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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
House: 4.09 Games--they shoulda called this one on account of rain. Or stupidity. 
28th-Nov-2007 09:19 am
longtripalone

The conclusion of last night's episode left me confused and disappointed and  angry  and irritable.  Oh, and did I mention confused?  Continuity gods, why dost thou continue to forsake us?  Our forgiveness for last season's Tritter arc wasn't a large enough sacrifice?

And speaking of arcs.  I enjoyed the Stacy arc.  *ducks*
I tolerated the Vogler arc [well, really I just pretty much ignored it.].
I despised the Tritter arc.
The Survivor arc?  Makes me want to crawl into bed with my seasons one and two DVDs, and pretend to be awaiting season three.  It's not that I despised it.  It's not that I enjoyed it.  It's that I didn't care one way or the other.  And that?  Saddens me.

Some questions.  Where is the medical mystery that drove season one?  Where is the characterization that drove season two?  And even--where are the highs and lows that drove season three?  But most importantly:  Where the hell is Dr. Gregory House, the brilliant, damaged genius whose glimpes of humanity and vulnerability were all the sweeter because the rest of the time we were slicing ourselves on his barbed-wire personality?

For me, the character of House has become a caricature of himself--and a poorly drawn one, at that.  I feel no sympathy for S4 House, nor even empathy.  I love him still--but that's only because I can still remember how utterly complicated, how poignant, how amusing, he used to be.   I'm able to recreate that man with my fiction because I know that--underneath this season's confused, self-indulgent, shallow idiot, that man still exists.  He's simply hidden underneath the rubble of bad writing and inconsistent characterization.  Not his fault.

And where is Wilson?  You know who I mean--that man who  was House's anchor and his foil, his conscience and his catalyst, his reason for not throwing in the towel and completely, finally, turning his back on the human race?  The man who, with one gaze would have let both House and the audience know, last week, that he was worried sick about his abused, mistreated, misunderstood, vulnerable best friend?

I can't complain about the House-Wilson dynamic this season, because there is no House-Wilson dynamic this season.  I've adored watching Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard revel in each other's company each time they're on screen together.  I've cheered on the rare occasion when they've been able, solely through their skills as actors, to overcome the horrid writing and convey true glimpses of the complex men each has worked so hard to create.  And I've sighed sadly when even they are unable to overcome the writers' lack of characterization and continuity, and a scene between them comes off forced, or phoned in.

The plotline involving Wilson last night is a prime example of the reasons for my despair.  Yeah--I get that Wilson is a good-hearted, sincere, upstanding fellow who was about to let a patient walk all over him.  I get that it was House's job to prevent that from happening.  I even get that the writers may have been attempting to convey to us a Deep Message about the way the two are always looking out for one another.  What I don't get is why they couldn't give us a lousy three-second shot of House staring after Wilson, concern evident in his eyes, a la season one [just as, last week, I wanted the same three-second shot of Wilson's eyes, brimming with compassion, as he looked at his ill, defeated friend].  Instead, they left us to figure out for ourselves what House had done, and why.  And I'll tell ya--after last night's show, I visited a few chat and message boards, and was unsurprised to discover that the majority of posting viewers had totally missed the well-hidden intent of the plotline.

I want House back.  I want Wilson back.  I want the House-Wilson dynamic back.  And--because I am a foolish optimist, with unshaken faith in Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard--I will continue to watch the show faithfully, awaiting the day when the medical mysteries again capture my avid attention, the day when the writing again makes me laugh and cry and sigh and snort, all in the space of five minutes--the day when House and Wilson, the current confusing and separate entities, become again House-and-Wilson, two intriguing "halves" who make the most complex "whole" on television.  Or until the writers succeed in running the show into the ground.  Whichever comes first.

Thoughts 
28th-Nov-2007 04:18 pm (UTC) - YES!
Ive always been a believer in the whole "If its not broke, don't fix it" philosophy. And I never once felt that seasons 1-3 were lacking anything. It was a great show how it was and you know how you know that? Because it managed to be the same type of show for three ENTIRE seasons and people kept watching. Ok, so you needed to end season 3 on a dramatic note. Have Cameron get knocked up, or Chase go missing. Anything but this hot mess. I don't feel like there was a reason to get rid of all three of them, keep them in the opening credits and let them linger in and out of a five second scene from time to time.
I was sort of okay with just Foreman, Taub, and Kutner being his new team. The whole Cuddy marching in and saying he needed a female team member is a crock of shit. 13 though? Amber had more depth as a character than 13 could ever hope to have for the rest of the season. So she killed a patient. Theres an excellent reason to keep her there. But I guess she was "better looking" then Amber. And I forget that that is all it comes down too in the end. I like how House and Wilson play off each other, and thats the only thing keeping me interested right now. Because you're right, House just isn't House anymore.
But I guess I wont give up all hope just yet :)~
28th-Nov-2007 04:30 pm (UTC) - Re: YES!
House just isn't House anymore

you are so right. neither the character, nor the show, are what i fell deeply in love with anymore. but i know they're still in there somewhere, so, like you, i'm unwilling to write off either one as long as there's an occasional glimpse of what has been, and could be again, a character and show that consumed me. here's to optimism, and a fruitful end to the writers' strike, and the re-emergence of our beloved house-and-wilson!
28th-Nov-2007 08:45 pm (UTC) - Re: YES!
I was sort of okay with just Foreman, Taub, and Kutner being his new team.

I was very OK with it. Having a female on the team (especially one that looks to be Cameron 2.0 with very little effort) means we're going to have to go through all the "will they, won't they" romantic drama at some point. If not with House, then someone else on the team.

No offense to those who like romantic plots, but they've been (over)done rather crappily on tv, so I'd rather they be done better in fanfic and actually have a female character onscreen who doesn't exist to be a Love Interest.
28th-Nov-2007 08:51 pm (UTC) - Re: YES!
Honestly if they start doing a romantic plot, the show will go even further down the crappy sitcom route than its gone so far this season, in my opinion. The "romantic" tidbit with Cameron was alright and tolerable. But to have it again with "new and improved Cameron" would just be overplayed I think.

Cheap jabs at other shows, humor that is so out of House's original character...its just very weird to watch. They were trying to give POTW a seizure last night, I said why don't they just make him watch season 4?? That should induce it just fine. :)