In 2006, I was casually watching TV with a friend. While flipping through channels, I came across a show that would become such an important part of my life - House MD. I even remember exactly what episode and what scene I came across it. I was interested in all the medical things they were talking about and the characters, so I watched it the next week. Within two episodes, I was already captivated by the show and decided to download the entire show (it was only in season 3 back then) and proceeded to watch it from the start. Well, “watch” is not a good word for it; “marathon” is a much better description of what I was doing. My eyes were glued to my computer screen for hours as I absorbed all the awesomeness of Hugh Laurie, the medicine, the storyline, and all the other characters. Yes, within two weeks of coming across the show, I was addicted - which is quite ironic, given the show’s premise.
Why was I so fascinated with House? Well for starters, Hugh Laurie’s characterisation of Dr. Gregory House was…simply amazing. I don’t think I’d ever seen such a complex, genius and messed-up character like him on TV (yeah I know there are shows like Monk, but I didn’t watch much TV before House :P). The show always had a superb balance of humour and drama that I always enjoyed. Another significant reason I loved the show so much was the medical mysteries. I’d always been extremely interested in science and the human body. In fact, my dream when I was a kid was (in order): artist -> scientist -> vet -> doctor. I only thought about wanting to become a doctor around year 8 or 9, since I thought “well if I want to be a vet, why not study how to fix people?”. But even so, it was never a complete, I-must-be-this kind of dream yet. But when I started watching House, I became entranced by the complexity of medicine and all the puzzles it presented - especially how they used differential diagnosis and process of elimination to find the answer. Even though I knew medical dramas aren’t the most accurate sources of what doctors do, I was still interested in all the different diseases the show presented. I think I’ve always had a soft spot for solving puzzles and mysteries; I loved reading Sherlock Holmes novels (which is funny since House is inspired by Holmes) and solving brainteasers. House managed to combine my two interests of puzzle solving and medicine.
I daresay, House MD solidified my desire to learn medicine and become a doctor. I’m serious. I’m not ashamed of telling people that one of the major reasons I’m studying medicine is because of House. Even now as a 4th year med student, my dream is to one day become a doctor like House (okay, maybe not the personality, but definitely his brilliance).
Not only did House help me decide my career path, but it helped me along it so many times. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you how obsessed I am about the show - to the degree that I can recall any scene from any episode, even visualising in my head. Really, when I was in school, I converted all the episodes into MP3 files so I could listen to it in the car, so I developed the ability of playing the episodes in my brain. Watching/listening to each episode at least 50 times (no joke) helped too. Anyway, because of my obsession, I automatically picked up a lot of things from the show, which ended up vastly extending my medical knowledge. House has helped me answer countless exam questions, recognise/remember things from lectures and look good in front of consultants (haha). In fact, I said “Ooh that was in House” during lectures so often that I had to shut myself up before my friends hit me. Nonetheless, I still know about so many random diseases and how they present because I saw it on House. You might say it’s only a TV show and it is bound to be inaccurate, but I’m so obsessed that I cross-referenced every episode to a blog written by a doctor who does medical reviews of the show, meaning I could correlate the show with accurate medical information.
Today, on the 22th of May, 2012, House MD aired its final episode. After 8 years and 177 episodes, the show that motivated me to do medicine and drove my passion finished. Most people would see this as an overreaction, but the show has meant that much to me and seeing it finish forever is very sad. If you read my blog regularly or know me in real life, you’ll probably know how much I’ve been pining about it. The other day, I actually had a dream where I met Hugh Laurie and personally thanked him for the role he and his character of House played in my life. I also got an autographed photo and played piano with him, but I digress.
I’m glad to say that the finale was LEGENDARY and was beyond my expectations, so I am content with the swan song. Although admittedly, I actually wept tears of joy because it was just such a significant event for me. The finale extensively explored the character of House throughout the 8 years, hitting all of the key points of friends, family, pain, loneliness and mystery that the show has been about. The ending was very meaningful to me as well, but I won’t give away any spoilers. So yes, it was extremely sad to see the show end, but I am extremely happy that the show is getting such an epic send off.
So thank you House MD: for giving me 8 perfect seasons of pure entertainment, a drive to study medicine, extensive medical knowledge, something to laugh and think about every week and always being there when I needed to unwind or brighten up my day with an episode of your awesomeness. I will now proceed to honour you by marathoning from season 1 (127 hours of pure awesomeness coming right up). I will always remember you as the TV show that changed my life.