fail, written on purpose to fail nature of the stories.
    Again, we must agree to disagree.
    Thanks for what you bring to the fans.

  • HouseMDFan

    Just one comment to all the people talking about ratings: If you compare seasons 6 and 7, the average for episodes 1-15 was around 12-13 million viewers in S6 and around 10-11 in S7. In both seasons, the ratings began to fall during the middle of March, around episode 15/16, down to 9 million in S6 and down to barely 8 in S7. This suggests that the ratings since “Bombshells” have nothing to do with the storylines and everything with other circumstances like DWTS, daylight savings time, sports, spring and whatever. If anything the ratings are down 2 million over the whole season since the START of the season, which suggests that the writers have it right about the polarising nature of Huddy – IF this can be blamed on the storyline at all, which is everything but clear.

  • Sacha

    Thank you for asking about Chase/Jesse Spencer, Barbara, it is much appreciated. However, it speaks volumes that Chase obviously was an ‘afterthought’ of the Thirteen storyline. I hope they’ll give him something to do which centers on him and/or House instead of his ‘bonding’ with Thirteen, should he be available for another season. I was actually wondering why House didn’t call Chase, as a surgeon, in After Hours. If he becomes merely a Thirteen supporter then he is tragically wasted. Sorry for being so frustrated and negative. I wish I wasn’t.

  • Sera G

    HouseMdFan,
    Not to beat a dead horse, but TPTB can’t have it both ways. They can’t write the story arc, intending for it to fail, starting the whole writing process with that in mind and then blame the ratings on the relationship. They intended it to fail. What would they have done if the ratings were high? Would they have scraped the entire last 7-8 episodes and rewritten? I really doubt it. I think they placated the fans (like me, I admit it) and said, “Well, we tried.” But they never intended to make it work, nor did they want it to work. Remember, they film at least 6 weeks ahead, so when we watched “Unwritten” in October, that had been filmed in the summer. “Bombshells” in February, had been filmed in mid-December. There is no way they could know the ratings of those episodes before they were even broadcast!
    One more point while I am on my soapbox, Mr. Lerner and Mr. Friend say that they want Rachel to speak for Cuddy, too, in missing House. And yet, they refuse to consider bringing them back as a couple, even in the final, final moments? Well, that is a moot point now, isn’t it.
    I still cling to hope that negotiations with LE can be reopened and she will be back. As of now, that if further reason for me not to watch season 8.
    Green card wife? More misery? No thanks.
    House is not [H]ouse without Cuddy.

  • HouseMDFan

    Sera, you are confusing a storyarc failing (external) with the relationship failing (internal). Just because the relationship failed, doesn’t mean the storyarc did – in my opinion it succeeded, but to each their own.
    And what they would have done if the ratings were high? NOTHING. Because they didn’t tell a story to placate “the” fans (which don’t exist anyway), they told THEIR story, come what may. That’s what I like and that’s how it’s supposed to be, they have to stick to their vision of the show or they are doomed anyway.

  • Valérie

    HouseMDfan : you’re right and don’t forget that in this show, we won’t ever have a chance to see a solid and long term romance, it’s not gonna happen not only for House but for all the characters, that’s why I’m more interested to watch House and Wilson friendship, hilson is better written than sentimental storylines. Taub and Foreman are funny, 13 and Chase too (I hope they won’t start something else with these two).

  • espejoses

    #9 ruthinorIf something I am sure is that it was not about money itself. Lisa has loved working on the show from day to end, even she said in an interview after the break, which she did not mind having fewer minutes or be in the background, because she believed the writers and especially that the story was about House and his journey. She also said she was eager to see that brought them 8T. Many times she has said that today work in a series for an actor was a luxury it could also work in something that fascinated financial security allowed him to do so. Whatever I have very clear that if she refused because the proposal was put in a situation in which she was to deny it. Plus, from my point of view to say that she has earned the right to not lowering their payroll and fight for what he considers fair. And speaking of money she has been the best ambassador of the series inside and outside the U.S., which does not forget they have produced great benefits.
    As the interview was interesting and quite respectful of the fans. Well explained what they wanted to do and I have to say what they wanted to say in the episode they did.
    Possibly the most apt description of the intent of the rupture, which was nothing more than bring the relapse as a turning point on whether House can get out of this vicious circle so far is his life.
    They could have done better to reach that point, it is clear that, yes, but as they did for them was satisfactory.
    This chapter I’m pretty satisfied.
    Thanks Barbara for bringing another great interview.
    ruthinor misunderstood my previous post, I wanted to make a comment but after the shock the Lisa said I did not mind at all.
    Personally I think she has earned the right to be possibly be the final session, I insist that it is a poor decision to mix creative with economic issues, and specifically in the series the characters are strongly vinvulados, although they appear to have character detectivezco the way to find the diagnosis is far from being a series of such, which if they can dispense with the characters. House is not, and Lisa Edelstein as Lisa Cuddy is not dispensable. Regardless of huddy is not.

  • ruthinor

    Sera G…agree with you 100%. This bogus “story arc” changed Cuddy’s character to the point that it was unrecognizable. And even House became this wimpy “I can do better” nerd. Sorry, bad writing is bad writing. The reason there is frequently discontinuity in “House” is because there are so many writers, and even they say that they see the characters differently, so why expect a cohesive story line? I think Barbara is the only writer or blogger who writes about the show who has remained uncritical about this season, at least from what I’ve read. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion just as everyone is free to disagree with the stated opinions on this site.

  • em

    Hello

    I still think there is something fishy going on and how everyone was shocked to her LE not coming back, surely there was some basic talk of what deals the actors were going to have to settle for. I can’t see her walking away from the show herself as she really seemed to enjoy working on it. I find it strange how DS or KJ haven’t expressed an opinion on her leaving. I also find it strange how they said her contract signing was delayed when she was overseas, Omar Epps seemed to manage to sign his while he was overseas.

    Seems a shame that this wonderful series is now being slightly ruined in my mind.

    I hope that on Monday the ending will be one that leaves us on a cliff hanger wondering if Cuddy will live or dies rather she died that she just went off.

    Do you think if they were desperate to have the character of cuddy they would recast the role.

  • Amie

    Thanks for this interview, Barbara!
    They have written some of the best episodes and it’s nice to hear their view of the story.

    It helps me understand the story a bit better and I feel they see the characters as I do (as they have written some of my favorite episodes).
    I’m glad they cleared that Cuddy misses House because that’s something I have had trouble seeing in the episodes after Bombshells and I would have liked to see a bit more of what she felt instead of this rock we’ve been seeing.

    I’m also glad they acknowledged what a loss Cuddy is going to be for the storyline (or possibly they were talking about the actress with whom they maybe enjoy working?).
    I’m glad to hear the fans are not alone.

    On a negative note, I have to say I’m sad, as Sacha (14), that Chase’s story comes only after 13. Too many storylines revolve around 13 when other characters deserve more exploration ( Chase and Dibala, Chase and his breakup with Cameron, Wilson and his breakup, Wilson and his brother …).
    Wilson is really underused.

    Also, I’m sad they don’t see like of lot of us do that the relationship storyline was badly done (for once, huddy and non-huddys seem to agree). Maybe they feel like it wasn’t perfect but can’t admit it. It’s hard to admit your baby has flaws…

    Anyway, I may not agree with some things the writers say, but it’s always a pleasure to read their interviews. Thank you for this opportunity Barbara.

  • Amie

    For speculations about why Lisa is leaving and how the writers will deal with it, the thread you may be looking for is here.
    (I had trouble finding it myself as it’s not under “the end of the thought process”)

  • genesis

    cuddy bring to 8 = cuddy house season

  • Simon

    @ 23 geneis : What??

  • rjw

    Nice interview,Barbara! Despite a lot of the comments you’ve received over the course of the year,I’ve actually enjoyed this season overall.Would I have liked to have House and Cuddy together? Sure! I enjoyed that relationship.However,knowing how House is and how Cuddy is,it’s not that surprising that things fell apart.Lerner and Friend have written some terrific scripts,and this last one is probably my favorite of the season (and there have been other great ones).I read several months ago that Kath Lingenfelter was writing the season finale,so I knew that wasn’t suddenly tacked on.She did a great job on her 1st script,and have no reason to doubt this one coming up won’t also be great.

  • Joan

    Just to add my two cents about ratings, I’m sure there are a variety of factors but the drop in ratings since Bombshells seems to me to indict the abrupt breakup and sad/crazy/boring stories post breakup rather than bringing them together in the first place. Also I recall that in the first eps of the season virtually every reviewer gave great reviews on the Huddy relationship, that House had a new spring in his step and it was adding interest and new tensions to the show. Conversely, the reviews have been largely negative post Bombshells with regard to the sameness of letting House hit rock bottom (again) and that he can’t change, yadayada as well as some of the farcical plot devices (hello monster truck and green card wife, looking at you!). House without Cuddy in his life in some form is going to be bereft as are so many of the fans. I was not always thrilled with what they did with them but Huddy is not to blame for the ratings issues here, it is the aftermath that has sent things into a tailspin. I thought Lerner and Friend’s ep was one of the best in ages, but now with Lisa going I don’t know what to look forward to in the finale. If things remain ugly and angry between them, no resolution and if they do begin to make their way back to their long friendsip, well, no where for that to go next year either.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Thank you everyone who’ve registered thoughtful comments. I appreciate. Many people unhappy now “with the entire season” liked it a lot up until the end of Bombshells.

    Although the writers (of course) had known they wanted to end the House-Cuddy relationship, what else would you have them do? Start the relationship with no game plan? It’s fiction. They’re writers. That’s their job.

    I’m almost regretting that I’m doing one final writer interview this season. But I write as much for myself as I do for those who read this column. I will say that I’m taking a House-break for the summer. I will do two more pieces: my Moving On Commentary and the interview with Kath Lingenfelter before then.

  • Betty

    Thank you, Barbara for the interview. It’s been a long time since I felt better about what the writers said. There is hope for this character. That’s all I needed to hear. Hopefully there is some real follow-through on something’s got to change idea. Anything to see House live a better life while still retaining his core essence and talent. It was a relief to know the reason for the 23rd episode and given the shocked reactions from the folks from the show we have heard from, it is highly unlikely that there were any plans to kill off Cuddy or have her resign from the hospital. I am not too thrilled though about the prospect of Dominika possibly returning but not going to jump to any conclusions. Anything can happen from now until then, if it even happens. I am looking forward to the interview w/ Katherine Lingenfelter. I liked her take on House and the show when she spoke on her vlog for her episode.

  • Blacktop

    Barbara, thank you for a great intervire with these outstanding writers. Their episodes are surely the highlights of each season. I have a couple of questions and a comment.

    Did you ask Friend and Lerner if their script for “After Hours” was at all based on the dark comic film of the same name by Martin Scorse?

    I wonder if Lerner and Friend were somehow channeling the fiasco of Lisa Edelstein’ departure in that charming House/Rachel exchange about pirates? It seemed too much of a coincidence that House complained about a shipful of guy pirates making the only girl pirate walk the plank. Or was this just an ugly case of life imitating art?

    I have always felt that the intricat, multiple-layered House/Cuddy relationship was always an intricate part of the basic fabric of the show. Whether professional, romantic, friendly, familial or lustful, the interaction of these two characters is embedded in the very DNA of “House” from the beginning. One of the keen disappointments of this season, therefore, was to see the writers treat House/Cuddy as yet another dramatic arc, with a beginning, middle, and cruel end. They put this essential element of the show on the same level as the Vogler, Stacy, or Tritter arcs. As a result of what I see as a grieveous error, the writers’ freedom to explore and develop the possibilities of the House/Cuddy relationship were severely curtailed. Rather than growing organically from the complexities of characters established over seven seasons, what we got was a foreshortened and therefore unsatisfactory storyline. This was a tremendous disappointment no matter whether one liked “Huddy” or not. House in a raw and intimate and sustained interaction did not require that he become sweet, or neutered or happy. The possibilities were immense and therefore the disappointment is proportionately bitter.

    This feels like such a missed opportunity, now perhaps lost forever with the amputation of Cuddy from House’s world.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Betty, you also might want to check out the interview I did with her after You Must Remember This.

  • screamingmimi

    My sympathy, Barbara. You must be weary of all the complaining. I have to admit i’m a bit tired of reading some of them.

    Have a great summer!

  • Lor

    Barbara, you write:

    “Many people unhappy now “with the entire season” liked it a lot up until the end of Bombshells”

    and you’re so right! When people like me posted their dissapointment with the huddy arc before Bombshells, all the huddys here and on other sites were all “this is the best season so far, huddy is well written, I’m enjoying this season so much, you are just haters” and so on.

    And don’t try to negate it, huddys, your posts are still in all the reviews made by Barbara for this season.

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

    Thanks Barbara for this interview. I have not commented on your latest reviews because I’ve been traveling (visiting your wonderful city) and I think now I have the opportunity to to comment “three in one”.

    1. The first thing I have to say is that I liked the episode “After hours “, it left a bittersweet taste, but I liked. The moments, House + Cuddy + Rachel, were beloved and I think we were all waiting for this meeting of “family” for some time. Now I understand why I liked it. The writers responsible for this episode, are responsible for other episodes that I really liked of the whole story of House. From here, I give my congratulations to them.
    On the other hand, I have to say, for me, this episode would have been the best end to this madness of season. Honestly, I’m scared with the episode of Monday. I think it will be the last episode, I’ll watch of House, and I know I will cry.

    2. Regarding the abandonment of Lisa Edelstein, I am still very sad. Still processing the idea of her goodbye. For mewill not exist, House, without, Cuddy, sorry, but these are my feelings. I would like to be as positive as you, Barbara, but I can´t. For me, there is a House until episode 15 of season 7, and from there, a different House. Sorry, I don´t get to see House in season 8. It’s sad, I know, and I probably lost a lot of good stories. Yes, I will come to your blog, Barbara, to read your comments and for comment with all those who still remain here, but probably this will be my only relationship with House.
    Still, I want believe, it will be a slight possibility of negotiating with Lisa Edelstein and we have her with us in Season 8.
    I know Lisa Edelstein doesn´t leave the series because the money (unless they have been offered to her a contract of shit, of course). She has been the only one (but the unique of the whole team) who has always expressed her desire to be for next season.
    She was the actress which has most promoted this series. I still remember the promotion that she did of House last year in Spain. Incredible. Never any actress of any series, gave as many interviews as Lisa Edelstein. She walked her smile for very many television programs, radio, magazines…Sad now to think that a year later we would receive the news of her departure (also, sad to think that a year ago I was very happy because at last House and Cuddy were together…and now I would like to return to Help me)
    But, perhaps, most saddens me of this situation is that nobody knew that Lisa Edelstein was leaving the series. Before reading this interview, I asked a team member on twitter, and she said that “life and this business…” and also “the scripts were written in March and negotiations began in May…” So my concern is: Then, we never have a farewell for Cuddy? That is, if you write the last episode, not knowing that your second in command will not come back…Now what?
    Well, frankly, I think her possible abandonment was something in the air. Lisa Edelstein in March said this: “I love my job, I love my job. After seven years, I still love my House…Even I have no more screen” (or scripts, do not remember). For me, these words were a goodbye. So, for me, the episode 23 (written at the request of Fox), in which House crash his car into Cuddy’s house…enough said!

    3. About the rest of the interview with these two writers, I agree with those who have commented about this: the writers still think that the story of House and Cuddy has been well studied…SORRY BUT NOT. Sorry, but no, the story (as they told us) was written to fail, and when you write something doomed to failure, you can not write well. Today, I still can not assume that Cuddy broke with House in Bombshells. Which I’ve said a thousand times and a thousand times you gave me reasons, but I still can not understand, sorry.
    And about the audiences…can be, that spring is a critical time for House, but the ratings have fallen precipitously since Bombshells. The ratings fell last year, but never like this.

    I regret having been so long in my comments. Could still be more…Thanks again Barbara for your interviews and the opportunity offered to talk here.

  • BrokenLeg

    Thanks Barbara for the interview in this special moment.
    They seem nice guys. But they seem to encourage people to watch next season because they do know that without Cuddy it’s really difficult mantain viewers. They even seem to make us a kind of “promise” such “come on, it will be fun”.
    And I observe on them a total lack of self-criticism not aknowledging the poor quality of the writing on most of this 7 season, and the lack of exploration of a relationship doomed from the first day. Relationship that could have finally function or not, but that was resumed in tootbrush problems instead of try to get the best of such chemistry betweem main characters.At least on that huddies and not huddies agree.
    Now that is the last season, that[H] has lost one main characters, that they’ve introduced that offensive to women character of Dominika used as a pretext to hurt someone now is gone,they promise us a good final season? Credit is almost exhausted.It sound a little as Peter and the wolf tale. Now TPTB are not credible. Or for be credible they need to work much harder, with all the season as a hole in the continuity, maybe with a few writers well coordinated and supervised, and please not as hopeless as it become.

  • Lor

    @ruthinor, 19
    @Sera G, 15

    I don’t tolerate hypocrisy and in order to support my previous statement here what you two wrote:

    post number 14, made by ruthinor:

    “One thing all the gripers have in common…they are all House-Wilson shippers and hate Cuddy. If you no longer like the show, don’t watch! And go to websites that appreciate your point of view instead of coming here to bitch and moan about the unfairness of it all.

    Keep it coming Barbara. Lots of us agree with YOU. ”

    post number 28, made by Sera G:

    “As a matter of fact, I watched a lot of TV this last week, as I was off work. Now I am more convinced than ever that House is remarkable. It was compelling and addictive from day one. I find it to be so even now, seven seasons later.
    I am in total agreement that those who do not care for a show and yet come to a site just to complain or criticise are missing the point. If you do not like House anymore, or never did; don’t watch! I would never go to a site that writes about the afore mentioned shows and tell them what I don’t like and why they should change…they are not suited to me so I don’t watch. This is a site for those who appreciate House the show, the actors and creators. I find the reveiws beautifully written and thought provoking. I find the people who respond are bright, intelligent and look for common ground and a place to share their thoughts and opinions. I have said before that if feels like a bookclub for a television show.
    Now, back to Barbara’s review;
    I loved what you had to say. I agree that the writers are handling things between House/Cuddy very well. I am so glad that their relationship doesn’t crumble at every obstacle and that House/Cuddy are so committed to making it work. I find that realistic. It is TV cliche to have a couple break up, mope around, find someone else for a while and then discover…”oh I really loved Charlie after all.” Gag!!!!!
    I watched “Merry Little Christmas” last week. There is House, desperate for viocdin, stealing from a dying man, drunk and passed out in vomit…even Wilson walked away in disgust. I don’t want to see him back to that state. The writers were so brave to give House the determination to realize that he wants more in his life, to go through rehab and take a chance on love with Cuddy. They could have taken the easy, safe path and continued with the drug additcted misanthrope, but they have made this journey with House complex, human and even more engaging. I applaud them for not playing it safe and for trusting the audience’s intelligence and commitment.”

    You can find this post here.

    Oh, huddys!

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

    @29 – Blacktop
    Haha, YES, about the pirates…I just thought the same!!! Also when House said to Rachel, something like this “…that is coz her big boobies…they should have kept her”.

  • espejoses

    29 – Blacktop .Totally agree with what you said.

  • Rosemary

    Thank you for this interview Barbara, Lerner & Friend are amongst my favorite writers too.

    I think the writers have done a great job of season 7, they warned of an emotional roller coaster and to fasten your seat belts and boy! have they delivered, i almost fell off twice (lol) but i have managed to stay on and i have taken solace from their brief explanation of the finale.

  • Gloryb

    Funny thing about the change in Huddy opinions throughout the season. The reason? It was satisfactory because it looked like they were taking it slow and going to dig deeper at a glacier pace. When it ended quickly without the “exploration” that was promised, it doesn’t look the same.

    Most Huddies thought it was going to end – they anticipated the break-up to be after some rather deep/intense scenes between these characters. Over the arc, there were only about four “deep” scenes between them, and those really weren’t exploring the heart of their issues. So, once it was over, the dissatisfaction was felt. As long as the relationship was on, Huddies were just waiting for the depth that these characters had always shown. They were waiting for the honeymoon phase to end so they could really explore. The way this break-up was handled, and the interviews that followed explaining the break-up was the point, made for a different slant. Can’t blame Huddies really.

    I’m not a Huddy, but I do see why their opinions changed.

    After Help Me, when DS stated it was inevitable and time to “explore” this relationship, it didn’t matter to me because I wasn’t a Huddy. But, I felt they were making a bold move. I believed they could sell me on it because in the past Cuddy and House had shown complexities that and hints of vulnerability with each other that could be tapped to go deeper into these characters and their issues. I was surprised when they didn’t do anything with it except portray a superficial, fragile “happy.”

    It’s not uncommon, though. They didn’t really go into depth after Broken either. They tend to go explore at a glacial pace, but in many cases they just drop it and never explore it again.

    Still a good show, but there has been a slow disturbance in this fandom based on the continued failure to follow-through on key plots. They plan the “shocking” moments, but don’t explore them on screen – even though they seem to feel they do according to the interviews.

    It’s their story. They need to stand by it. We can watch or not.

  • BrokenLeg

    29 @ blacktop
    THIS!

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

    @39 – Gloryb
    Thanks for your comments. I am not a “Huddy” (because I hate that word) but I am a person who bet on the relationship between House and Cuddy, as one of the best couples on TV. I think you expressed very well our thoughts. I started to comment and participate in conversations about House, after Bombshells, as even being a big fan of the series from the beginning, I never needed to search the web for answers to what I was seeing.

  • Orange450

    Shavua tov! Thanks for this. They really sound like delightful individuals.

    I’m cool with their take on things. Like them, I’m deeply sorry for LE’s departure, yet I feel like the show is in sound hands with these two writers, and I totally trust the direction in which they (and the others, for the most part :)) are steering. I’m along for the ride.

  • Betty

    Thanks, Barbara, for letting me know of your previous interview w/ Katherine Lingenfelter. Excellent w/ great questions and answers! Looking forward to the finale.

    #39 Gloryb Thank you for your thoughtful comments, appreciate it!

  • Em

    @Lor
    So true, but the two you mentioned aren’t the only ones. Huddies are so funny.
    Anyway, it’s good to see that the writer are aware of how bad the huddy arc affected the show even if I was they knew because sure the network monitored the ratings and the bad reaction huddy received. I’m looking for the next season

  • BrokenLeg

    39@ Gloryb
    You’ve stolen my toughts!!!!

    And to the writers team, better acknowledge own failures to avoid them on the future.
    Play with fire burns, and now they have Cuddy out of the show, leaving a lot of unfinished plots. Better they do a collect to pay LE the difference, if this is the reason,or make for her better timing so she can have private life…and come bach her.
    And I do not understand how NO ONE could foresee something like this could happen in a contract renewal year.Not even write ending season on a much open way. Do they not talk with FOX/NBCU during the season? Do they live so secluded and isolated?To that I call complete lack of anticipation of those two in command DS&KJ.I still wait their explanation to understand a bit.
    I watch for House, altough I’d like H/C relatinship,and, as Barbara, I feel House can’t be fully understood without Cuddy and Wilson because they formed a “triumvirate” from the very biginning.
    I’ll exercise my freedom of watch next season, but if they do better, I’ll there.At least at the first eoisodes, in a mood of “wait and see”

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Hey Blacktop–It’s been too long since you’ve commented here. I always appreciate your comments, agree or disagree.

    Did you ask Friend and Lerner if their script for “After Hours” was at all based on the dark comic film of the same name by Martin Scorsese?

    I wonder if Lerner and Friend were somehow channeling the fiasco of Lisa Edelstein’ departure in that charming House/Rachel exchange about pirates? It seemed too much of a coincidence that House complained about a shipful of guy pirates making the only girl pirate walk the plank. Or was this just an ugly case of life imitating art?

    I did ask, and I did not get that impression from them. I didn’t ask them about the cartoon (I confess I missed the connection), but it’s incredibly ironic, isn’t it?

    I’d always imagined (and I think correctly) that the breakup and then slow steps to eventual reconciliation (if not romantic, then at least back to where they’d been–and the cast of star crossedness) had all been of a single story arc. I never believed (and still don’t) that the story arc ended with Bombshells. After Hours was an important transition to the finale, and unfortunately with LE’s departure the arc (and the story of House and Cuddy) will continue without Cuddy’s physical presence. But even with her not there physically, her spirit will hover.

  • Sera G

    Lor,
    I am confused? How is what I posted hypocricy? When the storyline centered around the attempt to make House and Cuddy a couple, I did and do applaud the attempt. That is not often done on TV, the writers/producers feel that the audience wants only the tension and not the day to day.
    I only complained when I found out that they wrote the arc with the intention that it NEVER would work. To my mind, there is a difference if you try something and you can tell it is not going to work and if you write it with the intention that it will fail.
    As many others have stated, arguing over toothbrushes, although realistic, perhaps, is not what we have come to expect from these very clever and talented writers. Personally, I didn’t care if they argued over toothbrushes or anything else, I wanted and expected that I was going to see two middle aged adults, who have loved each other for over 20 years, grow, bond, love, yes argue and become better people TOGETHER.That is what happens when people come together committed to make a relationship work.
    Remember in “Unwritten”, Cuddy says, “You make me better.” Then all of a sudden he didn’t. And all of a sudden she is kicking him when he is down, something Cuddy would never have done in seasons, one, two, three, four, five or six.
    That is the problem. They manipulated our expectations, wrote characters that were unrecognizable and then blamed the audience when they expressed unhappiness and disappointment.
    I honestly would have understood if they had said, “Look folks, we really tried, but we can’t make these two function as a couple. It is stiffling our creativity.” That I would have respected. I don’t believe that they couldn’t have found something to develop with two such complex people, but ok.
    Maybe I am naive, but I expected a sense of fairplay. That was absent, in my opinion.

    Lor, if you notice, since you are keeping such careful track of my posts, I have not posted in about 6-7 weeks. I have not watched, so I have not posted. I wouldn’t have posted now, if I was not so saddened at the news about LE.
    I followed my own advice, there is nothing more for me to say , so I have stayed away.
    I thought, perhaps I was wrong, that I was expressing frustration and disappointment at what I thought would happen and what really occured. Perhaps others were doing the same and it felt like nitpicking.
    Also, my comment that you quoted, concerned people who no longer watched House. My point was, why go to a site of a show in which you no longer have an interest and complain. Why would I go to the Bones site and tell them what they are doing wrong? I don’t watch that show. That was my intention.

    ruthinor,Joan#26, Blacktop,#29 and Gloryb, I agree with you all.

  • ruthinor

    # 35: Lor: And I don’t tolerate holier than thou know-it alls like you!

    If you have actually read my posts, I never once said I would stop watching the show because I thought it was on the wrong track. Nor have I character assassinated anyone on the show, except for maybe calling Foreman boring. I even like 13! I’ve seen all the episodes this season. I thought some were good and some were pretty bad. I thought the way the writers handled the House-Cuddy romance was ok for the first few episodes this season, but it quickly went downhill (way before Bombshells) into minutia and ludicrous trivia. To paraphrase Barbara, of course I expected the writers to have a “gameplan”, but did it have to be this one? These are supposed to be top-notch writers, and this is what they came up with?

    One other thing, I don’t go to other sites and lord it over folks who love Wilson (I do too) or anyone else. But then, I’m not you.

  • ruthinor

    #39: Gloryb: Excellent post, more so for being unemotional (unlike me!).

  • housecomelately

    Barbara, in your final interview, might you be asking the writers whether any thought has been given to getting Lisa back for one episode in season 8 to give proper closure to the character of Cuddy?

    It’s interesting that it’s been almost a week since LE announced her departure, and Shore and Jacobs still haven’t made a statement. Perhaps they’re trying to do some kind of deal with Lisa, or on the other hand they may just be consulting their lawyers before they say anything. But wait! Shore *is* a lawyer… ;-)

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Hi Ruthinor,

    I”ve called Foreman boring too, although I like him much better this season. I’ve so enjoyed how they’ve subtly redeemed Chase’s character while making him infinitely darker and more introspective.

    The relationship may not have gone down the path some of us liked or even played out the way some of us might have wanted. It doesn’t make it wrong, it just means we may not agree.

    There have been so many posts (not yours) from people who loved the show until bombshells and suddenly hated it, then saying the entire season was terrible because of the aftermath of Bombshells. Largely because the season did not go the way they would have preferred. I respect that opinion, although I don’t agree with it, but to retroactively decide the writing for the entire season is bad after they’ve enjoyed it is something I still don’t understand. (again, not your posts, necessarily, but many)

    The writers write what they write. Some of them are better than others, some worse. But this is their show.

    When Cameron’s left, it was done abruptly and the PTB were vilified for doing that to Jen Morrison by the fans. It was a too- abruptly written ending for her, only slightly helped by her return in “Lockdown” to provide closure.

    The point is that the stories don’t always go the way some in the huge fandom want. Some people adore Olivia Wilde and 13 (some of my closest friends, who are not necessarily in the fandom, but who watch the show every single week and have since season one). And we won’t even talk about the beginning of season 4! Sorry to ramble, but the PTB will do what they do. We can like it or scratch our heads, but fundamentally it’s their show, and to suggest that (as it has in the comments thread of my column) the writers aren’t invested in the characters or don’t care about them is patently absurd.

  • Jaim

    Barbara,
    I have to disagree about the writers being invested in their characters. I think that they could have given better attention to the House/Cuddy and even Cuddy/House/Wilson relationships than they did. It seemed as though they went in with the thought that it wasn’t going to last so instead of truly focusing on complex plots that explore these two people, they tried to fit them into the standard rom-com cliches. That’s what is really strange. House and Cuddy were never like couple’s on sitcoms before their relationship began,but once they put them in a relationship it was like the writers didn’t eve try to make them deal with more realistic issues. Not to say that toothbrushes aren’t an aspect of every relationship, I think that if they talked about these things in passing, but focused on larger relationship conflicts then a nicer balance could have been developed.

    Also if they were going to break them up then why not make the pain/drug issues more apparent during the relationship? I think sometimes the writers focus so much on House’s pain being indicative of his emotional pain that they forget that he does still have physical pain. I would have liked to see House happy with Cuddy but still noticing the pain in his leg to a point where he’s secretly taking the Vicodin again or he’s taking the experimental drugs and then they break up when she discovers this has been going on for a while. I feel like that would have been more realistic. Showing the lies he tells her and her feeling like he’s hiding something but never knowing for sure until she finds him doing surgery on himself. This could have given them so much to work with the rest of the season and even the next, because it really would have been a more impressive ‘lie’ that Cuddy can not accept from House than the one they used in ‘Office Politics.’ I think that the abruptness to which they start relationships, end relationships, and push interesting characters out of the show reveals how little long term investment they have.
    I for one feel that House himself has become a shadow of who he once was. I really haven’t felt any empathy for him these last four episodes and that’s new for me.

  • 2Lightworker

    Barbara, thank you for this interview with these two writers who show civility and integrity in their intentions. It is not whether I agree, but rather that I appreciate the spirit in which they spoke with you, as well as your fair-minded representation of the conversation.

    29@Blacktop, 39@Gloryb, 47@SeraG —-
    Thank you for your thoughts that confirm my own. I feel that many viewers of varying opinions, myself included, are exhausted, and the news this week about Lisa Edelstein has upped the stress.
    I will stay the course, but am grateful for a break from the roller coaster – my seatbelt snapped at the end of Ep 15, but I’ve ducktaped it back together.

  • 2Lightworker

    52@Jaim
    THIS!

  • Cardiac Monitor

    I am so glad that these two writers “explained” House’s motivation prior to and during this last episode. Back in the day (i.e. 10 million viewers ago), such a thing wasn’t necessary. The writing was such that we, the audience, we able to figure that out on our own. Now his (and Cuddy’s) character is so unrecognizable…

    I have made this statement before, but I will make it again in the slim hope that Lerner and Friend take a moment to read this interview and a few select comments: Why can you not allow the character of House to stand up and behave like a man?

    We haven’t seen that from him since he let Stacy go.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Hi Jaim,

    Since most of the writers have been around for many seasons, I can’t imagine how they can’t be. And talking with them, their investment is clear. Unlike us, their job is to propel the narrative forward in whatever way they decide to do it. You present some interesting alternative paths the PTB may have taken. But that’s your take.

    I absolutely think the toothbrushes and garbage are very, very important. they represented the straw that broke the camel’s back. Cuddy was ambivalent from the get-go. And House was afraid of that more than anything. He was proven right, and when his insensitivity to the little irritants came at a particularly vulnerable time for Cuddy, it was not good for their future. I saw that and saw it as realistic. It wasn’t the toothbrush per se, but that that she was teeter-tottering about the relationship despite the beautifully romantic way House could behave, and that represented a tipping point. She tried to get over it, but couldn’t. Those concerns were eating at her in Bombshells.

    I saw that as a reasonable progression of the the relationship, and although I would have loved to see it stay together, I understand that it’s not my choice.

    The writers do not have to take the time to talk to me, and my interviews with them are largely arranged with them directly and not through the studio, so they really are being very gracious to talk to us. I have never gotten the impression that they are not invested.

    I’m working on a novel. My main character gets involved in a relationship I know will be doomed. I will take my readers through 100 pages of a lovin relationship, but it will blow up and shatter in three pages of narrative. It doesn’t mean I’m being cavalier with my characters. It means I have a particular story to tell and this is the way it must happen.

    I’m invested in the characters involved and the relationship, but I know it will end eventually (and maybe reconcile at some point–the novel isn’t yet finished). So am I being cavalier with my characters? Manipulating my readers (if anyone actually buys it when it’s done)? I hope not.

  • ruthinor

    Hi Barbara,

    I really appreciate this site. I’m sorry If you think that some of the comments here go too far, but at the risk of alienating you even further, I have to say that you ALWAYS support the writers. Are they really never wrong? They never do a poor job? Do you think that the ending of the Chase-Cameron relationship was done well? Cameron was not a favorite character of mine, but I really thought that ending was terrible. She accuses House of making her husband a murderer, and then kisses him goodbye?

    It’s never been my thinking that any one season was far superior to any other. I’ve always believed that each season has its really good episodes and its not so good ones. I also don’t equate “bad episode” with ” I really hate what happened in this one”. I thought Bombshells was riveting, even though I thought the way the break-up happened made zero sense to me.

    Your quote:

    “The relationship may not have gone down the path some of us liked or even played out the way some of us might have wanted. It doesn’t make it wrong, it just means we may not agree.”

    Speaking only for myself, I was not upset by the potential of a break-up, rather I was upset because they never, IMO, really explored the relationship in any depth before they blew it up. It just seems to me that the writers were more interested in exploring House’s reaction (or overreaction) to a break-up than they ever were in examining an adult romance that was 7 years in the making. There’s no right or wrong here, there is just one’s personal opinion that this approach was either satisfying or not. For me, it was not. This is particularly true for me because I thought the characters of House and especially Cuddy were changed to the point of almost being unrecognizable. And all this was to service the break-up.

    Another quote:

    “We can like it or scratch our heads, but fundamentally it’s their show, and to suggest that (as it has in the comments thread of my column) the writers aren’t invested in the characters or don’t care about them is patently absurd.”

    Again, speaking only for me, it’s not that I think the writers are not invested, but there are almost too many of them, and each has his/her favorite character. This leads to episodes which are fine unto themselves, but can lead to errors of omission of story lines and other jarring disconnects.

    I’m sorry if I’ve offended anyone. But we’re discussing a TV show. So it’s all about the writing, isn’t it?

  • ruthinor

    Sorry, just a couple of more thoughts, Barbara:

    your quote:

    “I absolutely think the toothbrushes and garbage are very, very important. they represented the straw that broke the camel’s back. Cuddy was ambivalent from the get-go. And House was afraid of that more than anything.”

    This was from Tommy Moran’s episode “Two Stories” if I recall correctly, and I hate to keep hitting my head against the wall here, but in this episode, everything dealing with House-Cuddy interactions was seen from House’s point of view only. In HIS mind, those things (toothbrushes, garbage) were important, but was that really true? And if so, why did he go out of his way to do those things, to be so obnoxious? Was he trying to sabotage a relationship he believed would fail anyway? Or was this just House showing his fear? I’m in a minority, but I liked this episode. I thought it showed House’s insecurities far more than Cuddy’s. At the end, she forgives him everything and invites him to dinner. This is partly why I found subsequent episodes so jarring.

  • Jaim

    Barbara,
    I am fine with a break-up if that is done in a manner that at least feels organic. I think that for me and a lot of other fans, the relationship was handled in a manner that was too predictable for such an unpredictable pair and many integral issues were only raised when the writers wanted to force the breakup. I think I just feel that they weren’t doing the same kind of job they did with past story-lines. I felt that this plot lacked depth and true exploration. I also feel that they could have portrayed the small relationship problems in a way that did not seem cliche or somewhat stereotypical. In some ways, they were better able to construct the House/Stacy beginning and ending much better than the House/Cuddy relationship. It just seems that the preparation focused on making them like other couples instead of demonstrating how they are fundamentally different than other couples.

  • Eileen

    @Barbara- You said,
    “I’m working on a novel. My main character gets involved in a relationship I know will be doomed. I will take my readers through 100 pages of a lovin relationship, but it will blow up and shatter in three pages of narrative”

    No wonder you’re okay with the way the writers have written this season along with everything that’s transpired over season 7.

    I only became a proponent of the House/Cuddy relationship after reading your article on them and House’s amazing focus to detail about Cuddy and her life a couple of years ago. Now I feel ashamed and I feel like a complete fool for rooting for them. I am not a young Huddy fangirl, but a mature, happily married (over 22 years) mature woman who adored the amazing (potential) relationship of these two characters. As a dear friend of mine recently said, “We’ve been played for fools” regarding this beautiful relationship.

    To the delight of many of your readers and perhaps to your delight, I am no longer a fan of this show or its direction. I read your most recent review tonight and all of the comments and decided to state my (unpopular) opinion. But, overall, I am sad because like, Delia_Beatrice and many other avid Huddy lovers, I thought that Cuddy’s love for House would help him heal and help him to become a person who could experience some peace and happiness in his life.

    Oh well, the joke’s on me as I am the fool.

  • Harley

    Barbara thank you for the interview i found it genuine, empathetic to the fans and hopeful with regards to House in the finale.

  • Harley

    I wish others here would REPECT what Barbara does for you? Every other post is about Huddy or Cuddy, Yes! Lisa Edelstein is leaving the show and most (including me) are sad about that news but this interview was about “After hours”, GL & RF’s views of the character’s meanings during that episode and to further discuss where the show was and is heading into.

    THERE IS AN ARTICLE ON LE LEAVING THE SHOW SO WHY NOT VOICE YOUR OPINIONS ON THIS THERE?, THERE IS A REVIEW OF “AFTER HOURS” SO WHY NOT VOICE YOUR OPINIONS OF THAT EPISODE THERE? AND IT CAN ALSO BE SAID OF OTHER EPISODES BEING BROUGHT INTO THE DISCUSSION?

    HUDDY IS DONE WITH, LE IS LEAVING THE SHOW! THERE IS NOTHING ANYBODY CAN DO ABOUT IT SO WHY HANG ON AND GO ON AND ON ABOUT IT ESPECIALLY IN AN INTERVIEW THAT DOESN’T FOCUS ON IT?

  • Jaim

    Harley,
    Part of the interview did focus on the writer’s take on House/Cuddy and the way they handled the coupling. It is no unreasonable for people to comment on their take and discuss their own perspectives. Screaming in all caps doesn’t make anyone more receptive to your message. The episode was discussed but Barbara also asked them about the situation with the overall season story-lines which included House/Cuddy. Why are you trying to censor other posters or control other people here? This is an open discussion and everyone has a right to voice what they want.

  • Alexa

    “HouseMDFan”: the numbers you are looking at aren’t the ones that matter. I agree that DWTS is probably the biggest culprit, but I know it’s not the only one. As for the Huddy relationship it did just fine in ratings. “House” lost many fans when DWTS aired last season and never gained them back. That’s pretty normal. Once you lose fans, shows almost never get them back. Then they started out this year with what they left off on and kept it stable till after Bombshells. It started slipping after that but after the hiatus coupled with DWTS it lost a lot more. It looks like “House” has gone down a lot more in the numbers this season as a result of this. Starting next season without a major character important to the show will undoubtedly lose them even more people. Then they’re changing timeslots two times next season and they still have to face DWTS. I think next season will definitely be the show’s last if the trend of their numbers from the past two seasons keeps up.

    “Jacquelyn” I agree. There’s no doubt they will lose people. Her and Wilson were the two most popular characters on their show besides House himself. I know I will be one of them.

    Barbara, thanks for the interview. Garrett and Russ never disappoint. They did a wonderful job on last week’s episode.

  • Julia

    Barbara,

    “There have been so many posts (not yours) from people who loved the show until bombshells and suddenly hated it, then saying the entire season was terrible because of the aftermath of Bombshells. Largely because the season did not go the way they would have preferred. I respect that opinion, although I don’t agree with it, but to retroactively decide the writing for the entire season is bad after they’ve enjoyed it is something I still don’t understand. (again, not your posts, necessarily, but many)”.

    Barbara, you’re right about this.

    But sometimes, you can only judge an arc when it’s over. And I think this is what happened with the huddy arc.

    Even before Bombshells, there were episodes I liked more (Now What, Family Practice, Carrot or Stick) and episodes I liked less (2 stories, Unplanned Parenthood). Same goes with the huddy arc: their interactions were sometimes interesting to me (House helping Cuddy deal with Arlene was very well done, IMO), sometimes not that much (I didn’t really like the whole ‘lie arc’ for example).

    And of course this still stands: but now I can judge the huddy arc as a whole and while of course I don’t think everything was crap and while I know there were some good and even great moments between them, I think the final balance is negative. Not only for the things I saw and didn’t like (Cuddy being too unidimensional, some storyline not making sense to me), but much more, for the things I didn’t see (for example, it was disappointing to me that House’s issues with his father never came out while he was dealing with Rachel).

    I know it’s not like this, but I really got the impression that they couldn’t wait for this relationship to end so that they could finally start focusing on what they really cared about: the aftermath of the breakup, House’s leg pain, his addiction, etc.

  • Julia

    Barbara, I just forgot to add that I really appreciate what you do. Thank you.

  • Derdriui

    Writers, how RIDICULOUS and illogical can you get?!

    Do you not remember that he blamed not only Stacey but CUDDY for the first surgery on his leg? When he told them not to but they did?

    WHY WOULD HE TRUST HER, SPECIFICALLY HER, WITH HIS LEG?

    I can understand the rationale being that she was the only one he came and he was laying the emotional manipulation on thick so that she’d feel obligated to protect his leg, which was the best he could do under the circumstances.

    But not that he specifically wished that it was CUDDY who was there.

    Also, how conservative do you have to be to equate euthanasia with killing somebody because you’ve heard they do bad things? In one situation, it’s mercy killing. In the other, it’s cold blooded murder, irregardless of the random African nation of poor little people the big white Dr. Chase thought he was saving, vague on the details though he was.

    Seriously, YOU PEOPLE WRITE THIS SHOW. So many STUPID inconsistencies and logical leaps…

    These writers were obviously clever enough to come up with the insightful and sharp writing of the first few seasons, so the only real explanation for the ridiculously bad writing this season (after the mediocrity of last season) is that they just don’t care anymore. It’s just a stupid cash cow, everyone just taking their money and thumbing their noses to the idiots still invested in this mess.

    What a pointless show.

  • Diana

    Thank you for this interview. It really seems they didn’t know about LE leaving, although I still can’t make the math with FOX ordering an extra episode for season 7 and the same FOX cutting off a main chracter’s income.

    You seem closer to where voices can be heard, so is there any possible way to do a campain all next week (before wirters go back to the writing) to let everybody know that House MD viewers WANT TO SEE THE STORY THAT WRITERS AND CREATORS OF THE SHOW WANT TO TELL US, AND NOT THE ONE THEY ARE FORCED TO BECAUSE ONE OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS HAD TO DISSAPEAR FORCED BY FOX. WE WANT CUDDY BACK FOR ALL SEASON 8. ESPECIALLY IF THIS WILL BE THE LAST SEASON. PLEASE, DON’T KILL THIS SHOW!!!

  • HouseMDFan

    Diana, it isn’t FOX’s responsibility. The production company is NBC/Comcast, THEY make the contracts with the actors, NOT FOX (nor DS or KJ). Which is quite apart from the fact that we still don’t KNOW if it’s really their fault, because neither Lisa nor anyone else has told us WHY she is leaving. Maybe she has a great offer for a different project (seeing that her statement contained the word “producing”)? We just don’t know.

  • Eloise

    Has DS even got a contract yet, he probably has no clout with out, even if he has with it.I understand the anger and sorrow about LE going but so fed up with the continual harping on about the Huddy arc.
    So many interviews in the past with DS in particular about how he would never make House happy till perhaps the end of the show.Its his story, his concept and the writers work with his say so or have up to now.
    I find it hard to think he wont be on board for S8 but if he is it will be his vision they follow and always has been. Why suddenly would he write it differently. I am excited for his and the writers visionand I know I am not the only one.

  • Lor

    @ruthinor, @Sera G

    Don’t flatter yourself, I don’t keep track of your posts here I just picked one the review Barbara wrote before Bombshells and searched for your posts. Also, there’s nothing I could add to them, your attitude toward Barbara, the writers and the show is only based on huddy: when huddy was on and the focus of every single episode you were amazed by the quality of the show, the moment huddy was over you’re complaining about the bad writing.
    It’s all in your posts, pre and past huddy, they’re self-explanatory and I won’t add a word to them. Like another poster pointed out, you are’t the only ones, and again a person only have to read the comments at Barbara’s posts here.
    Sorry, guys, you can say whatever you want now but what you wrote is there and you can’t negate it. Oh, I love internet

  • Lor

    Barbara, could you try to find out if Jesse Spencer will be in the next season? From whst the writers said in this interview it looks so but I’havent heard nothing about it from tptb. Thank you

  • Leiney

    Barbara, thanks for sharing this interview!

    I enjoyed both the episode and their perspective on things. While I don’t always like the direction the show takes — sometimes I think there may be too many cooks stirring the pot — the things I do appreciate far out way those that perplex. I’m looking forward to the finale and the larger perspective that becomes more obvious when the season is viewed as a whole.

  • MHM

    I second everything Jaim said on this thread.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com Barbara barnett

    Julia-that is exactly my point. The arc involving Cuddy is much longer than a few episodes, and continues still. I venture to say even into the future (despite LEs) absence next season (as odd that may seem). Same with the Wilson-house arc. That’s what I’ve been trying to say. The writers statements take us into the here and now of their story, not to it’s ultimate conclusion. LE’s unexpected departure will affect that considerably, but that’s not the fault of the writers.

    As far as my always taking the side of the writers, I do tend to interview writers whose work on the show I best admire. But my purpose in interviewing them is not to attack their work or to argue with them. My purpose, appreciate it or not (and I’m guessing some of you, not),is to better understand their craft and how they see the characters.

  • Cyndi Tessler

    Nice to hear the writers’ perspective. If House has to end next year, come on, give the poor man a happy ending. Yes, I am a romantic, but after 8 seasons of pain, please bring Stacey back or let Cuddy come to her senses. Also, let Wilson find love. He is so sweet.
    I understand in real life, “you can’t always get what you want” but after 8 years. Let there be love!

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Cyndi, you echo my profound hope. I am reassured that whatever they do, if S8 will be the last it will be a season leading to something, perhaps House’s elusive white whale: happiness.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    I absolutely love the discussions that follow Barbara’s posts (in addition to the reviews and interviews themselves). Even the angry ones and the responses are entertaining (if not frustrating and eye-opening).

    As I’m bracing myself to watch one final “House” episode after so many years (not watching Season 8 unless Cuddy comes back), I thank everyone who has participated for expressing your thoughts, so many of which mirror my own. I’m obviously looking for answers and trying to understand how this show has taken an ugly turn, wounding the hearts of many fans. I’m one of the many who have tuned in for years because of the House and Cuddy dynamic (note I didn’t say “romance”). Without it, I’m just not interested. Will also be watching to see how the ratings fare. Like someone else has already said, I wanted House to evolve, to improve, to find tidbits of happiness. But, alas, TPTB want to send him crashing down YET AGAIN, and I’m tired of it. I am very disappointed with the end of Season 7. Very.

  • Heather

    Re: Some of the thoughts expressed about the House/Cuddy romantic arc.

    Someone said something along the lines of: “What did you expect the writers to do? Start the arc with no plan of where it was going and how to finish it?”

    Yes. That is exactly what seems reasonable to me. A relationship is limiting itself if you’re putting a timeline on it. The relationship never should have been the centerpiece of the show, but rather something open-ended that could last until the end of the show, with the focus still on the procedural drama.

    There’s plenty of things written into this show that don’t have a certain expiration date in mind, and that’s exactly what I expected with Huddy.

    Secondly, this squabbling reminds me of the last 2 years of the X-Files, to be honest, where you had die hard fans who would defend the show to the bitter end, and former fans who believed if they were loud enough they could make Carter realize what an abortion he turned the show into. That would be sad if House ended up the same way.

  • spoilerchicka

    Barbara, thanks for the great interview with these two fine writers. They seem to care about the show, its cast and the characters’ journeys. Its such a sad, disappointing blow to the show’s fan base to lose Lisa Edelstein from what is likely the final season. I was one of the House fans that “watched for Cuddy” instead of House because of his inability to grow and evolve somewhat. I can only hope the network and TPTB will find a way to resolve this idiocy that result in Lisa Edelstein leaving the show on her own terms. From everything I’ve read so far, its pretty clear Edelstein was happy to be onboard for the eight season and it boiled down to salary negotiations. Like one earlier poster here said, Omar Epps managed to sign his contract while being overseas while Edelstein did not. If what Variety printed was truly the case, offering a fine female lead of a hit series a 50% pay cut to renew her contract, then no wonder Edelstein opted to quit. I am shocked that FOX network has no issue with the perception its created that would execute pay cuts on the female and the black actors of a series while the two white male actors were not shortchanged. IF and that’s a big IF, FOX renegotiates with Lisa Edelstein to return, I hope she gets a salary INCREASE and a few extra bennies like some say on the scripts’ treatment of her character. God knows House writers have been torpedoing her character for a while. The eternal optimist in me keeps waiting to hear Edelstein will return. If she doesn’t I can’t say I much care enough about the House character to continue watching the series. I know this isn’t the case for you Barbara but it is certainly the situation for many of its longtime fans.

  • Oversimplified

    Thanks for this interview Barbara. In my personal opinion ‘After Hours’ was one of the really stand-out eps of this season alongside ‘Unwritten’ and ‘The Fix’.

    I know that the discussion of House and Cuddy’s relationship seems to be a bone of contention here, but it was one of the threads of this particular ep and the season as a whole. Under no circumstances could I be described as a Huddy shipper, but as a writer myself I did find it incredibly frustrating that the relationship wasn’t explored to it’s full potential regardless of whether or not it was doomed to failure from the start or not. My main problem is that, aside from our exposure to Cuddy’s family I don’t think we learnt anything particularly new about these two complex characters. Almost every single interaction seemed to be a reinforcement that Cuddy is uptight and that outside of work House can’t be relied upon. We already knew that, so what was the point?

    I always thought that if/when they got together Rachel would be a great way for the writers to explore House’s own issues about his Mother’s affair and being brought up by a man who wasn’t his biological father. I also would have liked to have seen the couple at least discuss and bond over their less than perfect childhoods. With actors as brilliant as Hugh and Lisa the dramatic potential would have been enormous. There was the whole dropped thread regarding their shared experience at college too.

    As for LE not being there for season 8, I am extremely saddened by it, but I do believe that Cuddy will still loom large in the background despite her physical absence as you’ve already intimated Barbara. If the character makes it past the finale tomorrow evening in one piece I really would hope that a deal could be struck where Lisa makes at least one final appearance before the show comes to an end. A situation where House and Cuddy are no longer boss/employee and there’s been some distance/time spent away from each other, i.e. when they no longer owe each other anything could be a fresh way of approaching their dynamic, and really interesting to watch.

    I do agree however that this is their story to tell. My only hope is that the path they take makes full use of the stupendous talent on offer, and gives this brilliant character the send-off he deserves.

  • bigHousefan

    Oversimplified #82

    I couldn’t agree more!

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

    78 – Sneaky Microbe, 81 – spoilerchicka

    Your thoughts are my thoughts and the thoughts of many many longtime fans of House…The thing is, after seven years now we can´t this new House (I mean, a House without Cuddy)…During all these years, we are learning about their relationship (personal and professional)…so, now, yes! Barbara you have reason, they can study her absence and even open new fields and point of view, new relationships…and even they can show us how House can find his happiness without her…But, sorry, sorry, sorry…my mind can´t buy THIS! I can´t. I know, probably I will lose a lot of good moments next year, but for me the House of Season 8, will be a different show, and I don´t want THIS new show get me in the way that get me the “old” House, because, now I feel so sad because something that I was watching like an entertaiment, is making me cry…”Pain happens when you care” (Dr.Lisa Cuddy)

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

    @82 – Oversimplified: Totally agree with you!

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Heather, I remember the last 2 (actually three) years of the X-Files, and it wasn’t pretty. I thought the series began to fall apart when David Duchovny lost interest in the series and they wrote him out bit by bit, and finally completely. That show was Mulder’s journey. How can you do a series without Mulder? Yes, it also became Scully’s journey, but Mulder was the one who “wanted to believe.” Scully wanted not to believe.

    Even in Season six (which I thought should have been the last), I thought Cuddy came off as simply annoyed with Mulder the entire season. I stayed with the series, very hopeful, until towards the end of season 7 and then stopped watching, stopped commenting and stopped writing fan fiction.

    Not even close to that point with House right now.

    Spoilerchicka, I think the network would be insane not to do everything they possibly could to get Lisa Edelstein back into the cast. Her loss is immense and the reverberations will be felt tremendously in season 8. I trust the writers to keep her there in spirit whether she’s there or not (in some fashion), because I do not believe they’d erase her from House’s and everyone else’s minds.

    I will write more of my thoughts on LE’s departure when I have a chance. But I have not had the time yet. I want to gather my thoughts, and the past week has been non-stop for me professionally and personally, as will the week to come.

    Oversimplified. I share your hope.

  • ruthinor

    Barbara: I don’t expect you to attack the writers you interview! The interviews are terrific. I do expect you to at least occasionally admit that not all episodes are equal and to say why you think that’s the case, but you NEVER criticize. If you see this blog as a place in which your role is to explain or detail what you see happening to the characters on House, and NOT a place to judge the direction of the show at all, than my criticisms are definitely misplaced, and I apologize. Perhaps I just misunderstand your role here.

  • Sneaky Microbe

    #80 Heather-YES to this!

    #82 Oversimplified-Very well stated. I concur.

  • lore

    fans can do something to smooth again

  • Blacktop

    Oversimplified, you have spoken my mind precisely. House’s issues with pain, with infidelity and betrayal, with parental abuse, with therapy, could all have been explored magnificently through his uncommon relationship with Cuddy. As a through-story simmering just under the surface of the procedural medical mysteries, the House/Cuddy romance could have been used to illuminate some of the darker reaches of House’s damaged psyche. Instead we got a series of plot lines in which this most uncommon couple were hammered into unrecognizable conventionality.

    It is possible that the finale tomorrow will shed new light on the season, giving an over-arching unifying theory to what has to this point been a remarkably disjointed effort. It is fair to analyze the entire season from the perspective of it’s endpoint. That is why many of us view the “Huddy” arc differently now that it has played out than we did last fall when it’s end was still up in the air. This changed perspective encourages deeper analysis; it would be silly NOT to shift one’s view by the end, I think.

  • bigHousefan

    Blacktop #92

    You wrote, “House’s issues with pain, with infidelity and betrayal, with parental abuse, with therapy, could all have been explored magnificently through his uncommon relationship with Cuddy. As a through-story simmering just under the surface of the procedural medical mysteries, the House/Cuddy romance could have been used to illuminate some of the darker reaches of House’s damaged psyche.”

    That is exactly the path I expected the writers to take. It seemed logical that when finally these two characters who share such a history of trust are brought together, we would learn more about their pasts and what has only been eluded to. I assumed that was the point of the build up.

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

    @89 – Blacktop

    Where were you months ago? THIS!

    “House’s issues with pain, with infidelity and betrayal, with parental abuse, with therapy, could all have been explored magnificently through his uncommon relationship with Cuddy. As a through-story simmering just under the surface of the procedural medical mysteries, the House/Cuddy romance could have been used to illuminate some of the darker reaches of House’s damaged psyche.”

    Loving your comments!

  • Saniotty

    I think there’s a big display of hypocrisy in this interview, but these are writers of a series that is basically narratively dead, I think, and they have to keep it going for another season

    I’ve being saying for months that Edelstein would be out of season 8, because narratively (I’m a writer too) it was clear to me.
    Does anybody really think that Fox executives would go really hard on the conditions to renew Edelstein contract without asking to Shore if he considered her vital for the series? There’s a reason if Fox found an agreement on all other contracts and not on hers.

    There’s a reason if Wilde got her contract renewed just after Hugh Laurie.

    Shore (and obviously most of the other writers) considered Huddy a narrative stake, even if beloved by fans, and wanted to get rid of it, as they did, basically destroying the storyline, in season 7. And in the instant they got rid of it, Cuddy was just an obstacle for future storylines, because even only her presence, suggests a huddy potential.

    So it came a constant Cuddy character assassination, that would lead to a final where Cuddy would simply be put out of the games. It’s a simple as that, IMO.

    Now, does it exist a House without Cuddy? IMO it didn’t even exist in seventh season with Cuddy.

    The writing crisis is evident, even violent, IMO. Their lack of ideas is obvious, and the idea “characters don’t change” came out in all its dullness.

    I think it’s a shame they let go one of the few strong elements of levity in the show. But I expect just the worst from them. This is not a series anymore, it’s an accident on the freeway.

  • DebbieJ

    I haven’t gotten through all the (so far) 90 posts yet, but I thought I’d add my 2 cents while I have it fresh in my head.

    #29 – Blacktop – I have to agree with your post in its entirety. But especially the point in where S7 really went wrong because they treated the H/C pairing as a story arc rather than an extension of it being embedded into show’s DNA since the (almost) very beginning.

    I also have to agree somewhat with #5 – Frustrated, especially regarding budget concerns/LE not returning. So, they have enough in the budget for another actress/character (Domenika), admittedly probably not being paid as much as LE (but who really knows)? They have enough in the budget for monster truck differentials and car crashes (season finale on Monday), but they couldn’t find it in the budget to keep LE around? Something smells fishy. I may be naive to the goings on behind the camera, but for them to ask the only black actor and the only over-40 actress to take a cut in pay seems blatantly racist and sexist.

    Regarding Lerner’s quote on Page 5, Paragraph 2:

    “The character has been at this point before—a low point in his life. Lerner agrees. “He’s hit rock bottom so many times, but we really wanted this to feel like he’s really hit rock bottom”…..

    I mean c’mon, don’t you think House already *really* hit rock bottom at the end of S5, on his way to Mayfield? How much more can this man endure? What kind of sadist would put a character through more than what he’s *already* gone through? I love angsty!House as much as the next avid fan, but I think when his misery and tortured soul starts to make me not look forward to an episode (because I can’t bear to see anything more negative happen to him), that is a sad thing :(

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

    @86 – ruthinor

    I think Barbara is much more objective than us. Probably she (from her experience as a writer) is better able to understand the development of this character (House). It is true that many times, we (the fans) do not understand: What the hell is going on here? But she always gets to see the positive side behind every tragedy. For months (since I came to this blog, after Bombshells) I repeated that I can not eat the absurd rupture of the best couple of television for years. But she has always tried to make me think beyond of it, perhaps, Barbara is right, and even the departure of Cuddy will give a breath of fresh air to this series.

    I agree with everything you say, Ruthinor. But I believe that Barbara is not condescending with the writers, I think she is coherent with her thoughts about this journey of House (though, many times, we not agree with them). Not all her comments are favorable to the episodes. I remember that she has repeated many times that the departure of Cameron was not well treated.

    Hopefully, you and I (and many of the fans) could to see the positive side of the story. I can not. And for me this season (after the abrupt rupture) has been a huge disappointment and, even more, after the news of the departure of Lisa Edelstein.

  • BrokenLeg

    I agree with ALL Jaim’s posts
    53 @2 lightworker
    Drained, many viewers are drained. It’s time to press the reset button or leave.
    The cocktail : Risk coupling two main characters + Great expectations created + Doomed H/C relationship from the very beginning + Bad, weak, unconnected, below as usual other seasons, or childish and superficial writing ( yes, Barbara, after all the season, although with great moments as RP final, we can say it) + broken creative writing integrity when needed( if necessary made House “cuddian” and Cuddy “housian” ones) +GY and other producers mocking fandom on rude tweets+ absolute lack of any self criticism of the writers team ( even those gentle guys now) +LE unpredictable leaving = GREAT FAN’S DECEPTION. It’s an easy equation.
    33@ RedTulip_Ana
    Brilliant analysis!! I think the same
    33-36@RedTulip_Ana and 37 @espejoses
    Los tres, por lo que veo, somos del mismo sitio. Empezamos (o nos unimos si la hay) a la campaña para traer de vuelta LE a [H]??

  • espejoses

    39 – Gloryb Thank God a comment in which he expresses the sentiments of many who see what happened in the series based on the history of the characters and in particular the relationship of House and Cuddy in all its dimensions including partner. Something many have seen over and despite the HUDY.

  • espejoses

    78 – Sneaky Microbe You said it very well the key words for all the series is the House and Cuddy dynamic, which shone whether consisted of two minutes of screen time than thirty.

  • espejoses

    81 – Oversimplified
    You could say higher but not clearer.

  • BrokenLeg

    78@Sneaky Microbe
    THIS! ( we have share thoughts before)
    79@ Heather
    Despite what Barbara respond to you, I think [H] is going X-files way ( I was a fan that leave it because all you say)
    80 @spolilerchicka
    It’s funny your way to express the obvious ( obvious at least to you and me).
    81 @Oversimplified
    I totally agree with you. And your thoughts come from someone of the creative world. Thanks.
    84-84 @RedTulip_Ana
    THIS!
    92 @Saniotty
    Good point!!!!
    93 @DebbieJ
    Totally agree with your post. And about sexism, only watch all female characters, even Cuddy until “Unwritten” more or less, It’s there.Always has been there.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    ruthinor–When I think the characters have been way out of whack, I’ve said it, but you are right in thinking that my columns (which are probably misnamed as “reviews”) are really analysis of the story lines, themes, characters, motivations, etc. It always has been. It’s actually why I named the feature “welcome to the end of the thought process.” Each “review” is a commentary on the plot, characters, etc. That’s what interests me. But it’s subjective (just like anyone’s opinion might be–and why, some movies/tv series, books get 4 star reviews along with the one star reviews.

    I’m not necessarily objective. I watch for House and I find his character compelling. I hate when he is written out of character without good reason and have said it. But he’s pretty consistently written.

    But I have called out the show when I feel it’s gone astray (and there have certainly been times, especially in parts of season four and parts of season six, where I’ve registered my criticism. Interviews with writers are not the place to do that.

    Maybe over the summer, I’ll give my list of my 10 least favorite House episodes and why I disliked them. Or the most over-the-top moments. Have I loved every minute of House? No. Have I loved 90 percent of it? Yes.

  • Eloise

    And thank heavens for you Barbara and your optimism, it is hard to be a fan of House at the meoment not cause of the show but all the negativity by an element of fanbase. But I’m sticking with it cause its still the best thing on TV to me.

  • ruthinor

    Barbara, thanks for your reply! As I’ve said before, I appreciate this space and enjoy reading about 98% of what is written here! I will keep your answer in mind in the future.

  • forditude

    I’m glad they noticed Jesse Spencer’s excellent acting in scenes with Olivia. I wish they would have picked up sooner on his growing skills. The Chase character has been a waste for the most part. There is still no annoucment on JS contract .

  • Cardiac Monitor

    @Barbara Bennett #85: Several weeks back I wrote, accusing you of having an over-optimistic point of view of this undoubtedly sinking ship due to a crush on Hugh Laurie. I was wrong. Your crush is on Lisa Edelstein and, as a “reviewer,” you’ve clearly lost your objectivity.

  • DebbieJ

    #47-Sera, #52-Jaim, #53-2Lightworker and #57-Ruthinor: This!, This!, This! and This! Each of you have stated my thoughts exactly.

    #62-Harley: Please stop shouting. It hurts my eyes.

    But getting back to the article. I actually got goosebumps while reading the part about the crew applausing for Hugh after the surgery scene. The man has done some incredible scenes throughout the series (and it still boggles my mind that he is Emmy-less), but this one was one of the most intense and I am not surprised at the crew’s reaction.

  • housemaniac

    I don’t think the issue with Huddy is that the writers had a plan to break them up from the outset. Sure, it’s fine for writers to know where they want to go. It’s not fine, IMHO, for that plan to be transparent! This is simply another way of saying that the relationship was never fully or convincingly explored, as so many have written here.

    If Huddy had been better written, viewers would not have found the relationship so frustrating. It’s almost as if the writers let us in on their plan to break them up. In other words, the writers gave away the ending long before Bombshells. That is poor writing.

    Finally, I don’t think it’s fair to say that the criticism of the writing came only AFTER Bombshells. I don’t recall whether I posted anything, but I do recall not liking *at the time* a number of the episodes before Bombshells.

  • BrokenLeg

    106 @housemaniac
    It could be said higher, but not much clear.

  • sunnysea

    @Cardiac Monitor I certainly have not agreed with some of the posts here, not even all of Barbara’s, but your comment to her that she has a crush on LE and has lost her objectivity is mean spirited, uncalled for and unfounded. The personal attacks and judgments here have passed the point of people venting their strong feelings and have become character assassinations in some instances and just plain nasty in others. There’s no reason for anyone to be rude.

  • sayonara

    Thank you very much for this interview, Barbara. I think Garrett and Russel are very nice people and good writers. Unfortunately for all of us the networks screwed over everyone with this move. I don’t mean the few people who are trying to spin this optimistically. I mean they screwed Lisa when they wouldn’t pay her what she deserved after they did it for Robert, though their characters are equally popular, how can I as a woman support this move and turn my head the other way without being a hypocrite to my beliefs and ideals? I can’t. They screwed the show because Cuddy’s been a part of the series since the pilot and a very important part in too many ways to enumerate here and now next season the writers have to hobble on crippled without that important dynamic that everyone knew was there. The fans knew but the network people didn’t. We know who we love-who our most favorite characters are and how important, as viewers watching the final product, Cuddy was to the show, but nobody listens to us. Everyone, even Barbara, has mentioned how very important the OT3 dynamic was to the show. And even on Twitter, where Lisa’s departure trended for at least 17 hours I kept up with the responses as best I could but the consistent note ringing from all of the responses to say the least was that this was a bad thing for the show. Everyone knows what this means to us as longtime viewers of the show. But the people in their big offices distant from the fans didn’t know and didn’t care. And finally we Cuddy fans got screwed over too. The network people could care less about us fans or what we love or the artistic integrity of the show and how it will look years hence when the (probably) final season is Cuddy-less. I hope that something can be done to bring Lisa back someday and make this right like CBS did with Criminal Minds, but I’m not sitting around holding my breath. And I hate to say it but it’s true, I have to decline the invitation to a new, “fun” and “exciting”, Cuddy-less season 8. These descriptions come off as hollow. I’m sorry they have to lose fans over this but apparently we and Lisa are all expendable to them. They don’t give a crap about us, and they made that very clear. So why should we care about them?

    I’m grateful for all the great years of entertainment the show has given me. You will be missed House, M.D.

  • sayonara II

    I want to make clear, the “they” I am referring to is the network bosses, not the writers. I’m sorry for them too because they got screwed like we did. But most of all, I’m sorry for Lisa, because out of everyone she got it the worst.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    Cardiac Monitor said @Barbara Bennett #85: Several weeks back I wrote, accusing you of having an over-optimistic point of view of this undoubtedly sinking ship due to a crush on Hugh Laurie. I was wrong. Your crush is on Lisa Edelstein and, as a “reviewer,” you’ve clearly lost your objectivity.

    If you are going to accuse me of anything, please be so kind as to actually use my given name. Crush on Lisa Edelstein? Don’t tell my husband. I admit to a bit of a crush on House (and not necessarily Hugh Laurie), but Edelstein? I like (as far as I know her, which isn’t much) and admire her, but crush? You, by the way, m’dear are a bastion of objectivity, something, by the way, I’ve never, ever claimed to have regarding this show. (thanks sunnysea :))

    housemaniac: perhaps not you, and certainly not all of everyone. But quite a few loved the episodes leading up to Bombshells.

  • Amie

    So many interesting thoughts! I kept thinking “THIS” every other posts! I first thought it was therefore useless to comment but I decided to “add my vote” to what some are saying.

    Heather (79) “The relationship never should have been the centerpiece of the show, but rather something open-ended that could last until the end of the show, with the focus still on the procedural drama.”
    Blacktop (89) “”House’s issues with pain, with infidelity and betrayal, with parental abuse, with therapy, could all have been explored magnificently through his uncommon relationship with Cuddy. As a through-story simmering just under the surface of the procedural medical mysteries, the House/Cuddy romance could have been used to illuminate some of the darker reaches of House’s damaged psyche.”

    => THIS so so much! That ‘s exactly how I saw it. And why I didn’t think it was doomed from the start. I think it would have been new and refreshing and not the same ol’ story-line.
    It played out a little this way in “you must remember this”, one of the rare episodes not focused on their relationship (and when they were in one)
    But Barbara, you are right, it’s the writers’s story to tell. They chose to tell another story. Which would not have bothered me so much (I never have high expectations) if they hadn’t altered the characters so much (still can’t get over the “lie-arc” and house’s “i can do better”. That is so not him) and chose a really lame breakup excuse. A real Romeo and Juliet, star-crossed lover kind of impossible love, I would have prefered.

    Oversimplified (81) “I don’t think we learnt anything particularly new about these two complex characters. (…)We already knew that, so what was the point?”
    => yes, what was the point?
    It does seem the point to bring them together was just to break them up, to see House go through yet another breakdown. It seems that they try to go for shock-value rather than building up stories. They seem to go from shock to shock to tell their stories.
    I am not as hopeful as some of you are that Cuddy will still be in the background of season 8 even if she is not physically there. They have a tendancy to forget people and drop storylines: wilson’s brother, house’s parents (come on, his mother is a widow now, one could think she is lonely and would want to be more involved in her only son’s life. Especially after Mayfield!), sam, cameron…

    Cyndi (76) “Yes, I am a romantic, but after 8 seasons of pain, please bring Stacey back or let Cuddy come to her senses. Also, let Wilson find love. He is so sweet.”
    => Yes for Cuddy and yes for wilson. Wilson is really underused! As is Chase.

    DebbieJ (93) “I mean c’mon, don’t you think House already *really* hit rock bottom at the end of S5, on his way to Mayfield? How much more can this man endure?”
    => Had the exact same thought while reading the interview!! Couldn’t they have gone with something new. When all is said and done, the writers aren’t that much risk-takers…I am tired of seeing pathetic and desperate House (haha, pun not intended).
    I am very well afraid the finale will have me lose what little sympathy I had for the character.

    Derduiri (67) => Please let’s stay civil. The writers and Barbara take the time to do interviews for us. If they are insulted, they won’t do it anymore. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar…

    Lor => I may recall falsely, but I don’t think I have ever read on this blog that this was the best season ever! People on this blog have shared their issues with early episodes of this season. It is not fair to put all fans in the same basket and to attribute to them all what some particular fans have said. I have been disappointed by this season, I wanted to see the HC relationship explored, yet I have never said this season was the best, let alone that all the episodes were awesome (I don’t comment often but IIRC I commented on not understanding the lie arc).

    2lightworker (53) “Barbara, thank you for this interview with these two writers who show civility and integrity in their intentions. It is not whether I agree, but rather that I appreciate the spirit in which they spoke with you, as well as your fair-minded representation of the conversation.”
    => YES

    RedTulipAna (94) “I think Barbara is much more objective than us. (…) she always gets to see the positive side behind every tragedy. (…) But she has always tried to make me think beyond of it, perhaps, Barbara is right, and even the departure of Cuddy will give a breath of fresh air to this series.(…) I believe that Barbara is not condescending with the writers, I think she is coherent with her thoughts about this journey of House “
    => YES

    Sneaky Microbe (78) “I absolutely love the discussions that follow Barbara’s posts (in addition to the reviews and interviews themselves). Even the angry ones and the responses are entertaining (if not frustrating and eye-opening).”
    => Yes, please Barbara, continue doing what you do and don’t take offense for some of the rude comments. And let non huddies continue to not be afraid to post. It’s nice to see things from another point of view.

  • Amie

    I have a question: if HL earns 400 grand for an ep, and lead actors 175 grand, how much would a writer earn? a producer? a show-runner? a director? a guest star?

    I’m sorry if this is not really the subject of the thread. Feel free to ignore me.

  • housemaniac

    sayonara #109: I am curious about the Criminal Minds reference. Coudl you elaborate?
    BrokenLeg #107: thank you!
    Barbara Barnett #111: fair enough.

  • Diana

    To Sayonara (comment 109): thank you, I feel exacty the same! Couldn’t tell it so well!

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

    @95 – BrokenLeg
    I like your name, you know? And, oh, yes, all the spanish people can sign to bring Lisa Edelstein again to Spain (well, I mean, again like Dr.Lisa Cuddy)..

    @109 – sayonara
    (…) on Twitter, where Lisa’s departure trended for at least 17 hours (…) And I hate to say it but it’s true, I have to decline the invitation to a new, “fun” and “exciting”, Cuddy-less season 8 (…)

    @112 – Amie — THIS! :)
    It does seem the point to bring them together was just to break them up, to see House go through yet another breakdown. It seems that they try to go for shock-value rather than building up stories. They seem to go from shock to shock to tell their stories.
    I remember doing a similar comment after Bombshells. But then I thought, no! not possible! Using the relationship of House and Cuddy (fed from the beginning) to bring House to the hell? No, no way! Well yes, definitely has been like that … For me it is sad … but only one episode to the end of the season (and to the end of Cuddy) looks like that was the intention.

  • ruthinor

    #114 cardiac monitor: I think Sayonara was referring to the fact that they brought back the actress who was let go months ago. I forgot her name, but she’s blonde and functioned mainly as the character who dealt with the media (if I recall). OTOH, Paget Brewster is gone so it all evened out I guess. Letting 2 women go …too much for CBS!

    By the way, I don’t think it helps to blame Fox for LE’s departure. They are NOT the ones involved in the contract disputes, that’s NBC universal/Comcast. Comcast just took over and is big into cost cutting. Truth is, no one here knows the full story. Maybe we never will.

    Barbara, do you know whether the actors on House get residuals for all the times these episodes are played here in the US as well as abroad? Also I just watched a terrific Israeli documentary (to talk about something other than House for a change!). It’s called “Precious Life” about a family in Gaza, an anonymous donor, and a bone marrow transplant in Israel. I think you would enjoy it. It’s currently on one of the cable movie channels..forget which one.

  • bigHousefan

    Barbara-

    I would be very interested in reading about your least favorite episodes or over the top moments!

    I’m still obsessing over the watch! Why did HL make the decision to stop wearing Kutner’s watch and why is he now wearing a different one? What is the significance? One of the writers (I forget who) said to think about when he was given the watch or something to that effect…

    Sorry, I find the subtleties fascinating, like when he decides when to use the silver-tipped cane. I need something to keep my mind off LE’s sad departure and tomorrow night. I’m very much looking forward to it although SPECULATION: I think House is going to intentionally burn bridges for his friends’ own good as he sees it.

  • sayonara III

    housemaniac: On Criminal Minds they let AJ and Paget Brewster go because of cost cuts. The fans were very upset, especially the female fans because three women have been written off of that show even though they didn’t want to leave. Only one man has left and he chose to leave-similar to HOUSE. No guy has had to leave the show except Kal Penn and that’s because he wanted to. But now they have signed AJ up for two more seasons and offered Paget Brewster, aka Prentiss, her job back too if her pilot doesn’t get picked up.

    Diana: Thank you so much. It was heartfelt. We got screwed by the suits: the fans, the show, the writers and worst of all, Lisa. I hate saying goodbye to the show but I can’t support the way Lisa was treated or the way we were treated. They can give lip service to the fans and make a nice statement about Lisa leaving and how she’ll be missed, and how important she was and how they loved her too (although, Greg Yaitanes isn’t helping by tweeting several times trying to use her departure to gain more viewers. No offense to him but that looks very bad. I just don’t think he’s very good at PR.) but it’s another hollow gesture. Actions matter, not words. And the network showed us how much they care about us and what we love about the show. So I feel I have no other recourse but to bid adieu to HOUSE.

    RedTulip_Ana: Thanks for your agreement. I think many of us feel disconsolate right now. And there’s nothing anyone can do about it, sadly.

  • Dan

    Why are they talking about Chase’s character as if he’s now secondary to 13’s. They neglected his storyline of killing Dibala as if it was nothing & now they remember it just that he could play the support part to her?.She needs support for euthanizing but he doesn’t for killing?Right , because he’s a serial killer & it’s normal for him & he’s even more happy now than before.
    To Barbara: so why does’t Chase/his fans get get the same treatment they give to 13’s?He’s the original cast & he has big fan base.It wouldn’t be an issu if they at least give every character his fair share of storylines not just one.
    As far as I’m concerned if they keep pushing 13 front & center while neglecting Chase as usual I’ll quit watching early during S8 & I’m sure I won’t be alone.

  • MHM

    All due respect to the writers interviewed by Barbara here, but I’m glad that House submitted “Famiy Practice” for Emmy consideration. I’ve said it before, and I still believe that was the one episode in S7 where characters were 3D (not caricatures or cardboard cut-outs) and their complexities were explored and shown in a way that I loved (and in a way that I thought was in line with the wonderful Housian exploration of prior seasons). I don’t need or expect sappiness. Hard questions, hard situations can be interesting and fascinating when written well.

    I know this is slightly off topic, so my apologies, but wanted to share this thought. Feel free to delete, Barbara, if you think it’s more appropriate for another thread.

  • bigHousefan

    Barbara-

    I just read that Amy Landecker (Darrien, After Hours) is John Records Landecker’s (Records truly is my middle name) daughter! Remember Boogie Check? For those that wouldn’t be familiar with the name, Landecker was a very popular and well-liked radio DJ in Chicago on WLSAM.

    Apologies to all for the left turn, still trying to distract myself with something other than trying to imagine next season without Cuddy… Hopefully, something can be worked out. Maybe that’s the reason for the silence.

  • Vita

    Enjoyed reading this article – Russell and Friend always have an interesting perspective. Like Sacha above, I’m sort of disappointed that Chase seemed to be an afterthought again, but it worked out very well. I thought he absolutely stole his scenes. Although again, this seems like a symptom of the writers being low on ideas. Chase’s hookups seemed like a recycling of Thirteen’s crisis back in S5 to me. I would have been much more interested in seeing him act as a mentor for Masters (who in small ways may have reminded him of his wife) than hooking up with three women at a wedding and getting his Facebook page hacked. *eyeroll*

    HL’s performance in this episode was so devastating and so unsettling. The scenes with Rachel were deeply touching. I found myself breathless throughout this story. Great episode overall, the writers did a great job. I just wish a lot more of the season had felt so inspired.

  • http://barbarabarnett.com barbara barnett

    BigHouseFan–of course I remember John Landecker!

  • Frustrated

    On Desperate Housewives, each of the for lead actresses make $400,000 an episode. They also have at least five male supporting actors that probably make at least $175,000 an episode. On House, only Hugh Laurie makes $400,000 a episode with all the other supporting actors making less than $200,000 an episode. So obviously, the spending on House is mindboggling. In the first two seasons, the show needed very few gimmicks. Actually one of my favorite season finales was from season 1 where they didn’t need anything big or lavish. They relied on the script and good acting. Starting in season 4, we had episodes made more about shocking and mind fucking the viewers. It seems the writers started, at this point, trying to prove they were smarter than their viewers and their viewpoints vs. what viewers were seeing started to spread further and further apart. It’s funny that we needed articles and vlog to understand exactly what was happening about episodes.

  • bigHousefan

    Frustrated 125

    I loved Honeymoon and feel it’s one of the best season finales! I would maintain though that the use of more and more spectacular (you say shocking) means to tell finale stories is more to demonstrate House’s escalating desperation in searching for relief from his emotional and physical pain.

  • Heather

    Have any of you ever read fanfiction? I admit it, (and thus bolster my nerd credentials!) I have.

    Ever read a really godawful fanfiction replete with OOC moments and situations? Maybe a gratituous Mary Sue? They “interpret” the characters in juvenile and insulting ways? Maybe upping the angst with needless hurt/comfort?

    For me, that’s been House recently.

    I just keep looking for some acknowledgement from the writers of “Yeah, we made a mistake,” or “We realize we’ve let some of the fans down with some of our choices,” or SOMETHING, but nada.

    I feel like the show is being destroyed by small degrees and the fact that no one connected with the show seems to recongnize it saddens and angers me a great deal.

    Perhaps I am the moron for even thinking that I could begin to understand House, Cuddy, Wilson, et al. Perhaps I was wrong for letting the characters into my life, like comfortable (but prickly) friends.

    If I was wrong, then this time spent watching House was largely wasted. All these folks I thought I knew–I didn’t. This journey I thought I was on is doomed to repeat in circles.

    If THEY are wrong, if they are the ones butchering the show and the character…then just give me some sense of catharis, some release, and admit it!

  • Take Five

    @BB: What’s the problem with “having a crush on Lisa Edelstein?” I thought it was en vogue to have “same sex crushes” these days. Hugh Laurie recently admitted to a “man crush” on Keanu Reeves, for crying out loud.

    However, I do agree that this site is decidedly “rose colored” and tends to slant more towards “rationalization” than “review.” It definitely gives every episode, no matter how dreadful, a positive spin. Which, I think, is the major reason BB is able to bag these types of interviews.

  • Earth Orbiter

    Geez! What a bunch of Drama Queens! Some of you people would put Lisa Edelstein’s acting chops to shame! Must you take every differing, or different, opinion as a personal affront? This site is literally a-quiver with the echos of huffy storm-offs and sensationalized snits. Lighten up ladies and peace out.

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

    Hard to imagine House without Cuddy. I hope that they can get LE for a few episodes anyway. But I suppose it opens other doors. Stacy? Someone else? NO one? Death? ?????

  • Heather

    128:

    I get what you’re saying, but I think some might take exception to the way you put it because it could sound like you’re accusing them of intentional bias.

    It’s more like how, with my kid, if she pulls a tantrum in the store, I know that she was tired and hungry and I was pushing her beyond her limits.

    If someone else’s kid does it, the kid’s a brat and the other adult a bad parent.

    In other words, I guess I’m trying to say that if you’re personally involved in something it’s much easier to be understanding and not be so judgemental.

  • Lana

    No Chase and Thirteen. He’s soooooo much better then that annoying women.

  • Eloise

    125@Frustrated
    Hugh Laurie is the main character and puts in many more hours than anyone else. And if he walked leaving the others the show would not exist!

  • sunnysea

    @Take Five #128 If BB shredded the episodes she didn’t really care for on her site, how many interviews do you think she would get? Of course she needs to try to remain neutral if she wants to continue to get these interviews and I can’t see anything wrong with that.
    To everyone:
    We enjoy reading BB’s blog and her interviews and we usually learn something new and interesting. It’s her job to try and be neutral and not opinionated. It’s what we should expect. No one is perfect. Why suddenly take out our frustration on BB? None of this is her fault. If she supports the show 100%, it’s her right and it’s her blog.
    I personally find the show much less compelling if LE is no longer on the show. It’s my personal opinion. I may watch and I may not. At the moment, I’m leaning toward not watching because I’m just not finding it exciting to anticipate the rest of House’s journey without Cuddy. My opinion and it’s as good as anyone’s.

  • Silvia

    @ 130 – Ladybelle Fiske : STACY! good call

  • Sneaky Microbe

    Cuddy’s last episode.
    My last House episode.
    An end of an era.
    It is a dark day, indeed.
    (And I’m proud of my crush on Lisa E. I think my husband understands.)

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

    @136 – Sneaky Microbe

    Cuddy’s last episode.
    My last House episode.
    An end of an era.
    It is a dark day, indeed.

    …And I’m proud of my crush on Lisa E. Well I have not husband, so I can say, yes, I LOBE this woman and her SMILE!

  • The Other Barnett

    Great interview Barbara. It looks like moving Lerner and Friend into a managerial role did hurt the show. there are writers of individual shows and there are storyline developers. The storyline for the first 2/3 of this season sucked. If the finale is actually something that has House re-assessing his life without going into some institution (mental or correctional), then it will be a good way to end. I’d certainly like to see a finale that is not as storm/drama and more about resolution and “moving on” (think season 1 style).

  • 2Lightworker

    138- @The Other Barnett

    “It looks like moving Lerner and Friend into a managerial role did hurt the
    show.”

    Interesting point – this happens in other situations/organizations when people who do something very well are “promoted” up and because of new responsibilities and a different vantage point, no longer offer their particular skills and gifts.

    `34- @sunnysea – agree that Barbara offers a helpful service and has a right to her approach and opinion. However this amazing story affects viewers, seemingly according to life experience and temperament, it is each of our responsibility to process, not to lash out at reviewers, bloggers, commenters. The most persuasive posts that have sharply criticized the way the season has unfolded, have been thoughtful, authentic, and passionate. Perhaps it would be desirable when one of us cannot empathize with another’s reaction, to emulate Hugh Laurie’s gracious and discreet way of addressing controversy. It’s a way of showing appreciation for his excellent work. Civility trumps disrespect every time.

    I have a lot of emotional rumbling, am disgusted with the news of Lisa Edelstein’s departure, and approach tonight’s finale with no small amount of angst. But it was Mr. Laurie’s extraordinary interpretation that hooked me, and so whatever my feelings, I am committed to the creative process. That does not mean I do not feel very unsettled about what has happened, nor that I am not put off by some of the remarks toward fans.

    During interviews in the summer before Season 6 started, when fans were anxious about what would happen to House after his breakdown, Mr. Laurie said gently, “this is a fictional character.” It’s hard for me to always remember that when I identify with what takes place, but reminding myself of that is better than letting my feelings become overwhelmingly sad. Because he is right and some objectivity is healthy.

  • Gella

    David Shore aka G-d: “Let’s throw House into hell!”

    Inferno (Dante), 9 circles:
    5 season/circle – Anger – the finale, House tried to make Cuddy angry
    6 – Heresy (false teachers) – Nolan, “Baggage”
    7 – Violence

  • byzantine

    # Gella (#140)

    Very clever. Eight and Ninth Circles sins of malice (fraud and treachery). From what I hear happened in the season finale (I have an hour left), House cannot lawfully exist as himself. I do not know whether to laugh or cry.

  • Jaim

    The finale was awful. Really awful. I won’t be back next year anyway but this just made it that much easier. Fare-thee-well.

  • The Other Barnett

    The finale was not as good as the previous year’s. But the finales have not been all that great since “wilson’s heart”. In fact, the 1st season ended well and the 2nd season ended well, but then thats about it. So, three great finales in 7 years.

    I’d like to know who wrote the show this time.

    BUT, tell me that the last 15 minutes did not redeem it a bit. House finally let Cuddy know how he felt down deep, he confronted where his professional life was being affected by his personal life, and he succeeded (albeit dysfunctionally) in having some closure on Cuddy. I think I have an idea how next season starts, but I’ll wait til Barb puts in her thoughts.

  • morphine, a violin, a friend and a mystery

    just watched the finale, and all i have to say is, “holy $%@#.”

  • morphine, a violin, a friend and a mystery

    btw i meant that to mean i was awestruck, both by what house did and just to say it was an awesome finale.

  • Sandy

    Not sure if anyone else has expressed this thought/opinion, but I believe the last few minutes were a hallucination. Given how much vicodin House had been knocking back (half a month’s supply in 2 days) it makes sense to me. Why would he deliberately run a car through Cuddy’s window knowing that Rachel might be sitting there?

    He adds attempted murder to the list along with forging prescriptions, fleeing a scene, etc. Ending up on the beach in a tropical location with no explanation as to how he got there…wearing the same clothes…barely limping…hallucination makes sense to me.

    I’m just not sure exactly where the hallucination started, possibly in his apartment when Wilson showed up. Not sure but if I’m right next season will start with a bang! Can’t wait.

  • The Other Barnett

    Sandy, House assumed Rachel was not there, since he knows (from dining there) where Rachel usually sits (which I believe is usually with her back to the window – in between where the couples were seated). Of course it was still a heavy assumption by a vicodin-riddled brain.

    It has been recognized in the past that House’s leg is less impeded when his mind is unburdened or challenged by a puzzle. If House has resolved some issues with that kamikaze car into the nook – he may be a bit more footloose and fancy free.

    Another thing that makes me think its not a hallucination is that the police interviews would not be in House’ hallucination….not the type of answers from Cuddy and Wilson, either.

  • morphine, a violin, a friend and a mystery

    I don’t think the show needs Cuddy anymore, as I don’t think Cuddy needs House anymore. What more can she do for him? What more can Wilson do for him?

  • The Other Barnett

    Morphine, I agree from this perspective…..Cuddy is a reminder of what was done to House’ leg and also of what he used to be before the surgery, too. She could not accept him as he is, so it makes perfect sense to remove her from his equation. If House wants to keep what he thinks makes him….him, then he needs to amputate her.

    It is somewhat interesting that the finale turned out to be a great way to extract Cuddy from his life….and maybe that final scene in the tropics shows that (in a dysfunctional way) he is better for it.

    As for Wilson, I am not sure Wilson is as dispensable. Cuddy has not really been a friend to House these last 7 yrs. She has been a boss and a lover, but not sure if friendship is the term I’d use. Wilson has been a friend and there has been bonding there. Wilson can do much for House just by being there and keeping him honest.

    By the way, love the name :)

  • morphine, a violin, a friend and a mystery

    “Everyone lies”

    Nope, that wasn’t Dr. House!

    Any LO:CI fans here?

    For those of you not real familiar with the character of Bobby Goren, he is, like Greg House, somewhat cast in the mold of a Sherlock Holmes.

    This (hopefully not final!!!) season of LO:CI has featured Bobby in therapy because of his often daring/destructive behavior.

    Like House and Mr. Holmes, Bobby is all about thinking outside the box. All three characters make it their job to know a lot about what their job entails, and not just how to slap on a pair of handcuffs or take a temperature.

    So when Bobby said this to his therapist Sunday, I was not surprised. I had always seen the three characters as being very similar. Of course Bobby is not on drugs. So I give him credit there :-)

    Bobby, like House, doesn’t trust anyone. He doesn’t let anyone inside.

    BTW – my handle is a reference to Holmes and House – They both were on drugs, Vicodin and Morphine/Cocaine, they both enjoyed playing an instrument – violin for Holmes, Piano/Guitar for House, they both needed a friend to help them with their “puzzles” – Watson and Wilson, and of course, their lives were nothing without their mysteries.

    ———————————————

    The Other Barnett –

    Thanks! I hoped someone would catch the reference.

    I am at a loss as to where this show goes, and that’s not a bad thing!

    Actually I am excited to see what happens. I was shocked to see LE not signed for the new season. She was there the whole time, so why get rid of the character now?

    But I agree that she is not necessary right now. I would think that she make some kind of appearance, but then again…

    I loved this finale because House just “blew it all up.” I think the show needed that. And if this is the final season coming up, I can’t wait to see what happens to all of the characters.

    I feel like this show was going to go on forever. It feels weird to think that we are going to have to say goodbye to these characters. I feel like there could have been a third team. I wanted to see 13 and Taub move on (sort of) like Foreman and Chase and Cameron.

    I can’t imagine how they’re going to wrap it all up in one season. But I’m glad they know they have to do it, instead of how Law and Order ended, with no wrap up at all.