It’s no secret that I’ve lost interest in the television series House. Its cyclical storytelling and lack of plot progression finally made me stop watching after the fifth season. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like the character of House; I think he’s one of the greatest television characters ever.
When House was casting, actor Hugh Laurie believed that the series (which didn’t have a title yet) would revolve around the character of Wilson, and that House would serve as Wilson’s sardonic sidekick. This, however, was not the case. House was the main character of the show, and has consistently proven his worthiness throughout the series, especially in the first three seasons.
As a completely self-centered character, House has been often compared to Sherlock Holmes, and the connection is completely intentional. Both characters are geniuses and both characters have addictions. Both characters confide in close friends (Wilson/Watson), and both characters have the address of 221B. Name references to characters such as Moriarty and Irene Adler are thrown around, making the connection all the more obvious.
Like Holmes, House has great intelligence, and often is able to tell a lot about people simply by looking at them (in one instance, he diagnosed a waiting room full of patients on his way out the door).
However, House is also a very sad character. Aside from Wilson, he is unable to build any lasting relationships, though he does have an interest in Lisa Cuddy, the hospital administrator. The child of an abusive father, House walks with a cane after an infarction of the quadriceps muscle in his leg. This muscle was removed, though it caused him to experience pain, leading him to develop an addiction to the painkiller Vicodin, leading him to brushes with the law and eventually hallucinations. House supposedly conquered this addiction in the season six premiere, “Broken.”
House, like our number #6, Ari Gold, has plenty of biting insults at his command. He has a disdain for everyone, citing his mantra, “Everybody lies.” However, despite this, House is very reliant on people, especially Wilson, who often helps House during low moments in his life. House, in turn, helps Wilson during such moments, such as giving Wilson a place to stay during Wilson’s divorce. Cuddy has often saved House from punishment, when urging the hospital board to stand up to Edward Vogler, and when committing perjury during House’s hearing.
House has proven to be one of the most complex and interesting characters ever to appear on television, and is certainly the best character that the aughts have introduced. It’s a pity that he hasn’t been given better material to work with, but at least he is one of the most recognizable faces in the entertainment industry today.
Do you agree with the choice of Gregory House for the television character of the decade? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, and leave us your lists — we’re excited to hear what you think.