‘House’ Season 8 Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 12:32 pm,

house season 8 premiere prison House Season 8 Premiere Review & Discussion

For all intents and purposes, the House season 8 premiere presents a wonderfully crafted case study, penned by executive producer Peter Blake, on the man that is House, in which Hugh Laurie masterfully traverses a new environment filled with intriguing challenges and compelling characters – all while slowly revealing an elemental depth to the character that audiences haven’t seen in many years.

Unfortunately, the manner in which the House season 8 premiere presents itself feels less like a barely competent introductory episode, with regard to what fans can expect to see in terms of story-arcs as this season progresses and, instead, more like an epilogue to the events that transpired in the House season 7 finale.

While that may not typically be, in and of itself, the best way to kick off the start of a new season, the obvious shift of focus and overall execution of the premiere represents a very much welcomed evolution to the way that the series itself is handled. Barring the return of any zombie musicals, viewers should be encouraged by House’s new-found direction.

Picking up 12 months after House crashed his car into Cuddy’s (Lisa Edelstein) living room, we find the world renowned diagnostician in prison, but up for parole – thanks to overcrowding and his somewhat good behavior. With five days left before his eventual freedom, the prison’s resident neo-Nazi leader presents House with a non-negotiable fee for his impending release and subsequent safety on the outside.  As the proverbial Hitler youth (though, not so much a “youth”) so eloquently states, “Unlike you, I have friends on the outside.”

house season 8 premiere house neo nazi House Season 8 Premiere Review & Discussion

With that, the premiere title, “Twenty Vicodin,” becomes apparently clear, and our favorite diagnostician sets out on his quest to fulfill his forced obligation. Of course, this crusade quickly takes a back seat when a fellow inmate’s unusual medical symptoms appeal to House’s appetite for diagnosing the unknown – and, through this, House meets one of the prison’s physicians, Dr. Jessica Adams (Odette Annable).

As the character of Dr. Jessica Adams unfolds throughout the episode, it soon becomes apparent that her purpose is not of any type of romantic replacement for the now-absent Lisa Cuddy (though Cuddy’s current status is never discussed), but as someone who House can help reach her career potential – which, as it is revealed, is much more than mending inmates after altercations. In a sense, her character conveys qualities similar to that of Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison), without any hinted attraction to or from House.

house season 8 premiere jessica adams House Season 8 Premiere Review & Discussion

With these two storylines slowly unfolding concurrently, the exceptional manner in which they are handled, coupled with some fascinating supplemental revelations, serves to set the House season 8 premiere apart from the familiar “patient of the week” episodes that have become a staple for the series. Despite containing some thematic similarities to the aforementioned installments, all of the plots presented center around the human side of House, rather than the all-too-familiar unrelenting diagnostician.

By providing some intriguing explanations to exactly how House came to the decision to drive his car through Cuddy’s living room and then fly away to a tropical destination for three months, as well as slyly revealing what House intends to gain by serving the prison sentence, the premiere presents an undeniable evolution and growth to the character that hasn’t been seen in the series’ many years on the air.

house season 8 premiere prison riot House Season 8 Premiere Review & Discussion

Instead of the reveling in the slight maturities to the character, as previous seasons have done, these elemental revelations are all but presented as an afterthought – something that’s easily observed, mentioned by others, but never acknowledged by House, himself.

While some may perceive these character moments, which are brilliantly woven into the episode, as a last minute addition that serve no other purpose than to try and make up for the disastrous deconstruction of House that occurred in the season 7 finale, the nonchalant manner in which they are touched upon presents a natural and earnest attempt at House coming to terms with his faults and, more importantly, seeking to overcome them.

With no mention or appearance of any of the series’ familiar cast members and an ending that leaves certain things unresolved, it’s difficult to see, exactly, how House season 8 will transition itself from the newly presented prison environment to the hallowed halls of Princeton Plainsboro – especially without Edelstein.

That being said, if the apparent care in which the premiere was handled in is any sign of how the rest of the season will be executed, there’s no doubt that some wonderfully rich storytelling awaits viewers in the episodes to come.

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House season 8 premieres Monday, October 3, @9pm on Fox

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  1. I was thinking about 15 minutes into the season 8 premiere that they could do almost a whole season with House in prison and that this particular episode seemed a lot like Prison Break (in a good way.) From previews of next week’s ep it looks like House is back at the hospital but I’d like to see them maybe give him a type of work release so he’d still get to interact with the inmates. Really like Odette Annable (Cloverfield!) so I hope she sticks around.

    • I thought the same thing while watching it. I think the show is at its best when it focuses on House and allows Hugh Laurie to shine.

  2. My wife and kid like this show, but I think this show stinks, period. Think I’ll stick to watching good shows, like the DVD copies of The Event, X-Files, and Dark Shadows!

    • Nearly pissed my self seeing you bash this fantastic show and then going on to call The Event good. That’s hilarious. I get it now you’re just joking or just have really bad taste.

  3. I liked it.

  4. I finally caught the premiere, and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was really excited for this season until I saw scenes from next week and he’s back at Princeton Plainsboro. I really thought the writers might have had an idea when House said he was done with medicine. They could have done a complete genre change for the show. How many medical dramas switched to another genre in their 8th season? None. This could have been ground breaking. Someone wrote it so they could have a fresh start with this character, but yet it looks like it’s returning to what is comfortable.

  5. I really like it, too. I thought showing House in a literal survival situation really brought out the best and worst of him. I could’ve used a few more eps with him in jail.
    I still can’t tell who’s the big Cheese at PPB yet, anyone??

  6. Am I the only one who thinks, that Hugh in his prison outfit et al is starting to look like Tommy Chong?

    I still haven’t seen season 7 yet though, so I’m quite behind.

  7. Hi! great review! I invite you if you can to read the one I made on the season premiere in my blog, just to get suggestions.
    http://tvmoviesandgeneralignorance.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/review-house-season-premiere-much-more-than-twenty-vicodin-into-the-future/

  8. Just finished watching episode 2 and really this season (8) should not exist.
    Seriously – it should just have ended with season 7. With just about all the main actors gone its just not the same and as good as House is, he needs those strong actors to be bring the dynamic into the show.

    Now this no name poor acting Korean girl is really pathetic and has no place in the show. I think she is the worst character yet in the history of the show.

    I am considering not watching any more episodes and just pretend that this season does not exist.

    No TV series should be pushed / milked this far.

    Farewell House, a brilliant series with 7 great seasons.

    • I was kind of scared for House this season yet he pulled off another great performance..I guess you feel what more can he do…

    • Carl, I agree with you, except that the writing in season seven really started to slip, and at the end was a hatchet job. The dream sequences (a zombie movie – seriously?) not to mention the finale ruined what was once my favorite show. Personally I hope the advettisers leave as the fans do when they realize that their favorite characters won’t be back, and I hope “House” is cancelled in the middle of this horrific season 8!

      • I agree. The directing, writing, acting, lighting, and even musical interludes are off in this season. Its sad to see the show go down like this. What we are missing:
        Scenes at home, scenes of patients family worried about their sick family member, background info on new characters, facial expressions and emotion in the actors, jokes in the script, consistent characters–what happened to Omar, Wilson, and House? They are boring. Dialog sounds like a technical manual. I really wish they got some total dip to take Cutty’s role, or someone so attractive they couldn’t pay attention, or maybe someone too old, or too young. I miss 13 rolling her eyes and Omar smiling, Wilson angry or frustrated, and House loving it. This is depressing.

  9. I wish House and his team much sucess on the 8th season run with many more to follow!

  10. YAWN! In the middle of season 8 episode 3, another re-run in a blender without the full cast and all that made “House” a good show. Add Yi who I can’t understand because she talks like she has a mouthful of cotton – she should come with subtitles.

    Anyway, like Cuddy, I have decided to leave “House” for “The Good Wife” – a much superior show with better everything, like “House” used to have, including better writing, producing, and acting. I will miss Olivia Wilde (13) but this is her last show too, and I’ll probably see her on “The Good Wife” as well – that’s where good TV is happening these days.

  11. Nobody left the show but Cuddy..
    Chase will be back, so will Taub, and thirteen is still there.
    I don’t know how i feel about foreman being the dean of medicine, the show is painfully boring right now, and i’m not sure about the new Asian chick… everything just feels wrong with this season…
    things are so weird… But I’m hoping that they get better… SOON.
    Hopefully the writers have some tricks up their sleeves…

    • in case you’re not up to date… thirteen just left… FOR GOOD

    • Yes, I agree, completely. His new “team”, it does not work. The chick from the prison hospital is gorgeous, yet makes an uninteresting character. The asian has some potential but still… This change has not been good so far. I am telling to myself, ok, the team will be back and so the good old days. Bu now, I am completely dissapointed with the new season.

  12. The new cast of House is terrible and are ruining the show. Bring back the old cast.

  13. Tonights ep was simply awful. I felt like I was watching a weird comic strip. I thought Park was the only interesting thing in it. That prison doctor is just a big yawn…..and even Foreman and Wilson look both out of place and bored. There was something about the element of Cuddy that grounded the show somehow, I can see that now. I do look forward to Chase and Taub coming back-even the preview of next ep was funny. And I look forward to House getting back some emotional depth that he showed in the first episode.

  14. Really have been bored with season 8 for, the new characters are boring, there’s no humour, and no interesting diagnostic cases. If the episodes don’t pick up after episode 4 i will stop watching it and pretend season 8 does not exist. I hope they cancel it the way it is going to be honest :(

  15. Ok, I’m going to do some ameteur analysis: They need at some point to address the father issue (the abuse in his childhood) and maybe get him back in true recovery. I’d love to see his shrink come back on the scene. He challenged House in a way no one else did. We know prison doesn’t work; recovery is the only thing that gave him some semblance of life-although I think S7 showed us it certainly can’t lead a ‘normal’ life. I personally would like to see Lydia show back up at some point; and for sure, see House face his daddy issues head on. His habit of stealing food from Wilson just screams of his insecurities. He has to symbolically take from Wilson because he can’t trust the friendship he gets willingly from him. Ok, off the couch. :)

  16. You went from having a great show to having a disgusting show. Dirty remarks don’t add anything to the plot, they seem to be put in for some other reason. Your on your way out and this will not save you. To bad.

  17. Am I alone in thinking that season 8 of House is horrible? Yi’s voice is like nails on a chalkboard. The actors are unemotional and wooden. Bad plot formation, bad dialog, no background given on new actors, no scenes outside the hospital, would it kill one of the actors to crack a smile? The delivery of the script is rushed, actors mumbling, and seem insecure. The characters of House, Omar, and Wilson are completely inconsistent this season from seasons past. Fun-loving people remain fun-loving. The patients are boring and we can’t care about them as the script doesn’t provide the necessary elements to allow us to care. The old House would have:
    Slammed the door in Yi’s face or thought Omar was playing a joke on him by hiring her
    Omar would have been playing a joke
    Wilson would still pal around, and we’d see him get flustered or House get the best of him
    On Halloween, House would be in costume, maybe Wilson too.
    I miss Omar as a doctor, with his flaws and his intellect, a real rounded character, I miss Wilson, insecure, angry, and there for House, I miss House, happy go lucky because he can’t feel like other people and just won’t be a self-pitying person. In past, we saw how his humor and hijinks helped him to be a better doc in his own way. What do these zombies show us? Its just boring…

    • Omar Epps is the actor, Foreman is the character

  18. I agree with both parties saying this season is both good and bad. I think what spoiled it was how radically the show was changed in the premier and now it has to get back on track, so heres hoping. As for Yi’s acting, its bland at the start but in a way theres no way it could possibly get worse, so heres hoping that improves as well. I think its an interesting move that Foreman became the Dean of Medicine, Im interested to see just how that dynamic plays out. Both House and Foreman are quite alike so i expect to see at least some degree of House/Cuddy-like clashing going on. I feel the change of pace in the premier was a bold move and pretty creative but I feel the make/break of this season and the entirety of the show is up to how well the writers can tie it all together and bring the show back to its old pace or bring about something new and as interesting as how the show started off.

  19. Well I needed to find a forum for my thoughts…completely agree with a lot of the above.

    After an interesting opener in prison, where you could still feel an empathy with the House character, this has evolved into the worst season ever IMO. Ep 4 aired last night in the UK also ranks as the most pathetic and unpleasant ep of the entire series.

    House has totally “recovered”, but now has NO redeeming features whatsoever, the other cast might as well not be there as they are irrelevant, and Charlyne Yi as Dr. Chi Park is not only one of the worst actresses I’ve ever seen, I can’t understand 90% of what she says. Shoddy, miscalculated and finished. Hope this is the final season if the start is anything to go by. Shame.

  20. Charlene Yi reminds me of Harry Potter, so I can’t totally dislike her. Plus it’s fun to watch her try to figure House out. As to him recovering, gosh, will he ever really? Cuddy was his last shot at ‘normalcy’ but he proved he can’t do that. His driving the car thru the wall was as much to force her out of his life as it was an act of jealous rage. Look how happy he was after…..
    I do wish they’d get Wilson a little more active into these plots. And they have to get rid of the 2-chick combo; House always needs another male element to offer contrast and tone him down. And Foreman is almost sexless in his role as Dean, so that doesn’t help things.

  21. I’ve watched and recorded every episode of House since its premiere. It has been my favorite show all these years. I am not a “TV show watcher”, and normally watch CNN, MSNBC, FOX NEWS, etc. House has been the exception, and I’ve never missed recording and watching a single episode.

    Season 8 will end that for me. I have watched (and recorded) the show through Monday 11/14 “Parents”, and have given up. The new cast sucks. Charlene YI is totally unbelievable and sounds whiny and should never have been cast. Odette Anabelle is beautiful but is out of place in House.

    The story lines suffer with Epps as House’s boss, and with no Cuddy there seems to be little to inspire House to misbehave or behave. Losing 13 was expected, of course, but it hurt the show. Writing Jennifer Morrison out was a mistake from day 1.

    With Masters at least there was someone we as viewers could rely on to be on par with House. With Yi, it’s like you cast PeeWee Herman as the show’s neurosurgeon.

    So sad! I will keep all the old episodes because they were terrific. This years shows will be erased, and my DVR will be changed so that the series is no longer recorded.

    Why do people ruin perfection? It is like breaking up Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and the Chicago Bulls…the owners want to think they can recreate something better without the expense. Never ever happens.

  22. After going back and reading other comments here, I see most agree that House has lost its touch. In an article on the web site Screen Rant, Omar Epps said he was excited and thought the ‘House twist is a great change-up’.

    A comment he made later in that article was truly prophetic…”It’s one of those things where it’s both of [those] guys’ last chance. If this guy messes up, you’re both out of here.”

    He was so right. They are out of here. Not only are they bad at their new roles, so is every single character on the show. The only person in our family who can understand Charlene Yi is our teenage daughter (who can also understand every lyric to every rock song ever written), Yi deserves a nomination for the worst actress ever in a drama series. She blurts every line she has in unintelligible language with no facial expressions as fast as she can possibly say them. She is the worst mistake they made. How could anyone cast her? It was supposed to bring humor to the show, but neither she nor anyone reacting to her brings any humor.

    There is a blessing of sorts. When something you love is gone…when you finish a great book…when a sporting event that has been fantastic…when a TV show has been done so well…you hate to see it done and over. There will be no missing or sadness when House ends now. The final episode of season 7 was awful on its own, and now this terrible season 8 lets me hope the whole thing is cancelled quickly.

    It is cancelled for me anyway. I have my old recordings that I can watch, but this season is gone and buried.

  23. Pee Wee Herman…that’s funny. :)
    I think Yi’s bad acting is actually part of the character, if you know what I mean. She’s a stereotypical nerd-but it’s not working. The prison doctor-YAWN. She started out much more interesting in the first ep.Taub-ho hum. Sexual Shenanigans-so what? Chase-always cute. House-losing his path fast, as usual. Wilson-a waste. Foreman-he’s turning into a little girl quickly.
    The only thing that still intrigues me is the medical mystery, and some of the game-playing, as in the boxing tickets.
    But I can’t not watch…I keep hoping….LOL

    • I agree with what you say, but, so far, the medical mystery has been lacking as well. The guy who wants to give everything away? There was no whiteboard where House wrote symptoms…no group discussions that ended with only his opinion mattering…no give and take as there was with Chase, Cameron, Foreman. Just House deciding he has a growth???

      There is no “chemistry” with this group, and without Cuddy, the hospital leadership is non-existent. She didn’t want to leave…just was pushed out. Same thing with Cameron. Like the Yankees without Jeter, the Bullls without Jordan, the Indy Colts without Peyton Manning…all losers.

  24. Davey without Goliath, Kermit without Jim Hensen…..

  25. i watched house from season 1 and it was getting better and better until season 7. I also didnt like the way it ended and I’m very sad that cuddy’s character is gone. I hate to see this wonderful series end on a horrific note but thats the way its looking now. They should have ended the show with house and cuddy getting together instead of hooking them up and making them hate each other. Foreman as dean is quite boring because he is and has always been a power hungry/know it all leader.
    since house lost everything what advice can he give because house will never listen anyway. The first 2 episodes didnt capture my attention and I hate that. Ill stop watching until the series finale which we all can see coming from a mile away just to see how they will end it with this new ridiculous cast.

  26. I have been watching House from the beginning and it was a great show. I loved it. But I thought he would have changed a little coming straight out of prison. But no he hasn’t changed at all. With all the team gone the show seems boring and annoying. Dr Yi is hard to pass as a doctor/average person at all as she has so many unstable conditions. She’s like bi polar, is always asking House if people like her, has the Moe (from the 3 stooges hairdoo), is territorial, hates women, and will fight if provoked. I do so terribly want her off the show because I won’t watch if she is on. Even her stance and voice annoy me.

  27. Yeah, she is pretty annoying..but it’s like a train wreck. I have to keep watching. I did like watching the repeat eps they showed the last couple of weeks. In seeing them again, I saw some cleverness and depth I missed upon first viewing when I was still in shock from the Huddy denoument.(:)) It’s the other doc, the prison doc, that I think has about as much depth as a rain puddle. I have no idea why she is there. the whole promise of her being another House was totally baited and switched, IMO-when she said, ‘cool’ about the guy bleeding out of his ears, I thought we had an interesting character. Then she just turned into a straight subsitute for 13 or something…can’t quite figure it out. The chemistry just is not there..I really feel the shark has been jumped. There’s no going back, but I can’t not watch it.

  28. I got bored with House after season 6 and skipped season 7. I thought it got too “drama-ish” for me. I like the simple sarcasm and humor, thus I liked season 8 a lot. It felt like the show was going back to basics. I like it. I hate having to wait til next week to find out what happen and have continued drama dragging on from episode to episode. If I wanted that, I would have watched a Desparate Housewives, Pretty Little Liars, that sort.

  29. I found the last episode to be pretty intense..I think Chase was just great in his role. And I enjoyed the actor that played the doc reviewing the ‘fiasco’. I do think House was right, though; he allowed sentiment to make his decision about House.I wonder if House really does want to be punished for once, where someone doesn’t back out. He can’t handle that he is so extraordinary that people do look the other way, because of his brilliance. Pretty interesting, some of what they are looking at this season. He really cannot appreciate what others see in him.!I do prefer the intense ethical dramas to the melodrama of romance, though. I hope they keep the level of the last couple of weeks. I think they do better focusing on the medical stuff, for sure.

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