Saturday, February 9, 2008

Thoughts on House (TV)

Some of you asked my opinion on last week's (this week's?) episode of House...so my thoughts are up at my other blog.

What did you think?

4 comments:

Kat said...

Good analysis, Phyllis, but for me the most interesting part of the episode was Dr. Taub's reaction to the Chassidic couple (since the Taub character is a Reform Jew). I thought the show did a good job of capturing the typical Reform Jewish reaction to Orthodox and Haredi Jews: initially, he was disparaging and insulting toward the Chassids, but as he got to know the couple, he developed a real respect for them. By the end of the episode, you could tell that even though Taub would clearly never become a baal teshuvah himself, he saw things in Chassidic tradition worth embracing.

Unfortunately, the reaction of the other doctors (not just House) to Taub was also typical, taunting and sneering at him when he tried to defend the Chassidic couple...and even before that, come to think of it.

As for your comment on House, I also thought it was odd that he recognized the Eishet Chayil, especially since even most Jews I know wouldn't have recognized it, and House doesn't seem like a person who would research other people's religions for the heck of it. As far as I know, the show has never said much about House's background, but now I wonder...

Kat said...

Also, as I recall, the husband did invoke pikuach nefesh when the woman first insisted on celebrating Shabbat, but she shot him down--which would actually explain exactly why he was willing to participate in the scheme to trick his wife. Just a thought.

Phyllis Sommer said...

hmm...I'm not a regular watcher of the show (and I did miss the first 3 minutes) so I didn't know that Taub was a Reform Jew and I guess I didn't pick it up...you are right, his response is generally typical!

What About Mom? said...

oops--should have commented here. i left this comment on your other blog. thanks again for the review!

Phyllis,

thanks for your review; i enjoyed reading your perspective on the show. if i'd wanted to look up some of the Jewish things I wasn't familiar with, I wouldn't have known how to even start spelling them. :)

i like the character of house, bec. as you say, i think he is at least consistent in his disrespect of everyone and all religions (except, one could argue, the religion of science).

anyway, one thing that struck me was that the woman's determination to obey the Shabbat commandment (disregarding the save-a-life commandment bec. perhaps that seems to self-centered when the life is your own?) stemmed from her desire to be completely committed/converted.

as if it were necessary to go farther than required to make up for the way she had lived beforehand. or to somehow cement or sanctify her new faith.

does that make any sense?

in the episodes with the "Mormon" character, house got the Mormon character to drink alcohol in the name of medicine (but really as a test of his candidacy for the fellowship) way to quickly, in my opinion. drinking alcohol, for Mormons, is like eating pork for Jews/Muslims. we just don't do it.

of course some fall short (and of course i'm not a perfect example of a mormon), but it seemed to discount the lengths to which some will go to live their faith.

so in that regard, i thought the Jewish woman was a little more respect-able.