The writing and production team sure responded proactively after the subpar Third Season. They have tried really hard to include again what made the
Season 1 & Season 2
so good. The brutally witty dialogues are back, so is the breakneck pace of the first season. The humor is dry and subtle but not as raunchy as of the second. They’ve “amended” it but exposed the major
chink in House’s armor in the process.
In a noble attempt to enthuse freshness, there is an extended team of doctors now, along with the usual trio of Dr Chase, Cameron and Foreman. Even the patients are majorly interesting with well-developed back stories and characters. Not a single episode starts in the all too familiar Princeton–Plainsboro hospital. From Drag racers, to tv soap actors, punk rock stars, magicians, cute prostitutes, CIA agents, NASA prospect and so many other captivating novelties are there. Some episodes are exceptionally brilliant, though. Credit goes to the eccentric patients.
Now that is a great thing if you think season 4 having an unparalleled variety episode by episode and it can also be perceived as a compensatory measure to cover up the stale familiarity of the premise. The same two floors, same rooms, the same diagnoses and the same conversations all over again. By the season 4 it has grown too familiar, there's no new tricks up the show's sleeve. We know everyone in there by heart, how they think, how they behave, what they would do and the like.
Not that such consistency is a bad thing, fan base is made upon such consistency and predictability (pop songs anyone). Just after the lackluster third season the return to the roots seem too desperate. Even the production team has spent more dough in giving it a CGI induced over polished feel. The poignant songs are back and for the first time you can actually feel the loneliness and need of companionship of Dr. House every so subtly. Dr. Taub is a great addition to the team, matching wits and personality with Dr House. His comic timing is great.
As a standalone season it is as good as any, far better than the third but it’s too self-conscious and docile to have any radical impact. Dr. House doesn’t play by the rules then why the show should. Another thing that made it borderline boring is that there is no advancement in the main-plot whatsoever, even Hugh Laurie himself is somehow less charismatic. We all love some Drama, don’t we. To conclude all I can say is, I’m not disappointed but I’m not overtly impressed either.
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