Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Message to the Writers of House

I can't stay quiet about this any longer: Will someone please, please, please make my Christmas merry by killing off the asinine Tritter story arc that's been dragging House down for the past two months or so? I know I'm not alone here and everyone wants to see Tritter get run over by a bus two or three times or eaten by a mountain lion or whatever. I don't care. I've gotten to the point where I can imagine a satisfying story in which Tritter comes down with a mysterious disease that only House can diagnose, which is a good win for the forces of triteness.

If it's any consolation, I'll be your rare detractor who appreciates that you've written yourselves into what's becoming an annual tradition of corners full of slippery plot contrivances, but yesterday's episode was a perfect escape route, and the charms of Hugh Laurie sniping with an irascible little person — one of the show's funniest scenes since the first season — barely, barely earns you my forgiveness for not taking it.

Tread lightly, show, because I'm not seeing a way out of this conflict that won't turn House into Law and Order: Prescription Enforcement. Maybe they'll do a show where Tritter harasses some poor guy with a cold and too many boxes of pseudoephedrine. I feel like whoever's coming up with these stories, the ones where it's House versus some omnipotent antagonist, has meandered off from the show's conceit and left the characters we know and love in a lobotomized, impotent haze, with the audience's nitpickery leading them to clarity. Whatever happened to the fifty-thousand dollar a year House-is-insane legal fund that Cuddy set up? And what's House's current lawyer, at $450 an hour, been up to lately? There's no way House or his minions would put up with Tritter's vindictive crap, and it's frustrating watching them take it like bitches (except for Chase, cause he's a pushover anyway). It's infuriating watching them fall out of character just to make a halfway formidable showdown with this asshole who does little to nothing to illuminate House anyway. This is a guy who cheats at poker, steals organs, and not infrequently deliberately kills his patients, but he wouldn't fuck the police? If I wanted to watch a show about passive, whiny doctors, I'd tune into Grey's Anatomy. Then I'd kill myself.

At least Vogler fleshed out House's ethics, not to mention the lack of integrity shared by the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital Board of Directors and the health-care industry in general (totally surprised by the latter there). But even then, I felt cheated; we'd already gotten a sense of his utilitarianism in "Maternity" and how he applies his standards to himself in "Control." Tritter, on the other hand, is a foil for House's... what, exactly? It's like the writers' room meeting went, "We've already got Cuddy reflecting the arbitrary constraints of the real world that House rebels against, and there's Wilson standing in for House's elusive emotional groundedness. What else is there?... I know, let's create a character who's as obsessive and single-minded as House, forget all about why House is obsessive and single-minded, and irritate every last one of our viewers! Great idea!"