Thursday, January 12, 2006

From Regent to House

It's been a real Hugh Laurie week for me. I watched two repeat episodes of "House" Monday, the most recent episode of the show Tuesday, and several episodes of "Blackadder Goes Forth" last night.
It's hard for me to decide how good "House" is because what fascinates me most about it is that the guy who plays crusty, sullen, sarcastic, American Gregory House is the same guy that's tarted up as the foppy Prince Regent in "Blackadder III" and plays the lovable, rich, dimwit George Colhurst St. Barleigh in the "Goes Forth" series. And Bertie Wooster, of course. Wow.

I guess most American haven't a clue as to who Laurie is and what roles he's played in the past, but for those of us who do, he's amazing in "House," limping around, angry, breaking every rule in the book to get to the bottom of the patient's problem, just daring the world to get in his way. But every once in a while there's a faint glimmer of George or Princey or Bertie straining to break out just under Dr. House's unshaven surface. Will he toss away the cane and revert to enthusiastically shouting the praises of the Cambridge Tiddlywinks Champions of 1914?

Hugh Laurie is completely brilliant as House. I don't care how outrageously mean he gets on the medical series. Deep inside, he's really just the Prince Regent who's changed clothes, put his brain into action, and acquired flat American speech patterns. No wonder he's pissed!

So in the words of dear George St. Barleigh: "Permission to shout 'Hurrah!" excruciatingly loud, Sir!"

Permission granted, indeed.


Jeff Shaumeyer said...

Although I haven't yet seen "House", I wanted to offer some reassurance that a few more Americans did, indeed, know who Hugh Laurie is, although it also happens that in his frequent past-pairing with Stephen Fry, we sometimes paid more attention to the Fry character. And then, in Blackadder, some of us did have a soft spot for Baldric, but otherwise....

MaryB said...

Well, of course, Baldrick - I mean, all those cunning plans! ("Rat au Van," and the ever-popular "Boom-Boom-Boom-Boom.")

Yes, certainly, Fry often overshadowed Laurie whenever they had to share the screen. Also,I liked Fry's novels better than the one by Laurie.

But do give "House" a look - Laurie's incredible. (Actually, I just started watching it a couple of months ago and am now hooked.)

Walker said...

'House' is on Channel Five over here and where I live [in amongst the hills of the Peak District] there's no reception. So we can't get Five and I can't watch 'House' which is a pity.

As I have a backlog of videos to watch from the four channels that I do have perhaps this doesn't matter too much.

Tony Robinson who played Baldrick has created quite a niche for himself presenting programmes like 'Time Team' and various historical programmes - he obviously had a cunning plan all along.

MaryB said...

Yeah, you'll get to House eventually.

I have seen one of Tony Robinson's time travel things. It was pretty good, except I kept expecting boils to break out on his neck and those cunning plans to start sprewing forth. Nah, nah. Just kidding. I'll be on the look-out for more now that I know it's a series.

Walker said...

Time Team is a series that's been running for 12 to 15 years I should think. It involves the TimeTeam going to a site where they hope they are going to find something of archaeological significance in the three days that they allow themselves.

There have been some great programmes and some not so great [but still pretty good].

It always amazes me what lies below our feet be it Roman villas, stone circles, burial mounds etc.

Isabella said...

I had trouble taking House seriously at first, because (inappropriately) bits of Blackadder kept popping into my head. Laurie's a real talent.

MaryB said...

Love the guy - even as twit. So glad he won the Golden Globe (but pissed off that American Idol bumped House out of its time slot last night).