House Tries to Replace Wilson in ‘Not Cancer’

September 24, 2008

This week’s House, leaves Dr. House still reeling from the news that Wilson has left Princeton-Plainsboro to get away from him.  In “Not Cancer” House must deal with the lost of his only friend.

House and Lucas.  Can Lucas fill Wilson's shoes?

House and Lucas. Can Lucas fill Wilson's shoes?

“What did Wilson do for me?” is the question House asks his team when transplant recipients start dropping like flies from illnesses not associated with their transplanted organ.

House is talking about the diagnosis of cancer, but the question becomes a theme throughout the show to emphasis how much he misses Wilson.

First, the case of the week – as we open four recipients of transplants from one donor are dead, one is dying and 13 brings in the last one who shows no symptoms yet.  Each person has died/is dying from a different cause and none of the causes are affiliated with the transplanted organs.

House insists its cancer.  The rest of team believes it anything but cancer.  Foreman tells House, “You need it to be cancer, so you have an excuse to talk to Wilson.”

House doesn’t accept that answer.  In fact, he even goes as far as hiring a private investigator, Lucas (Michael Weston), to do backgrounds on all the recipients and the donor.  Lucas, posing as a coffee machine repairman, buts into the team’s discussion on the patients with tidbits he’s learned.  House continues to believe its cancer and sends the team to do more tests.

“Does that PI mean we don’t have to break in to people’s houses anymore,” Kutner asks.

Meanwhile, Frank (Eric Kaldor) – the one dying case – expires while his wife and Apple (Felicia Day) – the living case – argue over whose life is more valuable.  The autopsy of Frank’s brain reveals nothing.

“We’ve gone from no sense to making less sense and then taking a step backwards,” 13 complains of House’s continual insistence that it’s cancer.

But it turns out House is right – sort of.  It’s cancer that the donor had and passed on to the recipients where it attached itself to organs and caused failure.

While the team is busy with the patients, House is recruiting for a Wilson replacement.  He corners Dr. O’Shea in the cafeteria where he gets him to buy lunch.  House tries to talk to O’Shea about monster trucks (something he had in common with Wilson) and invites him over to watch TV.

Then House hires Lucas to spy on O’Shea adding that he wants to know if he lends money interest free.

But Lucas calls House on this lie adding that House really wants to be spying on Wilson to find out if he’s pining for House.

So House sets Lucas on Wilson and finds out that Wilson isn’t trying to move on from life at Princeton-Plainsbor, just from House.  Wilson has been in contact with Cameron, Cuddy and Foreman.

But when House shows up at Wilson’s doorstep, Wilson won’t even talk to him.  But guess who’s there to help House talk it out and find the diagnosis he needs when Wilson turns him away – Lucas.

And when Cuddy refuses the treatment House wants – opening the woman’s head – and places security around the patient’s room, House sends in Lucas to do his dirty work.  Even better, Lucas shows up during the surgery to say what House wants to hear.

Anyone else think House has found a replacement for Wilson?  Even House thinks so.  He puts Lucas on retainer.

I’m definitely sad to see Wilson playing a smaller role (I’ve not heard that the actor is leaving), but I like Lucas.  He calls it like he sees it.  He adds a touch a humor.  And then there’s the argyle socks.

Guess we have to wait until next week to find out if his paying for a friend works out for House.

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Related Posts

House finds out “Dying Changes Everything”

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House finds out “Dying Changes Everything”

September 17, 2008

It’s been two months since House (Hugh Laurie) was unable to save Amber, Wilson’s girlfriend who was fatally wounded in a bus accident after bailing a drunken House out of a bar in last season’s finale.

Adam Taylor/FOX

HOUSE: The team (L-R: Olivia Wilde, Peter Jacobson, Omar Epps and Kal Penn) discusses the case of a young woman who has a strange hallucination during a business meeting in the HOUSE season premiere episode

In “Dying Changes Everything,” the fifth season premiere, we find House is still up to his old tricks.  This time he’s playing video games – which he stole from the pediatric ward – in a coma patient’s room and using the coma patient’s hand as a cup holder.

But are things really the same for House?

We quickly find out he hasn’t seen Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) for the last two months and he jumps at a new case just to avoid seeing Wilson now that he’s returned from his sabbatical.

Enter patient of the week – an assistant to a high-powered feminist (Jamie Rose) who hallucinates being covered in bugs and rips off her own clothes in front of a room full of male clients.  I don’t think we ever learn her name which might be symbolic of how she thinks of herself as significant (according to imdb.com, the patient’s name is Lou).

The patient (Christine Woods) thinks she’s just run down.  House blames it on her being a feminist (Jamie Rose).  But additional symptoms appear – rectal bleeding, an atopic pregnancy, eye blinking, fever and bruises.  And the diagnosis game begins. 

In the meantime House spills the beans about 13’s (Olivia Wilde) Huntington’s before he finally goes to see Wilson who has decided to resign.  House reacts as only House can by badgering Wilson to stay.

When that doesn’t work, House tries to recruit help.  First he attempts to sucker in Cameron (Jennifer Morrison).  She tells him to let Wilson grieve.  He responds with “Grief is like Newark.  It’s there you can’t avoid it.”

Then he hits up Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) to talk to Wilson.  She tells House to apologize to Wilson only to wonder if House really feels any guilt over Amber’s death.  We later learn that House is just unwilling to acknowledge his own guilt.

When all else fails, House resorts to blackmail.  He refuses to help the patient until Wilson agrees not to resign.  He leaves Wilson his phone and goes home.

Cuddy orders House back to the hospital.  When he refuses, she hits him where it hurts and turns off his cable.  She tries “couple counseling” with House and Wilson, but House’s team is still left to muddle through a diagnosis sans House.

Adam Taylor/FOX

HOUSE: Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard, R) returns from his leave after Amber

But at the last minute House saves the day with a correct diagnosis.  It turns out the patient had a type of leprosy which makes her look younger (what a side effect!).  And House finally gives Wilson a sincere apology.

But Wilson still resigns and reveals the real reason – House spreads misery and Wilson’s had enough.

Who knew Wilson had a backbone?  And that’s the first time I can remember House apologizing and meaning it.  And it didn’t get him the results he wanted so I guess we’ll never see him do that again.

But the bigger issue is what will House do without his Wilson?

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Related Post

House Tries to Replace Wilson in ‘Not Cancer’


Fall TV Premiere Schedule

September 11, 2008

I remember a time when the fall premieres last a week, maybe two.  Nowadays, the premieres go on for a couple months.  If you are like me it’s very hard to keep track of when your favorite shows return, let alone when the new shows start airing.

So in an effort to make your TV viewing pleasure easier, I’ve compiled a list of the premiere dates from various sources including TVGuide.com and TV Guide Magazine.  Hope this helps you find your favorites – new and old.

Thursday, September 11

8 p.m.
Hole in the Wall on Fox

9 p.m.
Kitchen Nightmares on Fox

Friday, September 12

9 p.m.
Don’t Forget the Lyrics! on Fox

Saturday, September 13

11 p.m.
Mad TV on Fox

11:35 p.m.
Saturday Night Live on NBC

Tuesday, September 14

9 p.m.
House on Fox

Thursday, September 18

8 p.m.
Survivor: Gabon on CBS
Smallville on CW

9 p.m.
Supernatural on CW

Sunday, September 21

7 p.m.
In Harm’s Way on CW

8 p.m.
Valentine on CW

9 p.m.
Easy Money on CW

Monday, September 22

8 p.m.
Dancing with the Stars on ABC
The Big Bang Theory on CBS

8:30 p.m.
How I Met Your Mother on CBS

9 p.m.
Heroes on NBC
Two and a Half Men on CBS

9:30 p.m.
Worst Week on CBS

10 p.m.
Boston Legal on ABC
CSI: Miami on CBS

Tuesday, September 23

8 p.m.
Opportunity Knocks on ABC
NCIS on CBS

9 p.m.
The Mentalist on CBS

10 p.m.
Without a Trace on CBS
Law & Order:SVU on NBC

Wednesday, September 24

8 p.m.
New Adventures of Old Christine on CBS
Knight Rider on NBC

8:30 p.m.
Gary Unmarried on CBS

9 p.m.
Criminal Minds on CBS

10 p.m.
CSI: New York on CBS
Lipstick Jungle on NBC

Thursday, September 25

8 p.m.
Ugly Betty on ABC
My Name is Earl on NBC

9 p.m.
Grey’s Anatomy on ABC
The Office on NBC

10 p.m.
ER on NBC

Sunday, September 28

7 p.m.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on ABC

8 p.m.
Amazing Race 13 on CBS
The Simpsons on FOX

8:30 p.m.
King of Hill on Fox

9 p.m.
Desperate Housewives on ABC
Cold Case on CBS
Family Guy on Fox
Dexter on Showtime

9:30 p.m.
American Dad on Fox

10 p.m.
Brothers & Sisters on ABC
The Unit on CBS
Californication on Showtime

Monday, September 29

8 p.m.
Chuck on NBC

10 p.m.
Life on NBC (airs Monday and Fridays through Oct. 10 and moves to Fridays)

Wednesday, October 1

8 p.m.
Pushing Daisies on ABC
Friday Night Lights on DirecTV (doesn’t return to NBC on Fridays until midseason)

9 p.m.
Private Practice on ABC

10 p.m.
Dirty Sexy Money on ABC

Friday, October 3

8 p.m.
Wife Swap on ABC
Ghost Whisperer on CBS
Everybody Hates Chris on CW

8:30 p.m.
The Game on CW

9 p.m.
Supernanny on ABC
The Ex List on CBS

10 p.m.
Numbers on CBS

Monday, October 6

9:30 p.m.
Samantha Who? on ABC

Thursday, October 9

8:30 p.m.
Kath & Kim on NBC

9 p.m.
CSI on CBS

9:30 p.m.
Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday on NBC

10 p.m.
Life on Mars on ABC
Eleventh Hour on CBS

Friday, October 10

10 p.m.
The Starter Wife on USA

Monday, October 13

10 p.m.
My Own Worst Enemy on NBC

Tuesday, October 14

10 p.m.
Eli Stone on ABC

Friday, October 17

8 p.m.
Crusoe on NBC

Wednesday, October 29

9 p.m.
Stylista on CW

Thursday, October 30

9:30 p.m.
30 Rock on NBC

Sunday, November 2

7:30 p.m.
Surviving Suburbia on CW

Already Premiered

Sunday
True Blood on HBO at 9 p.m.
Entourage on HBO at 10 p.m.

Monday
Gossip Girl on CW at 8 p.m.
Prison Break on Fox at 9 p.m.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on Fox at 8 p.m.
One Tree Hill on CW at 9 p.m.
Raising the Bar on TNT at10 p.m.

Tuesdays
90210 on CW at 8 p.m.
The Biggest Loser: Families on NBC at 8 p.m.
Fringe on Fox at 9 p.m.
Greek on ABC Family at 9 p.m.
Privileged on CW at 9 p.m.
The Shield on FX at 10 p.m.

Wednesday
Bones on Fox at 8 p.m.
America’s Next Top Model on CW at 8 p.m.
Deal or No Deal on NBC at 9 p.m.
 ‘Til Death on Fox at 9 p.m.
Do Not Disturb on Fox at 9:30 p.m.

Friday
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader on Fox at 8 p.m.

What show are you most looking forward to returning?  Supernatural and Chuck tops my list.


Your Favorite Shows Are Finally Back, How Did You Survive?

April 8, 2008

Normally April brings warm showers and the first signs of spring.  But it’s bitterly cold and dreary here.  But nonetheless, I’m singing like a bird.  Because this April marks the return of our favorite television shows after a much too long hiatus brought on by the writer’s strike.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m doing a little happy dance (no video of said dance will be included) because finally television as we know is returning.  And even the threat of an actor’s strike will not overshadow my joy this month.

But in all honesty, I found plenty to do in the absence of my favorite shows.  I cleared off my DVR (it is now primed and ready for the April onslaught of shows), I watched BBC America (who knew I’d like British dramas), I read and read some more (including books on my favorite shows like Supernatural and Heroes), I’ve had plenty of field trips with my kids to museums and parks, and I’ve caught up on last summer’s blockbusters on DVD.

In fact, I’ve enjoyed a little break from my TV set.  But the break is over and I happily welcome the return of my shows.

Here’s a breakdown of the returning shows (source:  TV Guide):

Mondays:

8 p.m.

The Big Bang Theory on CBS, Returned March 17

Bones on Fox, Returns April 14

Gossip Girl on CW, Returns April 21

8:30 p.m.

How I Met Your Mother on CBS, Returned March 17

9 p.m.

Two and a Half Men on CBS, Returned March 17

House on Fox, Returns April 28

9:30 p.m.

Samantha Who? On ABC, Returned April 7

Rules of Engagement on CBS, Returns April 14

10 p.m.

CSI Miami on CBS, Returned March 24

Tuesdays:

 

8 p.m.

NCIS on CBS, Returns April 8

9 p.m.

Shark on CBS, Returns April 29

10 p.m.

Boston Legal on ABC, Returns April 8

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on NBC, Returns April 14

Women’s Murder Club on ABC, Returns April 29

Wednesdays:

8 p.m.

‘Til Death on Fox, Returns April 15

8:30 p.m.

Back to You on Fox, Returns April 16

9 p.m.

Criminal Minds on CBS, Returned April 2

10 p.m.

CSI:NY on CBS, Returned on April 2

Law & Order on NBC, Returns April 23

Thursday:

8 p.m.

My Name is Earl on NBC, Returned April 3

Smallville on CW, Returns April 17

Ugly Betty on ABC, Returns April 24

8:30 p.m.

30 Rock on NBC, Returns April 10

9 p.m.

CSI on CBS, Returned April 3

The Office on NBC, Returns April 10

Supernatural on CW, Returns April 24

Grey’s Anatomy on ABC, Returns April 24

9:30 p.m.

Scrubs on NBC, Returns April 10

10 p.m.

Without a Trace on CBS, Returned April 3

ER on NBC, Returns April 10

Lost on ABC, Returns April 24

Friday:

8 p.m.

Ghost Whisperer on CBS, Returned April 4

9 p.m.

Moonlight on CBS, Returns April 25

10 p.m.

Numbe3rs on CBS, Returned April 4

Sunday:

8:30 p.m.

Aliens in America on CW, Returns April 27

9 p.m.

The Game on CW, Returned March 23

Cold Case on CBS, Returned March 30

Desperate Housewives on ABC, Returns April 13

10 p.m.

Brothers & Sisters on ABC, Returns on April 20

The schedule looks a bit thin, but I think we will all take what we can get.  Mondays and Thursdays seem to be the nights that will pack the biggest punch.

How did you survive the strike?  What returning show are you looking forward to the most?


The Verdict on ‘Canterbury’s Law’

March 11, 2008

While other networks are scrambling to get their shows back into production after the writers’ strike, Fox is taking advantage of the lull to debut some new series.  Last week it was New Amsterdam.  This week it’s Canterbury’s Law.  But will this advantage be enough to secure a hit for the new Julianna Margulies series?

Canterburys LawOn one hand, any new scripted series in the wake of the strike is a welcome treat to those that have been inundated with reality shows as of late.  On the other, Canterbury’s Law is airing on Fox, a network that is not known to be nice to series that aren’t instant hits.

But in the end, I think it’s the characters that’ll be the downfall of the series.

Firstly, I’m not entirely sure that Margulies is believable as Elizabeth Canterbury, a hard core lawyer willing to do anything to get her clients off.  It’s going to take more to shake the Florence Nightingale image of Carol Hathaway that I have in my head of Margulies from her ER days.

Secondly, I don’t like Canterbury’s character.  She’s not only immoral (she’s cheating on her husband), but she’s unethical (she’s sleeping with a client and she coaches a client to lie). 

Now I’ve watched and am a fan of some shows (House, for example) where the lead is less that upstanding, but for some reason it doesn’t work for Elizabeth. 

I wondered if it was because she was a woman.  For some reason, when women play dirty, people are more offended.  Do we hold our female characters to higher standards?

Flawed heroes are not a new thing. But maybe the fact that Elizabeth uses the very clients she’s supposed to be protecting to get at the bad guys is what doesn’t sit well.  Most people don’t have high standards for lawyers in general (no offense to any lawyers reading), but I think that at least on TV we hope that the “good” guys have some principles. 

At least twice, Elizabeth belittles witnesses on the stand – once with a cop who couldn’t see his own shoes because of his belly, but testified he saw a class ring at his feet and once when she pronounced the prosecution’s doctor’s name as Hack instead of the appropriate Hawk (the name was spelled Hak).  The jabs were funny.  But they made me question her litigation skills if she has to resort to such gimmicks.

But Elizabeth seems to sink to even lower levels.  In the opening episode, Elizabeth coaches her client to lie all so she can get the real guilty party on the stand and prove he did it.  The plan works, but she sacrificed our faith in the justice system to do it.

And speaking of her client, it was very hard to feel sympathetic for him.  I think it was clear from the beginning he wasn’t guilty, but he still had such a creepy vibe that you kind of wanted him locked up for his own well being.

Then, let’s look at Canterbury’s team.  It looks like Fox tried to bank on House’s formula for success with a similar three-member team – one girl, two guys (one white and one black).  But I have news for them; the combination didn’t work for me.

Molly (Tireste Kelly Dunn) doesn’t even seem to have what it takes to be a defense attorney.  Not only does she side with the family against her boss, but she gets all weepy over pictures of the missing boy.  In House, Cameron’s compassion makes her a better doctor, it doesn’t inhibit her.

Russell (Ben Shenkman) seems to have loyalty issues.  He’s working for Elizabeth because she was the only one that would hire him.  But when he doubts her, he leaks critical information to the prosecution.  It’s only after the Deputy Attorney General (Terry Kinney) crosses him (apparently again) that Russell even bothers to stick up for Elizabeth.  And he seems to care less about the client. 

And we didn’t get to see enough of Chester Grant (Keith Robinson) to get a read on his character.  But from what I’ve read he’s trying to escape his Congressman father’s shadow.

In House, the team seems to complement House, even making up for his bad attributes.  In Canterbury’s Law the team seems to be working against each other.

And in attempt to humanize Elizabeth, we find out at the end of the episode her relationship with husband Matt Furey (Aiden Quinn) is strained by the unsolved disappearance of their son.  We aren’t given enough information to form an opinion on this situation, but from upcoming previews it appears that her husband blames her.

It’s clear that Elizabeth’s schemes, such as the one where she sent in Private Investigator Frank Angstrom (James McCaffrey) to get a read on a juror, are going to get her in trouble.  The question is: are we going to care enough about Elizabeth to watch her watch her battle to stay out of jail.

If you missed the pilot, you can watch it online at fox.com/canterburyslaw.  Canterbury’s Law airs on Fox Mondays at 8 p.m.


Fox Cashes in on Super Bowl Audience

February 4, 2008

Already on a ratings high during the writers strike with its schedule of reality TV programs, Fox spared no expense to promote itself during the Super Bowl.

Super BowlI’d expect the network hosting the Super Bowl to use air time between plays to promote its shows.  That’s no surprise.  Neither were the vast amounts of onscreen logo promotions – you know, those annoying little logos that take up the corners of the lower portion of the screen.

But Fox went a step further it its promotion airing full ads to promote its shows.

Considering the amount of revenue a 30-second ad spot can earn during the Super Bowl, it’s a pretty bold move to use that valuable air time for self promotion.

I counted no less than five commercials for Fox’s new series Terminator:  The Sarah Conner Chronicles.  Two other new series – The Moment of Truth and New Amsterdam – got at least one commercial each.  But the commercials weren’t limited to new series.  Fox promoted Prison Break with two ads and spotlighted King of the Hill once.

Fox even spent some of its precious air time to promote events that evening including five spots touting the House episode schedule to air after the Super Bowl and a handful of commercials advertising the half-time show.

If all of this air time wasn’t enough, Fox spent some serious bucks marketing one of its schedule staples – American Idol, now in its seventh season.  Not only did Fox broadcast a minimum of six ads spotlighting the current season that’s in its last week of auditions, but Fox also used American Idol celebs throughout the Super Bowl event.

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest hosted a Red Carpet pre-game show.  American Idol judge Paula Abdul pre-taped a performance of her new single produced by fellow judge Randy Jackson for the pre-game show.  And last year’s winner Jordin Sparks sang the national anthem to kick off the game. 

Fox’s self promotion also included ads for future events that it’ll be airing including three ads for next week’s Pro Bowl and four commercials for the Daytona 500.

Is it me or did we see a little football among the ode to Fox?

When you consider the cost of producing a commercial on top of the lost revenue by not selling the airtime, Fox took an expensive gamble to gain a few viewers during a time when Fox actually has limited competition. 

What do you think?  Do you think Fox went overboard with its self promotion?  Are you more likely to tune into any of these Fox programs after seeing these Super Bowl ads?