There are two reasons why I dig House, M.D.
The first of these is Hugh Laurie. A narrow, bent man struggling through the white hallways with the aid of cane and disguising his passion with cynicism, the show is his.
The second was last week's episode, where they killed a baby with a flip of a coin. More importantly, however, this dead baby became the centre of the episode's medical mystery, and thus its death and following autopsy were crucial to the survival of the other babies. I liked that. Any show that can have it's main character flip a coin to decide which baby will get which drug, and then proceed to have the dead baby cut open so that the doctors learn what's wrong (in short becoming the breakthrough of the case) gets my attention.
Of course, maybe they've been killing babies like this on tv for years. Truth is, I haven't paid this much attention to what's on since I was in High School, though I don't think I've missed any fine and excellent baby killing shows. The overall quality of TV is much the same as it was ten years ago, with a few things worth watching, and a lot of pretty people and plastic sets for things I don't dig. Plus, Oprah is still round. Still, there has been a slow swing away from reality tv to script and actor shows, which is nice. The difference for me, however, is that cinema is absolute shit at the moment.
I know cinema has never been perfect, but where are the dead baby movies? I'm probably more open to the Speculative Fiction, comic adapted films than most of the public, but I've seriously had enough.
So, I've been jumping TV channels. I started with Lost, but got bored, though I jumped back for the death of Boone. Don't look at me like that. It was mostly boring, anyhow, with the show apparently giving a back flash to give us the symbolic nature of Jack's last name, which is Shepherd. Subtle. Real subtle. I can just imagine the script writers sitting around, talking about the characters, and one says, "Hey, we need a name for the character who becomes... becomes, you know, their, like, leader? We need a name."
"Jeez. That's tough."
"Yeah, I know. I know. We already called one Locke. He knows all about the island, but doesn't want to share."
"Have we got a character called Key to fuck him in the ass yet?"
Silence. Pens tap. Coffee is drunk. Finally, one says, "Fuck it, lets just call him Shepherd."
I thought that the least they could have done was chop Boone's leg off with that hideous piece of island made machinery. Is it too much to ask? Chop chop. At any rate, I got bored with Lost. I'm getting bored with Boston Legal because when William Shatner is not in the scene, I'm struggling to find interest. Spader is okay for the moment, but what really bores me are all the plastic beautiful people around Shatner and Spader, and the fact that each episode, on it's own, doesn't have any bite to it. Perhaps I was wrong to think there ever would be.
So I've landed on House. As with Boston Legal, the cast around Laurie are all the plastic beautiful, and with the exception of Omar Epps, struggle to have any emotion outside plastic and beautiful. Perhaps this is something that describes American television: shows that are populated by central characters who are abrasive and unpleasant and interesting to watch, but who are surrounded by what might as well be mannequins. There's a show in that, I think. I'd really tune in for something that had Hugh Laurie and a cast of plastic, genital smooth mannequins that walked around.
What is currently saving House, however, is that the plots are proving to be more interesting than that of the previous two shows and that Laurie, always a more than capable comedian, is excellent with the humour. Of course, it could be that I have simply been show a fine episode directed by Bryan Singer, and another episode, which while a bit clunky, gave me a dead baby. In a couple of weeks, I could be bored and moving on to another show which, lets face it, is entirely possible.
I offer no loyalty.