House MD Season 1

There are plenty of hospital shows out there - I'm sure we could name 10 of them off the tops of our heads without even trying. Some are soap operas, some are gritty medical issues. With House, it's more like a detective show. They try to figure out from the clues what the obscure disease is. They even go digging through the homes for clues.

In some medical shows you have the "stupid doctors" going up against the "wise doctors", and some slutty nurses thrown in for excitement. House does a wonderful job of appealing to a much more alert audience. Pretty much every character is smart, wise and caring. They all just have different ways of showing it, and different personalities. House and his three minions are all very intelligent, and want to help their patients. They have human emotions too, and those sometimes poke into their world.

First seasons are almost always about "character setting" - giving all the background information on each character so you understand their dimensions, learn how they relate to each other. House is no exception. You get an episode a person, pretty much - each of the main characters "brings in" a patient and that episode helps you learn more about the person.

The show definitely goes for "shock value" at times. There's been talk about how "throwing up" is the new shock visual, and they certainly know that in this show. They also like seizures - there seem to be quite a lot of them. They look for medical situations that will make the audience react, like sticking needles into peoples' eyeballs.

I don't want to get into episode specifics, since that ruins the enjoyment of watching the solving of the mystery. They try to touch on "important issues" like teen sexuality, newborn babies, the right of the pregnant mom vs the right of the unborn child. There's a lot of sex-related issues, but you sort of expect that in a mature-aimed show.

One of the episodes that stood out for me as a valiant attempt was about obese people - several threads on the show talked about how people automatically treat heavy people as being "wrong" or "ugly" and how they should just be accepted. It was a great idea - but then how they resolved the issues were a bit questionable. I think they could have done better here.

A key plot element of this show is that "House is Grumpy". He's not just a nasty person - he is in intense pain because of a leg problem and this eats away at him. He tends to be rude to people, and they tend not to appreciate it. Still, his friends stick by him. One, his female employee, wants to date him. This also makes me very uncomfortable. Most workplaces have rules against employees dating the person who gives them reviews, for very obvious reasons. They should never have allowed an intelligent female doctor to pretty much immediately want to date her boss.

Still, I love the series in general, and these are relatively minor quibbles. Well worth renting if not buying and watching repeatedly.

Now, as far as the DVD goes, they did an AWFUL job - because each episode page gives the full details of that episode, giving away the secrets! You have to pretty much hide your eyes while you click on an episode so you don't have it ruined for you. Whoever did that should be scolded and forced to watch bad movies for 2 months in payment. Completely silly. The other extras - the behind the scenes looks, the talks with the actors, are short but fun.

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