LeahR

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    The allure of curmudgeonly geniuses: an analysis of "House"

    Analyze the mainstream fascination with media that depicts the misanthropic genius, focusing on the FOX drama "House." It has been established by "House" creators that the titular character is molded from Sherlock Holmes, with Dr. James Wilson existing as a John Watson figure. In recent years, Conan Doyle’s infamous creation has achieved widespread mainstream success in various forms from the Robert Downey, Jr./Jude Law films to the Benedict Cumberbatch/Martin Freeman BBC series to the Jonny Lee Miller/Lucy Liu PBS drama, Elementary. Explore what makes this type of character so appealing? Do we gravitate towards these films and television shows because they speak to a deep fascination with a person who can consistently defy rules and get away with it because they’re geniuses? Or, bearing in mind Dr. Allison Cameron’s character, do we have a secret need to attach ourselves and fix the stunted social growth of these characters?

    • Other questions to explore with House. How far are we as an audience willing to go along with House? Can a genius be excused from moral culpability? Does genius need isolation? As one who cures ills - is House aware of his own "ills"? – MELSEY 4 years ago
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    • Explore whether the character is justifiably reckless as his behaviours usually ends in saving a life or is this behaviour just plane reckless and in reality would not necessarily tolerated. You can also maybe use science theories to see why women sometimes are attracted to guys that they need to fix. Like the guy that would change for them and be the good guy for them. – Mel 4 years ago
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    • I'd love to see what the writer comes up with. From a medical standpoint I love House, but I don't watch it much because I can't stand the titular character's behavior. A couple thoughts: 1. Are there limits to what we're willing to put up with from characters (ex.: when they're justifiably reckless vs. when they're just being cold or non-compassionate)? 2. Does our worldview impact how we view these characters? For instance, I'm a Protestant Christian and an INFJ, so it really jars me when a character is as uncaring as House. But I also have friends of different personalities, including Christian friends, who say, "Lighten up." Are there certain worldviews or experiences that make characters like House more tolerable? – Stephanie M. 3 years ago
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