Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How to Write an Episode of House in Ten Easy Limps (UPDATED!)

1. Open with either a zooming aerial shot of New Jersey, OR people walking in and out of the front door of the hospital, shot from below. A man or woman is involved in an everyday activity (driving a car, having sex, talking to a congressman) and suddenly starts acting funny. The person with whom the future patient is talking asks if they are okay. Future patient looks "funny", then falls to the ground and is unresponsive.


2. Dr. House plays piano, gameboy, guitar, or with his yo-yo. OR listens to classic rock or blues while lying on the floor of his office.

3. He is interrupted by a female member of the hospital staff (either the one female on his diagnostics team, or Dr. Cuddy) who then tries to entice him to take on a confusing case. Dr. House demurs, female staff appeals to his human side, he diagnoses the case as food poisoning, drug addiction, or appendicitis. Female staff lists a rare symptom of the patient and brandishes the case file. Dr. House agrees but makes it well known that he's doing it to satisfy his own curiosity, NOT to help anyone, including the patient. He walks into an elevator (if they were walking through a hallway) or into his office (if they were in an elevator). Conflicty conversations with House never just take place in a hallway. Elevators are key.

4. Dr. House is avoiding Dr. Cuddy. She finds him; he harasses her because she insists on wearing very low-cut blouses to work as the Dean of Medicine, they have a sexually charged conversation where she admits that she is pretty but demands to be respected (always alluding to the fact that these two sleep together) and then forces him to work at the free clinic in the basement. He meets an unusual patient there, who trusts him despite every effort on House's part to alienate him or her (takes drugs in front of him/her, calls him/her an idiot or liar, accuses him/her of taking drugs).

5. Dr. House and his team diagnose the patient with a manageable/curable form of cancer. The team relays this news to the family, they rejoice and begin treatment.

6. Dr. House is in the clinic again, following up with the strange patient. He gives them treatment, about which they are extremely skeptical. He is called away from the clinic patient because...

7. His original patient is suffering one or more of the following symptoms:
- seizure
- bleeding from all orifices
- vomiting
- a 10 on the pain scale
Dr. House and his team decide that they have misdiagnosed the patient, and the treatment they were giving him or her is now killing him or her, making the situation worse than it was before they administered the drugs. Family member throws a fit regarding the ineptitude of everyone. Dr. Cuddy threatens to take House off the case because "you're killing him/her!" Dr. House appeals to the fact that she knows he's always right, and succeeds.

8. Dr. House and team meet in his office, write symptoms and theories on the white board. Team members shout out theories and disagree with each other. House demeans all of them on the basis of race, gender, or class. Finally they decide on something.

9. Dr. House is in the clinic again, following up with the second patient. He or she is cured! And they also inadvertently give Dr. House an idea as to how to fix the first patient. Dr. House rewards him or her by giving a pithy and often painful lesson about life (you and your husband have brown eyes, your kid has green eyes, stop lying to your husband/ you and your ex have unresolved issues/ you shouldn't pressure your daughter like that or she will become a serial killer and will STILL be fat). House exits the exam room, patient gives a confused, teary, "what was that?" look at the door slamming.

10. Dr. House bursts in just as the team is about to administer the second round of treatment. Everyone (especially the meddling father/ indecisive husband/ controlling wife of the patient) now really pissed. "You don't have AIDS/ a brain tumor the size of a baseball/ neurofibromatosis!" He narrowly saves the patient from being given very toxic drugs because they actually have heartburn because they're allergic to termites.

Happily, the termite allergy is treatable. Patient is wheeled out of the hospital by chagrined loved ones, Dr. House gives Dr. Cuddy a smug look, Dr. Cuddy tells Dr. House to get back to work.


Et voila! An Episode of House in Ten Easy Limps.

'Cause he, House, walks with a limp, get it?

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