With all my usual TV shows on hiatus for the summer, I have been checking out reruns of shows I didn’t see during the regular season. One of the better ones is on Fox, surprisingly enough, and it’s called House. At first, I had no need to watch it, because after enduring the mediocrity that was NBC’s Medical Investigation (which has mercifully been cancelled), I was done with medical shows. The truth is, House is actually quite similar in concept to Medical Investigation, but its style couldn’t be more different. By far the biggest reason to watch the show is Hugh Laurie, who plays the title character, Dr. Greg House. An infectious disease specialist by trade, Dr. House only shows interest in patients who are suffering from rare and/or unknown afflictions. He has three younger doctors working under him (Omar Epps, Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer) to do all his grunt work, but their interactions on screen are far less interesting than an interaction between Dr. House and anybody else. Robert Sean Leonard plays an oncologist who is just about the only friend Dr. House has. What makes the House character interesting is that he’s very anti-social (he interacts with patients and other doctors as little as possible), and he’s so blunt and sarcastic that I often find myself having to rewind and watch a scene again just to make sure he said what I think he did. He’s constantly butting heads with a hospital administrator, played by Lisa Edelstein, who seems to have a full time job trying to make sure the hospital doesn’t go completely out of business because of all the public relations disasters caused by Dr. House.
As you watch the show, keep in mind that Hugh Laurie is British. I like to think I’m pretty good at spotting fake accents, but so far his American accent has been right on the mark. House is what a good TV show should be — very interesting and entertaining. It’s on Fox Tuesday nights at 9/8c. The season is officially over, but there are reruns showing all summer. The new season will start Sept. 13.