Over the years, American television has produced countless engaging series that captivate audiences worldwide. Among these, House, starring the brilliant Hugh Laurie, stands out as a true masterpiece. With its captivating storylines, exceptional acting, and unique portrayal of the medical field, House has left an indelible mark on the television landscape.
House, which aired from 2004 to 2012, broke new ground by revolutionizing the medical drama genre. Created by Paul Attanasio and David Shore, the idea first pitched was of a traditional ensemble series where doctors diagnose the undiagnosable at the fictional Princeton–Plainsboro Teaching Hospital (PPTH) in New Jersey. Eventually, Attansio and Shore decided on a central character, Dr. Gregory House, a brilliant but unconventional physician, whose diagnostic expertise was unmatched. House, a churlish painkiller-addict, played to perfection by Laurie, was characterized by his caustic wit, unyielding integrity, and relentless pursuit of the truth, which often found him working at cross purposes with his team. The show's premise captivated audiences from the very beginning, combining medical mysteries with intricate character development.
Hugh Laurie, the English actor, comedian, writer, and musician, first gained recognition for his work as one half of the comedy double act Fry and Laurie with Stephen Fry. The two men acted together in a number of shows during the 1980s and 1990s, including the BBC sketch comedy series A Bit of Fry & Laurie and the P. G. Wodehouse adaptation Jeeves and Wooster. They also appeared in the period comedy Blackadder alongside Rowan Atkinson.
At first, the producers of House were looking for a "quintessentially American person" to play the title role. Executive Producer Bryan Singer felt there was no way he was going to hire a non-American actor for the role. At the time of the casting session, Hugh Laurie was in Namibia filming the movie Flight of the Phoenix. He put together an audition tape in a hotel bathroom and Singer was very impressed by his performance and commented on how well the actor was able to grasp the character, unaware that Laurie was English, due to his American accent. Laurie later credited the accent to "a misspent youth, too much TV and too many movies". He received two Golden Globe Awards and many other accolades for House and was listed in the 2011 Guinness World Records as the most-watched leading man on television (the series by this time was being shown in over 65 countries), as well as one of the highest-paid actors in a television drama at the time.
Its exceptional writing, engrossing storylines, and remarkable performances have cemented its place as one of the greatest medical dramas in television history. The show's ability to combine compelling medical mysteries with intricate character development made House a must-watch for fans of all genres. With its unforgettable characters and an unwavering dedication to excellence, House has certainly earned its well-deserved praise and a special place in the hearts of viewers worldwide.
Published on October 16th, 2023. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.