The Thing I Like About …

House: the one where he sits with the detective and plays music.

Dr. House is not a likeable man; we like watching him, because he’s smart and funny and interesting and he gets away with the kind of bluntness and sarcasm we would like to get away with. But he’s a very broken person, carrying tons of baggage and full of neuroses, and if we actually knew someone like that in real life we would hate him with every fiber of our being. The only reason we like him at all is that we are also sometimes broken and baggage-laden and neurotic, so we understand. We get it … but we wouldn’t like a person like that in real life.

Dr. House “hires” a detective (he never pays the people he hires because he’s a jerk) to follow his staff, his boss, and his best friend. The detective develops a friendship with House, although neither would probably admit it. The detective waits in House’s apartment, playing the piano; when House comes home, he and the detective discuss all the things that are wrong with House, and all of the reasons the detective should probably not work for House anymore. They discuss this bluntly while the detective plays the piano and House plays his guitar. It’s a moment of brutal honesty, true camaraderie, and excellent music.

This moment is what we’re all looking for: the friend who knows exactly and precisely what we are, calls us on it … then accepts it anyway, and sits with us making beautiful music in the midst of all the things that are “wrong” with us. It’s what House looks for through the entire series but really doesn’t think he deserves. It’s the real reason we like House just fine – because we’re sometimes broken and baggage-laden and neurotic, and we want to be forgiven for it. It’s the reason we say we wouldn’t like someone like him in real life – because we’re all like him to some degree or other, and we’re not sure if we’ll ever find friendship with people who really know us but who can still focus on the beauty that we offer, who see all of our truths but accept the bitter with the sweet.

We want honesty, truth, friendship and beauty … but we don’t think we can have all of those things together. But why not? If House can find it, surely we can.

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