Friday, January 27, 2006

Play "House"

"It's either the carigemesis or the octothraxin and either way, this woman needs to be corrugated within the next twelve hours or the pantathin levels will kill her."

That's what the pivotal dialogue sounds like to me on every episode of "House." I never understand what they're talking about, which puts me in an awkward position to be in, because Dr. Gregory House already holds his staff of underlings in mild contempt, and they actually understand what he's talking about, so you and I wouldn't even get a hello. In fact when an actual patient pursues House to talk to him, the doctor races in the other direction, hobbling with his cane.

The only problem is, I love the show. Hugh Laurie, who plays House, has already won every award you can give to an actor on a television show, unless that's become a Nobel category as well.

Since the doctors are researchers, each case is exotic; these are diseases and afflictions that make no medical sense, cases that have confounded the primary care physicians and the specialists.

But it's the combination, the mixture in the House character that makes it work-- here's a cynical man who has grown impatient and disappointed in life itself; he's given up on making meaningful social contact with the world. But instead of sending him into some kind of retreat, his despair frees him to say exactly what needs to be said at all times.

So, ironically, it's his very tactlessness that helps him be so good at his job.

This crabby guy makes Raymond Burr's "Ironside" character look like Betty White.

And I guarantee you this: if you had precantenation of your Islets of Langerhans, and your sonesis symptons were beginning to balkanize, "House" is the guy you'd want. Even if he says you're a troglodyte for letting it get this far before seeing a doctor.


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