Sunday, 14 August 2011

Why I Like Gregory House MD

House is a genius character. I don't mean that the character is a genius, that's clear. I mean that the writer who dreamed him up is a genius. Greg House is a fabulous character, once you understand him, once you grasp his deepest motive, which lies in the answer the the question, what is House addicted to?

Assuming that the pain drugs are a metaphor, which I do, then what he is addicted to is epiphany, that moment when the answer come to him in a blinding flash – it's a rush. It is why he chooses the hardest cases; the harder the problem the greater the epiphany. And it is why he chose medicine – after all, there are many fields where that rush can happen, but what often happens after that is that people will argue with your brilliant answer. In medicine there can be no argument: “Look, the patient is alive. I was right.” No argument is valid. There can be nothing to sully or diminish the epiphany.

What surprises me is how long it took me to understand that. It's masked by other complexities and never actually spelled out. There are whole shows dedicated to forcing the answer the question – why medicine? It's possible that even House doesn't really know the answer, as he offers others that are only partial answers. The writers for the show are that good. The character is that complex. Genius.

Deep and complex characters are difficult to do. Can't of hand think of any example of a character half as complex... but maybe you can?

Just thought of something else I like about him; he will use himself recklessly and without restraint. Just watched the Season 3 finale. Stunning story.

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