I don’t have much time for television in my current job, but parishes or no parishes, I haven’t been able to give up House, MD. The show ended last year but I’ve been watching it on Netflix—I march at my own pace, as readers here know—and last week I reached the final episode.
Dr. House, as viewers can attest, is a difficult man to like. A drug addict, a cynic, a master-manipulator, he shows glib disregard for the feelings, beliefs, and even human rights of others. He has a penchant for insulting patients and destroying relationships with anyone who dares to get close to him. A difficult man to like, yes—but I like a challenge.
The genius of the show comes from the character’s complexity, the fact that House needs relationships even as he unconsciously (and sometimes consciously) burns the ones he has. His colleagues (and viewers) see through his frequent, and slightly too insistent, assertions that curing patients for him is only a matter of solving puzzles. And a great deal of his off-putting-ness comes from the fact that he says things that are true, or uncomfortably close to the truth, but socially unacceptable. Read the rest of this entry »