Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Gregory House: The Rarest and Most Realistic Character on Television

August 25, 2007

I really like House, both the show and the character. The show is full of humor and insight, and manages to deliver both in doses that facilitate their digestion. The same can be said for the balance kept between plot advancement and focusing on the diagnoses process, each one entertaining but eventually fatiguing if not helped along by the other.

When I talk to people about the show, they seem to be watching House from the outside and only relating to the supporting cast, House’s more “normal” residents, attending physicians, bosses and colleagues at Princeton-Plainsboro Teach. They might have a liking for Dr. Allison Cameron (which I might share), or they might find Dr. Eric Foreman a friendly and human counterpart to House’s unwavering misanthropy.

Most people never get past the initial impression you get from Hugh Laurie’s character – the show even gives us some sparse but critical views into House’s nature or motivations, but most people I talk don’t seem to have been awake during those scenes. The reason I say that House is the most realistic character on television lies in those moments when we it becomes clear that the show manages to slowly explain the reasons behind his acidic (and yet strangely magnetic, at least for all of his co-workers) personality.

House sees beyond the world that his fellow doctors and patients live in, which is what gives him the ability to be so good at his job. He has a strict definition of what consists of entertainment for him, and where everyone else is busy exploring themselves, House discovered “himself” a long time ago. He’s not bitter or misanthropic, he’s just extremely self-aware. List the things which House might do when not practicing, and the items won’t extend too far past riding his motorcycle or playing games within his social environment.

My point is that this TV show has captured a type of person that doesn’t exist in any other show, but which we occasionally encounter in real life – someone who doesn’t have the need to question their actions. This is troubling, and we’re inclined to think that at some point House will see the error in his ways, apologize to everyone and marry one of the women with whom he has constant sexual tension, but this would be defeating the realism of his character, and I hope it never happens.

I hope the final episode of House shows no change in his person. As of now we believe that House’s years of personal development are behind him, and if he is to remain a realistic character, this must be the case. He’s not happy, and definitely doesn’t experience the fleeting moments of joy his friends might when they run around and repeatedly make personal and professional mistakes (as is the case with most characters on TV). He knows who he is, and he judges the world we live in while making no concessions. He’s not happy, he’s content.