HOUSE: The Down Low - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

HOUSE: The Down Low

January 12, 2010 by  

In my younger years, I had a difficult time forging genuine friendships with males. Absent the pride of athletic achievements or the brashness of alpha male status, I had a difficult time finding common ground with other hormone-driven dudes. In the absence of male bonding, I turned to my favorite TV shows for instructions. When I wanted to learn how to open up about heartbreak and loss, Dawson & Pacey were there. If my colleagues at work did not share my ambition or enthusiasm, I turned to Josh & Sam on The West Wing. My platonic proxys were not a miracle solution. They did, however, give me hope that men could serve as a support system for one another.

Gregory House & James Wilson are not presented to House viewers with syrupy music and heartfelt overtones. On the contrary, this best friendship is loaded with the kind of intellectual clashes, social awkwardness, and jealousy that is recognizable in everyday life. Left in the capable hands of Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard, the House/Wilson relationship remains the cornerstone of Fox’s most popular drama.

With all due respect to Ethan Embry, whose literary pursuit of Jennifer Love Hewitt in” Can’t Hardly Wait” was robbed in the 1998 Teen Choice Awards, I am making the creative decision to ignore his contributions to this episode. Embry is a fine actor, with a list of credits on IMDB that any working actor would love to have. But let’s be honest. When House & Wilson spend an hour fighting over a woman and fighting off rumors about their sexuality, it is perfectly acceptable to say, “Thanks Ethan, I’ll rent Donnie Brasco next week in tribute to you.”

Unit 3B was occupied by Sasha Alexander, first introduced to me as the temptress of the Witter family, Pacey’s older sister Gretchen on Dawson’s Creek. In a piece of breaking news MSNBC has not reported, she does not appear to have aged since 2001. In addition to her stunning beauty, Alexander brought charm and energy to the role of Nora, object of Wilson and House’s affections. By infusing Nora with an open mind and a gregarious flare, co-writers Sara Hess and Liz Friedman created a character that I hope will return in future episodes. Is it time for Wilson to court his future fourth bride? I choose to remain optimistic.

Before Dr. Wilson attempts to walk down the aisle with his fourth wife, he took the time to propose to his (potential) first husband! After broaching the topic of House and Wilson as live-in lovers, complete with references to fashion, decor, and musical theater, I was still surprised to see Robert Sean Leonard on one knee. Hugh Laurie’s face almost said it all, but the line, “Wow…this is unexpected.” was pitch perfect. Since Wilson’s showcase episode, the last shown before the December break, we have seen a bolder, more confident foil for House’s antics. First, Wilson took a stand in the House/Cuddy/Lucas saga by throwing down the real estate gauntlet. Now, we see a man who is not content to play second fiddle to his best friend, earning House’s respect in the process.

Since Wilson has received a “second wind” over the past few episodes, House’s arsenal of sarcasm has been aimed squarely at his staff, an indication that the world of Princeton Plainsboro is beginning to right itself. Loyal viewers have been digging for signs of the show they have supported for years, and “The Down Low” contained the right mix of medicine and jocularity. Case in point: Jesse Spencer’s new hairstyle didn’t affect me in a meaningful way. I’ll leave it to House’s female viewers to decide if the corporate coif was fetching. For me, Hugh Laurie’s look of delight as he eviscerated Chase’s salon slip-up was vintage House. It was the kind of needling that the creative team has been too careful to avoid since House left Mayfield in the season premiere. No one’s feelings were hurt. No one got punched. It was all in a day’s work for House’s team.

After an hour of television like this, I wonder why so many people still worry about House & Cuddy’s romantic future. More often than not, the Huddy dynamic comes across as a diversion to a wonderful character study. The heart and soul of this program, unconventional as it may seem, is a loving friendship between two men who have followed unusual paths to their lot in life. It just so happens that their lot contains an apartment building with a gigantic poster from A Chorus Line!

I was delighted with the humor, tone, and pace of this episode. It flew by, even during the replay when I took detailed notes. If this episode is any indication of how Season Six will wrap up, then I am excited to see what the producers have in store over the next few months.

Let’s get to the fun part, shall we?

How did you react to House’s first episode of 2010? Did the Foreman storyline do anything for you? Would you like to see more of Nora in Apartment 3B? Who had “Wilson proposes to House” in the future storyline pool? Share your favorite House/Wilson moment, and let’s get the conversation going in the new year!

Aside from writing about House and Parks & Recreation, I am searching for a new favorite “bad TV” show. With Jersey Shore ending soon, my free time must be absorbed by something mindless and DVR-worthy . Please send suggestions to me on Twitter.


3 Responses to “HOUSE: The Down Low”

  1. gbbg on January 13th, 2010 12:35 am

    Am first?

    Enjoyed. Not yet up to the mark in the POTW-wise, but definitely welcome in every other aspect. Somehow, still manage to miss Cameron amongst all this.

  2. gbbg on January 20th, 2010 11:14 pm

    and the only?

  3. Erik on January 29th, 2010 7:27 pm

    gbbg: Thanks for chiming in. I’ve been moving over the past week, and have fallen behind on keeping the conversation going. Since Jennifer Morrison’s departure from the show, I have noticed some of our familiar favorites in the comments thread disappearing from view. It’s a shame that a strong female voice, such as Cameron’s, did not fit into the creative team’s vision for the remainder of the season.

    On a brighter note, Jennifer Morrison will be returning during a Cuddy-centric episode in mid-February. Word of her reappearance was sent via email a few weeks ago, but I wanted to wait until the TV gossip/scoop sites reported it more widely.