Hypergraphia is a condition that causes people to transcribe their thoughts uncontrollably. I don't suffer from it in the clinical sense, but I may be borderline. My blog is the cyber-wall where I spray paint my thoughts for all to see. By the way, if you came here directly through blogger --if your page has no yellow frames and no pretty pic of me in the top left corner -- you may want to visit my main site at www.hypergraffiti.com, where you can read this blog and much much more.


I'm Trudy Morgan-Cole, a writer from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. My books include "The Violent Friendship of Esther Johnson," "Esther: A Story of Courage," and "Deborah and Barak." I'm also a married mom of two, a teacher in an adult-ed program, and a Christian of the Seventh-day Adventist kind. I blog about writing, reading, parenting, teaching, spirituality, and shiny things that catch my eye.

Friday, September 29, 2006

House, etc.

I watched the first two episodes of House, season 1 on DVD last night.

I don't normally watch medical shows. I remember my parents being really into St. Elsewhere back in the day, and I do recognize that a hospital is a great setting for a workplace drama, and the highs and lows of saving (or losing) lives make for great TV. There's just this little problem. I am a bit ... how you say? ... er, squeamish. Sissyfied. Apparently as a small child I cut myself and refused to look at the wound, screaming, "There is no blood!!!" This is still my preferred way of dealing with illness and injury.

A few years back, when ER was all the rage, I used to occasionally catch a bit of it when flipping around channels. Every time I clicked on to it -- without exception -- I was treated to a shot of someone's chest cavity opened and bared to my view. Well, maybe sometimes it was the abdominal cavity. Whatever. It wasn't what I needed to see before bed.

More recently, people whose taste I trust have highly recommended both House and Grey's Anatomy. But really, why go there? As long as West Wing was on I had all I needed of smart, beautiful people speaking great dialogue, wrestling with huge issues and also making me laugh. Best part? Nobody's chest cavity was ever opened.

But in the post-WW wasteland in which I now live, I've been casting about for new TV ("new" meaning, to me, something that came out long enough ago that I can get it on DVD). I was briefly tempted by high-octane reviews of Lost from a variety of friends, but staring at the box I found the premise simply too off-putting. On the other hand I was intrigued by descriptions of the bitter, misanthropic doctor played by Hugh Laurie (who's suddenly American!) in House. On discovering that Blockbuster had House Season 1 on DVD, I decided to give it a try.

Only, Blockbuster doesn't actually have it on DVD. They have the cases out on the shelf, but the actual DVD has been bought by a customer, so they are just keeping the case out there to tantalize me.

Don't get me started on video stores. I know Blockbuster is a big evil mega-corporation that's choking smaller local businesses to death. We really only have one independent video store left in St. John's that's doing at all well, and that's because they've got a niche market in quirky hard-to-find movies for quirky hard-to-please people. We go there once in awhile, but mostly we go to Blockbuster because, Big Evil Corp or not, Blockbuster understands customer service. Particularly with the extended rentals and the no late fees.

So if the video place that has the best grasp of customer service in town is keeping empty DVD cases on the shelves for DVDs they don't actually have, you know things are looking pretty dire. I popped into Jumbo to look for something else that wasn't in stock at Blockbuster, and I rented Season 1, disc 1 of House. Which is where I really felt the pain for it not being Blockbuster, because Jumbo gave me a one-night rental for a disc with FOUR one-hour episodes on it. Do they think people have nothing better to do on a Thursday evening than watch four back-to-back episodes of House??

As it turned out, I had nothing better to do than watch two back-to-back episodes. Sure enough, the show was great and all the characters -- especially House, but the supporting cast as well -- pulled me into it right from the beginning. I was even able to handle it when the camera zoomed up the patient's nostril and right through her nasal passages into her vivdly realized CGI brain. "It's just CGI, it's just CGI," I chanted to myself over and over, looking at the scene through my half-closed eyes till the cranial animation ended.

Then they had to perform a tracheotomy on the patient. Uh-oh. Apparently it's not enough to show the scalpel lowering menacingly over her pretty white throat -- we have to actually see it cutting into her pretty white throat, and blood spurting out. This was the point at which I turned the TV off. House or no House, I could not pretend there was no blood.

I wandered away for a few minutes but curiosity drew me back. I really wanted to see the rest of the show, but not with gruesome blood and all. I decided a judicious use of the fast forward button would get me safely through the episode, which contained lots more CGI brain stuff, but no more cutting-into-live-bodies stuff.

Jason watched the second episode with me, upstairs in bed where we do not have the luxury of a remote control. Every time it looked like something surgical was about to happen, Jason had to leap from the bed to hit FF on the computer, while I buried my head under the covers.

Yet, incredibly, the brilliance of the show actually made all this hassle worthwhile. I would not have believed it, but I think I may be hooked on House. (Thank heaven my fondness for twisted, bitter, unhappy men is pretty much confined to books, movies and TV. Oh, and my students.). Now I just have to figure out how to get the rest of the episodes without paying ridiculous late fees!


Blogger Heather said...

Oh the coincidences abound! Guess what I am currently enjoying on DVD? Season 2 of House! I chose season 2 because I grew tired of waiting for Disk 1 of Season 1 to manifest. I don't think I missed much in terms of story arc. Its a pretty cool show. The medigore doesnt bother me. CSI can be worse. And is he not a play on Sherlock Holmes? House get it? And Dr. Watson/ Dr. Wilson?

And as a true blue Lost fan...get the first season and watch it! Its one of the most original shows I have seen in a long time. Its not a cerebral as WW, but you get to put the whole mystery together itty bit by itty bit. Part of the story are flashbacks of the stranded characters, learning how they came to be on that plane...and then there is this real X-files type weirdness. Its AWESOME!

Sorry... I need to join a Lost group somewhere...

2:37 PM  
Blogger bubandpie said...

This was a very suspenseful post - I'm glad to see you're (almost) hooked on one of my favourite shows. And I'll second Heather's recommendation of Lost. I enjoyed the second season, but season 1 is in a class by itself. In the final episode one of the characters whistles a snatch of "Redemption Song" which captures so much about the show that season - it's not really about a plane crash or people stranded on a desert island: it's about redemption.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Tina Chaulk said...

House, Lost, Grey's Anatomy, love them all. Must watch TV in my house. Grey's has more soap opera than gore to it even though it is a medical show. The medical stuff does not bother me unless it is an impalement. I get weak at the impalements and this week's Grey's was... a branch right thorugh a little kid. Getting woozy just typing about it. Anyway, watch them all and I think you'll be pleased. Be careful though, they are addicting, especially Lost.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Yeah, renting one disc at a time for LOST is probably better for your health than renting a whole season at once...

11:35 PM  

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