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Review: House - Ignorance is Bliss

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Nov 24th 2009 8:03AM
House (Hugh Laurie, R) makes Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein, L) an offer in the HOUSE episode 'Ignorance is Bliss.'
(S06E09) "There's no point in putting a band together if we're not going to play any gigs." - House

I'm torn over the best way to tackle this review of "Ignorance is Bliss." I have far more bad things to say about the episode than I do good things, yet I loved it. The outcome I (and presumably most other fans) want to see (House and Cuddy together) is hopefully going to be achieved. This just isn't my ideal path to get there.

When Lucas was brought back a few weeks ago, I argued that I was happy to have him back as long as there was a good reason for it. Lucas dating Cuddy isn't a good reason. The character we knew Lucas as (quirky detective) has been completely erased and save for that one brief scene last week when he did some digging into Chase's medical notes, there's been no indication that side of Lucas even exists anymore. He's a different character this time around and it's destroying everything I liked about him now. I'm not saying House doesn't need a foil in his quest to win Cuddy's heart, but with Lucas' history with House, he could be a much better foil right now.

Having said all that, it seems pretty obvious at this point that Lucas is just a bump in the road and if that's all he's going to be in this scenario, I'll be happy to see him go as quickly as he reappeared. Cuddy may have been enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with Lucas and his family but she felt guilty she sent House to her sister's place when they were in Hawaii. She knows House is changing and the defeated look on her face at the end of the hour when House offered those free carnival tickets said it all. She won't let him be nice because she knows what'll it do to her and how she feels about Greg. So again, I like where it's going but I'm just not the biggest fan of how we're getting there.

As for the rest of the episode, most of it was tedious to sit through, not because it wasn't enjoyable but because it was a lot of re-treading old ground with characters that have already been established. Then again, it has been some time now since Thirteen and Taub were on the team, so maybe re-introducing the tensions between Thirteen and Foreman or Taub's rocky marriage were necessary evils. As an avid watcher of this show though, any of those scenes just felt recycled from old episodes.

A few more thoughts on "Ignorance is Bliss" --

  • I'm not sure that I buy Chase's tough guy act right now and I mean it when I call it an act. It's obvious that he's hurting over Cameron's exit, but there's no way he's dealing with this as well as he'd like everyone to believe. Chase has already been established as an extremely emotional character and he's acting like a stick figure right now.
  • After House made that quip about having his starters and free agents back, I almost spit my coffee out after this line because I laughed so hard: "I feel like Mike Tomlin... but probably not as much as you do." Then he looked right at Foreman. Priceless. I've been wondering when they'd make a joke about Omar Epps' spot on resemblance to the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach.
  • As for the case, it was pretty standard as far as House medical mysteries go, but I really did enjoy the one brief scene where House, the brilliant doctor, and Jimmy, the brilliant physicist, lamented over how hard it is to relate to other people when you're that smart. Jimmy chose cough syrup to help dumb himself down and House seemed perfectly fine to give him a fresh bottle. Could that mean House is considering popping pills again? Sure, they were for his leg, but he likely experienced many of the same feelings that Jimmy got from his Robitussin in terms of brain numbness.
  • Anyone else pick up the double meaning when House got to Cuddy's sister's house and the "house sitter" answered the door? Funny stuff.
  • 16 spleens. Whoa.

[Watch full episodes and clips of House over at SlashControl.]

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Does anybody know who makes the black jacket that Dr. Cuddy was wearing on "Ignorance is Bliss"? Thank you

November 26 2009 at 4:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Putting Cuddy and House together would be the equivalent of putting Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy together...IT'S A BAD IDEA.

Also, why is Jennifer Morrison still in the credits? Is it really that hard to change the opening?

November 25 2009 at 2:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have been a fan of House since day 1 and I've got the books, the t-shirts, and the dvds to prove it. And thank god for those dvds because I cannot bear to watch this show any more. I'll have to be happy watching "the good old days" on dvd.

I don't know why TPTB have decided to force this Huddy storyline, or even worse, why they have dragged it out for so long. There are a LOT of fans out here who absolutely despise this pairing and wish it would just go away NOW. I am so sick and tired of this juvenile prank playing, I just want it over so we can have our show back.

The writers have totally destroyed the intelligent credibility this show used to have. Instead they are emphasizing characters and pairings that are universally disliked (does ANYONE like Foreman/Thirteen?) or just plain annoying (House/Cuddy), while all but ignoring characters that need MORE screentime (Wilson, anyone?). The patients have become boring and secondary to the soap opera-like relationships, and they are recycling stories that aren't even a year old (in The Greater Good a brilliant researcher gave up science to be a chef, in Innocence is Bliss a brilliant scientist gives up science to be a courier. YAWN.)

And what happened to the always funny and amazingly well written clinic patients??? If there is ONE PERSON out there who is glad they've disappeared, let me know who you are because you are quite the unique specimen. Clinic patients are one of the very best parts of the show and TPTB have completely gotten rid of them.

All in all, it's such a shame that a once brilliant, witty, and unique show has turned into a boring, dumbed-down, cookie cutter version of such soapy shows as Grey's Anatomy. House lost almost 1.2 million viewers this week and I'm afraid if they don't get back to their roots very soon they are going to see a loss of viewership EVERY week.

November 24 2009 at 9:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

someone is going to have to spell out the house sitter thing for me...

November 24 2009 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rob's comment

She was sitting waiting on House and she was watching the house.

November 24 2009 at 5:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jo Anne

Ditto, great commentary.

November 24 2009 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Alot of these criticisms are fair, but I still choose to look deeper into the show's premise, I still like how they force us to examine what's important in our lives, in society, without being told what to believe. This show still makes me think and sparks deep discussions, even though it's lost its shiny topcoat. Maybe you'll enjoy it more if you look beyond its outward silliness.

November 24 2009 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

tcc3: this entire episode was about how DXM abuse makes you dumb. That's right out of the DEA's script approval department, providing strong evidence to my point. Apparently taking cough syrup will turn a genius into a dithering moron. Yeah if that's not drug war propaganda you tell me what is. This whole episode was a "just say no to DXM" commercial.

As I've said before, I've been a fan of House since episode 1, season 1, so it's hard for me to just say "that's it - no more" and never watch it again. But i'm finally at that point. I don't see why you take such offense at the notion of the DEA doing what it can to prevent the media from showing drug use ("abuse" in their language) in anything but the most negative light. It's their primary objective, they don't even hide it. What would be unbelievable would be for the DEA to say absolutely nothing about a popular, prime-time TV show whose main character - a brilliant, witty, clever doctor who always gets his way and is always the brightest guy in the room - constantly flaunts his use ("abuse") of narcotics with no negative consequences. I know for an absolute, 100% certainty that the DEA has done everything in its power to curb the "flagrant abuse of narcotic painkillers" on the show. No conspiracy theory. Absolute fact.

The only unknown is why they caved in to the DEA now, and who exactly did the caving (News Corp? Fox network? House writers? House producers? House creators?). That I do not know. For whatever reason, someone with creative control over House finally agreed to the DEA's requests. I don't see why that's so hard to believe.

Since it's abundantly clear that Lucas will get sick and House will have to save his life, I feel no need to continue watching. But since there's nothing else on TV at the time, I may just keep watching House each week solely for the purpose of coming on here and reminding everyone that the show has been ruined by the DEA and whoever decided to concede to its demands.

November 24 2009 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to bruce's comment

well, you did make it through ONE comment without saying "DEA".
seriously though man, you're always here talking about it, how about showing us some proof? as irritating as your posts get i admit i'm curious.

November 24 2009 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bruce, it is not an "[a]bsolute fact." Rather, it is just a bare assertion that you continue to raise without absolutely nothing to support your assertion. Until you provide some sort of evidence, you are just as brainless as you claim the writers are.

November 25 2009 at 9:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why would Cuddy bother misleading House about the dinner invitation? She didn't even know he wanted an invite. You could argue that Wilson told Cuddy that House was being nice to her to get an invitation to her thanksgiving dinner, but (a) Wilson has not been taking sides in this game and (b) if Wilson did tell Cuddy, House would have confronted him about it. No way Wilson told Cuddy that House was trying to get invited to thanksgiving dinner w/ her and her sister.

This show has lost its edge. Like usual, I blame it on them getting rid of all Vicodin use, after years of "requests" by the government (why now?). Getting rid of House's need for painkillers, despite his chronic pain, is both an insult to the millions of people out there who suffer from intractable chronic pain as well as a means of negating the primary motivating characteristic of Dr. House that's been established since the pilot episode. It makes no sense, it's illogical, and it's a shame.

I just can't bear to watch this show anymore. What was once the smartest show on TV has become a stupid, nonsensical joke. The medical mysteries aren't even interesting - it's like they're background B plots. They don't bother with differential diagnoses anymore, they just say it's A, then it's B, then it's C, then it's D - cured. The process is gone, now it's just trial and error. Now this crap with House and Cuddy is just sad and pathetic.

Damn them for ruining my favorite show.

November 24 2009 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bruce's comment

I suppose the DEA is perfectly ok with DXM abuse. I'm sure the showrunners are getting shipped off to Guantanamo right now.

So when are you finally going to stop watching Bruce? Hopefully it will be quickly followed by your not commenting here with your tired conspiracy bullshit.

Put your money where your mouth is.

November 24 2009 at 1:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I too hate this Lucas situation. It is so unreal and downright annoying. If he's not gone soon I , as a viewer , might be!

November 24 2009 at 12:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I laughed out loud at the Mike Tomlin - Omar Epps exchange.

November 24 2009 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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