When television viewers ask themselves whether to buy the season’s DVD (no matter what the show), it’s no longer such an easy question. A couple years ago, the answer might have always been an unequivocal “yes.” But with easy and immediate downloads available from Amazon and iTunes; and streaming video easily accessible from network website and Internet sites like Hulu, the question isn’t as easily answered. With NBC/Universal’s DVD release of the season five House, M.D. (starring the brilliant Hugh Laurie) just in time for the start of season six, the question comes down to “why buy?”
Of course, as fans of the series know, the show is meant to be viewed multiple times. The dense, layered and intricate scripts can’t be fully enjoyed without a second, third, or maybe fourth, viewing. The nuances of the story, connections and glacial changes in the main characters are easily missed while trying to keep up with the rapid-fire dialogue and fast pacing of each story (whether it’s the medical mystery or character drama) and subplot. And the understated genius of Hugh Laurie’s performance can’t be really appreciated in just one screening. (Hear that Emmy voters?)
House’s fifth season is especially one to be seen beginning to end—commercial-free. More than any other season of the hit show, this past season is a journey for House and the rest of the Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital Crew.
House’s spiral down to where he ends up at Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital begins in episode one. (Actually it begins at the end of season four.) Weight upon weight is applied to his shoulders as House suffers the loss of his best (and arguably only) friend Wilson, the death of his father and the wrinkle of Cuddy’s new baby. But the weight of it all begins to crash down on him later in the season with Kutner’s suicide. And it’s a spectacular crash played out over several episodes.