House è magico. Per una serie di fattori legati a situazioni, fatti e circostanze particolari e del tutto personali, a incredibili coincidenze e sorprese, rappresenta per me non solo una fantastica divagazione, ma anche una "riscoperta" di me stessa e del mio io interiore.
Questo journal è dedicato a Gregory House, alla sua storia, ma soprattutto alla scoperta della sua anima.
Lo scopo è arrivare ad accarezzarla, raggiungendo il contatto....
Now, the guy we have to thank for those memories, series creator David Shore, has volunteered to also solve — or at least address — the episode’s biggest mysteries.
So read on, then scroll down further for a photo gallery featuring highlights from last night’s swan song.
TVLINE | Was there ever a point where you thought about really killing him?
Yes. Everything was on the table. But it was considered for that long, partly because I want the series to live on. The idea of people thinking that House is dead is a weird thing to leave people with. It ultimately felt better to have him out there with Wilson doing who knows what. I thought that was a really nice thing to leave people with and to let them put their imprint on that in their own mind.
TVLINE | How did he manage to survive the floor collapsing in on him and the subsequent explosion?
It was supposed to be ambiguous as to whether the floor collapsed on him or in front of him; certainly it was nasty stuff. There are a few seconds between the collapse and the explosion. He narrowly got out the back.
TVLINE | Was the homage to Sherlock Holmes famously faking his death intentional?
From the moment we had the idea, I was aware that that’s what Arthur Conan Doyle did and that did tickle me. We didn’t say, “That’s what Sherlock Holmes did — we should do that.”
TVLINE | Of all the cameos in the episode, which was the trickiest to coordinate/accommodate?
There were scheduling issues with everyone. It was very tricky. Because all of the actors had gone on and done really good stuff. My hat goes off to my old production crew for just physically putting that schedule together.
TVLINE | Is it fair to say that Stacy filled the Cuddy void in this episode?
I don’t want to make it seem like it was one or the other, but had [Lisa Edelstein been available] she might’ve done something [similar]. But we knew before we even had written it who we had available.
TVLINE | I really liked how you made a point of showing that Cameron ends up happy and fulfilled in her personal life. Did you ever consider reuniting her with Chase in the end?
No, because there would’ve been too much backstory to fill in.
TVLINE | How did the fire in the abandoned building start?
It’s actually alluded to. There was more about it in the original cut of the episode. There is a reference to the fact that the guy fell asleep while smoking. That’s how he got the burns on his chest. He presumably passed out while on heroin and dropped the cigarette and the fire started.
TVLINE | What was the deal with the gum Kutner put on the POTW’s shoe?
[Laughs] You shouldn’t read too much into that. That just seemed amusing to have a hallucination chewing gum and interacting with the real world.
TVLINE | Why did you choose “Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)” for the final scene? Ever consider using “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” just to maintain the symmetry with the pilot?
We did consider that briefly. The Warren Zevon song that we used before it, I had wanted to use that; it just felt really nice. And then Hugh [Laurie] came to me one day while we were shooting [the episode] and said, “I have the perfect song for the final scene.” So I decided to stick two songs in there. We’re all about cutting against what people think we’re going to do. So going with this weird, uplifting song [about] dying had a really nice feeling to it.
TVLINE | In the final moments, Foreman finds House’s nametag under his wobbly table. Does he know House is alive?
The notion is that Foreman had pieced it together and figured it out.
TVLINE | Lastly, what do you picture House doing once Wilson is dead?
I don’t know. That’s way down the road. And that’s not what it was about. The story is the story. And the story ends when the story ends.
TVLINE | Can you see revisiting this character in the future in some way?
I love this character. And I know Hugh loves this character. I keep it open, but the chances of that happening from a practical point of view are slim. I would hate to lock in my head, “I will never revisit this character again.” That would be a depressing idea to me.
Bolstered by American Idol, House quickly became a huge hit. At the end of the third season — which remains the show's highest-rated — the producers blew up the formula and forced House to rebuild his entire diagnostic team. It was the first of many bold (and controversial) storytelling choices. In Part 2 of our oral history, the show's creators and cast look back at the show's most memorable plots.
In the Season 3 finale, House (Hugh Laurie) fires Chase (Jesse Spencer), while Foreman (Omar Epps) and Cameron (Jennifer Morrison) resign. Although those characters remained on the show, Season 4 began with House hosting a massive competition to build his new team. Among the prospects: Dr. Chris Taub (Peter Jacobson), Dr. Remy "Thirteen" Hadley (Olivia Wilde), Dr. Lawrence Kutner (Kal Penn) and Dr. Amber "Cutthroat Bitch" Volakis (Anne Dudek).
David Shore (creator, executive producer): You want to be ahead of your audience. If you're shaking things up after the audience has asked you to shake things up, it's probably too late. [The original team] had been on three-year fellowships. We never imagined the show would go three years, but it felt dishonest to just keep them going in that position forever. And it also felt a little odd that people would keep working for somebody who was this difficult forever and ever.
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House, a risky, challenging and altogether different kind of medical drama, premiered on November 16, 2004, and turned the genre on its head with a true antihero lead: a doctor who has overt disdain for his patients — and people in general. But thanks to compelling writing and a career-defining performance by British improv-comedy vet Hugh Laurie, the show stayed on the air for eight seasons of abuse (both drug and verbal) and countless diagnoses that were almost never lupus. As House prepares to sign off for good (Monday, May 21 at 8/7c on Fox), TVGuide.com talked to the show's creators and cast about building the Emmy-winning drama from the ground up.
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How does one of the edgiest, most antagonistic characters in series television history say goodbye?
NEW YORK — It will be painful saying goodbye to "House."
The Fox medical drama concludes its eight-season run Monday with a series finale at 9 p.m. EDT, preceded by a one-hour retrospective. And with that, Hugh Laurie will be done as the show's abrasive champion, Dr. Gregory House – unless, Laurie adds with a laugh, "someone comes up with an idea for a stage musical."
"I feel a huge satisfaction that we got to the end with our dignity intact," he declares. "I never felt that we did anything that wasn't true to the character or the show – like, `House gets a puppy.' I think that's quite an achievement."
No doubt. Sure, the medical mysteries that formed the core of most episodes inevitably grew a bit formulaic as the seasons piled up. (Didn't each week's patient always seem to start bleeding from a different orifice, bafflingly and life-threateningly, right on cue before each commercial break?)
But if the rhythm of the investigation began to feel over-familiar, House never did. On the contrary: He is only more complex, obstreperous and fascinating.
Not that he didn't start with a bang right from the series' inception in November 2004: Here was a brilliant diagnostician with a snide manner, a limp and a cane, a stash of painkillers and a perpetual stubble. He flouted regulations, ducked cases that bored him and kept things stirred up as a not-so-merry prankster.
He was conceived as a contemporary Sherlock Holmes. Like that fictional 19th-century sleuth, House is indifferent to those he is helping, focused instead – with cool deduction and uncanny intuition – on the challenging nature of the mysteries that plague them.
Both men play musical instruments, take drugs (House is hooked on Vicodin, while Holmes has a thing for cocaine), and both have trusty sidekicks: Holmes' Dr. John Watson and House's Dr. James Wilson, his best and probably only friend, played with quirky forbearance by Robert Sean Leonard.
But the Holmes connection has never been the most interesting thing about "House."
More impressive was how "House" put a difficult, largely unpleasant figure front and center as the hero of a TV series.
"Traditionally in an American drama, the damaged, sarcastic cynic would be a peripheral character," notes Laurie, who signed with the show thinking House would be just that. "To make someone so apparently jagged and unsympathetic into the central character was a very bold step. And so was clinging to that premise, never relenting to suggest that, underneath it all, he has a heart of gold. I'm not sure that House does have a heart of gold. He is on the side of the angels, but that doesn't mean that he's an angel."
And there was even more to the brave House recipe: the pain he endured.
Perhaps no TV protagonist has been imprinted so profoundly by a physical affliction. Walking with a limp, his cane supporting his bum right leg, House is constantly hurting. Pain is part of his persona. And the idea of that ever-present pain ran counter to every rule of routine TV, which, typically conceived as aspirational for viewers, calls for the hero to personify a desirable state. On the contrary, House is all about discomfort, and coping with it.
"The pain explains, to some extent, his personality," says Laurie. "But we never gave the viewer any definite answers about how much, and I'm rather glad about that. It's not that simple: There was a possibility that he might have behaved much the same even without his affliction."
It was Laurie who chose which leg for his character's crippling blood clot, he divulges with a laugh when asked.
"I tried it various ways, including limping with BOTH legs, but that was just ungainly," he jokes. "Then I settled on the right leg. But I have always wondered whether, if I switched legs for an episode, anyone would notice."
In conversation, the Oxford, England-born Laurie is not only charming, but witty, befitting his past comedic series "Black Adder" and "Jeeves and Wooster" (in which he starred with Stephen Fry), as well as, more recently, the "Stuart Little" films.
Of course, "House" had its own mordant comic streak.
"It was EXTREMELY important that the character be funny: He had to be good value for the audience, and also to explain Wilson's tolerance and friendship. You had to believe that, at the end of the day, Wilson just delighted in the fact that House was an occasionally outrageous but almost always funny character to hang out with."
Sample House-isms, delivered deadpan and gratingly razor-sharp:
_ "Adjectives matter: Hate nurses, love naughty nurses."
_ "Treating for wrong diagnoses can result in side effects, like death."
_ "What's the opposite of `Thank you'? I'm pretty sure it ends in `you.'"
House has never lost his funny bone, nor his perversity, even in the face of Wilson's cancer diagnosis in recent episodes.
After helping Wilson administer aggressive treatment on the sly, on his living room couch, House shares his Vicodin for Wilson's painful side effects while razzing him, poker-faced, with, "Remember, they're a gift, so it's rude to keep throwing them up."
Laurie chuckles at the thought of such rampant candor.
"Yes, one can say House has no manners," he declares, "and that's probably true. But good manners are probably not our principal goal in life."
Not House's, anyway. However much a jerk, he's a jerk who believes morality is measured not by attitude, but results. On that score, he's got no cause to apologize. He saves lives no one else can save. That gives him a pass to act or think however he chooses. Maybe House, the impish truth-teller, could be viewed as the resident court jester of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital.
"Being free of the requirement to be well-mannered, House was able to get to the heart of things in ways that other people might not," says Laurie. "But the question was always whether he's using his indispensableness to behave badly, or whether he's using it to tell the truth. House being House, he exploited this license to an appalling degree."
On last week's episode, House continued to coax, pester and bully Wilson into not giving up his battle against cancer. House can't bear the thought of losing his friend. But Wilson (who, ironically, is an oncologist) doesn't want to put himself through more chemotherapy.
"He just doesn't want to live in pain," a colleague tries to explain, which triggers a furious reaction from House.
"LIFE is pain!" House roars, his voice at a pitch never heard from him before. "I wake up every morning, I'm in pain. I go to work in pain. You know how many times I wanted to just give up, how many times I've thought about ending it?"
The show, which never flinched at dealing with big ideas, is now wrestling as never before with the issue of what makes life worth living _and determines when it isn't.
Monday's finale, says Laurie, brings House to the edge of a precipice eight seasons in the making: "Is he gonna step forward or step back? Is it life or is it death? I can say no more than that," says the actor who made flesh-and-blood one of the most compelling characters in television history.
That achievement will live on, whatever House's fate.