House: A Day in the Life of Cuddy

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I'm a sucker for character-based shows, so it's no surprise that I'm addicted to House. But this season in particular has been my own special brand of TV heroin, because it's been devoted to defining the people who surround Dr. House: Wilson got his own episode. Chase received more recognition than usual when he killed a patient (a despicable despot, but still). And last night, Dr. Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) finally got her due.

Until last night's episode, Cuddy had always been a weak link for me. Her character just seemed a bit air-headed (which I realize is unlikely given her position as chief of medicine). But as it turns out, she simply always has a million things to do. (No wonder she has amazing calves. Did you see the amount of walking that woman does?) In "5 to 9," we got to see what Cuddy's life is like outside of Princeton-Plainsboro—as she rose before dawn to practice yoga, deal with her sick kid, consider business proposals, and get out the door while fighting off a boyfriend who was looking for a little morning nookie. And that was all before 8 am.

It's too bad we didn't get to see this side of her before. Cuddy is a compassionate doctor, a loving mother, and ruthless administrator. And she does all three jobs damn well, if not a bit unrealistically so. Periodically, her colleagues, employees, and patients call her a bitch and an idiot. But If I tried to keep up with Cuddy, I'd probably be dead by now. So last night's episode did much to redeem Cuddy in my mind; she's not just an annoyance to House, she's a superwoman whose character finally has some depth.

Mark Twain once said, "You can't reach old age by another man's road. My habits protect my life, but they would assassinate you." And after last night's journey through Cuddy's world, I couldn't agree more.

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