'House' to end 8 seasons of painful recognition
In this image released by Fox, Hugh Laurie portrays Dr. Gregory House in a scene from "House, M.D." The Fox medical drama concludes its eight-season run on Monday, May 21, 2012, with a finale at 9 p.m. EDT, preceded by a one-hour retrospective. (AP Photo/Fox, Isabella Vosmikova)
NEW YORK (AP) — It will be painful saying goodbye to "House."
The Fox medical drama concludes its eight-season run Monday with a series finale at 9 p.m. EDT, preceded by a one-hour retrospective. And with that, Hugh Laurie will be done as the show's abrasive champion, Dr. Gregory House — unless, Laurie adds with a laugh, "someone comes up with an idea for a stage musical."
"I feel a huge satisfaction that we got to the end with our dignity intact," he declares. "I never felt that we did anything that wasn't true to the character or the show — like, 'House gets a puppy.' I think that's quite an achievement."
No doubt. Sure, the medical mysteries that formed the core of most episodes inevitably grew a bit formulaic as the seasons piled up. (Didn't each week's patient always seem to start bleeding from a different orifice, bafflingly and life-threateningly, right on cue before each commercial break?)
FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2007 file photo, actor Hugh Laurie poses with the award he won for best actor in a drama series for his work on "House," at the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Fox medical drama concludes its eight-season run on Monday, May 21, 2012, with a finale at 9 p.m. EDT, preceded by a one-hour retrospective. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, file)
But if the rhythm of the investigation began to feel over-familiar, House never did. On the contrary: He is only more complex, obstreperous and fascinating.
Not that he didn't start with a bang right from the series' inception in November 2004: Here was a brilliant diagnostician with a snide manner, a limp and a cane, a stash of painkillers and a perpetual stubble. He flouted regulations, ducked cases that bored him and kept things stirred up as a not-so-merry prankster.
He was conceived as a contemporary Sherlock Holmes. Like that fictional 19th-century sleuth, House is indifferent to those he is helping, focused instead — with cool deduction and uncanny intuition — on the challenging nature of the mysteries that plague them.