TV Corner: House

After 8 seasons and 177 episodes, the doctor is out

I know – this is another case of me lamenting over a past TV series that ended last year. Yet given the impact this one made, I feel I at least have to say a few words. House has been epic in its impact. Not just in the UK or the USA, but globally. From day one there has been drama, comedy, mystery, tragedy, love, hate and oodles of character. All centred around and encompassing an American medical drama. In 2004 the formula for House was created and soon stuck in the minds of millions, garnering massive praise and acclaim.

Of course, perhaps predictably but deservedly, a great degree of the credit for this success must go to the show’s star Hugh Laurie. Here in Britain especially, he had already been ingrained into the canon of television history by mostly appearing in comedic roles, starring in Blackadder and A Bit of Fry and Laurie with his colleague and long-time friend Stephen Fry.

Whilst his career was ever on the up, what originally seemed to be Laurie’s relatively inauspicious attempt to take America proved to be a great opportunity to show the world his incredible power and range as an actor – playing the title role that would eventually lead to him becoming the highest paid dramatic television actor and the most watched leading man in the world.

Yes, Hugh Laurie is a force to be reckoned with throughout all the episodes of House. His “modern-day medical Sherlock Holmes” character (a concept embraced by all involved during the conception of House) has held audience attention for eight years. Hugh Laurie is House – it is as simple as that. He is a bright shiny jewel in a well-garnered crown. Joined by a remarkable regular cast, including Robert Sean-Leonard’s Wilson, Lisa Edelstein’s Cuddy and rising star Olivia Wilde’s Thirteen, and glittering guest stars throughout, it would be difficult for anyone to say that the House acting entourage does not deserve recognition.

Add to this remarkable plots that, despite some critics claiming they were a tad predictable, have provided stylish dialogue, gritty medical drama, and enough twists and turns and ups and downs worthy of a true television classic. Again I admit that I did not follow House from its inception, although right from the start it was already gaining massive momentum. Yet the opening episodes of season 4 were enough to send me right back to the beginning of the medical maverick’s adventures, and I remained hooked until the final heart-wrenching moment of the eighth and final season.

Like all shows that one follows for a long time, the ending of House was bittersweet for me. But perhaps unusually, although a small part of me still wished for more, I was quite at ease with the resolutions provided, and the journey that the team behind the show took the audience on. With minimal hiccups along the way, one can see that House’s story had a beginning, middle and end, albeit an often unusual and intrinsically individual one. Indeed, this 8 year story was not only massively popular and gained its stars international fame, but cemented its place in entertainment history. I think I can safely say that there will never truly be another like House. 

Sam Jackson

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