"HOUSE" IN THE HOUSE
SHERLOCK IN THE HOSPITAL
A Grand Tradition Continued
Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, Nero Wolfe, and now, Dr. House: Brilliant, unconventional, antisocial wise-asses who see right through people, to the hearts of mysteries. That's what makes a great detective: Not guns or gumshoes, truncheons or muscle cars: Brains, and a unique way of using them.
Not in real life, of course. In real life, it's endless civil service shoe-leather, pounding a beat, following up minute leads, doggedly, dully. A relentless army of detail men, and women, now, too, sifting through whatever the criminal left behind. That's why so many cases go unsolved: It's hard to make great leaps of the imagination when you haven't got a clue. Most cases simply don't attract the resources necessary to hoover up all those clues, read all those bits of paper, and piece everything together.
So we imagine someone who can leap right over all that, straight to the almighty Truth. Why? Because we need to. We need to make order out of chaos. We're the monkeys who take things apart, and then put them back together. We need to make rational the irrational, just the injust, right the wrong.
Deep within the breast of every one of us, there slumbers a superhero, longing to get out, and make this crazy world right. But that ain't gonna happen, is it? We're not really superheroes. We just wish we were. Our superhero hearts go out to the victims of terrible crimes, and awful illnesses, but we really can't help. So we retreat from the madding world, into one where the most internal organ of all can still solve all mysteries, and make everything right: The brain, the mind, the old oculis interioris. Is that Latin? Well, it should have been. Imagination, imaginary worlds, where the mind may rule.
Medical mysteries are twice the fun: Diagnosing an odd ailment that has flummoxed the flatfoots in the ER. Outfoxing a million maleficent microbes. And nobody gets hurt. In fact, somebody actually gets better. And if the nutcracker who busts it open is an Holmesian figure, an oddity himself, so much better for the story. Cuz that's what we're all doing here, right? The writer, the director, the actors, the audience. Participating in the making of a story. A complete imaginary world, where rational beings can actually win, every time. Order out of chaos. A little satisfaction after a long day of dreary chaos. A sop to the soul. Hear, here!
So, that's what this show is. Don't take my word for it: Check it out. Hey, it takes place in New Jersey. What's not to like?
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