So, last night, season 6 of House began.
I was introduced to the show by Hugh and his wife, roughly in the middle of season 3. Went back and watched from the beginning to catch up, and I have enjoyed the show (almost) universally. I thought that the end of season 5 was well done, though it did not need the death of Kal Penn’s character as a trigger - it obviously seemed like they were going for the Shyamalan-style “what is real” bit even before.
Unfortunately, I have to wonder what is going on currently. The first episode of the new season was a two-hour episode, supposedly with “limited commercial interruptions.” In practice? we had ~52 minutes of show for the first hour, ~20 minutes of show in the following half hour, and ~12 minutes of show in the last half hour. Needless to say, the first hour’s plot and development were well paced, while the rest was… not.
They did a great job with all the guest stars. The actors/actresses played their characters to a fault. That was the upside. The downside is that Franka Potente (in my opinion, an incredible actress) was underutilized, and that the brief “relationship” between her character and House felt all at once forced and phony. My hunch is that she won’t pop up again on the show.
The other thing that scared me? The “preview” of the next episode. I don’t know why they chose to stuff that many cliche moments into it (not that every one of those moments hasn’t popped up, in one form or another, in another episode already) but the more frightening aspect is that they felt the need to advertise it as a “must-see” episode. House, when it’s on, is a show that sells itself. When they have to push and push and start going with “a very special episode” (not their words but the general feel, according to preview, of what will be only the second episode of the season) it tells me that the writers aren’t sure of what they are working with.