-by Amy Yen
I was disappointed with House last season. I was disappointed because season 4, the season when House, one of TV’s premiere procedurals, broke its pattern & tried something new, the season that ended with two of the most remarkable hours of television I’ve ever seen (I sometimes think it would be best to recommend that someone who never watched an episode start with “House’s Head” & “Wilson’s Heart” before anything else because they would immediately understand the soul of the show), that season was just SO good, it was just a shame that even a show of this quality couldn’t follow it up.
No, season 5 did not even come close, & in the end, it wasn’t even that I was so disappointed by it, it was simply that there are so many great dramas on TV these days that even one as consistently well written & acted over the years as House paled & faded.
It is actually more likely than not that season 6 won’t fare any better, because, as the previews show, House is still ultimately a procedural, dealing day in & day out with the case-of-the-week & the rinse-lather-repeat of the team trying different diagnoses until House brilliantly pulls the right one. But for two hours, the season premiere, “Broken,” House broke its pattern, again, &, again, it was brilliant.
I think it’s telling that “Broken” featured only one of House’s supporting characters, Robert Sean Leonard in the briefest of cameos. Instead, wonderfully, House’s writing staff boiled up an entirely new cast for Hugh Laurie to play off of. Perhaps season 5’s most glaring mistakes is the failure of House’s Cottages—Taub & Thirteen & Foreman—to endear themselves to, well, anyone. Add that to having to write off the most compelling of the additions, Kutner, the failure to take advantage of the aftermath of the Wilson/Amber subplot & the resorting to leaning on the fan-driven House/Cuddy ship-dom, no wonder it was a relief to get away from the rest of the crew & back to what truly makes House great: the character.
There’s nothing more you can say about what Hugh Laurie accomplishes here. He manages to add layers you couldn’t imagine even existed to what is already perhaps the most complex character on TV today. It’s a wonderful & touching & tragic & brave performance. And at the end of two hours, when House walks out of the world they created in Mayfield & presumably back into the one we’ve watched for five years now at Princeton-Plainsboro, you can’t help but wonder, is that really the best place for him?
Filed under: Amy Yen, I Watch, Like, a Lot of TV | Tagged: Amy in Wonderland, Amy Yen, Dr House, House, House MD, House season 6 episode 1, House season 6 premiere, House season premiere, Hugh Laurie, television, TV |