So recently, in keeping with our longstanding tradition of not watching popular TV shows until they’ve been off the air for a while*, we recently started looking at the medical drama House, in which Hugh Laurie takes Vicodin and knows things:
Now, I am no stranger to hospital dramas, having been, for reasons I can’t really explain, an avid viewer of St. Elsewhere back in the day:
However, my wife has never watched any sort of medical show, unless you count Scrubs, which, I mean, yeah, there are doctors in it, and conditions, but it’s all pretty much played for laughs**, whereas in this one — 18-year-old spoiler alert! ― we start right off with an elementary school teacher who has a tapeworm in her brain.
Wife: “This is not a good show to watch if you’re a hypochondriac.”
Now, the long-time reader will probably be aware that I watch a lot of shows in which “squelch” is a frequently-appearing subtitle, while my wife usually looks away from the screen if anyone gets a paper cut. But in this show, we had some interesting role reversals, when, for instance, a patient had to get a CSF sample drawn, which involves sticking a big needle into places where big needles aren’t supposed to go.
Me: (shrieks and hides eyes)
Wife: “What’s the big deal?”
Me: “It’s a needle.”
Wife: “But you can’t tell where they’re putting it. It’s just a closeup of some skin. They could be sticking it anywhere.”
Me: “IT’S A NEEDLE!”
(patient on screen continues grunting in pain during lumbar puncture)
Me: (mutes television)
In addition to that needle, this show also offers examples of:
- Lots of IVs
- More needles
- Holes being drilled into skulls
- Yet more needles
- Medical procedures that I’ve had and would rather not have again
- Still more needles, including one being inserted into somebody’s eyeball
And that’s just in the first two episodes.
Typically, after the first episode of a new show that we might be watching, I’ll inquire of my wife as to whether or not she thinks this is a program up with which she is willing to put. House was of course no different.
Me: “So will you watch more of this?”
Wife: “Yeah, we can watch another episode.”
Me: “Do you think the medical stuff will be too much for you?”
Wife: “I think you mean, do you think the medical stuff will be too much for you?”
So looks like we’ll be watching some more of House, then. Good thing I’m not a hypochondriac.***
* cf. Breaking Bad, Big Bang Theory, Halt and Catch Fire, Mad Men, The Wire, Fringe (if I can get my wife to watch it) …
** Except for that one Brendan Fraser episode. You know which one I mean.