Friday, May 27, 2011

Why is student-led prayer so offensive to some?

This morning I read a story about the Medina Valley Independent School District (Texas) being sued by the "Americans United for Separation of Church and State" on behalf of Danny and Christa Schultz whose children attend a school in the district. The parents are upset that there is a student-led benediction at the graduation ceremony. 

Every time I read a story like this, I shake my head in wonder at the level to which some parents go to will use their children to make a name for themselves. And without a doubt, I believe that is what this is all about. In this internet-savvy age, the Schultz's can get their name all over the country in just a matter of minutes. What better way than to use your kids to get famous? We've seen it time and time again? It's disgraceful.

When you get right down to it, is prayer that harmful especially for kids in today's society? The world has become a rough place and kids need all the help they can get to prepare for what awaits them when they graduate high school and go beyond the reach of mom and dad's protection. If prayer at the graduation ceremony, which for a seventeen-year old, is the biggest moment of their life to date, helps them get through it and appreciate all that they have, what is the harm? The students who don't pray are not forced to participate, this is something the students lead and participate in if they want to, it's not required

When I graduated high school in 1987, there was a benediction, and I wasn't offended. I was raised in a household with a father who was raised Christian and a mother who was raised Jewish. Neither religion was forced upon me while at the same time I learned a little about both sides. When I went to friend's houses or attended church with friends or family, prayer never bothered me. The way I saw it, prayer seemed to be a good thing for those people participating in it and how can you not like something that is good? We lived in the Bible Belt and most of our classmates and neighbors were Southern Baptist. Sure, there were a few people who attempted to force their religious beliefs on us, but for the most part, my experience with faith throughout my life, especially when I was a kid, has been positive. The only problems I ever had (and continue to have) were people who told me I was going to hell for not believing as they did and people who attempted to remove any hint of religion or faith from every aspect of life, period. I learned quickly that there are radical ideas on both ends of the spectrum.

To Danny and Christa Schultz and others like them I would ask why they are so offended by prayer? Why are some people so afraid of a belief in a higher power? If you don't believe, that's fine, but why would you want to infringe upon other people's desire to believe? If prayer helps a kid have hope, how on earth could that be a bad thing? Kids need all the help they can get. If your kid chooses not to participate, that is their right and no one should force them but for you to force your beliefs or rather lack of them on others? That's not right either. Live and let live. I  mean really, in the whole scheme of things going on in the world today, is a voluntary student-led prayer at a high school graduation really something we should be worried about? 

Oh and while we're at it, if there is this alleged separation of church and state, how come  in many areas of this country, you can't buy beer on Sunday?  Maybe when they finally defeat those awful kids who want to pray before their graduation ceremony, Danny and Christa Schultz can hire the Americans United for Separation of Church and State to tackle this issue? Because it really is a bummer when you run out of beer while watching the big game.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

If I had the choice, I'd fire them all...

Let's say for the sake of argument that you have a job. Yes, you who are reading this blog right now, you have a job and it's a pretty damn good job with a very large well-known company and includes excellent pay and benefits. When your boss hired you, it was because he or she believed you were the person best qualified to fill that position. In the course of your job you have some very important project deadlines. One of your projects is to meet with individuals both inside and outside the company to work out terms, agreements, and other issues related to the future of the company.  You get along with some of the people you have to deal with and then there are others you just don't care for the sake of the company you have to put your differences aside. After all, it's your job and the stability and security of the company depends on your ability to get the job done, timely, efficiently, and with the right end result.

As the deadline approaches you find that you and the people you are working with can't seem to find middle ground. Instead of putting aside petty differences and compromising, arguments, insults and blame ensue. As such, you fail to reach the objective by the established deadline. As the deadline passes, you find you miraculously still have a job because the boss believes that even though you screwed up, you can make this work. Besides, it's a real pain the ass for him to have to go out and start finding a replacement right now. So he tells you go keep working at it. Meanwhile the company's future hinges upon the ability of you and your people to do your jobs. You hastily put together a patchwork plan that gets the company through in the short-term. Time is of the essence though and a real deal has to be worked out. The company is going into deep debt, morale is low, confidence is weakened. The people who work there and people who invest in the company are becoming suspicious of the stability and security of the company and they begin to lose faith. Employees are looking for other jobs and investors are debating taking their money elsewhere.

Eventually days turn into weeks and then into months and then next thing you know two years has passed and the company still does not permanent plan in place. At this point, it's nearly falling apart anyway. The company has lost some of its best employees and investors and the products/services it puts out just aren't quality anymore and nobody's buying. While you're still telling the boss to be patient and hold on but the company is suffering (why you still have a job is beyond comprehension), the company is  running on fumes, just barely making it. And all that time you and the people you're negotiating with are still at square one arguing and placing blame on one another without getting anything substantial accomplished.

Does this sound like a stable company to you? How long will this company stay afloat? Is this a company the people want to invest in? Would you have confidence in the products or services this company offers?

Ladies and Gents, welcome to the United States Congress, where it has been approximately 720 days (that's two years!) since the last fiscal year budget was passed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

[H]ouse, M.D. Season 7: How did we get from there to here?

I just got home from work and I don't know why I was even thinking about this because I have so much other stuff on my mind but it hit me and I have to talk about it. This is the perfect place to do this. I just needed to vent with others who would appreciate and understand how I feel about this. I'm just moody lately so forgive me...

How did we go from the first five years of House--bantering, button-pushing, sexual innuendos, funny acts of revenge, arguments, push and pull, power struggles and all we've seen between House and Cuddy to this?

During Season 6, how did go from watching House admit himself into Mayfield because he was going over the edge and see him come back strong and determined to try and find a meaningful life, to trying to get Cuddy, even admitting to her at the dance that he wanted a relationship with her 20 years ago and has always cared for her, to this?

How did we go from Cuddy dumping her fiance to seek the love of her life with House, to this?

In Season 7, how did we go from Cuddy and House's confessions of "I love you" and Cuddy's "You're the most incredible man I've ever known, You will always BE the most incredible man I've ever known", and the beautiful and heated consummation of their 20 year love, to this?

How did we go from their holding hands, love contracts and playfulness in "Selfish", to this?

How did we go from peace penguins, their "date" at the writer's house, having a blast go-karting, Cuddy smelling like House's cologne, House actually choosing to say the right thing to the patient at the end (for Cuddy), and Cuddy telling House who was worried they had nothing in common but sex, "Who cares about common? Common is boring. I like being with you. You make me better. Hopefully, I make you better. What we have is... uncommon and I've never been happier." in "Unwritten" to this?

How did we go from the happy exchange of sex for babysitting in "Unplanned Parenthood" to this?

How did we go from playing video games together, House compromising his hooker-masseuse for a PT of Cuddy's choosing, Cuddy asking him to spend the night at her House spending time with her AND Rachel, and them having a nice quiet dinner together, just the three of them, in "Massage Therapy", to this?

How did we go from a kiss and Cuddy slapping House on the ass affectionately in "Office Politics" to this?

How did we go from two people in love staring at each other through a thick pane of glass not knowing if House would die and if they would ever touch each other again in "A Pox on our House" to this?

How did we go from House telling Cuddy she looks stunning, apologizing to her and admitting his fears about truth and them making up in "Small Sacrifices" to this?

How did we go from the antics of "Larger than Life" with House drugging Wilson and Cuddy's mom so they could have a peaceful night together, the two of them washing dishes listening to classical music, Cuddy snuggling up to House and telling him "You are a sweet, sweet man" and Arlene telling House she knows he loves Cuddy and is good for her, to this?

How did we go from House's unorthodox but well-intentioned assisting of Rachel so she could get into the prestigious preschool, then bonding with Rachel in the end, in "Carrot or Stick" to this?

How did we go from Cuddy trusting House with complete control of her mother's medical care to House, House sacrificing his own career to save Cuddy's mom and his confession to Cuddy that someday, a week, a year from now she would look at the man sleeping beside her and blame him for her mother's death in "Family Practice", the way he helped her stand up to her mother and face her fears, and the look they gave each other over the hospital bed, to this?

How did we go from a cute scene of Cuddy and House in her bedroom, just talking, enjoying each other's company and Cuddy trying to convince House he deserves to be happy in "You Must Remember This" to this?

How did we go from House's admission of "I need her in my life" and his "new toothbrush" in "Two Stories" to this?

How did we go from House's drunken (but honest) confession that he would choose Cuddy over EVERYTHING else in life, in "Recession Proof" to this?

We know why and how it happened. I really have enjoyed this show and believe it or not during stressful times these last few years it has taken the edge off. I've laughed, screamed, cried and laughed again watching it. I guess the acting was so good I felt connected to the characters, it was refreshing. So I suppose seeing it ripped apart really bothers me. I know I'm not the only one....

[H]ouse S7 finale reviews...

In the Season 7 finale "Moving On" Hugh was just...well...brilliant as always and so was was Lisa, they both simply shined. The look on House's face in this episode, the eyes say it all for both House and Cuddy.  Of course what's wrong with [H]ouse now isn't the acting by any means, if anything it's the acting that keeps us coming back for more. No, it's Shore and his idiocy. What has David Shore done to House, Cuddy and the show overall? What was once pure genius is now unrecognizable. It's not the acting which is superb. It's Shore and his bizarre quest to take House into this dark dismal abyss...

Shore says people can't change, people don't change, it's been his mantra over and over again. The fans have seen the characters change in subtle ways, sometimes taking a step back, sometimes forward, but they have changed, even if just a little. Still Shore insists they can't change, they don't change. Funny thing though, if people can't change how did House go from being just a pain in the ass but brilliant and relatively harmless diagnostician to psycho in just nine episodes? Do tell Shore, I'm listening. Sure people get upset over things, especially when they have a hard time showing their true emotions,  but this? Taking our favorite characters and turning them into this?  Enough already.

There's no need for me to review because so many others said what I was going to say so I will let their words speak for all of us who have followed this amazing series to this point in time and are left wondering....WTF?

Greg David at TV Guide Canada - “I’m hurt!” Finally, House admitted what he’s been hinting at for the latter half of this season. The breakup between he and Cuddy stung him so badly that he’s spent every waking moment since she ended things plotting to hurt her as much as she bruised him.

But was driving a car through the front of her home too much? Of course it was. And thus, I fear, House has finally jumped the shark. Where do you go from here? We already know Lisa Edelstein will not be back for Season 8, so assume House’s reno job means she’ll leave New Jersey for another gig. Smart move for both Cuddy and Edelstein.

After all, there’s no semblance of the damaged doctor character we’ve loved for seven seasons remaining. When I saw the very first episode of House, I dismissed the character as so unlikable, no one would watch. At the time, I was wrong. It turned out millions of viewers were willing to embrace this damaged dude, and House became a hit.

Turns out I was right after all, but just a little late. How can House’s decision to drive his car into his former girlfriend’s dining room keep fans? Not only did he put the beloved Wilson in danger, but Cuddy, her sister and two other people as well. And what about Rachel, Cuddy’s oh-so-cute daughter who finally melted Dr. Crankypants? He could have killed her as well. Nope, there’s nothing House did last night which made any sense.

No matter how hurt he was, there’s no excuse for attempted vehicular manslaughter, which is exactly what that was.

And yet, House’s writers weren’t done. After a season of having House pull malicious pranks on Cuddy, reduce her to tears every week and then try to run her over, they had him smile, tell a shocked Wilson how much better he felt, and then planted him on a bar stool on a beach, sipping a cocktail. Are we supposed to feel good about this? Was I supposed to holler, “You showed her, man!” at the screen and want to toast his driving skills?

As a season finale, House did shock, and it did make me think. But it also made me re-think whether I should tune in this fall, or give a pass to a character who has gone completely off the deep end and made me hate him.

Barbara Barnett of Blogcritics - "Until the last few moments of the episode, they completely had me riveted: a patient whose unnerving mirror image portrait of House; House finally processing what has happened between him and Cuddy, realizing that what he had done to his leg was just insane, and that something has to change. He has to change.... And then comes the final sequence, from Wilson’s visit to House’s apartment through the end, and the shock of House intentionally crashing his car into Cuddy’s home—and then his walking away from it, uncaring, barely a word, self-satisfied, leaving devastation in his wake as he walks merrily into the sunset. ...  it's certainly possible that House suddenly, dramatically snaps inside when he observes Cuddy and her new friend. But what doesn’t add up for me is that no matter how angry, no matter how out of character, would House actually drive his car into a home he knows to be occupied? If it happened “really” within the story, and House has actually done what it appears he has done, what does that do to him as a character, and what does it do to the series moving forward into what is likely the final season? Walking away from the destruction he has wrought is pretty unforgivable. How do you recover from that? How does House not come to his senses enough to understand that what he has done is beyond belief and beyond the pale? How does he go to a tropical paradise, running away from everything and everyone into some sort of fantasy that cannot exist?"

Magali Levet of The Voice of TV - "I could tell miles away House was going to crash his car into Cuddy’s house or that both character would try to ‘move on’ from the mess that’s been their lives the last few weeks. Yet, I have a hard time buying that both House or Cuddy would be ready to let go of 25 years of history negating their heavy past and strong connection, acting like they don’t matter that much for each other either by going back on the dating scene or attempting murder. What if House had hurt Rachel (Kayla and Rylie Colbert)? ....  Overall, this is a disappointing, and ridiculous, finale to an unsatisfactory season. The promised so-called exploration of House and Cuddy’s relationship, which had so much potential with these two screwed-up characters, barely scratched the surface and fell into unexpected common grounds way too quickly; the break-up’s aftermath was almost nonexistent besides House’s lame and uninspired antics; we haven’t learnt anything new about House himself or the people who are really supposed to matter to him; and there is absolutely nothing redeeming or appealing left in the House we loved at this point."

Lisa Palmer of Buddy TV - "Well, the positive thing about this episode is that it made me too angry to get truly depressed about Lisa Edelstein leaving the show. The ending was cringe-worthy....  this season ended with House driving through Cuddy's house (perhaps a self-destructive play on words?) and sipping a drink in some exotic local. We know you're angry, House. But are you really violent to the point of crazy? And if an umbrella in your drink can cure what ails you, why didn't we just send you to the Caribbean after the pilot episode? In all seriousness though, I'm racking my brain trying to figure out what the writers wanted us to deduce in the final scene. Has House really moved on? He's expressed his anger and he's chosen a lighter bar instead of the dark, depressing hole Wilson predicted. Well, I'm sorry, but it's not enough for me. House walking on the beach next to the tide might have looked refreshing, but after the finale, I was the one who needed a drink".

Erik Wilkinson of Give Me My Remote - "Until the closing minutes of this finale, I was enjoying HOUSE for the first time in weeks. Kath Lingenfelter & Peter Blake wrote a fantastic script....  Instead, director Greg Yaitanes indulged his overactive imagination for the umpteenth time, closing the season with a barrage of images that sacrificied story for shock value and emotional impact for sexy camera angles....  Viewers have been itching to have the Huddy chapter of this show closed, and Hugh Laurie & Lisa Edelstein were capable of telling that story with their own performances. If you believe that Gregory House is incapable of love and loyalty, then you were not watching his interactions with Rachel Cuddy, the precocious child who bonded with House more than any adult. Last week’s episode, when House & Rachel shared their pirate moment in the car, was almost Jerry Maguire-esque in its showcasing of an emotionally unavailable man falling in love with the notion of protecting a child. Leaping forward, we are supposed to accept that House would ram his car into Cuddy’s house, jeopardizing that same little girl’s life in the process? Nope, I don’t buy it. Not for a second".

Michelle of DaemonsTV - "This was Lisa Edelstein’s last episode, and while the writers had no idea she would be leaving the show at the time this episode was shot, they certainly gave Cuddy an out. I don’t think House and Cuddy could even remain in the same state at this point, let alone the same hospital, and I certainly don’t blame Ms. Edelstein for running far, far away from what has been done to Cuddy. ... House executive producer Greg Yaitanes said fans would be left shocked and excited by the last five minutes of tonight’s finale, but honestly, assuming the events are real (and the more I write, the more I’m leaning toward hallucination, though it’s probably wishful thinking), I’m just sad. House is many things: a cranky misanthrope, a brilliant doctor, a drug addict, a frustrating and selfish man. He is not; however, a psychopath. Or at least he wasn’t. Yes, House was hurting, drug-addled, and suffering from post-operative stress. Yes, Cuddy repeatedly picked the scab of their break-up, and yes she was with another man. These are all reasons for House to be upset—not ram his car into her home ALMOST KILLING HER AND THREE OTHER PEOPLE. I don’t know how the show will get past that. I don’t know how I will get past that. Assuming the show does get past it, where does House go from here? Doctors without Borders? Off the Map? Back to the psychiatric hospital?

Zack Handlen of AV Club - I feel like I should have disliked this more than I did. Which is an odd thing for a critic to say, even one as lumpy and waffling as myself. Because really, House ramming Cuddy's home was all kinds of dumb. The idea that Cuddy would just happen to be having a double date, in the middle of the day, when House and Wilson came by, was weird to begin with. ... And there's just too much idiocy in the act of auto-assault for it to be taken at face value, since, again, House could've killed people. Hell, Cuddy's daughter was somewhere inside. That's kind of evil. But getting past that, well, at least he didn't check himself into a nuthouse, and at least no one committed suicide. The announcement of Lisa Edelstein's departure from the show already confirmed the death of Huddy, but even if she wasn't leaving, it's hard to imagine the two of them getting back together after this. I do like that. And I liked how "Moving On" didn't shortchange just how impossible it can feel when you're trying to convince yourself that people are worth knowing after someone who means the world to you lets you down. Maybe it was Laurie's performance, maybe it was the writing, but you can almost see the episode admitting that, well, all of life is pretty screwed up, and the smarter you are, the more difficult it is to just accept the perversity of circumstance. Like all the finales, this promised some kind of change, but the change here is just that maybe next season, everything will somehow go back to the way it was.

Sara M. of Television Without Pity -  "Finally, of course, this wouldn't be a season finale of House if something totally insane didn't happen, so after Cuddy unsuccessfully tries to talk to House about his feelings and make things better between them, she moves on and has an odd mid-afternoon double date at her home with her sister, brother-in-law, and a guy that her sister is trying to fix her up with. When House sees them enjoying life in Cuddy's dining room, he does the only reasonable thing: he drives his car through her house and into said dining room, somehow managing not to kill or injure anyone inside. Yes, House is now actively trying to murder people, including Cuddy's three-year-old daughter who may well have been home and in the room at the time the car went through it. She wasn't, but he didn't know that. So he's pretty much irredeemable, as is, I think, this show. The season ends with House -- who somehow managed to escape the police who are actively looking for him even though he was on foot and, as we know, he's not the fastest walker -- hanging out somewhere tropical and looking about as happy as he ever gets".

Shannon of - "As a whole, I found this the most disappointing House season finale ever. The finales are always the best part of the entire season but this one just wasn’t as good as the previous seasons. Actually, I found the whole thing quite boring up until House parked his car in Cuddy’s dining room".

Joseph Oliveto of ScreenCrave (a.k.a. the only reviewer who liked this episode, which he rated 9/10) - "The way this episode ends is completely unrealistic, but the creative team behind the camera pulls it off so effectively and convincingly that we honestly don’t care. “House” has pretty much given up on realism these days anyway, so it was worth it to see House genuinely smiling for what seems like the first time in the history of the show. We wonder where the series will go from here, but hey, we’re definitely interested. Looks like everyone involved did their jobs.... A strong season finale should get us interested for next season, and that is certainly what was accomplished in this episode. While any sense of realism was thrown out the door in the final moments of the show, hey, it’s TV: we’ll learn to live with it."

Jonah Krakow of IGN -  "What's amusing is that the commercials touted a surprise twist and that House would never be the same again. And then the episode ended exactly the way it had to - with House (Hugh Laurie) violently lashing out at the people who care about him and avoiding the repercussions, especially Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein), who we now know will not be returning next season. Whereas last season's finale gave us hope, this one only served to remind us that the guy can't change... (in the climax) House crashed a dinner date that Cuddy was having at her house, as in, literally crashed through her dining room picture window at top speed... So now, along with prescription drug abuse and felony drug theft, we can also add domestic abuse and attempted murder to his rap sheet. House has always been able to defend his shortcomings because his ability to save lives trumps everything and his major crimes were usually directed at himself. This time he went too far and my suspension of disbelief to accept him as a protagonist has run its course. The producers seem to disagree: House went out a winner, relaxing on the beach under a bright sunny sky, safe from the police and safe in the knowledge that Cuddy won't be returning as the head of the hospital next year. Enjoy Season 8, House fans. I won't be joining you".

Anthony Ocasio of Screenrant - "Continuing this season’s general trend of lack-luster storytelling, mixed with moments of brilliance, the House season 7 finale perfectly personifies both the positive and the (many) negative traits that viewers have come to experience as this season painfully crawled to one of the most underwhelming, incoherent finales of the year... Like House on his downward drug spiral, this season has most certainly felt like it was mirroring the horrific path that the series’ protagonist found himself on. With continuous convoluted storytelling that conveys the sense that the producers don’t actually know what they’re doing, the House season 7 finale was an empty, heartless and all but pointless hour-long journey of perpetual failure... From the horribly constructed performance artist storyline, to the “surprising” revelation that Taub can easily get anyone pregnant (which appears to be a favorite trait amongst Fox series) and the terribly conceived seasonal cliffhanger plot progression, every element – from the minute to the monumental – felt as it if was thrown together in an attempt to “shock and awe” its continually dwindling audience."

So you see, it wasn't necessary for me to post my own review this time because these folks pretty much said it for me, for all of us.

Monday, May 23, 2011

David Shore: "No regrets" Seriously?

Tonight is the finale but I won't wait to post this. I'm sure I'll have something on that tomorrow.

David Shore has no regrets about what he's done on House.

I thought this clip might help express my thoughts:

In a recent interview, David Shore talks about the House season finale:

"The whole thing has just been a wonderful, exciting ride," Shore said, "to take this character and be able to explore him for 150 episodes, 151 episodes, 152 episodes and counting. It's been just amazing. At the beginning, I didn't think there were that many medical maladies we could deal with. I was just hoping we'd get a niche audience. I was hoping this character would touch enough weirdos out there to keep it going — but apparently, there are a lot more weirdos out there than I thought.

"That's not to say I've been thrilled with everything I've done on the show, but I'm pretty good at accepting that's what we did. I learned how to go forward with, hopefully, a slightly different perspective. There have been a couple of things over the years I thought were a mistake, but I'd rather not mention them. I don't want to feed the fire."

Shore added that, no matter what happens from here, he had no regrets about ending House and Cuddy's onscreen relationship.

"I was very pleased with what we did. I thought we did something that, in my opinion, could have gone very wrong. When you have millions of viewers, a number of them are inevitably going to believe it did go very wrong. But we worked very hard to keep House as House, and Cuddy as Cuddy, and never have them living happily ever after. One of our directives was always: less smiling. I never wanted to see either of them just content and happy."

You're pleased?   You kept House as House and Cuddy as Cuddy?  You don't seriously believe that do you?

None of us expected a "happily ever after" scenario and nor did we expect House's life to be sunshine and puppies but seriously, what we've been subjected to this season is well...beyond asshood.

As I stated in my recent blog about Lisa Edelstein's departure, you never gave it a chance.

While keeping House as House and Cuddy as Cuddy (or so you say), you forgot about something called character growth. You can't keep characters exactly the same for seven years, it gets BORING. Instead of working the relationship into the show gradually, it was thrown together hastily with the intent from the very beginning that it would not last. You had no intention of having them really try to make it work while intertwining it into all the other stuff going on in their lives and at the hospital. And when you had them together, there was no spark, no fire, it was just them playing like an old married couple. Seriously? Two people who have wanted to be together for some 20 years and that's how they act? The strong and confident Dean of Medicine gets pissed off over toothbrushes and toilet seats? The brilliant diagnostician whose bathroom is always in order uses his girlfriend's toothbrush and leaves a messy trail of toothpaste on the counter? Seriously? How lame can you get?  The way you have promoted House and Cuddy over the years in promos, photos, magazine and newspaper articles, in the end you just didn't do the relationship justice. Throwing in hints of a bad relationship revolving around trash, toothbrushes and toilet seats was just well...stupid. And what was worse is that you threw in the towel early on, deciding that instead of writing challenging storylines for these unique characters, you'd just toss in the old standby--you put House back on Vicodin. From the fans point of view, it was so easy to write. It's always easy to write what you've already done over and over again.We were not impressed. You could have done better. You should have done better.

We feel like we were sucker punched.

After so many years of watching two favorite characters banter their way around PPTH, you screwed it up. We could have handled them not being in a romantic relationship, we were fine with that for years. We enjoyed the banter, fighting, jokes, revenge and all the stuff that was House and Cuddy, not just between them but also as individuals, and with Wilson and the team. We were ok with what we had because it kept us wanting more. And despite the whole "people can't change" idea, the characters did change. Slowly over a period of time the characters were allowed to develop that is until you suddenly and unexpectedly decided to put the reigns on that. When you decided to put these longtime friends and colleagues into a  relationship for fourteen episodes (out of 152) you blew it all to pieces with some dumbass storyline and then afterwards it only got worse. The thing is, when you did this you destroyed much more than than the romance. In your ridiculous quest to prove "people can't change", you destroyed the dynamic of House and Cuddy, ruined the characters with a total lack of consistency, ignored the history of the characters, and threw in the old recycled storylines and other things that just made no sense at all. 

By mid-season millions of fans were left wondering, "WTF just happened?"

This isn't just about House and Cuddy, this goes beyond that. For seven years, you've brought the story of House, Cuddy, Wilson, the team and the patients of the week into our homes and we've been happily entertained. We've laughed and cried, been grossed out and even left in shock and awe. The characters for the most part were so incredibly well-written and even better than that they were so amazingly portrayed by great actors that we could actually begin to feel what the characters were feeling. That's when you know you've got a good thing--when you can feel what the characters are experiencing. Always at the end, we were left wanting more. But then you took it all away. You made our characters inconsistent with their history, stunted their growth, and took away the chemistry, excitement, suspense and the fun, leaving us with a shell of what once was. We feel like something's missing.

You erased whiteboard. Now it's just blank.

This is just not what I expected to happen to one of the best dramas in the history of television, and the most popular television show in the world. I don't think anyone else expected it either. This show, the amazing cast, the hardworking crew, and the fans who, have kept coming back week after week, deserved better.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Herman Cain throws his hat in the ring...

The first time I heard Herman Cain speak, he was filling in as host for Neal Boortz's show while Neal was on vacation. I really enjoyed listening to Herman because his thoughts and actions seemed to be based on common sense. Being a common sense person myself, I appreciate that. At the time I first began listening to him, I had no idea he was a Republican, I figured he was a Libertarian or Independent, after all, it was not often that I heard such common sense out of the mouths of Republicans--or Democrats for that matter. The more I listened to Herman Cain the more I liked him. He seemed like a decent man with honesty and integrity and I truly admired that he came from a simple background and worked hard for what he wanted in life.  I admired his courage in overcoming cancer and not letting it get him down. I often said he should run for political office because I think he speaks a lot of common sense and can relate to the average American.

While Herman Cain is a common sense type of man, he does believe in some of the same ideals as the Republican party. That doesn't necessarily bother me because I vote for the person, not the party. That's first and foremost in my book. There are certain Republican platform issues I do not agree with and one of those is abortion. I am neither conservative or liberal in this case, I am simply for less government involvement in the private lives of individuals--period. Cain is against abortion in all cases. Now, one thing I can say about him is that at least he's consistent. There are a number of Republicans and Democrats who are anti-abortion but in order  to get support from both sides, they concede that it's ok in certain cases. In my opinion, there is no gray area. You are either ok with it in all cases or you are not ok with it in any case. The fact that Herman Cain is steadfastly against abortion in all cases gives him a lead in my opinion because at least he is unwilling to compromise his principles. His stance may cost him votes from more moderate Republicans and from Independents or Libertarians but a person of principle doesn't compromise their core beliefs in exchange for votes. If your beliefs cost you an election, I say so be it. At least people can't question your integrity.

Cain favors immigration reform which includes stricter border controls and doing something positive about dealing with the illegal immigrants already here. By use of the word positive I mean that he undrstands we have a situation that we need to deal with and fighting over it year after year does nothing to solve the problem. Sure it's frustrating that there are so many illegal aliens in this nation, but we can't just put them on trucks and send them back home, we have to bite the bullet and do something even if it means putting them through the process and assimilating them into this nation. In the meantime we should be shoring up our borders. Both can be done simultaneously.

Hermain Cain supports abolishing the IRS and federal income taxes and I can't imagine anyone who thinks we can't come up with a better tax system than what we have now. The Fair Tax, with its flaws, would essentially make the government more accountable to us, particularly as it is a consumption based tax. This idea has both its strengths and weaknesses but all ideas should be on the table for serious consideration. Besides, the idea of taxing people on their hard-earned wealth seems to become more and more ridiculous as time goes on. It's hardly even close to fair.

Herman Cain also supports a strong national defense which I agree completely because in this day and age as much as we would all like to see some peace for a change, there is an evil element out there waiting for our defenses to be let down so they can strike us hard. We may not be able to come back from the next one as fast as we did 9/11. I don't want us to go to war, but I do want us to be prepared in case we are attacked or in case we need to defend our allies. A strong national defense is necessary in this day. Closing bases and reducing our Armed Forces is not in our best interests, in fact it could come back to haunt us.

We still have a lot we want to know about this man including his views on foreign policy which in my opinion is probably dealbreaker with many voters. We'll wait and see.The big question many people may have now is

"What makes Cain different from the others?"

...and that remains to be seen. Now that his hat is in the ring we can learn more about him.  I do know I love to hear the man speak because he is a great orator. But while words are good, actions are great. Cain, a successful businessman and talk radio host, doesn't have any experience in office so we don't have a political track record to look at here. All we can do is listen to him and try our best to analyze the political rhetoric. I don't know how much the American people put into political experience as a prerequisite for the Presidency anymore but for many it's becoming evident it doesn't matter. Whether or not a candidate though can get his or her party's nomination without any political experience remains to be seen. I question whether or not the Republican party would wholly support Herman Cain. We do know he is a favorite with the Tea Party and when I say Tea Party, I mean the common sense average grassroots Americans who support the cause because they are disgusted with the inadequacy and inefficiency of the two major parties. The true Tea Party supporters aren't radical or racist, they are middle-ground, common sense people, not so inclined to side with party but rather with person. They almost sound like Independents. In fact, a great deal of people I know who are Tea Party supporters are actually registered Independents or Libertarians. Herman Cain is very popular with those folks right now for a reason.

I think Herman Cain is a good man, I've never doubted that. I appreciate his working class background and how hard he worked to be successful. I admire that he stands with his principles even when I may disagree with him, and I am proud of his strength and courage in battling his illness. I love his oratory skills and I like his energy and his determination. Only time will tell if he has what it takes to even get the nomination.  The good news is he's not Huckabee, Romney, Bachmann, Palin or God help us...Newt Gingrich. That alone gives him points ahead in my book.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I just finished writing the series finale for "House"

Let's just write the ending now because as much as I really love watching Hugh & Bob as House & Wilson, without Lisa it's just not going to be the same. The three characters are essential to the show and without Cuddy or Wilson, a huge chunk of House (the man and the show) is missing. Without Lisa, it's going to feel like this big gaping hole in the show. So I decided to spare us all the heartbreak of a final season without her, and write the series finale which they could air right now and save a ton of time and money and we can all move on. Consider it my contribution to helping put us out of what will be Fox's misery, just a bit sooner.

You can read it at

Thursday, May 19, 2011

House 7x23 "Moving On" Finale Global Promo and speculation

After viewing the House Season 7 finale Global Promo, I have a speculation.

Obviously "Moving On" continues where "After Hours" left off. House is still in the hospital after the surgery to remove the tumors and repair the damage he did from his own self-surgery.

While he is recovering from surgery, House has one or more dreams and in them he is attempting to inflict harm upon Cuddy out of anger, maybe directed at her or perhaps himself for the way things have gone in his life recently. He dreams he pushes her into a wall, yells at her and crashes a car into her house (among other things we haven't seen yet). We know House, he would never do things like this in his rational mind.

Eventually House wakes up, still in the hospital and he remembers the dream where he hurt or possibly even killed Cuddy and maybe even himself and that's when he realizes that his lifestyle choices after the breakup are headed to a very tragic ending for both of them. That's when he tells Cuddy that he is making changes and that he wants to go back to the way things were before they started dating, because at least back then they had their longtime friendship.

The "You can never go back" reference may have a couple of meanings.

First and foremost, it may be that House finally comes to realize that if he hurts the one person he loves most in the world, he can never go back to the way things were for them, all the years of friendship they've had from their college days to just before the breakup. House would rather have that friendship with her than lose her forever. Not to mention that if he were to harm her, not only would he lose her but he would lose everything he has in his life including his license, his career and the only other friend he really has--Wilson.

Second, the "You can never go back"  may also refer to the idea that given all they've been through recently they may never be able to go back to being a couple again. Rather than continuing to hurt each other and rather than House risk losing Cuddy from his life forever and even losing his own life, they both decide to "Move on" to being friends and colleagues again. Essentially this is an opportunity to make amends and House to move on and fix his life and finally alleviate the burden of worries he's placed on both Cuddy and Wilson since the breakup. Now, the hard part begins but it's up to him.

BTW,  if we're wondering where the POTW fits into this, it is possible that the POTW case is in his head, in fact it may be part of him trying to work out his problems. He's trying to figure out how to fix his life and the POTW is really him. Remember the elephant he holds in his lap in the promo photo? Could be that this is actually a representation of "the elephant in the room" you know the big problem everyone tries hard not to notice? Well the elephant may be House himself and he finally sees it. 

Based on what we've seen in the promos, we're led to believe House is going to do some pretty bad things. But we know if he does, he'll wind up in jail, lose his medical license and lose both Wilson and Cuddy forever. That can't happen, otherwise there's no House in Season 8. Remember, things are not always as they seem in the promos and this could especially be true considering the POTW who tells House "this is a case tailor made for you" and "you don't know which symptoms are real and which are not".  To me, these are hints.

Watching the promo gave me hope for House the man because I really want to see him work hard to try and better himself and get over his misery, but it also makes me sadder than ever that Lisa Edelstein is leaving because she is such an integral part of House's world, both personally and professionally. Season 8 would be awesome with her and I cannot imagine her not being a part of it. I still hold out hope that she and Fox Broadcasting will somehow come to a compromise which works for both sides and brings her back. 

We can only hope.


Oh by the way another "sneak peek" was released after I made my initial post and in all fairness, it may force my theory to change somewhat given what's in the promo below doesn't look like the conversation they have about going back to where they were before dating takes place at the end, after some big dream. I don't know what to think now. See for yourself.

And here's two more that just came in while we're at it.

Could all of this still be in House's head? Is it still a possibility? Could he entire season or half a season, perhaps since Bombshells been a dream? House in a coma from some sort of accident? I mean seriously do we think House, in a rational state of mind could try to kill or harm Cuddy by running his car through her house?

Oy vey.
That is so NOT "Moving on" and so NOT in line with what we saw him wanting to do in the last episode.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lisa Edelstein's departure from [H]ouse a great loss to the dynamic of the show!

On the heels of strife between Fox Network and NBC Universal, negotiations between Lisa Edelstein, Fox Broadcasting and NBC Universal related to her Season 8 contract have failed and she's stated she's not returning to the show.  

Lisa Edelstein, a fan favorite and People's Choice Award winner, is an amazingly talented actress who has flawlessly portrayed the strong and determined Dean of Medicine as Dr. Lisa Cuddy on [H]ouse, M.D. for seven years. In addition, she's always been there to promote the show along with her fellow cast, most often Hugh Laurie,  with a huge smile on her face. The cast and crew, who are much like family, adore her as do the fans. Lisa is a very important part of the show. 

None of us are privy to the details of the negotiation but we do know Fox and NBC Universal have been working to reduce costs on the expensive-to-produce show, going into its 8th and final season. In a bid to reduce costs Lisa was asked to reduce her salary and number of episodes. It is true they also asked Robert and Omar to reduce salary, but Lisa declined, possibly for more than just  reasons related to salary. Could it be the lack of development of her character as well?  Losing Lisa is a huge blow to the series moving into its final season. When the finale was completed everyone, including Lisa thought she would be returning for the final season. Just a month ago Lisa made remarks about being excited to return for Season Eight so imagine the shock when it was announced she was not. No doubt right now, TPTB are trying to figure out what to do next. The hope among fans is that Lisa and Fox can still work out a deal and she'll return.

[H]ouse is the most popular television show in the world earning billions worldwide and gaining new fans every day. While some fans have abandoned the show because of a lack of character consistency especially in Season 7, many millions remain devoted.  There have been changes this season that have displeased many critics and fans alike.  What started out great at the end of Season 6 and beginning of Season 7 soon blew up in our faces and should be noted that this was not due to poor performances because the performances have been consistently brilliant. Rather  it was the sudden inconsistency in characters and lack of development and growth. This led to a drop in ratings despite the show's popularity worldwide. It is not difficult to link the decisions about the direction of the story and characters to a decline in ratings, loss in revenue and eventually the need for budget cuts. Had TPTB not made certain creative blunders, perhaps there would have been no need to ask two of the show's three vital players to take a cut in pay and reduce their screen time (while simultaneously increasing screen time for actors in supporting roles).

The big question for creator David Shore when he finally brought his two main characters from longtime friends and colleagues of over twenty years into a romantic relationship (which has been in the making on-screen for seven years), was if he worried the show would go the same route as others by placing the two lead characters into a romantic relationship, only for it to ruin the show.  Shore was adamant that [H]ouse would be different, it wouldn't make that mistake. He insisted "people don't change" and that they would keep House as House and Cuddy as Cuddy.

That may have turned out to be his first mistake.  The characters of House and Cuddy have a history going back more than twenty years to their days in college together. That history intertwines them both personally and professionally and is a part of who they are. These two characters have had feelings for each other for a long time, but they also have a special friendship that transcends their work and private lives, and it means a lot to them.  That friendship has been a very important part of their personal and professional lives and to the fans for the last seven years. Great writing has been a good part of that but even more was Hugh and Lisa's chemistry and joy of working together that really brought out the dynamic that is House and Cuddy.

By not letting the dynamic duo of Hugh Laurie and Lisa Edelstein do their thing and bring the relationship to life, (with the aid of course of some good writing) in such a way that would have easily intertwined the relationship into the show and allowing it to really play out in true House and Cuddy fashion (which could have been done while maintaining character integrity and interesting patient of the week stories), TPTB essentially initiated the decline of the show. Instead of  working the relationship into the show gradually, it was thrown together hastily, with the idea from the very beginning that it would not last. Thus, it was never given a chance and TPTB fell back on the old standby--House screwing up--and blowing it to pieces after only a few months (magically stretched into a year's time by the end of this season). Unfortunately, in their quest to doom the romantic relationship between House and Cuddy, they also ruined the friendship. They have successfully undone many years of banter, antics, and laughter and fans are left feeling like the last six years was just ripped out from under them. The actors were robbed of the chance to really put this fabulous story to the test and the fans were robbed of of the chance to see these two dysfunctional but lovable characters make a real go of it, all the while keeping pace with the POTW and other stories going on at PPTH.

The second mistake was a lack of challenging stories. There is so much great material for more suspenseful POTW stories as well as House's interaction with Cuddy's daughter Rachel, House's dysfunctional background and emotional issues related to his deceased father, Cuddy's dysfunctional family and the story behind her relentless perfectionism. Essentially Cuddy and Wilson are the glue that holds [H]ouse together and without one of them, [H]ouse doesn't seem complete. There was so much great material which could have been easily written into the episodes so as not to look forced in, but just a natural part of the characters growth.  Instead of growth this season, we were once again subjected to the old recycled storyline of House being hopeful for a brief moment in time then falling into miserable, rock-bottom, self-destructive, behavior. There's nothing challenging about that, we've seen it time and time again. While both Hugh and Lisa performed exceptionally they deserved better.

The third mistake was vastly under-utilizing Cuddy as well as inconsistency in character. The inconsistency was most evident in Cuddy's character. Lisa Cuddy is a strong and determined woman who, while somewhat dysfunctional and a bit of a perfectionist, knows what she wants and knows how to get it. She became the youngest Dean of Medicine ever and only one of a few female Deans in the country. She doesn't back down from a fight and has never been afraid to go toe-to-toe with the obnoxious Gregory House, or anyone else for that matter, except maybe her mother. In fact, Cuddy is the only person who can keep House in line. This season we saw her reduced from the strong and dominant Dean of Medicine of prior seasons to and angry, whining, bitter girlfriend. The Cuddy we saw this season was not quite recognizable when compared to earlier seasons. Though Shore & Co. reduced Lisa's dynamic presence this season,  she still played her character flawlessly. But damn we missed the former tough-as-nails and confident Cuddy we came to know and love. Given her importance to House and his world and the fact that Robert will be spending more time on Broadway, Lisa's screentime should have been increased to reflect both.  The interaction of all three characters is an integral part of the show and that dynamic is about to be sacrificed.

It is because of this great dynamic between our three leading characters that I do not believe the show cannot survive the loss of the Lisa Edelstein. Gregory House, the brilliant world-renowned diagnostician is a very flawed and complicated man and he needs his two best friends. While Wilson is his conscience, Cuddy keeps him stable, she sets his boundaries. After having been fired from four different hospitals, the only reason House is at Princeton-Plainsboro is because of Cuddy and he hasn't been fired yet because of her respect, admiration and love for the man, despite the fact he's a pain in the ass who drives her crazy. Without Cuddy, House has no job, but more than that, he has no life. It is because of their long history that Cuddy is able to keep House in line. They need each other. House challenges Cuddy to be better and he pushes her to her limit, which in fact, she likes and in turn Cuddy gives House the boundaries he so desperately needs.

As a way of justifying her departure, it has been suggested by some that perhaps what House needs is to be forced to make a go of his life on his own without using Cuddy as a crutch. Perhaps that is true but Shore has told us time and time again, "people don't change" in fact he has built the whole show on this premise. This was an important factor in his decision to ruin the House and Cuddy relationship before it ever got started. Shore has stated, "House isn't designed for comfort" and that no matter how much he wants to change, he can't. If we go along with Shore's philosophy which he has so brutally thrown in our face this season, then House will not change in Cuddy's absence, therefore the logic of House making a go of his life without her makes no sense. In contrast to Shore's consistent "people don't change" I think most fans would agree that House has changed, as have Cuddy and Wilson. Experience begets change, it's inevitable. Sometimes people move forward, sometimes backward, but there's always change. 

Without Cuddy, I fear [H]ouse is going to be lost and by that I mean the character and the show. Her absence in House's life both personally and professionally will be significant.  Season 7 is over on May 23 and Lisa was expected to be back next year. You can bet that her absence will never be accepted and could never be adequately written into the show. Any chance of a new start for House and Cuddy, even resuming their old friendship is gone and any chance for House to finally have what he's really wanted all this time--happines--or at least less misery in his life--is gone with it.  Given the fact that we know House wants to change, as he indicated to Wilson in "After Hours" we all hoped for a rebound in the finale and in Season 8. It was possible. However, without Cuddy I don't think there is any light at the end of the tunnel.

The cast and crew of [H]ouse have always been like family and it has been wonderful seeing them all together at events and group interviews over the years. The dynamic they have has been truly awesome and unusual for a cast that size in a television show over a period of years, but they made it work effortlessly. Hugh and Lisa are good friends and they work wonderfully together, making it seem as if portraying House and Cuddy comes second-nature to them.  You can tell they genuinely enjoy working together. Hugh and Lisa make their characters come to life and for seven years we have enjoyed watching the banter, fights, laughter and tears they have shared. I can't tell you how much that will be sorely missed.

The eternal optimist in me holds out hope that somehow Fox and Lisa can work out some kind of compromise so she can return to the role which was made for her and which she has played with amazing grace and talent for so long. She has been there supporting the show for seven years always with grace and a smile promoting the show and its causes. Regardless of what happens, Lisa knows she is loved and respected not just as an actress but even more so as a person. She is a kind and compassionate person who gives so much of herself to charitable and humanitarian causes for people and animals. It is because of that and so much more that makes her an amazing person and a success.

I can't imagine tuning into Season 8 knowing Lisa isn't there. Without her it's like there's a big gaping hole in the show and it will never be the same. House, Cuddy, and Wilson are three completely dysfunctional characters who, despite how much they drive each other insane, need each other. Without one, the others are incomplete. Lisa's departure is a great loss...for the cast who have worked so well together and been like family for so long and...for the fans.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Only Gregory House could perform surgery on himself in a bathtub and make it look cool...

[H]ouse episode 7x22 "After Hours" was a pretty damn fine episode, one of the better ones this season. And I say that with "all the love in the world" because the last episode I actually enjoyed the hell out of was 7x10 "Family Practice" which was simply excellent.

Who else would put himself on an experimental drug tested only on lab rats, in an effort to heal his pain? Only Gregory House could do it, wind up with tumors in his leg and try to remove the tumors on his own. If that episode doesn't win Hugh an Emmy I swear I'll throw myself under a bus. Hugh once again played the part brilliantly, it seems for him playing "House" is second-nature. From the moment he found out about the rats dying to the very end, I was hooked. Every scene he was in was just so masterfully done. And the look on Cuddy's face when she saw him in the tub with all that blood. Priceless.

House prepares to perform surgery on his right leg to remove the tumors

I like the little we get in the way of House and Cuddy banter here, especially in the car. Of course it was House who got Rachel interested in that "filthy" pirate cartoon! Cuddy told House in "Now What" she didn't want him to change. But she did want him to bond with her daughter, especially evident in "Massage Therapy" when she asks him to stay over at her house. So while we didn't see it onscreen, it happened. Apparently more often than not, House bonded with little Rachel Cuddy. So it's not perfection. Did Cuddy expect that House would have tea with her and the dollies and play dressup and take her to ballet? Seriously? House bonded with Rachel and Cuddy never even knew it. Seems such a shame.  

In regards to trust, House really did come a long way when he told Cuddy he trusts her. That speaks volumes for a man like House.  His trust issues have always been at the heart of matters. I think it may have begun early on but with Stacy it magnified. Stacy was responsible for making sure the doctors did what he wanted after the infarction but she went behind his back and essentially took all control away from him and ruined his life, or at least that's how he sees it. When he tells Cuddy he wants her in the operating room he is willfully handing over control over his health and his life to her, meaning he knows if they remove his leg, it will only be if Cuddy says it's ok and that there's no other choice.

The note from Rachel to House was priceless. I also believe that the note was from Cuddy too. Love the "bloody scalawag" and you know children see things so clearly that's why Rachel loves House, because she sees him for who he is, not for who she wants him to be, as is the case with everyone else. It was so clear when Rachel told her mother she missed House and wished he could come over and play with her, that he had a tremendous positive impact on the little girl and he does care about her. If Cuddy really didn't want House going over there to play with Rachel she would have made up some excuse but she didn't. Clearly she wants House back in her life again.I was hopeful that is.....until I watched the promo. I was thrilled after the episode and angry after the promo.

I watched the last minute or so of the [H]ouse writers Vlog for "After Hours" (I hate vlogs since Bombshells, I really don't want to know why they do things they do!) and I need some clarification. Lerner and Friend imply that last night's ep was supposed to be the original finale (which in my book would have been GREAT!) but that because there were unresolved emotional issues which is why they came up with a 23rd episode. But others have told me that Fox told TPTB they wanted an additional episode, hence #23.

If they were originally going to go out with unresolved emotional issues in the original finale (22) and move on to them next season, why is there the need to "resolve" anything in 23?

So...if this is true and 22 was supposed to be the original finale, then the coma/dream sequence thing was never a part of the plan, meaning...they had to come up with some to resolve things in ep. 23. But if they were originally going to leave things hanging in ep 22 as the original finale, why not do that and carry over the unresolved issues to Season Eight? To try and "wrap things up" in 23 makes no sense. IF in fact that is their goal. G/L make it seem the purpose of #23 is resolve the unresolved.

This can only go one of four ways:

1) They have House really REALLY f*ck up and it ends everything with Cuddy and with Wilson permanently. This means no friendship, no relationship with either of them. Then we're left with House in Season 8, alone AGAIN and miserable AGAIN, with no hope AGAIN, which goes totally and completely against what we saw take place not only with he and Rachel but with he and Wilson at the very end of "After Hours." (Not to mention it goes against his desire to clearly make his life better). House knows he has to change, and yeah he even wants to change. He just has to figure out how. Assaulting Cuddy and trying to harm her in "Moving on" isn't going to do that for him, if anything it will RUIN him. If he does assault her or harm her he winds up in jail. If he winds up screwed up in the head he goes back to Mayfield. Either way he loses his license, he loses the two people that mean the most to him and he loses EVERYTHING. And then we're left with 22 episodes of the same old miserable House in Season 8. I'm so over this misery thing already.

2) House comes to his senses and he and Cuddy talk and try to find themselves again. This means admitting their fears, weaknesses, their need for each other and try to go back to a place where they can work things out. They both try to change, with the help and support of one another. It will not be easy but they do have some commonalities, a BIG one is Rachel, who initially was seen as an obstacle really could be what brings them back together.

3) House does something extraordinary from pure self sacrifice which makes Cuddy realize he really wants to change...which essentially changes everything for them, especially House.

4) Whether a 23rd ep was in the original plan or not, Shore uses brilliant writing to make "Moving On" essentially inside House's Head. Who knows? Maybe he went into shock and a coma during his surgery on his leg? Perhaps he died for a few minutes during surgery? Maybe he's dreaming the events in this last episode and his brain is trying to solve the puzzle, making up this POTW but really it's himself? Seems to me in the promo that the POTW is using him, targeted him specifically and may be filming it all as her latest show. This could be the one puzzle House can't solve, he's trying to determine what is real and what is not....seems to parallel his own life doesn't it?

There are so many questions about 23 already. How is House able to move about with just his cane such a short time after surgery? What is with the elephant? The beach scenes? The hairbrush? Why is House even treating a patient when clearly he lacks good judgment right now and needs a psych consult? Is this crash at her house really a car driven by House and if so, is he trying to wake himself up from this dream? (Of course sources say it's not House that's actually in the car when it crashes). And why, WHY on earth would House ever assault Cuddy? Even on his darkest days he's never hurt her physically. Yes, he's desperate and he loves this woman more than anything but it doesn't make sense with what we just saw in the #22 especially when he tells her "I trust YOU! In a sense, he just basically forgave Cuddy for what happened during the infarction. He never came out and blamed her but he threw it in her face a few times and I am sure she feels guilty. By placing his complete trust in her, he was able to hand over some control over his life and put it in her hands. Huge step for House.

I promise I will remain hopeful. But...if they do #1, if they take House down that long lonely miserable road YET again, if they take away from him the two people who mean the most to him, if they give him no hope, I'm done with the show. Because frankly as awesome as Lisa, Hugh and Bob are, I can't watch my favorite show without having their dynamic. Enough is enough. I don't care how riveting the POTW cases, if they lose the House/Cuddy/Wilson dynamic, what they used to have together, I'm done.

I feel like the characters I've seen this season are not the characters of a few years ago. That means PEOPLE DO CHANGE despite what Shore wants us to believe. I may not have liked the direction of some of the changes but we can't deny there's been change. Ok so if you can change and go downhill, you can change and go uphill.

Last night's ep ended on a positive note, there's HOPE and then BAM! there's this promo and then the writers tell us the purpose of #23 is to resolve unresolved emotional issues. I don't know what to believe. I am just tired of the same old misery crap.

Now I can't believe they could go from the positive note we were left with in last night's episode to yet another downward spiral next week. I can't believe that everything that happened last night to "wake House up" could be for nothing, that it meant nothing. I can't believe House, no matter how deep his pain, no matter how desperate he is, could ever hurt Cuddy. I know TPTB are trying to show us this dark House but seriously...I hold out hope that the last few minutes of "Moving On" will bring us back just like they did in "Help Me". We were ALL expecting the worst at the end of "Help Me" were we not? I know I was on the edge of my seat shouting, "OMG don't take the pills!" The finales for seasons 2, 4, 5, and 6 were riveting and the finales of seasons 5 and 6 totally surprised me, but in a good way.

I just don't want to be played. I've watched this show since the beginning and I would like to continue watching to the end of the series. I just want to enjoy what's left of it.

Guess we'll see next week!

Monday, May 16, 2011

"A right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence"

...that, my friends, was written by Justice Steven David in his opinion in a recent Indiana Supreme Court Case.

First, let's get a refresher of the Fourth Amendment:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

I can't believe in America in 2011, anyone, especially a judge who has spent his/her life studying the Constitution and the law could possibly believe, much less justify, that the Fourth Amendment as it was originally written above is somehow not pertinent to today's society and is in fact incompatible with our modern set of laws. How on earth could the basic principle of the Fourth Amendment have changed?  Society may have changed since the Constitution was originally written but the basic fundamental principles of freedom have not.

This story here is incredible (Click on the link).

If I lived in Indiana right now I would be livid. But even though I don't live in Indiana, what just took place there sets an incredibly dangerous precedence for the rest of the nation. The Supreme Court of the State of Indiana in its latest 3-2 ruling just stripped the citizens of Indiana of their Fourth Amendment rights and opened the door for other states to follow suit.In the state of Indiana, public policy takes precedence over the Constitution.

The case:

Justice Steven David wrote:
"this Court is faced for the first time with the question of whether Indiana should recognize the common-law right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers. We conclude that public policy disfavors any such right."

Since when does public policy trump the Constitution of the United States? If we allowed public policy to dictate what rights the people should and should not have, we would have no rights and we'd be living under a dictatorship.

Thank goodness the Indiana Supreme Court isn't full of idiots. Justice Robert D. Rucker issued the dissenting opinion:

"The common law rule supporting a citizen's right to resist unlawful entry into her home rests on a very different ground, namely, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Indeed, "the physical entry of the home is the chief evil against which the wording of the Fourth Amendment is directed." Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 585 (1980). In my view it is breathtaking that the majority deems it appropriate or even necessary to erode this constitutional protection based on a rationale addressing much different policy considerations. There is simply no reason to abrogate the common law right of a citizen to resist the unlawful police entry into his or her home."

Alas, a voice of reason. Unfortunately there were only two voices of reason on the bench today.

Generally a warrant is sufficient enough for police to search a home because that warrant requires (or should require if done properly) probable cause---which must be backed by some sufficient evidence. The process of a search warrant is not only about constitutional protections but accountability as well. The judicial system must be accountable for its actions, it can't be allowed to do what it wants anytime it wants to do it. An ethical judge will not sign a warrant that does not contain probable cause and police are not allowed to search without a warrant.We have a system in place, it's not always perfect, but it works. We cannot afford to start messing around with it.

Without the Fourth Amendment and the ability to enforce it, government agencies of this nation could enter/search our homes, offices, vehicles and even our persons anytime for no reason.  The Fourth Amendment is one of the most important basic fundamental principles this country was founded on and it is imperative to maintaining a free nation.  I suppose the next step for this is the U.S. Supreme Court as I can't imagine this is over by any means. The people of Indiana should be up in arms about this, hell they should be on the front steps of the Capitol building protesting right now. 

The looming question on my mind is.....which of the remaining amendments in the Bill of Rights will be next?

"House" fights the power...

We're on the homestretch of the season and given that tonight's episode is going to have us on the edge of our seats I thought a little light humor was in order...

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Things my mother taught me...

Let me tell you about my mom, her name is Naomi. Mom is a kind, compassionate, and giving person. She wouldn't blink an eye to help the people she cares about. If you need her help, she'll do the best to help you, within reason. But trust me, if you screw her over, she will never lift a finger to help you again. She's got a heart of gold but she also knows her limit.

Mom is a true tree hugger but not in a radical sense. She knows there's a fine balance necessary for the coexistence between man and nature. She enjoys nature, believes it serves a purpose to our existence and she wants to keep what we've got so future generations can enjoy it. Mom loves animals and rescues them whenever they are in injured or in danger. Birds are her favorite but she's rescued squirrels, raccoons, turtles, cats, dogs and other kinds of critters over the course of her life. It's something she was born to do.

My mom is a fantastic writer with a great imagination, she used to write short stories all the time when we were younger. Her stories were as good as anything Spielberg has directed or King has written. Her stories "Wings" and "The Caretaker" are timeless classics and I still remember them to this day after having read them more than 25 years ago.

Mom was always an advocate, since she was a young girl. She's the girl who would sit with the black kids on the bus to show solidarity with them during the 60's when America was fighting racial segregation. A few years after we moved from Miami to the country in North Central Florida, mom was given her own column in a small rural local paper. Back then she was in her late thirties and she was on a mission, partly to fight injustice in a small town and perhaps part of it to assert herself and define who she was, which is common at a certain age in life. Having always been an advocate for the little guy and one to defend those who cannot defend themselves, she never had any problem coming out against injustice and the "establishment". Never one to give in to criticism, mom was fueled by the occasional idiotic letter to the editor bashing her for her views just because she was Jewish or an "outsider".

Mom is a logical, common sense person. She's a die-hard Democrat but she has no problem voting Republican if the right one comes along. I remember she even praised George Bush a few times! Her father was a Teamster and her husband was a member of the AFL-CIO so she knows how unions work, yet she's no fan of union corruption so she isn't swayed by Democrat logic. What sways her is the person, not the party.  If you don't like her vote, she'll let you know she doesn't give a damn what you think!

Mom always put her family first. Back in the 70's she enjoyed being home when we kids got home from school but as we got older she went back to work. She hated being gone all day because she really enjoyed taking care of the household, her husband and three kids. It was a lot of work but mom was a natural at it. Every night when she and dad came home from work, she would proceed to cook a huge meal for the five of us, clean house, and get laundry going. I am not sure when she slept. It wasn't until years later when I became an adult with a number of responsibilities I often wondered how mom did it all. I don't have kids and I think about how I'm glad I don't because where would I find the time or energy? Somehow mom did it all, we just never realized back then how much she really did for us.

In my family, my dad was generally the assertive and aggressive one while mom was the passive placater. She was by no means weak, but her personality wasn't as dominant as dad's. They fought like every couple, and dad was definitely a dominant personality, but they balanced each other out. Many times when dad's temper flared or he was angry about something, mom was able to calm him down and get him to see the other side of things. Mom kept our household balanced.Only in her later years when we were adults did mom's more assertive side come out. Come to find out that mom had always had an assertive side but it stayed hidden for many years. Mom always had a voice and a mouth and was never afraid to use either one of them.

It wasn't until dad died in March 2009 that mom's independence of her youth began to re-emerge. Gone was the woman we'd all been afraid might collapse from heartbreak after dad's passing, and here emerged the mom who had always been independent, authoritative woman who knows what is best for her and does what she wants to do for herself. I guess when you get married, sometimes pieces of your personality may subside in an effort to balance out the relationship. You can't have two overly assertive and aggressive personalities fighting for dominance (trust me, I live with that every day and it's difficult as hell!). Mom's independence flared when it was time for it to do so, and she hasn't looked back since. I'm really proud of mom for being able to take care of herself and emerge from losing dad, her partner of 43 years, and stand on her own. She is very brave and we are proud of her.

Mom has always lived in close proximity to her mother. While I was able to break away from my parents at the age of 18, mom always lived near hers, never being more than a few hours by car. Mom's mother is in her 90's now and lives next door. Sometimes they get on each other's nerves as my grandmother, as wonderful as she is, is a dominating personality, much like her mother and grandmother before her. They were tough Italian and Sicilian women. Dad was always the buffer between mom and grandma. He had no problem telling everyone to "shut up" LOL and take a seat when things got heated. Dad always worried grams would drive mom crazy when he died but you know mom has really proven him wrong.  Mom stands up to grams now and doesn't let that guilt complex get to her. And let me tell you the women in this family are soooo good at the guilt thing, they can do it without even trying, really it's like a gift.  I'm proud of my mom for standing up to her mom and showing that at 65 and widowed she is still able to take care of herself and doesn't need to be nagged or guilted into doing anything she doesn't want to do.

So now that you know something about my mom let me tell you what she taught me. Now, much of what I learned from my mom weren't things that she sat down and told me, on the contrary, we never had those kind of talks where mom sat me down and said "ok this is how you do this" or "this is how you do that" rather she taught me by example. I watched how she lived her life over the period of 65 years and looking back I have learned a great deal. I am sure there were times she wasn't intending to teach me anything, but regardless, I learned something anyway just by watching or listening.

My mom taught me to read when I was three years old. My exceptional reading skills were evident to all my teachers at a very young age and my reading comprehension led me to be an excellent speller, going to state competitions twice when I was a kid. Even today I can't get enough of reading and I drive people crazy with my anal-retentiveness over spelling! :)

Mom taught me good penmanship. And now that I'm older I notice my handwriting is nearly exactly the same as hers even though I write with my right hand and she with her left.

My mom taught me how to write, how to use words to make people think. My greatest gift, my writing, I  owe all to her.

Mom taught me to love animals and nature. She taught me compassion to help injured and suffering animals. I can't help rescuing some poor creature because it's what I learned from her. It's in my blood.

Mom taught me compassion and kindness. She taught me not to turn my back on people who need my help.

Mom taught me the art of mediation. Like her, I am a born placater and I thrive on bringing "warring factions" together and finding middle ground. Like mom, I'm a peacemaker.

Mom taught me to not be afraid to voice my opinion. And oh boy sometimes she must roll her eyes at that because I take it to the extreme and beyond sometimes. Mom taught me to fight for the "little guy" and fight corruption and injustice. Mom taught me that you don't have to hide behind anonymity, that it's ok to put your name on it and run with it. Don't be afraid to speak your mind, what do you care what others think? What matters is what you think of yourself.

Mom taught me it's ok for us to forgive ourselves for stupid mistakes we made in our lives. We all do stupid things we later regret but what's the point of beating ourselves up over it? What's done is done. We can't change the past but we can change the future.

Mom taught me never to rely on anyone but myself. Oh it's nice to have people you can count on, but you have to be able to take care of yourself first before you can take care of anyone else.

Mom taught me about the value of friendship. How many people do you know who have the same best friend after nearly 50 years? Well mom and June have been best friends since they were in high school. And though they went for extended periods not being in touch, just because life got in the way, when they picked up the phone it was like no time had passed at all. Mom taught me a true friend doesn't give a crap about what kind of job you have, how much money you make, how you dress, what you look like, they only care about what's in your heart. 

Finally, mom taught me it's ok to be me that it doesn't matter what others think of me, what matters is what I think of myself. She taught me that family will always love you, even when you screw up. She taught me that no matter what I do in this life, there will always be people who love me and care about me even in my darkest days. Whether those people are family or friends, what matters is that the ones who truly care about you will always be there when you need them, never asking for anything in return and she was right.

Thanks mom for putting up with me for the last 41 years. Thanks for not telling dad a lot of the really stupid things I did that he would have driven him crazy.  Thanks for driving me to and from summer school and for letting me quit that one year I didn't want to go. Thanks for the times you were trying to teach me a lesson and I didn't quite get it. Thanks for buying me pretty little frilly dresses and shiny black patent leather shoes to wear when I was in elementary school. Thanks for the barbie dolls, fashion plates, and girlie things you bought me. Thanks for the Black Beauty book and all the great books you gave me for my birthday and Christmas each year. Thanks for coming to find me when I ran away from home, TWICE!   Thanks for helping me with my homework, making me read my schoolbooks as punishment (which actually HELPED me!), and for teaching me to write and spell. Thanks for encouraging me to go back to college and earn my degree. Thanks for thinking I was worth all the crap I put you through! LOL :D

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

With [H]ouse the more things "change" the more they say the same...

In this episode "Changes" 7x20, there were some depressing undertones. It was kind of sad. I saw a lot of parallels between House and the POTW. Both constantly searching for what makes them happy, what completes them, yet really it's right under their nose. When the POTW was reminded at the beginning that he keeps digging in the past to find happiness, meanwhile there's a whole world out there that can give him pleasure. Same thing applies to House, he's so miserable mostly having to do with this past, he can't let go and misses out on what's right under his nose, mostly a life with the one woman he loves more than anyone or anything.

House & Cuddy in a rare moment (not fighting) discussing her mother

I don't think House has lost all hope, at least not yet. He's hurting, as his Cuddy but even though he told Arlene he and Cuddy weren't getting back together, I don't think he believes it, not really. I do think he and Cuddy are scared to death of having "the conversation" about where to go from here because they still love each other and I don't think they really want to let go. They think they can but they can't. Facing each other would mean one of two things can happen: either they split permanently and accept it (which neither can do, not in their hearts) or they get back together and make it work (which scares them because they know how it feels to break up). So as long as they don't have to deal with it, everything is ok the way it is, even if it sucks. I do think what Wilson told House about keeping the negative banter alive because without it there would be nothing between he and Cuddy at all, was right on. He doesn't just love her and need her in a romantic way, he needs her in his life period.

Seems to me a door is being left open for them. House doesn't deny to Wilson that he still loves Cuddy though he deflects by saying that he's happier without her and better off alone which we all know is a lie. Cuddy's mother pretty much told House and Cuddy what everyone else already knows--nobody else can put up with them, which is true. I mean let's face it, TPTB have created two very dysfunctional characters. And for these two what they had together was still a thousand times better than what they have now apart. They're never going to find what they had together with anyone else. Cuddy doesn't deny in coma guy's room that she still cares about House when pointed out by Wilson. And Cuddy tells her mom in so many words it would take more than a "common enemy" to get her and House together. Add to that Arlene telling her daughter she is an idiot with impossible standards and the fact that when Cuddy turned around after hugging her mother, hoping that what just transpired may give some closure to her and House, he was gone, meaning there is no closure, things aren't finished yet. I don't think things can ever really be finished between them.

I enjoyed a few good lines between them, I loved the interaction between House-Cuddy-Wilson-Arlene. But...something is missing between House and Cuddy and that's the fun, sexy, flirtatious, witty banter they used to share. Now, it's just bitter. This isn't the same House and Cuddy I remember from prior seasons. Heck it's not even who I remember early on this season. The banter between House and Cuddy has lost its edge and that sucks. One of the great things about these two is how they need each other. Cuddy needs House to push her and challenge her to be not just a great administrator but a great doctor. He makes her better and makes her stronger and tougher which a woman like Cuddy needs to be. In turn, Cuddy gives House boundaries, she's been able to take his crap and push back, restrain him, reign him in. They used to be SO GOOD AT THIS and they both knew it. Now? It's gone. In order for the series to survive another season they need to get this back. We can't go through another season of bitterness and tension, not like this, no way.

The episode was about changes but I didn't see much in regards to change, in fact what I saw was very much of the same. In the end, Foreman and Chase didn't change, Thirteen has resigned herself to a life of misery while awaiting her impending death, House is still miserable, as is Cuddy, and Arlene is still shifty as hell. The POTW was able to move on with his life when the great love of his life returned at the end. Is that change? Well, instead of finding someone new, he was adamant about a relationship with the old flame, which was rekindled. Maybe it wasn't really change at all.

Change is hard. We are who we are, just like Thirteen told House. But that doesn't mean a person can't be happy. House is who he is because of the experiences he's had in his life, but it doesn't mean he has to be miserable. Cuddy clearly made him happy--at least the House version of happy. And while Cuddy can't change either, or it so appears, House made her happy, at least however she defines it. Change is different for everyone. The changes these two have to make in order to be together are alleged to be BIG changes, but is this really the case? Do these two have to make monumental changes in their lives to just enjoy what they give each other? I know Cuddy had told House early on she didn't want him to change, but maybe she wanted him to want to change once he realized how happy he was with her. It's not that he didn't want to change, he was afraid. He could have really used her by his side to help him through that. And Cuddy, well she is afraid to let her guard down and just be in love, let someone else take control for awhile, making her also afraid. But she could have let House be there for her to help her get through that. It doesn't have to be painful, not at all. But these two are so screwed up they can't see it.

It will never be over for House and Cuddy, unless one of them dies. We can thank TPTB for that and I think that's a good thing. TPTB have given us many years of wonderful House and Cuddy that we have come to love them. We love their more than 20 year history and all they have shared during that time. We think about people in our own lives who we known that long and wonder what life would be like without them. That history between House and Cuddy is the basis for a deep emotional attachment that can't be broken, not even by all they have been through recently.

As to the next episode, I don't know what to think about the 7x21 promo because that looks like Meth or Heroin (not having seen either maybe someone can clear that up?) and if this isn't a case of a misleading promo that has nothing to do with House taking street drugs and if it has nothing to do with him once again using himself as a guinea pig in an effort to diagnose the POTW, then I'm going to be angry. Why? Isn't it enough that TPTB threw House back on Vicodin because it's easy to write since we've been through it before, but throwing him on street drugs? Now they can argue that House is so depressed, so miserable and sad that he has lost all hope and doesn't want to live anymore....then this might as well be the end for House. Wasn't hitting rock bottom after losing two colleagues and his father, plus the DBS which caused a brain injury in trying to save Amber, in addition to an overload of the no longer effective Vicoding, all of which sent him to Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital enough?

Good grief. At what point does House get a break?

If TPTB are trying to show us that people can hit rock bottom, hey we get that. If they want to show us that people have a real hard time changing, we get that too. We also get that our experiences make us who we are and that some things, like genetic makeup, make it hard to change. Yes, we are ALL dysfunctional, so we can relate to House. The thing is that this isn't what we want. Oh we don't mind House facing challenges and being a misanthropic, sarcastic, rude pain in the ass but seriously he deserves better than this as do his partners in crime Cuddy and Wilson, who are in my opinion highly underutilized. And not only do our favorite characters deserve BETTER than this but so do the magnificent actors who portray them, and the people who work behind the scenes to make this show great, and ultimately the loyal fans who keep coming back for more week after week despite the lack of continuity in characters and sometimes lack of a compelling storyline. The [H]ouse we know and love, which is still one of the most watched television programs in the world, should be nothing short of brilliant every single week.

Once again though kudos to Hugh, Lisa and Bob for giving us more fine performances!

One more thing...

I am hoping like hell that TPTB are fooling us and plan to give us a spectacular finale which explains everything we've seen these past couple of months, does us proud and proves us wrong in our assumptions!