House, M.D.- An Allegory for the Effects of Postmodernism on Society

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The television drama House, M.D. (produced by David Shore) has, throughout its history, been one of the most popular television shows in the United States . Since the series debut in 2004, millions of American and international viewers alike have tuned in to the Fox network to get their fix of the antisocial genius that is Dr. House (Hugh Laurie), the title character of the show. Ever since the first episode, when Dr. House explained to his team that "everybody lies" , it has been clear that this medical genius has faith in nobody. In 2007, he went further, asserting that “Rational arguments don't usually work on religious people. Otherwise, there wouldn't be religious people.” This mistrust is central to the ideas of postmodernism, and the fact that it is expressed in one of America’s most popular television shows demonstrates that it is not a thing of the past. House, M.D. provides an analog for the worldwide transition into a postmodern era, and reflects upon the ongoing skepticism felt by society. This paper will provide a brief analysis of the aesthetic and substantive aspects of the television show, House M.D., in order to explain its role as a symbol for the transition of society into postmodernism.

After the opening credits, the standard introduction to an episode of House consists of the initial diagnosis. Typically, Dr. House enters his office and encounters his diagnostic team, which in the latest episode consists of doctors Robert Chase (Jesse Spencer), Eric Foreman (Omar Epps), Remy Hadley (Olivia Wilde), and Chris Taub (Peter Jacobson). House almost always proceeds to drop the episode’s main patient’s file on a table, and describes the symptoms explained therein. After this brief rundown, his team begins to throw ...

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