Loser's Guide Loser's Guide

 Loser's Guide to Life

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Every week on “House”, a different patient presents with something straightforward like a hangnail or restless leg syndrome.

Dr. Finlay: “Woah, he's sick, all right. Jesus.”

But once House has had a look at him, the patient's condition quickly deteriorates until he's convulsing or vomiting bile or and going into a coma while his extremities turn black, and nobody seems to know why. House staggers around ordering tests and jabbing at the dryboard angrily trying to figure out the problem. He gets into a big argument with everybody. He wants to treat the patient for a disease he doesn't have yet; they all point out this won't work. “You're just being stupid,” he says, “If you weren't all idiots you'd realize that.” Then, inspired, he rushes into the patient's room and discovers the correct answer.

“He's brilliant. Just like Dr Joseph Bell, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Arthur Conan Doyle's friend, and most likely the real-life inspiration for his celebrated detective-hero.”

“Yes. But he has a lot of personal problems.”

“I know. It is difficult.”

What's interesting is that although it's a soap opera, it has some pretensions to being a technical medical drama. It's almost as if the actual work of doctors and technicians is the focus of the show, a bit like “Law and Order” and the various “CSI” flavours. But at some point, the producers no doubt feel, we need the characters to start having tiresome problems of their own. Yes, Cowchock Wapner Kurtz syndrome can be interesting. But is Dr House keeping it together? Hm?

Anyway, it's a huge improvement over “Dr. Finlay's Casebook”.



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Watching TV is a good way to tear yourself away from the computer.