Wes and I finished the fifth season of House last night and I don’t mind telling you I was disappointed. Major spoilers ahead, so I’m going to put a little break between here and there so if you haven’t seen the last season of House, meaning the one from last year that everyone’s already finished buzzing over, and you don’t want spoilers you don’t have to see them.
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I mean, as always the acting was superb (especially Hugh Laurie), the writing was spot-on, and each episode was interesting. It’s a great show, and I love it to little bits. I think what they did to Lisa Cuddy at the beginning was mean, when her baby was taken away from her by the idiot birth mother who decided last-minute to keep her. I know they did it to set up an emotional moment wherein she and House could make out, but it still seemed unnecessarily cruel.
Even with this, though, the season was great. Until we got to what happened to Kutner. What the heck happened there? I know Kal Penn, the actor who played Kutner, left the show in order to work for the White House, but I have no idea what the writers were thinking when they wrote that story line. Wes and I threw around some ideas as to what they might have been hoping to accomplish and nothing we came up with made sense.
Obviously they were writing him out of the show, but what a depressing and upsetting way to do it. I mean, why suicide? Out of nowhere? Were they trying to spread awareness about suicide? If they were, they did a horrible job with it. Not only did they show that suicide is totally random and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it because you’ll never see it coming, but they never provided a reason for why he did it and we as viewers never got to know him well enough to enable us to make sense of his actions either.
The only awareness I gained from that episode about suicide is that it’s extraordinarily upsetting and that the writers employed it as a cheap storytelling device to add drama. As a viewer, I feel maligned. If they had provided us with a reason, or clues, anything, really, to cushion the blow it would have been different But they didn’t. They exploited our feelings to gain ratings and that is a very low blow indeed.
Then to top it off, they make it look like House gets clean and that he and Cuddy finally get together, which makes my girly self go all melty and happy, and then they take that away from us too. It just feels like the writers are very vindictive this season and are taking it out on the viewers. We have to watch Cuddy struggle with motherhood, Kutner kill himself without warning, his colleagues struggle with loss, and House lose his grip on reality.
When we clicked off the TV last night, it was the first time I haven’t felt sad that a season of House was over in a long time. I hope this is just the nadir in the broader story arc that is the House series, but only next season will let us know if this is the case.
Those of you who watched season five, what did you think?