Reviews

House: Season 1

4

Just what the doctor ordered

So how did that English-as-Tetley's fella from Blackadder somehow end up with a Golden Globe for playing a morose American? "Sarcasm," says Hugh Laurie in one of the extras. "But black-belt, fifth-dan sarcasm."

When he was casting the title role of diagnostic ace, producer Bryan Singer was resigned to never finding a suitable American actor to capture the character's extra-cutting edge. And then Laurie walked in, having fine-tuned his accent so acutely Singer wasn't even aware he was a Brit. In the Casting Sessions doc, the Superman Returns director can be heard off-screen, feeding lines, audibly gasping at the realisation that Laurie's grizzled, sardonic twinkle is just what the doctor ordered.

 

The plan was to create "a cop-type show in a medical setting" - with a different mystery every episode. It's a delicious combo of CSI and ER, with breathless, West Wing-style verbal jousts compensating for off-the-peg characterisations (bossy lady administrator, by-the-book assistant, spunky young buck...).

And, oof, those mysteries... Rare viruses, emergency treatment causing anaphylactic shock and a ten-year tapeworm squatting in Robin Tunney's brain, slowly killing her softly. Hypochondriacs should probably pass.

BEST BIT House's icy verbal decapitation of a fretful mother over her lack of faith in the MMR jab.

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