Monday, May 30, 2011

House without Cuddy: What next?

Just as the end of season 7 of House was approaching, fans discovered that Lisa Edelstein, who plays the character of the hospital administrator Dr. Lisa Cuddy, would not be returning for season 8. Throughout the past 7 seasons, viewers have watched the tension between House and Cuddy, whether it be the defying of medical ethics, or the evolution of their relationship. In season 7, fans finally witnessed what they had always been hoping for, House and Cuddy finally got together! But as soon as their relationship began, they ultimately broke up. As fans were maybe rooting for them to become a couple again in season 8, this clearly will not be happening. Without Cuddy, a lot of the personal story elements of House will vanish, as their love story kept the show electrified. The show will now be a little bit more than a standard medical procedure – an interesting case with House miraculously solving it! Without Cuddy, who will viewers root for and feel attached to if not to the House/Cuddy relationship? A big question is, will the show suffer if Cuddy leaves? What are the writers going to do to fill this gaping hole and keep viewers interested? A new love interest?

The absence of a main character is not uncharted territory for House. At the end of season three, Dr. House fired his entire team. The majority of that next season resulted in House having his prospective employees playing crazy games to try and be hired. House has always been about Dr. Gregory House, not about the minor characters, but I am not sure whether the writers can continually develop his character without some minor characters being explored more deeply along the way or the addition of something new to the show altogether.

Although Cuddy is gone, House will still have the diagnostic team of Dr. Chase, Dr. Foreman, Dr. Taub and Thirteen. Hopefully we will see more development of the back-stories of each of these characters. Is Thirteen’s Huntington’s become a bigger part of the plot? What will Taub do with his pregnant wife and girlfriend? What new things will we learn about Foreman and Chase? I hope that the writers will develop these characters as it has been lacking immensely in previous seasons. Maybe there will be an addition of a new character, one that could be a replacement for Cuddy’s character so that House can defy him/her in every episode. Hopefully the writers can add something new to keep the show as entertaining as it has been over the past seven seasons. Otherwise, House could very well be nearing its concluding season.

-Richie Sapp

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