2004 Retrospective: House, M.D.

I had been planning on having a ten-year retrospective for House for a while, and by sheer coincidence, House actually first aired ten-years from today’s date, November 16th, 2004. Lucky break on my part! Totally didn’t plan for this. Anyways, let’s get down to it. I watched a few episodes of the first season of House, and noticed that things were very different than how I remembered them. The color scheme of the show was way more desaturated than I remembered, and the show lacked the iconic “Teardrop” by Massive Attack that became known as the “theme from House.” It was also bizarre to see how House and his doctors, Chase, Cameron, and Foreman, didn’t know each other as well… Watching the first episodes of House only highlighted that my memory of the show was basically defined by the middle seasons.

I suppose House is a show whose beginning and ending I have never watched. It’s one of the few shows I watched with my Mother on a regular basis, and I never would have hopped on during Season 2 or 3 if it weren’t for her. Whatever the reasons, I never saw House all the way through, I didn’t even finish Season 7 – though I’ve read over and over again how the show ends in Season 8. Regardless, Hugh Laurie’s Doctor House is one of the better primetime television characters we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing in the last decade, and it really reminds me of Peter Dinklage’s performance as Tyrion.

Some observations…

  • I didn’t know House was a vicodin addict from episode one, I thought he developed that problem over time.
  • Already, in the very first episode, I don’t like Foreman.
  • The four tropes of an episode of House are all here.
    • We spend the first five minutes of an episode waiting for horrible things to happen in ordinary situations, thus revealing the patient.
    • House complains at / yells at somebody for doing something idiotic, and he gets an idea for treating the patient.
    • House suggests breaking and entering in order to learn more about the patient.
    • The patient’s first treatment works until halfway through the episode, and then it turns out House only made things worse.
  • Seriously, what’s with the colors in the first episode of House? It’s practically in black and white!
2004 house

Plants are supposed to add a little bit of Green to the room, but in House, it’s just a different shade of grey.

I don’t have very nuanced things to say about House except, I suppose it’s good fun – and a little more than that. The pattern of a medical procedure show is fun to watch, and House adds a bit more character to the formula. Hugh Laurie’s great in the roll, and while I couldn’t find it in myself to finish the show – I could watch the first five seasons again – in time. It’s not the type of show I’d marathon, but I’m glad it’s in syndication. When it’s late at night and you’re flipping channels and you find a rerun of House on, it’s not a bad watch at all.