A great season. although for a while during it this is not apparent. Doubts are dispelled in two excellent final episodes, revelations explaining much that puzzled and disappointed earlier.
Throughout there has been a man on the edge. The brilliant two-part opener shows "House" at its very best: the doctor, teetering on a breakdown, confined to a sanitarium. Almost "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" at times, this proves very moving indeed. House emerges seemingly less self-centred, at long last recognizing others have feelings too.
Unfortunately he soon appears his old self - arrogantly riding roughshod over all. It takes time for us to realize this is a smokescreen, he still greatly in need of therapy. Wilson is thus not the doormat he seems, but painstakingly (at some personal cost) ensuring House is never on his own - otherwise there could well be further drug abuse and a life again in freefall.
The show's producers take pains to remind us the hospital does not revolve around House (as we might have been forgiven for thinking). Two of the most successful episodes have him confined to the periphery - the focus instead first on Wilson, then Cuddy. We thus appreciate there is far more to their working lives than House being a nuisance.
Such realization comes to House himself in the lockdown episode (which Hugh Laurie directed). For so long the doctor has flamboyantly rejected nineteen in every twenty of the serious cases referred to him. Now he is confined with one of those rejects. The man is dying, House to experience increasing remorse.
By the season's end he is confessing to Cuddy he is "the most screwed up person in the world".
Full marks to all for being so intent on evolving. Strengths remain self-evident: Hugh Laurie terrific, the scripts fine, the cast excellent, many more of those bizarre medical cases that puzzle so much. Despite all the angst, the show remains very funny. (Note episode 4's inspired mime after House promises not to say another word.)
22 episodes. Interesting extras (especially about the sanitarium sequences).
Season 6 offers much to applaud and to think about.
on 29 September 2010
I've just bought the Blu-Ray series of this having watched the series on TV.
This series explores a different side to the inimitable Dr House. I'm sure you are already familiar with him if you're looking at Season 6, so I'll be brief and only say that we now see him attempting to confront his drug addiction and its aftermath.
As an ambiance, this gives season 6 a lot more depth in character development than previously, and something which may feel odd is that the medical cases actually take a back-seat in some of the episodes which has rarely happened up until now. Having said that, I did not find this jarring as I've been totally sucked into the love-hate relationship most viewers have with House. He's still rude and obnoxious to most people but his relationship with Wilson gives him an element of humanity we just can't let go of - in this vein, season 6 is a lighter and brighter affair than the crushingly dark (but still brilliant) Season 5, more akin to the earlier series. Something many fans will love is that the original team are reunited for a big part of this series playing far more pivotal roles than in the last few seasons, and the private detective Lucas returns as a semi-regular character - in a very surprising way!
From the opening episodes, 'Broken', to the suspense packed finale, 'Help Me', I was hooked and couldn't wait to watch the next. New characters like the manic Alvie, and level-headed Dr. Nolan crop up too, and worm their way silently into your heart in unusual ways - something only House is this good at as in any other show, the balance wouldn't work and they'd just be irritating distractions. This series is a must.
You get a lot of extras on the Blu-Rays which were great, including a behind the scenes with Hugh Laurie which was especially interesting and commentaries on important episodes.
If you own an iPhone or smart phone, there is also a great feature called 'pocket BLU'. This enables you to use your wifi phone as a remote for internet connected Blu-Ray players, and you can scan episodes and scenes on your device, rather than through the player menus which are far less visual or intuitive. This little add-on is fantastic and was worth the extra few pounds on its own in my opinion. Why all Blu-Rays aren't using this beats me as it's very useful indeed.
In addition to this, you get the usual deleted scenes, trailers and other bumpf, but for me, pocket BLU and the HD quality made this a very worth while purchase.
on 29 September 2010
This is the first season of house to be released on blu ray. Im not reviewing much here other than picture quality. Its... great. I mean, of course its great, 1080 always looks great.
Does it blow me away like the clarity and visual impact of say Lost or movies like I am Legend... no. But how can it? Its a medical drama, arguably one of the best ever medical dramas but still only what it is.
The point is, House is about compelling characters, engaging plots and believable, empathic characters. It achieves all of these flawlessly, and so should be savoured.
I own series 1-5 on DVD- and the picture quality has always been great. Better than most dvd's I have, house has always been a very clear picture. However, that little edge that blu ray gives it, the few extra veins in Hugh's head, the beautiful colour in all the scenes and the occasional stunning visual all deserve to be presented in the best way possible, the show is worth it.
Is the pic on Blu better? Yes. Does it improve enjoyment? marginally, but yes. Is it worth it? its like £6 more. Dont be cheap. Is it mind blowing- as a show, yes, as a visual, its beautiful and definately better than dvd, but its not going to win any awards.
on 21 August 2011
After the epic finale of Season 5, where House finally hits rock bottom and commits himself, I really wasn't sure where Season 6 could go. The fifth year had a promising start, a reasonably enjoyable middle and a jaw dropping ending. However, the middle always makes me think of an otherwise uneventful Season 3. I rarely return to that Season.
Although I enjoyed Season 6 up to a point on the TV I actually ended up putting off buying this season for an entire year on Blu-Ray simply because, side from the finale, it didn't live up to Season 4 (still my favourite).
However, I recently purchased this Blu-Ray and have been additively (pun intended) chomping through each episode on a nightly basis.
My conclusion is that House is not really a TV series. It is impossible to get the full force of the stories and sub-plots when you have to wait an entire week for the next chapter. On DVD/Blu-Ray you can get your fill and sink into the world and relish the detailed sub-plots.
Season 6 has some amazing moments; notably the feature-length season opener 'Broken' in which House is a patient himself for several months. 'Epic Fail' is an impressive difficult-second-album (how would YOU follow 'Broken'?) and 'The Tyrant' shows that this season will pull no punches and gives Chase his most powerful story line to date.
The season finale 'Help Me' is brilliant and the build up to this episode in terms of character's back stories is brilliantly handled. Every character has their moment to shine and after Season 5, we are reminded just why these characters are in the first place.
My personal forgotten episodes that are worthy of mention (but ignored the first time round) are:
'Teamwork' in which Chase faces his worst-case scenario, 'Remorse' where the team come face-to-face with an actual psychopath, 'Wilson' and '5 to 9' both cover a day-in-the-life (almost) of Wilson and Cuddy respectively which have more appeal when viewed back-to-back with medical mystery episodes. 'Private Lives' which holds some of the season's more amusing moments including a speed dating sequence. Finally, Hugh Laurie's directorial début, 'Lockdown' is by far the season's finest hour (bar the opening and closing episodes).
All in all this season is the best we have seen for a while and it would be difficult to find fault with any episode.
I have never seen House look so good. The detail is crisp, sharp and the contrast is spot on. For anyone looking for hours and HOURS of near perfect quality to show off your new full HD TV, then you cannot go wrong with this. 'Broken' (which is like a movie anyway) look spectacular, but scenes from 'Moving The Chains' and 'Black Hole' were very impressive on my TV.
It was the audio that prompted me to write this review in the first place. If you have a Blu-Ray player but are not sure whether or not to spend the extra on the BD version of this season - think again! The 5.1 mix on the previous DVDs has always been OK, but the DTS 5.1 mix on this Blu-Ray is awesome! Music segments fill the room, background noise really is background noise. I cannot tell you how crisp and clear you can hear monitor beeps and corridor noise behind you! It is a great use of the 5.1 mix I have ever known for a TV series.
I realise that I am probably not saying anything new about this box set than previous review, or as coherently, but I wanted to add my feelings on viewing the Blu-Ray edition as it really does the show and this season justice.
I highly recommend it on both a technical level and for being such an incredibly great season.
I certainly am not going to wait a year to purchase Season 7!
on 13 October 2010
Not a review as such, I just wanted to point out for fellow hearing impaired viewers that finally we have (English) SUBTITLES! It really sucks that none of the previous seasons on dvd had them.
on 14 February 2011
The excellent finale to Season 5 is followed up here with a quite brilliant 2-part season opener, after which I was raving to my friends about how incredible it is that House could still be this good despite being into its sixth season.
Sadly, after that it all goes a bit wrong. There is a major mid-seaon slump here, with a run of average-at-best episodes which are the definition of the word 'filler'. The episode '5 to 9', focussing exclusively on Cuddy, is possibly my least favourite episode to date - basically an episode of House with hardly any House in it.
In the end, it is left to Hugh Laurie (as always) to save the day, this time by making his directorial debut on 'Lockdown', which finally brings a run of pretty poor episodes to an end, and from then on the final few episodes are of a reasonably high standard. Unfortunately the writers were not able to muster an ending to match the incredible season 5 finale, and it ends worryingly with Cuddy and House getting together - how many shows have gone off the rails once a will-they-won't-they relationship comes to fruition? I find that for the first time, I am not that excited to see the next season, largely because I am not very interested to see the Cuddy/House relationship played out. Personally, I thought the will-they-won't-they ended with a perfect 'they definitely won't' at the end of Season 5 and am a bit disappointed that it has been resurrected. Now there are two options: either it will work out between them, which I think will be pretty dull, or it won't - which I think could be interesting if, for example, it results in Cuddy leaving and a new Dean of Medicine being appointed. I think if they split up and then carry on as before it will be too unfeasible. Sadly, I am not sure that the writers really have the courage to make such a major change. On a similar note, I think the writers have a decision to make regarding Foreman: either develop his character and give him some decent storylines (but please not getting back with Thirteen!) or get rid of him. I think Omar Epps is a really strong actor but his character just seems to be hanging around doing nothing.
One glimmer of light was an incipient storyline involving Thirteen which is intriguing, and I look forward to seeing where that goes more than I do to seeing House and Cuddy playing at happy families.
So, to sum up: there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that House can get back to top form if the writers/producers are prepared to make some genuinely bold moves - I am just not sure that they will, and my gut tells me that this Season is the beginning of the end for House. I hope very much that I am wrong!
on 23 March 2011
House features Hugh Laurie as brilliantly cantankerous diagnostician Dr Gregory House, a man who doesn't like patients, refuses to believe anything they say, and routinely chooses the radical option for treatment. A typical episode sees House and his team treat a patient with inexplicable or contradictory symptoms, while House taunts or torments his team for his own amusement. Perhaps surprisingly, this formula makes for entertaining and compelling television.
Season 5 ended with House checking himself into a psychiatric clinic, having realised his addiction had spiralled out of control. The opening of this season deals extensively with this, as House jousts with his physician, trying to bluff and trick him into certifying him as ready to return to medicine. Eventually House has to face up to his inner demons, producing a compelling start to the season.
Meanwhile, Foreman is left is charge, which shakes the team up nicely. The season deals with, amongst other things: the dilemma of treating a notorious dictator; the problems of Chase and Cameron; House moving in with Wilson, which causes the obvious level of chaos, particularly after Wilson gets an amusing new relationship; and, of course, the ongoing saga of House and Cuddy.
A particular favourite is an episode featuring a highly intelligent physicist who has dropped out from his career to work a low end job and be happy with his wife. Like all the best episodes, his medical issues aren't as interesting as the slow unravelling of his life. An episode from Cuddy's point of view also works extremely well.
This season features some real dark moments, strong character work, and powerful changes. Most of all, there's some real variety in episodes, which has been a problem with some seasons. This season restored my faith in House as a series, and leaves it well placed for an excellent sixth season.
on 25 February 2011
I was quite unsure how a new nicer and more stable House could possibly be as entertaining as the old nasty House, but this show continues to go from strength to strength with another brilliant and unputdownable season. Highly recommended for all fans! Although the medical puzzles in each episode are individual, the main characters and themes continue throughout so I would definitely suggest watching the series from the beginning rather than starting with season 6.
on 3 September 2010
You'd think by Series 6, a drama where episodes are built around what is basically the same premise, would be getting tired, but with House, not so! They still managed to come up with some fascianting plots but this time round with even more humour and vulnerability from the phenomenal Gregory House, whom Hugh Laurie plays with aplomb.
The relationship between Wilson and House just gets better and better. They make a phenomenal double act and have by far the best chemistry on the show. The rest of the cast are also superb.
The season finale is a brilliant episode, leading the way for a slightly new direction for the team at Princeton Plainsboro'. I know they are currently filming Season 7 and cannot wait for what comes next!
If you have not had the pleasure of House at all before, go back and start at Season 1. You have a mighty fine drama ahead of you and I'm envious :)
House the man is brilliant, flawed and compelling. House the series is brilliant, flawed and compelling too, an abstract ramble through the lexicon of diagnostic medicine at the hands of a misanthropic genius and his team of assorted token medics (one black, one Aussie, one short and Jewish, one with Huntingdon's chorea etc.), all of whom are there largely to be abused and humiliated while doing all the graft while House plays games, literal and metaphorical. Between them they rattle through medical jargon at a rate of knots that would be unfathomable to 99% of its audience, yet the fascination level never wanes. That is some feat!
Yet, there is a conscience behind the unemployable heart of House. To begin with, he sections himself to do cold turkey and finally come off Vicodin, thus proving that the bizarre and offensive behaviour is all House the person and not drug-related, and in the conclusion to the series in which the life of a patient in an accident is in the balance and House's true feelings for Cuddy come under scrutiny. Yet another splendid series, going from strength to strength and proving once again that there is simply no substitute for quality of scripts, plots and tip-top acting. Unputdownable!