Posted by: oatmealbear | September 21, 2009

House: Season Six Preview

I don’t know about you, but there really hasn’t been anything to watch on television for quite some time. Coupled with the fact that the NBA is in offseason hibernation, my TV rarely sees use except for the occasional movie or game. Well, rejoice fellow haters of the dreck that passes for primetime programming! House is making a return today with the start of its sixth season.

Warning: minor spoilers ahead.

Season five ended with the venerable Gregory House being committed to a mental institution after realizing that many of his memories were in fact hallucinations. (Yes, that narrative device). Season six picks right up from there, as we get a glimpse of House’s daily routine in the asylum. There’s a slightly more serious tone here, as compared to the previous seasons, although the writers find plenty of choice moments for House to brandish his unique and darkly humorous take on the human condition. In keeping with the spirit of departure, the premiere is also two hours long, which allows for more character development and a more natural progression.

Sidekicks arise in the form of House’s quirky fellow patients (inmates?), but the most striking relationship is probably between House and the head of the asylum, Dr. Nolan. Initially a marked target for ridicule and verbal abuse, Nolan gradually forms a grudging bond with House. Moreover, he seems to convince House that personal change is not only beneficial but rather essential. Perhaps House has finally reached a point where he sees the depths of the abyss, however temporary that might be. There are many reflective moments here, and the lengthier format lends itself to introspection. There’s also a romantic dalliance between House and the relative of another patient, but as Nolan alludes, it’s really more a means to an end. The rest of the cast from Princeton-Plainsboro is relegated to the sidelines here. The focus is set squarely on House, but I would imagine that future episodes will return to the more “traditional” narrative format.

House airs at 8-10:01 PM PST tonight. Yes, there’s an extra minute; so set your DVR accordingly.

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