My favourite drama is “House”, as faithful readers will remember. Last night’s episode roller-coastered in quality for me, and gives me some nice opportunities to segue (if you don’t know how to pronounce that, please leave and come back when you do).
If you watched, you probably noticed the homage to Sherlock Holmes (if you didn’t, please leave and come back when you have). If the 221B address plate on House’s home were any brighter, it would have blinded drivers and pedestrians on what can only be Baker Street. The address is a blatant admission of the concept that Gregory House and James Wilson are modern interpretations of Holmes and Watson. I just wish that it had been toned down, literally. The sign shone like a spotlight.
The Television Without Pity community of “House” fans – of which I’m not a member – makes a big to-do over the ball on House’s desk. It’s a fuzzy pink and purple tennis-ball-like object, only it’s about six inches in diameter. Nobody seems to be able to figure out where it comes from. They call it “the ball”, and wonder about its origin. Foreman tossed the ball around in one scene in what I hope was meant to tease them.
Parts of the episode bothered me. Why did the doctors not wear masks when treating the AIDS patient? Do doctors not bother with that? Was it a concession to TV? And while having Chase have Cameron do the nasty was a great idea, would Chase really foolishly kiss Cameron? Sex – yeah, condoms will block transmission. But an open-mouth kiss?
What struck me most about that scene, by the way, was the music. Cameron was playing Goldfrapp, an obscure British couple who make haunting electronic alternative – and it’s something I just happen to listen to in regular rotation. Click that link – it takes you to an online list of the music I play in my iTunes. Can you tell I DJed in the ’80s?
Back to TV…. While watching last night, I disliked the scenes with House and Stacy. He loses his gruffness while with her, and the show drops in entertainment level. People do change according to the people they are with at the moment – ask Elvi how she thinks my brothers and I change when we get together – and on an intellectual level I can appreciate that, but I’d rather watch Hugh Laurie play either spiteful or comedic. The world doesn’t need a less pretty Hugh Grant.
That’s why the end of the show was so satisfying to me. It’s not that the stakes have been raised by Stacy’s guess – as trite as that was – that House looked in her file that satisfied me, but the knowledge that the soft and cuddly House has been put back into the closet for a while.
Bonus ammunition for opponents of socialized medicine:
I’ve lived in Quebec and the US, and what with my headaches and my kids, I’m familiar with both systems. (“Canadian medicine” is not an accurate description – provinces run their health plans independently.) I’m a bigger fan of the Quebec system, but it’s not perfect. I have an ophthalmology consultation for my son, and the first available appointment is March 1, 2006. If it were an emergency, he’d be seen right away, but three months plus?