House M.D. – When a Mystery Show Is Not

House M.D.Is not what? When a mystery show is not a mystery show.
I love House M.D. I’ve been watching it every week on the cables for several years now, and have just watched the last episode of season 5 (brilliant!) and the first half of season 6. Now, House M.D. is billed as a “Medical Mystery Show”, but it’s not. After season 3, it seems the writers had figured out for themselves how much it’s not either. I’ve said it before, but it’s still true: All stories are human stories. The mystery is almost incidental.When we re-watched season 1 (re-runs in preparation for season 4), my mother remembered the “solution” to each of the cases. I usually didn’t. But that’s because in my mother’s mind, the important thing, and thus the core that she remembered was what the mystery, and its solution, were.

I didn’t remember the mysteries, because they were only catalysts for the important thing. The interaction between the cast of characters, and House’s personality. Seeing the ridiculous, often funny, often amusing, sometimes deep, that he’d throw at us, and at his “friends”.

In season 4 or 5, first Wilson and then Cuddy comment on the manner in which House works, how from a seemingly random thing that occurs he makes the connection. A deus ex machina of sorts. If this were truly a mystery show, then this would be horrible, as the solutions are such that are not only very remote and unlikely, but the kind that you as the (non-doctor, or even doctor) watcher could never figure out on yourself – which is the opposite of what mystery/suspense shows want – they always want to make you feel as if you’ve got a chance.

But this is all ok, because you don’t watch the show for the preposterous medical anomalies. You watch it for the people. It’s almost like Gilmore Girls in that sense! :D

So, do you watch House M.D.? What do you think of it?

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12 comments on “House M.D. – When a Mystery Show Is Not

  1. poet says:

    House is great, and indeed, its not the mystery of the case. Yeah, those were quite interesting in the first and maybe second season, but as time went by, the writers completely abandoned the cases.

    I have talked to an actual M.D. about House, and it turns out all his cases are blatantly obvious.

    At about mid-early season 6, I got a little bored of the routine, and then they went and made a series of none-routine episodes. Lockdown starting it. The characters keep me coming back, and its a wonder, after all this time.

    I’m waiting for season 7, which usually doesn’t happen.

    • Guy says:

      What usually doesn’t happen? Waiting for something’s next season, for House’s next season, or for any series’ season 7?

      Cuddy episodes are great. Partially cause they truly aren’t routine, I guess :)

      Also, wit is the fresh-maker :D

  2. Gunstray says:

    … I havent seen house for a long time and I skipped S3 … I blaem myself

    • Guy says:

      Skipped S3? You mean you went directly to season 4? Well, I caught up on it this week. I couldn’t watch one episode a week though. Damn cables company.

  3. Canne says:

    As M.D. myself, House’s medical details are far from reliable. In real life, the disease, the symptoms and the signs are not that dramatic or colorful. What’s more, House’s team seems to be able to do anything in any specialty fields; one doctor can do an MRI, laparoscopic surgery, autopsy, patholical study and everything inbetween which is impossible. In the end, I watch the series for the characters as well.

    • Guy says:

      I’ve heard similar things aired regarding the various C.S.I. shows. That as a result of a team of 5 people do basically everything, which takes much longer, and a lot more people, in real life.

  4. Reltair says:

    I marathoned the first 2 seasons, then kind of burned out after that.

    When I did watch it, I watched it to see House make his sarcastic remarks. :D

    • Guy says:

      Yeah, I don’t think it’s a series to marathon. At least not until you’re addicted to it :)

      And I think we all watch it for that, heh. Well, that and other stuff, perhaps :D

  5. Yi says:

    Yea, I found by the end of season 4 (I think that’s where I stopped), I was no longer watching it for the cases. It was more about the interaction between the characters. The season during which House finds new associates through a series of eliminations is an especially true testament to the shift in focus.

    • Guy says:

      Hm. Interesting, that this realization also came with you no longer watching the series. Do you think the two issues are related?

      • Yi says:

        Maybe subconsciously. I attribute it more to being busy with school, other shows, and a re-spark in my anime interest.

  6. […] are cardboard cutouts, and it on occasion breaks down into a formulaic pile of dog poo. However, much like House, it goes beyond all that and you just end up liking it in the […]

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