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Everybody Lies

By Harsh Joshi & Anil Mohan

In the year 2004 came about a show that changed everything; absolutely every single thing about television and I won’t bother typing the name of the show, for I am a procrastinator extraordinaire, much following the footsteps of House, M.D. Damn, I typed it!

 Well, let it be. I am certainly not going to press backspace just to validate my statements. Now, before I begin my ramblings about House, first let me just go ahead and thank Fox for many a wonderful shows including Fringe, Bones and Glee! And did I mention Bones? Yes I did.

How does a person attempt to write about the Gods that be, leave alone fathom the depth of them, how does one start to know the extent of their mystique? I don’t know and perhaps if I knew the way to do that I could have written more about House but the fact remains that I don’t and so I won’t. For those who belong to Housedom, and who revel in every eloquently worded backslap, every tongue in cheek reference to the idiosyncrasies of the brilliant-yet-quirky co-actors(& characters), every moment of self-loathing and heady defence of personal ideals, well there is nothing much to say for them except that they are on the journey of a lifetime(A journey which sadly; ended May 21, 2012). And for those who haven’t yet tasted and ravished the sweet-sour saga that is House, I can only think of three words: Get on Board!

In an interview Stephen Fry(For those ignorant of this genius Google/YouTube Search abofal) said that Hugh Laurie does what is most difficult. He convinces us that he is, in fact, intelligent. The way I see it, that is a huge understatement and House’s brilliance on screen not only convinces but mesmerizes and enthrals and enchants and I could write a truckload of adjectives but it wouldn’t do justice to his performance.  It is simply put, epic.  What makes it great is not a mind boggling plot like that of 24, nor the gooey-dooey stuff that the writers of F.R.I.E.N.D.S had for us; it is the idea that a misanthrope could be so snugly and irrevocably put into a situation of social importance, that he could be indispensable to a bunch of people and to medical professionals at that is the greatest kick you can get. So if you consider yourself to be antagonistic to everybody or just don’t get along that well, House is the show for you.

I do not claim that I have absolutely all the know about of House M.D but I do think that I know enough to write about the beloved (or otherwise) Dr. Gregory House.

I have come across people who say that they dislike House and I didn’t care enough to inquire why but honestly, no one in their right mind can hate House and even though he gives every reason to hate him. He challenges your ideals and morals, to put it mildly he ‘downplays’ the sensibilities of the common man and the occasional woman, subjecting to ridicule their hopes and aspirations and driving their patience and virtue to the edge. All of this while slithering into their thought processes and arriving to their conclusions before they themselves do, employing methods of deduction only he is privy to. If you love Sherlock Holmes, you gotta love House. House is God; the God of television.

The reasons behind House’s epic-ness are numerous but the principle one other than the quirky and outlandish persona of the protagonist is the antagonist itself -- The Diseases. As Anil Mohan second year student of MBBS at KMC Manipal writes:

House MD is a medical drama, the plot of which revolves around Dr. Gregory House a self-obsessed, snobby diagnostic physician with great skill and his team of doctors, experts themselves, and how they come across and tackle cases with the most atypical presentations.

I started watching the series in my first year of college, when a few friends of mine, who had already become avid fans of the series, recommended it to me. The pilot blew my mind away. What garnered my interest was how even the most subtle of symptoms, which would have easily been overlooked are taken into account and a decisive diagnosis is made, which by itself is confirmed , at times by using the most unorthodox forms of investigations. Even the cases that are depicted in each episode are so abstract and unique, that they are probably seen only in books and medical journals and rarely ever seen in actual practice. 

What’s brilliant is that even though these cases are so weird, there’s no bullshit in the show. There have been actual reported cases of most of the diseases or anomalies depicted(A notable exception being the Giovannini Mirror Syndrome S04E05). The show also manages to involve certain aspects on the personal lives of the team, keeping the show interesting even for the people not familiar with all the technical medical jargon.

Although the shows keeps the equilibrium between the personal lives of the characters and the world of medicine, some aspects of the show seem unrealistic
. As I mentioned before, almost all the episodes depict cases that are pretty rare, and might probably be only seen a few times by a doctor in his entire career. Also, the risqué manner of House, and his modes of acquiring information from his patients would probably land a doctor with a lawsuit, or even worse, in prison(Obviously Anil is yet to see Season 8).

Nevertheless, House M.D. manages to hold balance overall, and keeps it interesting and pretty addictive to watch. Each season seems to outdo the previous with unexpected twists in the plot. Its a shame that they are cancelling the show after the current, final season. Overall House M.D. is a very captivating show and is recommended, from my part, medical student or not.

As you are reading this the days of House are over, it’s series finale has aired and I am yet to watch it...the whole 8th season that is. But if your run of Boards and Entrance Exams and CCEs and quizzes and end-Sems and projects and seminars is finally over or is even a bit further down the line and if you’ve missed out on watching House, I suggest that you take a break - from everything - get House and watch it. I’m gonna do it..soon!


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