On House

"That Was a Ten"

Why House Is More Ordinary Than House

By Steven Rubio

There’s no accounting for taste.

A group called the Parents Television Council announced in its annual “Faith in a Box” analysis of religion on television that Fox was “by far the most anti-religious network” when it comes to prime-time broadcasting (Gildemeister). Some of their reasons were unsurprising. They seemed to be particularly angry at Family Guy and The Simpsons. But they also cited an episode of another Fox series, House, where, as they explained, “House tells a religious patient that the patient is either psychotic or a scam artist for believing that God speaks to him.”

The PTC quite accurately describes the titular character as follows:

Dr. House is a genius but also an eccentric and a borderline misanthropist. He’s has [sic] been in severe pain for years and has become addicted to Vicodin. In addition, his pain has made him cantankerous and resentful. His social manners are questionable and House shows almost zero tolerance to those patients who complain about trivial issues, lie to skip work, or claim to have a disease not recognized as such by traditional medicine. House is a scientist more interested in diseases than in people . . . (PTC).

The PTC apparently thinks this makes House a bad show, while I’d argue it is the main thing that makes House worth watching.

On House, we have one of the great characters in television, acted by Hugh Laurie at the top of his game. And it’s not just Laurie: without House’s snarky behavior, this would be just another doctor show,  …

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