Friday, February 1, 2008

New TV? Oh Thank God

Thanks to Fox hording all their new episodes during the strike, this week we got “A Very House Christmas”! And I don’t mean you see a bit of tinsel or anything. I mean Secret Santa plays heavily into the B-plot, and the whole show ends with the cast socializing warmly at a Christmas party. Held in the lobby.
(I’ll just say this and then we’ll move on: HorseSHIT the Christmas party is held in the lobby. I hate it when shows do this. Last year, the Christmas party at my job was held at Dave and Buster’s. In March.)
Anyway. The closing shot, of House’s old staff meeting his new one, was there to bluntly inform viewers: “Kutner is your new Chase, Taub is your new Foreman, and 13 is your new Cameron.” To which viewers could be forgiven for wondering, “Why can’t we just keep the old ones?”
Turns out, as much as this show is about maintaining a formula (53 minutes of being frighteningly wrong, followed by a Wilson-induced Epiphany), the supporting characters have actually grown incrementally over three seasons to become capable doctors and more mature human beings – in other words, characters that offer no conflict for House. Whoops.
Weirdly, the show doesn’t quite seem to know what to do with having twice as many cast members, and so far this season, until they work the kinks out, we get a couple of Foreman scenes, and if we’re lucky, one for Chase and one for Cameron. Sometimes we get one or the other. This week, Cameron got as much screen time as a donkey. Possibly less.
If there’s any difference between the new support staff and old, it’s that the newbies seem to lack moments of actively despising their boss, no matter how many quirky insults he tosses their way (and while the plentiful racial jabs don’t seem to bug Foreman or Taub, it’s a little conspicuous that House hasn’t lobbed one playful slur Kal Penn’s way – that’s a good agent you must have there, Kumar).
As a result, House is coming off as little more than a crazy uncle figure. Which is quite a switch-up from last year at this time, when House – sweating, bug-eyed, and out of his mind in need of a Vicodin fix – ripped into Cuddy for what an awful mother he thinks she’d be.
So yes. Enjoy the Christmas episode. Then enjoy the Superbowl episode, which looks to be a slight departure from standard format. And then one more, and then HOPE THE WRITER’S STRIKE ENDS early enough that they can film a few more.

General internet reaction to return of “Lost”:
Omigod Hurley is off teh island and is Charlie alive or no whose that black guy did you know his name means like hell place or something omigod peeeeeeeeeeeeeee
My reaction to return of “Lost”:
Okay, seven episodes to go before frustration sets in….
“Lost” is one of those shows I really like, but fucking HATE listening to groups of people talking about it. I think it’s because this show generates speculation from people who aren’t really equipped to do it properly. It leads to left-field guesswork (good for you if you somehow deduced that Jack and Claire are siblings eight episodes into season one), or an attempt to link ideas when there’s simply not enough real information to go on (that goddamned four-toed statue).
Personally, I like to sit back, let the information I’ve received stew in the “Lost” section of my brain, allow it to make a few connections, and accept that some things I will not figure out until I am explicitly told (goddamned four-toed statue…!).
So my feelings are:
- I am glad this show is back on. I hope the strike resolves soon enough that we can get something closer to a full season;
- I am FREAKING ECSTATIC that Lance Reddick is on the show (but seriously, writers, you’re giving him a name that’s Hebrew for “hell”? Why do you have to do that to people?);
- If I have to do any speculating, I will say sure, that could have been Jack’s dad in Jacob’s cabin, since John Terry was listed in the guest starring credits, but didn’t otherwise show up in the episode;
- I am terrified that we’re going to have to sit through another “How’d Jack get that tattoo?” episode, based on a new one Matthew Fox got on his arm for some reason late last season.

1 comment:

Molson said...

you have no idea how much i despise lance reddick