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Interview with House, M.D. Writer/Producer Kath Lingenfelter

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Kath Lingenfelter has been writing for House, M.D. since last season. She wrote “You Must Remember This,” and then with long-time House scribe Peter Blake wrote the controversial season seven finale. Active on Twitter, she is known to be accessible to fans. I interviewed her twice last season, and earlier this week, we chatted by phone the other day in advance of her next episode, the mid-season premiere “Better Half,” which premieres Monday night at 8:00 p.m. ET on FOX. 

We discussed everything from goings on in the writers’ room on House to what to expect for each of the characters over the next few months—as well as the long hiatus and the fate of the series. She also revealed (in what I believe is a Blogcritics scoop) that an upcoming episode will be directed by actor/director Peter Weller (yes, he of Robocop fame). All of these topics are on for Monday night’s post-episode LiveChat Event, which follows the East Coast airing of House, M.D.

Spoilerphobes beware. There are some mild spoilers ahead for “Better Half” and other upcoming episodes, so consider yourselves warned!

“Better Half” tackles the subject of early onset Alzheimer’s and its effect on a marriage. Lingenfelter explained that she “had had an idea,” for another episode on memory. You might recall that her first House episode “You Must Remember This” also explored the nature of memory, and centered around a woman who remembered everything.  Lingenfelter explained that she’s always had a “deep fascination with the human brain,” so it made some sense to go back to that subject, this time dealing with memory loss—Alzheimer’s disease.

To prepare for the episode, Lingenfelter researched what “it’s like for the family when a loved one has Alzheimer’s—specifically, early onset Alzheimer’s.” Noting that the youngest reported case of early onset Alzheimer’s was a 17-year-old patient, she explained that while the disease mainly affects people in their 50s and 60s, it can happen much younger, even those in their 30s. 

Although “Better Half’s” patient of the week is a man with early onset Alzheimer’s, “the story more or less is about his wife and what it’s like for her.  Is it fair for her to give up her dreams of having a family, of having children? You know,” she added, the wife is “still very young. So, does she deserve to have a ‘normal’ life?” Should she put her husband in a facility and move on?

Lingenfelter noted that, “the wife is the husband’s caregiver, and it made me want to examine partnerships, relationships, and kind of their yin yang.  A lot of times, we look at two people who are together and think, ‘that is the most dysfunctional, terrible situation.’” On the other hand, when you take a closer look, she believes, you realize that they actually balance each other.  “There’s a force greater than them that keeps them together and it actually works and it’s beautiful.” 

For Lingenfelter, that notion immediately brings to mind the relationship between House (Hugh Laurie) and best friend Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard). On the face of it, she suggested, they “don’t seem healthy for each other, but I tried to come up with a B story that suggests that, no, actually, they’re perfect for each other.”

So, “Better Half” explores the House-Wilson dynamic, but, as Lingenfelter noted, “not in any kind of agonizing, gut wrenching, super emotional way.” Although, she teased,  “those episodes might be coming. I think House/Wilson shippers will enjoy the episode.”

Lingenfelter mentioned that while writing the script, a bit of real life intersected with the story when someone called into televangelist Pat Robertson’s television show, asking these same questions. Robertson’s response got him into some hot water with the press by suggesting that Alzheimer’s is like a kind of death, and that it would be okay to divorce a loved one under those circumstances.  “The press ran away with it,” said Lingenfelter.

“That’s what’s kind of great about this show is that somehow the writers seem to intuit what’s in the collective consciousness right now, what are the things that people are struggling with. And then it’ll seem like we’re ripping from the headlines, when, really, our project was well underway before [that].”

As most regular viewers are aware, House has been on an extended hiatus; no new episodes have aired since mid November and episode eight. So when the writers returned after winter break, they hit the ground running. “We’ve been meeting with all the writers all together,” which is a change from the typical House creative process, which is collaborative, but just not to this degree. “It’s been really great,” she said, “because it’s just different to have access to that much information about what’s going on with the other episodes sort of all at once and where the other writers’ heads are at.  And I think, certainly, it’s going to make for a very intense six episodes at the end of the season,” which is what the writers are working on now.

Why the change? “We started later this season than we typically do.  And so everybody and every department have been playing catch-up.  And when we got back from Christmas, from episode 17 on, the amount of time that we have for conception through execution is truncated.  So I think it’s just an efficiency issue.” Lingenfelter also pointed out that “the final five are serialized—or have serialized aspects, and so I think we want to make sure that things are tracking.”

Those of you who’ve read my other interviews with House writers through the years know that there are often real differences of opinion among the creative team—differing ideas about House. And the big question has often arisen as to whether the cranky doctor has any streak of humanity or is, on the other hand, a complete and irredeemable bastard? I wondered how the writers resolve those fundamental conflict when they’re all in the room working a script together. “We all look at David [Shore] and see what his expression says.”

Lingenfelter understands the luxury of having the series creator in the room while hashing out an episode as a team. “We all have our own takes on who House is.  And I think a lot of our personal prejudices show through in that way.”

Shore has always been involved in the scripts. “Inevitably, when we get to the part of the process where we are working with David in his office and he is doing rewrites, he is the gatekeeper of the character of House.  And anytime we’ve veered off of the template, or beyond what he thinks is right for the character, he pulls us back in.” But it’s never been quite so early on in the process. “That’s been great,” Lingenfelter added. “But you know, it’s a room full of, for the most part, writers who have been writing the show for five, six, seven years, so they’re not huge course corrections, they’re tiny adjustments.” The writers all know the characters very well by this point.

Of course the question on everyone’s mind is whether House will be back next year for a ninth season. Lingenfelter along with the rest of the House team still don’t know any more than we do. “I wish I had an answer,” she admitted. 

Earlier this month FOX Entertainment President Kevin Reilly announced at the Television Critics Association meetings that a decision has yet to be made on renewal. “What Reilly said at  TCA  is pretty much where things are. There are so many variables involved in answering that question, and there’s still a lot that we have to see.” Some of it has to do with how other shows perform. “So we’re just moving forward to make the best finale that we can and just not thinking about that, really.”

In addition to network concerns, there is, of course the fact that Hugh Laurie’s contract is up for renewal. According to Lingenfelter, “the two most important entities are Shore and Laurie and whether they have interest, and I have no idea where their heads are right now.  But all I do know is that, you know, they love making the show.”

When I talked to writer/executive producers Garrett Lerner and Russel Friend last May about planning for the series eventual end, they told me that deciding on a ninth season was something that hopefully would be one of the first orders of business at the start of season eight. I wondered what kind of a timeframe the creative team needed to really wrap it up—if indeed this is the final season—and give the series a decent send off.

Lingenfelter believes that the finale they’re working on could make a good series finale.  “It would take some adjustments,” she said, “but, you know, I think it’s being very smartly done where it’s not going to be, like, they’re going to catch us at the last minute with our pants down if they say there’s not going to be a season nine. I think no matter what, the finale for this season, whether it’s the series finale or just the season finale, will be satisfying to the fans, one way or another.”

Acknowledging that it’s a bit challenging writing for the end of the season not knowing whether it will be the last, Lingenfelter shared that “it’s also a little scary because we’re taking some chances in this finale.”

Right now the writers are cracking episodes 18 and 19. Episode 19 is being written by John Kelley, along with Marqui Jackson. And, Lingenfelter is writing episode 20 with David Hoselton. She was excited to learn just recently that Peter Weller is going to direct that episode. “Yeah, I’m going to totally geek out in his presence.  So that’s fun,” she said.

Lingenfelter shared a few other tidbits about forthcoming episodes as well. As many viewers know, Diane Baker will be reprising her role as House’s mother Blythe. We haven’t seen or heard from her since early in season five when House’s father John passed away, so it should be an interesting reunion; the episode (number 14) is scheduled to air March 19. Also guest starring in that episode is Billy Connolly, “who is such a phenomenal guest actor. How we managed to score him… The casting in this episode is great.  We also have Michael Jordan from Friday Night Lights and The Wire.”

When I asked whether we might see any of House’s other family members during the remainder of the season, she cagily replied “I will tell you this: how you define, quote, unquote, “House’s family,” will be explored,” noting that House’s green card wife will also make a return appearance. “I don’t want to go too much into it, but you know that Dominika is returning. In some ways, you can say she is—whether legitimately or not—part of House’s family.” Going forward, she’ll be “presence in House’s life. I won’t say a big presence; she’s a small presence, but she’s around.”

One of the things we haven’t seen much of this season is House’s more introspective, reflective side—that wounded Byronic hero, that even Hugh Laurie recently noted resides at the core of his character.  As the season progress, said Lingenfelter, “we are going to see House go through a lot. And I think certainly, you can define him as introspective—but also combative—in 11, and in 12, for that matter.” For the remainder of the season, she noted, we’ll observe “the push-pull House of wanting to isolate himself and his feelings from the rest of the world and struggling to engage with the people around him. But it’s fractional,” she added, “because of Shore’s maxim that people don’t change.  At the same time, a lot has happened over the years to this character, and so there are small adjustments that I think, certainly, fans who have been with us will appreciate.

Viewers may also have noticed the bracelet House has been wearing on his wrist since his return from prison, wondering where it came from and why he’s always wearing it. “That’s one of those little tiny details that Hugh Laurie wanted, and he wanted something that he had made in prison—something he continues to wear.  It’s up to the viewer to decide why he continues to wear it, but that was certainly a Hugh choice.”

Although the character of House has gone through a lot, he’s not the only member of the team to go through some upheaval. Chase (Jesse Spencer) will have an interesting storyline coming up in episode 11, and especially 12. “He definitely goes on a journey,” Lingenfelter commented. ‘Better Half’ gives you a temperature reading for where he is as a character and compared to where he was in earlier seasons.”

She offered her opinion, adding that it’s only her opinion, that “Chase is a lot harder and a lot more jaded than he was in the beginning. I think there were a lot of things he was running away from, a lot of things that he pushed very far behind him. He ran away to the seminary, and then when that didn’t provide the answers that he needed, he ran away to med school, you know, he ran away from his father, more or less.”

Chase fans should be pleased by what’s coming up for him.  “I think we see a much more honest Chase coming up, in that he’s been battered quite a bit in life, and he tried to ignore it for a long time, he tried to hold his chin up through a lot of it and kind of, in a way, pretend his past is there.  And so all of that comes to the fore, or at least informs what’s coming next. And in episode 12 especially, he’s just great.”

Of course Foreman, now dean of medicine, seems to be struggling with his new position. The fans wondered all last summer about who might be the new dean, of course as the creative team made a decision. “There was a lot for us to figure out, with Cuddy gone,” she acknowledged. “What does that landscape look like without this character that has been an integral part of it for so long?  And who would be the Dean of Medicine?  And pretty much unanimously, everyone said Foreman.”

If they’d brought in someone new, she noted. “Do we want somebody new that we don’t care about butting heads with House, and how would that compare when we’re so used to somebody with the weight of Lisa Edelstein? So it just made more sense to use a character that we know.”

And given Foreman’s great ambition, they felt that “as soon as Cuddy left, Foreman would have been first in line to apply for that job.  And what we’ve tried to do, without doing it too obnoxiously, is showing how that ambition and that decision bites Foreman in the ass; that this isn’t just some, you know, easy kind of desk job. Foreman may assume that he can control House, but that’s not such an easy job.  Cuddy made it look easy, but it was not easy.”

Lingenfelter wanted to address that further in “Better Half.” “House more or less makes a direct challenge—well, because it’s House, it’s an indirect challenge—to Foreman,” questioning whether the new dean is really up to the task. “I think Foreman is up to the task, and so it’s a back and forth between the two of them. It doesn’t resolve itself in an obvious way, I don’t think. I really like where we leave the dynamic between the two men.”

Speaking of deans, I wondered if Lingenfelter had any word about whether Lisa Edelstein might make a guest appearance this year, Lingenfelter didn’t know at this point. “The door isn’t completely closed on that, but there are just so many things that have to fall into place for that to be considered.”

As we ended our conversation, Lingenfelter wanted to acknowledge the series’ fans. “The fans are “great. It’s really nice to know that people are invested in the show and in what’s being done.”

She also wanted the fans to know that even after eight years, everyone associated with the series is “incredibly invested and the show means something to them.” Adding that decisions about the series “aren’t made lightly. There is never a choice that’s made with the thought of, ‘Oh, this will really get them.  This will mess with their heads.’  It’s always about what makes a great story, what is interesting about our characters in this story, and how do we make a really great hour of television. It’s easy to assume that in season eight of a show that does well that it’s just running on auto pilot and it’s not.  We care very much.”

So tune into House Monday night on FOX 8:00 p.m. ET for “Better Half,” and then be sure to pop back over to Blogcritics for our LiveChat event immediately following.



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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books. Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."
  • Welcome, Herb. And thanks everyone for the great comments!

  • I am a big fan of House M.D. Thank you for posting this great Interview.

  • K

    “No way could they go back to the pre-huddy status. Even if the car crash had not happened Cuddy’s role would have been considerably diminished. Her value was in the playfulness of their attraction/antagonism. That had disappeared and how could it be regenerated?”

    I’m a former Huddy and I agree with this. Their relationship was ultimately a mess and I could barely watch the post break up eps. It just made me sad to think of what they used to have versus what they had suddenly become. Cuddy’s guilt after the break up was also pretty infuriating. Why should she feel guilty? Her reasons to end the relationship (however dumb and hasty I believed them to be) where, in her view, valid. By giving into his demands initially it undermined their whole relationship as some kind of one sided pity party with no real feelings which I never believed it would become. Their employer/employee relationship with all its playfulness and varying degrees of tension was so much more intriguing. My boyfriend commented that the series should have ended at the end of sesaon 6 when they got together- House had come to the end of his tether but with Cuddy arriving in the nick of time there was hope for him and for them as a couple, particularly after his speech about change. I initially didn’t agree because I wanted to see my ship finally together after all this time but in the end I came round to his way of thinking. I couldn’t have watched any more of the post break up stuff and unfortunatley I had already started enjoying the eps with their limited interaction. For me the way she ultimately got written out of the show wasn’t the car crashing through her house, it was the annoying, nagging way they had started depicting her particularly through the last episode. There was nowhere else for her to go as a character.

  • Maria-Eleni

    @ 105 – isabelle Hevras

    In a trinity the three members are equals. So from the moment you accept there is a main character there is no trinity.
    The creators always stressed that the inspiration for [H] was Sherlock Holmes. And he had one friend Watson =Wilson. So by their own definition there is no Trinity, holy (I can imagine H. cracking a joke here) or otherwise. In a show like [H] where the protagonist is there for 30 solid minutes and Wilson and Cuddy for about five and sometimes even less or not at all, it boggles the mind to envisage it as a “trinity”. Even the “cottages” often have more screen time than those two.
    Undeniably RSL and LE have their own very considerable share in the success of [H], but so do JM, JS, etc. Note that in an interview RSL stated that the Watson to H.’s Holmes was actually his fellows not Wilson.

    [H] is either a pyramid, or, even better, a solar system. H. is the sun and everybody else is orbiting around him. (I made myself laugh here.)
    Wilson is definitely the larger planet with a stable magnetic field that compliments the sun/H.’s. Planet/Cuddy has a fluctuating importance and her magnetic field interferes with that of the sun/H.’s creating disturbances. Well, planet/Cuddy has disintegrated and there are severe repercussions to the solar system/[H] but it is still in existence and it seems that the other planets continue to orbit around the sun/H.!!! But every sun has a lifespan and when it disappears, hopefully with a “bang”, it will pull in its vortex the whole system. But the imprint of a vanished sun can still be seen and influence its surroundings. (I am still laughing.)

    It is your loss if your revelation for H.’s soul depends on the moments between H. and Cuddy which admittedly were excellently performed. H. emotional depths are mostly revealed through interactions with those of his patients that he connects with. And although Huddy has clouded many minds, it was actually the Stacy arc that defined these hidden depths and thus contributed to the shows immense success. Unfortunately the Huddy arc is linked to the show’s diminishing popularity.

    No way is [H] comparable to Wuthering Heights. That is a morbid tale of revenge and consuming obsession interpreted as “love”. [H] although a product of popular culture is a lot more diverse and layered, mainly because of the complexity of H. who is nothing like Heathcliff.
    Heathcliff is defined by a single goal for revenge and his love for Catherine might have been a redeeming quality if it did not lead him to more hate and revenge even against Catherine’s innocent daughter.
    H. is also obsessive, but his obsessions (search for truth and being right) have a certain purity and at the end of the day are beneficial to others. For all his “assness” and misery he is nowhere as dark as Heathcliff; his character is lightened by his humor and childishness. He is also capable of deeply loving more than one person (as friends or lovers) which contrary to simplistic love stories, is the sigh of a person with richer emotions and a big heart.

    Catherine’s death (in the first part of the book) was not the end of Heathcliff; he went on to reek vengeance on all Catherine’s family most of whom had never directly or indirectly hurt him.
    Fortunately for the “loyal” [H] fans Cuddy’s loss is not the end of H. As he was never defined by the love for “the one woman”, however happy or miserable that might make him, he is still able to go on fighting for his goals, saving patients, being right, solving puzzles, pranking and meddling.

    Finally Cuddy’s loss does make sense.
    No way could they go back to the pre-huddy status. Even if the car crash had not happened Cuddy’s role would have been considerably diminished. Her value was in the playfulness of their attraction/antagonism. That had disappeared and how could it be regenerated? There was too much emotion, guilt and despair as evidenced by H.’s violent outburst. H. needed to get away from Cuddy to rebuilt some normality. As the setting of [H] is PPTH and it would be financially unfeasible to change that for the last Season(s) of the show to follow H. elsewhere, Cuddy was the one who sooner or later would have to leave. It was sooner.

  • Paul

    I know that I am late with this comment. I think that House just used Domenica just to hurt Cuddy not as a slave. I think she did all of the other things (rubbing feet, fixing the tv, playing ping pong) to thank House for helping her stay in the country. I think the fact that we havent seen her since that episode proves that.

  • isabelle Hevras

    Hello everyone,

    There was a holy trinity in House, House Wilson and Cuddy although the main character was House of course.
    WIth the departure of Cuddy, balance has been lost.
    I read somewhere that House and Cuddy could be compared to Heathcliff and Cathy in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. It made me feel funny because I had thought about that comparison myself, some days before.
    . Some moments between Edelstein and Laurie were of a rare intensity and their performance was of the finest kind.They were moments that had a life of their own and revealed something of the character’s soul, some moments of vision ( epiphanies)
    I’m still amazed by what the actors did of those moments.
    The loss of Cuddy doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t mean they have to be lovers again, it means she has to be here somehow.
    In Wuthering Heights, Cathy’s disappearance was the end of Heathcliff.
    That might indeed be the same for House.
    She’s not just one love among others for
    I know not everyone shares my point of view but I felt like expressing it.
    Best regards

  • BrokenLeg

    102@maria eleni
    Almost always disagreeing ( although I agree with you about HL’s great acting and expressions..) to me TPTB and writers lost an opportunity to explore two rich, but screwed up characters in an adult relationship, really trying to improve it. And lost an opportunity to “mull them over their psychological failings”, making both of them grow as human beings.
    Do you use the Kinetic knee machine? Enjoy the torture!!!

  • BrokenLeg

    95@Christopher Rose
    Thanks for your answer. It assures me I’m not a completely fool!!

    96@maria eleni &97@spitza
    Thank you both! I’ve believed it was some puzzle to be solved!

    Thanks for your kind words. I’m proud to “share” my brain with you (even if it sounds a little “Dr. Frankenstein’s words”…) I like and use to share things with dear people ( ep!,not my motorcycle), so, why not my brain?:))
    Seriously, I’m sure we share opinions in many, many things, as I have found in almost all your posts in this blog. Agreed, and also tired, about DS “the mantra” : it’s simply untrue. Not only it’s an odd assertion to an atheist like GH, it’s against all the rules of the nature. All living beings change: they evolve, adapt themselves to environment, mutate if necessary. Evolution patterns let failures, let be able to fall and get up, do one step backwards to be able to do two ones forward. And also do human beings. Let everyone of us exam our own life: being essentially the same, we all have changed a lot.
    And I did not know that “they got slapped wrists from the drug company over the summer (hence the fewer mentions of the drug this season)” as you said. It must be a consequence of the last episodes of the seven season, with the hookers and Vicodin festival, that ended parking inconveniently one’s car in other’s dinning room ( and without appearing as an undesired secondary effect….)

    101@maria eleni
    As always we friendly disagree. BTW, how are your knee doing?

  • maria-eleni

    @91 – BrokenLeg

    I do not know if this will get posted on time. Internet has broken down because of electricity failure. Since summer when we had the great tragedy that destroyed the main electricity plant in Cyprus (in addition to the loss of lives) we suffer these failures regularly.

    So nice to finally agree! This dialectike is great.

    Unfortunately, there is a point where I need to give my antithesis to your thesis. It can be applied to the GH/LC relationship. Doubly in fact. Both being “screwed up” or “hurt”, how could they manage to succeed?
    Possibly only by tolerance, but I am not going to go on and on about who mainly lacked tolerance.

    It is evident that I am one of those who did not dislike the way TPTB portrayed this pairing probably because I am as cynical as they are.
    Toothbrushes and toilet seats were symbolic of how GH resisted domesticity but finally tried to give in, whereas Cuddy is seen through his eyes to be the one laying down the laws as would a mother figure.
    Unfortunately I found them charming as long as they were not a couple. As a couple naturally they were angst-ridden: they know they shall fail. But I admire them for having the courage to try. At the end of it I cannot blame either of them for failing as the seeds of failure were in the nature of their attraction. Sexual chemistry is one thing, great for a light affair but these two are too intense for it. Cuddy was for H. a mother figure who supported and nourished him in a kind of rebirth after his misfortune generating mixed feelings of gratitude and resentment for his dependency on her. He does not seem to blame her for the operation, he reserves that for Stacy. For Cuddy, guilt is mixed with suppressed motherhood, admiration for his capabilities, and distaste for his addictive personality and social ineptness.
    None of these are addressed between them to help put their relation in a sane mould. You blame TPTB for this. I find it realistic: H. and Cuddy were never the kind who would sit down to mull over their psychological failings. We are the ones who love doing this! Furthermore the show has very few scenes where such discussions take place. They depend on inference after what is unfolding and on HL’s expressions!

    I can bend my knee up to 115 º!!!

  • maria-eleni

    • 99 – Oversimplified

    “As a general response to a few of your comments I appreciate what you said about House connecting with the hookers he sees in a sense they won’t judge him….”

    I am honestly so disappointed!
    How can you appreciate any of my comments? I definitely did not mean that H. connects with hookers because they won’t judge him. After all he couldn’t care less about anybody’s judgment with very few exceptions; it is one of his major character traits.
    What I have said is:
    72-maria-eleni :“As for hookers, they are persons not objects to him with whom he has professional transactions, like say with a florist. He also becomes friendly with some of them. Clearly he shares a bond with them as he perceives himself to be a social pariah as they are.”
    80-maria-eleni :“He is also socialising with them outside their professional transactions which illustrates that they are not objects but people for him. And he definitely prefers them to his socially equals, he likes low-life characters, (and I repeat myself here) that is how he sees himself: socially inept and unacceptable. The patients with whom he had the best rapport were mostly social outcasts. For me, the most lovable quality of H.”

    For all that my favorite seasons are the first three, quite frankly I find your statement: “In the past couple of years they’ve reduced the whole hooker strand of the show to a straight-forward means of objectifying whatever pretty young actresses they’ve cast for the role.” dangerously close to prejudice.
    In the past few years I mainly saw hookers in “Out of the Chute”. Of course they had to be pretty and there was no reason to flesh them out. The hooker who brought the middle aged woman patient to the hospital had to be developed as she was a major part of the story and a parallel to H.; someone who tries to keep his distance but who eventually cares.
    As for the hooker playing Virgin Mary, how was she fleshed out? Mostly because of the actress’s mischievous smile and the response/chemistry with GH/HL.
    Domenika has not the physical traits that attract me but I could not dislike her, even though I have several friends whose marriages broke up (not mine) because of eastern European women seeking “white” (and not so white) marriages since my country became an EU member. In my experience the naïve ones to be pitied are mostly the men but at the same time a lot of these women are very much like Domenika: Pretty, likable, serious in their profession and not hookers.
    No way do I see how you can classify her as “a pretty, naïve, vulnerable tool”. She knows quite well what she is doing and at the end she is the one who makes a pass to H. who rejects her!
    She also tries to insinuate herself in his circle: pedicures, including Taub in the marriage ceremony… Does she know about Cuddy? Could be: H. does not exactly hide that he was “dumped” and he is not above playing the “I am to be pitied” card. And she very much enjoys his pranks! As for vulnerability/naivety, wwwwell, she went off to her “honeymoon” with her boyfriend, something that did not bother H. at all.
    All in all she is quite a character though a cliché, but a realistic one. She is using H. as much as he uses her.
    Finally (am I not argumentative!), where is it said that he obliged Cuddy to go to the wedding? I rather think she did it to show strength and disengagement in the same way more or less that she had an affair with Lucas. As for the chapel ceremony, Cuddy initially gave her permission to atone for her guilt; Wilson had to come out and bring her to her senses.
    Wilson was also rather impressed by H.’s “financial calculations” in connection to the marriage, he totally bought it: H. found a way to both to wound Cuddy and make a profit out of it!

  • DebbieJ

    Of all the dropped storylines in the series’ history, the green card wife is the one (of the very few) that they revisit? Seriously?

  • Oversimplified

    @ 82 drhouse

    I implore you to do some research into the realities of what it’s like for real green card wives, most of whom who search out husbands either because they are seeking a better, safer life (which it is their basic human right to have anyway), or because they’re being pushed into it by a third party who wishes to pump the spouse for money. Just because something has a high incidence doesn’t make it right and I’m sure that I’ve read extremely similar excuses for the black slave trade in 18th century journals.

    As for your assertion that Cuddy wasn’t a suitable partner for House because she got too old, wow! Is there a cut-off point for when women are no longer viable as love interests, or indeed actresses? Glenn Close and Meryl Streep are eagerly awaiting an answer. No wonder Hollywood prides youth and beauty over talent, we’re all suffering from Hugh Heffner Syndrome.

    @ Maria-Eleni

    As a general response to a few of your comments I appreciate what you said about House connecting with the hookers he sees in a sense they won’t judge him, but that ‘understanding’ does come out of the clinicality and transience of a ‘no strings’ transaction. That certainly was the case when they first went down that road in the earlier seasons. In the past couple of years they’ve reduced the whole hooker strand of the show to a straight-forward means of objectifying whatever pretty young actresses they’ve cast for the role. I forget which one it was, but that’s in stark contrast to the ep where they allowed a hooker to be one of the main focuses when she’s forced to take the woman who hired her to the hospital, or indeed the ep where the hooker played the Virgin Mary at the Nativity. They were fully fleshed out human beings. This is what bothers me about the whole Dominica storyline. There was no depth to her character and she was just utilized as a pretty, naive and vulnerable tool for House to enact some sort of revenge on his Ex. I wish I could buy that he’d met her at the hotel and he’d agreed to help her out solely for their mutual gain, but Wilson didn’t buy it and neither did I. His reaction to Cuddy walking out of the room when he was saying his vows spoke volumes, as did his insistence that she went to the wedding in the first place and his initial presumption that it could take place in the chapel of the hospital that she runs.


    I think you and I share a brain. 🙂 I’m not sure who mentioned it first, but there definitely is a statistical correlation between difficult and abusive relationships in childhood and how this affects future adult relationships. I have to agree with you though that using Huddy as a means to explore/work through some of that would have been far more satisfying to watch than using it as a means to get him back on the Vicodin. This dually didn’t pay off because they got slapped wrists from the drug company over the Summer (hence the fewer mentions of the drug this season), and they lost a way in to their protagonist’s psyche by means of the character who’d known him the longest. I do think that if they’d played things out true to the characters they’d have avoided the mess that it was.

    I’m just a little fed up with Shore’s and by implication House’s ‘Nobody changes’ mantra. Scientifically that’s not even true. Everything is constantly in flux, and therefore people are too. It’s such an odd assertion for an atheist, a belief system which firmly puts the burden of responsibility regarding their actions on the individual. If House doesn’t change or grow as a result of his experiences it’s because he chooses not to. The same is true for his addiction. At the end of the day the only person who can stop an addict from taking their drug of choice is themselves.

  • Wendy Bishop

    You want to add a moment of real funny? Have Wilson join a Zumba class and hide the fact from House. Of course House finds out, which can be handled a number of ways. I agree with all the thoughts about green card wife – no, no, no.

  • spitza

    @94 – BrokenLeg
    @95 – Christopher Rose

    Sorry for the confusion guys.

  • maria-eleni

    @94 – BrokenLeg
    @95 – Christopher Rose

    The “hallway”:
    107 – spitza
    Jan 27, 2012 at 11:22 am
    #105 – maria-eleni

    last paragraph:
    “Why do I have a feeling that we lingered after some kind of gathering and now are chatting in an empty hall? I am Russian by the way, to give you some additional point of reference.”

  • BrokenLeg – absolutely no idea what they are referring to. Sorry.

    Christopher Rose
    Blogcritics Comments Editor

  • BrokenLeg

    to the blog administrator.
    Where is “the hallway” that mentions @92 spitza?

  • Reality Check

    @Broken Leg: You have a sweet life; enjoy! I envy you.

  • spitza

    # maria-eleni
    I left a note for you in “the hallway”.

  • BrokenLeg

    79@maria eleni

    Lets begin our particular dialectical method. Your thesis, my antithesis, our synthesis.
    About marriage: it’s not overrated or not, it’s judged always and only by everyone’s experiences. Mine is a successful one, yours was not. In the great casino of life, I get good cards, and try to play them as well as I can. It’s only that. But without good cards, the game is over.
    About loving relationships, I agree, for once, with your post: “A successful intimate relationship rarely helps a deeply troubled person. To succeed in such a relationship one must first resolve ones personal issues and be able to accept oneself, his limitations and virtues. Otherwise there is always the risk of deeply hurting the other half.” Yes, it’s true. But cannot be applied to GH-LC relationship. Both were hurted individuals. If TPTB, and the writers did not treat it so childish as they did, reducing all to a toilet seats and toothbrushes problems, they would had on hands one of the most dysfunctional but charming couple of the TV. So the field open in front of writers minds to make them grow, in acceptance of oneself and in the other’s, and in resolving personal issues at the same time of pairing them in a quite different but more or less successful adult couple, was as immense an ocean. So let agree to disagree one more time.

    88 @ Reality Check
    Reading your post I get the impression of being myself a soft kind of “junkie” too. When I ride my motorbike, when I was downhill skiing, when I smell the pure air, and feel the wind on my face, etc.. my body produces great amount of endorphins, that is a natural opiate. I forget then the daily stress, relieve problems, etc… And I’ve missed them a lot when not being able to do it! Almost as a drug addict…….

    63 @ The Other Barnett
    Are you still there? I miss your analysis and comments a lot. And I hope no offense by what I say about “his-her”, my friend.

  • frank mcgrath

    This show is so great and fun to watch, I love all the twist & turns ….can’t wait till Monday nt..HOUSE oh ya…wish I could be on this show some day azzz a actor with a medical problem that house could misteriously get cured by him & his medical wisdom team… 🙂

  • Stephanie

    Will Chase and Cameron get together?? And, having Cuddy return at least for one episode, is a MUST, sorry. Fans NEED to know – where is Cuddy now? Even if it’s just an episode about Cuddy’s new life and she doesn’t see House….

  • Reality Check

    @1wCPRS: House stopped taking pain medication for actual “pain” around the middle of the second season. After that, he took it for stress and to get high. Nothing more. Some of the pain he had in his leg due to the absence of the Vicodin was what we call “rebound pain,” the remainder was from withdrawal. That theory was borne out during the “Huddy” affair, in that he seemed to not require pain meds while the two of them were “happy” and he was getting laid semi-regularly, then he “lapsed” briefly due to the stress caused by her hematuria and subsequent surgery, and, finally, after she dumped him, he completely succumbed to his recitivism. He’s a junkie who is constantly looking for another high in either the form of opiates or dopamine, or looking to lash out at others via substance abuse and addictive behavior. There is nothing about that that would earn the respect of anyone, especially another health care practitioner.

    However, I will credit your ultimate conclusion in that most, if not actually ALL, of House’s “pain” is the result of his own choices and his own actions. And now, finally, he is being forced to face the consequences of those actions. This is the only thing that David Shore has consistently gotten right – his shaping of this character – and, knowing DS’s rather jaundiced eye towards humanity, I seriously doubt that there will be a happy ending for Greg House.

  • Irene

    You have to bring Cuddy back and she and House go off TOGETHER with a hint of a reunion of the whole cast in a few years on some unsolvable case.

  • Brian C

    Season 7 was certainly the jump the shark season.

  • 1wCRPS

    Thanks KL as I enjoyed interview & as a woman whose had same Chronic Pain disease as House’s character I’d love to see him not seen as an addict anymore & finally understood & even respected for only taking a short acting opiate & being able to even work with such Chronic Pain as this disease spreads & is known as “the most painful Chronic Pain Disease known to man” & how bc of his pain it shows his strength to throw himself into curing others as there is no cure for himself & his isolation is common among people who suffer in that much pain.
    Let House be more understood like I have for entire series esp in episode where he had no pain meds & used a mallot to cause acute pain to not have to feel the chronic that never goes away even with much stronger opiates.
    I also would rather see resolve with Cuddy good or bad vs anything to do with Domonica & bring his Mother back but not entire family
    I hope this season is not the end of not only my fav show but also my fav doctor & other characters like Chase whose character should have so much more depth explored before ending the show as I too see a possibility of a spin off with his character
    Do House & Hugh Laurie right with how this & hopefully another great season could turn out as we have fallen in love with him not only as a brash brillant doctor with wit but also as a person suffering from both real physical & emotional pain & scars from what life has dealt hi
    & what he’s dealt himself & thank you for the best tv medical drama in history

  • patrick christ

    I LOVE HOUSE CAN WATCH IT 24/7 AND THAT’S THE TRUTH!!! Well House does say everybody lies but it’s the truth!!!

  • Jacquie

    Do NOT cancel this show!!!!!

  • drhouse

    I wanted to counterbalance all the negatives and say having Dominica back is fantastic. She was the only redeemable and believable female companion for House during the whole “Cuddy Show featuring House” season. There’s nothing demeaning or politically incorrect about showing a wife trying to get a green card, it’s a normal, regular everyday situation in North America. She seems exactly like the type of woman House would be actually attracted. Plus she’s hot, something Cuddy has never been during the relationship-season. That was the worst part, Cuddy used to be hot in the early seasons, but got too old for the one where they got together. By then, they had to appeal to the attraction to the personality, character and history of the character as opposed to the most important thing: raw hotness. In any case, last Monday’s episode had the highest ratings of any show for the night, which prompted Shore to remark on its significance by saying maybe this shouldn’t be the final season after all.

  • I would love to see Stacey make an appearance if this is indeed the final season … he’s regretted that decision since “Distractions”.

  • maria-eleni

    @ 78 – Djesus

    “…it’s the portrait I watched on my tv and yes I think hookers and dominika, are just objects for House…”

    We have a completely different view of H.. My view is (72 – maria-eleni) “As for hookers, they are persons not objects to him with whom he has professional transactions, like say with a florist. He also becomes friendly with some of them. Clearly he shares a bond with them as he perceives himself to be a social pariah as they are.”
    Of course he uses them to his own benefit; he is using everybody he can if he can get away with it! Is Wilson an object?
    He is also socialising with them outside their professional transactions which illustrates that they are not objects but people for him. And he definitely prefers them to his socially equals, he likes low-life characters, (and I repeat myself here) that is how he sees himself: socially inept and unacceptable. The patients with whom he had the best rapport were mostly social outcasts. For me, the most lovable quality of H.

    “Oh this could have been more interesting, a woman like the psychologist in season 2” (Season 4!)

    Interesting in a pre-Huddy universe. Right now H. would probably have run away to his desert island than connect with a serious professional woman.
    Hookers and needy immigrants are not threatening to him. He is comfortable with them for the reasons I gave above.
    And where on earth would he have found “non US women with a high professional baggage who want the green card”? Unless of course he had planned for such a marriage which, as I said before, he did not. He saw an opportunity and rushed in.
    The fact that Domenika’s status is ambivalent is part of his plan. By getting married to such a person, he not only hopes to make Cuddy jealous but guilty as well by demonstrating how low she made him fall. Hence the cliché. A straightforward “sane” choice for a green card wife (in H.’s and my mind) might have made Cuddy think that H. was capable to move on and so would alleviate her guilt.

  • maria-eleni

    @ 76 – BrokenLeg

    Dialectike …wow!!! The method of searching for truth and knowledge through discussion and exchange of views.
    Well, thanks to BB we do a lot of it, although I admit I find us a little set in our views and rarely accepting different opinions. It is satisfying to find views to agree with a person one usually disagrees!

    So here:
    Finally we agree on something.
    You are one of the few lucky ones and I am so very happy for you (and somewhat jealous).
    I might have been rather extreme in expressing my views. Actually I am also old-fashioned : I am all for marriage as long as it is like yours and contracted for true meaningful reasons and not just for the status of being married (very common here in Cyprus) or to avoid loneliness (common everywhere). I also abhor easy divorces and yet here I am, a divorcee. Life is so unpredictable!
    I am a bit bitter because I thought I had the perfect marriage until everything fell apart. That is why I probably never married again. Fortunately I have a small but choice circle of friends who have there own problems. We share them, the ones that can de expressed at least, as I suspect there is always more hidden away and try to be collectively supportive (or plain noisy). This is how I got my viewpoint.

    To get back to the subject of [H], the Huddy affair, and the show in general, let me down from the moment the idea that H. would find redemption through love was introduced.

    A successful intimate relationship rarely helps a deeply troubled person. To succeed in such a relationship one must first resolve ones personal issues and be able to accept oneself, his limitations and virtues. Otherwise there is always the risk of deeply hurting the other half.
    On the other hand, friends do not share everyday life and can have a more overall and objective view. Their interventions are also less stressful as not taken as self-serving.
    That is why the House/Wilson is more successful than any other intimate relationship he embarks on.
    And that I why I impetuously wrote: “marriage is overrated. Vive l’amitié!!!”. We all judge by own experiences. This is why we should not view life in black & white, but in various shades of grey and try to be tolerant.

  • Djesus

    72 – maria-eleni
    “those who saw Domenica as a the portrait of slave wife, gentle and submissive:
    Are you not jumping to cliché conclusions with no evidence?”

    But it’s the portrait I watched on my tv and yes I think hookers and dominika, are just objects for House but the guy is who he is, he’ll never change on some points.
    He still chose the person who’s most beneficial for him in a domestic point of view.

    “Or would it have been possible for H. to be in a situation to meet a pretty Croatian marine biologist in need of a green card marriage?”

    Oh this could have been more interesting, a woman like the psychologist in season 2.
    I think there are non US women with a high professional bagage who want the green card.

  • BrokenLeg

    I’ve remembered!!your greek word is, more or less, ??????????(dialektiké), dialecthical method, isn’t it?

  • BrokenLeg

    75@maria eleni
    I must disagree with you again ( but remember, as you’ve said on other post of this blog “Yes, we have always disagreed, but then this is how we have started communicating. And where would humanity be without diversity of ideas?” both thoughts that I truly defend). I must be an old fashioned one, but I live in a truly happy, still exciting and long-term marriage with a doctor that surprises me everyday. So, and only to me and for my own experience, it’s not overrated, or it is, if you can’t find a couple like mine.
    And me too, I use to encourage long discussions with my best friends, only for the pleasure of it. BTW, ancient Greeks had a word for it that now I’m not able to remember ( fever rises by night). Greetings from the other side of our common Mediterranean sea, my friend.

  • Maria-Eleni

    @ 73 – BrokenLeg
    Better is a way of saying, my friend! Just by remembering it took me 3 years last time to get supposedly full use of the knee….. Ugh!
    The marriage proposal is a joke from the summer. The Other Barnett and I usually have the same views on [H] so in one of the “Moving On” aftermath discussions I got an answer in a bloggy way to my comments with the preface “will you marry me?”. So, you see, I had to respond. Interesting, though, that you went to the trouble to see what I wrote before The Other Barnett!! Our time zone is probably more compatible , my Mediterranean friend.
    As for green card or otherwise, marriage is overrated. Vive l’amitié!!!
    Don’t worry I also fully disagree with you! But then, I must admit that I usually disagree with the best of my friends which leads to many till-early-morning passionate discussions.

  • Maria-Eleni

    65 – The Other Barnett
    “I am sure most psychologists could acknowledge that a messed up background with parents creates a more messed up person than a messed up relationship”

    Unfortunately true.
    Which is why successful relationships are quite rare as few of us manage to overcome the burden of early life messes.

    However later experiences (good &bad) in life should not be underestimated. They can be both traumatic and formative either by exacerbating character drawbacks or minimising virtues and the contrary.
    H. is as good example as any.
    After infraction he definitely became worse (not changed) due to pain and betrayal. Losing Stacy was probably the lesser evil.
    Lydia combined with Nolan gave him a different life view-point and so directed him towards improvement.
    And now, I feel H. was not devastated as much by losing Cuddy as by failing to succeed in a relationship and thus being condemned to eternal loneliness (so he is convinced).It is quite probable also that the self operation, the car crash and the imprisonment have touched him more in his perception of himself than the break-up with Cuddy.
    Strangely enough, I get the feeling that those latest events in his life, although devastating, probably forced him to look more honestly into who he is and so added to the above direction towards improvement. Hence his being less tense and introspective to the detriment of our enjoyment of the show. Boy, are we not sadists?

    69 – The Other Barnett
    Well, in a very roundabout way, I manage to say how much I agree with you, about H. being the no 2 dysfunctional character after no 1 Cuddy, who has never met Nolan! And it would be sacrilege to put Lucas along with Lydia!

    And yes, my vote as well goes to Foreman. After aspiring to be top dog all these years will he finally find it a pyrrhic victory, and that H. has the better end of the stick?

    And to conclude,
    @ 71 – lobentti

    my bunch of friends ,myself not excluded, make the whole PPTH look almost commonplace (well apart from the Dibala case).

  • BrokenLeg

    61 @ Oversimplified
    As always, I agree with all your post, specially on that part you answer @Reality Check
    63 @ The Other Barnett
    I’m just here, with a great amount of work, a big cold and fever, and with my head not clear enough to give my “two cents” with quality as you’ve demanded. (On an unrelated note: I’m a woman, so, next time please, use “her two cents”).
    I’ve just watched ep.9, hoping much more of it than I’ve found (or may be is my sick mood…)
    I only know that this season is quite “softer” and that I miss many things ( the introspective House, his moments alone at home with his music, a real-real H-W friendship, Cuddy…) To me the show has lost a step and the qualities that once made it, at least to me, so awesome and so different than anything else out there, and GH character hast lost many of his soulful and dark intensity that made him so completely interesting and different. At the end of all, I feel that the DS mantra ( nobody changes) has been denied, and with so we cheated a little, making a great change in the same pilot character.
    About Dominika’s affaire, I’ve said all to be said in my @23 post. And has nothing to do with Cuddy, or with the pretended use of her to hurt Cuddy. Not even the “green card wedding” in itself. It’s simply about the use of a cheap cliché that is offending to women, Simply that. And dramatically, next chapter “Man of the House” in which she re-appears has nothing to tell that the duo Depardieu-MacDowell told years ago.

    72@maria eleni

    I’m glad that you’re better. But be cautious, a really fully broken kneecap is hard and long to be fully recovered, and much more if you’ve been on surgery. And ,with all due respect, and friendly, as always, I fully disagree!! And, what has answered @The Other Barnett to tour “acceptance” of marriage proposal?? BTW, It will not be a green card one, isn’t it??Best regards, as always….

  • maria-eleni

    @ 63 – The Other Barnett
    I am here and have more than two cents to give. More like a hundred!
    By the way I have answered your question of http://blogcritics.org/video/article/house-md-2011-the-great-the/comments-page-3/#comments.
    Needless to say I mostly agree with you.
    One thing only: I do not consider Domenica such a minor thread. Not a main one certainly, but how to sweep her under the carpet? H. was clear: “live-in-maid, personal assistant, cook, massage therapist, whore” (although he have not seen the last part but who knows wht the future and TPTB keep in store for us!). So unless he gets a divorce we are bound to meet her. In fact, I would have found a quick divorce too much of an easy and cheap solution of H. avoiding the consequences of his act.

    My head is spinning by the backlash against House for exactly what he was from the very beginning of the series and moreover what [H}] was loaded for being: POLITICALLY INCORRECT.
    For which I say:
    “Bravo” to 62 – Reality Check

    @ 23 – BrokenLeg
    Before I go on to disagree with you, greetings! I am much better but I hide it to preserve my status of invalid whom everybody is rushing to help!

    “…the green card wife affaire was, and is, simply misogynist and offensive (to women, immigrant people, etc..) even to a person as myself, attached to the series in a great part (HL acting apart) due its political incorrectness.”

    Green card wives have nothing to do with misogyny; you also have green card husbands. Furthermore, green card marriages are actively sought by immigrants who pay through the nose for them and there are always people to oblige them. It is a regrettable fact of life, but nobody forces immigrants to it.
    P.S.:Did you forget why he hired Cameron?

    @ those who denigrate Domenica as a cheap cliché:
    I do not suppose H. hatched the idea of a green card marriage and went searching to find a pretty immigrant and blackmail her so that he would hurt Cuddy. I rather think that during the “pampering at the 5 star hotel” he met Domenica and found that she wanted a green card. He thought he could kill 2 birds with one stone, typical convoluted H.
    And yes, being a pretty Russian beautician is definitely a cliché and that is why it was used: To mock the cliché in the usual tongue-in-cheek of the writers. Could it have had the same effect to Cuddy, and us, if she were a dumpy, spotty Greek… er…cook …or …a rotund Egyptian masseuse? Or would it have been possible for H. to be in a situation to meet a pretty Croatian marine biologist in need of a green card marriage? And do not attack me for racism or cliché-ism: I am a (non dumpy, spotty) Greek Egyptologist!
    The whole thing was perfectly suited to [H]/H. of the moment, at a par with monster tracks, hookers and balcony jumping.

    @ those who saw Domenica as a the portrait of slave wife, gentle and submissive:
    Are you not jumping to cliché conclusions with no evidence?
    Domenica evidently, and not surprisingly, likes H. All along, it has been shown that women (when he is not calling them morons) find him attractive and likable, enjoying his playful side. On his side, H. involves her with his team and she is quite happy fabout it. Did she seem to you that she was coerced to play ping-pong or fix the new TV? Or that she unwillingly planned for their marriage?
    However, and more significantly, the image of H., the wife-slaver, boggles my mind. In fact one of his redeeming characteristics is that he likes and/or sympathises with women patients or relatives more than he does with men. As for hookers, they are persons not objects to him with whom he has professional transactions, like say with a florist. He also becomes friendly with some of them. Clearly he shares a bond with them as he perceives himself to be a social pariah as they are.

    So, quite frankly, I find all this talk of MISOGYNY and SLAVERY TO BE SIMPLY NITPICKING.
    Maybe some of you are tired/bored with the show and do not find H. attractive enough to swallow his behavior any more. Or, again some of you feel quite hurt about the way [H]/H. behaved to Cuddy. Fair enough but a little analytical objectivity would not go amiss.

  • lobentti

    @ 69the Other Barnett
    I´d say there´s a match, and as creative as life can be, it will never find such a bunch of dammaged people to put together :))
    Only our human imagination can do it! For our entertainment and, some times, to learn something about life, relationships, friendship, unusual diseases, share some ideas etc etc and, of course, make some virtual ‘friends’ !

  • The Other Barnett

    #66 Still Waters – We can certainly do that 🙂

    #67 Reality Check – The one thing that I had doubts from your post (#40) was the rooting for the marriage to be given a try. The realist in me would like to see House offer Dominika the opportunity (after she has been dumped by her boyfriend) to maybe make some go of it in a marriage. Maybe a small storyline that spans (thinly) over a few episodes showing House and Dominika tryingt o make a go of it domestically (awkwardly_) and then a bittersweet parting with Dominika saying “You have too much to work out in your life for me to make any real commitment to you, I am better now, you are still healing…I must move on, but thank you.” It would be a gentle slap on the back of the head (I watch NCIS) to House, without being demoralizing.

  • The Other Barnett

    lobenti #68

    I agree….Every one of us are dysfunctional in comparios with what the psych manuals would say. Heck, the Lord almighty knows it, too. Maybe the big question about House, is who is the most dysfunctional (now that Huddy is gone) character in the show….my vote goes to Foreman now, after House holding the 2nd place title to Cuddy for years. 🙂 What say you?

  • lobentti

    Hey 🙂
    @The OtherBarnett & alt
    I´m sure psychologists should say much more than that about this show and the characters …

  • Reality Check

    @The Other Barnett: Domo arigato.

  • Still Waters

    @ The Other Barnett I appreciate your reply. Thank you for taking the time. Let’s agree to disagree.

  • The Other Barnett

    #61 Oversimplified

    I had to re-read your post to Reality Check….

    I see where you are going on this with House. You want to see a glorious redemption. And maybe that would be a lovely way to close the series – though I’m still rooting for the show to do ten years and I fully believe they have the cast and (hoping against all reality) a rejuvenated writing staff.

    But Reality Check made a good point about the House/Cuddy non-closure. It would be the most real way to close the subject to just let the Cuddy episode go away and fester in House like a bad wound that never heals. God bless the human being that does not have regrets that gnaw at them a bit or a lot…..even generations after! However, I have a different view on the father side of this for House.

    Everything that has shaped the damaged House can be tied to his father. My friend Still Waters, did a good job in #42 post in going over the retribution and hard times House has dealt with in his life (though I’m not sure I agree fully on how they view the end with Stacy). House’ problems with his father probably explains not only his lack of respect for authority, but also his inability to be a good boss (remember how the dad had no subordinate come to the funeral?).

    Maybe what we have seen this season in his treatment (awkward and kind of asinine in most cases) of Adams, Park, 13 and Taub is his way of trying to at least build his ability to positively deal with humanity – at first – with those who are subordinates. If he can encounter the problems with his father and finally emotionally address that; maybe greater healing can proceed.

    I am sure most psychologists could acknowledge that a messed up background with parents creates a more messed up person than a messed up relationship.

  • The Other Barnett


    #40 Reality Check….
    Great post, a full and sustained “AMEN” for all you wrote….

  • The Other Barnett

    Still Waters #60 –

    I never said that all negative feelings about Dominika were due to Cuddy or Huddy fans. I said that “there are lots” of Cuddy fans…not all Cuddy fans are not liking Dominika or her storyline. But I think a prominent portion are emotionally driven to dis-like the storyline (and maybe the character) because of the role it had in hurting Cuddy.

    As for the storyline itself – it is unpleasant, and I did read the posts that do not like it on the principle of how it reflects upon House’s character and I also have issues with it on how easily the writers chose an eastern-bloc (kind of cliche) to advance a minor story.

    Since it seemed like such a minor story thread, I’m curious why Dominika has to be brought back into the picture, but it makes sense to see this (hopefully) “new House” deal with his actions from the past.

    @Barbara, need I defend myself and others who are just as unleashed in their unbridled opinions?

    I’m a fan, Still Waters. If I think I have an idea about where the writing should progress, I should feel free to express it, without expecting the writers to follow my every whim. A Dodgers fan wants Prince Fielder on their team, a Lakers fan wants Dwight Howard traded for….fans want what they want. And any good fan also has a logical explanation behind it…which should be expressed, too to make the wish more substantive. And some flippant comment like I made about Shore is the same as fans I hear who say that they never want to listen to Bob Dylan after he went electric. They have the right to express such and then to still comment upon the music he produces even today. This does not take away from the enjoyment.

    I wish Broken Leg was around to give his two cents…or Maria Eleni, too. Do I have an amen from the congregation?

  • Reality Check

    I think the character Greg House enjoys being an @sshole more than he wants redemption. The former is entertaining; the latter is not. Which is kind of a spin on the show’s “fun to watch; boring to diagnose” philosophy. He feels bad about Cuddy and his old man, but there’s nothing he can do about it, so… f*ck it; lIfe goes on. Don’t bog yourself down by giving the man more depth than he has earned. And I think you have an absolute right to expect that David Shore will make certain that House, the man, goes out with his middle finger extended.

  • Oversimplified

    @ 48 Reality Check

    I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree here, but I’ll try to elaborate on and clarify what I meant. You can’t make amends for something that you did unless it’s through the actual person that that you wronged, otherwise it’s like slapping someone in the face and apologising to the person stood next to them. Treating another woman who comes into his life correctly isn’t by any means going to rectify what he did, and I’d honestly question the sanity of someone else getting involved with him at the moment or in the near future because he hasn’t faced all of the real consequences of his actions yet. That includes realising the impact the crash had on his victim. Whilst Cuddy is vaguely in the distance and he’s ‘imagining’ she’s having some sort of ‘better life’ he can ignore the implications of his actions and effectively run away from what he did. That’s not ‘moving on’, that’s deflection, repression and cowardice and so far that hasn’t served him well with what happened with his Dad. The fact remains what he did, however wrong anyway, was born out of a misconception: she didn’t lie to him. Does he even know that now, or indeed does she know what spurned him onto do what he did? I suspect not. I disagree about how Cuddy would react and what an apology could achieve. Maybe anger would be an initial reaction, but were it to be anywhere near realistic then her response would be so much more multi-layered than that. Relief would come into the equation, as would the need for an explanation, which she more than deserves and is something that he of all people would understand. You talk about him manning up. For me that would be it, and with Cuddy knowing what it would have taken him to summon up the courage to apologise I do think she’d eventually come to respect him for it. Do I want things to be tied up in a neat bow? Not at all. I’d like to think they could resolve this (part of their) relationship with a number of questions left unanswered, but nevertheless an apology would be an essential portion of his growth as a character in my mind. It is the case though that tv series have beginnings, middles and ends and generally set up dramatic questions to later answer them. It’s a craft in the same way that carpentry is, and you wouldn’t leave a fourth leg off a table without spoiling its overall aesthetic and stability. For me the crash was too big an event in the show to entirely ignore the emotional repercussions for both parties involved and would destabilise the integrity of the show if now entirely forgotten about.

    What I would like to see is some of the drama in House once again stem from well thought-out, sincere and truthful character study, rather than the next shock and awe plot that seems to grab the attention of those in the writersroom these days. The kind of writing that I really admire comes from the ability to walk around in the characters’ shoes and see things through their eyes, rather than banally moving them around like chess pieces for your own amusement.

    In answer to your rather tongue in cheek question yes I do think acceptance from his father, and then forgiveness from Cuddy would have/ still could affect who he is and indeed the way he treats other people. Is he going to be an entirely different person? Nope, but both instances would have/could provided peace of mind for someone whose actions and (self-)destructive behaviour are often driven by the need to be right and feelings of guilt and rejection. There’s this anomaly with the character and the show itself, which panders to the fatalistic mantra that ‘people don’t get what they deserve, they get what they get’ and yet it presents a protagonist who has criticised his patients, colleagues and friends from the get go about their lack of agency. It’s the easiest thing in the world to situate yourself in a mystical universe where you have no control over anything, but much, much harder to accept your place in it and how the way you behave affects your fate and other peoples’. Shore needs to stop perching on the fence and decide whether the character he’s probably going to be most remembered for will ultimately lay down on the ground and give up, or finally get his act together and stop repeating destructive patterns which includes finally being able to face up to his past AND his proclivities head on.

    @ 49 20V

    You’re right. My wording there was suspect, but the fact remains that House choosing a younger woman (in a vulnerable position herself) to hurt his ex wasn’t incidental and that is misogynistic. Him running off to New York to marry a young male masseuse wouldn’t have had quite the same effect would it? Just because he’s indiscriminate in who he insults generally it doesn’t mean that when he references the colour of Foreman’s skin in a biting comment that it’s not any less racist. Am I saying that House is a misogynist? Maybe not, but the act itself preyed on both women’s vulnerabilities as a result of their gender.

  • Still Waters

    @ The Other Barnett It isn’t helpful to try to reduce every negative comment about Dominika to unhappy Cuddy fans. There are viewers who are not Cuddy or Huddy fans who find this story distasteful. It cheapens your opinion when you try to negate an opinion by attributing the idea to a particular portion of the fandom. There are many people who do not like the story that Dominika represents and with opinions that have nothing to do with Cuddy. As much as some people would like, it can’t be reduced to a negligible point of view by attributing it to Cuddy fans.

    @Barbara I agree with Blue It’s unpleasant to come here when you know people will be disrespectful to other opinions. I don’t think you can blame Cuddy fans either as much as some might suggest. And really, when do fans get to the point that they not only know what certain groups are thinking but also exactly how the writing should progress and whether or not Shore should ever have another show produced on network or cable TV. I’m not sure why you bother anymore. Everything House related seems to up the conflict in this fandom. It’s sad that there are are so few comments about the show here, on TV sites and in forums. It seems to turn ugly, either outright or in small ways.

  • Djesus

    57 – buborek
    ah you know, I’m only waiting for some dramas now, I think it’s time to start something with House.
    when will his mother be back? someone knows?

  • The Other Barnett

    34/55# buborek

    I like your posts about Dominika. She is a pawn for House, but it is interesting what kind of pawn she became. He was able to help someone, while also visiting pain upon Cuddy.As last nights’s episode shows, House looks at all angles. While it has been advanced that house is a user of people, I’d suggest that he has done it much less since he came away from Mayfield.Or may I say, he has done it much less only for his own benefit.

    I agree with you that there are lots of Cuddy fans (for some reason I’ve never been under her spell…except for the scene of her dancing in that school-girl outfit) who are villifying Dominika for the role she played in House’ wounding of Cuddy. The fact she offers sex to House looks like the actions of someone who was in a desperate situation that feels that she could loosen her morals to pleasure a man she sees is in pain and is (as you said) a handsome man.

    This interview left me thinking that the writers know what is going on, but have been threatened within an inch of their professional lives by Shore to keep it all on the down-low. Otherwise, she is creating some more buzz and suspense to ramp up viewership, when they know that they are coming back. This is a big enough show that the writers would be preparing for two sets of shows at the end; one that proceeds to a 9th season and one the wraps things up. Thomas Schlamme of the West Wing said that they had the writers preparing two separate storyline outlines for the final six shows of the 6th and 7th (and final) seasons, knowing that NBC was looking to usher the show out. If Shore is not thinking the same way, he should never have another show produced on network or cable TV.

  • buborek

    But we don’t know if she knew nothing about them. That’s why I think the episode with her could be interesting, and funny. I would have been frustrated if they had erased this marriage like it never existed.

  • Djesus

    “And I think she was sad for him too to realize how sad he was to do such cruel things to Cuddy.”

    But she knew nothing about them.
    I’m not saying that this woman is horrible, I have nothing against her, but the portrait that the writers have done is pretty outrageous, I just hope that she’ll be less submissive, it’s more interesting to have a character than just a toy.

  • buborek

    But Djesus, House is described since the beginning of the show as a man who uses people. It’s part of the character. He made this contract with Dominika and i suppose, because he’s smart, that he chose a masseuse because he needs one for his leg.. It’s a win-win contract and she seems very happy with it.
    We are very far from “Crossing over”.
    And I think that Dominika understood the motvations of House during the time of the episode. And I think she was sad for him too to realize how sad he was to do such cruel things to Cuddy. That’s why she tried to console him with affection and kindness and even a sex proposition. I found it very natural and very touching. ( Even if I liked Cuddy and House as a couple )

  • Djesus

    51 – Christine
    Take the portrait as a whole, what a nice picture seeing a woman crouching under a desk and dealing with males by offering them massage and manicure.
    I hope she’ll have a more flattering and nuanced portrait in the upcoming eps.

  • Blue is right, guys! Let’s tone down the rhetoric towards each other, please. Disagree, debate, argue–but please do not make it personal to anyone.

  • Blue

    The rudeness, sarcasm and disrespect for other posters is evidently here again.It’s too bad when people aren’t able to disagree politely. It doesn’t make Barbara’s blog very inviting.

  • Christine


    Again, why? Because she gave a massage? Is that really an equivalent for labor?

  • lobentti

    Hey, everybody!
    Many nice and interesting comments up to now!
    @Still waters 42 – I totaly agree with you, and based on what you said, I should add that I understand the last scene in season 7 ( the car crash) as positive (please, we´re discussing a show, I´m against any kind of violence – domestic, social, racial,religious, international, etc etc !) – but I understand it as a natural and healthy move from the character. It started when House shot Harald (The dig), than when he broke Wilson´s stuff and poster, and in consequence did this terrible thing to Cuddy. He was not jealous, he felt betrayed, because she´d said she was not dating anyone. His behaviour untill then was to get drunk and look for a fight (Baggage) to be hurt and punished; so yes, it was terrible, but a change, anyway.
    As for Dominika, she knew she was paying a price to be there, and she had a boyfriend to whom she went just after the ‘marriage’. I don´t believe that House really had sex with her any time.That was ment to ‘shake’ Cuddy´s feelings, it didn´t work, and he was even more depressed (The dig)…IMO.
    And for the ending of the show, it doesn´t matter to me. The ‘old’ story is gone, there´s a new one, not so good IMO – if it was ‘my’ story it should be completely different, but it´s not; I wonder why the team (Creator, writers, producers, etc) took this path among so many other options, but …
    Well, that´s going too long , let´s stop here.

  • 20V

    @44 – Oversimplified

    “He was still prepared to use one woman as a weapon against another and that is deeply misogynistic.”

    This reeks of double standards. If House had done something similar with two men, would he be labeled a self-hating man? Of course not. The fact that the two “victims” in that scenario are women is completely irrelevant to the point.

    What I would do if people would stop making these things about gender…

  • Reality Check

    Oversimplified: Your very name proves my point. At no time did I say that redemption was impossible. What I was trying to say, and perhaps I was being too subtle, is that redemption for House should not come in the form of an opportunity to apologize to Cuddy. Rather, his “redemption” (for lack of a better word – its late) will come in the form of his future relationships – with friends or lovers – and the man he allows himself to be with them. That is, IF the writers actually ALLOW him to step up and, finally, be a man. I don’t agree that a contrived scene where House, on (metaphoric or literal) bended knee offers Cuddy a personal heart-felt apology for his egregious behavior would be at all satisfactory. Although that would be a very neatly and prettily wrapped package, would it not? However, forgiveness often teaches us nothing and does not necessarily lend itself to salvation, and, David Shore being who he is, would probably have it written so that Cuddy tells House to stick his apology up his arrogant ass.

    Finally, previews for tomorrow’s episode show House cardioverting a patient without first making sure everyone was at a safe distance from the patient. After firing the paddles and nearly zapping Foreman into the next zip code, he says (rather snottily) “Clear.” Tell me, if you will, do you think he would be less of a dangerous egomaniac if Cuddy had said, “I forgive you” or if Daddy would’ve said, “You were right?” Or, do you think he will always be a selfish douche bag, regardless of forgiveness for his sins or affirmation of his genius? Or vice-versa? And what consequences will he “endure” for his reckless and inappropriate behavior in that scene, other than Foreman very likely calling him an ass?

  • Djesus

    44 – Oversimplified
    “especially if he hasn’t dealt with his emotional baggage properly.”

    Word! that’s why I really enjoy their upcoming storyline with his mother and maybe his dad!
    Let’s set the record straight in order to help House to move on.

  • Djesus

    43 – Christine
    Ok she’s a happy slave.
    I can understand that her portrait seems quite normal for some latin countries.

  • Susan (from Brooklyn)

    I just read through this in 10 seconds looking for info on if Cuddy will come back. Depressing…..People were commenting that they thought she would return and I was looking forward to it. Well, on to “Downton Abbey”, at least David Shore has nothing to do with that.

  • Oversimplified

    @ 32 buborek

    I’m not angry at Dominika at all. She was in a situation where she wasn’t in a position to say no to anything that House asked of her, be that sex, pedicures or otherwise. She was also completely ignorant of the fact she was being used to hurt Cuddy. What would have happened had Cuddy stopped the wedding, however unlikely that was? I abhor this storyline because it reflects badly on House, who for all of his flaws, had never stooped this low before. It’s one thing to have sex with hookers, but asking someone to give to up any amount of their freedom because they’re desperate to have a better life is slavery plain and simple, and that’s just despicable. Whether he could go through with having sex with her or not is sort of immaterial. He was still prepared to use one woman as a weapon against another and that is deeply misogynistic. Maybe he should have to deal with the consequences, but from what I can gather about this upcoming episode it’s basically light relief.

    Why do some always reduce other people’s opinion based on which ‘ship’ they supported? Those who were behind Huddy were so because the writers wanted them to be. Why else would they have spent 7 years building up their professional and personal relationship and saying time and again that Cuddy was the only one was prepared to employ him, that House ‘needs’ her in his life and even, if I remember one interview with Shore circa Season 5 correctly, that if he could make a relationship work with anybody it was with her. Therefore it’s hardly surprising that a significant number of people are having a hard time swallowing this effective reset when at the same time the writers are still peddling the ‘nobody changes’ mantra. For a show that used to almost make a fetish of logic and reason that makes no sense at all. It’s not just a case of people being upset that their ship is no longer on the show, it’s the fact you have to ignore so much that’s happened in the past to buy what’s going on now, and therefore the integrity of the series’ narrative as a whole is undermined.

    @ 40 Reality Check

    By all means you make an incredibly valid point, but then why approach the storyline with his Dad now (which seems to be where they are heading) if redemption and forgiveness are impossible? I do put the abuse he suffered as a child on a similarly destructive par with what he did to Cuddy. In my mind he can try to convince himself he atoned for what he did to her by going to prison, but in his heart he’s always going to know that she probably craves some sort of a sincere apology in the same way that all he ever wanted from his Dad was to be told ‘You were right.’ That’s why when Foreman came to bail him out in ‘Transplant’ his first response was to admit coming face to face with Cuddy was something that had been plagueing his subconscious for months. In real life quite often people who commit crimes are made to or ask to face their victims or their victims’ family, and it’s not unheard of for even murderers to be forgiven by those they’ve hurt. Why? Because it’s cathartic for both parties to let go of guilt and anger which are incredibly crippling. For me now, his role as victim and aggressor dovetail with one another and the resolution of one should preclude, at the very least, the appetite to resolve/atone for the other. Because of who House is, I think there would come a time when he’d want to tie up loose ends and were circumstances able to allow it, I believe that could make incredibly compelling television. At this point I think it’s way too late in the day for them to embark on another romance convincingly without it seeming forced and out of character, especially if he hasn’t dealt with his emotional baggage properly.

  • Christine


    Very good analogy, she was enslaved because Foreman wasn’t her close friend. I mean, she didn’t appear to enjoy giving him a massage not even for a moment…

  • Still Waters

    I don’t quite see where you are coming from about House never having had to face consequences in life. The way I see it, House has spent a lifetime dealing with the consequences of his actions, deserved or not. From the time he was a small boy, he faced the consequences of John House every time he broke a rule. He faced the consequences of cheating in med school and was expelled and that was his second expulsion. According to him in KU, he also missed the opportunity to explore the possibility of a relationship with Cuddy as a result of being expelled the first time. He lost Stacy after his infarction and apparently couldn’t get himself hired at a blood bank either after he became so querulous and disagreeable. Stacy married Mark and made a new life. His life , at this point, was so full of the results of the consequences of his actions that he was not only in physical pain but also emotional pain and finally addicted to Vicodin. He faced the consequences of his actions toward Tritter as well. Cuddy may have saved him from being convicted in the end but I see no point in this series where House was ever free from what he did. He even went to Mayfield s a completely broken man. Did you watch the scenes in Broken where he was restrained to his bed as he writhed in the pain of withdrawal and from his leg? I could go on but I think there isn’t the need. The show I’ve been watching all these years shows me a man who is still suffering the consequences of everything that has happened to him in his life and everything he has caused as well. You may not disagree with the way the show has handled the issue of women who are in positions where they need to “sell themselves” to gain freedom from government or family but surely you don’t believe that House had never suffered the consequences of his actions. At this point near the end of the series, I definitely want to see him be able to make some kind of amends with Cuddy and to regain Wilson and be able to offer him the kind of friendship that Wilson can accept. I care way too much for him to want to see him continue to suffer at that level. I prefer him to be himself but to have a small measure of contentment in his life. There are entirely too many things House has had to face that he can’t reconcile. There will be no shortages of regret as he grows old. I can’t imagine wishing him more emotional trauma. His history with Cuddy and Wilson is too long and complicated for him to be in a position to fail at establishing some semblance of contentment and friendship with the two people he has cared for and loved and who have cared for and loved him and have shared so much with. Of course we can’t all agree.

  • Josie123

    #40 – Reality Check

    Well said!

  • Reality Check

    Did any of you Dominka haters ever consider that dealing with her is all part of House growing up and learning that there are consequences to his actions? He has never been held accountable for his reflective and reflexive actions until he attempted to parallel park in Cuddy’s dining room. Now its time for him to deal with the very real issue of his wife and how she impacts his life. I, personally, hope he gives their marriage an honest try.

    As for Cuddy’s return: No. We have all done things in our lives to other people that we cannot take back and cannot make right, things that fill us with shame with no hope of redemption. The idea of House not being able to obtain closure with Cuddy or atone for his actions is the most honest philosophy of the man that David Shore and Co. can adopt at this point. What’s important now is how House deals with future lovers – or wives – and the inevitable joy and pain associated with those relationships. That, by my standards, would be the truest measure of the man.

  • Djesus

    38 – Christine
    I didn’t know that Foreman was her friend.
    Seriously she looked like a slave but it was a part of the contract so she had no choice.

  • Christine


    Ugh, seriously now, how did they “use” her? When she was giving willingly massages to House and Foreman? Have you never given any relaxing massages to your friends? She didn’t seem like she was forced to do it, she was enjoying it, and she was good at it.

    How else was she “used”? On that ping pong game? MY GOD, how dare they torture her that way? I mean it’s inhumane for someone to play ping pong, we should call UNESCO for violation of basic human rights!

  • Djesus

    32 – buborek
    No he also used her in his office and for his team, I don’t like how they portrayed this russian girl.

  • martha

    Barbara, thanks for this glimpse into the writers’ and show’s “thought process”.
    With the knowledge that this may be the last season comes, for me, the feeling of knowing that the patient is terminal – just not knowing when that time will be. In other words, there is the recognition that one has to start letting go. Part of that is trusting that, if the “creator” is still in charge, the ending is not about us, but about that. Time for us to let go, and choose to participate as best we can and with hearts that care deeply about the show and story.

    It sounds as though, in bringing some of these fringe characters back, the writers are working toward tying up loose ends and making all the puzzle pieces fit, as House’s character would piece together a diagnosis. I look forward to this.

    I truly hope that it is true that the writers and Mr. Shore “care very much.” I, personally would prefer to see and ending that, though it may be a finale in some ways, it may also be a rebirth in a positive direction for a character to which we have all become so attached.

  • soxse

    Agree with your comments wholeheartedly – your observations re: the theme of Season 8 so far mark you as an insightful viewer of the show – viewers like you are a fast-dwindling group. Probably most readers of Barbara’s blog are those who still enjoy teasing out the overarching themes to find meaning beyond the crazy House antics or case of the week. But to me those threads have gotten scarcer, it takes more effort to find something interesting in the theme or characterization. Instead we’ve gotten more of the “ka-booms” which I’m guessing come from a FOX edict that the show do something to appeal to the younger demographic, and fewer of the rich, multi-layered, quietly powerful episodes that House was known for in its early years. I hope the upcoming episodes will be “meatier” than what we’ve seen to date – and the synopses I’ve read sound promising.

    I don’t doubt the writers are giving it their best shot – but a show in its 8th year naturally runs out of creative steam. Yes, you can inject new writing talent into the process, and certainly Kath Lingenfelter fits the bill – in addition she brings fresh enthusiasm to the show and is gracious with fans – almost a one-woman PR machine – which sadly is something FOX and the House show runners do very little of at this point. I think the handwriting is on the wall that this is the last season. I do wish that David Shore and Hugh Laurie had unilaterally determined at the end of season 7 that this was going to be the final season, so that every episode could have been written and crafted with that ending in mind. I guess we can all speculate as to why they didn’t do that

    And I too miss Lisa Edelstein – her departure and the handling of her character over the past couple of seasons still leave a bad taste in my mouth. Cuddy certainly had her detractors, but the show seems to me to be out of symmetry somehow – the counterbalance of the Wilson and Cuddy characters (Cuddy to a lesser extent than Wilson) to House is crucial, and Foreman just cannot fill her 6-inch heels.

  • @buborek

    They’re angry at Dominika because they’re bitter huddy, that’s why. Don’t forget that the posters on blog are/were made for the 99% by huddy

  • Josie123

    House did not go through with all the arrangements with Dominika–he couldn’t bring himself to sleep with her. After he married her, he realized the gravity of the situation–how unseemly it was.

  • buborek

    I really don’t see why some of you are so angry after the character of Dominika. For me it’s clear that what said House about domestic slavery was sarcastic… It’s House… Sarcasm is part of this show.
    This green card marriage is an arrangement. Just that. It’s clearly said that she has a boyfriend…
    And about the kiss… How a normal woman could not be attracted by House ? He’s sexy, smart, funny, and with Dominka, absolutely charming…

  • suzmum

    In some of the episodes of Season 8, there has been the sense that House is seeking redemption. The issue is raised directly by Adams in Twenty Vicodin; it is driving him in Transplant, when he needs to solve the case for Wilson; he sends Thirteen on her way to be happy; and he takes crazy risks to solve the mystery of the dead boy in ‘Dead and Buried’ so that the child’s father can move on in his life. I am hoping that this will be the final arc of the series, because the ‘people don’t change’ theme is getting tired: it’s only true up to a point, and we all know of lots of examples of people who did change after experiences such as prison or cancer, etc.
    I came to this series late, and I confess that I find most of the medical stuff pretty boring…but I’ve now watched all of the episodes several times. I find it fascinating to see the growth of the actors from season to season: the problem with the newbies is that their acting chops are back at the level of the other members of the cast in Season 1 – a little bit wooden and awkward. I became a big fan of Huddy, and I was appalled by the cheap way in which the writers closed the relationship – someone as intelligent and determined and as deeply in love as Cuddy would have addressed the issue of why House runs away from pain very directly – she would have dragged him to therapy, and insisted that he deal with the issues created by the abuse that he experienced in childhood, etc. She would not have simply thrown in the towel…and the show is a lot less interesting now that LE is not a part of the cast.

  • Djesus

    yes I think we have enough of comedic eps now, it’s time to start something with House, but we don’t feel any dramatic tension for the moment. I also don’t like dominika’s return, this character is a big cliché, her portrait as a slave wife, gentle and submissive is really not very pleasant to watch.
    I only watch this season because I knew that House’s mother will be back (and I hope we’ll also see his bio dad).
    His childhood is something that should be discussed in more depth now, I miss the tortured guy.

  • lola

    is really no mea culpa for her and her colleague with the season finale of season 7

  • tahina

    Can’t give any merit to someone who wrote such atrocious season finale.

  • housemaniac

    Agreed Casper #25 and others. I’m so disappointed to hear of Dominika’s return. One of the things I liked best about this season so far was the fact that they had dropped that wretched storyline. Also, I can’t imagine how they could use it well except to comedic effect, which we have had quite enough of this season, IMHO. And, no, they do not *have* to bring her back. One can always take care of these things through dialogue. I think there is a bit of a grasping-at-straws quality to this season so far. I wish they would just move the story and the character forward just a bit. Otherwise, DS’s motto should be: TV series don’t change!

    Anyway, I’m in this ’til the end, whenever that might be, even though I am not thrilled with this season. And I will miss the show and this blog when it is over. Thanks again, Barbara.

  • rjw

    I’m really looking forward to the episode.Not just because it’s been 2 months since the last one,but because Kath Lingenfelter wrote it (I absolutely loved last season’s “You Must Remember This”). Also, Alzheimer’s has made its devastating mark on our family.

  • Casper

    What? Dominica is back? You just lost another viewer. She was irritating enough last season and her storyline painfull to watch. I don’t need more of this crap

  • 20v

    Thanks for the interview. I’m glad the team seems to agree on my take on Chase’s development– Everything is buried and he runs away and exudes an air of apathy in most of what he does. He’s become colder working for House so long(he was there a whole year before the pilot episode).

    I never really gave a lot of thought to Dominika as a character, but I don’t think she deserves so much ire from people. It never seemed or appeared to be a romantic relationship, but everyone is chiming in with Cuddy comparisons. I think this mindset really comes from the simple fact they’re man and woman, so we must pair them up and dissect them as a possible romantic couple. The same thing is happening with Chase and Adams, and it is mildly irritating.

  • BrokenLeg

    Barbara , thank you, as always, for the interview, but really a very little news.

    Some remarks:

    KL manifest that this year the writers are reunited and supervised in their respective scripts to try that no one of them tell something incongruent with the full story or with the others. Doing that, IMO, they work much as a team than they did in past seasons, specially in s6 &s7, when sometimes every writer seemed to go “in their own way”, writing more for their own pleasure, or for trying to win an award, than for the quality of the show. and with that the episodes lack of certain continuity. To that I call that now there are one really responsible of “story continuity”. A bit to late for that, but better late than never, although the damage was done.

    Another: As KL say, they are writing now the last five episode of this season. Someone really think that they do not know if this is or not the last season? Please, come on!! They DO know it, but they can’t say it. And worse, if I’m wrong, I fear for the quality and the worthy ending of the series ( and please, in any case, no more ka-booms, please)

    About Cuddy, 17@Oversimplified has put on words exactly my thoughts. And great comparison with the unseen elephant in the room….

    About LE returning the show: at this point of the writing, it’s sure she will not come back. On the contrary, if she does, it must be in an bad improvised way, if contacts are not tied yet by these days. And then, the staff is or teasing to LE or Cuddy fans, or using her to rise interest or intend the return of lost viewers. But viewers were lost from many fronts: LE-Cuddy fans, people offended by the seven season final, or that thought it was a kind of unacceptable “jumping the sharks” of a once beloved series, or people that dislike this “lighter” GH, even if medical cases are pretended more or less back (really?)

    About Dominika’s return: I think all the green card wife affaire was, and is, simply misogynist and offensive (to women, immigrant people, etc..) even to a person as myself, attached to the series in a great part (HL acting apart) due its political incorrectness. Nor Dominika’s, nor the s7 finale had nothing to do with sane and critical political incorrectness. It was not necessary the return of this character. Not even in the possible funny side of trying to prove to authorities that is a real marriage ( that is a bad copy of a funny Gerard Depardieu and Andy MacDowell film)

    About the bracelet: If this is the tiny detail of HL mind…To 11@Visitkarte: aside to welcome you again, I thought it was too obvious to be a debate item: in my country, in my great-grandparents days was common to tie a cotton ribbon to your wrist to make you sure you remember and important thing ( as jail must be to GH, and more, as his past behaviour must be for him ).

    8@lobentti: I fear I think the same!!:(

    @2lightworker: I’ve missed a lot recently your posts. BTW, to the answer we both wait, still the answer is no.
    And what do you think about this s8 almost “carefree” GH? Is, as Oversimplified noted in other thread of this blog an influence of HL in the creative staff? Is due to explore his comedy abilities? And about the lost gravity once the show had? And about not seeing the music in GH life again, and with that, not seeing his introspective beautiful sad side again? And about the way so quickly the Wilson-GH friendship has been recovered, although to me in a more light way, more as colleague way than real friendship?

  • This interview is very interesting and rather unusually revealing. I’ll be glad to see more going on with Chase. Have always thought they might even make a series with him after HOUSE ends. I’d like to see a) some internal struggles over Cameron still b) an affair or more than that with Adams, who seems a good match for him. If Park gets him, that will be funny but unlikely, I think.
    He is a better person in some ways than at the start of the series. But without Cameron something will always be missing in him…
    Also, how has he resolved his killing that dictator? I’m glad he did (and I’m a Quaker) but …? He’s a good Catholic boy under everything.
    I am not interested at all in Domenica; just don’t care either way and think it’s a waste of screen time… she’s all right but eh!
    Would like to see a return of LE if this is the last season, but wonder if that’s possible. (Though she doesn’t seem to be doing much with The Good Wife. I watch it for her and for other reasons– one reason I don’t end up seeing Once Upon A Time… I have Downton Abbey also being Tivoe’d at that time.
    I would VERY MUCH like to see House interact with his mother and perhaps clarify the issues around his conception. At least, discuss them with her. House got his intelligence from somewhere. Maybe he finds out it was Mom… secretly brighter and more unhappy than she let on.
    Looking forward to the new episodes, and hoping for S9 so the whole arc of House’s life can be completed in a truly fulfilling way. Thanks…

  • MusicnandHouse

    I am very excited for what’s to come, but I am very concerned about the fact that the writers are working on the final six episodes and still have no idea if this will be the end or not. Sure Kath said that the finale they have planned “could make a good series finale with some adjustments” but that does not reassure me at all. I want a series finale that was written to be a series finale, as something intentionally created to wrap up the series.

  • sara

    I hope the door is open for Jennifer Morrison 🙂

  • MMM

    I had to stop reading when i read the name of Dominika. Sorry, that character is too much for me. Actually i think i´ll skip her episode as much as i love Hugh Laurie.

  • MeMe

    I’d really love to have a 9th season, if for nothing else than to have Lise Edelstein return as the strong-willed HBIC Cuddy of seasons past and provide her character with a better resolution. In fact, I’d love to see how her life (professionally and personally) has turned out away from her familiar surroundings and the people whom she knows best.

  • Oversimplified

    Thanks for the interview Barbara. I really do like the idea for the POTW on the episode and I’m glad KL took the time to do some serious research on Alzheimer’s. Whether it’s early on-set or not, who looks after the people who suffer from it is definitely a hot topic and can’t be discussed enough in my opinion. Also like Sacha I’m glad that they are finally going to dig into Chase’s murky and distant past. Aside from Kutner he was always my favourite duckling.

    @ 3 Belle

    I have to say I’m with you on a lot of things. I find the the whole storyline with Dominika grotesque and looping him in with his ‘family’, however loosely, is just absurd. Whether or not part of their agreement will involve sex, it has been implied and I’m just not ok with sexual/domestic slavery being used first as a weapon to hurt Cuddy in Season 7, and now as some sort of light relief this season. It’s dripping with misogyny and I’m deeply uneasy about it. Please David Shore never ever compare your character to Sherlock Holmes again, otherwise Doyle will start spinning like a Catherine Wheel in his grave.

    As for the situation with LE/Cuddy it just feels like one big mess, and I’m gleaning that there’s a shed load of ‘politics’ involved there. If there never is any resolution to House and Cuddy’s relationship, which is looking increasingly likely, then I have to say for me the series will always remain incomplete. She was too big a part of his life for too long for that utterly offensive crash to be any sort of satisfactory denouement to their and indeed his story if they don’t have the guts to deal with what happened head on. It was too big an event in HIS, let alone her life, for it not to seem like they’re ignoring this humongous elephant in the room.

    I’m really not feeling too optimistic about the whole ‘we feel this will be a satisfactory end to the show, if it comes to that’ vibe. Fox I guess are to blame for that, but they’ve known since last year that there was every chance this would be their final season, so had I been in the showrunners’ /EP’s position I’d have been inclined to remove that decision from their hands and call it a day myself, concentrating on making the best and most conclusive final season I could in the same way that Gilligan and Cranston decided to with Breaking Bad. I’m guessing money is doing the talking here and watching the last season and this one so far I’m just not convinced they have a cohesive plan for where they’re taking their protagonist that won’t detract from the brilliant groundwork they laid in the past. I have to say that makes me incredibly sad. I’m well aware that this a business, but that shouldn’t have to exclude artistic integrity from the equation. As much as I’d love to believe KL that everybody is still fully invested, (because she does seem genuinely lovely and respectful of fans which is a novelty these days), that enthusiasm just isn’t shining through in their work in my opinion, or indeed in other interviews. Everybody lies, but especially when they’re doing PR.

    The bottom line is it took me three weeks to get around to watching the last ep before the hiatus, when even a few months ago not watching on the night it aired would have been unthinkable. Whether I consciously want to or not it seems like I’m backing away from the show anyway.

  • yeny

    I think that house will be renovated and is a marketing strategy that can be ultima.me like to know how you feel by the low rating this season. you think of the negative criticism towards writing by the means I would have liked a Kath Lingenfelter response

    barbara their predictions. about house stays or goes next season

  • Laura

    I’m really enjoying this season so far and what Kath said in this interfiew makes me even more eager for the the next episodes. I don’t mind Dominika at all and it will be fun to see her around House. I’m also very happy to see more focus on Wilson and Chase, these characters and their relationships with House were neglected for too long. I don’t care at all about Cuddy and I don’t see the point to bring her back, like Cameron her story is done.

    Hopefully we’ll have a season 9, anyway Im planning to enjoy this one especially if is the last one.

  • Thanks everyone for your comments. It’s nice to get back into the swing of writing all things House, and sitting down to chat with Kath for an hour was a great way to get things going for the second half of the season.

    I think Visitkarte, you’re onto something with your theory. I think it’s very much a reminder of what he went through and what brought him there.

    Hope to see you all after the episode Monday night.

  • Amy

    Another good solid interview. Thanks Barbara.

  • 2 lightworker

    Thanks,Barbara, for your continuing generosity in sharing interviews and your own interpretations of “House.”

    After Season 7’s roller coaster of emotion,I have not given up watching the show but do so with a much more distanced engagement. Season 8 has been interesting in observing a very slow depiction of House’s state of being and the way Hugh conveys that in such a diminished state, made clear to me by his very different persona in concerts and interviews. That makes me want to see what House’s evolution brings.

    However, although I think it can be seen as responsible to bring Dominika back because it was flaky to drop that plotline, I wish it were otherwise and the plotline were resolved with comments alone. House’s suffering and abandonment that led to that faux marriage continues to be painful to recall.

    This long delay in informing viewers about one more season is suspect to me, although I do not know why. For all the chatter about money, it feels more like PR games. I continue to think that decision resides more with Hugh Laurie and David Shore than the corporate executives, and may even be part of the House provocative approach to storytelling.

    However this goes, I’ll stay to the end, and hope for a resolution that leaves me with good feelings about the whole House canon.

  • Visitkarte

    Thank you, Barbara and Kath, for this wonderful interview.

    This is my theory about the bracelet. I have thought about it for months now:

    My theory why he is wearing it all the time is he does to look at it every day and remember what brought him there. He also wants to look at it and stop himself from ending up back there for no reason at all. BUT he’s always ready to go back if holding back goes against his main values, that’s why he did what he did in “Dead&Burried;”.

    So, the bracelet is a visual reminder of the pain, a visual self punishment that continues and a reminder not to cross certain lines.

  • Sacha

    Re: Chase’s issues. I think that there is a fine line between moving on and running away, and I’m really pleased and surprised that Kath Lingenfelter mentioned his early past (seminary days, daddy issues) and not the divorce or the Dibala incident. These things have, IMO, given as much closure as possible, and the same goes for House and Cuddy. There’s no real need to bring her back when things just weren’t meant to last. Camerons return was awkward. I’m not sure I want to see the same happening to Cuddy.

    It’s actually interesting that House and Chase share so many common ground and similar experiences. It would be rewarding if they explored that. I think that the interaction with Wilson and Chase often gave House a more sympathetic side. He lost a lot of his charm and wits during the course of S7, and I can’t wait to see it back on him (hopefully!)

  • Christine

    I still can’t believe that Billy Connolly is going to guest star on House. He’s a living legend! Added with the House/Wilson and Chase spoilers, it seems like the second half of the season is going to be even more awesome than the first half!

  • lobentti

    Thanks, Barbara, for warning us …but as we already knew, it´s a D.S. story, and it´s what it is. :/

  • Sacha

    I’m particularly interested in the development of Chase and the screen time amount of Jesse Spencer, so thank you very much for the insightful interview Barbara (and Kath Lingenfelter). It seems like there really is something up in the air for Chase and if it is strongly connected to House, then even better. I always loved their weird father/son-relationship and how they reflect on each other (the mutual punch in the jaw, the mutual hug, the epiphanies, the hidden vulnerability).

    They kept neglecting Chase for so long now while promoting other, less interesting characters and storylines, so it’s good to have him back into focus a bit. Actually, it would have been super if they came up with the whole running away thing a little earlier. Fans were waiting for something like this to happen since mid-season 6. I hope it won’t be too painful to watch, as Jesse always breaks my heart with his dramatic acting skills. I’m really looking forward to the next episodes, and I’m just happy there will be more focus on House, Chase, and Wilson.

  • Camila

    I’m a Huddy,but i can take she not being here.What i and a lot of fans can’t take is Dominika.It seems that the show writters got a blank while writting season eight! They are bringing more and more people back,and we want the story to move on,not go backwards. But if this is the last season,you guta gotta bring Cuddy back for the season finale.

  • Djesus

    @Belle : they’re writing now the season finale, a possible lisa’s edelstein return is just to tease fans, of course she won’t come back.

  • Eloise

    Brilliant interview! Kath is such a lovely person and the little tidbits she let us have made me feel very excited for the rest of this season. I really hope that they will continue to season 9, but if not will enjoy the rest of 8, I’m sure of that!

  • Belle

    Honestly Barbara all this interview did was depress me. I have never been a fan of the “Green Card” Wife story and considered its introduction as one of the true creative low points of season 7 so hearing that Dominica returns and is a continuing presence in House’s life is very dismaying news for me. Why they have chosen to bring her back on the show instead of writing her off with a simple statment from House of “oh yes we got divorced/had the marriage annulled etc” I will never understand.

    I also found the comments regarding Lisa Edelsteins return to be luke warm at best. ”
    “The door isn’t completely closed on that, but there are just so many things that have to fall into place for that to be considered.” – this statement seems to indicate to me that this is just never going to happen. Considering that KL indicated that they are working on the last 5 episodes now you would think that they would have thought about a possible return for the much missed character of Cuddy but her words here seem to indicate that it really isn’t being considered as an option and that saddens me. I miss the character of Cuddy and am sad that we will never see House and Cuddy come to any sort of resolution following the awful events portrayed in the season 7 finale.

    All this interview has done has made me feel more out of the touch with the show. The things I used to like about it seem to be gone and the directions and story chices they are making this season are just unappealing. I may tune in for the Billy Cononlly episode but the rest of it (particularly the Dominca aspect) holds little appeal. After 7 and a bit years of faithful, enraptured viewing I have come to the realisation that my time watching House is perhaps over and writing that makes me so sad I could cry.

  • buborek

    Thank you Barbara. This interview is very interesting. I really like this season and can’t wait for the next episodes.

  • Djesus

    Thanks Barbara but nothing new.
    I hope we’ll see House’s bio dad after his mother. This is THE storyline of the season.