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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

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.

28th-Nov-2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
I don't want to sound presumptuous, but 97 seconds was a few episodes before! How can you say a show is over when its been a handfull of episodes that you didn't enjoy? I agree that the charactizaton and plotlines are sort of shallow at this point, but its still fun to watch, and how can you completely denounce a show thats consistently given us great episodes for a few yerars now after such a short patch of unremarkableness. MASH had whole seasons of teh stupid.
28th-Nov-2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
How can you say a show is over when its been a handfull of episodes that you didn't enjoy?

no one's saying it's over, i don't think. what i do think is that we're attempting, in a healthy way, to acknowledge our current disappointment and confusion while attempting to remain optimistic about the future of the show, and its character development.

and i'm far from completely denouncing the show, myself. as i said elsewhere on this page, even when it's bad, it's still better than any other show i've ever watched. [one more point--m*a*s*h had been on for over seven years before the bad began to outweigh the good]
28th-Nov-2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
There have been 9 eps in this season, and all of them except 97 Seconds (and parts of Ugly) have made me feel like this and like what the OP says (plus several eps of late s. 3). The survivor arc couldn't capture me at all. And what was the point of letting us get to know characters that we weren't gonna see again ever, and giving us background info on them that was totally irrelevant, since again, they were not gonna stick around. I just couldn't get into the game at all :/

But that's just one opinion. I completely understand that the show has gotten a LOT of new fans who only just jumped on the wagon by watching s. 3 and 4, so obviously it holds appeal to some, also fans who've been with the show from the beginning. Just not me. To me it's been going downhill for a long time, it's nowhere NEAR as intelligent as it used to be, and I'm mourning that.

But I don't want to quit the show at all, or give up, or lose all hope. I just like the OP feel a need to face what's going on and let myself long for s. 1 and 2 and be okay with things that way, and STILL wait anxiously for every single scene with HL and RSL because they can always pull something off, even if the script sucks. And I'm still way too invested in House and Wilson to not want to know what happens with them. I just personally have a huge problem with the writing, and have for a long time, but I still love the show, and the characters.