Yes, it follows the trials and tribulations of a team of physicians, but that doesn’t mean FOX’s “House” is a normal run-of-the-mill medical show. It is something more, combining mystery, character-driven drama, emergency-room urgency and appealing camera work to create a visceral and cerebral experience that oozes style.
The pilot episode begins with a kindergarten teacher collapsing to the ground in front of her class, falling into convulsions and struggling to speak coherently. The patient, named Rebecca, is taken to the hospital and placed in the hands of the quirky, yet brilliant, Dr. Gregory House. House, along with his three-man team sets to work trying to diagnose Rebecca’s malady. As the mystery pans out, audiences will find themselves captivated by the stellar writing and enticing plot dynamic. Every twist and each little hang-up in the case proves to be intriguing.
The all-around excellent acting is also a high point. Hugh Laurie, as the neurotic and highly anti-social House, breathes fidgety life into the character, making the hero seem both impervious and also human. The supporting cast, led by Omar Epps (“Love and Basketball”) as Dr. Foreman, also contributes to the authenticity of the show. Their performances make the hospital realistic, which, needless to say, adds to the overall quality of the program.
As the show builds toward the climax, House is forced by his over-bearing boss to take part in a variety of pesky diagnoses, which helps to lighten the atmosphere, lending a sense of humor to a show that could have been derailed by too much serious drama. These hilarious little interludes make the dramatic moments and also the final confrontation with the patient’s ailment that much more suspenseful. Kudos to the writers for striking such a nice balance.
Overall, “House” is an excellent show that deserves an audience. Exciting programming seems to be a rarity these days, so it is always refreshing to discover such a smart, well-produced series. It seems that FOX’s latest effort is just what the doctor ordered.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars