House is over

I just finished catching up on the final season of house. Spoilers: dinosaurs conquer the earth and convert it to a day spa.

I haven’t faithfully watched House for the last 8 years. I actually hadn’t seen more than the first season or two before last summer – but it’s had a constant presence. Several of my long-time friends have been fanatics about this show for longer than I’ve known them. It would regularly come on in the background while I did homework. House has been a commonplace meme on the internet. The finales are always held up as hallowed mindfucks. And I did catch the odd episode — I even tried to catch up once when there were only 4 seasons or so, and I only got midway through the second season before throwing my hands up in the air, proclaiming “I can’t watch a show where every single episode is the same!”

Almost two years ago, a friend of mine (one of those fanatics) was watching back through it. Pretty much every time I walked into his room, he’d have House playing, no matter what else was going on or what time of day it was. I would often just sit down on his bed and watch some of it, because it seemed so ridiculously entertaining. The one thing I could consistently count on was a really high production value. Despite the content seeming mundane, it always felt good to watch.

Last summer, when I should have been exploring San Francisco, I instead made a habit of laying on my bunk bed and watching episode after episode of House. I started at Season 4, in which House runs a competition to see who will be on his team, and gradually whittles down a long list of candidates in humorous ways. The clearly developing story helped to wipe away the sense of monotony that I came to hate in my previous attempt. Those episodes successfully held my attention until I got hooked! I stopped midway through the sixth season, wanting to leave some of the show for the future (I do this a lot — for example, I’ve still got a missing season of Scrubs to watch), and I’ve occasionally done little bursts, aiming catch up not long after the finale.

That must have been boring for you — my apologies! As a part of finishing the show, I wanted to recount my experience with it. Every time you finish a series of novels or television show, there’s a time similar to a period of grieving. You can go back and rewatch the characters play out old interactions, but it’s more like high-fi memory than re-experiencing the things you first saw.

We place value on the stories that connect us to events like television shows or reading books. As we spend more time with them, we become more dedicated, and we pile up rich memories surrounding them — often more about our interactions with others than about them. For many people, their love of Harry Potter, Star Wars, Twilight, or Lord of the Rings isn’t really a love of the thing itself, but a love of the feelings they had and the people they knew while they experienced it. Media is an excellent source of nostalgia.

Anyway, here’s to you, House.

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