Review by Gordon Justesen
Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard, Jennifer Morrison,
Creator: David Shore
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Widescreen 1.78:1
Features: See Review
Length: 972 Minutes
Release Date: August 30, 2005
reputation won’t last if you don’t do your job. The clinic is part of your
job. I want you to do your job.”
as the philosopher Jagger once said, 'You
can’t always get what you want.'”
Network TV seems to
get a new medical drama once every decade. First, there was the 80s series, St.
Elsewhere, then the 90s garnered the most successful series of its kind, ER.
Now arrives the most superb and fascinating medical drama to, I think, ever
grace the small screen. House is
something of an original.
The center appeal
of the show is the outstanding lead character, Dr. Gregory House, played with
sheer brilliance by British actor Hugh Laurie, which I point out only because
one would never take hint of it from the character’s dead on American dialect.
Dr. House is probably one of the best and most original characters I’ve ever
seen, not just for a television series but in any art form. In addition, the
episode plots and supporting characters of House
make it one of the best new shows to come around in some time.
How do I begin to
describe Dr. House? I have to commend series creator and executive producer
David Shore for creating the kind of character you’d never come to expect in
the medical field. As where George Clooney’s Dr. Ross on E.R. was very much a heroic, save-as-many-lives-as-possible doctor,
Dr. House falls under a different label.
Dr. House is,
perhaps, the most brilliant diagnostician that the field of infections diseases
has to offer. He heads up a staff of bright and young doctors at the
Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. His young diagnostic team includes
neurologist Eric Forman (Omar Epps), immunologist Allison Cameron (Jennifer
Morrison) and intensivist Robert Chase (Jesse Spencer). Another key character is
Dr. Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard), who seems to be the only one willing to
tolerate House’s erratic behavior.
The twist with
House himself is that he also happens to be the most anti-social doctor in the
history of medicine. He despises talking to patients, would rather read a comic
book than tend to the complaints of both his staff and patients. He strongly
feels that he is being employed against his will by his boss, Dr. Lisa Cuddy
The series itself
blends intense medical drama with a touch of C.S.I. Each episode presents a different and quite nasty infectious
disease plaguing an unlucky victim. House and his team race against the clock to
diagnose the mysterious illness and save the victim before death arrives. And
let me tell you that there are some intense close calls throughout Season One.
invigorating element in this series are the mysteries unraveled as Dr. House and
his team discover the reasons for each infectious illness. House never hesitates
to question a patient’s suspicious history or even if a loved one was
unfaithful, etc. If any type of information will help in fighting a disease,
House will see to it that all questions will get the right answers.
It’s a good thing
that the Fox show, co-produced by X-Men director
Bryan Singer, quickly became one of the highest rated shows of last year’s
fall TV season. I got a tremendous kick out of this bold new take on the medical
drama, and I look forward to many future seasons to come.
Universal offers a
rare, non-anamorphic touch to this widescreen presentation of the series. The
image itself is actually decent, in spite of the lack of enhancement. Each disc
are flippers, containing about six episodes per disc, and the picture quality on
each disc renders terrifically clearness and excels in image detail and colors.
A most exceptional presentation of a TV series.
The 5.1 mix is,
without question, one of the all time best audio formats I’ve experienced for
a single television series. Each episode carries many different elements for the
sound format to take advantage of. Music playback, most notably the show’s
theme song, Massive Attack’s “Teardrop”, is marvelously delivered through
the channels. In addition, dialogue delivery is as clean and clear as can be,
and the hospital setting itself allows for some nice all around dynamic sound. A
Included on this
three disc set, which is a very nicely packaged set, are a number of
featurettes, including “Dr. House”, “Medical Cases”, “The Concept”,
“Set Tour”, “HOUSE-isms”, and a very intriguing casting session with