For ‘House,’ a fine time to move on
After eight long, profitable seasons, the medical drama series “House” has finally opted to stop producing new shows. A good thing, too, because we recall writing, some two or three years ago, that the show topbilled by Hugh Laurie looked like it had already tackled all of the rarest and most baffling diseases ever diagnosed, and it was time to move on.
Be that as it may, for the first five of its telecasting years, “House” made a name for itself as a welcome change from the bland, antiseptic medical drama that used to lord it over the TV scene.
With its gruff but brilliant title character riding roughshod over everybody else, it belied the slick image of the cool, handsome TV surgeon that was par for the course.
The only reason why his intended and unintended victims put up with Dr. House’s boorish ways was the simple fact that his off-the-wall diagnoses saved lives!
Now that his signature character is finally hanging up his stethoscope and sheathing the deadly scalpel of his vicious wit, what will Laurie do for his next TV outing? “House” has made him extremely prosperous, so he could retire on his residuals and laurels.
But, if he still needs to give his acting skills another run around the park, we suggest that he plays the Father of the Bride—from Hell! A deposed and thus sourly dyspeptic former president of a banana republic would be right up his alley, too. And, thinking really far-out, he could play God in a decidedly black comedy (move over, George Burns!).
Another noteworthy event on the small screen was the recent special, “Around the World in 80 Ways.” Obviously a twist on the Jules Verne classic, “Around the World in 80 Days,” the show follows two guys who’ve just met each other as they venture to circumnavigate the globe while traveling on a total of 80 different vehicles, load-bearing animals and wild and woolly contraptions.
They started their voyage on a peripatetic and decidedly idiosyncratic trip to Lake Titicaca in Peru, which they did by train, horse, motorcycle, high-wire pulley system—plus a really weird metallic creation that mimicked an antediluvian motorized monster and galumphed across the terrain at only 2 kilometers per hour!
Clearly, the show wasn’t really taking its travel challenge all that seriously, and was more than willing to entertain viewers with some spaced-out and hopefully amusing detours and sidelights, “for ratings’ sake.”
True enough, a simple and straightforward travel series could bore the socks off some viewers, so a number of odds and ends are welcome.
However, not all “funny” plays hit the funnybone, especially the show’s other gimmick, which has its two burly adventurers fightin’ and feudin’ with each other, from morn to midnight.
“80 Ways” still has a few more telecasts before it concludes its trip, so we hope that it can keep its viewers’ interest level high without turning them off with its occasionally sappy plots and plays.
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