On Monday, May 21, Hugh Laurie will make his final acerbic, marginally racist diagnosis: Fox's long running medical drama House is coming to an end. With the finale and the relationships and misadventures of the past eight seasons fast approaching, executive producer David Shore teases a "bittersweet" ending.
Unsurprisingly, he doesn't divulge much detail about the big finale. However, he assures fans that we're not in for an open-ended conclusion. "It’s definitely an ending," he tells Hollywood.com. "We never do happy endings, but we also try not to do simply miserable endings. Bittersweet is the most you can hope for from us."
But perhaps it's not about the destination, but the journey. Shore says he wants fans to walk away knowing "who [Dr. House] is and what he stands for." The way Shore sees it, "It’s really about the character and what the character stands for, which is, really, the pursuit of truth. Not just blindly following things.” Of course, Shore couldn't have accomplished that character without "Hugh Laurie’s eyes, the character’s sense of humor, and the fact that he’s a bit of a 15-year-old boy."
Speaking to some of the more controversial bits in House history, Shore is empathetic to fans' concerns, but maintains that he is generally proud of the creative choices he and his staff have made. While the House-Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) romance has been critiqued all over the Internet, Shore insists that doing something with this pair was unavoidable.
"I think it was going to be a lightning rod no matter what we did," Shore says. "I’m not saying we did everything perfect. I’m not saying we did things horrible either ... But fundamentally, we had to do it. You can’t have sexual tension go on and on and on and on. It was there from the beginning ... but at a certain point, we had to put them together," he added. As fans know, House's relationship with Cuddy came to a climactic end in the Season 7 finale, when the title character crashed his car through his ex's home — a move that Shore calls, "a logical and motivated irrational act, but it was still an irrational act" noting that the doctor "never meant to do [Cuddy] harm." House's destructive move got a lot of heat from fans and critics, but Shore is confident in the writers' big twist. "The saying within the writers room ... was, ‘The punishment doesn’t have to fit the crime, but there has to be a crime.’ As long as there was a motivation, as long as there was a House-like motivation ... pretty much anything went," he says. But although Shore can identify the mentality behind the act, he's not unsympathetic to fans' outcry. "We had to pay a price the next year," he says. "But that may have been why that act got more of a reaction than any of the other, shall we say, reprehensible things he did … He has come closer [to causing harm] in an effort to saving lives. There was no upside, I suppose, to driving that car, except for a satisfaction of lashing out." Finally, the creator speaks passionately about what he considers the life blood of the show: House's friendship with Dr. Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard). “I think one of the things that we’ve done very well on the show, if I do say so, is the House-Wilson relationship. There’s a lot of exploration on TV of romantic relationships ... there are very few explorations of male friendship — not just a wingman type friendship, not just an opportunity for humor." Of course, this friendship wouldn't work if Wilson weren't somewhat as mentally deranged as his starring partner. "I think there’s something clearly wrong with Wilson as well [as with House]," he says. "When we were casting Wilson, Robert Sean Leonard was reading for the network, and he came in and did a great job. The network wanted him to be a little kinder, a little nicer ... And Bryan Singer, when I was directing it, went off to give him a note outside the room." But Shore knew this wasn't the right move for the character: "I’m sitting there in the room, thinking about it, and going, ‘I think that’s a bad idea. He can’t be too soft. There has to be something about this guy, something that would make him be friends with House. There has to be a bit of an edge to him.'" Clearly, Shore got his way. After eight years of cracking medical mysteries, berating his friends and coworkers, and pill-popping himself into oblivion, Dr. Gregory House is saying goodbye to the spotlight. If Shore's comments are any indication, the show was handled with the same passion and dedication that fans gave to it throughout the years. What do you really need from the House series finale? [Image Credit: Fox] More: Fox to Cancel House After Eight Seasons Fox Renews Touch, Drops Alcatraz: Why Heroes Still Works & LOST Doesn't NBC's Series Pick-Ups: Bit o' Ryan Murphy, a Dash of J.J. Abrams, & an Old Friend
Actress Lisa Edelstein has opted not to re-sign her contract and return for another season of the show, reports EW.com.
Robert Sean Leonard and Omar Epps will be back with Laurie, who has hinted the next series of the hit show will be his last.
He recently told Britain's Radio Times magazine, "The end of the (eighth) season, right now, looks like the end of the show. That is as far as they have got me for."
Well, House fans, it looks like your hopes of Huddy's (Dr. Cuddy and House) love springing eternal is completely shot. Lisa Edelstein will not be returning next season as her contract expires this season and she did not renew.
This is a sad day for fans of the on-again-off-again relationship and money is likely to blame. Due to overall budget cuts, both Edelstein and Omar Epps were asked to accept lower salaries as their contracts expired; Epps accepted and will be back next season. Of course, Robert Sean Leonard's contract was up as well, but he continued at the same rate. I guess the folks at Fox are more concerned with keeping Leonard around than giving into more Huddy drama. But Edelstein didn't leave without so much as a word. She released this statement earlier today:
After much consideration, I am moving onward with a combination of disappointment at leaving behind a character I have loved playing for seven years and excitement of the new opportunities in acting and producing that lie ahead.
Update: It's official, House will be back for an eighth season. See, we knew there was no reason to fret!
Earlier: A recent deal makes it look more and more likely that House really will return next season. Both Omar Epps and Robert Sean Leonard, whose contracts expire this season, are set with deals to continue through the eighth and likely last season of the Fox hit. This means the show's up-in-the-air renewal is more likely than ever.
In the face of lower ratings, the show's budget is decreased and Fox has been wary to sign a renewal deal for the show without first securing Epps, Leonard and Lisa Edelstein (whose contract is also up this season) -- two of whom will have to take a pay decrease. Edelstein isn't sealed yet, but it's likely she'll sign. This comes shortly after Leonard expressed his desire to move back to the East Coast and continue his career on Broadway, but it seems that one more year with Dr. House is what's important for now (plus the fact that he's the only one not taking a pay-cut out of this trio probably helps).
With these guys in place, Fox is free to make a deal with the show's producer, Universal, and it looks like that deal should go down without a hitch. See, House fans? You will get closure! They won't leave you hanging. Don't you feel better now?
Source: Deadline, TV Line
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
There are two camps with regards to Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie). His supporters love his biting wit and admire his “any means necessary” approach to getting things done. To others, his abrasive personality rubs them the wrong way, even in the comfort of their own living room, and they find his rule-bending unethical.
Fact is, House just doesn’t take any crap. If someone wants to whine about how they’re not sure what they did to contract some symptom, he’s going to tear them apart and get at what really happened. Sorry folks, no coddling in medicine.
When House puts people in their place, he’s never just blunt. He is profoundly witty, even forcing people to reveal themselves just to get the joke. Forget about the life or death circumstances. Just hearing House riff against different characters is more poetic than Shakespeare.
His best friend Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) totally gets him, so they have a shorthand. His boss Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) tries to control him, so they do a dance. His medical team tries to measure up to him, so he pushes them the most. The patients are just the puzzles to be revealed by the good doctor’s riddles.
House will break any rules to get what he needs. Besides the obvious, that a doctor can’t practice on heavy medication, he has manipulated lab tests to get around regulations. He has intentionally contaminated operating rooms to stop a harmful procedure. Good thing he’s always right, so the end always justifies the means.
The premise of the show is that House is a genuinely unhappy person. He’s pushed away any close relationship he could have had and just puts up this abrasive front to keep people out. I refuse to believe that. Even when House himself says, “I am unhappy” in episodes, that seems too obvious. It’s far more interesting if he loves being smarter than everybody and knowing everything. He’s such an expert of human behavior, House must enjoy guiding people to cut their own B.S. and improve their own lives. And his masterful use of language, thanks to the show’s writers, must be a constant thrill to employ.
Recent plotlines have sought to emphasize the unhappiness explanation. At the end of season 4, House’s final medical case was his best friend’s girl, who was in a bus accident going to pick up a drunk House from a bar. She was one of the rare cases House could not save. Perhaps her plot function superceded his medical skills. Now, Dr. Wilson is leaving the hospital.
Each week is a standalone medical mystery, a combination of symptoms that only make sense with a rare diagnosis. It’s a pretty solid formula in which the first thing they think it is, never turns out to be what it is. Basically, don’t expect a cure before 8:50. The research it must take to figure out all the medical circumstances needed to make each story sound is unfathomable.
The medicine is hardly the point, though. It’s accurate and it gives everyone something to do, but the point of House is House. He is an awesome character and fascinating to watch whether you love him or hate him.