“My godson made me that mug.”
Robert Sean Leonard, uttering that line while Hugh Laurie peed into a coffee cup, was the only time I experienced pleasure last night watching House. I have a certain amount of hope (stoked by my colleague Michael Ausiello) that the House-Wilson household will continue for a while, because the dry byplay between Laurie and Leonard has always been — and to judge from last night’s thoroughly mediocre episode, apparently always will be — the best thing about this series.
Last night, it was confirmed that Foreman is the most boring character on this show when we were presented with the nightmare scenario of him being the House Squad’s new boss. During that limp, last-minute firing of Thirteen in order to “save their relationship,” it was difficult to tell whether the scene was an eye-roller because the premise was ridiculous or because Foreman’s supposedly all-consuming ambition is so devoid of energy or pleasure.
No, it’s only when RSL’s Dr. James Wilson is onscreen, being discreetly exasperated or mildly sarcastic, that House regains some of the charm that made the show interesting in the first place.
Maybe this is the grand plan: Whereas a couple of seasons ago the producers decided to overload the show with potential new cast members, perhaps now the plan is to slowly whittle the characters down to just House and Wilson. They’ll roam the hospital tending to the sick, each in his own particular way, only to return home in the evening to make dinner together and banter wittily over fresh pie for dessert and a nightly chess game.
I’d watch that. Would you?