Why Do I Love House? – Part Two, Breaking the Rules

Hugh-Laurie-570x427So, I wanted to continue this little dissection of my favorite show and why I love it, and I wanted to get to it earlier, but I’ve been working so much that it felt like every day I woke up, got ready, left, then came home and fell asleep and nothing else. I’m still working but the hours have shifted for the next few days.

So, House as a show breaks all kinds of rules, and I love that. It’s different. It turns things on their heads. The main character is not the good guy. The good guy if there is one, is Wilson. House on the other hand is a pill-popping Vicodin addict who says the most un-PC things imaginable, who regularly jokes about internet porn (it doesn’t download itself!), says the rudest things to his boss (my favorite being, “Good morning Dr. Cuddy. LOVE that outfit. It says, ‘I’m professional but I’m still a woman.’ Actually it sort of yells that last part,” which really is among the tamer examples I could have chosen), he is crass, and there are tons of crazy sex references. It’s like the anti-appropriate show, not at all for the feint of heart or the easily offended, what with a patient who uses strawberry jam as birth control jelly (LMAO), another who tries to circumcise himself, House being found with over 600 vicodin pills, and the general irreverence towards any code of ethics.

House as a character also breaks all the rules (and sometimes the equipment) in his search for answers to the medical mysteries. He lies to patients, disobeys his boss, steals his ex’s therapy notes, and does whatever most outrageous thing to get to his diagnosis. There’s an episode called “Safe” where he thinks a girl has a tick causing her symptoms, and she’s near dying, no one else thinks he’s right, they tell him to stop the tick search, and the girl has to get rushed to the ICU. House somehow maneuvers his way onto the elevator with the patient, presses the emergency stop button and searches for the tick as her vitals drop. I love it because the pressure is so on, everyone’s against him, he couldn’t be in more danger of getting in huge trouble, and he does it anyway, because he knows it’s right.

There are zillions of examples like that. He breaks into Cuddy’s office and computer, skips out on clinic hours, harasses Foreman, treats patients before tests confirm the diagnosis, publicly fucks up a speech he was strong-armed into giving by the new evil billionaire board director (and in doing so, telling the truth about pharmaceutical markups) and much, much more. Sometimes, it’s almost painful to watch, and yet at the same time, so satisfying, to see someone so blatantly disregard social constraints, orders and expectations, and seemingly fearlessly.

I like it all because it feels like a gust of fresh air, something so different from anything goody-goody, and it addresses the fact that most people are lying, hiding, keeping secrets, which of course he usually figures out. I love that the show goes against anything that you’d expect, and destroys any sort of social expectations, and presents a character and a show that represent a lot that most people might judge, but presents it and him in a more sympathetic light. I love rooting for the anti-hero hero. And I love the general attitude of irreverence, the way House will do what’s right instead of what everyone else wants him to, the way he is never afraid of getting in trouble, even when he should be.

I want a little of that for myself.

~Emilia J

Currently Listening:
“Rootless Tree” – Damien Rice

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