Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Talkin' Television...

So, earlier tonight, Jessi and I watched the House episode "Humpty Dumpty".

As with so many shows, the title of the episode wasn't shown anywhere in the show itself... but it was mentioned in the on-screen guide when we watched it from our DVR. Just in case you were wondering. But if it hadn't been for that, I still would've known the title from the Polite Dissent blog, which reviews all the episodes.

Anyway... Jessi and I love "House." Or, as the titles call it, "House M.D." We're relative late-comers to this show (as we seem to be with a lot of shows), and as such, we've been a bit spoiled by the number of eps we've been able to see in a short period of time... new episodes airing on Fox, reruns from the first season on USA... and now that the new eps are all done, Fox is showing two episodes every Thursday, back to back!

Thanks to Wikipedia, it was pointed out to me the parallels between House and Sherlock Holmes -- after all, Holmes sounds like Homes, and House is a synonym of Home. House has one good friend, Dr. Wilson... which sounds like Watson, Holmes' only good friend. Both Holmes and House have an unparalleled ability to take in a number of details that escape others and come up with a logical conclusion. Oh, and both Holmes and House have their addictions... House to Vicodin, I believe (it could be some other pain-killer), and Holmes to opium. Holmes played violin, House plays piano.

There the parallels end, more or less. Holmes certainly didn't have a trio of young detectives working under him, nor did he work for a woman (I can't see trying to compare Dr. Cuddy to Inspector Lestrade).

Another major difference is the personalities of the two. I figure you're probably at least somewhat familiar with Holmes, so I'll just talk about Dr. Gregory House.

House is an arrogant know-it-all who doesn't personally care about his patients. Once he figures out what's wrong with them, and they're cured, he has no further interest in them. He pretty much says what's on his mind all the time, no matter how others might take it. He comments on the size of Cuddy's breasts. He makes jokes about Dr. Foreman being black. He makes jokes about Dr. Chase being rich (then again, Foreman makes rich comments, too). He makes comments about Dr. Cameron (both about her looks -- and she is gorgeous and sexy -- as well as about her caring too much). He's certain that everybody lies -- and that's often borne out as the episode progresses.

Now, I think that if I were to meet someone in real life like House, I'd probably not put up with him... or at least I wouldn't like him. But I have to admit, I see a tendency in myself to act like him on occasion. House is a know-it-all in his field (as well as in other areas of interest), and likes demonstrating his intellectual superiority... and I've been known to do the same as well (although I've been working on trying to be more subtle about it... still, if I know the answer to a question, I'll answer it).

But if I or someone I cared for were seriously ill, I would much rather have a doctor like House in charge of the treatment (someone who may irk me personally, but will hold on like a hungry pitbull until he solves the problem) than a doctor who I got along with but was all-too-willing to waste time trying one test at a time, and waiting for the results of that test, and not even consider other possibilities.

The doctor who initially treated my late wife, Barbara (before she had to go to the emergency room) was a doctor who Barbara liked personally... and he did not believe in bucking the system. He'd do one test -- just one -- and patiently wait for it to come back (sometimes weeks later) before looking at another possibility.

House? He'd never be that patient. Or that stupid. Stubborn, yes... stupid, no. A few weeks back, we even saw an episode of House in which he treated a patient who had the same condition that Barbara had... and he recognized it quickly, and got it treated.

In a way, I suppose watching House could end up being as frustrating as watching The West Wing was -- I was a big fan of The West Wing, but seeing a good president on that show, and then dealing with our real-life president, who was (and continues to be) a polar opposite got too frustrating, and I stopped watching.

I suppose if, now that I've been watching House, if I did have to start dealing with real life doctors who weren't like that would get equally frustrating (if not moreso).

Still... if you don't watch the show, I can strongly recommend it.

Jon

1 comment:

  1. Dr. House's address is #221B, same as Holmes.

    Sherlock Holmes was partially inspired by a doctor that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle knew when he was a medical student.

    --Scott

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