During the summer TV hiatus, I'm going to look back at the most recent seasons of some of my favorite shows and pose some hypothetical questions about their future in this feature, Five Questions. Since tonight would be its normal night, today's questions are for "House," which will start its fourth season in the fall.
- Who's coming back? The season finale ended with a big question: Could all of House's team members really be leaving? I'm sure we'll hear a lot this summer about the stars' contract negotiations, but plot-wise, there's no guarantee now that Chase, Cameron or Foreman will be back to work with House. Will this show really take the risk of getting rid of three major cast members, or at least assigning them to new roles at the hospital? And, if so, will fans go along for the ride?
- Will "House" shake up its format? After three years, are viewers growing tired of the formulaic structure of "House"? Week in and week out, the same basic thing happens: A patient becomes mysteriously ill, House ignores him or her, Foreman suggests random diseases, Cameron suggests other diseases, Chase is generally agreeable, everyone is wrong, House says mean things, Cuddy yells at House, Wilson yells at House, House has an epiphany, the patient lives. Rinse, repeat. It's a formula that works, but it's also getting a little tired — and yet, the series' attempts to deviate from that (the Tritter plotline; "One Day, One Room") haven't worked as well. I wonder if there's a way to make the format feel fresher while still keeping the procedural elements the show does so well.
Three more, so
- Will House himself change? Death, taxes, Dr. House's crotchety behavior — it truly has become one of the world's certainties over the past three seasons. But now that his devil-may-care attitude has alienated everyone who works with him, will he have a change of heart and attempt to become nicer? And do we want him to?
- What's going on with Cuddy? This season set up the idea that Cuddy wants a baby — and now — but the attention to that plot line was inconsistent; Cuddy was barely in the season's final few episodes. If they're going to go somewhere with the story, I think the writers should do it fast next season, a) having Cuddy ask House to be her sperm donor or b) actually pairing the two of them up for at least a one-night stand.
- How will "House" perform after the Super Bowl? Fox gave "House" the most coveted spot in television; now, I hope the writers and producers use that launching pad to come up with a truly blockbuster episode and make "House" an even bigger hit. Will this be the year "House" takes over "Grey's Anatomy" as the biggest medical drama on TV?
Photo courtesy of Fox