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» Monday, May 21, 2012A House No Longer at Home
My mom never had cable. There was a good selection of stations between those from Providence and those from Boston, and she enjoyed a bunch of network shows like NCIS, CSI, etc. So when we visited her for Thanksgiving in 2004, we had to watch what was on as opposed to something on the History Channel, or HGTV, or Animal Planet.
So probably if we hadn't been on vacation at her home we might not have tried out the new show that had premiered on Fox the previous week, the story of a grumpy and acerbic doctor who, nevertheless, was a superb diagnostician. The series starred Hugh Laurie, who I mostly knew as a British comic actor who was partnered with Stephen Fry, especially in the series Jeeves and Wooster. Surprisingly, he did a brilliant American accent and played an infuriating, but complex and interesting character. When we came home, back with the lures of cable, we continued watching House.
And now it's eight years later and it's over. It was a wistful leavetaking, a case of laughing and crying at the same time, and, since the original episode that I saw is tied in my mind with my mother's last year of life, some of the tears were not just for the ending of a television program.
Oh, I have to admit, there were many times when I was frustrated with the stories on House, or the story decisions—I found the whole Detective Tritter business especially painful—and there were other times I liked what frustrated others—I liked the whole fourth season "vote 'em off the island" plotline and I liked Charlene Yi's character, thank you very much—but now that the ride is over I find that it's one that I will miss very much. Tonight's episode, proceeded by a fun retrospective done in quirky style, reminded me a little of the series finale of Monk, all the pieces fitting together in what was, in the end, a very logical manner. But then, as a reader of Sherlock Holmes, which served as an inspiration for House, I should have guessed the ending. Laurie even made a point of mentioning Holmes in the retrospective!
How funny that the second series finale of Sherlock, with the same essential plot point based on a key incident in the life of the literary Sherlock Holmes, aired last night on Masterpiece Mystery! Amusing indeed!
Thank you to the cast and crew of a unique television series.