So… Glad that’s over. I’m not going to spout overused terms such as Jumping the Shark, but if I hadn’t known that House M.D. was waaaaay past its prime before, I definitely would know after having watched the season 7 finale. One of the advantages of being 6-12 months behind the English speaking world due to watching series on Swiss TV is that I’d already heard all the clamouring, wailing, gnashing of teeth and general lamentations concerning the season ending, so I had lowered my expectations accordingly. Not quite enough, mind you – it’s painful watching the actors trying to make the material work. Lazy writing is one thing; lazy writing that spells all the show’s facile pop psychology out is just insulting to the intelligence of the audience.
From everything I’ve heard about the eighth (and final, right? Promise?) season, it sounds like the show remains moderately, patchily watchable, but at this point it’s difficult not to wish for the actors involved to find something better that isn’t written by an infinite number of computers programmed by monkeys (and shit-flinging ones at that) and possibly IT supported by outsourced Indian monkeys. (For the record: the computers work flawlessly, even if their output is dross.)
How do you follow up a depressingly shoddy episode of House? Why, with a Channel Four satire about the UK Prime Minister coerced into having sexual intercourse with a pig, that’s how! The first episode of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror sounded like crass satire in a one-sentence synopsis, and the reviews I’d read were tepid at best – so I was surprised to find “The National Anthem” well written, well acted and quite thought-provoking. While the premise is satirical, the episode plays it straight and with remarkable conviction at that – which made “The National Anthem” quite a bit more unsettling than a more leering, in-your-face approach would’ve achieved.
Though the entire media satire-meets-inappropriate sexual content thing did put me in mind of one of my favourite Monty Python sketches. So, to end this post on a more amusing note: