Posted on 22 March 2011.
House, also known as House, M.D., is an American medical drama television series created by David Shore and executive produced by Shore and film director Bryan Singer. The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning medical drama debuted on the FOX network on November 16, 2004. The series is currently the most watched scripted program on FOX and the second most watched FOX program overall, behind American Idol.
Gregory House, M.D., is a maverick medical genius, who heads a team of young diagnosticians at the fictional Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey. Most episodes start with a cold open somewhere outside the hospital, showing the events leading to the onset of symptoms for that episode’s main patient. The episode follows the team in their attempts to diagnose and treat the patient’s illness.
House’s nationally-renowned department typically only sees patients who have failed to receive a correct diagnosis at other hospitals, so the cases tend to be exceptionally complex and subtle. Furthermore, House tends to resist accepting cases that he does not find interesting. The medical cases featured are often rare but realistic, and described by Andrew Holtz, the author of The Medical Science of House, M.D., as “a conglomeration of all the worst things that can happen to people from all over the world, crammed into one little community.”
The team arrives at diagnoses using the Socratic method and differential diagnosis, with House guiding the deliberations. House often discounts the information and opinions from his underlings, pointing out that their contributions have missed various relevant factors. The patient is usually misdiagnosed over the course of each episode and treated with medications appropriate to the misdiagnoses. This usually causes further complications in the patient, but in turn helps lead House and his team to the correct diagnosis by using the new symptoms.
Often the ailment cannot be easily deduced because the patient has lied about symptoms and circumstances. House frequently mutters, “Everybody lies,” or proclaims during the team’s deliberations: “The patient is lying,” or “The symptoms never lie.” Even when not stated explicitly, this assumption guides House’s decisions and diagnoses. House is in many respects a medical Sherlock Holmes. This resemblance is evident in various elements of the series’ plot, such as House’s reliance on psychology to solve a case, his reluctance to accept cases he does not find interesting, his drug addiction, home address (apartment 221B), playing of an instrument, relationship with Dr. James Wilson (a reference to Dr. John Watson), and his encounter with a crazed gunman credited as “Moriarty”, which is the same name as Holmes’ nemesis. Also, series creator David Shore has said that Dr. House’s name is meant as a “subtle homage” to Sherlock Holmes