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    Hugh Laurie in House

    Let me introduce you to a new medical series (well, new to me) called “House,” on the FOX network. It isn’t just an everyday medical series in that the main doctor (House) is battling his own pains in his body.

    Hugh Laurie’s character is irreverent, not trusting and an ingenious diagnostician. His bedside manner is definitely lacking, and frequently he can be seen lashing out at his co-workers.

    I’m especially drawn to this type of show in that I have my own quirks and can relate. I have a lot of experience with doctors, mainly due to my MS, but I also have several doctors in my family.

    I just watched an episode and I was taken into the mind of House as he deals with a hugely overweight gentleman with a mysterious malady other than the obesity.

    Mysterious maladies are the key theme on House. I laughed out loud at the following line, as a detective was speaking to House:

    “I think working around a bunch of nurses has given you a false sense of your ability to intimidate.”

    The ever-irascible House somehow winds up being a lovable character because of both his quirks and his many flaws as a human being.

    When the obese man, named George in this show, simply wants to go home and live his life, house tries to reason with him to no avail. As he sarcastically uses a series of “fat” puns, he finally comes out with:

    This conversation is over because I’ve run out of clever things to call the guy.”

    Who finally gets through to George is a nurse who delivers him the bad news of having lung cancer. George quips:

    “I never smoked a single cigarette. C’est la vie.”

    Everyone in the ensemble cast gets good lines and it is obvious that in spite of House’s sarcasm, everyone is shown ultimate respect for who they are.

    Surprisingly, the protagonist, House, is arrested for driving under the influence as well as possession of a controlled substance. Unlike most TV programs where the hero is vindicated, this flawed character is guilty and gets away with it.

    As he is telling a colleague why he was arrested, House reveals he gave the policeman in question a rectal thermometer unnecessarily just to get his ire up. It apparently worked, because House was ultimately arrested and thrown in jail. In the cell, House quips his cell-mate “believed the Devil enters into you through soap and water, so he never took a shower.”

    In an especially poignant scene near the end of the show, a fellow doctor and friend lies to the police to keep House out of trouble with the law. The overall dysfunction of House is shown to affect everyone close to him.

    I highly recommend this show for its off-beat humor as well as depth of characterization. It can be seen 9 p.m. on Tuesday nights on the FOX network.


    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com