Wednesday, February 10, 2010

House MD. Seasons 1-3

It was such an obvious choice, one wonders why it had not been done before. Take the classic detective story—Sherlock Holmes—and combine it with one of the most popular TV genres—the medical drama. House MD. made it very clear that they were translating the great detective into the hospital environment. They had all the elements: Mysteries? Check. Eccentric genius? Check. Slightly clueless best friend side kick? Check. Addiction? Check.

The early episodes of this series made a strong effort to re-imagine Sherlock Holmes, and at the same time showed how much the work of a doctor is like the work of a detective. It was a natural way to approach both genres and breathe new life into them. Towards the end of the first season they even produced TV brilliance in the episode “Three Stories.” It played with the story-telling and produced something even closer to the Doyle stories by adding the narrated quality—while at the same time taking a postmodern approach like something off The X Files or Millennium in the mid-nineties.

Unfortunately, as with most television today, the network stepped in and ruined things. They nearly did so in the first season when they tried to introduce a “villain” to the story. They had failed to see the uniquely creative concept they had on their hands and tried to make it like every other drama onscreen. While that attempt failed, they persisted and prevailed later on in turning the show into another prime-time soap about a cast of characters either fighting or sleeping with each other. At the end of the third season the original concept had gotten so lost, and things had gotten so convoluted, they blew the whole thing up in an effort to start things over...

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