We're moving Forums to the Community pages. Click here for more information and updates.

House's New Formula for Excellence

The sixth season of House has been off to an oddball start. When our good doctor quickly kicked his Vicodin habit and was magically cured of, well, himself, I was a bit worried. The show was still all kinds of crazy, but it didn't feel like the addictive medical mystery I've been watching for the last five years. Thankfully, it's getting easier to see where the writers are going, and Season 6 is shaping up to be the best one yet.

At the start of this season, the show focused more on House's mind than on anything else. Usually, the doctors who surround him and the crazy cases they encounter provide most of Hugh Laurie's material, but the first few episodes treated the rest of the diagnostic team like guest stars. The group -- now led by Foreman (Omar Epps) -- continued to deal with cases, but they've been little more than background noise. The most compelling storylines centered on House's struggle for normalcy after leaving the mental institution, including his search for a new addiction -- he tried cooking -- and living with the persisting pain in his leg.

And then, two episodes ago, an African despot (played by James Earl Jones) was admitted to Princeton-Plainsboro and the one-patient-per-episode formula returned. Surprisingly, it hasn't gotten stale. Instead, it's providing a bit of familiarity and clarity. House's hospital and colleagues are the same as always, but House has changed -- and the return of the old structure underlines just how different he is. He's less sharp with colleagues (though he's getting his edge back), and after his brief experience with psychiatric care, he's more willing to treat his patients as people and less like equations. He doesn't mock patients on their death beds nearly as much as he used to.

Combining the old structure with a new focus on trying to understand (and not just further complicate) House's mind has taken the show in a new direction. Last night's episode was no exception. After House heard Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) whispering to his deceased girlfriend before bed, House tried tried talking to his recently-deceased father -- and showed a vulnerable side we've never seen before. It was the first truly honest moment we've seen. Meanwhile, the patient-is-still-alive autopsy case was gruesome, awesome, and totally characteristic of the old format. We love the more sophisticated storylines, and we're happy to have the medical mysteries back. What do you think?

Comments (41)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
It's also nice having the original team back together for a bit. Except for Epic Fail (which was only okay) this season has been brilliant. James Earl Jones was excellent.
Reply
Flag
I wan't House to be like he was before..I liked him as the type that doesn't give a crap about anyone...
Reply
Flag
I agree
Reply
Flag
I always thought after watching ep1 Broken that the show would be steered in a newer, slightly fresher direction and that the bi-product can realistically be the best season produced thus far......

time will tell ;)
Reply
Flag
I agree it started out feeling like something was missing,I think it was House,but he seems to be returning ever so slowly and hopefully the new House will be as sharp as the old,This new direction kind of scares me because it has the feel of a last season.
Reply
Flag
I think this is going to be a great season, like in the "gold times" XD, im a bit worried about audience... last episode take 10 millions... on first season took 18 millions... im rihgt? i dont want this affect the show...
Reply
Flag
House is in the house!
Reply
Flag
Love it!! Brilliant... this is why House is my fav show.
Reply
Flag
Test
Reply
Flag
Really enjoying the season so far, with the exception of Epic Fail (the episode was so-so for me)
Reply
Flag
Brilliant and still catchy as ever... makes Mondays worth waiting for:)
Reply
Flag
Good to see House back to being his grumpy old self. If he suddenly became nice, I would be suspicious. But seriously, how do the writers intend to reform this modern Ebenezer Scrooge? He's still got a bad leg and a bad attitude, but at least he's trying to treat his patients like people instead of so many sets of symptoms to be cured. I, for one, would like to see an episode where even House is baffled by an illness nobody has ever seen before. That would certainly make him vulnerable!
Reply
Flag
I am loving the new season! Frankly I always had a bit of a problem with the addiction angle, because I hate all kinds of addictions (cigarettes too). So it's good to see House provide the good example and kick the habit. It's not easy either.

The medical stuff is as entertaining as ever.

I'm also keeping my fingers crossed for the furthering of his "relationship" with the Boss. Maybe by the end of the season I'll be able to write relationship, sans quotes.
Reply
Flag
I'm really enjoying this season of House.
Reply
Flag
I have to say my favourite moment in the season so far is Omar Epps freaking out when the guy he was cutting in half turned out to be alive. If you freeze frame on his face it's absolutely honest panic. It's not horror movie "I just soiled my pants" fear, which is something kind of hard to avoid given the scene they were doing. Yeah, I like the old team and the familiar setting, and I like being able to spot the instances where House does non-House things and being conflicted about whether I like it or not. I actually thought the last two seasons, pretty much everything surrounding Amber's death and what came afterwards, had gone to the medical soap opera well too often.
Reply
Flag
Things are getting back to normal... finally! It was about time that House got back in the house, a little changed, but still with his usual stubborn humour. This series keeps getting better and better, each season!
Reply
Flag
House is more than just a show to watch and entertain you. It pulls you in and makes you "think" about things. You become involved with the stories and the moral ideals they might present. That is why House will be the best medical drama ever.
Reply
Flag
I have to agree I like having the 3 regulars back on the team but I did like Taub and 13
Reply
Flag
I totally agree - it's shaping up to be the best season so far. But I don't think the start of the season was bad - episode 601 was just perfect and touching and awesome! Can't wait to see where this is going, and hope they'll bring 13 back!
Reply
Flag
House has always been one of the best shows around, but in S06 I think it's matured to perfection. It's currently my fave show. And yes, I'm overly happy too that the old medical mystery one-case-per-epi structure has returned, much as I love character development and interaction the show would be lacking without the medical aspect. Now they're doing a fine job of balancing the two types of epis, the old team is back and everyone's participation is more or less on equal terms as far as screen time is concerned (as well as character depth). House's behavior has certainly changed, I do believe he's making a sincere effort to be less of a pain. That said, I'm probably the only one who thinks the final scene with him talking to his dead father was nothing more than a friendly joke. I don't see much more in it that just House's way of atoning for hurting Wilson, and reconciling with him.
Reply
Flag
This show has been the greatest for years. And it keeps getting better. I can't wait to see what happends on season 6. Love to see the three musketeers back (Cameron, chase and Foreman) I missed them.



Like AlexandrosKarab wrote - Rowan Atkinson to House... great thinking. Could be very funny.
Reply
Flag
Loving it so far. Foreman and Chase still as annoying as ever though. Huddy URST is good, Wilson/House friendship has given some really sweet moments. I LOVE the direction the writers are taking this, good job guys.
Reply
Flag
its a little different but not enough that it changes the show. i wish they'd hurry up and hire his new assistants. considering he's been there long enough to start getting pay checks they've had more than enough time to hire someone. my guess is they won't start this season DX.
Reply
Flag
House is the best medical drama by a mile.
Reply
Flag
The show is getting greater and greater it's episode! I have one tinny proposal to do.I would like to see Rowan Atkinson guest starring in a special episode! He has worked with Laurie in the past (Blackadder) and it was hillarious!
Reply
Flag
I must say with the table on the turn House is getting greater each minute that passes. The fact that Hugh Laurie is now even producing his own show let us see how much of a dedication there is to make House one of the best shows there is. I just wanna say Keep up the good work, en please let Cuddy and House move a little closer to each other.
Reply
Flag
THIS SHOW SERIOUSLY JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER AND BETTER!!!!
Reply
Flag
It was one of the best episodes i ever seen
Reply
Flag
i was hoping the mental hospital thing would last a few more episodes.
Reply
Flag
tons of fun!! ^_^
Reply
Flag
What can I say, the formula of seasons gone by work and the new slant on House's life keeps things fresh.
Reply
Flag
I'd say it's more of a return to the quality of Season 1 when House wasn't nearly the bastard that he turned into in later seasons...always a good thing. But what's really been great about this season is the return of the original ducklings and the exit of their inferior replacements.
Reply
Flag
I'm glad to see house back on his game
Reply
Flag
This is the way to go! With House finally cleaning up his act, we now get to see the real man who use to hide behind the Vicodin. Kudos to the writers!
Reply
Flag
ODDBALL? The start of this season was Amazing, cmon !
Reply
Flag
Not so sure about this new formula
Reply
Flag
I love this season, especially the last episode was awesome!
Reply
Flag
I loved the start of this new season and I'm glad in this "newish" house that we've seen so far. House seems to still be the "boss" even underneath Foreman, but he's different now. I'm surprised that practically his entire team from last season quit and it's back to the original cast again. It's one of the better seasons right now and highly recommended.
Reply
Flag
The last couple seasons were decent but nothing compared to the first three. This season is definitely developing into a really good one so far.
Reply
Flag
I want more House! House! House! I want more House! House! House!



XO XO



:):):):)
Reply
Flag
I, personally, like my shows to evolve, even if I like the way they are now.
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook