I’ve interviewed them a few times. And one thing that I always make note of in their episodes, is that they really understand how to find House’s (Hugh Laurie) humanity.
It is, it is. It takes some very delicate storytelling to find it. And especially now, I think, because the show has been on just so long, and people are so familiar with the characters that I think fans are so able to say to themselves, “Well, that doesn’t seem like House at all. That doesn’t ring true at all.” So it’s a very tricky thing to pull off.
Speaking of Garrett and Russel. Where have they been this season? We haven’t seen anything episodes written by them. Or do they just have a hand in just everything these days as executive producers?
They do have a hand in everything. They’re incredibly busy. As a fan, too, I’m like, oh, they should write the episode. But they work with the writers in developing all the stories. They give notes; they help break stories. They are part of the notes process for all of the outlines for all of the scripts. They work very closely with David (Shore), helping to bring the episodes to fruition. It’s a big undertaking to keep the machine rolling. So they’ve taken on that position, and as a tradeoff, you don’t see them writing their own episodes. However, they will be writing episode 22 with Seth Hoffman, another new writer this season. He’s very talented.
So, how does it feel coming on board to a show in its seventh season—one with a writing staff many of whom have been around almost since the beginning?
Terrifying. It’s incredibly intimidating on many levels. One reason is just the caliber of the writers and what they’re able to pull off. And two, you don’t want to be the one to take out mom and dad’s car and bring it back with the fender smashed and vomit in the back seat. You want to take care of it; you want to represent the show well. The bar is very, very high.
But luckily, I moved around a lot growing up. I went to six elementary schools, three middle schools, so I’m well versed in being the new kid. And everyone is so generous and great and cares about the show. You know, a lot of things are said about Hollywood—about the industry. And one of the things so wonderful about writers in this industry is the sense of mentorship. And writers—in my experience, as a whole are very generous. I’ve been working closely with Peter Blake (“Massage Therapy,” “Family Practice” in season seven) who was a huge help in my first episode. And, in fact, we’re co-writing [my] next episode.