Wednesday, May 13, 2009

House End of Season 5

‘House’: Never Give a Sucker a Happy Ending

Darren Michaels/Fox

Published: May 11, 2009

At last count YouTube listed seven pages of fan videos under the subject heading Huddy, the Brangelina-ized coinage meant to designate the fractious love connection between Doctors Cuddy and House on the Fox series “House.” One of these videos abjures all the cheesy sentiment that the show, which ended its fifth season on Monday, has aggressively rejected. Alluding to the impediments presented by House’s painkiller addiction, the video is in French and titled: “Je Me Sens Si Seul (Sans Ma Vicodine),” or “I Feel So Alone (Without My Vicodin).”

Among the non-Euro entries, some toss reality out altogether, extrapolating from random House-Cuddy scenes to completely fabricate plotlines. I point you to “House/Cuddy — Kissing You,” by someone who calls herself Duchesscloverly, a video that imagines Cuddy pregnant with House’s baby and then enduring a miscarriage that we are meant to believe bonds them further.

It is not merely the unrelenting push-pull of the show’s writing, but the “His Girl Friday” chemistry between the actors Hugh Laurie (House) and Lisa Edelstein (Cuddy) that inspires otherwise reasonable women to bizarre, time-consuming digressions of fantasy. By “otherwise reasonable women” I am not referring to the cohort of Duchesscloverlys but to the person typing these words on my laptop.

Shamefully, I would have been overjoyed if the season finale had ended with House and Cuddy electing to spend the summer together in Corsica. This would have betrayed the show’s primary covenant — to keep House miserable — and entirely erased its integrity. And yet I would mostly have wondered if House and Cuddy were going to make time for a stop in Sardinia.

Of course the producers of “House” don’t care about our fantasies and instead poured a big bucket of Freon on our mushy sucker hearts. “House” treats the women who watch it the way House treats women generally: It mocks them for any genuine emotional investment.

The show’s maddening appeal is its insistence on dressing up like a soap opera as it willfully declines to behave like one. Toward the end of the season House was suffering from drug-induced hallucinations, which made manifest his guilt over the death of two colleagues, one of them a suicide for which there was no apparent explanation. (In real life there was one: Kal Penn, the actor who played Dr. Kutner, left the show to take a job as an associate director of the White House Office of Public Liaison.) In the season’s second to last episode House goes to Cuddy to seek help for his deteriorating state, and we are privy to a recovery that takes place not in 12 steps but in 12 efficient hours.

Cuddy takes House to his place to detox, and after a rough night of keeping him from getting at his pills, he wakes up hunky-dory, his cold sweats behind him, ready for a round of thank you sex. The move was a wily one, satisfying our base urge to see them together. But the finale undoes all the fun because it turns out that Cuddy didn’t take House home and didn’t sleep with him. It was just another House hallucination, resulting in his final breakdown. The next morning, House keeps twirling a lipstick he believes Cuddy left at his place but realizes later that it’s really a bottle of the Vicodin he hasn’t given up.

“House” refuses to buy into the myth that a good woman can save an ornery jerk, and the finale made it clear what a dope you were to even think the show would try. It doesn’t want to appease the woman who wants to appease her Harlequin Romance self. It wants to appease anyone who gets ticked off when a romantic comedy shows an accomplished woman in a skirt suit giving it all up for a jobless, slovenly idiot.

The House-Cuddy attraction isn’t an attraction of opposites. It’s an attraction between two highly intelligent workaholics, two people too interesting for anyone else but ultimately unfit for each other — no matter how pathetically we’d like it to be otherwise.

Exclusive: Meet House's new roommate!

Jun 4, 2009, 09:54 PM | by Michael Ausiello


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the first official House scoop of the new season: Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda has been cast as House's psych hospital roomie, sources confirm to me exclusively.

Miranda, best known for writing and starring in the Broadway musical In the Heights, will appear in at least two episodes beginning with the show's sixth season premiere this fall.

A House insider tells me producers are looking for other "interesting actors" to populate the psychiatric facility that became House's home in last month's finale. So if you're an actor who excels at riding the crazy train, forward this story to your agent ASAP.

Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes the first official House scoop of the new season.

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