Thursday, September 28, 2006

HOUSE rules

I was walking recently and felt dizzy for a second. I stumbled a beat, regained my balance, the dizziness went away and that was that. No biggie…except my first thought was “Ohmygod, it’s the opening of HOUSE. I have some horrible bizarre medical problem and within hours I will be hanging on for my life.” HOUSE is absolutely the worst show a hypochondriac can watch, and yet…I LOVE IT.

Since this is another low traffic weekend (plus I now optimistically have twelve new readers) I thought I’d re-post an article explaining HOUSE I wrote back in February. Enjoy…or re-enjoy.


If you’re writing a spec episode of HOUSE, here’s the format: Vibrant attractive Fox-friendly hottie in her 30’s suddenly collapses for no reason. Opening credits. House says it’s nothing, send her home. She goes into convulsions. For the next forty minutes the earnest young doctors misdiagnosis her, send her into cardiac arrest, remove something that doesn’t need removing, break into her house for an illegal search, send House in to brow beat and traumatize her, and finally he figures it out. It’s something obscure like she licks stamps with cyanide or swims in a toxic waste dump. Five minutes later she’s cured and goes home. Last scene – ironic music plays over as House sits alone in his…well…house, pensive and tortured.

House must answer every question with a smart remark, the young doctors must roll their eyes at least ten times, House must break the Hippocratic Oath, show up Lisa Edelstein, discuss his love life with the bemused Sean Robert Leonard, and watch garbage TV (otherwise who would know he’s “quirky”?).

Four out of five weeks it’s revealed that the patient was lying all along, covering something up. So instead of just confiding in a doctor they allow themselves to get prodded, probed, cut open, and wrongfully medicated to the point of cardiac arrest and kidney failure.

So you took birth control pills, Julie Warner? You didn’t want to have another baby. Is that worth involuntary flailing, psychotic episodes, internal bleeding, and losing part of your liver? Y’know. your health plan has to pay for this.

The hospital itself is the only one on the planet with glassed in patient rooms. If I was sick in bed and had bedpan accidents I’d sure want people strolling by my room all day. And although they spared no expense on the modern design of the facility, apparently they forgot to include Recovery Rooms and ICU. No matter how major the operation the patient is right back in their private room two hours later entertaining visitors.

And still….it’s my favorite doctor show and I watch it every week religiously. And the episode where the mystery disease was IgA nephrophathy – I guessed it.


Anonymous said...

I hope now you Tivo it and watch HELP ME HELP YOU in real time...after all, I'm sure Hugh Laurie never sent Matt and Annie anything for their bar/bat mitzvah.


Great. You should write this kind of post for every show.

Anonymous said...

I do not watch HOUSE any more. Same old story every week.

Dwacon said...

I can't watch any medical shows. The psychosomatic symptoms are a bear.

Tried watching Saint Elsewhere back in the day and was doubled over with severe abdominal pain.

I felt better after watching a McDonald's commercial, but strangely felt the need to wipe grease offa my lips...

nicholasjcoleman said...

My buddy Chris is doing his residency here in NYC, and the last few weeks it's been for internal medicine. His best story to date: a guy comes in complaing of pain and discomfort in his abdomen. They do some of the basic tests, blood work, ask him what he ate, yadda yadda yadda. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with him at all. Nothing. So they send him to x-ray.

The guy had an entire beer bottle shoved up his ass. No lie. I guess he didn't think that part needed mentioning.

I would love to see House deduce that one before the x-ray. LOVE it...

OhioRuthie said...

I only liked that show when Sela Ward was on it!

blogward said...

The way you describe it it sounds like Diagnosis: Denial. Maybe Dick Van Dyke should have been given a crack at it.