FOX closing up “House” for good

Dozens of shows cross their season finish lines this month, but for FOX’s House, it’s the end of the line for good. An era-defining show with a tenacious following, House certainly gave its all over eight seasons to earn that loyalty. As the series draws to a close in a two-hour finale this Monday, May 21 at 8pm ET, we thought we’d take a look back at its accomplishments and at what made it so vital to our viewing habits.

“I actually haven’t fully unpacked my suitcase because I constantly expect to be fired any day, now.” So Hugh Laurie told us eight years ago, as he was living in a hotel, unsure of whether or not he would still be employed after the series premiere of House. We’re sure he’s probably checked out by now. But after eight seasons of watching Laurie’s wonderfully flawed House slip himself Vicodin and play his hunches — and pay the consequences for his actions — we’re not sure we’ll ever see such a charmingly misanthropic television doctor again. Look for Olivia Wilde to reprise her role as Dr. Remy “Thirteen” Hadley in the series finale.

A Few Memorable Moments:

• Holiday House quote: “Candy canes?? Are you mocking me?” (Season 1)

• Stacy, the love of House’s life, asking House to treat her husband (Season 1)

• Wilson sawing through House’s cane as a prank (Season 2)

• The debut of Steve McQueen, House’s pet rat (Season 2)

By The Numbers:Premiered:Nov. 16, 2004Premiere Viewership: 13.3 million

Peak Viewership: Season 3, averaging 19.4 million viewers/week

Emmy Nominations: 25

Emmy Wins: 5

• House, on his motorcycle jacket: “It keeps me warm … and cool! How does it know?” (Season 2)

• House apologizing to Wilson in rehab (Season 3)

• The little autistic boy giving House his GameBoy (Season 3)

• The “thermometer incident” that led to Tritter investigating House’s Vicodin addiction (Season 3)

• Hadley’s diagnosis with Huntington’s disease (Season 4)

• House’s “Fight the Power” dance (Season 5)

• Dr. Chase causing a brutal African dictator to die — leading to the destruction of Chase and Cameron’s marriage (Season 6)

• House driving his car into Cuddy’s dining room (Season 7)

• The entire “Bombshells” episode with Cuddy’s various dream sequences (Season 7)

• House finding that the man he suspected was his biological father wasn’t (Season 8 )

What We Took Away: We really enjoyed seeing this doctor with the virtually nonexistent bedside manner and a sense of empathy that was mercurial at best. But there’s one thing we would like aspiring medical students to note: If you’re that obnoxious, you’d better be that good.

Beverly Seinberg assisted in researching this feature.


Photo: Warwick Saint/FOX