Season 6 (2009 – 2010)
It’s official. After years of being a faithful weekly watcher, I have canceled House as a series. Although it feels like a divorce, rather like the one I went through with the original CSI, the time had come to end the relationship. House had become formulaic. Every week there is the bizarre disease of the week and every week House and his posse would gather around and throw ideas up on the whiteboard to see what would stick. And they would put the poor patient through a myriad of painful tests, until someone said something totally unrelated to the case. Then a miracle would happen. You could almost see the cartoon light bulb above the head of House go on. Blink. And magically, the solution would become clear. The patient would be cured. Rarely did a patient die. A happy ending would unrealistically ensue.
In House, the words “health care” were rarely mentioned. Nor were the words “my health care policy needs to approve this treatment” ever uttered. We never heard “my health care company will not pay for this and I can’t afford to your treatment on my own dime.” The show never followed the cured patient home, where a “For Sale” sign sways gently in the breeze. The health care company gets the house. In this day and age it is simply unconscionable to present a program that purportedly takes place in a hospital, even the fictional “Princeton-Plainsboro,” and not mention health insurance and the problems that ordinary people have paying their bills. It seems that all of House’s patients have jobs and great insurance plans and compliant insurance providers. The rest of us think of our health care provider as a loan shark: if you don’t pay our extortionist rates we will break your legs and refuse to cover your medical expenses.
But the saddest conclusion I came to is, that despite the brilliant beginning of Season 6, Dr. Gregory House fell back to his old ways. As often happens with people who have an addiction problem, they can be “cured,” that is freed from their dependency, but they leave therapy without getting the years and years of treatment they need for their acquired personality disorders. House is simply immature, manipulative, narcissistic, and quite possibly a sociopath. House and his sadly used sidekick, Wilson, seem to have become twin Peter Pans, stuck into a freakish old-boyhood. I can’t imagine why any adult would live with House. Most doctors work hard and many bring their work home. Spending the day with people who are suffering and dying takes a toll, but these two—one of them an oncologist—are just a pair of merry pranksters. At a certain point, say approaching fifty, behaving like a child is just weird. If you are a doctor who is constantly dealing with death, playing silly games defies belief—even for television.
So I leave House and House. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.
Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette
The Arts Blogger