Check out our review of the season 8 premiere: ‘House’ Season 8 Premiere Review & Discussion
After what many might call a hit-or-miss season of House, it all comes down to the season 7 finale.
When a performance artist is saved from setting herself on fire, a seemingly innocent elephant serves to make House and the rest of the team begin to believe that they may be playing a part in her next “work of art.”
Following up from last week’s graphic episode of House, the famed diagnostician finds himself playing dual roles as a proverbial patient and a doctor. When House decides to react irrationally to a situation, his relationship with Cuddy and Wilson will never be the same.
Continuing this season's general trend of lack-luster storytelling, mixed with moments of brilliance, the House season 7 finale perfectly personifies both the positive and the (many) negative traits that viewers have come to experience as this season painfully crawled to one of the most underwhelming, incoherent finales of the year.
A set of beautifully shot stylistic scenes opens the finale, making one believe that, like last week’s terrific (yet extremely graphic) episode, fans would be treated to an interesting story that would seamlessly converge into a surprising conclusion and seasonal cliffhanger. Unfortunately, that was not the case – by any means.
Perpetuating the sense that this past season of House was but a mere film school project, many of its episodes – including the finale – were so thematically different in their visual execution and story development that it became hard, if not impossible, to even find some resemblance to the series we all fell in love with years ago.
Like House on his downward drug spiral, this season has most certainly felt like it was mirroring the horrific path that the series’ protagonist found himself on. With continuous convoluted storytelling that conveys the sense that the producers don’t actually know what they’re doing, the House season 7 finale was an empty, heartless and all but pointless hour-long journey of perpetual failure.
With a patient of the week whose story challenges those watching to calculate their acceptable limits of boredom on television and a conclusion that is both irrelevant and inconclusive, one soon begins to realize why the studio negotiations for House season 8 were so tedious. Serving to present itself as an empty shell of the series that garnered so much praise in its early season, one has to wonder how (and why) fans continue to tune in, and for what reason.
From the horribly constructed performance artist storyline, to the “surprising” revelation that Taub can easily get anyone pregnant (which appears to be a favorite trait amongst Fox series) and the terribly conceived seasonal cliffhanger plot progression, every element – from the minute to the monumental – felt as it if was thrown together in an attempt to “shock and awe” its continually dwindling audience.
Make no mistake; the disaster that has became the House season 7 finale has nothing to do with the stable of actors the series currently employs. Like most television series riddled with terribly executed storylines, the actors must merely perform the material they are presented with. Since House contains some of television’s most over-looked (but extremely talented) actors – especially Peter Jacobson – sitting through the presented finale felt like you’re literally watching the eclectic cast “work” in the same manner everyone around the world must do - i.e. begrudgingly.
With Lisa Edelstein making her exit at the end of this season, one might assume that the provided resolution of House driving through her living room was a catalyst. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Since the season finale completed filming during the NBC and Fox negotiations, the producers not only expected House to receive a season 8 order, but for all of the characters to return.
While there’s always a chance that next season may turn things around and see Fox’s hit series return to its glory, one must question how (or why) this season presented itself in the way it has. Even though long-running series can sometimes became stale, and expectant of its core fan base, House season 7 served to relegate the once famed show into a mockery of itself that ultimately challenges its audience to tune out.
As the past season’s ratings have shown that many fans have happily accepted that challenge - there are still many fans that will stick around until its inevitable end. Unfortunately, that end may just be around the corner.
Whether or not you consider yourself part of the group that will simply stop watching, or will return to see what actually happens, the one question that still remains is how did a series that was once filled with so much creativity and ingenuity turn into an embarrassingly executed series.
House airs Monday @8pm on Fox
Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio