May 21, 2012 at 9:52 AM ET
You would be hard pressed to find a more reprehensible lead character on TV than "House's'" title character, Dr. Gregory House. Yet as the medical drama wraps up its final season, the show holds the bragging rights as a top series for the network for its entire run.
It’s a tribute to the acting prowess of star Hugh Laurie, who plays the curmudgeonly doc, and the writing skills of the “House” staff that viewers have taken a liking to a drug-addicted, self-absorbed genius who sometimes acts like a 13-year-old boy.
His only real redemption came because he saved the lives of those who seemed to have little chance of survival.
In a TV world where likability is the ultimate goal, House proved you don’t have to have a nice guy as the lead character in order to bring in viewers.
Of all the things House has done over the years, the one that brought the most viewer response was when he got angry about his former girlfriend/boss Cuddy dumping him for someone else. He slammed his car into her house, where she was hosting a dinner party.
Creator/producer David Shore told TODAY.com that he understands why people were so upset by that particular obnoxious act.
“(It) was never intended to cause her harm. He looked through the window, but it was an irrational act from a rational man. That may have been why it got more of a reaction than any of the other, shall we say, reprehensible things he did,” Shore said. “The other times, he has come closer (to killing someone) in an effort to save lives. So there was no upside to driving that car except for the satisfaction of lashing out.”
An entire book could be written on the various experiments House has done on patients in the name of curing them – but at least he had a semi-noble goal in sight. As Shore tells his writers, the punishment doesn’t have to fit the crime, but there has to be a crime.
So brushing aside the times House has committed heinous acts in the pursuit of a cure, he has not shied away from despicable deeds apart from his medical practice.
As we bid "House" a fond farewell, we look back at some of his top non-medical, shamelessly self-centered acts:
5. While unintentional, it was House being selfish that resulted in the death of his best friend’s fiancé in the season four finale. Wilson appeared to find happiness in the unlikely arms of abrasive former House team member Amber. When House gets drunk, he calls his buddy Wilson – and Amber answers. She retrieves House and they are going home on a bus when it crashes. The subsequent damage to her kidneys from the accident leads to her death. No good deed goes unpunished on “House.”
4. Amber pops up again, as a dream, in season five and leads House into almost killing Chase. He sets up a stripper for Chase’s bachelor party, which leads to the surgeon licking strawberry cream off her body – and he goes into a severe allergic reaction. House had deliberately ordered the allergic topping, but thinks Amber tricked him into doing it.
3. House hooks up with a woman in need of a green card. Nearing the end of this current season, viewers discovered that House is actually having strong feelings for Dominika. When he starts getting notifications she’s legal – and can leave him – he hides the information from her. When she discovers what he has done, she realizes his selfish manipulation and leaves him.
2. House tricked best pal Wilson into believing he fathered a son, now 11. During the April episode, the boy and Wilson form a father-son bond, and then House admits he punked his friend by hiring a kid actor to play the part. Oh, what a jolly little joke that is, especially when the purpose of said prank was to teach Wilson about parenthood.
1. House tries to convince everyone during a season three episode he has cancer so he can get into a cool test program. He rings up a trifecta with this little escapade by taking a spot that could have been used by a real cancer patient, scoring drugs and making people who care about him think he is dying.
The "House" series finale airs on Fox at 8 p.m. Monday.
Which of Dr. House's many questionable acts will you remember most? Give us your picks on our Facebook page!
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