|“Babies?” “Don’t blame me, I live in the writers’ heads.”|
I simply had to post this, made by The Morning After.
If this doesn’t work, you can watch it here:
The premiere episode of the 8th season of House M.D. is titled “Twenty Vicodin”. One suggests that if you do not care to be “spoiled,” as the saying goes, stop reading right here and go page through InStyle. Please bear in mind that this review is based on a review copy, so there may be significant changes before the episode airs.
When Dr. House plowed his car into Lisa Cuddy’s living room in last season’s finale, “Moving On,” fans and critics were left in various stages of bafflement and rage. Then it was announced that the superb Lisa Edelstein was leaving for greener pastures. What to do?
A quick makeover! From Homicidal Maniac House to:
Sad and Sexy House. This House not only has a smoother, younger complexion, wider eyes and less gray in his beard, he also sports a leonine head of brown hair, glinting with gold and red highlights. In the first close-up we have of House after the open, lying in bed facing upwards toward the camera, Hugh Laurie looks as dewy as a maiden on a Spring morning. Physically at least, prison has been exceptionally good to Gregory House. Maybe it’s the L’Oreal VitaLift cream.
Emotionally, House doesn’t seem particularly remorseful, maybe quieter than usual. It is left to the other characters to tell us how much he’s punishing himself. He has refused to take any calls or see any visitors in the months he’s been there. One does hope he sent his mother a postcard.
“Twenty Vicodin” carefully lays the groundwork for audiences to fall in love with House again. This is supposed to be an “out of the box” episode. But it’s the same box in new wrapping paper. As listlessly written by Peter Blake and directed by executive producer Greg Yaitanes, the script follows the House formula. Except that none of the other regulars appear. And it’s set in a penitentiary.
The opening has House before the parole board. House parrots all of the defenses David Shore gave in interviews after the disastrous finale. Nearly word for word. Which must have saved a few days in the writing room. Having served most of his sentence—and a damn light one it is, too—House has five days before he is released. However, if he gets into any kind of trouble, no matter how minor, he’ll be stuck in prison. From there any sentient being knows the ending.
For one thing, he has to appease the leader of a gang of quite well-behaved middle-aged neo-Nazis. (One can imagine them in lawn chairs muttering “Kids today…no values…”) James Cagney would scare the fertilizer out of any of these fellows. House must give the leader, Mendelson, half of House’s daily allotment of Vicodin. Before he leaves, Mendelson orders that House pay an “exit tax” of twenty Vicodin.
House and Mendelson discuss medicine
Yaitanes’s style tends to be over the top: explosions, musical numbers, and of course House smashing into Cuddy’s living room. One of the unexpected aspects of this episode is that it is quite tranquil. The prison setting has the feeling of a large dormitory, with worse security than PPTH. That is saying something. As the inmates mill about the two-tiered set, there is one or at most two guards to be seen. If this is a minimum security prison, why are there psychotic killers there? If it is a maximum security prison, why aren’t there more guards? Why are there female guards, nurses and doctors? None of the prisoners harass them sexually? I told you these men were well-behaved. Or the cooks put saltpeter in the chow. There are a few punches thrown, but that’s about it until House reneges on Mendelson.
House’s cellmate is a homicidal killer (Kaleti Williams). This character was my personal favorite. Williams manages a complex performance with only a handful of lines. Guest stars Jaleel White and Michael Pare’ also have a handful of lines each, the latter appearing as the prison warden in the cold open, and the former as a chipper fellow inmate.
There is the PTOW, a memorable one for a change, repeatedly misdiagnosed until the final epiphany (the reveal is the sappiest I’ve ever seen outside of a Lifetime movie). There is a Wilson substitute who provides obligatory lectures and tells House not to be House. There is Cameron 3.0 in the person of Jessica Adams, a wide-eyed pretty young doctor. Odette Annabel, who plays Adams, looks completely out of place, as if she’s wearing her mother’s lab coat. As well as a gold necklace that has magically managed never to get stolen in a prison clinic. She is further burdened with the largest amount of expositional dialogue (when House tells her he wants to study Dark Matter physics so he can avoid any more human contact, she exclaims girlishly, “You can read people! You understand them! You gotta go back to medicine!”).
There’s only so much suspension of belief one can work with. The POTW’s arm is broken in one dramatic scene then not treated or even referenced again. And House as a prison janitor? “We need a janitor—let’s get the crippled guy!” (Small note: how does he get up and down the stairs?) How is he surviving on two Vicodin a day? The show hasn’t bothered much about House’s pain problem since Season Five, so when his cane is stolen he’s able to limp about ably with his hand on his thigh. He rubs it now and again to remind us it is there.
Hugh Laurie turns in a workmanlike performance. His passion has moved on to music, and it shows. The rest of the cast is uniformly good. As for the script, as one fan put it,”All I wanted from this episode was for it to Just.Not.Suck.” It doesn’t.
If this premiere episode is formulaic, at least it’s a workable formula.
Photographs courtesy Fox/NBC
With all of the tumult going on qua my last entry, I thought we could all do with some fun.
The Season Seven DVDs are shortly to be coming out. One of the much-awaited extras is the finale, “Moving On,” with commentary by David Shore and Greg Yaitanes.
I must emphasize that I DID NOT WRITE THIS. It was written by my dear friend Nancy, and published with her permission. Again, I DID NOT WRITE THIS. So give Nancy the compliments, not moi. But I think it’s tres amusant.
Title: “MOVING ON”; A DVD Extra Commentary fanfiction
Disclaimer: This is a fictional piece featuring a fictional executive producer David Shore and a fictional director Greg Yaitanes. Any resemblance to anyone real, or that we are familiar with, is completely coincidental. Much like House in the last episode.
Note: Italics show scene descriptions or spoken lines from the finale, “Moving On”.
“MOVING ON”; A DVD Extra Commentary
House makes his way back to the car after seeing Cuddy having a nice time with a strange man, her sister and her sister’s husband. He fingers the hairbrush as he climbs in.
Wilson: What just happened?
House; Get out.
Wilson: What just happened?
House: Get out.
Wilson: House, what are you mad about? Just let it out. You’ll feel better.
Wilson gets out of the car.
David Shore (DS): That damn Wilson character annoys me with his constant caring and concern.
Greg Yaitanes (GY): Yeah well, can’t have a tough brooding anti-hero without a goofy sidekick. Besides, Leonard fills up screen time.
GY: Never mind.
DS: I think he should have kept Wilson in the car.
GY: But then he would have risked killing him.
DS: No one is going to get hurt. Just because it is a 1972 Dodge with no airbags doesn’t mean anyone is at risk.
House drives down the street and begins to turn the car around
DS: Whatever happened to House’s Corvette?
GY: Volger made him give it away.
DS: But House never listened to Volger.
GY: Want me to bring it back in Season 8? He could have it on the island.
DS: How will we explain it’s sudden reappearance?
GY: We have to explain things?
House begins to pick up speed
GY: Awesome!! We’re coming to my favorite part. He’s gonna do it!!
DS: Of course he’s going to do it. He’s under contract.
GY: Too bad Lisa didn’t renew.
GY: You know, the chick with boobs.
DS: The model?
GY: Nah, the older one. The one in the house.
DS: Whatever, that was a Katie Jacobs’ thing, not my vision. We don’t really need any women on this show. Well, maybe one, but that always could be a hooker. Our female fans always enjoy women presented as nothing more than sexual fantasies.
GY: Or one night stands for Chase and Taub,
DS: I know, cool, huh?
House spins the car to the left onto the driveway and then the lawn, going at top speed. Wilson jumps out of the way.
DS: Now watch as our speeding hero instantly figures out the trajectory of the car, the layout of the house to be certain there are no support beams he might hit, positions the car to crash in a way that hurts neither himself nor anyone in the house and…assures that the car won’t explode.
GY: And he does this all while high on a month’s supply of Vicodin, consumed with rage, and while speeding as fast as he can go!
DS: That’s why we call him a genius!
GY: How does he know that Rachel isn’t in the house? Or one of Julie’s little kids?
DS: Who’s Julie?
GY: Cuddy’s sister.
DS: I thought she was named Lucinda.
GY: I thought so too but the fans wrote to us to tell us no.
DS: We still have fans? I thought we got rid of those this season?
GY: I’m working on it, I’m working on it. These things take time, you know.
DS: Don’t be so sensitive, Greg. Anyway, I don’t know about any kids of Lucinda, er, Julie, but Rachel is at Arlene’s house.
GY: Yeah, but how did House know that?
DS: Cuddy mentioned it in one of the sneak peaks. That’s how he knew.
GY: House watches his own sneak peaks?
DS: Shut up and watch the crash.
Crash! Right into the dining room. The table is destroyed, a light falls from the ceiling. Car door opens with a concerted push.
DS: And look, he’s not even wearing a seat belt. And yet he doesn’t have so much as a scratch.
GY: Not to mention he checked himself out of the ICU that morning.
DS. I know. Is he is a cool super hero or what? Er, I mean anti hero.
GY: I guess you were right, House knew exactly what he was doing. No one was hurt.
DS: Exactly. House isn’t a killer you know. He is just a boyfriend that is a bit upset. He needed to make Cuddy understand how he feels.
GY: Yeah, it is not like he could have talked to her like she wanted him to.
DS: Of course not, he is all about action, not words.
GY: Right. He had to show her that it isn’t acceptable for her to carry on with her life and the life of her child when House is out there having to find comfort in the arms of multiple hookers and a green-card wife.
DS: Exactly my point.
House climbs around the car, and over glass and debris, to hand back Cuddy’s hairbrush.
DS: See, he is willing to do whatever it takes to return Cuddy’s hairbrush. He is a man of principle! There is a code he lives by, even if society doesn’t always approve.
GY: Yeah, he is great guy. Especially the way he risks getting all cut up again after having done self surgery just last week. I wish I could be like him.
DS: Feel free to live vicariously through House. I do.
GY: Is the hairbrush symbolic of something?
DS: Nah, I was hoping that House could spank Cuddy with it when he returned it, but the actress wouldn’t agree. She said she had enough of acting out my, er, I mean House’s, sexual fantasies.
GY: I am sure our female fans will be bummed.
House hands the brush to Cuddy. Oddly, not one of the four people in the house attack him. He walks out and over to a goldfish faced Wilson.
House to Wilson: You were right, I feel much better.
DS: See, this was my vision all along.
GY: That House was a murderer?
DS; Possibly. But what I meant was that House is meant to be a lone hero, fighting for his liberation.
GY: Right. Liberation from Wilson and Cuddy – the ones who have been holding him back.
DS: What have they ever really done for him?
GY: Besides hire him when no one else would, protect his job from the board, give him a department of his own, be his friend, confidant, and conscience, take him to monster truck rallies, allow him to screw with their personal lives and ruin every other relationship they ever managed to have, allow him to try to prevent one of them from becoming a parent, lying for him to the police, lying for him on the stand under oath, allow him to live with them, help him to get into a mental health facility, hire him back even without a license and hold his job for him, care about him, worry about him and love him despite all his problems?
DS: Exactly my point, they did nothing for him.
House limps off down the street, all the way to either Hawaii, the Gulf Coast of lower Florida, Puerto Rico, Mexico or Southern California. Or possibly just the airport. Most likely though he heads into a black hole that transports him somewhere where it is still daytime despite the flight time and the movement of the sun.
DS: Well, finally House is free.
GY: No job, no home, no money, no friends and no family. Now that’s freedom for you!
DS: God I love this show.
GY: Me too. We are the bomb. Kaboom!
Thank you, Nancy! And I do hope the rest of you enjoyed this as much as I did, yo.
Last night’s season finale of “House MD,” titled, “Moving On,” outraged me so that I feel compelled to write in my blog-thing.
Over seven seasons, Dr. Gregory House has done a lot of reckless, illegal and ethically questionable acts. But one thing he has never been is a domestic abuser and potential murderer. Until now.
The season finale, “Moving On,” besides being shabbily written—one could say that about most of the episodes—twisted the once brilliant, misanthropic genius into a brutal, abusive maniac. There is no kinder word for his behavior.
And his creator, David Shore, is defending that behavior.
House has certainly been verbally offensive over the years, acting out all of our fantasies of telling the people we hate to f-k off. However, incidents of physical violence have been few and far between. He punched Chase because House was detoxing from withdrawal. He had a fistfight with Alvie, his roommate, in “Broken,” the Season Six premiere. House provoked a patient’s father into punching him, giving him an excuse to push his cane against the man’s neck and thereby diagnose both the man and his dying son. Each act was considered extreme, to say the least, but NOTHING compared to the hideousness of last night.
A bit of background: House and Cuddy have had one of the most joyless romances in the history of television this season. When they finally broke up fans gave a universal sigh of relief. Most of the season played like an imitation of the once-brilliant “House, MD”. Shameless recycling of plots, patients of the week that one could not care less about, Masters, a spud-gun competition…the list goes on. However, the cast soldiered forth, trying to bring a spark of life to the ordure they were asked to shovel week after week.
But last night’s episode was simply unacceptable. Cuddy repeatedly asks House to tell her how he feels, that they need to have a conversation about their break-up. This might not be the smartest thing to do, and he refuses to talk to her.
Finally they sit down in the cafeteria, and when she tries to get him to open up, he walks out. She follows him, demanding he talk to her. He turns and pushes her violently against the wall, yelling, “You want to know how I FEEL?”
Bear in mind that House is approximately 6’3” and Lisa Cuddy is a slender 5’4”. She looks frightened, and rightfully so, but calms him enough to admit that he’s hurting. Like any abused wife, Cuddy forgives him.
Somehow isn’t this a tad reminiscent of a man beating his wife and then telling her, “Honey, I’m so sorry I did that, I love you so much”?
“Don’t worry, darling, it’s all my fault.”
Cuddy assures him she’s not dating anyone—why is it any of his business?
Then, in one of those turnarounds that only happen on television, she is set up with another man by her sister. House, in the meantime, is doing his best to numb his feelings with copious amounts of Vicodin. He remembers that Cuddy wants her hairbrush back. With his faithful sidekick Wilson, he drives to Cuddy’s house. He walks to the doorway. Only to see through the window that she is enjoying wine and cheese with her sister and two men, one of whom her sister set Cuddy up with.
Barging in and yelling would have been bad enough. Throwing things would have been bad enough. Threatening her life would have been bad enough.
But not enough for David Shore.
House gets into his car, pushes Wilson out of it, speeds away, and then a light bulb goes off in his head. With a squeal of tires, he turns and drives straight into her house, destroying much of it.
Creator David Shore said in an interview with Michael Ausiello early today:
DS: I’ve always thought House was capable of killing people close to him. [Laughs] That’s not to say he was ever going to do it, and I don’t think he would. And even in that moment, I don’t think he wanted to kill anybody. But who knows? Probably part of his mind did. It was a lashing out — a very extreme lashing out. I don’t think it was a murderous lashing out.
TVLINE But he could not have known that the dining room had cleared out.
DS: He saw them stepping out, didn’t he?
TVLINE I think they were mostly still around the table.
DS: They were standing up and she put his hand on [the new boyfriend’s] arm, which was part of the whole thing that set him off. The car was aimed at the house, not at the individuals inside.
If that isn’t the most cowardly, disingenuous explanation of House’s horrific behavior, I don’t know what is.
Cuddy’s three-year-old daughter Rachel might have been in there. He wouldn’t have seen her from the car. He could have killed or injured all four of them. House could have hit a retaining wall and brought a sizeable section of the house down onto the occupants. Cuddy and her guests could have been hurt by flying debris. The list goes on.
When an incident such as this happens in real life, it makes headlines on the local news. Do a web search for “vehicular manslaughter.”
Afterwards, House announces to his best friend, Wilson, that he feels much better, and is next seen sipping an umbrella drink on a tropical beach. David Shore has assured everyone that these events are not a hallucination, but real.
ETA: In the wake of universally bad reviews for this episode, the phrases “would-be assassin” and “attempted vehicular manslaughter” have come up repeatedly.
In another interview, this time with ew.com, Shore was asked:
I have to start off by asking, did House want to run over Cuddy and Co.?
DAVID SHORE: No. I think he was aiming at the house — not at the people. Obviously, he was taking a huge risk, but I don’t think he was trying to kill anyone off, but I think he was risking killing some people.
But this is David Shore’s world. It is a shame that such a brilliant mind would stoop to showing actions that will give defense lawyers ammunition for years to come. “Your honor, my client was aiming the frying pan at her collar, not her head.”
SHAME, for revealing just how misogynistic you are.
SHAME, for destroying a fascinating character by making him into a one-dimensional puppet.
SHAME, for reducing Cuddy to alternately a tear-stricken doormat or the Demanding Girlfriend from Hell.
And most of all:
SHAME, for implying that violence and destructive behavior are acceptable acts.
If you think I’m overreacting, your faithful correspondence doesn’t care.
Any more than David Shore does.
Of course, this award ceremony was overshadowed by the tragedy in Haiti. So some celebrities showed their support with a ribbon, as usual. This one yellow and red. It was also pouring rain. So the male hands and arms that are on the edges of some pictures are unfortunate NBC employees holding umbrellas to keep the famous dry.
This Best Dressed list is going to be longer than my usual, because I loved so many of the gowns that stood out from the overwhelming blandness. Bear with me.
First, Meryl Streep, who won for “It’s Complicated” (co-starring…sigh, Alec Baldwin). Despite searching all over the Web, I could NOT find a full-length picture of her beautiful black gown. So here is the most I could find.
Next, a widely reviled Zac Posen dress worn by Tina Fey. Vintage-lover that I am, I found it winsome, and a nice change from the black dresses she typically wears to award shows.
Next, we have the star of Precious, Gabourey Sidibe. Most designers have no idea how to dress larger lovelies, but Kevin Hall did a marvelous job.
As Reem Acra did with Monique, who won Best Supporting Actress for her work as the abusive mother in Precious. It is a pity you cannot see the beautifully draped back!
And here is Monique standing a wee bit too close to the recently deceased Nicole Kidman, who has no thought but to feast on Monique’s brain. (There was a brief scuffle after this photo was taken, and Monique’s brain was saved from zombie Nicole.)
“Me want Monique’s tasty brain.”
“Get away from me, Nicole. You’re drooling on my back.”
And of course, the ageless Sigourney Weaver, stunning in green:
A surprise to your faithful correspondent was Jane Krakowski, who was simply gorgeous in purple!
And I thought Jane Lynch looked fantastic in a zoot suit on Glee, but she was utterly gorgeous in this ultra-feminine gown:
How could I forget House’s Lisa Edelstein? She is always at the top of my list–well, nearly the top this time, Meryl beat out everybody else. Her silver satin dress fits perfectly!
(It’s a CRIME that House and Hugh Laurie did not win! DAMN YOU, CABLE!)
But I digress. France’s Marion Cottilard took one’s breath away in, of course, Dior!
Jennifer Morrison, late of House, exuded movie star glamour in this Louis Antonio gown. Although I am not a fan of ruffles, the way they were used in this dress was precision itself.
Perky little actress Jane Adams was simply adorable in this blue confection:
Christina Hendricks always owns the runway, and once again, she does not fail to do so, showcasing her gorgeous figure in a gown by Christian Siriano. Take that, Gossip Girls!
Thank you, ladies, for reminding us that actresses can still be women in this day and age. Readers, feel free to comment. But bear in mind I am always right.
Coming up next, a list in an entirely new category! The Dullest Dressed!
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog
Before I start my list, I must say how thrilled I am that at last night’s The People’s Choice Awards:
1) House MD won as Best Dramatic Television Show
2) Hugh Laurie won as People’s Choice Dramatic Actor!
However, I cannot put the star on my Best Dressed list because of that tie. Showing that James Wilson has not yet cornered the market on ugly ties. It was also delightful to see him with his real hair, without a hairpiece or whatever it is they put on his head and less beard.
The program itself was hellish to sit through. Approximately three minutes of programming, then eight minutes of commercials, then several minutes of a “special advance preview” of either an awful movie or an awful television show. If one cannot make a project look good in two minutes, one is in trouble. That’s all I can say. The nadir was a CVS commercial used as actual programming. I have blocked the details from my mind. Onto the important part: the dresses.
The list for this event is a bit more difficult than my usual. So many of the stars, no matter what their wattage, wore one-shouldered dresses. Most of them were draped, Grecian style, but there was no shortage of other variations.
I must begin my list with the Host of The People’s Choice Awards, the divine Queen Latifah. Her black one-shouldered entrance gown, with its evocation of 1950s movie star glamor, was perfection, as were the chorus boys helping her maneuver down that ill-conceived ramp stage left.
Another dream dress was a white strapless Georges Chakra gown with metallic trim around the waistline:
Next, the only reality show host I enjoy who’s not on Project Runway, Clean House’s Niecy Nash, showed off her stunning figure in a hot pink Grecian dress ( I told you one-shouldered dresses were all over the place last night). One had to restrain oneself from writing “my homegirl” because one has a smidgen of propriety.)
Lisa Edelstein, also of House, always makes my Best-Dressed List. She simply cannot look other than ravishing, although this David Meister gown is not one of my absolute favorites. But Ms. Edelstein gets points for covering both shoulders.
Speaking of House…I must betray my own values, my deepest feelings, and almost everything I have written about her in this blog…but…
Olivia Wilde made my list. Apologies, dear readers, but AT LAST Ms. Wilde wore a Monique Lhuillier dress that was flattering, rather than one of those awful skin-tight gowns that showed her jagged hipbones. Again, like the Queen, a fluffy dress, evocative of the 1950s:
Taraji P. Henson, voluptuous as always, struts her wares in this lovely (albeit yet another one-shoulder Grecian style) Alberta Ferreti lilac gown:
Despite a near-wardrobe malfunction during her acceptance speech, Mariah Carey showed off her womanly shape in a white halter gown:
Finally, the sublime Mary J. Blige. Yes, she is in a one-shouldered draped Grecian dress, but the shorter length, shoulder embellishment, perfect fit and soft gray color make the look:
Feel free to comment upon my choices, but bear in mind, I am always right.
Worst Dressed coming up!
Ciao, Elisa & Bucky The Wonderdog