Chronicles of Ryebone


It's been a long time in the "making" but House is finally over. It's practically a relief, although I did enjoy the series...for the most part.

The year was 2005, I had just recently moved into my friend's basement and I had taken in a couple episodes of the show. Without much interest in any television during this time (except the mandatory, like Lost) it was pretty easy to watch an episode every so often. It didn't even matter if they were in order, they could have been repeats for all I knew. The basis of enjoyment was derived explicitly from the fundamental complaint about the show: how repetitive it was. Indeed, every episode followed the same formula: opening scene someone becomes expectantly sick, House et team spend 37 minutes diagnosing and experimenting, then in the last few minutes House as a eureka moment and the patient is saved.

While many people have the complaint, many people are secure in the formula. Of course, things are changed up occassionally, and the dynamic between House and his cohort becomes the main entertainment. House is a perennial jerk, always acting selfishly with little regard to his coworkers. In the later seasons he would have to pay for his actions, but not really: going to jail was a joke, and pulled out conveniently in the final two episodes of the series as a threat. You knew what you were getting into with every episode, and felt secure in what you were going to watch. A security show, really: the formula made it light and easy to consume. The drama wasn't too heavy and the medical cases were interesting, so it was a perfect show to decompress to. Personally, it was a great show to have on while I was making dinner.

So there it was, and as I started downloading some shows to get "caught up" I proceeded to sit and watch the entire first season in (proper) sequential order. It was grueling, and I would skip the second (and perhaps third) seasons altogether. There were some story arcs I missed out on, but wouldn't say I missed them. When I moved again later in 2006, I would begin watching the show week to week with regularity. For one of the first times I was in a state of mind where I looked forward to it, and the formula. Tuesday's were House, and I eagerly awaited the next episode and having a three minute conversation with coworkers and friends. Nobody really "loved" the show but we all watched anyway, and thinking that all it amounted to was three minutes of conversation seems kind of sad: my friends and I would discuss Lost and other such show for hours.

When House goes off the air - as it has now - it's not that big of a loss. Those three minutes won't be missed; it won't leave a void like Lost did (I bring up Lost often because the shows started about the same time). The final episode was exactly as it needed to be: it wasn't spectacular and it wasn't a letdown. A fitting end to a consistent show.