HOUSE Recap: Two Stories - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

HOUSE Recap: Two Stories

February 22, 2011 by  

I am completely stumped to explain my reaction to this week’s HOUSE. On one hand, there were no significant plot developments or dramatic twists. On the other hand, I can make the argument that it was the most entertaining episode of Season 7. Confused? So am I…

The brilliance of this hour, crafted by director Greg Yaitanes and writer Thomas L. Moran, was its simplicity. Hugh Laurie’s work is always stellar, but “Two Stories” was a unique opportunity for Laurie to step away from the halls of Princeton Plainsboro and play off of a new set of scene partners. With a school full of aggrevated adults and curious children to interact with, House was a career day tour de force.

House’s relationship with Cuddy has been roundly dismissed as a lazy device, more fit for a daytime soap than one of TV’s most critically acclaimed dramas. Rather than swim upstream against the current of non-shippers, Moran’s script embraced the criticisms and directly compared their romance to the world of playground flirtation. When House carefully considered the advice of a school girl, it was a nod to his immaturity as a committed partner. There are nuances to the ebb and flow of an adult relationship that are supposed to be learned at an early age, lessons that House never acquired.

Speaking of learning lessons, would anyone else volunteer to have Dr. House show up as your substitute teacher? In a matter of minutes, House’s anecdotes had embarrassed a young teacher, offended the other adults present, and captivated a room full of eager young minds. Every attempt to “play the part” as a responsible parent were called out by the young Roger Ebert in the room, so House relied on the truth to shock the class to attention.

For the first time all season, the audience was invited to laugh without switching gears back to Cuddy’s unhappiness, Masters’ moral superiority, or Taub’s downward spiral. Instead, Hugh Laurie called on his comedic roots to walk the room. Barbs were exchanged, wrestling matches broke out, and the fun rarely stopped.

If there was a downside to seeing House sent to the principal’s office to commiserate with the young couple, it was his reason for visiting the school in the first place. I could have used more of the school kids who were falling in like, and less of the heartfelt appeal for young Rachel to attend the private school.

My objections to House’s behavior have very little to do with his own evolution, though many commenters at GMMR have been troubled by seeing him act in such an adult manner this season. Instead, I fail to see how Cuddy’s character is worthy of so much effort. I love Lisa Edelstein, and praised her performance in last year’s “5 to 9” effusively, but the Cuddy she has played in Season 7 is devolving into a stereotype. Cuddy 7.0 is an impatient, unlikable control freak who overreacts to her boyfriend’s every move. In short, Cuddy is approaching her relationship with less maturity than the little girl who still wants to kiss the boy who blackened her eye. She is the Chief of Staff of Princeton Plainsboro, but the entry-level employee in her personal life.

I could watch a spinoff of “House: Head of the Class” for years, and I am a tad bit disappointed that next week will bring another predictable patient of the week. On the other hand, I look forward to enjoying “Two Stories” whenever it shows up on a Presidents’ Day marathon in the future. It was a master class in fun, taught by the incredible Mr. Laurie. Thank goodness he bought another toothbrush, or else next week’s episode could turn ugly!

How did you react to this story? Were the parallels between House & Cuddy’s relationship to playground romance accurate? What were your favorite moments in the classroom? Did the kids hold their own against Hugh Laurie? Your feedback is essential to this discussion, so please chime in with your two cents!

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10 Responses to “HOUSE Recap: Two Stories”

  1. Grant on February 22nd, 2011 12:53 pm

    I must say, I picked a bad night to be high and try to get the ep. It took me two hours to watch it.

  2. John on February 22nd, 2011 12:54 pm

    I was less thrilled with this episode.

    One problem was House’s behavior in school. From the promos I assumed he was being forced to be in school and acting like his normal ass self to teach whoever forced him to be there to never do that again. But then it turns out that he traded going there in excahnge for a favor (helping Cuddy get Rachel into a school). He shows up and then destroys the goodwill he needs to get the favor. The school board member is certainly not going to do House any favors after his antics, so why go at all.

    Another problem was his assuming a false identity to avoid auto insurance problems and this carring over into school. The school was expecting a Dr. House to talk on career day, not Dr. Whatever His Name. In today’s environment I doubt any school, especially a selective private school, would allow just anyone with no ID to go into the school and do as he likes.

    And I didn’t have any problem with Cuddy in this episode. House has never taken anyone elses wishes into consideration. His transgressions to Cuddy shown in the episode were small (except stealing her computer and hacking it). But these are just the latest in an unending stream of self-centerness. I don’t know why Cuddy would want to have a relationship with him, but even given she does, he would wear out the patience of a saint.

    Now you can argue (convincingly I think) that she knew his character going in and expecting him to act in a caring manner now is unrealistic and if she want someone who would respect her and consider her requirements she shouldn’t have started with him at all.

  3. Liz on February 22nd, 2011 2:25 pm

    Brilliant is different, on the contrary, I call this awful. I’m so sick of Huddy, I’m so sick of Cuddy and her awful tries to change House into a completely different person, I’m sick of House putting up with her crap. Seriously, they need to stop this. Honestly, right now I hope Cuddy has to leave the show.

  4. maria on February 22nd, 2011 2:59 pm

    I think this episode was fantastic. It was lighthearted, fresh and funny, qualities that have been absent for the most part this season.

    I couldn’t agree more with your analysis on Cuddy. Even though I was thrilled about their relationship at first, it’s getting on my nerve now. Her actions are opposite to everything she said on the first two episodes of this season…. Thank God we still have Hugh Laurie’s unlimited talent to compensate….

  5. Toby La Rone on February 22nd, 2011 3:10 pm

    I think Huddy Fan fiction writers have taken over the writing of this show and turned it from a brilliant showin to a joke.
    It used to be called doing a” MoonLigh”t when they got two leading characters together and the viewers left in droves, now it is called doing a “House”.

  6. Kiss on February 22nd, 2011 4:54 pm

    I don´t get why they are writing Cuddy in this way. She was so smart and funny. She is still my favorite character (just because i love Lisa Edelstein too much) but they have rewrite her and it wasn´t necessary to develop a relationship with House. House and Cuddy are awesome together being House and Cuddy. I like how Lisa is playing Cuddy this season because i feel like the woman can have a breakdown any moment and i feel her so vulnerable that i want to hug her but to be honest i liked her better when she was stronger.
    Two stories was awesome. My favorite this season. Hugh is terrific and the kids had amazing chemistry with him.

  7. gbbg on February 23rd, 2011 11:01 pm

    So much hate for Huddy… I feel sorry for everybody. House couldn’t for life continue being House. I think I will go wherever the show takes, as long as they don’t skip weeks together.

    The story line and setting for the ep was definitely a fantasy more than anything. It felt surreal but the script and the pace more than made up for it. It looks like Cuddy had some serious questions on House’s commitment and no wonder has looked the “breakdown types” as Kiss mentioned before. Either way, just watch the show, and forget how we want it to be, its not “our” life.

  8. Molly on February 23rd, 2011 11:53 pm

    I think I’m finally beginning to understand this whole House/Cuddy relationship. I’m finding both characters so unbelievable, over-the-top, and generally repugnant that nobody else would want to come within a mile of either one of these two idiots. In what universe would House be able to say what he did in front of kids and think that it’s OK to do so? Did he actually think it would help Rachel’s chances of getting into a school by being a vulgar lout? And we are supposed to think that is FUNNY? What is wrong with these writers? Did they forget to tell us that House had a lobotomy when he was in Mayfield? Did the writers all have lobotomies? Do I need a lobotomy to watch this once fine show flush itself down the crapper?

    And then there’s Cuddy. Miss “I love you; I don’t want you to change” Cuddy. Now she’s “Take out the trash, House.” “Put the toilet seat down, House.” “Get out of my life, House.” And House takes it without fighting back?? House taking all this crap from a pathetic nagging shrew of a woman who uses her vagina to control him? She used to be a great character. What happened?

    I was not at all amused. All this couple has is sex. That’s all. They don’t even appear to enjoy each other’s company. Yet the writers seem to think this relationshhip is so watchable that we don’t really need a good medical mystery or any of those whatcha-call-’em – other doctors – to clutter up this series any longer.

    How the mighty have fallen.

  9. gbbg on March 1st, 2011 10:10 pm

    I think I should stop reading comments in order to enjoy the show…

  10. yoda on March 25th, 2011 11:17 pm

    Best part; the movie-quotes kid. From the B-plot the scene where they sneak some equipment into the hospital. Could use the former to nail down the specific moment the latter references.

    Worst part: After first seeing the kids’ uniforms, spending the entire episode looking forward to the moment when House unloads on the principal with chapter-and-verse on how nobody ever washes a necktie, they’re storage units for every pathogen the wearer comes in contact with and every bit as bad an idea for schoolboys as for doctors…and having that moment not. happen. at. all.