House, M.D.: Season 1

House 1

House, MD DVD season 1

House M.D. is one of  my favorite shows on TV. (I do not actually have television service, I watch all things on DVD.) I own and have seen seasons 1-6, and as I usually do when there are no more TV shows available for me to watch, I just rewatch the stuff I already own. The first time I saw this season I watched the first two discs alone at home in the afternoon. I thought it was quite good.  I hadn’t known what to expect at all. Some medical show…. the main character is named House. That’s the sum of what I knew. I got hooked on the show, though.  I am just going to highlight two of the early episodes….

  • PILOT – 4 quotes

The pilot episode is pretty good, though not the best of the whole series.  It includes the first occurrence of the famous phrase of the series: “Everybody lies” — this comes at only 05:57 in the episode.  The patient’s name is Rebecca and she is ill because of a Tapeworm that she may have gotten from eating pork.  The diagnostics team figures this out because Dr. Chase saves the day by figuring out how to prove that Rebecca actually does have a tapeworm.  Dr. Allison Cameron?  Yeah, she doesn’t do a whole lot for the team in this episode.  However, House tells Cameron that he hired her because she’s good looking and “damaged.”

This is the episode where House tells Cuddy about the “philosopher” Jagger who says: “You can’t always get what you want.”   House also tells Dr. Cuddy (22:26):  “I don’t [think I’m always right], I just find it difficult to operate on the opposite assumption.”  Honestly, I think the actor should have said “from” not “on,” but its still amusing as heck.   One odd thing:  Dr. Wilson, House’s friend, spends time treating the patient, too.  So Rebecca actually has at least 5 doctors.  When the team cures Rebecca, her grade school class children give her a card that reads: “We’re happy you’re not dead, Miss Rebecca”  Overall, I give the pilot a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

  • Occam’s Razor

The third episode of the season is one of my favorites. This one is a lot of fun because none of patient Brandon’s symptoms fit together. The episode starts off with Brandon and his girlfriend having sex.  He is taken to the hospital because of his cough, rash, and he passes out.  The girlfriend, at one point, mentions to Dr. Chase her fear that because she was “rough” with the sex act, that she might have caused Brandon’s illness.  House spends his time working on Brandon’s case and treating patients in the Clinic.  His efforts to spoil Dr. Cuddy’s orders for him to spend time in the clinic include his playing Gameboy Advance, and asking for consults from other doctors for basic diagnoses.  One of House’s clinic patients is a teenager who has an MP3 player up his anus.

The diagnosis that House maintains regarding Brandon, is that there are two different problems simultaneously causing Brandon’s illness – and House believes one of those is caused by a reaction/OD to another drug.

One of my favorite quotes is at 29:41 when House is talking to his team:  “The simplest explanation is almost always: someone screwed up.”    When it seems like House’s diagnosis might be wrong, he tells Wilson: “Reality is almost always wrong,” because House tenaciously believes he is correct.  As House’s diagnosis is proven correct, he tells Wilson:  “Make a note – I should never doubt myself.”  Wilson replies: “I think you’ll remember.”

Two other amusing quotes are when House sarcastically asks Cameron “Oh wait! Which way does time go?”  And when he scolds Wilson:  “No, there is not a thin line between love and hate. There is, in fact, a Great Wall of China with armed sentries posted every twenty feet between love and hate,” because this is the first insinuation and hint that there is any inkling of love/relationship between Dr. Cuddy and House.

I like this episode for several reasons:  how it brings up the issue of pharmacological treatments causing/interfering with other symptoms – and the potential there is for getting the incorrect medicine. I also like the balance of the comedic episodes in the Clinic with the seriousness of Brandon’s fate.  Finally, the writers are demonstrating how the other doctors in the hospital deal with (or don’t deal with) House’s antics. Of the first three episodes, this third one and the first are both necessary, canonical House episodes.

5 stars

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