This is a procedural that show's how the medical profession should be.
I wish Hugh Laurie would have done a commentary track.
This is a show that everyone that I know loves. While I don't watch it on a regular basis, I find that every time I sit down and get to see Dr. House team in action, I become engaged and have to ask the people around me what's going on because I haven't kept up on that week's show. Having reviewed the first season, I found myself overjoyed when I was given House M.D.: Season Two to review. While I think this show can sometimes border on being overly dramatic, and the characters all have a tendency to whisper their lines, ultimately there is something about this show that is quite interesting.
Filled with 24 episodes, this show is packed with the kind of issues that I am sure have created ethics in medicine debates for years. For example, the maiden episode, Acceptance, sees Dr. House putting his attention on a prison inmate, but other doctors feel that his attention should be placed elsewhere. In an episode called Distractions, we see House and his team trying to save a patient who has been badly burned and he also turned up an "unusual" blood exam. Lastly, and these are not the only ones, we have the Sleeping Dogs Lie episode in which the doctors have to deal with someone suffering from a case of insomnia. This may not seem like anything that bad, but this person has a case unlike any the staff as ever seen.
Overall, House M.D.: Season Two has kept all that's good about the first season of the show while not being afraid to expand the characters in interesting ways.
Producers David Jacobs and Katie Shore give us commentary tracks for the Autopsy episode and the No Reason episode. I chose to listen to the one for Autopsy simply because I just happened to pop that disc in first. Shore and Jacobs talk about using the Christina Aguilera song two times in the show, the logistics of certain scenes, and then they sadly tell us too much of what we are already seeing on our TV screens. At first I was put off by how technical this seemed, but when I realized as producers they were speaking from their experience, it made sense that they would talk in this way. Overall, I didn't think this track was anything great, but I think fans of the show will eat it up.
F-words are bleeped out (and there are a lot of them) as we see the actors blowing lines, coming in on the wrong cue, saying the wrong line (or the other actors lines), and just about everything else we have come to expect from these things. I think the best thing about them is that regardless of how much or how little you watch a show, as long as you are somewhat familiar, you will get the jokes and understand why the blooper reel is funny.
They have two alternative takes in this 6 DVD set. One is from the episode Sleeping Dogs Lie and the other is from Daddy's Boy. Here's the thing, these are done as if the characters are Valley Girls. Basically, imagine the back and forth pitter patter of House, with plenty of "Likes," "Duhs" and "Totallys" thrown in. I think if I was a huge fan of this show this would be a lot funnier.
It Could Be Lupus...
A bunch of scenes have been cut together showing off how many times the actors have said the word "Lupus." Like the Alternative Takes, this is funny but I think it's something that viewers who are totally devoted to the show will enjoy the most. Like anything, it gets old after awhile and it becomes something that's a little hard to take seriously. So basically, if you like hearing the word "Lupus" and you like these actors, this is something you should watch.
An Evening with House
Elvis Mitchell moderates this discussion with the cast and creative types from House. Held at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences this was actually much more interesting than the commentary tracks. For example, we find out that originally this show had no House character. It was just a medical mystery show. Also, the point of this show was to give viewers an idea of what doctors may or may not think of them. Overall, I highly enjoyed this candid discussion in which Mitchell nailed it in the questions department.
Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.78:1. This show captures the look and feel of a hospital. There is a sterileness to it that only gets softened by the characters and their interactions. While there aren't many fancy camera moves, or different video stocks employed, this show is edited in such a way that no matter what, there always seems like there's something happening. Also, as these shows are still relatively new, they almost sparkle on DVD. In fact, there is nothing about these images that at all seem compressed. In fact, I wonder how this show might look on HD-DVD or Blu-ray?
English Dolby Digital 5.1. Subtitled in English and Spanish. I mainly saw the audio on this as something that accompanied the image. However, there were a few times where I felt that the soundtrack was employed to get inside the character's heads. There was a clever use of certain tones so that we knew what the characters were thinking without hearing it in exposition. I also liked that this show rarely lingered. Like it's main character, it simply presented the story, made sure everything was okay, and then left the room.
Orange is the main color that is employed all over this cover. Hugh Laurie sits huddled on his cane as the cast of the show is shown in small pictures behind him. The back cover shows more images from the show, as well as pictures of special guests like Sela Ward and LL Cool J. There is a small description of what this second season has in store, a Bonus Features listing on a bottle of pills, and underneath that some minor technical specs. This cover pulls off and the artwork unfolds revealing medically themed artwork, as well as images of each cast member on each of the discs. All of the episodes are indexed out giving us names, descriptions and where all the bonus features are on each disc.
Why are procedural shows so popular?
I think we enjoy medical, legal and other kinds of procedurals because as all of us have been (or will be) patients, we often find ourselves amidst worlds we don't understand. There is paperwork, people with other ailments that we always wonder about and many other things that give us reason for concern. Quite simply, it is a big, confusing world and shows like House M.D. allow us to be in on what's happening. We understand why people are sick. We get a handle on how come doctors and their nurses act as they do. In short, we get to have an experience without having to go to the doctor or a hospital.
It is this vicarious experience that makes this show work. It lets us into a world we wouldn't otherwise see, yet it is filled with just enough drama to make things interesting and to keep viewers tuning in. House M.D.: Season Two continues to show us a world we are often confused by, but fascinated with at the same time.