The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Burnin’ Down the (Latest Season of) House

Written by: Phoebe Raven, CC2K Staff Writer

Image What can I say in defense of my favorite television show? Not a lot this week. Don’t get me wrong, I want to love the show, I am willing to forgive a whole lot when it comes to it, but lately it has been stressing my patience.

Let’s go back to the beginning. Season 3 ended with a brave move on the writers’ part, leaving House without a team. This took a whole lot of guts, because who could honestly say if people would tune in anymore once Chase, Cameron and Foreman were out of the picture? And wouldn’t it have been über-lame to have them come back into their original positions? So, what to do, what to do?


The solution the writing team came up with was amusing to me at first. House hires 40 doctors and eliminates them a few at a time. However, this elimination process dragged on forever, half a regular season, and to me that was just too long.

And now in episode 9 it all ended and House has his team. Or so we are made to believe.

In an interview with TV Guide, producer Katie Jacobs revealed that Cole (the African-American single dad and religious man) and Cutthroat Bitch aka Amber may just be coming back every now and then, because the writers “fell in love with their characters”.

This creates all kinds of rumblings in my stomach, because what is the point of having an elimination game if then you fold and keep bringing characters back, because you just can’t let go of them? Katie Jacobs pulls the argument that House had a much smaller cast than many of the other network shows and this season was all about extending the cast. I am not so sure that is a good idea, because if you have more characters to cover, you will necessarily sacrifice some depth in the portrayal of each individual one. Not to mention she also said that Chase and Cameron are supposed to be woven back into the stories more as well. The beauty of the show was always the intricate psychological relationships between the characters and they were shown through little details and subtle nuances. The more characters you have the less subtle you can be. And blunt is not something that suits House, the show, well.

Furthermore I also have to mention how unhappy, not to say outraged I am at House’s final picks for his team.

The final three are Number Thirteen, Taub and Kutner. CT Bitch aka Amber lost out in the last second (to all who read up on rumors, the final line-up was pretty much clear since last month, when news leaked to the internet that Olivia Wilde, Peter Jacobson and Kal Penn had permanent contracts with the show). There are so many things wrong with the choices for the final team.

The first mistake the show made that jeopardized all the audaciousness it had earned with Season 3’s ending, was to have those people end up on House’s team that you could smell ten miles down the road. The minute Thirteen and Kutner walked onto the set, you knew they were going to stay, simply because their actors have a much higher profile than any of the others. Honestly, who is surprised they made the cut?

Now, one by one, the break-down on why these three are the wrong people for the job in my opinion:

Taub: why in the world does House need a plastic surgeon on his team? Okay, the guy can never work as a plastic surgeon anymore (some complicated thing from his past), but has he bothered to learn a new specialty? No. How many of House’s cases so far have had anything to do with plastics or after effects of plastics (and aren’t those mostly infections anyway?)? The reasoning that Taub challenges House, which Cuddy and Chase brought forth, I can’t really see. The only thing that speaks for the guy is his experience as a doctor, he is not as young as Chase, Cameron and Foreman were back in the days. But really, who likes Taub? He is not a likable guy. He isn’t even funny. He is not at all intriguing to watch.

Kutner: Has he gotten anything right on a diagnosis ever? To me it always seemed like he was even more wildly guessing than the rest and House could walk all over him. What, now you are saying House walked all over Chase as well back in the day? Well, true, Chase was a suck-up, but he had very good diagnostic ideas and at least he was predictably a suck-up. Unlike Kutner, who seems to be stumbling along every step of the way, always choosing his alliances anew. Remember he got fired once and then came back? Seems House isn’t so convinced of his qualities either. He isn’t even good at playing House’s games, which at least Chase was, so what does Kutner really bring to the table?

Thirteen: I can’t even begin to complain about this one. She has been compared to Cameron, another young, pretty doctor with a thing for House. But can she measure up? Her big intrigue was supposed to be that she doesn’t reveal a lot about herself and that makes her interesting to House. Well, technically it also makes her very boring to watch. I am not a big fan of Olivia Wilde at all, I hear the words she says and she says them perfectly, but somehow everything she says lacks weight. Remember when Cameron complained that no one took her seriously because she was pretty? Cameron found a way to work around that because she had moral standpoints and was wicked smart. Thirteen doesn’t have that weight. She is so reclusive, she sorta gets lost in the jumble. Unless she screws up and kills a patient or House finds out she may be ill.

Do you see where I am going with this? Sure, we never got to see the interview process for Chase, Cameron and Foreman, but at least they were funny sometimes during the differentials. Have Thirteen, Taub or Kutner ever been funny? I think it’s a lot to ask of Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard to carry the humor all by themselves.

What is my solution to all my complaints you ask now? Do I want the old team back? No, that is not my solution at all. I love Cameron and Chase, and even Foreman to a degree, so every week I wait for them to have more screen time, but I know that they could never come back to work for House and as a viewer we have also been there and done that. But I miss them greatly.

So if House needed a new team, who would I have picked? Well, Amber would have definitely been my choice over Thirteen and I liked Cole a lot as well, because he really had a morally opposed standpoint to House that was representative of a lot of people out there. It could have led to interesting clashes, I think Cole would have had a lot to teach to House. And yes, I dared to say that.

As far as number three on House’s team goes, Foreman is all the Number Three you can wish for and Cuddy’s plan was for House to only hire two people anyway.

So Amber and Cole would have been my picks. One can dream.

I am a little scared as to where the show is going next, and quite frankly I dread having to see Thriteen, Kutner and Taub every week. To me, this is the worst team of all House could have picked and it will take me a lot of will to keep liking the show. Now my only reason to keep watching is Robert Sean Leonard. Let’s hope he doesn’t get any stupid ideas and stays with the show.