Thursday, October 6, 2011

House, come back Holme.

I always joke about how the show House MD and I are in a relationship "for better or for worse." It's just that I've been watching the show since the very beginning and now I'm committed to it until finale do us part.

I'd say we've been through a lot of ups and downs, but season 7 really tested my commitment to House. It has got to be the worst season of the show. I think I complained almost every single week about how I had to watch it as if it were a chore. I think the primary reason I did watch the episodes in a timely manner was so that I wouldn't get behind and have to potentially suffer through more than one hour of the ridiculousness in a short time frame. It was so unfulfilling that I neglected to watch the season finale. At that point I didn't really care what happened, and I didn't even have the threat of episode pile up to force me into watching it. So I ended up not watching it until the very last moment, this last weekend before the new season was set to start.

I had many misgivings about season 7. The first of which was the whole House + Cuddy situation. In season 6 I was shocked but mostly intrigued by the idea that the writers really were really serious about "Huddy." As it turns out I liked only the possibility and not the actuality of it. Season 7 was just too full of ridiculous relationship nonsense. It made every single character wear on my nerves. Every single character became so unlikeable.

Season 7 was also the season of Martha Masters, a character that I would come to dislike, to my own surprise, more than Allison Cameron. She had all the moral righteousness of Cameron except without the sexy. Masters was just over all a very very annoying character. It killed me that they had somehow invented a kid genius character that I didn't like, because I like liking kid geniuses.

I wasn't sure if it was in spite of or due to all the disappointments of season 7, but the season premier episode of season 8 in my opinion was great. The change of setting was refreshing. Removed from all the cloying relationship woes, House was free to return to his Holmesian roots. And in true Holmesian fashion House characterizes the young female doctor to a T with the observational skills worthy of Sherlock himself.

I had a good first impression of that young female doctor Dr. Jessica Adams, portrayed by Odette Annable, and I have high hopes for her as a good supporting character, but I don't want to be disappointed. In this first episode we saw that she is smart and curious and has that bite of determination that says "authority be damned," but I hope this new character turns out to be sunnier than the other female characters have been. There have been a lot of interesting female characters on House, but I'd like to see a character not so embroiled in personal drama, not so damaged. I want this new character to be young and idealistic without the annoying social awkwardness of Masters or the deep-rooted vulnerability of Cameron. I don't want her to be cutthroat like Amber or cynical like Thirteen. I especially don't want her to be "mature and responsible" like Cuddy. But I do like it that she is very pretty.

Then there's Charlene Yi who's cast as "smart yet timid resident Dr. Chi Park." She is scheduled to appear starting in the next episode, and I hope her character isn't a total sham. I don't want "timid" to translate to "socially awkward," but she is type cast and operates basically like a female Michael Cera. Then again as long as there is some humor to it I think I could deal with it. I guess my point is I don't want a repeat of Masters. I'm not too familiar with Charlene Yi's acting skills, but I think a timid character requires a lot more subtlety of skill to pull off, and I hope she can do that.

I'm trying to imagine what kind of relationship I would like to see her having with House, and I think I would definitely have to go with the student-sensei dynamic. House is the old master and Dr. Park is the young pupil, and it would only work if they have Dr. Park operate with more Confucian values regarding elders. Then again there is that fine line that dictates taste. I don't want her becoming some silly stereotypical Asian character. I think that maybe House needs someone that intrinsically attributes value to him as a man with more experience without judging him as a man lacking in other regards. Maybe he needs someone who can only see him as a skilled diagnostician.

In general, in season 8 I want less cloying drama. I still want the show to be dark but not so depressing. I want them to bring back the subtle humor and the charm of House. I just want everyone to be likeable again, but we'll have to wait and see what the writers have dreamed up for us this season.

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