'House' - 'Private Lives' Recap
by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 9th 2010 7:15AM
(S06E14) Usually when an episode of a long running show just goes through its tried and true motions, it feels lazy and slapped together. But in the case of 'House,' it makes for some tasty viewing, even with the vivid description of poop.
Note to self: never order the Bangkok Special before sitting down to watch 'House.'
House and his merry band of medical misfits moved through the motions of another baffling case, this time a vegetarian blogger called Frankie, played by 'That 70's Show's' Laura Prepon. She starts exhibited some kind of strange rash, but within a few minutes, she's given one bit of bad news after the other until she's just a giant sadness pile who has less than a week to live. She gets so bombarded with ailments and bad news that the only way you can't feel sorry for her is if you currently have every known medical malady in the universe.
Since she's a compulsive blogger who feels the need to write about every aspect of her life, the script ties this growing facet of our society into a weaving narrative that starts with a hilarious scene of House, Wilson and Chase going through the hellish concept of forced interaction that is "speed dating" to Chase's growing concerns about how his looks are preventing him from forging any real human contact. Oh boo hoo, Chase is too pretty to connect with the intricacies of the human soul. Go cry for the flies in your soup.
Back to the case at hand. Prepon's obsession with blogging drives a wedge between her and her husband and Prepon does a great job of making her troubles believable. Some of her sanctimonious preachings about how "everything is on the record" when it comes to her writing felt a little held back, but the big dramatic moments are deep and real. Her reactions to her situation are a multi-layered mix of shock and sadness that slowly build into tragic, heartfelt crescendos. She's a very underrated dramatic actress, despite what the more popular parts of her resume might lead you to believe.
And like all regular 'House' episodes, the comedy balances the comically serious rather nicely with House discovering that Wilson had a bit part in a student film that went on to be spliced into a pornographic movie. The whole battle between House and Wilson to out embarrass each other with life's little secrets almost felt like a 'Scrubs' plot-line, but quickly returns to more eye-opening territory when Wilson learns House has been reading up on his minister-father. It sneaks in towards the end to get you teased for what's sure to be a big plot line and doesn't waste it by springing it early in the episode.
- The "speed dating" scene could have been predictable, but I liked how House goes back to simply being House by figuring out some poor, lonely woman's scheme to attract a smart man.
- Was 'How Wet Was My Valley' the best fake porn title they could create? Did 'The Mounds of Candy Cristo' and 'How the Chest Was Done' make the reject pile?