Friday, January 04, 2008

You can't always get what you want...

Just a quick post to get down some thoughts on the first episode of season 3, mostly the ending with the reoccurence of the use of 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' by the Rolling Stones.

Right at the closing scenes of the episode, when Cuddy injects the previously presumed brain-dead patient with Quortosol (sp?), the Stones rear their head to reiterate two things. Not only the more obvious point that House is unable to get what he wants - namely, a solution to the puzzle that he has so vehemently been seeking through the apparent abuse of his patient, but that Cuddy can't get what she wants in telling House that he was right.

This raised a few questions in my mind about Cuddy and her relationship with House compared with Wilson in particular. Where Wilson is certain that it is better for House to have known what it felt like to be denied what he was after, Cuddy is preoccupied by the fact that, despite all her misgivings, House was right, and she's having a hard time getting past that. Where others have doubted House and his methods, Cuddy has always been there to defend her renegade member of staff with the assertion that, when it comes down to it, he has saved more people than killed them (rather blunt phrasing, and I'm certain there's s more eloquent quote somewhere! - apologies).

In short, this scene at the end of the episode gives the first indication that House's place in the in the hospital and his attitude toward his patients may not be as altered by his near death experience as first thought. There is more to the relationship between Cuddy and House than employer and employee. Once again, the Dean of Medicine's respect for her rebel diagnostician overrides any compulsion to control or alter his methods of operation.

Those who were concerned that House may be losing some of his razor sharp wit and crippling sarcasm can rest assured that, based on Cuddy's reaction to House's correct diagnosis here, the House we know and love is here to stay.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Music as a window to Vulnerability....

OK, so I haven't posted anything in here for a while - things have been going a bit mad at work and I've hardly had any time to get anything done, let alone blog! I *have* however managed to watch the first season of House through again and am up to episode 6 of the second season, and I thought I'd go over a few things that have occurred to me while watching.

Although I haven't been making detailed notes on the songs used in the show so far (I really should staart doing that!) I have been thinking some more about the use of music in the show, and have come to the conclusion that its something of a 'window to vulnerability'.

What do I mean by that? Well, I suppose I mean that music is used most effectively in parts of the show where a particular character is exposed emotionally, and the music is there to draw the viewer into that emotion. This is used well in scenes with emotional patients, but is particularly effective when used in scene's whose focus is House. This is a guy who hides behind all emotion through a series of jokes, dissmissive comments or clever turning of questioning onto the questioner. It is very rare that we see any form of emotion openly expressed, so instead music is used to suggest this emotion and vulnerability.

For example, episodes often close with a piece of music over a montage of the effects of a patient on the doctors, be it positive or negative. The montage will often have House sitting in his office catching his ball or tapping his cane, contemplating the events of the episode and differences they may have made to the way that he operates.

Note - this is a draft entry that is not finished but I thought was worth publishing to assure people that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth!

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Pilot...

I thought this would be as good a place to start as any, although I'm still not too sure whether I'm going to do this chronologically or not!

The first thing I noticed, that I hadn't picked up on until I received my season one DVD boxset, was that the first episode of the season doesn't have a title - its just referred to as 'The pilot'. There's not a lot else I can glean about the episode from the title other than the fact it's the the pilot!

Although, in a wonderfully cliched link to the other topic of this blog, this ep would have quite happily fitted to the title 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' - the title of the first major song used in musical interludes within this episode. We get one of our first indications of House of the maverick individual that he is, along with an indication of his working relationship with Cuddy with his quip on having to undertake clinic duty -

'As the Philosopher Jagger once said 'you can't always get what you want'

And what does House want? From this episode and our baptism of fire regarding the character, it would appear that her certainly doesn't want to actually treat patients - perish the thought (!). This is a man who enjoys a puzzle - something that can tax his enquiring mind and make the point that he may be rude, he may be arrogant, but damn....hes good. This episode, unssuprisingly, is all about House the character and about his grudging acceptance of the necessity to actually interact with people and have some sympathy for the individual (maybe less of the sympathy and more of the interaction, but you get the idea!).

The presence of the Rolling Stones classic at the end of the episode, serves to highlight that, as it turns out, you may not always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need. As much as he hates to admmit it, House needs the patients - without whom there would be no puzzle, and no chance to prove others spectacularly wrong.

This first episode then, is an example of the power that music has to add to our understanding of a character - in this case Greg House and his need (as much as he would like to deny it) for the patient and the puzzle. There's something very fragile about this guy, he's damaged and he seems to draw other damaged souls to him - there's bound to be fireworks!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Beyond the Script

Have you ever watched a show without music playing underneath dialogue or a particular scene? Joss Whedon did it in his season 5 episode of Buffy, 'The Body', and boy was it odd. Music within television is extremely inportant and extremely valuable to a director - often a carefully chosen score can do the job of a page of dialogue, and do it better.

House MD is no exception and within this blog, I intend to examine the use of music in this fantastic show - when is music employed rather than dialogue? Is there anything that the music can tell us about the characters we are watching, or the situation they find themselves in? I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to structure my thoughts, so do bear with me on that one, but I'm hoping that this blog is going to help me get more out of the show when I watch it, and I hope it does the same for you guys too.

I'm also going to look at the episode titles of the two seasons of House, amd examine what they bring to one's understanding of the show - are the episode titles simply a straight reflection of the storyline, or are theree various levels to the titles...indeed, are they a mixture of both?

I hope you enjoy what I have to say, and keep coming back, as I intend to update as regularly as work allows!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

First Test Post from House MD Editors

Welcome, Louise.