Wednesday, April 28, 2010

House Rules

The Missus, Suz and me are regular viewers of HOUSE, M.D. (and before you excoriate me for the "M.D." suffix I double dog dare you to check it the official Fox website for yourself). It is a show that we not only try to make sure we see in its original, first run episodes on Monday nights but a show that we are drawn to much like flame-seeking moths whenever and wherever we stumble across a repeat.

If you have ever seen two minutes of any episode or have heard your friends or co-workers (who may be one and the same. I meant not to suggest by the use of the disjunctive that those two groups are mutually exclusive) discussing it, then you are familiar with the basic set-up of the show. The titular character is a human Horton at least as far as saying what he means and meaning what he says goes. Gregory House's fidelity scale tends to fluctuate at levels somewhere south of 100% more often than not.

The appeal of Dr. House to me - and to I suspect countless of my fellow fans - is that he is the person all of us wishes we could be. Do not misunderstand. None of us aspires to be a pill-popping, crutch-using misanthrope 24/7. But each one of us wishes that in our day-to-day we could do what House does week in, week out: do and say exactly what it is he wants to do and say and suffer nary a significant consequence.

Often watching House in action reminds me of my old pal Jay - one of my college roommates. He and I used to talk quite a bit about what a world it would be if just for one day you had the ability to speak exactly what was on your mind to anyone and everyone without fear of repercussions. Unfortunately for Jay and me, by the time we worked our way around to this particular topic of conversation it was usually fairly late in the evening and we were just a couple of waves in a sea of drunks at the bar, which is not a body of water that looks kindly on free range philosophizing. Using nothing other than the crowd around us as a control group, we repeatedly were reminded that in the unscripted drama that is life the freedom to speak as one wishes is not as free as it appears to be in the corridors of Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital.

With age comes wrinkles, gray hair and occasionally wisdom. In twenty years I have learned to leave the dispensation of tough medicine to the licensed professionals such as my favorite MD Dr. House.

He has better writers. And only 42 minutes a week that he has to fill.


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