April 4, 2007
I was late discovering House, the Fox offering about a particularly obnoxious genius doctor. I'm always kinda squeamish about hospital shows, and the title of this one didn't grab me. My channel-surfing remote just almost never finds it way to that channel anyway. Then my friend Justin Kahn made a mention on his blog about his lady love Lindsey ("the Lindzer") and her crush on that guy who plays House who actually is British but acts so American, and I just had to give it a look. This all happened a few months ago, and I think Justin an the Lindzer aren't together any more. But I'm hooked on Hugh Laurie, the dark and somehow familiar actor who impersonates a certain kind of misanthrope who gets by in this world by being right more often than not. I have to slap myself from time to time to figure out who he reminds me of. Often I say it's Prof, my old high school psychology teacher (read Meet Me at the Butterfly Tree for a thumbnail sketch), but I usually decide no, it's someone else. Then, I slap myself again and say, "That guy's English. I heard him do his English accent when he accepted his Golden Globe."
House is a character reportedly based on Sherlock Holmes, the brilliant loner who could solve mysteries in Victorian England and attracted a host of admirers without developing any particular charm or personality. The name "House" is a pun on "Holmes," and Dr. Wilson is supposed to be kind of a Dr. Watson, a second banana providing a voice for the viewers in an attempt to humanize the unapproachable title character. None of this is evident in watching the show; Dr. House has Holmes' uncanny ability to put together the pieces of a puzzle to diagnose what others overlook, but the idea that this show is a knockoff of anything is not the point anyway. It's original in its approach, and particularly in the character of House himself.
Hugh Laurie is a classic English actor, one who got his start in comedy and once dated Emma Thompson. He can play a little music and sometime does so on House. He has a beautiful deep, dark voice, and a scowly, sexy face. I look forward to seeing him in more things, even speaking in his native tongue.
I spent a little time on this blog trying to sell the offbeat series Six Degrees, which was pulled off the air around Christmas. Apparently my efforts worked because it's back on ABC on Friday nights. Based on the same premise as the play Six Degrees of Separation, that is that our lives are so entwined that we are only six people away from knowing everybody in the world. Something like that.
In the TV series Six Degrees, each episode follows the lives of a certain six people in New York, some of whom know each other and some don't, in parallel situations over a given period of time. It features Campbell Scott as a recovering alcoholic photographer, being as sensitive and sexy as I've ever seen him. The show is interesting; I like its New York locales and its realistic dialogue. But my main reason for watching it is my man Campbell, son of George C. Scott and Colleen Dewhurst and a solid actor on his own. And here he gets to show his romantic side. When first pulled, the show was criticized (at least by the Mobile Press Register critic) for being difficult to follow. I find it no more difficult to follow than House. They both require a certain amount of concentration and patience, but that's the reason they work.
That, and they both contain a little eye candy for us old babes who can still dream of a geezer hunk. Or at least watch one on TV.