Tuesday, September 25, 2007

HOUSE Returns Tonight!

When everyone’s favorite TV doctor, Gregory House, took a wrecking ball to his medical team at the end of last season, it was more than a simple season-ending cliffhanger ploy. When House returns for its fourth season tonight (Sept. 25, 9 p.m. ET, FOX), there will be no “it was just a dream” sequence that quickly explains it all away. The "House" cleaning was legit. Dr. Eric Foreman, who quit; Dr. Robert Chase, who was fired; and Dr. Allison Cameron, who quit, are all gone. Viewers will find Dr. House alone, stubbornly refusing to assemble a new team and, not surprisingly, pretending he didn’t really need a team in the first place.

Fear not. The three actors who play Foreman, Chase and Cameron are still on the payroll, which means they’re definitely still in the House. And fans who keep their eyes on Internet chatter already know that a new batch of actors, including Kal Penn of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and Olivia Wilde of The O.C., are coming on to portray the doctors vying for spots on House’s new team.

The simple fact that the show is getting a fresh start is a positive step. As popular as the show has been so far, it could fall into a fairly repetitive cycle. Foreman, Chase and Cameron have learned from House and that was what they were suppose to do and now it is time to shake things up. Viewers shouldn't fear the large cast. It’s all the rage these days. Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Heroes and other hits sport ensembles featuring no fewer than 10 characters viewers are expected to care about, and it will be nice to have some new faces to follow on “House.”

In true House fashion, the doctor begins the competition for the three open positions by assigning 30 candidates numbered marathon-runner bibs so that he doesn’t have to bother learning their names. What the new faces are willing to do for a spot on the team, and what House is seeking, opens more windows into the way TV’s most enigmatic medical mind works. That’s nothing but pure joy for fans.

For all the changes and all the fear that comes with them, this is still House. Hugh Laurie will continue to be as brilliant as ever in the title role. It’s no sign of disrespect toward Laurie or House to suggest the character needs a strong supporting cast to utilize his full potential. Fans know that House is at his best when he’s riffing on others. He knows it, too, which is why, in the season premiere, he goes so far as to call upon a hospital janitor to assist him in solving his first case on his own. House is still the man, and the characters around him — new or old — simply act as tools for his and the viewers’ amusement. So get ready fellow viewers of one of the greatest shows ever. Tonight we get new House!

Source: www.msnbc.msn.com

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