Beloved Lindsay’s takedown on Videogum has forced us to do something we’ve resisted doing for the past year now: Defense one our of guiltiest pleasures, ‘House’. Yes, yes. WE KNOW. We know it’s trashy and absurd especially when compared to gritty, hyper-real fact-checked shows like The Wire. Meanwhile, on “House,” someone’s eyeball pops out of an anus.
BUT! Television is a land of fantasy, of fuzzy details, and blinking assholes.
So here’s a quick point-by-point rebuttal The 5 most Ridiculous Things About House M.D.
* Point: Dr. House is racist, sexist, and homophobic.
Counterpoint: House isn’t any of those things. He just says racist, sexist, and homophobic things to rile people up. Like Don Rickles or me after my third martini. (Also, you misspelled “sexist” as “sexiest”. PAGING DR. FREUD. HMMMM??)
* Point: Dr. House plays electric guitar and drives a motorcycle.
Counterpoint: True. It would be less ridiculous if played a ukulele and drove a Smart Car.
*Point: Dr. House is a drug addict who stole from a pharmacy and faked a brain tumor, but everyone enables him because he’s such a great doctor.
Counterpoint: If he was a sober, mediocre doctor who never broke rules and got along with everyone then the show would be called Scrubs.
*Point: In the House-verse, Dr. Gregory House is VERY FAMOUS.
Counterpoint: House isn’t famous to the general public. Only to other doctors, and at least part of that is the infamy that comes from being almost universally reviled. You know, like Jakob Lodowick is to the blogger world.
If we wanted coldly realistic medical dramas, advertising would be going for a premium on The Surgery Channel, and ER wouldn’t have lasted almost 20 seasons. (Admittedly, only the first 6 or 7 were really good. ADMMMITTT ITTT!)
Also, the main we reason we love House is Hugh Laurie. His acting is seamless. He straddles the perfect line between lovable curmudgeon and anti-social trainwreck. Watching him teeter back and forth between the two is infinitely titillating (and yes, formulaic.) In the words of the Master Thespian Laurie: ”However monstrous he may be, it doesn’t stop me from liking him.”