Hugh Laurie – yes theHugh Laurie of “Fry and..”, “Jeeves and Wooster”, and … er… something else… (a guest appearance in Friends?) – plays Dr. Gregory House, an acerbic diagnostician, an American diagnostician at that, pay attention now, that bit of information is important.
Dr. House is, the central character of the show, heads up a team of young doctors in a clinic. He’s not interested in everyday complaints or everyday patients, preferring to take on challenging problems. He’s the diamond in the rough, the rogue doctor who everyone tolerates because he’s brilliant. In a rather schmaltzy piece of production he also has a limp, presumably so you feel some sympathy with this single minded, rude and determined man.
Laurie plays it well, never coming across as aggressive, merely emotionless – when faced with an outbreak in the maternity unit, he comes to the conclusion that they’ll have to use two babies as test cases, lest the other six die – and the rest of the cast seem adept. The first couple of episodes have been laying the back stories of the main characters and other than some “why the hell do they have to SHOW the graphic detail moments” on the operating table, it’s not been too bad.
The only slight problem will be if Laurie’s A-merry-can accent will start to grate. Took me a good 15 minutes of the first episode to get past it but after that it was barely noticeable.
I guess the main competitor will be ER but so far there is no romantic interest in House and I think it’s the better for it. It is still finding it’s feet, that’s for sure but is definitely in the black humour/drama category and has offered some good viewing already.
Not sure when it’ll hit terrestrial but when it does, give it a look.