Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just watched the House season premiere. What's that? How could I watch House when you just know we were busy watching Dancing With The Stars last night? Through the magic of DVR, that millennial fetish cult that so many have been sucked into. Yes, first the iPhone, and now DVR. We are sad. But sad and hip!

House! I hear you asking, "Is there really room on television for another medical drama?" and the answer is NO, there is only room for House. The show is just consistently great, which is an accomplishment in the vast wasteland. Well-written, well-acted, with dialogue that is clever, without having to be drive-in cool. Melodrama? Sure. But melodrama is great if done correctly. And cliches are swell, if they're not over-used and relied upon. Even old ideas are fine if re-presented with new themes. For example, they went all predictably Ken-Kesey tonight, but instead of giving out lobotomies, the doctors were actually coherent, intelligent professionals who improved and helped the patients. What a concept! But what really struck me, again, was how music is such an important part of the show. There's always a song that flatters the moment, or an instrument as character, or someone at least referencing an old tune, and it strikes me as a profound structural device. That through the conflicts of these flawed people, trying to medically diagnose and help others, there's music; that unwavering, unquestionable, all-pervading, mystical healing force of the angels. And, hey, it's good music. The music in House, along with that flawed anti-hero, is the secret coalition that makes the show so watchable, kickstarted with that great track by Massive Attack, (which I will never forget hearing for the first time in a Tower Records in San Juan Capistrano in 2004 and I went straight to the counter to ask what is this? and bought it on the spot.) So the show is still awesome. And Hugh Laurie nails it just about every time.

As for Dancing With the Stars... Tom Delay was every bit as swoontastic as you would expect a fallen House Majority Leader to be. But FYI: it appears I don't always vote Republican. Donny Osmond was way better. (Wait, is he a Republican? No. Mormon.)