HOUSE Recap: Joy to the World - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

HOUSE Recap: Joy to the World

December 10, 2008 by  

House Recap

In the world of entertainment, is there anything more disappointing than a movie trailer that gives away too much? After paying a small fortune for your ticket, medium popcorn, and bucket sized soda, is it too much to ask to be surprised? These bite size disappointments occur in all genres, too. Whether you have deduced the shocking twist in the next M. Night Shyamalan thriller or seen every funny joke in Adam Sandler’s summer tentpole, the letdown is palpable. Absent the joy that comes with seeing these creative morsels for the first time, the big screen experience is spoiled for those resting their weary feet on sticky floors across America.

Though this week’s House did not cost me any hard earned money, considering it is on broadcast TV, I do believe that the episode was tainted by a commercial full of revelations and a disjointed story.

The teaser following last week’s House, as well as the full length commercial broadcast across all Fox platforms this week, gave away two noteworthy events from this episode. First, House’s stint in the clinic, in a faux attempt to become one with the holiday spirit, was needlessly spoiled for the sake of showing a rare smile from the good doctor. As a result, I found myself anticipating the one-liners and the facial ticks that accompanied House’s barbs. Hugh Laurie is far too talented to be performing shtick. Am I selfish for wanting that inhaler gag to be saved for my Tuesday night? Next, the box containing Wilson’s gift to House was shown twice in the commercial, rendering the series of events involving the ducklings and Wilson’s “Irene Adler” conspiracy pointless. Cutting one of those two flashes from the trailer would have added legitimacy to House’s trashing of the gift in the opening scene.

As for the whirlwind of events leading to Cuddy’s imminent adoption of the mystery patient’s baby, mark me down as completely unenthusiastic. While Natalie’s story arc was well-conceived by writer Peter Black, I thought that bringing another baby into Cuddy’s life so soon after the events of Episode 6, “Joy,” may have diluted the impact of the adoption story. Since Cuddy appears to choose a child over House in both episodes, it would have heightened the stakes to have this type of story take place after they had started a romantic relationship? Instead, we have been left with lingering images of House as a wounded puppy, rejected in favor of an infant. These circumstances allow House to be seen as jealous, abandoned, or betrayed, depending on your perspective.

The holidays did bring some cheer to fans of Foreman and Thirteen, who officially brought the term “Foreteen” into the blogging lexicon. I enjoy Omar Epps and Olivia Wilde’s work in bringing these two together, and I am curious whether the Foreman character will emerge as a more palpable foil for House, empowered as one may only be with a new love. In addition, the grossly underused Lori Petty, previously known as the star of Hollywood blockbuster, “Tank Girl,” appears to be set for a longer arc as clinical patient Janice, who has been the catalyst for Foreman and Thirteen’s relationship. Petty’s work tonight was stellar, if painfully short, and I am looking forward to seeing more out of this underrated actress.

All in all, I thought this episode was underwhelming, with a number of loose ends that did not tie together. I seem to have difficulty enjoying weeks with two prominent patients, though I was hoping to hear more comedy from the virgin birth storyline. Something was simply missing from this chapter. Maybe it was in the trailer…

Two quick pieces of House-related news before I sign off. First, Hugh Laurie is hosting Saturday Night Live this week, December 13th, so set your TiVos to see how his second shot at sketch comedy goes. Second, writers Doris Egan and Leonard Dick were nominated for the Writer’s Guild of America Award for Best Episodic Drama, in recognition for their work on “Don’t Ever Change” from Season 4.

What did you think of this week’s episode? It’s your turn to talk back! Did Cuddy’s journey have you reaching for tissues? Were you hoping for more House as Clinic Master? Are you happy to see Foreman and Thirteen together? Did anyone get a clock on how little screen time Chase and Cameron had? Is that good or bad? The holidays are upon us, and GMMR needs your commenting cheer…

— posted by Erik

How does Erik stay grounded from his luxurious life as a substitute teacher? He keeps it real with ALF DVDs & Fantasy Football. On weekends, the GMMR HOUSE & SURVIVOR guru spends quiet time imploring the TV gods to bring back Sports Night & Ed. Erik resides in South Florida and spends his summers following Dave Matthews Band.

Filed under House, House Recap


11 Responses to “HOUSE Recap: Joy to the World”

  1. Give Me My Remote on December 10th, 2008 4:25 pm

    About the Fox promos spoiling the good stuff – I couldn’t agree with you more, Erik. Those gems, had they been left to play out on their own, would have made the ep that much more enjoyable.

    You know that I’m not a big fan of Cuddy, but this whole baby thing is kind of creeping me out. It felt kind of stalkerish (that’s not the word I’m looking for) how she got the baby.

  2. 2mchtv.noschthng on December 10th, 2008 4:55 pm

    This is when I thank God for DVR….I hadn’t seen any of the promos so I was completely surprised. 🙂

  3. John on December 10th, 2008 4:56 pm

    I don’t see Cuddy choosing the baby over House.

    She wants a baby and is trying to get one. She has shown she is interested in House (God knows why) and the two desires are not mutually exclusive except that the idea of House being in any way involved with caring for an infant (other than as a patient) is even more farfetched than him being involved with a non-hooker adult female.

    And it is not like House made himself available whether or not Cuddy gets a child. He has been his usual insulting, hostile self. His dating skills seemed to have stopped developing when he was 6 and he thought girls had cooties.

    I don’t know how Cuddy will play out as a story. I don’t think this can be a long term story. Realistically it will be either a very short story arc with Cuddy losing the child in some manner or the baby will soon fade into the background and there being just an occasional reference about Cuddy being tired or late to work or something.

    I guess there is the third alternative that this could be a way of writing Cuddy out of the show.

  4. Erik on December 10th, 2008 6:13 pm

    Kath: This may sound like a stretch, but your take on Cuddy’s borderline stalking of the maternity ward reminded me of a note I took during that last scene. I wrote down, “Cuddy’s facial expression looks like Laura Linney’s in the final sequence of Mystic River.” Remember how innocent Linney’s character appeared to be, then she went Lady Macbeth on us? It’s something to think about…

  5. Jen on December 10th, 2008 8:28 pm

    Another A+ for Erik’s recap and yes, a failing grade for the FOX promo dept. The inhaler gag was completely spoiled for me. I cracked up when my husband caught a glimpse of Foreteen’s kiss and said, “… hey, I thought she was a lesbian!” He watches with me nearly every week and still can’t name House’s team members. What in the world was Cuddy thinking, tracking down the baby…. creepy! I think the Christmas spirit brings too much sappiness (?) to our show… stick to the cynical, writers.

  6. Alison on December 10th, 2008 10:13 pm

    I didn’t see any promos for this episode, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I kind of saw the Wilson reveal coming. I mean, come on, girly hand writing? Of course Wilson has girly hand writing! 🙂

  7. Jen (HIMYM) on December 11th, 2008 1:05 am

    Maybe I’ve seen too many cop shows, but I kept wondering why Cuddy went to that house, alone, rather than call the authorities and have them deal with the baby, which was assumed dead.

    This is the only FOX show I currently watch and though I wasn’t ruined by commercials or previews, I still was sort of bored with this episode. I wasn’t anxious about much and was really annoyed by Cuddy’s constant House-hovering. I’m seriously not interested in Huddy if this is how it is going to be. I already knew about Foreteen but I miss Chase and Cameron. I rather see more C & C right now since we don’t get much of them at all.

  8. Pieter on December 11th, 2008 5:05 am

    “To see how his second shot at sketch comedy goes.”

    You know that Hugh Laurie has done many many sketch comedy on the BBC right?

  9. Erik on December 11th, 2008 7:13 am

    Pieter: I have seen Laurie’s sketch work on the BBC. My reference to the “second shot” was simply to clarify that he had hosted SNL on one previous occasion. Sorry for any confusion.

  10. geebs on December 13th, 2008 1:24 pm

    I cracked up when Taub talks with House about his “love-flying” thingy, just as Kutner did.
    Strong points: Classic Wilson, Foremen-House comparisons @ the trials, House in the clinic, Taub pulling one on House.
    Weak Points: Kutner’s story, Cuddy’s serial adoption (she was CREEPY in this episode), the patient’s case felt cliched (was used before too)

    This was a weak episode. Disjointed and as Jen pointed out, sappy.
    If there is huddy, and now foreteen, whats next…. Taubner???
    These words sound just plain stupid!!

  11. House fan on March 3rd, 2009 3:53 pm

    What episode was it when the couple comes in and the House says later its the first ever virgin birth?