Homage for House

Reca Caballero, Reporter

The Show

When patients are on the brink of death and inflicted with puzzling diseases, they are sent to Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital to set their only hope on a sarcastic medical genius, Dr. Gregory House. “House, M.D.” is a critically acclaimed TV series which involves Dr. House and his intellectual team of diagnosticians who solve their patients’ mysterious sicknesses. “House, M.D.” is similar to Sherlock Holmes, except the culprit is a peculiar disease, and the victim is a dying patient. “House, M.D.” premiered on Fox network on November 16, 2004. “House, M.D.” successfully ran for eight seasons and 177 episodes, with its peak of 19.4 million viewers during its third season. Moreover, the show was awarded two Golden Globe Awards.

I really like the show House. What I like about it is that I’m learning medical terminology while watching interesting cases about diagnosing people who can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong with them. Also, I love House’s messed up sense of humor and personality.”

— Paulina Ngoun, senior

The Doctors

Hugh Laurie plays Dr. Gregory House, an eccentric, narcissistic doctor who walks with a cane, doesn’t wear his white coat, and refuses to actually visit his patients. He replies to everyone sarcastically, and his friends wonder if he truly cares about anything at all. Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) is the Dean of Medicine, a.k.a. House’s boss, is the only one who can butt heads with House and can retort against his rude remarks. Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard), an oncologist, plays House’s best friend. House’s team of diagnosticians includes Dr. Eric Foreman (Omar Epps) a neurologist; Dr. Robert Chase (Jesse Spencer) an Australian intensivist; Dr. Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison), an immunologist. Together, they diagnose the complex diseases of their ill patients.

The Minor Characters

Not only does House have to battle Cuddy, he faces billionaire Edward Vogler (Chi McBride) who tries to monopolize and reshape the fictional Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital into a testing facility for his own new drugs. Another important minor character is Stacy Warner (Sela Ward) who was House’s former girlfriend of five years. House can’t seem to get over her, and to make matters worse, she starts working at the hospital as their lawyer. Their relationship adds romantic tension to the show.

Season 1 – Episode 1 – The Pilot

The show begins with a kindergartner teacher teaching her students as usual, but suddenly she loses the ability to speak, and suddenly collapses. The scenes change to the hospital, showing House walking with a cane, and Wilson asks why he isn’t wearing his white coat. House replies “People don’t want a sick doctor.” Wilson gives the case of the kindergartner teacher to House, but House just shrugs it off as brain cancer. However, it’s unlikely because the patient is not responding to radiation, and because of her age29 years old. House ends up taking the case because the patient is presumably Wilson’s cousin. When the teamHouse, Dr. Chase, Dr. Foreman, and Dr. Cameron come together, they all have different possible diagnosis for the patient, but nothing seems to fit. House initially thinks it’s vasculitis and decides to put her on steroids (prednisone). He says “If she gets treated, we’ll know we’re right. If we’re wrong, we’ll learn something else.” Meanwhile, House then asks Foreman to trespass into the patient’s home, and Foreman finds ham. Initially, the steroids appear to be working, however the patient suddenly can’t speak, starts to seize, and her heart stops for a moment. House’s team can’t seem to solve the mystery. Foreman accuses Wilson that the patient is not his cousin, and Wilson confesses that he lied to House in order to get him to take the case. Foreman informs House about the ham, and suddenly it clicks. House says, “If there’s ham, there’s pork. When there’s pork, there’s tapeworm.” It all  makes sense because if ham doesn’t get cooked well, tapeworm larvae live and they shut down the immune system. At this point, though, the patient wants to stop all treatment and wants to die, unless there’s proof she has tapeworm. Chase gives the idea to X-ray her leg, and the tapeworm “lights up like a Christmas tree.” In the end, the patient trusts the doctors, and her tapeworm is cured by taking two pills of Albendazole.

House (Hugh Laurie) , holding a defribrillator.
House (Hugh Laurie) , holding a defribrillator.

What Stands Out

“House, M.D.” isn’t your average medical TV show. With its unsolved mysteries, seemingly undiagnosable diseases, and of course, a cute Australian doctor, “House, M.D.” is anything but boring. The show engages the audience and keeps them on their toes because they are dying to find out what’s wrong with the patients. Not only is “House, M.D.” is interesting to watch, it’s also very humorous. House’s witty and sassy remarks to his team, Dr. Cuddy, and even his patients are hilarious. The humor successfully contrasts with the severity of each case, which lightens the mood while watching. When people think of medical shows, they think of a formulaic plot, where the show just focuses on solving the case. However, “House, M.D.” does more. “House, M.D.” uses the patients to create character, and to teach valuable lessons about livingand also dying. House’s evolving character is interesting as well. He begins cold-hearted and indifferent because of his past; however, he slowly changes and begins to think of others. He cares about his patients, but he just shows it in an unorthodox way. House demonstrates that even doctors are imperfect and have flaws, but they learn from it.  All together, “House, M.D.” is humorous, dramatic, psychological, and even heartwarming.

Why to watch

Sick of boring shows? “House, M.D.” is just the cure. All eight seasons are currently streaming on Netflix. Just press play, and you won’t regret it. Be prepared to dive into the show’s suspense, plot-twists, and mysterious cases. House’s diagnostic team cleverly solves each case using their mastery in medicine.  Don’t be surprised the next time you go to hospital for a check up though, because you’ll be diagnosed with “House, M.D.” addiction.

Why do you watch House?

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