Friday, February 22, 2013

Why Some TV is Good For You: House, MD

All the stuff I feel like we should all be talking about, thinking about...or at least wondering about: it all gets covered, and profoundly.  From what I hear people say, it seems a lot of people just don't get it.  They see the surface: a grouchy, mean smartypants doctor who pops vicodin.

Holy, it is so much more.  That is merely the thinnest rice-paper wrapping of everything that matters to humans and why we're alive. Call me ridiculous; I speak the truth. This show is (was) the sickness. Ha. (get it?)
Of course I sound like a teenybopper because of my beyond-enthusiastic level. Why it is so good and why I declare this even though I'm self-conscious enough to know I most likely will be dismissed as one of many idiots (homage) raving about some show like Glee.  (It doesn't really matter, I guess, but I don't want to be put in that category.  I don't watch Glee. And I'm not talking about for-enjoyment types of shows/movies/books right now.  Distraction is a different thing.)

I must explain why House is really really just important and good and proof of what many excellent minds working together can produce.  Like, how the composite of a bunch of smart people--collective mind? communal mind?-- can sometimes produce something near mystical, or at least really awesome.  For physical examples, let's say the Great Wall, the Empire State Building, the mystery of the Pyramids.  I'm just speaking of those "things" that are accomplished by many, that cannot be done by one [wo]man.  We just don't get enough circumstances or opportunities or nights in college to really explore what's really important.  I rationalize that I re-watch episodes multiple times because it's what I crave thinking about, presented to me so beautifully, compactly, avec Hugh Laurie (and Chase--who really does play the violin in real life, you can see it [again, for real] in the "Swan Song" final show--why the f*** would really really pretty people learn the violin?? another discussion)---it's a ~43 minute chunk of your life to think about human beings, what is important to us, what we hide from others and from ourselves, what we truly think about death. And in the most witty, intelligent, of-the-world (but not cold) entertainment form. It's more spiritual and thoughtful than Deepak but cleverly addresses the Things with a bright, questioning approach---its layers seem to speak directly to the people who are sincere in their desire to understand and make their lives somehow meaningful and true, but without running to a monastery (which is an option often discussed) to do it.

When I was a few years into my job (just out of school and in the non-changing existence of having a good job that is supposed to be the fulfillment of all your life's striving so far--no big thing) I watched and re-watched the first few seasons of House compulsively.  I was so so miserable and lonely and stuck and was supposed to be lucky and happy and thriving.  It was the worst time, but I couldn't complain and unfortunately my habit became shutting down and not talking for days.  (This is a terrible confession, but most people I know..well, they define me as a flake.  I feel so bad about this.  But I couldn't do anything about it. It was a stuckness I can't even talk about.)  Anyway, the things/people I could identify with were few and it was easier to just identify with created characters.  (At the time.  I'm still sort of a shut-in, but can fool people by acting very social too.  It's confusing to me.  When I took Myers-Briggs, I was exactly half extrovert and half introvert.  I took it twice because I thought the result made me seem wishywashy.  I am still having identity-type problems. It's not luxurious at my age; I thought thinking about it was indulgent for yeeeears, but it's not, I assure you. Perhaps it comes easily to most people? To me, it is difficult to get the gist of myself.)
I am not going to go into that further; it causes me to feel terrible and let's say we'll bury the Dead Past (Wodehouse).  Incidentally, the other thing I watched until the dvds were destroyed was Jeeves and Wooster (Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry version)---but that was just enjoyment.

House, I watched, to survive.  This is not hyperbole.  One night I crafted a letter to the producers of the show thanking them for making this miracle show that allowed me to address all the scary (SCARY) aspects and layers of being alive in a sincere-to-yourself way---and making the case for living and not being careless with your life (believe me, I understand and still have problems with recklessness, and I apologize those that were affected by this--when you're depressed sometimes it's hard to care about yourself and you put yourself in potentially dangerous situations....Another discussion.) That draft of a letter was just middle-of-the-night silliness, I thought, and was embarrassed (why? who cares?) but now I think these moments of doing something you feel strongly motivated to do should be done without worrying so much about everyone/everything--I mean, it doesn't matter to those it doesn't matter to, and they can write me off, but maybe it will matter to a few people it will matter to, and that's good enough--or at least, a pretty good thing.
I will stop, even though I just said all that stuff, because I might stray into future-regret material.  People (me) are hypocrites.  Rationale is: it's hard to really do what you want/ think is good/ share what you feel --without worrying about those other people or pesky future me's (they are the worst) who will judge and ridicule.  Here's another I will regret tomorrow:
I think "twee" is the funniest word....


I ate some barely stir-fried vegetables and watched a scary movie (bad for digestion) since I wrote the above.
"Twee"--that had nothing to do with anything, sorry.  The word that House likes is "PITHY." House says it about every 10 episodes...

Maybe it's not good to have the world of the House character be the world you like to hang out in.  I have to admit I was born on the saddish side.  My grandma said I had a sad face.  Because my mom made me practice too much.

I keep hoping I'm snapping out of it. Apparently, I'm "languishing"---but that's way too romantic to describe it.  I'm in pain pretty much all the time.  I guess you can see how I can identify.  (with House).
So, identifying so well with a miserable person who somehow helps people reconcile with death...makes you maybe feel less lonely? But then, it's so comforting to be alone sometimes--or just not talking is safer, or easier, or less likely to cause me emotional-type pain, which you often can't see coming, because I can't handle emotional pain on top of physical pain.  Isolation is more like Insulation, at least for me.  I hope you understand.  I truly care about most all of my friends on FB, honestly and sincerely, I just can't reach out and apologize and explain (talk about it all) to everyone, or even a certain few individuals I almost CRAVE, wish to see...very very badly...because I miss them so much.  My shoulder hurts and it's caused me to be such an unbearable flake.  I can't talk about it ! (do you see the problem?  if you do, what do I do?)


  1. I loved: "to me, it is difficult to get the gist of myself." !!!

  2. Wow. This is the post I've been waiting for. Somehow I find all this admission/confession stuff very candid and optimistic. Is that just me? I can't relate to your pain (emotional or physical), but I think you did a good job of explaining it here in a way that allows me to understand you better. I don't have any advice but I don't think you're a flake. And some day when you are back this way, I want to have coffee. For reals.

  3. Thank you guys. Ann, you are so reassuring! and made me realize that was maybe what i was fishing for---i just free myself by saying "no one reads this so i'll just write!". But you are my target audience ("Dear Ann Price"). your kids are so cute my eyes well up and i want to eat grilled cheese....

  4. I've re-read this now a handful of times. I'm more and more struck by your adeptness at describing something so contrary to my own emotional make up. I don't think our lives could be more different and yet I get what you are saying so completely. I'm happy to be your audience. Just keep writing!

  5. Risa, this is my first time commenting. I love you. =)

  6. KOO! salley, you sneak. love you too. wish we could go get some dolsot.

  7. let me know and i'll be there.