With Continual Reference to Justin Kahn.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Is it Just Me or is that Dr. House Kind of Mean?

The very wonderful Lindzster, lent me Season One of House. I wasn't really familiar with the show, so I thought I'd use today's post to make some comments on the show. In it, Hugh Laurie plays the brilliant Gregory House. He is the head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine, a department which solves the cases no one else can solve.

But I've noticed a few things about Laurie's House.

First, he seems really sarcastic to me. He never simply says what he means. Being around someone like that would drive me nuts. I'm a real straight shooter. Dr. House on the other hand seems to be evasive. Has anyone ever learned anything from a rhetorical question? When one thinks of the best people, don't they all just say what is true and move on? Would we still revere Socrates if he didn't just give us clear, easy to remember answers to life's most pressing problems?

Second, Dr. House represents what is known in Jungian psychology as the Unhealed Healer. In many of the great classical myths there is someone who is able to heal everyone else, but must bear the burden of an unresolvable ailment. Oedipus is able to solve the great riddle of the sphinx, but unable to avoid sleeping with his own mother. Viewers of House know that while he can solve the most obscure cases, he has been cursed with an irremovable hunchback which leaves him in constant pain.

I guess that doesn't really have anything to do with my review, but I thought maybe you would be impressed with my knowledge of Jungian psychology and maybe invite me out for a beer or something.

Third, he has a very one track mind. All he cares about is his blog solving cases. How narrow. How soon he forgets that there is so much more to his life. Like doing other stuff.

Of course maybe I’m just bitter that the Lindzster is in love with him.


Afou said...

You can use one beautiful Greek word about this kind of people.
This word is "Faflatas" and here in Greece means the person who says too much (usually nuts)without a reason
Unfortunately, we have plenty of faflatades (plural)here

QuillDancer said...

Justin, in my opinion (which is worth exactly what you paid for it) when wielded correctly sarcasm is an art form; when wielded incorrectly, a weapon. I prefer using sarcasm to make people laugh, or to make them think, but rarely to make them bleed (I am human).

Dr. House is a bit too surly, and a bit too egocentric for my liking. The few times I watched the show I found myself cringing from his callousness.

So, just one question remains -- was Afou describing you, or Dr. House?

bitingblondewit said...

Is Afou talking about you? Does he not understand and savor the subtlety of your keen wit and intelligence?

Justin said...

quilly and bitingblondewit:
Excellent question. We should address the question to afou.

"Afou? Am I a Faflatas or is Dr. House? Let's suppose for the sake of argument you have to choose just one."

Anonymous said...

bitingblondewit, afou is a she

Jenn said...

Really Justin? You really want to be compared to Dr House? To make us see the similarities between the two of you?

Why not Simon Cowell then, why not Becker?

bitingblondewit said...

I do apologize...I tend to associate clarity with women and presumed Afou to be male. Again, sorry.

QuillDancer said...

Wait Jenn, Justin isn't egocentric, he's narcissistic. If he were completely egocentric Justin would acknowledge no value but his own. As a narcissist he does admit our value -- at least to the extent that it pertains to his own adoration.

fried_blue said...

I was so awed by the waves of wit, sarcasm and satire bleeding from your post that I have decided not to attempt to steal your piece of TV history, which leaves that bottle of chocolate stout on your doorknob safe, intact, and drinkable.
Consider that my equivalent of buying you a beer. Be as egonarcitistic as you want.

Afou said...

What didn't I understand right?
I din't mean Justin
I suppose u missunderstood "we have plenty of faflatades here"
Here means here in Greece
I don't know this man Justin talked about, but the way he described him, reminds me of a tv presenter that I hate watching here (in Greece)
So I didn't mean Justin
I wouldn't waste my time by reading everyday the words of someone that I don't enjoy

Anonymous said...

Here in the high desert we have an old and venerated saying; "Sarcasm is wasted on the ingnorant"
Justin, your review seemed laced with sarcasm that these commenter missed entirely. I might also be seeing sarcasm in your comments where it is not intended. Be that as it may, I think if you continue to watch House I think you will understand the character more. as the show progresses we learn what happened to the good Doctor's leg as well as the root of his arrogance. It is a well written character that seem far too complex to have been written for American television. I hope you enjoy the show.

Rebecca said...

Dr. House is one sarcastic, mean SOB. But I keep watching it in hopes that one day his heart will grow, kind of like the Grinch.
You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch...haha.

RogueHistorian said...

A bit of Hugh Laurie trivia:

In what television show did he make his first appearence?

Kold_Kadavr_flatliner said...

"Be the change you wanna see in the world" -Gandhi

Justin said...

roguehistorian: Wasn't it the Wooster and Jeeves series?

Delal said...

Hugh Laurie was on Blackadder for years and on Fry and Laurie for years as well. But I do not know what he first appeared on....but it was probably British Comedy.

Rick said...

House wouldn't have so much appeal if it wasn't for the long string of TV doctors that came before him.

Nicholas Borelli said...

Mean? House is no match for the character in my books. Plus, my work would make a much better TV series than "House." The good (or not so good) doctor is only infinitesimally as complex as de'Conti.

RogueHistorian said...

Ha! Someone got it right! The earlist (at least that I'm aware of) is Blackadder (1985). Well done, Dalal. Well, to be techinal, he appeared in one episode of "The Young Ones" - British soap, but that was only one episode in 1984.

He played "Percy" over several seasons, with each version of Percy being from a different generation of the family (same shtick as Rowan Atkinson - "Blackadder" - and Tony Robinson - "Baldrick").

duckenvy said...

What is the awnser to the question can you learn anything from a rhetorical question?

Justin said...

duckenvy: what do you think the answer is?

duckenvy said...


Jamie said...

As an ER nurse, I laugh when house does clinic. It's the only part of the show I buy. All these tests, and the doctors doing them, xraying them, reading the xrays, reading the EEG's. NOT realistic.

But House says the things we ALL want to say to these people.

Oh, and it's on the first DVD of the first season what happened to his leg. It's not as sad as you would think, ha ha. Unless he's lying, which House says, ALL patients lie(TRUE TRUE TRUE!)

KILROY_60 said...

Having PASSION for something is a feeling too many people have never experienced and worse yet can not imagine.

I like House and hope he never changes. Gonzo Guilt!!

Sorry; my train of thought got derailed. THIS is what I wanted to tell you...

Published a new post today that includes a link to you in the current (2nd) installment of A Hitchhiker's Guide To The Blogosphere. Have a great holiday.

With Liberty And Justice For All...

Jeff said...

Dr. House is hot.

QuillDancer said...

Justin, I keep wandering by to check the lastest comments and at every visit I stop to stare at the pic of Dr. House. Hugh Laurie is definately eye candy.

Ali said...

Nah, it's just you

slut downstairs said...

i am going to have his babies one day.

Anonymous said...

I always thought House was more acerbic than anything else, but maybe that's just me.

Anonymous said...

Many times people use sarcasm to deal with hard problems of life. In my opinion, Dr. House has hypothetically seen so much suffering and pain, that he must use sarcasm to deal with it all. He might seem like mean person, but sometimes life makes us all mean.

Daniel said...

What is irony with out antirony?

Don't answer that.

I need some Hypothetical answers to rhetorical questions.

"Would we still revere Socrates if he didn't just give us clear, easy to remember answers to life's most pressing problems? "

I'm confused-who is Socrates?
But mostly, why do I love him?

Wait a minute, I'll be right back

la de de de da...

Well, He wasn't on myspace, so I looked him up in Wikipedia

Oh,THAT Socrates, Socrates.

yah, I love Socrates, but apparently he wasn't everybodies cup of Hemlock.