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House: Lots of Schtick, Finally Some Carrot

Season 6 of Fox's medical drama House is a bit different from all the other seasons. A bit different.

Yes, he's still a jerk. Yes, he still messes with friends, patients, and strangers alike, but the audience finally gets to see Dr. Gregory House's heart of gold. Okay, in previous seasons, you might have caught a glimpse of a gilt right ventricle, or even a yellowish tricuspid valve, but this season you get to see the whole thing.

Episode twelve, which featured a college football player who went into a rage, really swirled around a mysterious prankster and the family issues of Dr. Foreman. And House's role in all this? As Dr. Wilson says, “the diabolical yet benevolent puppet-master.”

The benevolent streak is what is new this season. While many viewers grew weary of the medical mysteries and investigations a while ago, House is drawing some back with more attention on the protagonist's new leaf.

The ratings are up. The viewer reviews are better.

However, it must be said that everyone has grown tired of the normal investigations. They are just too formulaic and overdone. So what has the writing staff done to fight this?

They have managed to make each case have more profound impacts on House and the team. They have looked at the world of House from new POVs, such as episodes that follow Drs. Wilson and Cuddy. And they have made some of the cases come back into the plotlines later, such as the death of a patient who was a murderous dictator in Africa.

There seems to be a lot more life in House these days. While viewers are notorious for the unchanging formats of sit-coms and detective shows, House understands that the audience needs the illusion of dynamism to maintain interest.

By the end of the season, it should be clear whether this new House is an illusion or not. The success of the TV franchise hangs in the balance.


Catch some new episodes on Hulu, or live on Fox, Mondays 8 pm EST.

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