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"House": I Dare Ya ...

By admin Published: June 6, 2007

Didn't get to the "House" season finale until the weekend ...

but I have to say I was mightily impressed by the (seeming) decision to jettison three of the series regulars. Now I dare them to stick to it.

For those of you tuning in late, the telecast left House without a team -- Foreman making good on his threat to leave, Chase fired, Cameron resigning. But it also made a point about House -- and, by extension, the television audience -- that change is inevitable and we should not fear it.

Although I liked those characters, the idea of putting "House" with a new team next season is an appealing one. So much of the show depends on House's interaction with other people, and we've seen just about every possible variation in his dealings with Foreman, Chase and Cameron. A new team would force House to operate in a different way (although he would probably start off as his usual bullying self), as well as allowing us to see how other people would deal with the irascible doc.

Still, while cast upheaval can continue a long run ("Law & Order," "Cheers"), it does pose a risk for a series, especially when you're getting rid of a likable character. In "House's" case, you could argue that they're dumping three likable people -- since just about anyone can seem pleasant when dealing with House.

I know, part of the show's appeal is that House is so nasty. But it still requires that such nastiness be balanced by people who know House's behavior is appalling -- not only his associates, but Wilson, Cuddy and the guest actors. And where the show has played with the idea of Foreman as a younger House -- and Foreman's departure is based on his rejection of that role -- how would viewers react to, say, a new, young doctor who is every bit as brilliant, abrasive and obnoxious as House himself? Especially if such a doctor could not be fired?

Could be fun, now that I think about it.

But we'll see soon enough if "House" is really going to clear the decks, or if it will just let the viewers think something dramatic has happened (a la Gibbs's seeming to leave "NCIS" a season ago) before settling back into the old groove.

I vote for a new groove.

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