Why 'House' is making me sick

Why 'House' is making me sick

There are 27 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Dec 15, 2008, titled Why 'House' is making me sick. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Did you enjoy the exciting, thrilling, surprising ending of last week's "House" episode? For me, anyway, the ending landed with a thud.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

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Kempten, Germany

#1 Dec 15, 2008
"I don't mind this season's House-Lisa Cuddy flirtation much. The actors, Laurie and Lisa Edelstein, have enough skill to sell it, and their schoolyard flirtations and zingy banter are usually good fun.

Of course, nothing substantial will ever come of it, but at least it's not dragging the show down."

why do you think that???

Chicago, IL

#2 Dec 15, 2008
Dear Mo: Loved your article and I agree with you 100%. The most interesting couple on "House" is House and Wilson -- the episodes which featured them living together were among the best and funniest. Wilson should be featured much more than he is, as well as Chase and Cameron. As for the character "Thirteen", she has the personality of a hermorrhoid. Is she married to David Shore? If not, I can't imagine why she is being featured in every episode. She is by far the least interesting; is extremely annoying; and can be replaced by a syringe. I would like the show to focus more on House and Cuddy, who have a wonderful chemistry, and feature more of Wilson, who is marvelous. Hugh Laurie is one of the best actors on t.v. and I hope the show's creators make some changes before they lose more of their audience.

Indianapolis, IN

#3 Dec 15, 2008
I love the flirtation between House and Cuddy, but I absolutely agree with every other bit of constructive criticism you voiced in your column. I don't like Thirteen as a character, and I'm not sure why the writers are wasting so much time on her; I really think they should scale back her air time.

I miss Chase, but I've never cared for Cameron or Foreman. Taub, Kutner and Chase are the most fascinating "duckings" on the show, and they are also the three we're least likely to see do anything meaningful. Why is that?

However, I have nothing but praise for the talents of Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein and Robert Sean Leonard. As long as they remain on the show, I'll still watch.

San Francisco, CA

#4 Dec 15, 2008
I miss the relationship between Chase and House. I feel completely let down and am feeling the lack of Wilson/House interaction. The direction this once fantastic show is going is more than disappointing. Not to mention the way the writers are forcing Thirteen down our throats is making me gag.
Mari From the Dominican

Santiago, Dominican Republic

#5 Dec 15, 2008
I love you for that.
Let's hope the writers stop being so self-centric and actually listen to the true fans. Those 6 million of viewers lost can not be blamed only on the time slot.
Please, writers, producers, get back in the track. Stop wasting stablished characters, stop shoving the incredibly BORING Thirteen down our throats. WAKE UP.
marie uk

Preston, UK

#6 Dec 15, 2008
Oh wow !!!!!! I agree withb everything except that " Olivia Wilde is capable "...I honestly dont think she is ..her expresssion never shows any difference between killing a patient or her interaction with any other collegue , and when she is up against the best facial expression in the business..Hugh Laurie ..( who can speak volumes with the raising of an eyebrow ) its even worse , and the end of last weeks episode was a complete sham ,who in thier right mind could posssibly think that the very untimely snog between her and Foreman was more of an end of episode scene than the Cuddy/House scene which was unbelievably sincere, poingnant,relevant and superbly acted by both Lisa and Hugh ,I was gutted when it then went on to another scene and felt cheated ...I am so so close to switching off of late ..this is not the House we all fell in love with ,IMO 13 and the pathetic storyline along with her mediocre acting is ruining this programme , it may already be to late to salvage it , and when you think of the Wilson /House ...Cuddy /House .. Cam /Chase and even Taub/Kutner storylines they could develope more..its criminal to keep pushing 13 down our throats ....

United States

#7 Dec 15, 2008
Well, Id be upset about 13 and Foreman if I didn’t think that it was about time Foreman got laid by anyone. He's straight and Cuddy is busy, Cameron is taken and Amber is dead so really 13 is the only one there to give him any.

I think that 13 was put in because the men are so not-pretty that they needed to make up the total network primetime prettiness sum in one outrageously perfect chick.

I am really liking Taub and Kutner though. It is very very rare that an adulterer on tv can garner any kind of sympathy. Usually when you hear about a character cheating on his wife (a pretty, sweet wife who loves him no less!) the viewing audience turns against him in spades OR takes a rakish delight in the character simply because he is so amoral (like the lead on Mad Men). The guy playing Taub has done really well in making this guy a complete and flawed person……

And Kutner I just thought he'd be like a Chase in the first season, some likeable man-boy but the way they're writing him is really good and the actor is smart enough to pull off the deepness with understated acting…..

Saint Albans, NY

#8 Dec 15, 2008
I am mourning a show that I feel started to go off the rails around halfway through season 3, when they hooked up Chase and Cameron (keep in mind he originally slept with her when she was drugged up and at a really low point).

Then they bloated the cast. IF they had been telling the truth about wanting to keep the show "fresh" (funny, I hadn't noticed it was stale), they should have chosen a different combination of new ducklings--say, for example, Cole (Mormon guy), Cutthroat Bitch (Amber) and Taub, I guess. Instead, we got Ducklings 2.0, weak and uninteresting characters I couldn't care less about. I wasn't done with the originals!

To be specific, I loathe 13. I also loathe what's been done to the character of Cuddy. In season 1, she was a strong, confident woman who RAN that hospital. They've turned her into a needy, dependent, inappropriately-dressed woman who rolls over when House says "Boo." Their "romance" makes me nauseous. A woman to wants a man who is so insulting and disparaging—in public no less!—needs a good therapist. Never mind her unprofessional demeanor every time a baby enters the hospital. Yeah, yeah, we get it. She wanted one bad.

I MUCH prefer House/Cameron. She never tries to change him, accepts him for who he is, and still, to this day, says no and stands firm when necessary.(For those who see 13 as another Cameron, I say 13 is a weak and cowardly version--when Cameron became ill, she read those test results in front of House. And House cared enough to read them first--whereas 13 tossed her results in the garbage and House did not reach over to read. Still, if Foreman is a minor House, and 13 is a minor Cameron, I suppose that's a backhanded nod to the pairing I prefer.)

And House the man? Sigh. They've turned him into a parody of himself. Compare season one with the past two years. In the last Christmas episode with the virgin birth, he helped because of a bet with Wilson. Compare this with an early episode where he had the dumb clinic patient's husband tested for "Mono" to secretly determine paternity and ended up being the woman's OB! There was no bet, no ulterior motive, and I'd lay odds that Wilson never got the full story of that either. Or how sweet he was the elderly clinic patient Georgia. Wilson and Cuddy trying to "teach" him how to be more like them is ridiculous. As Cameron once said, why does he have to change?

And the show is being moved to Mondays, the most-watched night of the week. THAT’S what they think will fix it? They need to cut the fat and return to its roots.

So why do I still watch? I watch because Hugh Laurie is brilliant. And I live in hope that they can still fix this train wreck. But I remember when I used to be heady with anticipation for a new episode. Now I cringe and cross my fingers.

Norwalk, CT

#9 Dec 15, 2008
I would take exception to the fact that the House/Cuddy interaction is entertaining. It's cringe-worthy and painful. If you like seeing a man slam doors in a woman's face, verbally abuse her, undermine her authority, grab her breast in public, and generally treat her like a sex object, then I guess you'd see the fun in it. But I prefer less abuse and more respect in my favorite pairings.

As for the rest, I agree with you wholeheartedly. House, the man, and House, the show, are sad caricatures of what they used to be. The new team is a big snooze, Cam and Chase are relegated to cameo status, and Cuddy is House's fawning fangirl instead of an effective boss like she used to be. Quite frankly, I'm over it.

But I still love the reruns of former seasons.

Chicago, IL

#10 Dec 15, 2008
In the UK shows run for a couple seasons at most.

Here, they drag on and on and on - waaaaaaay past the point of them being interesting.

So many shows should have ended after season two or three and didn't.

House needs to go.
Heros needs to go.
The Office needs to go.
Earl needs to go.
etc etc etc....

All good shows that had their run and should now step aside.

Enough already.

Port Colborne, Canada

#11 Dec 15, 2008
Why the need to recycle your last Watcher column? As the completely unscientific poll you did showed, there is no consensus on Thirteen. I think House is doing just fine. The only thing the writers need to do is remember Hugh Laurie is the centre of the show and it is not an ensemble. Other than that, they should develop the storylines the way they want. I don't think Shore or House has any copyright on arrogance, Mo.

Washington, DC

#12 Dec 15, 2008
Hi Maureen - Good points, all. I think there's the germ of a good character in Thirteen, it's just that for whatever reason they've devoted a disproportionate amount of attention to her for the last two seasons without tying it back to House himself very effectively so far. And that's where the heart of all interest lies, on this show. They'd have been much better off letting her spend more time having small team subplots and working on the medicine and saving her personal storyline for a shorter, more impactful burst. Considering the last time two characters had a subplot that veered away from House himself - Cameron and Chase's relationship arc of season 3 - they nearly vanished soon after its completion, I have some hope that they're setting things off so that these two ride off into the sunset together at the end of the season. But not enough hope to hold my breath, of course.

Of course, to be fair to the House writers, the production schedule for the show this season hasn't been doing them any favors, with episodes 1-8 completed in early summer, and a long break before the rest began production. That makes it difficult to respond to criticism of early episode plots and emphases, and, one imagines, to tell a cohesive story. But given that episodes 9-11 have all felt rather insulting to my intelligence in their poorly-developed plot contrivances, I'm a little apprehensive about the rest of the season's episodes. Here's hoping they turn it around.

I do have to argue with one of your points, re: the House/Cuddy storyline: "Of course, nothing substantial will ever come of it, but at least it's not dragging the show down." To me, that nothing substantial will ever come of it is precisely what makes it a drag on the show, to my mind - we know more or less how it will end, and predictable = a pretty good synonym for boring, to my mind. Everyone knows House will probably never get into a relationship on the show, so the only inherent value in a romantic storyline for him is whether it's fun to watch. Laurie and Edelstein have good chemistry when Cuddy can hold her own against House, but that dynamic's mostly been absent during this arc, making it unpleasant to watch for me in much the same way the House/Cameron arc of season one was. The evidence suggests to me that the show is incapable of writing a romance between House and any regular character without making her less independent and compelling, so I'd really prefer if they'd just cut it out and write something with a guest star if they really need House romantic arcs.

Decatur, MS

#13 Dec 15, 2008
Mo, I agree with you. Thirteen is the most prominent thing dragging down House. Though I think the show lost its greatness when they sent Chase and Cameron to the netherregions of the hospital only to be heard from enough to keep their fans hanging on waiting for Katie Jacob's multiple empty promises that they'd be "back" or well integrated with the rest of the cast to come to fruition.

Aside from Hugh Laurie, Jesse Spencer is the best thing this show has going. While he may be eye candy, he also has depth and charm and makes the most out of every scene they give Chase. I want to see Chase and House's relationship explored more. It's a thousand times more interesting than 13, 13, more 13, or 14 for that matter.

Those in charge of House really need to reevaluate the creative decisions they've made in the past year and a half. There's a reason they've lost about 10 million viewers since the high points of season 3. Those dots are pretty easy to connect. 13 and the other changes the show has made are driving viewers away.

Ottawa, Canada

#14 Dec 15, 2008
"It needs to fix the issues with its supporting cast. It needs to winnow down the number of supporting characters and make the junior doctors more interesting. It needs to finally decide whether to bring back Chase and Cameron in a real way or let them go for good."

It's not that easy. Shore sidelined two very popular characters in order to bring three new ones on. In essence, he made a promise that the new characters would be as good as or better than the old ones. That has failed; while some people don't mind the new team (often those who feel that House, Wilson and Cuddy are the only necessary characters on the show), the general audience hasn't taken to them. He's invested in these characters and it's an investment that far from bringing dividends continues to cost the show.

Shore needs to cut down the cast but the problem is who. There are people who are unhappy with this season (including the House/Cuddy story line) but who continue to watch for Cameron and Chase. I know a number of people who feel that way and if Chase and Cameron go, so will they. On the other hand, to cut the new team would mean admitting he made a mistake and I don't know if his ego could do that.

It looks like this is the point at which Shore shows whether he really is a good showrunner or just a flash in the pan.
Been there

Geneva, IL

#15 Dec 15, 2008
tripoli wrote:
In the UK shows run for a couple seasons at most.
Here, they drag on and on and on - waaaaaaay past the point of them being interesting.
So many shows should have ended after season two or three and didn't.
All good shows that had their run and should now step aside. Enough already.
Hey marine, I agree with you on shows dragging on and on past the point of being interesting. U.S. networks would do well to learn from the UK.

That being said, House is one of the few decent scripted shows on network tv, so I'd like to see it stick around another season or two.


Watching Thirteen is worse than chewing sandpaper.
Kutner deserves more scenes if only because he is played by the wonderful Kal Penn.
I agree with everyone above who wants more House/Wilson scenes; they're the best part of the show.
Chase is interesting and deserves more screen time as well.
Cameron is too whiny and self-absorbed at times.

Dundalk, MD

#16 Dec 15, 2008
The Boards are filled with complaints from fans who finds the character 13 very boring. Do the producers care? Nope, instead they keep featuring her story lines week after week.

If not for Hugh, Lisa and Robert, I would have stop watching House last year.

Elyria, OH

#17 Dec 15, 2008
Couldn't agree more that last week's closing scene was dull.(Most likely because these are the two characters I care the least for on the show!) I also agree with the whole Thirteen thing. It's no offense to Olivia Wilde, I just don't like the character. I think they should let Foreman and Thirteen ride off into the sunset, and just be done with it. And, yes, they need to trim down the cast. However, if they do so, I hope they at least keep Cameron.(I'm still holding out hope that she'll end up with House! Plus, I think she's a good doctor, and often makes good calls. Maybe she could head up another diagnostics department, as was offered to Foreman, once she's gotten the ER thing 'out of her system'.)

sharp2799: I'm pretty sure he became the OB so he could use the doctor's lounge. ; )

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

#18 Dec 15, 2008
I've been a loyal viewer of this show since the pilot episode, but things have changed so much that I'm ready to throw in the towel. House and Cuddy have both changed for the worse, the wretched Thirteen is vastly overexposed, and the bright spots with Chase and/or Cameron are too few and far between. While I agree that the cast needs trimming, if Chase and Cameron are gone, then so am I. That is where I finally draw the line.
Iwa Iniki

Moorpark, CA

#21 Dec 16, 2008
If you don't like the show, don't watch it. Personally I believe it is one of the best shows ever to hit the airways. Also, stop writing the script, which you just did in your comments about "House". Either try writing your own show or attack some of the really ridiculous shows on T.V. in today's world.
Iwa Iniki

Moorpark, CA

#22 Dec 16, 2008
All you people who make so many negatiave coments about "House" don't realize how lucky you are to have a show with a multi-talented man like Hugh Laurie. And to top it off, he is a really nice guy in person. I remember people making negative comments about "Murder She Wrote" and Angela Lansbury after several years. Not only is she a great lady, but also she is a great talent. T.V. was lucky to have her. By keeping her show on the air, she kept many people employed. To this day, her shows are very enjoyable and it is great to see all of yesterday's stars. Well, enough time wasted on responding to all you ingrates out there. Aloha!

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