If it weren’t for that meddling Hugh Laurie… Seriously, I find few things in TV land as annoying as writerly laziness – and House, M.D. has become one of the laziest shows in that respect. We’re now almost at the end of season 7 in Switzerland, and when they’re not paying attention I’m sure I keep catching the series regulars avoid each others’ looks in embarrassment. Laurie still does a good (though no longer great) job, as does Robert Sean Leonard, but you have to feel sorry for the likes of Chase, Foreman, Taub and the other hapless sidekicks.
House has rarely been a terribly original show, and part of its appeal was its utterly formulaic structure. Once you’ve seen half a dozen of episodes, you know what expects you: weird symptoms manifest themselves, the team makes a first diagnosis and starts treatment, the patient gets worse, more treatment, more escalation, the apparent solution followed by a major crisis, then House – usually while talking to Wilson – has an epiphany based on some more or less feeble pun or metaphor emerging from the conversation he’s just had and solves the case. Patient saved, in 49 out of 50 cases, otherwise cue patient’s poignant death accompanied by some melancholy singer-songwriter droning on about love and loss and dead puppies.
It’s not that the show is samey; it’s that the bits where the show could at least be somewhat different from week to week, the soap opera/comedy bits, have become really, really inept. I’ve stopped counting the moments where House says something offensive, inappropriate or weird and we get reaction shots from the other characters that could be out of a cheapo ’80s sitcom. It doesn’t help that the episode “Bombshells”, which tries (though not all that successfully) to mix up the format, does a scene parodying sitcom clichés when the actual show in business-as-usual mode delivers lazy versions of those same clichés.
At this point, as much as it pains me to say it, I am seriously thinking that House, M.D. should’ve been put down like an old, sick dog. Let Laurie move on to something where he can make better use of his talents. I’m happy if Leonard tags along. But now, giving us Olivia Wilde to look at simply isn’t enough to keep things very interesting. Sorry, Gregory – I’m just not that into you anymore.
P.S.: Is it just me, or is this music video quite possibly one of the weirdest things to result from the series?