• Publication date: July 31, 2011

Medicine�s Sherlock Holmes Returns Anti-Social, Bigoted, Drug Addicted . . . and a Medical Genius

There have been numerous medical dramas over the years; many of them have been formulistic yet with slightly different twists. Those minor differences might be turning a hospital into a comedic setting, or perhaps playing on sexual tensions between staff members.

There have been numerous medical dramas over the years; many of them have been formulistic yet with slightly different twists. Those minor differences might be turning a hospital into a comedic setting, or perhaps playing on sexual tensions between staff members. In that regard, �House� is very different; it is not a comedy or a typical drama of sorts. While the program undoubtedly contains suspense, the meat of it lies in mystery. The main character, Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) is a sort of medical Sherlock Holmes whose patients are those with mysterious aliments that other doctors were unable to diagnose. Like Sherlock Holmes, Dr. House relies heavily on psychoanalysis in his problem solving; both characters play instruments, and both suffer from drug addiction. In fact the program�s title, �House� is a play on Holmes (Homes).

Strangely Dr. House, an anti-social and occasionally racist individual, chose a profession that forces him to deal with people, including those he holds prejudices against. In an effort to improve House�s people skills, boss Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) assigns House to bedside duties, forcing him to interact with patients. However, House is extremely clever in avoiding said duties. Aside from a sour personality, the doctor is partially disabled and forced to use a cane. While this by itself is not terrible, the extreme pain caused by the injury has prompted him to abuse painkillers such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, and at one point methadone � a drug generally used to lessen the effects of heroin withdrawal. House�s addiction to drugs at one point poses a serious legal threat to his career in addition to hallucinations resulting from years of addiction.

Since patients at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital oftentimes suffer from rare, presumably untreatable illnesses, Dr. House is forced to attempt many unorthodox treatments. The risk involved with such procedures, and occasionally related ethical concerns often leave him at odds with hospital administrators. Yet, with the doctor�s track record and reputation for genius, he is generally able to have his way. However, experimental treatments are not without their consequences and are often resolved through trial and error.

Episode 1 of season 2 kicks off with guest star LL Cool J depicting a death row inmate suffering from severe hallucinations. Despite the seriousness of the inmate�s problem, department head Dr. Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison) believes the hospital�s resources would be better spent assisting a young boy dying of cancer. In episode 6, �Spin� a prominent cyclist faints while racing; the man admits to using steroids, and believes that they may be the cause of his collapse, though House is not so sure. Midway in the season House has a rare opportunity to seek revenge upon a medical school foe, while Dr. Cameron accuses Eric Foreman (Omar Epps) of plagiarizing an article he published in a renowned medical journal. House must also face his possibly flawed beliefs concerning faith healing when a teenage boy seems to manifest the power to cure disease.

�House� has received numerous awards, including two Golden Globes and three Emmy Awards, in addition to 64 other nominations. A resounding success, �House� has reached its fifth season and will begin its sixth this fall.