Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Review: "House" & "Risky Business" Hit A New Low 8x04


Viewers who thought the creative minds behind House MD had destroyed the character in the season 7 finale are in for an unpleasant surprise. Apparently House can still be plumbed for new depths, while being stripped of whatever compassion, sense of ethics, and humanity he may have possessed in the past. Moral turpitude found new lows in last night’s episode of House, “Risky Business.” At the time, the episode seemed merely stupefyingly dull. However, in the cold light of morning 8x04 is simply hideous.

To the tune of "Morning Has Broken," the patient of the week (Michael Nouri) is a business magnate who intends to move his company to China, thereby losing thousands of American jobs and destroying family tradition. His daughter vehemently opposes his decision. Unfortunately, her pro-America argument is interrupted by Nouri finding his hand very small.

Once we’re back at the hospital, Adams strides in, in a low-cut black dress reminiscent of the sorely missed Cuddy. Except that Adams is barely out of high school and the costumers had to pleat her chest to give her cleavage. As always, her cascade of hair is impeccable. It’s a bit disconcerting when she’s bending over the patient—wouldn’t a real doctor wear a ponytail or a braid to keep stray hairs from getting everywhere? (Your faithful correspondent has long, flowing hair, so I know whereof I speak.) Even Thirteen used to pin some of it back. Oh, wait, that was when this mess resembled an actual television program. Adams yammers at Nouri about ethics, which seems rather odd when he’s in an MRI. Aren’t the patients supposed to remain silent? (Correction: he was being radiated, as a commenter pointed out. My narcolepsy must have kicked in.)

House lectures Adams about the 99% and why they deserve to get the shaft. And why she should drive her car through her ex-husband's living room.

Oops. That was when David Shore et.al actually cared about what they were doing. My respect for Hugh Laurie drops another ten points with each episode. He practically slept through this one. (Not to mention that his hair and beard are still that bizarre ginger color.)

The bottom line: House buys stock in the company when it drops because of the news of Nouri’s ill health. He then makes a huge profit when Nouri decides to move the company to China! He urges the magnate to sign the press release, in front of the magnate’s horrified daughter. Way to go, you rascal House, you! Insider trading, ruining thousands of lives, losing thousands of American jobs, AND wrecking the magnate’s family in the process!


Pardon me, I had to pause writing the review so I could vomit.


The show has moved me, it has made me think, it has angered me, it has bored me. But except for last season’s finale, I have never felt utter DISGUST. Is this supposed to be cute? Is this “going back to the fun”?? What do they do in the writer’s room, torture kittens?

Dr. Park floats around the periphery, her disciplinary hearing won because, well, she’s just so adorable, how can you fire her? (Besides, she's signed up for the season.)

The POTW’s illness is described quickly with some medical gobbledy-gook. This season, the MagiCam has been used to (loudly) distract from whatever diagnosis House is spouting. The visuals have become as confusing as everything else. Can someone tell me what the diagnosis was? It involved a lot of spinning red discs, that much I know.

At the end, House buys back his old department with his ill-gotten gains and Wilson (who is on for a few nanoseconds) a check for $5000. I suppose this is supposed to make up for all of the money House owes Wilson, and it conveniently buys his friendship for the rest of the season as well. Which is nicely symbolic of Robert Sean Leonard keeping his job.

In the last moments, we discover that Adams is going through a divorce (gag me) that will supposedly give her character some depth. Given her age, she must have been married down South. House hands her a baseball bat and watches, grinning, as she destroys the orthopedic equipment that has occupied his “office,” as “Morning Has Broken” plays on the soundtrack. Yes, nothing says “catharsis” like trashing expensive medical equipment out of spite.

As one friend wrote to me:

The $5000 was money he stole from Wilson - he was just returning it.

Crimes committed by House in this episode-
Insider trading (twice)-
Blackmail of patient for money-
Theft of $5000 from Wilson-
Theft of a $200,000 piece of medical equipment (he pawned it somewhere presumably? must be a great pawn shop!)-
Assault on ortho guy (shining a light in his eyes designed to make him ill*), near assault on ortho guy (only saved by having an epiphany at the last moment)

Pretty good record for a guy on parole....

* I shall be honest and admit I had to cover my eyes during this section, because I have a mild medical condition where I cannot look at flashing lights.

On the positive side…

On the positive side…


Wilson looks hot.

Foreman’s character is being fleshed out beautifully, after years of standing around looking sullen. He projects authority, intelligence, and humor.

Not to worry, House will have his minions tearing up Foreman’s office for no good reason before season 8 is over.

Edited To Add: The ratings are also hitting new lows. 6.55 million viewers, down 19% from last week. Oh, dear, I forgot the juggernaut that is Dancing With The Stars. And Two And A Half Men. And Mike and Molly at 9:30 EST.



Anonymous said...

Well it says a lot really when the reviews are more entertaining than the actual episode. Thanks!

I'm having a hard time reconciling this pr*ck with the guy who once urged a young cancer patient not to undertake a painful treatment just so her Mother could have her for another year; or indeed the guy who stopped his best friend from committing career suicide. But as long as we're having fun, eh?

I hear David Shore's next project is to be called 'How to Alienate Fans and Annoy the F*ck out of People'. I, for one, can barely contain myself.

Anonymous said...

While I admit it wasn't my favorite episode and the scenes between Adams and Park were a bit stale, I respectfully say I disagree with pretty much everything that you said.

House did not make the guy sign or bully him in to it. It was pretty well established earlier on in the the ep that the guy wanted to move it all along: refer to tilt table scene. Yes, House did get the money a bit shady but he didn't pocket it for himself, he used it to re fund his department; hence creating 3 more jobs.

As far as Wilson and the money. I don't think House used the money to buy Wilson's freindship. why do people insist that House doesn't deserve his friendship? He's done good things for Wilson too. DBS, saving his job in Known Unknowns, etc.

Foreman I thought was good, and honestly, I don't miss Cuddy.

I think this ep showed that House is just trying to get back to normal and reaching out to Adams at the end was good. People need to release anger and by the way, House paid for the equipment she destroyed. Foreman saying the check was for substantially more and House saying go ahead, it's paid for. (for the record, I don't think driving a car through someone's house is good but what he encouraged Adam's to do with the equipment he paid for, I think could be cathartic)

I liked the ep and really don't get the criticalness behind it. He's done a heck of a lot worse in the past and ppl didn't get all pissy over it. Just my thoughts.

Jess said...

As House says:


That was hilarious and actually quite more entertaining than the actual episode!

I can't wait for more.

Jess (aka @JessicaClackum on Twitter)

Jess said...

Oh and can I rant about one more thing?

I loved that House told the POTW (Wentworth Miller) in Charity Case that it was healthy to choose family over money.

But in this episode he convinced the POTW to choose money over family.

Guess they need to hire a new "continuity" person eh?

Mad Fashionista said...

Oh, yes, I hadn't even noticed that particular disconnect.

Continuity was never this show's strong suit, but that is REALLY outrageous.

I had no idea it was all right to break expensive, life-saving medical equipment because you'd "paid for it." What a disengenous line.

Anonymous said...

So, you really didn't like it, hm?
About House doing morally bankrupt things... I don't really get the outrage. He's done insider trading before, in an early season six episode. Only difference was that he used the money he made back then for himself instead of funding his department.

As for your proof that the show doesn't care anymore about anything. Adams's impeccable cascades of hair while treating a patient? Not caring about possible stray hairs? I guess the same thing was just fine when Cuddy used to do it.
And yeah, patients are supposed to be silent while in the MRI. Good thing he was actually getting radiation treatment in that scene. Looks nothing like an MRI btw. I guess it makes a difference if the reviewer actually looks at the screen. Or listens to the dialogue. Oh, and about that. House gave Wilson the check over $5000 because that was the amount he stole from him earlier in the episode. Again, listening. Watching. Actually helps. Of course it's not necessary if you know beforehand what you are going to write.

Mad Fashionista said...

My bad on the radiation. I had no idea of what I was going to write, other than I was extremely bored.

To take issue with one point: Cuddy rarely interacted with patients, certainly not as their attending. But to use that as a point to disagree with my review, well, that is really grasping at hairs--er, straws.

Mad Fashionista said...

My bad on the radiation. I had no idea of what I was going to write, other than I was extremely bored.

To take issue with one point: Cuddy rarely interacted with patients, certainly not as their attending. But to use that as a point to disagree with my review, well, that is really grasping at hairs--er, straws.

Mad Fashionista said...

Oh, and to speak further on the ethics: it is illegal to have a patient sign business documents until 24-48 hours after they have completed a procedure. Before you say "House has broken the law umpteen thousand times," I can only state my opinion that it was wrong in every way and shape possible.

Anonymous said...

You are a genius and i´m addicted to your reviews. House writers suck. You rock.


Anonymous said...

Dollink! Wonderfully said. Sad to be congratulating so wretched an event. Pass the vomit basket, please.

Anonymous said...

Okay, fair point, the stray hair thing might have been petty. (You started it though! Ahem.)
Then again, it was hardly the only point I was disagreeing with. It just seemed more mature to bring up some of your own arguments instead of saying 'I don't like your tone.'
Because, while you probably didn't know beforehand what you were going to write, you sure as hell knew that you weren't going to like it.
And it seems to me like you will do what you can to make sure that other people won't even bother to watch it. Which seems kind of unfair to me. It's your right to write whatever you want, of course. Doesn't mean I have to like it.

it is illegal to have a patient sign business documents until 24-48 hours after they have completed a procedure.
God, I certainly hope so. Then again, if real law applied to House world, everybody at PPTH would have been in prison by episode 3. But this is hardly news. (Just like the medicine isn't too close to real life. Radiation treatment for a possible, but totally unproven virus infection seems... like an overreaction, to say the least. But also not a new feature that was established this very season.)

And yes, I believe you when you say that you always thought House ignoring the law and getting away with it was wrong. It just seems that you seem to think that it's now much much WRONGER than it was ever before. That's what I don't quite get. Why is it more wrong now than it was two, three, five years ago?

Mad Fashionista said...

Thank you for your comment. I watch each episode hoping that I will find something to enjoy. And I very much doubt I have the power to influence people's choices whether or not to watch a program. Please do not imply motives to someone you do not know.