Thursday, December 11, 2008

I often show up late to these things: The Jack Sack watches "House"

Back around 2004, when FOX's (quasi) medical (quasi) drama "House" premiered, I was completely disinterested in what this show had to offer.

I recall FOX's terrible (and ubiquitous) ad campaign kicking off a show where a furious, counter-culture doctor with a scruffy beard and walking cane yelled to anybody who cared to listen "You're risking a patient's life!" I, like Bill Simmons, found the whole thing pretty silly on its surface. So, when friends told me they thought the show was actually decent, I wrote them off as being jagoffs. I do not listen to my friends well at all.

But I get internally uppity with stuff like that all of the time. If something is popular, I generally become skeptical of it for no reason in particular. If something is a trend, it usually pisses me off. I've never watched "Survivor", "CSI" or "The King of Queens." I don't like 99.9% of hip-hop, country or anything that lands in the top 40. And I'm sorry but "The Lord of the Rings" movies sucked. I know a lot of people loved those movies, but they were bloated, melodramatic and painfully sentimental films. It's a story about a bunch of dudes fighting over a piece of jewelry. I don't watch the Bravo network for the same reasons, people.

So, I'm a stick in the mud. And sometimes (not often) I'll take back my snap judgment on something. Now, don't get me wrong, "House" is not God's gift to television programming. It's formulaic and... well really formulaic. But the formula is durable and works. And that's the mark of good entertainment. Thanks to the USA network (words I never thought I'd write) I have had a chance to get sucked in.

Why do I like this show? Because Gregory House, M.D. is a prick-bastard version of Sherlock Holmes. The show is a fantasy play featuring what would happen if one guy knew he had leverage in a situation and used it to the hilt in every way possible. House is a mean, deceitful, drug addict and he's usually right. He's the guy I want to be for an hour at a time. I'd love to hobble about, loaded on Vicodin, telling people that they're idiots (I'm a low-grade misanthrope with a side-order of anarchist). But I need to keep my job (in this economy, especially) so I skip out on being the *real* me and leave the theatrics to guys like Gregory House and Jack Bauer.

Therefore, I am tendering this formal apology to "House." You sold me, 4 years after the fact. Now, could somebody get the USA network to stop running the same 3 promos during each break? I don't care about "Psyche", "Monk" or "The Starter Wife"... (yet).


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