Even though I’ve known that House was ending this year since they put up the announcement, the actual thought of the show ending didn't really hit me until I saw all these postings on twitter by the actors that they were done filming. And then I entered crisis-mode. The show ending began to be the only thing I could think about. And not just think about, but just sit there being inordinately upset about it and spending all my time on the internet trying to surround myself with House related things (youtube videos, twitter accounts, news articles, interviews…) to convince myself that the show wasn't ending and that even if it was…House would still be there and everything would be okay.
Then I started to wonder why it means so much to me, why it affects me so much that this show is ending. I mean, I only discovered the show August of last year and became obsessed and caught up with the current season within a very short period of time. In general, I am a person who hates change. Most of the time, I absolutely despise it and hate it like nothing else (which is terrible, since, as people keep telling me and I keep discovering – life is full of changes and making adjustments – but I am just not a person who likes to readjust to something when I was perfectly content with what I had before).As House himself said: It's one of the great tragedies of life — something always changes.
But why is it that this particular change affects me so much? Finding pictures of the set of House being dismantled was seriously like a huge slap of reality. The world of House, the home of House, was literally being torn down, dismantled, destroyed. It would no longer physically exist-granted it existed n a studio in LA and was not really a hospital in New Jersey - but the place,the setting, the home of so many amazing adventures, experiences, times of laughter and sadness that I (and many other viewers) shared with the amazing characters on this show would no longer exist – and realizing that was one of the hardest things for me. Not only would there no longer be a place, a world where an amazing character like Gregory House (and James Wilson, and the world of Princeton-Plainsboro in general) exists – but there would no longer be a place where House is filmed and his story continues. I would no longer be able to think to myself, when lost in thought, about how even though things may be hard at this very moment, Hugh Laurie and the rest of the cast and crew are probably hard at work filming something amazing for the show right now that I would be able to watch later.
I’m not going to say anything new here about why House is so special because everyone who loves the show knows. But for me, particularly, being someone who’s quiet and shy and often (I hate to say this) a people pleaser – discovering a character like Gregory House (and James Wilson) was…just beyond amazing. There were literally times when I was watching this show and I was completely horrified, amazed and at the same time admiring of House – he says whatever he thinks, whenever he thinks it, whether it be good or bad or a huge insult, even when he’s on thin ice with someone (for example – the episode in Season 5 where Wilson took House to his father’s funeral).
I, in a way, fell in love with almost every character on the show – I was heartbroken when House’s original team disbanded at the end of season 3 and was convinced that I wouldn't love the new team as much. But House proved me wrong – season 4 and all the characters in those episodes were particularly moving for me. I cried (and still cry) when I see House’s Head/Wilson’s Heart. I never thought I’d like Amber (she tried to steal Wilson from House!) but those amazing episodes just blew my mind and completely overturned my (and I’m sure almost all others’) opinion of Amber. I cried even more when Kutner died in Season 5, even though I had that plotline spoiled for me beforehand. I was completely heartbroken when Cameron finally spoke her mind to House in season 6, told him she had loved him and left House, Chase and Princeton-Plainsboro for good (except for her brief return in Lockdown). I loved these characters and I loved thinking that they existed somewhere out there, as delusional as that may sound.
There is a song that is played at the end of Wilson’s Heart when Amber is dying and House is about to get off the bus. Every time I hear that song (Passing Afternoon, by Iron and Wine) it makes me want to cry (or nowadays it just makes me start crying). Listening to it makes me realize exactly why it is that I’m sad that house is ending.
There are times that walk from you like some passing afternoon (first line)
There are things that drift away like our endless numbered days (later line)
For Wilson, his relationship with Amber was something he was happy with, something that I’m sure both he and Amber expected would last quite a while since they were both (relatively) young. And all of a sudden Amber is dying – Wilson’s time with Amber has suddenly come to its last few moments, its last few seconds and out of nowhere, it’s all about to end, it’s all about to drift away from him, as if it never happened. He didn't even appreciate the time he had with her, because they both thought it was just the beginning. Wilson doesn’t want to let her go and then Amber says probably one of the most truthful and moving lines I have ever heard, always felt and from then on can never forget.
We’re always going to want just a little bit longer.
We are always going to want a little bit longer of someone (or something) we love. There will never be enough – it’ll be something we will never want to let go. This is exactly the way I (selfishly) feel about House. The whole amazing series, the amazing character of House, all the wonderful times I have had with the show late at night when I couldn't sleep seem to have just passed by me and I can’t accept the fact that the end is drawing near – that there will be no more. I want just a little bit longer. I don’t want to let go of this show, of its characters, of all the amazing things I have learned from it. I don’twant to be left alone in a world where House doesn’t exist.
A baby sleeps in all our bones, so scared to be alone (last line)
But I don’t want to end this on such a depressing note. There is a quote from an interview with Hugh Laurie that made me feel better about House ending and dare I say this – maybe even accept that the end is drawing near:
"The character is so inherently self-destructive to the point of being virtually suicidal, that a fictional character cannot sustain that suicidal tension indefinitely. You can't have a man on a window ledge threatening to jump forever. At some point, he's got to jump or get back into the building, because the crowd below — who are either urging him to jump or not jump — eventually will lose interest. And I think because the tension must dissipate eventually. And I certainly felt — and I think that was a general view — that we should fold up our tent and steal away into the night before the tension had lessened."
There are many things I (and many other fans) can say about this quote – we can dissect it, analyze it, idealize it or even completely disagree with it. But this quote at least did give me some sort of catharsis about the show ending. House, for a large majority of the show, has been standing on a ledge, just like he (literally) did in Out of the Chute. He lives his life in pain and the events in his life push him either one way or the other (his hallucinations at the end of Season 5 pushed him into rehab, his break- up with Cuddy pushed him back towards painkillers again, and so on). We, the fans, have been with House through it all and we love him no matter where on that ledge he is standing. House’s pain is essentially our pain.
Hugh Laurie may be wrong about the crowd eventually losing interest, but he is right in that House eventually has to make a decision. We may dread this decision, we may be heartbroken about it, but as fans that care about him and feel his pain – we have to accept it and we have to accept that it is time for him to make it, despite how painful it may be. We will always love House, no matter what happens and we will always remember what we learned from him and this amazing show.
- Anna Y. New York