Blog Spotlight: HOUSE - Painless

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Today, we celebrate the dawning of a new era. After years of being sold a false choice about our responsibilities to ourselves and to our neighbors, it is time to unite behind an administration that will fight the tough fights while caring for those who cannot care for themselves. Mindful of the challenges ahead, we must not feel bound to repeat the mistakes of the past. Our community must turn this corner by embracing a new leader, and resisting the urge to spend our days looking in the rear view mirror. From this day forward, let us all work together to allow the creative forces of freedom inspire us in ways that were once unimaginable.

Yes, this is the time for new leadership. It is my great honor and privilege to introduce the engine that will drive us forward to new heights. Without further adieu, ladies and gentleman of GMMR, I present the interim Chief of Staff at Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, Dr. Allison Cameron!

Though that introduction may have been a blatant attempt to capitalize on the real news of the day, this week’s House provided a template of newsworthy story arcs that should keep all of us engaged until the season finale.

Based on the feedback I get each week, Dr. Cuddy appears to be the most polarizing figure among hardcore fans of the show. In a similar manner to how Hillary Clinton can be both beloved and disdained by large blocks of the electorate, Cuddy has been called out for her wardrobe selections, management style, and lifestyle choices. Truth be told, I am a bit of a Cuddy moderate. In the workplace, I find her interactions with House, Wilson, and the rest of the team to be both thoughtful and entertaining. On the other hand, the method by which Cuddy’s character approaches personal relationships and, now, parenting is grating to my nerves.

The bold step of removing Cuddy, albeit for an undetermined length of time, from the day-to-day affairs of the hospital, provides fertile ground for Lisa Edelstein and the writing team to soften the edges of her character. Though her initial concerns over successfully passing the foster visit were justifiable, I hope we see the glow of motherhood on Cuddy’s face more frequently. Otherwise, there will be very few people rooting for House and Cuddy to be romantically intertwined. If that is the direction we are headed, it serves no purpose for the audience to be wondering, “What does he see in her?” Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a few scenes of Cuddy and Rachel learning to live with each other, with a few cuts to Wilson’s stuffed animal for good measure.

Though Dr. House’s chronic pain has been a staple of his character since the series’ inception, this week’s mystery patient provided a window into the good doctor’s struggles for the first time in Season Five. Though the formulaic method by which the suicidal father’s illness was cured was par for the course, the parallel plot involving House’s home improvement struggles was ripe with sniping comedy and isolated sadness. As House adjusts to playing second fiddle to Cuddy’s new baby, I thought the timing was perfect to reintroduce House’s difficulty in admitting his own limitations. By episode’s end, as House realized he had, in fact, created the problem with his pipes, we watched a layer of invincibility fade away. Moving forward, I am very curious to see if this brings House to the point of sharing his fears about his own mortality with Wilson, Cuddy, or anyone else in his life. Solid writing here by Thomas L. Moran and Eli Attie, with stellar work by Hugh Laurie in bringing those emotions to the screen. Read more

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