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Tagged ‘House‘

Jeez, August already?

Been a spell. Job interviews continue. Too much time spent on Facebook. Grasp of complete sentence structure slowly returning. Disclaimer: general opinions on music to follow. My tastes are questionable!

I can’t guiltlessly maintain my usual deluded arrogance when it comes to music because it’s hard to figure out why it is that I like something. Sometimes I can be hypnotized by repetition and white noise. Sometimes I’ve got this desperate need for a breathy, violent pipe organ. Sometimes 11 isn’t loud enough.

And then, you know other days I can listen to some ABBA. So clearly, to any questions of my aesthetics, musical or otherwise, there’s no real accounting for taste.

Things like box office returns, tv ratings and music charts go a long way toward empirical proof of that axiom. I mean seriously, Criminal Minds? Really?! And sure, it’s a stretch, and in all probability I suck, but I gotta say it sort of takes the edge off of dinking once again on first round of the Nicholl competition.

But back to music… This last week I’ve gotten into some new groups I’m liking cranked the fuck up.

Frightened Rabbit – Punchy Scottish group. Big, kinetic sound. Sour, smirking lyrics from the track “Keep Yourself Warm“:

I’m drunk, I’m drunk
And you’re probably on pills
If we’ve both got the same diseases
It’s irrelevant girl
And the room fills with steam
Oh, evaporates disappears
My point of entry is the same way
That I leave

Which now seems perfect for the HOUSE soundtrack if House & Cuddy were to hook up. I mean that’s where we’re going next season anyway, right? Meanwhile, why isn’t Matt Frewer in any episodes of EUReKA this season?

Stephen Fry now appearing in my bedroom.

Maybe it was the Queen’s visit to the States, maybe it was that I couldn’t stop listening to Bloc Party and Muse. It probably had a lot to do with the Doctor Who. And I even went out of my way to buy some Marmalade this weekend when I already had one kind in my fridge. I’m drinking tea right now, Irish Breakfast if you’re curious. But I’m clearly on some sort of Brit-kick, so be warned.

I will explain the title of the post in a second, but I want to comment on last night’s HOUSE, episode 3×22 ‘Resignation’, which I felt was again in top form. This season has had some phenominal episodes, Son of Coma Guy, Informed Consent, but the March-April plots were doing nothing for me and the characterization really felt flat. Last week and this week really pulled me back in with reinforced plot elements and backstory- and but damn Wilson cracked out on speed was hilarious. The wink ALONE was worth a million dollars. So brilliant. A lot of sharp dialogue and gasp! Progression in House himself. Wonders never cease. A few things really stick out- Cameron waltzing up into House’s pad, intentionally familiar in what I suppose is the writers trying to explode a few brains out there. I also want to give Foreman hugs. They’ve done a great job over the course of the entire show priming him for this realization and I love it’s getting stretched and played between both House and Foreman, but diffusing through other character reactions. Some very nice emotional structure here and good writing. Love.

Meanwhile re: last post title, I am completely cracked out on Doctor Who now. It doesn’t fail- because BSG goes off the air and then DW comes on in March, so the obsession train keeps on rolling. But it’s off this weekend, so I’m going to show Megan and Jeremy the first two series, last weekend I showed Cory and Mary a few. Which is typical- I insist on sharing the awesome. I’m a plague carrier as far as television goes. It gets a recommend, least of all because David Tennant is exceptionally nice to look at.

So Stephen Fry. Yes. I don’t know how I missed this, but BoingBoing dutifully informed me this morning that I can get an Stephen Fry alarmclock and dear God help me, I need it! Not only that, but the makers released the samples via CreativeCommons, so if you navigate to the ‘Downloads’ section of their website you can download your own Stephen Fry wake-up sounds for phone, computer, whatever. The Good Morning Madam ones- all of them actually are hilarious. And I can scarcely imagine a better way to wake up without possibly facing criminal charges.

some days, I just don't even know.

Well I was going to get back into my blog routine with a post about last night’s new episode of House, which was good and fell somewhere between- it was all a dream! -and- he was dead the whole time! I look forward to new and creative torments for our hero throughout the rest of the season. I will point out something I thought was notable, the fact that NO ONE seems to acknowledge- that House continues to become MORE and MORE uncomfortable every time Dr. Cameron gets warm and fuzzy on him. Why is no one noticing that it seriously unnerves him? The smart money is on maybe he’s having an allergic reaction to her unconditional luuuub! Poor House, daddy never hugged him. So teh emo.

But that’s about all I’m going into, because my whole mental reality has been derailed upon reading the news that

Robbers Net $4M in Coin Convention Heist.

Seriously. I know I’m a slow ass writer, but goddammit.

House 3×03 – Informed Consent

My overdue review of Informed Consent.

Have mentioned previously that House’s new timeslot this fall was going to cause slight scheduling issues with my weekly tube radiation alottment, specifically because it now plays head to head with CBS’ “NCIS” which is a show I’ve enjoyed since it’s start four seasons ago. This didn’t come into play until last week when NCIS had it’s season premiere, so I opted to watch NCIS. Now I’d be lying if I denied that this was in part of due to the second episode of House this season, which is only a C+ on my arbitrary mental scale. It’s only September and I wasn’t expecting mind-blowing sweeps high drama. That was my mistake.

A few technical notes because credit is certainly due: the two Davids get the writing cred, Shore and Foster, with acuminate direction from ER alum Laura Innes. However, the tour de force of the episode is really guest star Joel Grey as Ezra Powell. (Briefly worth the mention that Mr. Grey has been in everything ever since the 1950s, including Buffy, Oz and Alias.)

Okay, so the short version is- the episode rocks. Like I said, unexpected, with gravity and high calibre acting. I’ve watched it twice now and what strikes me most is the subtlety in execution. One of my favorite descriptions is “the medical cases became the instrument instead of the focus of the storytelling” and it’s done well in this episode.

Starting off, the thing that is so deftly established about Powell in the opening scene, is the contradiction of the character. Dark lab, serene cello piece, working with the lab rats is this nice looking elderly gent, who seems quite frail but is still keenly sharp. Grey is earnest, even as he’s oblique.

There’s nice cinematography in the lab, as the drama of the moment kicks in juxataposed with cello music, dissected and avenging lab rats- makes a really weird, tangible irony.

But enough of that, for next House marches in with cane, disarming the concern- completely nonchalant, deflecting. Light. But the clothing is more dark than usual- he has a private little grimace, is it the pain or is he pushing the emotion down? Maybe a few months of freedom was worse than if it’d never gone away? He’s got to work for what used to be involuntary and he’s totally bandying the word ‘cripple’ around more so than usual. Poor Snarkmaster-General.

The kiddos run off to test Powell, starry-eyed after a little expostition, because apparently Ezra’s the Snoop Dogg of Experimental Medical Authors. Cameron particularly buys into Ezra’s ‘frailty’ schtick- and not that it’s a put on, but as eventually becomes clear, Ezra is anything but frail.

At one point I even wonder that maybe he’s done all the tests already and knows what he has, but he’s really only come to House to help him die. This idea will bother me throughout the episode.

In the Clinic, House sharpens his snark on a teenager, perhaps because he’s feeling out of practice, and teenagers are generally impervious to such. This is because teenagers are dumb, with no perspective on reality. But unfortunately aforemented teenager is also hawt, so everything turns into flirting. I suspect House drops the papers on purpose and Cameron makes the most perfect entrance and line delivery. Hilarious!

And then the giant neon sign of PARALLELS lights up- Powell has never given up without an answer. Sound familiar? As House delivers this fun little tidbit he does so quite interestingly… Does he loath Powell or loath himself for the attributes they share?

And this is really where the episode turns into something heavy. The morphine fakeout. If you’re a big House fan, you buy into it, this is not beyond the Greg House we know and love. But he’s refrained from broad daylight thus far. Now, informed consent and euthinasia, I imagine, are way the hell on up there in the top ten of medical controversies. One of the phenominal things about this episode is that it all plays out is the trio of younger doctors- Foreman draws his line quick and firm, Chase takes the opposite (which I wonder about given the faith backstory) and poor Cameron gets bitchslapped with whatever ‘lesson’ it is House it trying to deliver.

The repartee’ between House and Powell really abolishes the idea that Ezra has, at any point, been frail. He calls the “lungs slowly filling with fluid” bluff, points out what is quickly becoming House’s fatal flaw- “not giving up without an answer,” (which Wilson comes along and hammers home) and less we’re totally enamored with facades (House’s OR Powell’s) oh yeah, he totally irradiated some babies. It’s an Emmy performance by Joel Grey- Such a dark twist wrapped up in that force of personality and offset by his ‘frailty’. But it’s very subtle because he’s so earnest, just awfully honest and sincere.

Which is what drives Cameron nuts, to the point of unhinging her. She falls apart of the course of the episode: makeup, hair, no sleep. She will not help. They strip that character down- House does it to her, he throws out the Journal article, completely offhand which is lovely, to make a point. Why he’s picked only Cameron for this lesson… well, I think Foreman gets it a little at one point, when he calls Cameron out for running away from principle and Chase turns it around on him, but it’s really nice that it’s coming across differently.

Of course I suspect House has a veiled reason for bludgening Cameron with the lesson and I think it’s the big reaction on the “withhold treatment without killing him” comment seals it. He yells, he yells a lot this episode, and of course he should, because of what’s been happening with his leg. He’s raw. Doesn’t seem raw, but Darwin in action- he’s got to survive. Which I think, is part of the lesson- Cameron, of all of them, needs it the most. She gets so personal there’s a very real danger she’s going to destroy herself.

Stepping aside for as second, I want to point out that House gives Cameron a present in this episode. When Lolita-girl appears the second time, House buys a candy bar from the newsstand. Flirts… he figures it all out because of the underwears, and he gives Cameron the candy bar… did he buy the candy bar for HER? Or what?

Anyway, there’s also a mini lesson for House- the similarities between him and Ezra come out under the contradictions but in the end Ezra calls it and whether he’s known with all certainty from the start, House has to deal with the fact he’s prolonged the hell out the guy’s pain. And pain is huge in his world.

So everything ends with everyone traumatized, including the viewer who is treated to the most creepy dead dude shot of all time. And whether House is proud of Cameron or not, I still can’t get over the fact that he DID this to her and it was a helluva thing to do, whether it had to happen for her to be an effective doc, or it was just him trying to communicate his own experience to her. The river of character subtext and prejudice runs deep on House and that’s what makes them real and entertaining.

Phenominal overall, and one of my favorite episodes to date. Thanks for all your hard work Davids, Laura, Hugh, and everyone! You rock hard.

princeton-plainsboro roundup 2006

Premieres starting up over the next few weeks and caught House Tuesday night at the new timeslot. Not a heavy hitting episode, but just fun reintroductions to characters back from summer exile, new hair cuts and neckties, etc…

‘Meaning’ as and episode worked well getting back into the hospital, catching up and priming a few motifs the writers have in store for season three, one of which I think is going to be the meaning of the job. Distinct personality shift in House, which other characters recognize, but especially now this quest for something other than ‘distraction from pain’ which has been SOP for two seasons. Then also lots of toss ups setting the stage for arcs throughout the season, promising to be interesting as reapercussions manifest on House and Company.

After a little discussion with Pooks I’ve decided the most important things of note in this episode are:

  1. The distinct psychological differences between “Greg” and “House” and how long Greg will actually be with us until House takes over and goes back to stabbing people enthusiastically with syringes and getting decked by angry bystanders.
  2. Chase may actually be the only really suitable heir to the House legacy.
  3. Wilson’s insane passive-agressive sabotaging.

There are of course other things that happened (although I may have slipped into a coma at some point when House started flirting), but I suspect the vicodin = doubt isn’t going to play very subtle, so that will become a major issue sooner rather than later. It’s fairly obvious House is going to have problems getting out of those self destructive patterns of the past; even though I would pay good money to have him ‘see music’ in the shower again. Cameron is also going to totally hook up with someone guarenteed, without a doubt, but at the moment I’m still holding out for Wilson because in all likelyhood Wilson’s BS is going to come out violently at some point. Don’t get me wrong, I like Wilson, and I don’t think this is going to be a real deliberate thing, he obviously feels like he’s protecting House, but it’s been a long time coming, House is honestly a horrible friend. We’ve got little to no backstory on their friendship from his pov and I imagine he’s stretched thin. Right now however Cuddy will be the foil for the cortisol-Man issue and the tension between House and Wilson will be a slow burn. What I can really see is mid-season House and Wilson having a falling out and throw Cameron into the mix, if Greg/House is kinda starting to feel warmly towards her… fireworks!

But as is the case with any speculation it’ll probably go down the tubes. I think it’s going to be a fun season, I think it’s going to be a rough season on House, although that’s sort of the premise of the show – Let’s torture Snarkmaster General and see him be a genius. Foreman will probably have it easy, he had a good 2nd season, but there is the cloud of his Mom floating in the wings ready to rear up. Chase is still really nebulous, but I’d like to see that slow boil stretch out until he completely loses his marbles- at which point he can actually become a clone of House. Cameron is like a super-bouncy-ball in that she seems to plummet along and take little damage, but eventually she’ll have to confront the fact she either likes House or she is totally schizo for the terminal-types.

Then there’s David Morse. Oh, David Morse. Tall, intimidating, and joining the cast around episode 5- which should air sometime after the October break. Another great actor on an already great show, should be fun.

Oh and I want to throw in a mention for cortisol-Man who is an actor named Edward Edwards and who has been in almost every awesome TV Show ever. And some others. Bot for real, he’s cool.

Aunt May is evil

Now DC needs to stop messing with my head by putting the heat on Harvey Dent (formally Two-Face), in the Bat arc that’s going down right now. I’m excited about One Year Later, but I reeaally wanted to see Harv protecting Gotham as he promised when Batman went off on his cruise or whatever. 52 promises to be fun, and The Question is supposed to have a lot of action in Gotham, so I REALLY hope they just don’t ignore Harv when they do this arc. I mean you heal a supervillian like Two-Face, then you definitely have to follow up by showing us what he’s been UP to the whole time. Also very interested in Spectre now because of poor Crispus Allen of the GCPD. I have a soft spot for all GCPD. Meanwhile, I’m not really keeping up with Marvel, but I’ve been informed Aunt May will soon be dating another supervillian possibly. Aunt May is totally evil.

Likewise the month of May seems to be perpetually evil. For the last few years running, May has had way too much crap going on, deadlines, weddings, etc. It needs to stop. This morning my car was rammed by someone backing out of a parking space as I was heading to work. I was too bleary-eyed to be coherent, but sufficied to say, this is not how I like to start my day. There isn’t too much damage though, and I haven’t burst into flames yet, so it could be worse.

I have started chanting the mantra- “Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s all small stuff.” and I can’t remember which fictional character I’ve stolen this from. I’m pretty damn sure it is from a movie or tv show somewhere, because there is no such thing as an original thought in this gord of mine, but I haven’t a clue where. So if you know, please remind me.

The Canes are rocking. Eric Staal man. The skating BBQ sandwich annoys me and yet makes me very hungry. And they don’t even SERVE BBQ at the RBC. Which they totally should, especially for the out of state folks who come in for the games. Otherwise the point of having that damn pig for a mascot is totally stupid.
I want to take a moment to say Betsy Kelly is the greatest hoor ever. I love that girl. I got a package out of nowhere with some keen swag including a Pirates of the Carribbean 2 one sheet. Very thoughtful, and she is the awesome.

HOUSE was very dashing and evil last night, but I still think things are playing a little tame as we lead up to season finale. Also according to Pooks I owe Stephen Fry an apology, as I slighted him in some alternate universe. I love you Stephen, and I am so terribly, horribly sorry. Your servant, Nicolle.

The Cubs fall to 5th in the Central with 8 LOSSES IN A ROW. *sigh* I have clearly done something more horrible than anger imaginary!Stephen Fry. I suspect nothing less than blood sacrifice will rectify things.

Also Don Bellasario is being evil again. NCIS promises someone ELSE won’t be coming back next season, and I’m gonna be totally pissed, as I was last year. I am dead serious. This cast is the ensemble of all time, I cannot see why you would dismantle it. Thought the same thing with when Kate bit the dust, but Ziva ended up being a fantastic addition. I’ve been watching a lot of the season 1 & 2 episodes lately and it just reminds me that I’m still not happy. I still totally love Kate. Which is, I guess a pretty damned brilliant stroke. But it’s a huge risk and that’s what ALWAYS gets me about NCIS- The show just continues to take these crazy chances, buck the formulas. It’s what I wish CSI had done. CSI was great through the first 3 or 4 seasons, but things settled down, they weren’t pushing the characters enough, they’d throw out some drama or crisis, and things would go back to normal after the arc had run it’s course. So when more character stuff came down the pipe it just ended up being flat. And just now CSI is killing off one of their own? I mean this is the show that LAUNCHED by killing one of the CSI- not many folks remember that, but axing Brass, not even a proper main character, isn’t enough. That’s the thing with CSI (Vegas) the only real deaths we get end up being cases. The NCIS crew wastes no time, they pull no punches, they do it and just never look back. It makes for really taut character lines, and the thing is, all the time isn’t being spent on character development (but you still get it), they have great episodes with very neat angles. It’s one of the best shows out there.
Also one of the best shows out there Doctor Who Totally rocks my sox. David Tennant is slowly winning me over. This weekend we get Cybermen!

Oh and to whoever commented about Avs-Canes in the final, I will so totally take some of that action. (I expect it was Will, but who knows)