Today on Tommy T’s Random Ruminations – “In da HOUSE” edition

I know our beloved Athenae did TV reviews (mostly “Game Of Thrones” and “Battlestar Gallactica”), so please allow me just this one.

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Ok – for starters, I’m a “House, M.D.” addict, even though I started watching it after the series finished.

In spite of the wonderful script-writing, and even better performances from Hugh Laurie, et. al, there was one thing that drove me nuts – the protagonists.

The network executives insisted on a protagonist to battle House, because they thought the procedural nature of the series wasn’t engaging enough. They were imbeciles.

The first one was the guy who bought his way into power (and no, big-time donors don’t start trying to run everything in the company they are contributing to), Edward Vogler. The network execs thought this was a good idea. David Shore and the writers thought it was a stupid idea.  The execs won.

Fox demanded a bad guy to be added to the show, a few months before House went on a Christmas hiatus.[2] Shore opposed Fox’s request, because he thought adding such a character would be a bad idea.[2] Although Shore thought he managed to convince the producers not to add the character, during his vacation in Israel, he was informed that Jeff Zucker, the head of the Universal studio, had threatened to cut the season short by six episodes unless the character was added

The “story arc” with Vogler lasted about five episodes. He was just a bully, and did nothing to advance the narrative.

Did the execs learn from that spectacular flop?  No.

They then introduced another antagonist, Detective Michael Tritter.

Tritter’s beef with House was that House had put a rectal thermometer in him after being told how to practice medicine (told by a cop to the most famous and highly-paid diagnostician in America), then walked off and left Tritter in the exam room with the thermometer sticking out of his rectum, and went home.

Tritter, in turn decided to follow House wherever he went, arrest him for his prescribed medication, search his house for Vicodin, threaten House’s medical team as if they were Mafia Capos, and threaten to have House’s medical license revoked and House sent to jail.

These are the actions of a Glenn Close-style revenge stalker, not a LEO.

In the show, Tritter was allowed to do these bullying tactics with no interference from anyone. Not Dean Cuddy, not Tritter’s Department bosses, not even House’s lawyer (who was only sightly less effective than a dead frog).

In reality – well, I’ll let  commenter “Dilux” set it out (including the Vogler character) :

My biggest problem with this arc was how hard it was to suspend my disbelief with the whole situation. There is no lawyer worth his salt that wouldn’t have taken Tritter and his precinct apart on account of the blatant harassment and intimidation tactics that were taking place during the course of his “investigation”, you cant just seize or freeze peripheral peoples assets willy nilly either. I kept rolling my eyes every time Tritter waved his magical police wand and did whatever he wanted to do, police work isn’t like that its a bureaucracy no one gets carte blanche, particularly when that nobody’s interests are built on a personal altercation.
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Vogler is a control freak. Rather than just make a regular donation, he wanted to oversee how the hospital will spend it. He then begins slowly taking over and trying to get House fired, first for being unprofessional and then because he humiliated him in public for revealing a new drug he was selling was a scam.
The creators of the show weren’t fond of Vogler due to the fact that the executives of Fox demanded an antagonist to go against Dr. House. They were able to get rid of him though when the show went through some ratings clout.

There you go. You go after a DOCTOR – with a Doctor’s money and resources?

You’d not only get sued for harassment by a team of lawyers that only a Doctor could afford, you’d get fired for it, and end up lucky to get a job bagging groceries in a Piggly Wiggly.

You’d also have every one from the ASU to the BJA on your ass like murder hornets.

But never mind that. The issue is that network execs thought that House needed antagonists.

He already had two of them.

His disease of the week – and himself.

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2 thoughts on “Today on Tommy T’s Random Ruminations – “In da HOUSE” edition

  1. Mitchell Nussbaum says:

    The bright side of Tritter’s Javert-like persecution of House was that it sent House to Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital, where he intereacted with Andre Braugher and Lin-Manual Miranda. I think those were some of the best episodes in the series.

  2. Tommy T says:

    Javert was an unstoppable force of “law”. Tritter was just a bully out for revenge. I only wish Tritter had the Javertness to give up his badge, and I just wish the Judge had given him a little “I don’t know what the hell you’re doing, but it had better stop now, or I’ll be having a word or two with your Captain.” And yes, Lin-Manuel was a delight as House’s roommate.

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