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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
Quick thought on House 5.05 "Lucky Thirteen" 
22nd-Oct-2008 12:12 pm
[climbing on soapbox] 

It caused me physical pain last night, hearing Wilson call his beloved friend a drug addict.  And put us back to square one; I'd been so pleased, the week before, when Wilson hadn't argued with House's 'Vicodin as leash' theory.  I'd believed that Wilson finally, finally was undergoing a change in his perspective of the pills.  And last night, of course it didn't help when House referred to himself as a "doctor with a drug habit." I know--how they, and we, view the Vicodin pretty much depends on who's writing the episode.  So much for continuity in such an important aspect of the character, and the show.
22nd-Oct-2008 08:59 pm (UTC)
You know, I don't blame the writers in this case and here's why: I don't think it's them. As I see it, they can't use the correct words because those words do not yet exist, not in any way that will work in real-life conversation.

There's a word for "addict" and "addiction." The meaning is well understood.

House, of course, is dependent rather than addicted, but our culture uses those two words interchangeably, not bothering to differentiate between the two. "Dependency" in mainstream use is charged with the same meaning as "addiction." So even if Wilson said House was "dependent" on the pills, the audience would translate that as "he's an addict."

Our culture needs to develop a whole new "box," as it were, for people in House's situation, and come up with the correct language for it. That language is missing now, to the point that it's almost impossible to talk about the reality in casual conversation (as House and Wilson sometimes do) without using terms that really don't apply.
22nd-Oct-2008 11:58 pm (UTC)
So even if Wilson said House was "dependent" on the pills, the audience would translate that as "he's an addict."

yes, they would. unless...

wideshot of house, limping away from group of three others. he's making a scoffing noise, but we can see a resigned stoop to his shoulders.

closeup on wilson's face, watching house leave, eyes showing the famous 'worried wilson' look as mr. and mrs. smith stare in disgust after house.

mr. smith [indignant]:
i can't believe you'd let a drug addict treat my daughter!

wilson: he's... not a drug addict, mr. smith. he's a chronic pain patient, much like your daughter is.

mrs. smith: our daughter has bone cancer! she needs pain medication to function. how dare you compare her to... to... that miserable... well, he's no better than a junkie!

wilson's eyes flare; he shakes his head: dr. house isn't an addict; i'm sorry his behavior's given you that impression. he's dependent on those pills, yes. and unfortunately, he likes to make it appear that he enjoys them. but that medication allows him to do his job, to use his brilliance to help people like your child. if it weren't for house, we still wouldn't know that an atypical blood dyscrasia--a rare abnormality--in susan's blood was causing the radiation to fail. and if it weren't for those pills that he takes, his own pain would be so severe, so distracting, that he'd be unable to share his insights. and susan's condition would be worsening, and--quite frankly--we might not have figured it out in time to save her. dr. house is no more an addict than susan is. his medication simply makes a more normal life possible for him. and he uses that to [wilson looks pointedly into the window of the patient room] save other lives.

how long would that scene take? forty-five seconds? if we can utilize two minutes to get a clear picture of thirteen's sex life, could we please utilize less than one minute to have house's best friend educate the patient's family [and thus the viewing public] on house's real relationship with vicodin?

29th-Oct-2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
*bursts out laughing because all through those scenes with Hadley and the not-actually-that-hot PotW, I was annoyed as hell and really felt for every GLBT viewer who was probably just as disgusted as I was at the trivialization they insist on depicting for the sake of...hell, I don't know, it was just idiotic*

And the 'examination' scene from hell? Do you know how many times I rolled my eyes in that scene alone? I'm surprised they haven't started listing to the side. My ocular nerves must be overtaxed at this point.