Friday, 10 December 2010

The essense of storytelling: TV show edition

Characters are popping off the screen and traipsing around your imagination, the colorful flicker washing over your living room and you’re as happy as a Paparazzi at a celebrity liposuction clinic. Why? Your favorite TV show’s marathon day is upon you. Whether it’s by network schedule or your own all-day relaxalatory tubular festival via DVD, Netflix, or Torrent, it’s one fine day.

One Fine Day, that was a good movie. George Clooney charming his way through a stress-addicted Michelle Pfeiffer’s File-a-Fax of doom. But even that can’t compare to 24 hours of Sports Night, 30 Rock, House, Family Guy or whatever strikes your fancy. Scrubs, ER, or Grey’s Anatomy your thing? Daria, Seinfeld, Charmed? The only thing stopping you is your ass not being a chair, beanbag, or bed. Whether with friends or in solitude, it’s a timeline you can follow. People getting into adventures right before your eyes, and life-lessons to be learned topped with your favorite poisons: insight, humor, or nonsense.

House has been playing in the background the whole day as I pound away on projects. Every time Hugh Laurie’s scruffy visage comes on screen, I have to marvel at what a truly interesting character he plays, how this show above most others, explores the dark side of human interaction, yet there is balance. What an incredible character. As a doctor, House is pure hero: his number one goal is to save the patient through whatever impossibilities pose to block him along the way. As a person, House is villain most of the time; selfish and bruising, always looking to harden those around him through the harsh belief that all people are deeply flawed narcissists just like him, no matter how they pretend otherwise. Yet, his wit and ever-fresh plots he cooks up for his own amusement hybridize his character into an anti-hero. At the end of the day, he tries to help his patients, even if others get caught in the emotional crossfire. Sadly, there are only a few episodes, mostly the amazing psych-admittance ones that show him trying to connect the humanity that makes him a great doctor to his outward interactions with those who respect him enough to keep getting burned.

The complexity of his character, his anti-hero-ness, the change in his medical realizations over the course of an episode… these draw me back to the next episode. What shows comfort you just by the sound of an actor’s voice? Even if that voice telling you your diagnosis is wrong and you should be fired for it.


  1. One Fine Day was a pretty dang good movie... but nothing beats House. Love it Dubs!


  2. Agreed. Hope Hugh Laurie wins the Emmy for best actor.