374 of 405 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2005
"House, M.D." is one of the best shows on television right now. It has brilliant writing, great stories, and an amazing cast lead by the incredible Hugh Laurie.
What's it about?
"House, M.D." is about a brilliant doctor (named "House") who treats patients with ailments that other doctors have failed to cure. House is aided in his search for what is wrong with his patients by a skilled team of doctors. Among the more interesting cases are people suffering from hepatitus, rabies, and a tape worm.
While the medical cases are facinating, the heart of the show is Hugh Laurie's performance as Dr. House. Dr. House is brilliant and damaged in soul and in body. He walks with a limp caused by muscle death in his leg. This ailment combined with his natural propensity for sarcasm make Dr. House a grumpy and blunt man who is not afraid to say what he thinks. Here are some of the most popular:
MobsterLawyer: My brother's not gay!
House: No, but he's certainly delightful.
"I'm sure this goes against everything you've been taught, but right and wrong do exist. Just because you don't know what the right answer is - maybe there's even no way you could know what the right answer is - doesn't make your answer right or even okay. It's much simpler than that. It's just plain wrong."
House: "Ah, yes, but as the philosopher Jagger once said, 'You can't always get what you want.'"
Cuddy (later in the episode): "I looked up that philosopher, Jagger, you mentioned, and you're right, you can't always get what you want. But as it turns out, if you try sometimes, you get what you need."
Hello, sick people and their loved ones! In the interest of saving time and avoiding a lot of boring chitchat later, I'm Doctor Gregory House; you can call me "Greg." I'm one of three doctors staffing this clinic this morning. This ray of sunshine is Doctor Lisa Cuddy. Doctor Cuddy runs this whole hospital, so unfortunately she's much too busy to deal with you. I am a board certified diagnostician with a double specialty of infectious disease and nephrology. I am also the only doctor currently employed at this hospital who is forced to be here against his will. That is true, isn't it? But not to worry, because for most of you, this job could be done by a monkey with a bottle of Motrin. Speaking of which, if you're particularly annoying, you may see me reach for this: this is Vicodin. It's mine! You can't have any! And no, I do not have a pain management problem, I have a pain problem... but who knows? Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm too stoned to tell. So, who wants me?
If you watch this show, you won't be disappointed.
165 of 183 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2006
Just to make something clear that isn't really obvious in the item description (or on the packaging itself)--the show is presented here in non-anamorphic widescreen. That is, it is NOT formatted for viewing on a widescreen television. Viewing on a 16 X 9 widescreen TV, you will have to choose between a picture that is distorted and stretched horizontally or one that has black bars on all four sides--top, bottom, left and right. Sadly, Universal's unfortunate and outdated decision has caused the quality of this DVD set to suffer.
149 of 165 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2005
Let's face it, who cares about so-called 'reality' TV anymore? Hugh Laurie breathes new life into the medical genre with HOUSE M.D, the best show in years. Laurie's brilliant performance combined with a great supporting cast and some impressive celebrity guest stars, this has quickly become one of my favorite TV shows. Without any signs of slowing down, I hope House will carry on to many more seasons so viewers around the world can tune in to fabulously fresh and original episodes every week. Bryan Singer (X-Men, Superman) handles the material well with a steady hand, shaping the show, while allowing the supporting cast room to breath. The music, pacing, and excellent writing from David Shore make every installment memorable. The DVD has all 22 episodes of the groundbreaking comedy-drama, and that's great to have so much to keep fans satisfied. The digital transfer is excellent too. If only other shows would take notes from House, then there would actually be something else to watch on television.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2006
Much as The Shield did for cop shows a few years ago, House has managed to breathe some new life into a tried-and-true TV format, in this case the medical drama. Granted, it's not even entirely accurate to call House a medical drama, as it largely subverts the form's conventions by mixing them with ample doses of mystery and comedy, not to mention a sardonic, pill-popping doctor who rarely sees his patients and doesn't even seem to care about them much of the time. Whatever the case, though, House is easily one of the best shows to hit TV in the past five years, and a reason to keep watching in spite of the reality glut. Sure, it doesn't boast the peity or ER or the sensationalism of Nip/Tuck, but in their place is reams of wit, insight, and plaintive musings on life and death.
Dr. House is obviously in the lead (hence the title, duh), and Hugh Laurie's performance easily puts House right up there with Vic Mackey, Jack Bauer, and Eric Cartman in my personal pantheon of most memorable TV characters. House mostly works as a character because you can't really put a label on him--he's not quite a hero, but he's not quite an anti-hero either, and he's never just a stick figure. He's actually my favorite type of character--complex, deeply flawed, and undeniably human. Beneath all his sarcasm, skepticism, and cynicism is a genuine understanding of human nature and a commitment to doing the right thing even if it takes lying, deceit, and bullying to do it. Yes, he's a little over the top, but it wouldn't be much of a show if he weren't, now would it?
Of course, it also greatly helps its cause that this show is frequently and hysterically funny. It's a sort of humor you don't see all that often on TV, too, except in shows created by Joss Whedon. There's no slapstick, surrealism, or Arrested Development-style goofiness, just a steady stream of snappy one-liners from House mocking the pretense and shallow thinking that he so clearly hates. Admittedly, House gets pretty much all of the best lines, with the rest mostly divided between his friend Dr. Wilson and his boss Dr. Cuddy, but it hardly matters when there are at least five laugh-out loud moments per episode. It's sort of sad that a so-called drama is easily one of the funniest shows on TV right now, but that's just a sign of how well House manages to cross genre boundaries.
As some have pointed out, most of the episodes are pretty much the same--patient comes in with an unidentified ailment, House and his team go through several alternative diagnoses, patient takes several turns for the worse, House comes up with a brilliantly offbeat, MacGyver-esque solution--but that's not really the point. It's really the ongoing threads that elevate House from merely interesting to consistently compelling--House's complicated professional relationship with his underlings, whom he alternately pushes, browbeats, disparages, and very occasionally praises; the ambiguous feelings between House and the smoking-hot Dr. Cameron; his head-butting confrontations with Dr. Cuddy; and the comic relief of House's constant efforts to get out of free-clinic duty. This season also gets noticably better when the show brings in the gargantuan Chi McBride for a five episode arc as billionaire venture capitalist Edward Vogler, who buys his way onto the board of directors and becomes the perfect foil for House: ruthlessly imperious, bottom line-obsessed, and utterly Machiavellian.
If there's one problem with this season, it comes at the end, when the show introduces House's ex-girlfriend Stacy into the plot, leading to their seemingly (though thankfully not actually)interminable, tacked-on affair in the current second season. Other than that, though, it's one memorable episode after another. And with the exception of the aforementioned tacked-on affair, season two has managed to be just as good (if a bit more sensationalistic). And unlike with Firefly, Arrested Development, Undeclared, and Andy Richter Controls the Universe, the ratings are good enough that Fox pretty much has to stick with it.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2005
Get ready to finally see a witty and cleverly funny new show that will keep you running in front of the television every tuesday evening (that is if fox decides to keep it on tuesdays). House, M.D.'s flare makes up for all all the dramas that fox should have and its suspense can sometimes even be 24-worthy (another great must see fox drama). A show based on the "strange cases" department in a hospital, which Doctor Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) leads along with his various "sidekick doctors." With great characters such as House who keeps you silently howling with laughter at his various victims of sarcasm and Doctor Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) who always keeps House in check during his many life saving escapades, House M.D. always has something new to offer every week. Refreshingly cute, clever, and perpetually gorgeous Doctor Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison) always has something to add as the only female in House's team along with Doctors Eric Foreman (Omar Epps) and Robert Chase (Jesse Spence) the male members of House's team always getting nabbed at with rude but halarious remarks from House. All in all this show is a fanatastic combination of poor kids almost dying, love stories/non-verbal chemistry, children watching the parents go mad with various diseases, lacross players, poisoned jeans, nuns, and who could forget the sarcasm, and I and many others will eagerly await season two and beyond.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2006
I love House. It's a great show, but I'm not here to review the show. I'm here to talk about the season 1 box set. I was lucky to get it for an excellent bargain, because now that I have it I'm a little miffed. My major complaint is that these are double sided discs. They are so very easy to scratch. It's hard to hold the dvds without touching at least one side of them. I've already gotten a tiny scratch on one of the discs that now makes one scene skip. I don't even know how it happened. My advice is not to buy these until you have the capability of copying them. Then I would store away the originals. I hope with future releases they will have normal one-sided discs. My other (much smaller) complaint is that there is a lack of bonus materials. There are some, but I was hoping for a little more. It's a great show though; there's no doubt about that.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2005
Just thought I'd tack on another 5-star review for this awesome show. I've been hooked on "House" from the very beginning. I can't get enough of this show. What makes it so good? Probably a combination of what others have already mentioned...the writing, the acting, the medical conditions House must diagnose and treat, etc. I can't think of one single dull episode.
Of course, the best thing about this show is the performance of Hugh Laurie. He blends a perfect balance of sarcasm and compassion to his character. In every episode we see his genuine concern for the well-being of his patients, despite his often caustic and bitter attitude. He's a character facing many inner conflicts, and that's what makes him real. Although many of us don't understand a lot of the medical terminology used, we understand his motivations for doing what he does, even if it means going against the grain of the other doctors' opinions.
All in all a terrific show. I hope it's around for many, many seasons. I'll be the first in line to get this DVD set. Let's hope there's some good bonus material.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2006
I have always said that if an author can write humor, he can write anything, and that if an actor can do believable comedy, he can do anything. British comedian Hugh Laurie has proved me right.
As a fan of British TV, I discovered the brilliant Hugh Laurie many years ago, actually doing justice to P.G. Wodehouse - no small feat - and was astonished to see him very unexpectedly show up one day playing an acerbic American doctor. And since there is no better reason to watch a show than Laurie being in it, I watched.
Despite the (excellently maintained) American accent, House is the type of character one sees more often in British TV than American - he is, in fact, almost exactly the medical equivalent of one of British TV's most popular detectives, Inspector Jack Frost (also played, not ironically, by a comedian, the utterly brilliant David Jason). Perhaps this is why I was both so completely taken with the character of House, and completely comfortable with him.
Hugh Laurie has found the perfect role for his wide range of skill as an actor - he is brash, angry, apathetic, deeply compassionate, even somewhat pitiful, and unbelievably funny (although I would love to hear that beautiful singing voice, and yes, that really is him playing the piano). I am thrilled that a whole new audience - make that a whole new continent - has now discovered him. Even for those who don't particularly like medical dramas, like me, Laurie is mesmerizing enough, and his character and relationships intriguing enough, that House is a must-watch.
That being said, the show is not for the squeamish - some of the scenes are quite graphic and can be disturbing, and it is too frank to be appropriate for children. Of course most jaded viewers will hardly notice.
House fans unfamiliar with Laurie's previous work across the Atlantic really should taste and see what the comic genuis can do. My personal favorite is season one of Jeeves and Wooster, especially fun if you want to see Laurie in a role that is in every possible way the exact opposite of House.
Now for the nit-picky stuff: the DVDs are fairly cheesily produced, not, as other reviewers have mentioned, truly anamorphic, and double-sided, which won't win any awards. My set even has a defect and will have to be exchanged. For the price they could have at least given us six well-made DVDs and a nice insert with descriptions of each episode. The special features are great fun, but too short.
The DVD set gets two stars.
The show, and its star, get five. But only because I couldn't give them more.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I've watched House in a catch-as-catch-can manner over the last five years, in first runs and reruns, but I just recently decided to buy the seasons on DVD and watch episodes back-to-back. Everyone has pretty much said all there is to say about this season already, since the the double-sided disc set for season one has been out for four years. I hadn't seen the arc with billionaire Edward Vogler that runs from midseason until about two episodes prior to the end of the season. He gives the hospital one hundred million dollars with the condition that he be made chairman of the board. Vogler thinks that the problem with medicine is that it is not run like a business, and he sets out to run it that way. Thus he and the tenured House quickly find themselves at cross purposes. Indeed, Vogler cannot easily get rid of House, but he can threaten his untenured staff, and it is interesting to see the two spar.
At the end of the season House's ex-girlfriend Stacy resurfaces with an ill husband in tow, asking House's help to diagnose and cure her husband. The husband is not only combative - he at first denies there is anything at all wrong with him - he also has all of the se x appeal of the Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man. She had to have married this guy on the rebound and furthermore he has to have known that. This rather unbelievable triangle plays itself out in season two.
Seeing the episodes in order I did realize I had seen several of them before, including the pilot. What impressed me was that at the time I saw it I didn't realize it was the pilot, or necessarily even in the first season. That's one thing that really impresses me about this show - from the beginning of the series the players are completely in character. House being assigned to clinic duty in the hospital - a task he most reluctantly takes on - allows the opportunity for short funny cases to break up the bigger mystery of the one large case that dominates each episode, and really keeps things going.
As for the packaging, this season was originally on dual sided discs, and that made for easy scratching and even some problems on some discs that showed no signs of scratching, so be aware that these dual sided versions are all over the place if you decide to purchase this season used. This new version's primary feature is that it is on single sided discs.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
There are plenty of hospital shows out there - I'm sure we could name 10 of them off the tops of our heads without even trying. Some are soap operas, some are gritty medical issues. With House, it's more like a detective show. They try to figure out from the clues what the obscure disease is. They even go digging through the homes for clues.
In some medical shows you have the "stupid doctors" going up against the "wise doctors", and some slutty nurses thrown in for excitement. House does a wonderful job of appealing to a much more alert audience. Pretty much every character is smart, wise and caring. They all just have different ways of showing it, and different personalities. House and his three minions are all very intelligent, and want to help their patients. They have human emotions too, and those sometimes poke into their world.
First seasons are almost always about "character setting" - giving all the background information on each character so you understand their dimensions, learn how they relate to each other. House is no exception. You get an episode a person, pretty much - each of the main characters "brings in" a patient and that episode helps you learn more about the person.
The show definitely goes for "shock value" at times. There's been talk about how "throwing up" is the new shock visual, and they certainly know that in this show. They also like seizures - there seem to be quite a lot of them. They look for medical situations that will make the audience react, like sticking needles into peoples' eyeballs.
I don't want to get into episode specifics, since that ruins the enjoyment of watching the solving of the mystery. They try to touch on "important issues" like teen sexuality, newborn babies, the right of the pregnant mom vs the right of the unborn child. There's a lot of sex-related issues, but you sort of expect that in a mature-aimed show.
One of the episodes that stood out for me as a valiant attempt was about obese people - several threads on the show talked about how people automatically treat heavy people as being "wrong" or "ugly" and how they should just be accepted. It was a great idea - but then how they resolved the issues were a bit questionable. I think they could have done better here.
A key plot element of this show is that "House is Grumpy". He's not just a nasty person - he is in intense pain because of a leg problem and this eats away at him. He tends to be rude to people, and they tend not to appreciate it. Still, his friends stick by him. One, his female employee, wants to date him. This also makes me very uncomfortable. Most workplaces have rules against employees dating the person who gives them reviews, for very obvious reasons. They should never have allowed an intelligent female doctor to pretty much immediately want to date her boss.
Still, I love the series in general, and these are relatively minor quibbles. Well worth renting if not buying and watching repeatedly.
Now, as far as the DVD goes, they did an AWFUL job - because each episode page gives the full details of that episode, giving away the secrets! You have to pretty much hide your eyes while you click on an episode so you don't have it ruined for you. Whoever did that should be scolded and forced to watch bad movies for 2 months in payment. Completely silly. The other extras - the behind the scenes looks, the talks with the actors, are short but fun.