Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

on liking the unlikeable

TVGuide (April 17-22) has House ("The man you love to hate") on the cover -- "People think they want House to change, but they don't. They watch him because he's a jerk." [The same quote -- from creator and exec producer David Shore -- in the inside article, says "bastard" rather than "jerk."] My immediate reaction, of course, was: "A lot of fandom? Is very upfront about the fact that the appeal is his abrasive etc. -ness."

Hugh Laurie says, "The fact that House doesn't need to be liked makes him paradoxically likable. Unlike so much of the world, House is not trying to get your vote or your applause. And I admire that" (p. 24). I was reminded of dorrie6's post. And certainly fandom bears out Laurie's explanation. I, of course, am one of the unwon. I talk a bit about this in my writeup of "Safe" but am making a separate meta-post because a lot of my flisters love House/House and I'm honestly confused by their attraction.

Disclaimer of course that I've seen all of 3 episodes of this show. Feel free to back up your comments with examples from any of the episodes.

jadelennox wrote, "I do love my brilliant but arrogant protagonists who mask insecurities and pain by snarking bitchily at all and sundry, making enemies and numerous mistakes along the way but ultimately proving their cleverness."
Phrased this way, I see appeal. I have problems with this articulation, however, because (1) I don't see House's vulnerability [At the end of "Skin Deep," okay, he's desperately in pain -- and I still don't understand why he has chronic pain from this injury -- but I see that mostly as "I am in pain, bitches; appease me," though it could be argued that I'm buying into the macho exterior he projects. Sidenote: we find out that it's psychosomatic; has there been any followup on that? Because that could be really interesting.] and (2) does House ever make mistakes? I mean, other than the obvious alienate-everybody one. Okay, he doesn't always have the right diagnosis immediately (there wouldn't be a show if he did) but he's always miles closer than everybody else...and admittedly I'm influenced by the fact that he always acts as if he's right, so there isn't that feeling one gets of watching normal people make mistakes and triumph in the end.

I've written before about how I'm always in "if it were real" space as regards my thinking about fictional persons, but House doesn't even rock the "he's evil, but sexy, so I can lust from the safety of the fact that he doesn't actually exist;" he's just abrasive etc. and no one likes him in canon either.

Laurie also says, "My feeling is that people will get sick of House the character. There's only so much self-destructive behavior a person can exhibit before you start losing friends and alienating people, and that's true for a character as well. Honestly, what happens if this character continues to act up and lash out and act inappropriately to the people around him?" (p. 25).

The article also undercuts its whole "to woobify House would kill the show" thing a bit with blah blah blah romance plotlines, but that's a separate discussion for people who are actually invested in the relationship dynamics on the show. I personally have little interest in any of the characters or in any of the characters getting together with any of the other characters.
Tags: fannish: discussion, tv: house

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