Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Geek TV: House!

The Cast of House (well, for one season, anyway)
Concept: A brilliant, if misanthropic, physician and his team of diagnosticians solve medical mysteries.
Total Episodes:174

Original Air Dates: November, 2004 – May 2012
Original Network: FOX
Geek Factor: 4


house-m-d_9fca7df0Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie): An unconventional medical genius and definite antihero. Unorthodox, radical, and above all else rational, he's often compared by show fans to Sherlock Holmes (see notes). He rarely sees his patients in person. House is addicted to Vicodin to manage the pain in his leg from an injury suffered some years ago. He was a military brat, and spent time in his childhood in Egypt, Japan, and the Philippines, which influenced his choice of career. House loves his mother but hates his father – and later deduces that the man he thought was his father wasn't his biological father at all (and, as of this writing, hasn't learned it). He attended Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medical School, and met Lisa Cuddy while studying at the Unviersity of Michigan. It was while attending a medical convention in New Orleans that he met his eventual best friend James Wilson. House used to be involved with Stacy Warner, a constitutional lawyer, but after his leg injury, House blamed her for making a medical decision that left him crippled, and she left him. At various points in the series, he briefly dates Dr. Cameron, but gets much more involved with Dr. Cuddy, although they eventually broke up. He also had managed to kick the Vicodin addiction, but started taking them again before breaking up with Cuddy. House is also an accomplished musician, playing the piano and the guitar extremely well.

Wilson and House
Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard): House's only true friend, and frequently provides him with consultations and aid. He's Watson to House's Holmes; Felix to House's Oscar. Often, while having conversations with Wilson about unrelated matters, House gets his “aha!” moment and solves his current case. Wilson is an oncologist who, ironically, contracted cancer in the final season of the show, and underwent a radical treatment with House's assistance. He met House in New Orleans at a medical convention when Wilson (which is all House ever calls him, just as Wilson – and everyone else – just calls him House) accidentally broke an antique mirror and started a bar fight. House bailed Wilson out of jail and hired an attorney to clear his name because Wilson interested him. Wilson has a history of failed marriages. His last serious relationship was with Dr. Amber Volakis, aka “Cutthroat Bitch,” which ended when she tragically died. House and Wilson probably have the truest “bromance” ever on television.

Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein): Dean of Medicine and hospital administrator at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital through season seven of the series. Cuddy is Jewish, has one sister, and became the first female and second youngest Dean of Medicine at 32. She met House while attending the University of Michigan, where they shared a one-night stand. Later, she hired House to run Princeton-Plainsboro's diagnostics department, setting aside $50,000 a year from the hospital's budget for legal expenses. As the series progresses, she adopts a baby girl, named Rachel, becomes involved with House seriously (after having a relationship with Lucas, a private investigator House hired to spy on Cuddy), and then breaks up with him when his selfishness keeps him from being with her at her time of need (at least, until he started taking Vicodin again, which he'd quit before they got together).

Dr. Robert Chase (Jesse Spencer): One of the few characters to stay with the show throughout its run. Chase is Australian, raised Catholic, and had attended seminary before becoming a doctor. One of House's original team members, House fired him at the end of the third season, although Chase resumed working at Princeton-Plainsboro as a surgeon, and was rehired by House in season six. Of all the team members, he shows the most support for House, often putting him at odds with Foreman, who shows the least support. He was interested in Cameron from the onset, finally getting into a romantic relationship with her that led to their getting married, although they later divorced when Cameron learned what Chase had done during the treatment of a dictator.

Dr. Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison): Another original team member, Cameron was part of the show until partway through the sixth season, although she was back for the final episode. When she was 21, she married a man with terminal thyroid cancer who died six months later, which leads House to believe that she pursues relationships that won't last forever. She had a crush on House in the first season, and got House to go out with her just one time. She and Chase kind of started seeing each other in the third season, and in that season she also quit House's team, becoming a senior attending physician in the emergency room. At the end of the fifth season, she and Chase get maried, but in the sixth season, after learning that Chase was responsible for the death of Dibala, a brutal African dictator, she leaves him – although she blamed House for Chase's inability to see right and wrong.

Dr. Eric Foreman (Omar Epps): House's biggest critic on his team, Foreman was an original team member as well. House claims that he hired Foreman because of his history as a juvenile delinquent who burglarized houses and stole cars. He quit the team at the end of the third season, taking a job at New York Mercy running their diagnostics department, but when he acts too much like House there, he's fired, and eventually is offered his old job back at Princeton-Plainsboro. Foreman had a brief relationship with Thirteen, becoming known together as “Foreteen.” At one point, House himself quits his job, and Foreman takes over the position, but this led to his firing Thirteen so they could date without it being a conflict of interest. After Cuddy quit her job as Dean of Medicine, Foreman took over that job, holding it for a year while House was in prison, and hiring House back when he gets released. Of all the members of House's team (or teams), he's probably the most honest, even at the cost of hurting other people's feelings (such as when he told Cameron he didn't feel they were friends).

Dr. Remy “Thirteen” Hadley (Olivia Wilde): When House's original team quits or is fired, House decided to hire a new team by doing a sort of reality show – he “hired” about 25 or 30 people, and eliminated people from one episode to the next as he decided who wasn't going to work for him. Dr. Hadley earned the nickname “Thirteen” because that was the number she was given (House didn't really bother with any of their names during the process, although he continued to call her Thirteen after hiring her permanently). She is bisexual, and has the gene for Huntington's disease, like her mother did. She is reluctant to reveal anything about herself, and tends to exhibit self-destructive and risky behavior in her personal life. As noted, she and Foreman have a relationship for some time. In the seventh season, Thirteen disappeared for six months, and when she returns, it's revealed she was in prison because she'd helped her brother (who developed Huntington's) kill himself to end his suffering. In the final season, she left the team, but returned for the final two episodes.

Dr. Chris Taub (Peter Jacobson): Another person hired for the second team, Taub lasted through the end of the series. He was a plastic surgeon who left his practice after he'd had an affair with either a partner's daughter or a nurse, and since he'd signed a non-competition agreement, he couldn't practice cosmetic surgery any more. Although he claimed to love his wife, Taub would continue to have affairs for some time after joining the team, but when he decided to remain faithful to his wife, he discovered that she'd been emotionally involved with a friend online, and divorces her – although they continue to see each other for sex afterwards! He also starts seeing a CNA who works at the hospital, and both women become pregnant, delivering girls – although House doesn't believe either child is really Taub's, Taub more or less embraces fatherhood. Of all the members of the team, Taub probably received the most grief from House – at least until other new members of the team were hired on.

Dr. Lawrence Kutner (Kal Penn): Another new team member hired by House, Kutner was a science fiction fan, as well as a bit superstitious. He is adopted. In the fifth season, Kutner commits suicide, leaving no reason for ending his life. House initially suspects foul play, but nothing comes of his investigation. The reason the death was written into the show as that Kal Penn was taking a job at the White House as a liaison connecting the Obama administration with arts and entertainment groups.

Martha Masters (Amber Tamblyn): A medical student, Cuddy hires Masters as a replacement for Thirteen because she wanted to eventually hire Masters when she finishes school. Awkward and reserved, she believes patients always need to be told the truth. Very intelligent, she proved valuable to the team, and was offered an internship by House when she graduated, although she was very quickly fired. She then took an internship on the surgery team, but subsequently decided to take time off to decide what she will do to make herself exceptional.

Dr. Chi Park (Charlyne Yi): Hired to join House's team in the final season, Dr. Park is similar to Masters in many ways, although she has a tendency to let her temper get the best of her at times. She very quickly becomes comfortable with the rest of the team, especially Chase, whom she discusses a lot of personal issues with, and the two become good friends.

Dr. Jessica Adams (Odette Annable): Dr. Adams worked at the prison House was jailed at, and when he is released, he convinces her to join his team. She married young and divorced her husband after finding her cheating on her. She shares a lot of traits with Cameron, although it doesn't appear she has any interest in House whatsoever.

Edward Vogler (Chi McBride): Billionaire owner of a pharmaceutical firm, Vogler became chairman of the board of Princeton-Plainsboro thanks to a $100 million donation to the hospital. He tried to control House repeatedly, and when Vogler demands the board fire House or lose his donation, they choose house.

Stacy Warner (Sela Ward): House's girlfriend of five years, Stacy was a Constitutional lawyer. House blamed her for his leg injury, which caused their relationship to end. Aside from House's mother, she's the only one who calls House “Greg.” She briefly worked in the hospital's legal department, but quit.

Detective Michael Tritter (David Morse): Tritter was one of House's clinic patients who tried to bully House into running tests House considered unneccesary, which resulted in House leaving a rectal thermometer inserted in Tritter for two hours. Tritter demanded an apology, but House refused, leading Tritter to start a vendetta against House, trying to get everyone to turn against him, arresting him for intent to distribute Vicodin, and generally trying to get House to lose his license. It was Cuddy, providing fabricated evidence, that finally gets House acquitted.

Dr. Amber Volakis (Anne Dudek): One of House's applicants, she was willing to do anything to get the job, and earns the nickname “Cutthroat Bitch.” House eliminates her because she's unwilling to accept being wrong, but she returns to the show as Wilson's new girlfriend! At the end of the fourth season, however, Amber dies from a combination of being in a bus crash and having amantadine poisoning. But in the following season, Amber reappears to House as a hallucination, which finally gets House to decide to get off the Vicodin, which was causing these hallucinations.

Lucas Dougas (Michael Weston): A private investigator originally hired by House to spy on his team, House later hires him to get information on Cuddy's personal life – this backfires, and Lucas starts dating Cuddy, and although they later became engaged, Cuddy broke off the engagement to be with House.

Geek Guest-Stars:

First Season cast of House
Ron Perkins appeared in nine episodes as Dr. Ron Simpson... he'd also played a doctor in four episodes of Heroes, played Dr. Mendell Stromm in Spider-Man, appeared in an episode each of The Huntress, Spy Game and American Gothic. Maurice Godin, who was Dr. Hourani in four episodes, also guested on Wizards of Waverly Place, Monk, 3rd Rock From The Sun, The Outer Limits (1998), Poltergeist: The Legacy, TekWar, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and Forever Knight. Currie Graham, who played Stacy's husband, also guested in a Monk, but that was about it. Edi Gathegi, who played Dr. Jeffrey “Big Love” Cole in seven episodes (in the running for the second team) had previously guested on Veronica Mars, and since has been seen in X-Men: First Class playing Armando Munoz/Darwin, and he also played a vampire in that movie series based on the crappy books about sparkly emo vampires.

Cynthia Watros, who appeared in seven episodes as Sam Carr (Wilson's 3rd ex-wife) also appeared in Lost as Libby Smith, and was Kellie Newmark on The Drew Carey Show. Alan Mueting had bit parts in a few episodes, he also guested on Ghost Whisperer, Heroes, Bones, Cavemen, and Chuck, and could also be seen in the movies Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Superhero Movie. The lovely Paula Marshall appeared in three episodes as Cuddy's sister, and prior to this she was Iris West in the first episode of The Flash, guested in episodes of The Adventures of Superboy and Dinosaurs, appeared in the movie Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, and I'll always remember her as Dr. Claire Allen in the original version of Cupid.

Carmen Argenziano appeared in three episodes as Henry Dobson, he'd had a recurring role on Stargate SG-1 as General Jacob Carter/Selmak. Andre Braugher appeared as Dr. Darryl Nolan in three episodes (House's shrink), and of course he's known these days for playing Owen Thoreau Jr. on Men of a Certain Age, but did you know he was the voice of Darkseid on Superman/Batman: Apocalypse? He also played Gen. George W. Mancheck in the TV miniseries The Andromeda Strain, was General Hager in Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and voiced Derge in three episodes of Jackie Chan Adventures. Lori Petty, who played Janice Burke in three episodes, was the voice of Livewire in Superman: The Animated Series, Noss on an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, the title character in Tank Girl, and has a handful of other geek credits as well.

Charles S. Dutton, who'd appeared as Foreman's father, had previously been in Cat's Eye and Are You Afraid of the Dark? Scott Michael Campbell had previously been in Project: ALF, Flubber, Psych, and later appeared in The Event. Kadeem Hardison, who appeared in two episodes, voiced Rubberband Man on Static Shock, and was also in Vampire in Brooklyn. Jason Lewis, who guested in two episodes, was Dex Lawson in six episodes of Charmed.

Geek Pedigree:

Bryan Singer, executive producer of the show, was the executive producer and director for X2 (the second X-Men movie – he directed the first one), producer of X-Men: First Class, and unfortunately, the producer and director of Superman Returns (guess you can't always pick winners). He's also credited with the stories for those films. He also had a cameo in Star Trek: Nemesis as a crewman.

One of the show's regular writers, Russel Friend, had also written episodes of Smallville, Roswell, and FreakyLinks, in partnership with Garrett Lerner. Liz Friedman was a writer and co-producer on House was also one of the producers on Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, and Young Hercules. She also wrote episodes of those shows. Doris Egan, another producer on the show, also was co-producer or producer on Smallville and Dark Angel, and she wrote episodes of those shows as well as House. Writer David Hoselton was the executive producer of the TV-Movie Justice League of America, and wrote that as well.
Among his geeky roles, Hugh Laurie has appeared in all but the first of the Blackadder series, did a guest voice in an episode of The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends, voiced a character in a 1996 Dennis the Menace, was Jasper in the 1996 101 Dalmations, the father in Stuart Little, its sequel and subsequent animated series, voiced Dr. Cockroach Ph.D in Monsters Vs Aliens, and has done guest voices on Family Guy and The Simpsons.

Omar Epps played Marcus in Dracula 2000 and Phil in Scream 2. Robert Sean Leonard had been in My Best Friend is a Vampire and a 2000 episode of The Outer Limits. Jesse Spencer played Triton Jr. in a 1998 episode of Hercules, and was Young Bill in an episode of Time Trax.

Lisa Edelstein voiced Mercy Graves in Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League, Gwen in an episode of The Zeta Project, and voices Sharri Rothberg on American Dad! Jennifer Morrison played Winona Kirk in Star Trek (2009) and voiced the Wasp in three episodes of The Super Hero Squad Show, and played Emma Swan on Once Upon a Time. Olivia Wilde played Quorra in Tron: Legacy, was Ella Swenson in Cowboys & Aliens, and played the Baroness in the video short The Ballad of G.I. Joe. Odette Annable had previously been seen in Transformers and Cloverfield (as did her House co-star Charlyne Yi).

DVD Release: Complete season sets, and probably a complete series set by now!

Website: is the official website – or at least, it was when the show was still running!

Notes: You think this wasn't a Geek TV show? Au contraire! There were geek references in just about every episode, and one of the characters, Kutner, was an out and out geek who owned some original Battlestar Galactica stuff! So far as the House/Holmes thing goes... both characters can tell things about other people just by observation, both have a drug addiction, both live in an apartment numbered 221B, Holmes sounds like “homes” – a synomym for “houses,” their best friends are Watson and Wilson – and in one episode, Wilson even pulls a prank on someone else by calling one woman the one who got away, and named the character who filled that role in the Holmes stories!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: Ehmm Theory #1

I was recently contacted by Jeremy Whitley, director of marketing for Action Lab Comics, asking if I'd be interested in reviewing one of their upcoming comics. Now, it's always been my personal policy to be open to reviewing anything that could be of interest to my readers, so long as I can receive the review copies enough in advance that I can read and review it and get it posted during one of the periods I'm home. Well, Jeremy came through, and I'll be reviewing a book from their new imprint, "Action Lab: Danger Zone," which is an imprint for mature readers only. "Ehmm Theory" is described by Jeremy as "It's a horror/comedy.  It's hilarious.  It's violent.  It features a talking cat and circus zombies." This is a creator-owned title, and it's written by Brockton McKinney with art by Larkin Ford, who are the owners of this property. Colors are by Jason Strutz. This book will be hitting comic shops in May of this year.

CBT: Popeye the Sailor Man in "Oyle on Troubled Waters"

Another one from my Book and Record collection -- you can find my video for this on Facebook or YouTube! popeye01