I must admit I never set out to be a House fan. I saw it as nothing more than another medical show about doctors with nothing special to set it apart from a theme that had already been greatly overplayed in recent years. However, after watching my first episode one Tuesday night on Fox, I must admit that I was hooked.
Anyone who has worked customer service either learned to hate people or hated people to being with. I do not know if it is the same for doctors or nurses, but even then I imagine there are times when they really want to tell a patient off. Who hasn’t had a co-worker they wanted to be rude to all the time? House embodies all these less than desirable qualities. While he is a brilliant diagnostician he is sneaky and manipulative in his personal relationships. When his ex-wife, who also happens to be his boss, marries someone in his wheelchair, he decides to attend the counseling sessions at the hospital where he works to find out what the new guy had that he did not.
Although House’s relationships with people are atrocious it is surprising how well he gets along with animals. In one episode he adopts a lab rat that somehow escaped into his wife’s house. Of course the rat suffers from some ailment and we see the doctor attempting to diagnosis it. People who suffer from personality disorders that make it difficult to deal socially with their peers often find it easier to relate to animals.
What is hard to understand and I cannot glean from my own following of the show is whether or not the main character detests people as much as he pretends to or if is merely an act to push people away so he does not feel bad when people do not like him. Although we laugh at the situations House’s horrible interpersonal political skills cause, the writer of the show and the actor who portrays him makes it hard not to see a human whose spirit has been wounded. No one can deny his medical ability, but what really makes him tick and why if he hates people did he become a doctor in the first place?
Money might easily have been the motivation, but given the moments of intense concentration and the “eureka” moments that come close to the finale. Could it be that he went into the medical profession because he enjoyed this type of mystery and following the logic to its conclusion? When it comes right down to it the medical mysteries and the diagnostic process is not what interests us about this show. We want to see the horrible human being whose only redeeming feature seems to be his ability to save lives.