20 August 2012

Why We Hate AND Love You, Dr. House

One of my favorite characters on television is one that I would personally hate to be in the same room with. Dr. House (played exquisitely by Hugh Laurie) is, well, a perfect a$$. I’m not the only one who thinks so either, his co-workers, friends and patients call him that nearly every episode. They could put his picture next to the word “jacka$$” in the Dictionary and we’d all nod our heads in agreement.

Dr. House’s faults? How much time do you have?

Let’s start with his attitude. He’s gruff, downright mean sometimes, arrogant, egotistical and NOT always right.

He’s a drug addict who lifts his addiction above his family, friends, lovers, and personal safety.

Disconnected from society, Dr. House chooses to be a spectator in life, rather than a true participant. He picks apart every aspect of humanity as if he isn’t one of us.

He likes mind games, enjoying pitting people against one another for sport. He will press personal “hot buttons” just to see what will happen next.

There’s so much to not like about the guy, so why in the world would we love Dr. House?

Because the show’s writers are brilliant.

First off, they created this inherently unlovable guy and made us feel sorry him. It is no easy feat to feel sorry for a perfect donkey butt. But we do, right? Why?

1)  The man walks with a cane. That image alone tugs on our heartstrings a bit. It’s hard to want to punch a guy in the nose if he has a terrible limp and walks with a cane.

2)  But the writer’s went deeper than that. Dr. House walks with a cane and is in terrible agonizing pain every day of his life. I can’t imagine living with constant pain and this softens my heart toward House even more.

3) The only way he can deal with pain is to take drugs. Now wait a minute! That was one of the reasons I don’t like Dr. House, because he’s a drug addict who puts his addiction above his friends and such. But, but…if he’s hurting that bad how else can he survive? And how terribly sad that he has lost his loved ones because of the drugs that are reducing his pain.

4) He is disconnected from others because it is too painful for him to get too close. People die on him all the time. Or they disappoint him. He erects walls to protect his heart.

5) The mind game stuff is his way of trying to learn the truth. He is so sure that everyone lies or has a selfish motive for actions, that he is completely intrigued when someone is unselfish. Or acts out of love. Or to protect a loved one. Dr. House learns lessons in humanity every episode.

Beyond feeling sorry for Dr. House, we respect him. The writer’s made Dr. House:

A) The best at what he does. Period. No one is better.
B)  Loved by at least one friend and one lover. If these highly successful smart people love him, he must have some redeeming qualities.
C) Admitter of mistakes—remember he is NOT always right, but he does admit when he is wrong and moves forward to fix his mistakes.
D)  Say it like it is. Dr. House may twist the truth to his advantage but says exactly what we would want to say if we could. Bold, frank and to the point.
E) A life saver. He doesn’t make excuses, doesn’t quit or waver until he has done everything in his power to save the patient when no one else can.

Like I said, the writers are brilliant. I may not want to be in the same room with such a man, but if I was dying, I wouldn’t care if the doctor was an a$$. I’d want him to save me. End of story.

How about you? Do you hate, love or both Dr. House?


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