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The Binge-Watch List: Streaming down the House

Monty Ashley | May 12, 2014
It's not hard to find TV shows to watch these days. But finding good ones to watch amid all the streaming video services fighting for your attention and your eyeballs? That's more of a challenge. Every other week, we'll help you separate a would-be House of Cards from the rest of the pack, as we look at which streaming TV shows are worth your time.

And his relationship with Dr. Wilson is a delight, since Wilson is one of the few characters who gets treated mostly as an equal. Since House spends so much time being clever at other people's expense, it's refreshing to have the occasional scene where he's willing to relax a bit.

What makes it not so great

House found its formula early on in the series and rarely deviated from it. The patient is brought into the hospital, House probably refuses to see them in person, and he proceeds to make several incorrect diagnoses. Although House is a genius (as he and all the other characters remind us at every opportunity), he tends to make a few wrong guesses along the way, which usually involves dangerous treatments that almost kill the patient. (In fact, so many people suffer horrible setbacks while in the MRI machine that they should really just retire the thing.) And there are only so many mysterious diseases out there, which resulted in House's team suggesting lupus for pretty much every case, even though it's never, ever lupus. Ever. (It is lupus one time, though, but not any of the times it's suggested.) House breaks hospital rules and actual laws fairly frequently, and although he does occasionally suffer some consequences, it's hard not to root against him after being exposed to too many of his antics over a short time.

It's also possible that the medicine employed in the show is not entirely plausible. If you're an actual diagnostician, I imagine that House's techniques will strike you as unusual and that his cases will be improbable. I'm only guessing, though, because to someone who is not medically trained, the actual medical lingo might as well be Star Trek characters discussing how to fix the latest problem with the warp drive.

What's the math

Sherlock Holmes plus CSI multiplied by ER minus lupus

So how is it?

It's great! House centers around an interesting protagonist who says witty things and solves seemingly impossible puzzles for the audience's entertainment. And his supporting cast, while emphatically not House's equals in terms of intellect or screen time, can usually be relied upon to entertain.

How many hours should I watch at once?

Four. You don't want to overdo a viewing session, but there are 177 episodes to see. If you set aside four hours a day to watch Hugh Laurie solve medical mysteries, you can get through the series in a little more than 30 days. When you're done, you'll have spent a solid month watching House, and then you'll be well equipped to imagine that every little ache, pain, or sniffle that you have is symptomatic of something incredibly obscure and fatal. It makes even a common cold seem very exciting.


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