Lawrence Kaplow, "House" Writer
The Hollywood Reporter says that Next June, Kaplow will leave "House":'House' vet Kaplow inks 2-year deal
"'House' writer-producer Lawrence Kaplow has inked a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The seven-figure pact, which has an option for a third year, is set to begin in June when Kaplow's commitment to the Fox/NBC Universal TV medical drama ends. Under the deal with 20th TV, Kaplow will join an existing series as a co-executive producer and will take first crack at developing his own projects. 20th TV president Gary Newman called the studio's decision to sign Kaplow a year in advance 'a measure of our enthusiasm to be in business with him.' 'Writers like him don't come along that often,' Newman said. 'We're enormous fans of the work he's done on 'House' and look forward to his own ideas on new series and his great services on existing series.'
"...For the next year, Kaplow will continue to be focused on 'House,' which already is in production on the third season. Kaplow, who has been elevated from producer to co-executive producer on the hit medical drama, recently co-wrote the third season opener with the show's creator-executive producer David Shore." (Nellie Andreeva)
Blogcritics.org: Constructing House: An Interview With House, M.D. Writer Lawrence Kaplow Kaplow wrote "Paternity", "Detox" (with Thomas Moran), "Control", season finale "Honeymoon" (with John Mankiewicz), and "Autopsy":
"Lawrence Kaplow... sounded almost reverential in a recent interview as he struggled for words to describe how Laurie interprets their work....
"'if you were to sit on the set and watch him, it is unbelievable the performance that he delivers day in and day out. It's just amazing...'
"Though there's a lot of research involved for the medical drama, 'I do enjoy science, so that part comes easy to me,' said Kaplow, who ended up operating on sheep at a medical school during his high school summers. Abandoning his 'pre-med moment,' he began his television career as an assistant on Clueless and Chicago Hope before writing for Family Law, where he met Shore, who later brought him to Hack, then House.
Kaplow described planning for the House season as a collaborative process. The writers map out the character arcs together, then the individual writers come up with patient stories for their episodes, assisted by three medical consultants.
The most crucial part is structuring the medical mystery, but 'it's deceptive,' he said, 'because if you look on the web or see what people are talking about, they're talking about character moments, which occupy not a lot of space.'
The medical mysteries, then, are the framework for character exploration. In 'Detox,' for example, the tension of whether House's Vicodin withdrawal is causing him to make uncharacteristically bad decisions is what's most memorable about the medical aspect, not exactly what the bewildering array of wrong diagnoses are. However, it's the trail of symptom clues and diagnostic deductions that guides the audience through the episode and through the mind of House.
"'We definitely marry the character elements to the story elements, which I think is what makes the character elements resonate,' said Kaplow. 'What we do is layer it in through the mystery, so we're actually able to tell the character story through the medical mystery.'
Because of that medical and character story integration, we often learn more about House through his reaction to the patient of the week. In 'Autopsy,' selfless nine-year-old Andie is determined to scrape as much time and as many moments of joy as she can out of her short and painful life. In contrast, House whines about his hayfever, acts defiantly reckless, and alienates his only friend. He also refuses to acknowledge that Andie could be self-aware enough to understand the limitations of her life and be willing to embrace it anyway, in a theme that illuminates his own issues and inability to do the same.
"'Autopsy' has House at his most obnoxiously, deliciously Housian, making his usual cutting remarks about his team (to overly emotional Cameron: 'Youıll just get all warm and cuddly around the dying girl and insinuate yourself, end up in a custody battle') but also training his equal-opportunity sarcasm on the idealization of kids with cancer ('Itıs basic statistics some of them have to be whiny little fraidy cats'). He doesn't make his 'parade of the bald circus freaks' remarks in front of the patient, but he does hammer them home to oncologist Wilson, whose impression of Andie is ridiculed by his friend at the same time as he faces the heartbreaking possibility of losing her fight for life.
"'We have a very good time pushing buttons, but not just for the sake of pushing buttons,' said Kaplow. 'Everything that House says, every response, is justified, no matter how rude — at least in his twisted mind.'
"...By presenting complex issues about transplant ethics, clinical trials, and patient rights through such a compelling character, we see his point of view. But one of the most impressive feats of the writers is allowing viewers to make up their own minds. There is something noble but also shortsighted about House, who often lands on the side of individual good over greater good. It's possible to admire the character without buying completely into his actions, because we understand his motivation to fight for his patients (whether they want him to or not), but we also get Wilson, Cuddy, or Foreman credibly challenging his position...."
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