I began watching House in the fall of 2008. Though I had heard of the show before, it wasn’t until I found myself 6000 miles away from home & starting university in a foreign country that I took the time to discover what all the hype was about. Being alone in a strange place, I turned my sights on the familiarity of things from home: peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, my tatty but much-beloved favorite novel ‘Jane Eyre’, and even a TV show I had heard so much about, but never taken the time to watch. Starting university was difficult for me, and while everyone else rushed out the pubs on Friday nights, I settled in to seek comfort from House, M.D.
It was love at first sight. The intriguing medical mysteries, Hugh Laurie’s captivating blue eyes, the compelling subtext in the writing – all of them drew me into the dramatic world of Princeton Plainsboro, and House’s search for truth and meaning. The show’s wit, verbal sparring, and depth of characters made House and his environs every bit as real to me as the world I was currently inhabiting, and it really felt like when at the end of the day I would catch up on old episodes, I was watching people that I actually knew.
Part of the allure of the show was the way it made me think about people and situations differently. Although House is usually caustic and sarcastic, many of his lines are absolute gems that have stayed with me ever since hearing them. In Season 2, Episode 14, House says, ‘If you are not willing to look stupid, nothing great is ever going to happen to you’. Scared and literally shaking my boots, this became my mantra as I walked through the doors to my first big-girl job, and helped me push past my anxiety to succeed in a position I could have only dreamed of months earlier. Similarly, whenever I find myself in a rut or rooted by fear (even of something as small as having to kill a spider!) I recite House’s comment to Eve in the acclaimed episode ‘One Day One Room’: ‘Doing things changes things. Not doing things leaves things exactly as they were.’ It’s only a small line from a TV show, but somehow just quoting it brings comfort and has often helped push me into action.
As my university career comes to an end at the same as this brilliant show, I am reminded of many things that I have loved and will miss. I know that I have exciting things ahead of me, and a part of me is frightened at the prospect of going forth into the big scary world without the proverbial comfort blanket of new House episodes. Although I feel that I am losing someone that I love and have come to know intimately, I know that I will always have the memory of these beguiling episodes to look back on, and my countless DVDs to watch over and over until they are worn out! As Amber said at the end of Season 4, ‘Everybody dies’, and though the time has come to say goodbye to my favorite doctor, I know that I’ll always have beautiful memories of House, and the world will have a brilliant piece of art that is now complete.
- Alanna (California/Scotland)