Perhaps Dr. House has just hit his lowest point of meanness, after his mean-spirited jabs at Cuddy’s short stint at motherhood last week. I was so uncomfortable — and even a bit angry — watching House hurt Cuddy where it hurts the most for her. Why, oh why, does he do it? For the same reasons he tortures Wilson, taunts his staff and alienated his former staff.
Part of the reason is because that’s who he is, and we viewers, though we complain, probably wouldn’t want to watch a kinder, gentler House. Most of the time, his complete lack of compassion for others is pretty funny (even though there wasn’t a whole lot to laugh at in his interactions with Cuddy last week).
Let’s take a closer look at who House is and why he is such a mean bastard. Maybe it will help us understand him a little bit better ….
- He’s in pain. I’d probably be a huge bitch if I were in constant pain. Heck, I bet even Lexie Grey is bitchy once a month.
- He’s been hurt. Remember Sela Ward’s character, Stacy? Probably the true love of his life, and she just couldn’t deal with the fact that he wouldn’t lean on her, and he couldn’t deal with the fact that she made a medical decision for him against his wishes (and he lost the full use of his leg because of it). She found someone to take care of, but left Greg alone. Heartache made him a cynic, a cynic who uses his cynicism to cover up any real feelings he may have.
- Dad was a cold, cold man who abused House as a child. Nothing a few thousand years of therapy couldn’t cure, but House chooses to be an ass instead. Heck, House even behaved badly at his father’s funeral.
- An ego the size of Texas makes House feel he is entitled to be pompous.
- Um … but he really is smarter than everyone around him. So is he entitled?
- People let him get away with it; he’s rarely held accountable for his actions. Let’s face it — they need him.
- Since his character is modeled after Sherlock Holmes, House has got to share some of his less desirable traits. Geniuses don’t tend toward the social graces, it seems.
- House is an addict. Unrelated to the actual physical pain he is in, the drugs could surely alter his personality. This is the chicken and egg thing with House; was he an ass first, in pain first, or an addict first?
With all those reasons, can we blame him? Hell, yes! House is an adult who is responsible for his actions and has complete control over treating people like crap or not. But like the people in his life, we viewers wouldn’t have it any other way.