I subscribe to the philosophy of lowered expectations: don’t hope for much so that pleasant surprises are more frequent than bitter disappointments. It works, mostly because I don’t expect great things to come my way; when I have to force those expectations down, I’m just kidding myself.

So the fact that I’m really, really looking forward to the House two-part finale worries me a little. (The first part airs tomorrow night at 9 pm on Global or FOX, or 6 pm Pacific on those time-shifted channels I won’t let Jim or Denis take away from me.)

The snippets I’ve seen and heard so far don’t dip into advanced spoiler territory but make it seem like the kind of episode I geek out over, breaking out of the usual template while exploring Housian philosophies. (I could take serious lessons from him in lowered expectations of humanity.) Plus, I always like this show’s subtly but not overly cliffhangery game-changing finales, which means I can’t help but hope for satisfaction.

There’s also the law of averages for this above-average show: I wasn’t enamoured with the last two episodes since the strike, so it’s due to rise to the level of the last couple before that. Though how much did I love the line “pretty girls are fungible” from “Living The Dream”? Not only did it give its audience the intellectual benefit of the doubt and risk throwing away a very Housian joke by using an uncommon word, but it seemed to poke fun at those who believe 13 is a Cameron clone.

This finale was going to be the post-Superbowl episode until that pesky writers strike got in the way. That isn’t necessarily a sign of quality but is a sign that they were shooting big, and to me they rarely miss when they go big.

And then there’s the cynical reason I think it’s going to be an episode full of juicy goodness, which I wish hadn’t even entered my mind: I think they’re overdue for an Emmy-bait episode for Hugh Laurie, one of their brilliant showcases for his range of talents. (And again, how much did I love the scene where House “accepts” an Emmy award in that last episode?)

But given the reasons for my excitement, what’s funny is watching the videos on the FOX site (see the video player at the right of that page) and seeing how much the emphasis is on the big stunt: check out the Director’s Take video. It does look extremely cool to shoot, but I can guarantee the big stunt onscreen isn’t what I’ll remember from the episode, any more than last season’s finale was cool because of the helicopter stunt Larry Kaplow was enthused about, instead of the fact that House was left duckling-less and pretty OK with that. It’s all about character. The things that make noise are supplementary.

In any case, I’m with House on this one:

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9 Responses to "Cool"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Could you please review this two- part finale? I miss your wonderful and insightful writing.Your reviews are incisive and grasp the subtleties and the inner meanings that the show House try to express ,without showing any kind of biasness towards any character(not considering House) or any relationship which I miss in the other reviews.

  2. Diane Kristine says:

    Thank you very much, that’s very nice of you to say, but I don’t know … I am very much enjoying just watching the show now instead of analysing it to death. I’ll see how I feel after it airs though.

  3. Anonymous says:

    OMG. OMG. OMG. this is definitely one of those episodes where i have to rewatch over and over again…and in the past, your review of it would have been my number 1 stop on the internet. and i agree with anonymous #1 about your insight and relative objectivity when it comes to the reviews. you clearly are a fan but it never stopped you from pointing out the negatives rather than simply gushing the positives.

  4. Elen says:

    Usually I’m with you on the stunts: they’re cool, but not what I remember or care about the most.

    But man. Last night’s stunt was INCREDIBLE, both from a technical angle (to my untrained eyes) and and emotional one. I think that will be the image that stays in mind when I think of this episode. That, or Cuddy on the stripper pole. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Diane Kristine says:

    OK, I admit, the stunt was very cool. Remember I wrote this before seeing it. But in my defence, it is the character part of it that will stick with me: the two reaching for each other, the aftermath, etc. But yeah – much more memorable overall than I was expecting. You win ๐Ÿ™‚

    And thanks, anonymous #2!

  6. Mary says:

    While I know that you have given up on your weekly episode reviews, after seeing “House’s Head,” I think it was the equal of the transcendent “Three Stories,” and not just because of the incredible filming of the bus crash. I can only hope with others above that after “Wilson’s Heart” airs, you will bring your clear-eyed affection for this show to an analysis of these final two episodes.

    If Hugh Laurie does not get an Emmy for his astonishing performance in last week’s show, there is no justice in the universe. (OK, I know there’s no justice in the universe because he hasn’t been given an Emmy yet anyway.)

  7. Diane Kristine says:

    He’s definitely overdue. And thanks Mary, that’s sweet, and I am considering it if I feel my usual need to overanalyse after next week’s ep.

  8. Suldog says:

    Well, not to add to the pressure, but I also miss your reviews.

    I understand how swell it feels to NOT have the pressure to do one, though. I did a review column of WCW wrestling a few years back, and while the praise from my readers was an excellent ego balm, it was definitely very nice to just be able to sit back and enjoy the show – such as it was – once I stopped doing the reviews.

    Great show, of course, and I’m very much looking forward to the conclusion – as well as dreading the fact that there won’t be any more new ones for a while afterwards.

  9. Boffle says:

    Very cool, indeed! Lots of us have been analyzing this one and still the mystery remains. Brilliantly written, directed and acted. Makes me pine for the season that might have been with this as a SuperBowl ep and lots of complications arising therefrom. The helicopter stunt last year was well done, but just a somewhat cooler cold open. The stunt in House’s Head was lyrical, terrifying and so suspenseful, I’m still in suspense after seeing it, um, more than once. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugh Laurie must have the first in a long series of Emmys for this one/two.

    And DK, if you’ve a mind to give us your take on this lollapalooza finale, I’d love to hear it. Like you I try to keep expectations down but after the first part of the finale, scarily, my expectations are now sky-high! (It’s also odd that there has been very little media coverage on this: I expected it to be a cover or feature in TVG, yet barely a mention. Weird.) Here, have some virtual popcorn: hope Monday’s show is a smash. Cheers, deekay!

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