House takes to the Sky : House Season 5 on Sky One

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Quirky medical drama “House” has been a minor hit since launching in 2003. Starring Hugh Laurie as rational, hard and self-centered Dr. Gregory House, this programme really gets you hooked. Week-to-week the stories vary only slightly – each episode presents a diagnostic challenge for the miserable but gifted House and his changing entourage of wannabes – but it is the endless personal interplays that are the key to the show’s addictive grip.

Hidden away until this season on Hallmark TV in the UK, Sky One has now scooped the latest series and, if anything, the heat has been turned up. Laurie’s character now has to contend with more complex personal dilemmas on the part of his colleagues, including the long-suffering Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard as Greg’s only real mate). House has 3 new recruits to intimidate and embarrass, with continuing appearances from his previous unfortunates (Jennifer Morrison, Jesse Spencer and Omar Epps). The regulars are accompanied by House’s nominal boss and the long-suffering butt (in SO many ways) of his disdain for wimmin’s lib, the charming but trapped Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein).

Laurie is a huge hit personally in the US as a result of the show, and deservedly so. He bolsters the superb scripts to flesh out the ultimate poster guy for political incorrectness, bringing his own real-life love (and aptitude) for music to the character. I suspect his appeal is as much about House being the clever but cutting red-necks’ thinking man, as it is about being hyper-intelligent and rational enough to cut through social mores. All this, whilst coping (badly) with his own afflictions.

The show is great fun- House’s nastiness has a real comical thread – and the weekly injections (forgive the pun) of genuine drama are well done without boring the viewer with medical droning. This ain’t ER, Greys Anatomy or Casualty. Yet another medical drama ? Sure, but catch an episode – I guarantee you will be back for a repeat prescription (ouch !).