Over the past few weeks, Monica and I have cruised through seasons 3, 4, and 5 of House M.D.. It’s been a while since we watched the first two seasons but we were able to dive into the show again without much difficulty. We finished up the fifth season tonight which catches us up to the season that’s currently airing (albeit several months late in order to be up to date on what is airing now).

I have to say that I wasn’t that impressed with season five. I think it’s because the formula of House is getting old. Anyone that’s watched the show knows what the formula is. A patient comes in with a seemingly incurable bizarre disease. House and his team spend the next half hour essentially trying to diagnose the patient using the trial and error method. House talks to Wilson and miraculously knows how to cure the patient. Rinse. Repeat.

The show got by for so long because the cases were actually interesting and honestly I think that many people (myself included) have no idea what 90% of the diseases mentioned are but boy, do they sound scary. Season five started to annoy me though. The main reason was the main character. It’s always bad when you have a show centered around one person who suddenly becomes unlikable. House’s unfriendly demeanor was cute and funny at first. Oh look! He’s saying what we’re all thinking inside but we’re afraid to say. After four straight seasons though this starts to get old. It’s frustrating to watch as House does the same song and dance among the cast and no one has the balls to slap him or to stop enabling him.

I had a similar problem with M*A*S*H. House, just like Hawkeye hasn’t grown as a character. He’s the same now (or at least at the end of season five) as he was in the first episode. Sure, there have been a handful of changes that have been tossed in that have made House think about his life (The offended police officer, the change of teams, various deaths) but they have all been momentary and very short lived.

I think that the writers of the show need to take a page out of their main character’s book. House is known for taking risks that are deemed wildly inappropriate and sometimes offensive but he gets results. Any time that a change came in that may present an interesting dynamic (Cameron taking over for Cuddy) it is ended quickly and everyone goes back to fearing House and making excuses for him. If they had stuck with any of the changes or storylines for more than an episode or three than the show would be more interesting to me.

Maybe they’re afraid though. They are on the Fox Network after all, which is famous for canceling shows on a whim (Firefly I’m looking at you) but at this point, what’s the risk? The show is in it’s sixth season and if the commercial I saw today has anything to do with it, it’s almost exactly the same as any previous season. I’m not all that mad about this. I’m just disappointed. There’s so much potential here (Bryan Singer is an executive producer too) and I feel that it’s wasted right now. Am I the only one that feels this way? Or are other people thinking that House should limp into something more interesting and permanent?