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Fan Fiction For Dummies – A Glossary

DAHLINGS –
I am still going through “House MD” withdrawal, as you can imagine.
With the recent scholarly discussions on fan fiction (fiction written by fans of television shows, movies, computer games and coloring books), your faithful correspondent felt there should be a sort of glossary of terms.  Naturally, given my predilection for “House, MD”, this is my jumping off point.
The first thing one needs to know is that the show’s fans, both insane and regular folk, like to use portmanteau names (the first of them all being Bennifer for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Aniston).  This means a relationship is there, usually romantic or sexual or both. Personally I don’t care for them, but it breaks down to:
House + Cuddy – Huddy  (Hugh Laurie & Lisa Edelstein)
House + Wilson – Hilson (Hugh Laurie & Robert Sean Leonard)
House + Cameron – Hameron (Hugh Laurie & Jennifer Morrison)
And so forth.  It doesn’t matter whether or not it happened on the actual show; these are ways for “shippers” to identify themselves.  Although many prefer the more adult “House/Cuddy” etc. As you have probably gathered from this blog, I myself tend to prefer the House/Wilson friendship.
“Ship” is short for relationship.  Every possible character combination has come up in fanfiction.  Homosexual romance and/or sex is called “slash.”Heterosexual romance/and or sex is called “het”.  Just romance is called “fluff” and usually means a light, cute story.  There are popular genres known as “hurt/comfort,” and “smut,” respectively.  I hope these are self-explanatory.
Now, dahlings, there are various genres of fanfic…there are actually hundreds, but first I shall confine myself first to some spedific House/Wilson “fic”genres.
“mpreg” Male pregnancy. One of the men (usually Wilson) has a baby and he and House raise it.  Don’t even try to wrap your mind around this.
There’s a subgenre of one or both of them being babies, or turning into babies.
Almost all have lots and lots and lots of sex.
Babies?”  “Don’t blame me, I live in the writers’ heads.”
“Post-Finale” Since the finale was left open-ended, with House and Wilson riding off into the sunset, there has been an explosion of fics in which House copes with Wilson’s death, sees his ghost, or cures him.  Some are quite amazingly good.
 “Contractverse” A series of stories based on “The Contract,” where House is tortured and traumatized in exchange for keeping Wilson alive (of course Wilson doesn’t know it).  Later stories have House a physical and mental wreck. I’ve glanced at these, but to be honest, they turn my stomach. 
BDSM – you know what that is.  Readers can ask where to find stories where House or Wilson is “the top”, etc.  For some reason, Wilson is usually the one dominating or humiliating House. 
Speaking of which, some writers write House/Wilson in abusive relationships, usually because the writers themselves are in abusive relationships.  Or concentrate on child abuse, which usually means House collapses into a sobbing heap having an epic flashback,weeping, “No, daddy, I’ve been a good boy!”
Basically, the entire panorama of human experience is filtered through these stories, making this kind of fiction even more id-driven than romance novels. 
Two other genres that are common to many fics of all kinds are:
“First Time”bazillions of these.  Most are much of a muchness.
“AU” – alternative universe.  Anything that doesn’t directly relate to the events or locations of the show.
 
From a small sampling of House/Cuddy “fics,” it seems that the concentration these days is to depart from the show’s plot and have the two characters in an established relationship.  Usually raising Cuddy’s daughter Rachel.  Some of the show’s best and most realistic fanfiction has come from this neck of the woods, in my opinion.

There are also a fair amount of “first time” fics. And lots and lots and lots of sex.
I have never read a House/Cameron fic, so I don’t know the content or genres.  If any writers would like to enlighten me, please do so in the comments.  But I’m sure there’s lots and lots and lots of sex.
 
There also seem to be quite a few “femmeslash” (lesbian) stories involving Cameron and Thirteen (Olivia Wilde).  Since Thirteen was bisexual on the show, it makes a certain sort of sense.
 Probably a fair amount of sex, don’t you think?
 
Recently my assistant Leo was reading some fanfiction.  He remarked to me, “But this has nothing to do with what happened in real life!”
I agreed with him, until I remembered that “real life” was a television show.
Damn.
Ciao,
Elisa & Fletcher

House Review: 8×21, "Holding On"

DAHLINGS –

My dears, what with watching ‘Holding On’ Monday night and again yesterday afternoon, there is a mountain of soiled silk handkerchiefs in the wastebasket.  Yes, the wastebasket.  They’re ruined during a good cry.  A small group of nuns embroider them until they go blind, fortunately, there are always new nuns.  In that country, any way.
The POTW of the week is a 19-year-old cheerleader played by a 30-year-old actor with the charisma of an armchair.  According to the promo monkeys, there was a SHOCKING SECRET about the patient.  Cheerleader Biff hears his long-dead brother’s voice in his head. Oh. He might be schizophrenic, but probably not. Shocking.  What makes this even more boring is that the team is now Taub, Park and Adams.

In any event, his mother, the Worst Mother Ever, had destroyed all of the pictures of the boy and his name, Christopher, was never mentioned again. However, Cheerleader Biff has secretly kept a picture of his brother.

The actual plot is that Wilson’s cancer is inoperable, and he has decided not to go the chemo route, but live the five months he has left to the fullest.  House of course cannot deal with this.  So he argues; he drugs Wilson with Propofol (the drug that killed Michael Jackson) so that Wilson can experience “death”; he fills the cafeteria with actors to play Wilson’s surviving patients. We know it is a scam the instant House introduces “Mikey.”  Another phony adolescent? Wouldn’t Wilson have recognized them? Why not a simple conversation about how many lives Wilson has saved? They always do that to justify whatever House is up to.

( Note: There is a special circle in hell reserved for the person who invented the “one person starts clapping, then another, and soon everyone is clapping”.) 

Meanwhile, Foreman has gotten House season tickets to the hockey games, “one month after Wilson’s expiration date.”  It’s no surprise that House tears them up and stuffs them down Foreman’s toilet.  What happens later is a surprise, but not the well-written, interesting kind.
Wilson has called Thirteen, who has gone blonde, for advice on how to cope.  She naturally assumes he’s going for chemo, but when he says he isn’t, she’s all like, “Okay.” This despite the fact she’s been doing everything she can to keep her Huntington’s from progressing.  Then she visits House, who’s staring gloomily at a bald patient in the chemo unit, and tells him…to be honest, I forget. The chemo suites I’ve visited are filled with bored people, most with hair, reading magazines.

Once again, the scenes between Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard are poor gold. 

House takes Wilson out for a quiet dinner, where they reminisce, chuckling. (SOILED HANDKERCHIEF ALERT!) It struck me that this type of scene has heretofore always been shown silently. As they reminisce, Wilson starts to rethink his decision.  “Don’t do this to me, Wilson,” House says quietly.  But Wilson is certain that House is conning him so Wilson can be there longer for House.  Once again, it’s about what House needs.  Wilson stands up: “I don’t owe you anything. Our entire relationship has been about you. My dying is about me.”

Wilson storms out, and breaks down crying in his car.  (SO many handkerchiefs, so beautifully played.)  Of course House follows him, and Wilson cries harder.
House: You don’t have to just accept this.
Wilson: Yes, I do have to accept this. I have five months to live and you’re making me go through this ALONE! [Wilson starts crying again]. I’m pissed because I’m dying and it’s not fair. And I need to know that you’re there. I need you to tell me that my life was worthwhile and…I need you to tell me that you love me.

Naturally, House says no.  “Not unless you fight.” 

Some fans have been deeply offended by the characters acting so out of character. In some ways House hasn’t changed.  He’s still trying to get his way, trying to get what he needs and putting himself first.
Foreman lays down the law to Wilson.  When Wilson says, “I’m not responsible for House’s happiness,” Foreman responds that he is.  And that Wilson has had three broken marriages, hundreds of colleagues, thousands of patients, and the only person who has lasted is House. Foreman: “Enduring pain to do some good for someone you care about. Isn’t that what life is?”  I beg your pardon?  Does that even mean anything?  What sort of home lives do the writers have?
During an earlier scene, the bathroom door is opened and we see the sinks overflowing and two frantic janitors.  Did House stuff hockey tickets down every toilet in the hospital? 
The Worst Mother Ever shows up at her son’s room.  But once she hears the name “Christopher” her eyes bug out and she runs.  She really is the Worst Mother Ever.
Cheerleader Biff gets an MRI scan.  When Adams and Park slide him out, as Greg Yaitaines would say, KA-BOOM!  A wall of water descends on them, breaking the ceiling and ruining the MRI. 

The most amazingly symmetrical ceiling collapse ever.

House shows up at the ER, leads the team into Cheerleader Biff’s room, and insta-diagnoses him with some sort of artery thing in his ear.  Take it out, all of his symptoms will clear up.  And he’ll stop hearing his brother’s voice. (ANVIL ALERT)!

Taub tells House he’s being an ass to Wilson.  House loses it and shouts that life is pain, he gets up in pain, he goes to work in pain, he’s considered suicide more times than he can count.

Then House finds out that Cheerleader Biff drank ammonia because he didn’t want to lose his brother’s voice.  (ANVIL ALERT)

Enraged, House runs into CB’s room and proceeds to strangle him, yelling about wanting to live and wanting to die.  Park clocks him with his own cane, and shrieks that sometimes the truth sucks. (ANVILS, SO MANY ANVILS! RUN!)
The Worst Mother Ever has taken Christopher’s photograph, but agrees to give it back if Cheerleader Biff has the surgery.  He accepts fate and loss and all that (ANVIL ALERT) and has the surgery.  But! Amazingly enough!  The Worst Mother Ever takes out a bunch of photos from his childhood.  He starts to cry but doesn’t, while she gives him a bug-eyed smile.  Seriously, this woman is frightening.  I think she wanted her son strangled so she could burn all of his pictures and forget about him, too.

Meanwhile House sits alone and plays the piano, which we have been waiting for all season.  Wilson eats dinner alone.  When he goes to get a bottle of wine, he sees a pack of Oreos.
Wilson turns up on House’s doorstep.  “I’m ready to start the next round of chemo?”
“Why?”
“Because you need me. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing anymore.”
“No. You’re the only one I listen to. And when I stopped, I almost killed my patient.” House says Wilson is smarter than him. He’s not okay that there are only five months left, but it’s better than nothing. House says he won’t tell Wilson he loves him, which Wilson seems pleased about.  Yours truly was disappointed.
Then, of course, the script goes south.  House and Wilson are happily planning a hiking trip, when Foreman enters with the hospital lawyer.  Seems House practically destroyed the hospital by stuffing the tickets down Foreman’s toilet.  Really?  Really?  The plumbers at PPTH are worse than security.  The tickets have House’s name and fingerprints (??) on them.  So House’s parole is revoked.  He’s going back to prison for—wait for it—six months.  When he gets out, Wilson will be dead.

Sucks to be House.  Sucks to be Wilson.  Sucks to be a fan, because next week is the final episode. It’s called “Everybody Dies.”

Random:
Why didn’t Taub and Adams think the picture was child porn?
Why is “misery” the catchall word for any kind of unhappiness?  Don’t the writers have a thesaurus?
Thirteen looks very good as a blonde.
If Wilson dies and House accepts it with serenity, your faithful correspondent is going to have to choke a bitch.

Ciao, Elisa & Fletcher

Review: Is "House" Now A "Charity Case" ? 8×03

DAHLINGS —

Episode 8×03, “Charity Case,” is aptly named. It sits on the street, legs crossed, begging bowl in lap, looking toward the viewers. “Please help me! Please, give me my demographic! Look, I gave you back the Magicam! The whiteboard! Clinic duty!”

This episode reminded your faithful correspondent of a rickety beach house. Boards slapped on haphazardly to keep the wind out. Poles keep the walls from collapsing. Years ago, this was a lovely house, but time, the elements, and spectacularly bad judgment have brought it to this sorry state. Very well, I’ll stop the metaphor there and leave out the part about the bad wiring.

In the open, as soon as the POTW (Wentworth Miller) talked to the woman at the shelter, I knew after his exit she would find a mysterious check for ONE MEEILLION dollars! (Pinky at mouth.) As soon as Mr. Handsome leaves, he collapses and we go to:

The utter lack of credits. What foolery is this? If you’re going to go “back to basics,” why not restore the song? Is NBC too cheap to pony up the money for the rights? Is it because Odette Annable might jump to the other show when it’s renewed and they’ve have to remove her credit? Just a sort of orangey picture and a huffing noise. Only “Supernatural” can pull this off.

Mr. Handsome is a gazillionaire who gives all of his money away and lives in poverty. Naturally, this does not sit well with his wife, who probably wants a decent three-bedroom apartment with a view. Like the environmentalist in S5 “Saviours,” the POTW feels that other people are equally deserving–if not more so–than his own offspring.

House is sure Mr. Handsome’s extreme altruism is a symptom, that nobody is that generous.

As in:

S2: “Autopsy” – House believes courage is a symptom (no)
S4: “No More Mr. Nice Guy” – niceness is a symptom (yes)
S5 “Brave Heart” – bravery is a symptom (sorta)
S6: “Instant Karma” – millionaire gives up money to save his son (it didn’t make any sense at the time, either)
S7: Some guy jumps in front of a train to save a little girl – heroism is a symptom (can’t remember)

13 puts in an appearance, telling House she has found the right girl and doesn’t want to be a doctor any more. Since we already know this is Olivia Wilde’s last episode, listening to her argue with House is tiresome. But—and this is bizarre—the most colorless character on the show suddenly seems like a STAR because she’s in the same room with House’s two new little girls.

These two actresses…I mean, why? Charlene Yi can’t act and has the most annoying voice since Cuddles, the Downy Soft bear. Odette Annabel can’t act either, but she is excellent at wearing her hair in a fetching cascade down one side. The reason why they have been hired might be that Laurie, Shore and Yaitanes are all having mid-life crises and nothing eases the pain like a barely pubescent female. In fact, this may be why Hugh Laurie is using Just For Men on his hair and beard, rather than the foxy silver it is in real life. From the front he looks like he’s wearing three reddish brown pom-poms on his head.

Getting “back to basics” means bringing back the Magicam (a welcome addition); a repeat of the scene where House pitches small objects (peanut shells) from the balcony toward the back of a janitor; clinic duty, which manages to be unfunny AND derivative. A kid is masturbating. Wow. Back to the fun, indeed.

Wilson puts in an appearance as House’s conscience and provides the epiphany, I forget how.

Foreman gets to break House’s balls over deliberately dosing Mr. Handsome to create symptoms before Mr. Handsome can be discharged. “You’re off the case.” I like this Foreman. But then, I’ve always loved Foreman.

Still, the void created by the lack of Cuddy is unmistakable. No mature female on the show, no interesting sexual politics, no one for a woman over the age of 18 to identify with. No woman who can act. Yi and Annable enact a subplot about Yi’s inability to accept charity (OW! That anvil hurt when it hit my foot!). Chase is going to appear ridiculously old when he shows up; House already looks like their horny grandfather.

To cut to the chase (God, I miss Chase), House and his two little girls/new team solve the case. Mr. Handsome’s altruism is a symptom of a nodule on his thyroid. Before he diagnoses Mr. Handsome, House tries to get a ONE MEEEILLION DOLLAR donation to get his team back. And presumably the office next door, now being used for orthopedics. He diagnoses Mr. Handsome, and no ONE MEEILLION DOLLARS for poor House. Oops.

Then it’s time for a last dose of altruism, as House selflessly sends Thirteen away to a life of Sapphic pleasure in Greece. And Ms. Wilde to a multi-million dollar movie career.

So perhaps it’s not altruism, it’s sour grapes.

Ciao,

Elisa

How To Help Relief Efforts In Haiti For Every Budget

DAHLINGS –

After the horrendous tragedy in Haiti, your faithful correspondent was forced to think Deep Thoughts (with the attendant blinding headaches). Before I return to my more comfortable shallowness, I wanted to share some organizations that are working in Haiti to provide relief and rescue. These are all reputable organizations that have been vetted by yours truly.

Doctors Without Borders

http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

An inflatable hospital with operating theatres is expected to arrive in the next 24 hours.

The Red Cross

Everyone knows that when disaster hits, the Red Cross is there. People can donate by texting the word “Haiti” to 90999, which will donate $10 per call (it will show up on your cell phone bill) or by going online to http://www.redcross.org/

Artists For Peace And Justice

http://www.artistsforpeaceandjustice.com/

Any number of celebrity Twitter-folk have been asking people to donate to this organization, which is pledging that 100% of all contributions will go to Haitian relief. Actors James Franco, Olivia Wilde, and Diane Lane are among the members of the advisory board. This site accept credit cards.

Of course I have donated (to the last charity), and any and all donations of any size are needed. Please don’t let “compassion fatigue” overwhelm you, since it’s been three days. And we all know America’s attention span is about five minutes.

Again, please donate. You’ll sleep better at night, even if you’re sleeping next to Daniel Baldwin.

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

I Am Addicted To "HOUSE MD": A Shamed Confession

DAHLINGS –

As mes fidèles lecteurs aimant know, I do not watch television, except when it is necessary (the Academy Awards, for example). However, because you know everything about moi (my life is an open book with only some of the pages torn out), I feel I must throw myself on your mercy and confess:

I have become completely addicted to the television programme “House MD,” starring Hugh Laurie. Last night I even pleaded a headache to an important event so that I could stay home and watch the latest episode! I have NEVER done that, dear readers!

For an intimate evening, yes, but never for television.

I became aware of Hugh Laurie on television as the idiotic twit Bertie Wooster (along with Stephen Fry) in the delightful British series “Jeeves and Wooster,” based on the P.G. Wodehouse stories. In fact, I only saw Hugh Laurie playing idiotic upper-crust twits, in the many variations of “Blackadder” starring Rowan Atkinson, the gentleman leering at the top.

So it was a complete shock to see him, with stubble and gruff American accent, playing Dr. House. So much so, in fact, that it took me over a year to be able to watch the programme without giggling whenever Hugh Laurie spoke, and not because of the wit of the dialogue. He seemed so deeply miscast.

Although he is a huge improvement over Alan Alda, who annoyed me in “M*A*S*H*”, as a child, the few times dear darling Mama let me near a television set. (She disapproved and preferred that I read elevating books or fashion magazines.)

But then a close friend, who felt sorry for my isolation while I am engaged in my literary endeavors, gave me the first three seasons on DVD. Dear readers, I watched him. And soon I was, as they say, hooked. I will not be writing about it much in this blog-thing, because for one thing my assistant can hardly contain her snickering–

CUT THAT OUT, YOU BLOODY FOOL! IN THIS ECONOMY THERE ARE A MILLION OTHER PEOPLE WHO WOULD LEAP AT THIS JOB!

Excusez-moi. As I was saying, I will not be writing about it here, because I am already embarrassed enough, and this is a place to discuss Fashion In The True Sense. Medical shows do not have much of that (particularly with all of that bloodugh). However, I will opine that Lisa Edelstein’s wardrobe is particularly lovely, and for a slender woman she does have a divine bosom.

Dieu merci, they keep that skeletal Olivia Wilde in a hospital coat much of the time. In any event, last night’s episode had me on the edge of my divan, and I look forward to more.

I feel so cleansed. Merci, dear readers. (And one hopes that Dr. Taub does indeed commit suicide, as they keep hinting, although that seems a tad obvious.)

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Golden Globes 2009: MY Worst Dressed!

DAHLINGS –

I realize that some of my choices will go against the popular grain, but one must be true to oneself, n’cest pas? Some are based not only on the gowns, but the overall presentation as well, which may also be against the popular grain.

First, however, the overwhelming favorite for Worst Dressed At the Golden Globes:
Renee Zellwegger.

She went to her favorite designer, Carolina Herrera.
What on EARTH were they thinking? This looks like an unfinished project on Project Runway! There’s the shapeless muslin underbodice (in close-up you can see the stitching that holds it to the skirt); the visible back zipper at the waist; the badly bungled sheer sleeves; the skirt would be all right if the top was not so ill-conceived. The underbodice might even have worked if it had been in a solid color, say indigo blue. One does not like to use the word disaster, because Hurricane Katrina was a disaster. This is merely a very ugly dress. As for Renee’s hair, well, it might have worked with something a little less…awful.

Marisa Tomei will not be on this list because at least she was wearing something comfortable and true to herself amidst a bobbing pond of safety.

Anne Hathaway

This brilliant young actress made many Best Dressed lists in this navy Armani gown, but her gaunt appearance is so off-putting, and the dress seems too heavy and to only highlight the fact that she is badly in need of some decent meals. One does hope she is not going the way of Audrey Hepburn, who in her later years wore dresses like this and showed the sharpest collarbones this side of a Wusthof chef’s knife.

Olivia Wilde and Eva Longoria

Again, two frighteningly razor-thin actresses who made many of the Best Dressed Lists. The House co-star Wilde opts to go for a fluffy skirt in a dress by Reem Acra, which makes her look like one of those dolls they used to put over toilet paper rolls. (However, on the show she does play a character who might be dieing, so perhaps the producers have put her on reduced rations. Jennifer Morrison, her co-star, looked smashing and quite healthy.)

Eva Longoria also chose Reem Acra for the red carpet, in a mermaid style. One critic said Eva’s gown looked as though it had as many Botox treatments as the actress herself; I could not have put it better. Ladies, cover up those stick-like arms!

So that is my list. It might seem a tad short, but so many stars opted for dull over anything else. White, off-white, cream, gray, flesh, champagne…one could get narcolepsy just browsing the photos.

Beyonce looked very nice, even if her body tape showed in many photographs, and Christina Hendrix (Mad Men) showed off her smashing figure in the lovely black number:

I have a slight quibble with how rumpled the neckline looks, but one must keep an open mind.

Ciao,
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog