1. Newbies and knowledgeable fans alike can enjoy Chasing Zebras. It’s part episode guide and (large) part between the lines exploration of TV’s most fascinating character and his universe: the “House-verse.”
2. The character of Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) is loosely based on Sherlock Holmes (as you might know). But you may not have known that writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who created Sherlock Holmes was also doctor. His mentor was the very House-like Dr. Joseph Bell! (Bell’s medical text On Surgery makes a guest appearance in the season five episode “A Wonderful Lie”). Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House M.D. explores this connection in “Finding a Holmes in the House: An Interview with a House-Loving Holmesian.”
3. Hugh Laurie composed the beautiful, evocative piano piece that plays over the closing scenes of season five’s “Unfaithful.” The piece is appropriately titled “Cuddy’s Serenade.” In fact, the music plays a big part in many of the series episodes as you can discover in the chapter “From Bach to Eddie van Halen: The Music of House.”
4. House has dual board certifications in Infectious Diseases and Nephrology, both subspecialties of internal medicine. Diagnostic Medicine is a purely fictional medical specialty. However, as you will learn in “Diagnostic Medicine: Life Imitating Art,” fantasy occasionally does become reality.
5. House must have an affinity for disabled musical geniuses. A biography of deaf 19th century composer Ludwig von Beethoven sits on House’s piano in season one, and he also keeps a poster featuring disabled drummer/bandleader Chick Webb close by (it’s been seen both in his apartment and in his office). In “House’s Haunts,” I take readers through House’s “stuff” to understand more about House than he would ever reveal in conversation.
6. House and Dr. James Wilson have a very special friendship; some might call it a “bromance.” The Chasing Zebras episode guide uncovers the most “bromantic moments” in each episode
7. House would say that sometimes you have to violate medical ethics to do the “right thing.” Is he right? See the chapter called “Doing the Right Thing: House and Ethics.”
8. Are you a fan of the Harold and Kumar movies? If so, then you may have noticed that both Harold and Kumar have been on House (though never together!). John Cho (Harold) was the “patient of the week” in the season one episode “Love Hurts.” Kal Penn (Kumar) was the much-beloved Kutner, who was a House fellow in season four and in season five (until the character committed suicide). The episode guide of Chasing Zebras, identifies the guest actors in every episode, answering the question: “where have I seen that face before?”
9. The episode titles always have multiple meanings—metaphors or riffs on the main diagnostic dilemma as well as the character stories of House and company. The Chasing Zebras episode guide tells all in the “Title Tale” for each episode.
10. House’s literary ancestors include Jane Eyre’s Rochester, Casablanca’s Rick Blaine and even Batman of The Dark Knight. Find out how in the chapter called, “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know.”
11. At the beginning of season six, House admits himself to a psychiatric hospital to get off drugs and get rid of the hallucinations plaguing him. What’s wrong with House? See “Diagnosing Dr. House: A Conversation with a Clinical Psychologist.”
12. “Time is not a Fixed Construct” tries to untangle the sometimes-convoluted House, M.D. timeline.
13. House is a self-described atheist. There is no room in his world for God or faith. But that doesn’t mean he’s not curious about everything from the afterlife to miracles. See “Coincidence vs. Divine Intervention: A Closer Look at “Unfaithful.” Chasing Zebras takes in-depth “closer looks” at many of the series best and most provocative episodes.
About the Author
Barbara Barnett is Co-Executive Editor of Blogcritics, an Internet magazine of pop culture, politics and more owned by Technorati Media. Always a pop-culture geek, Barbara was raised on a steady diet of TV (and TV dinners), but she always found her way to TV’s antiheroes and misunderstood champions, whether on TV, in the movies or in literature.
Barnett’s regular column, “Welcome to the End of the Thought Process: An Introspective Look at House, M.D.” features insightful episode commentaries and interviews with the House cast and creative team. It is the place for intelligent discussion of the hit television series starring Hugh Laurie.
Barbara has had an eclectic career. With an undergraduate degree in biology and minors in chemistry and English, she pursued a PhD in Public Policy Analysis after spending a few years working in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Her first professional writing gig was with a food industry trade magazine, and although it wasn’t exactly like writing for The New Yorker, it completely hooked her on the profession of writing.
She also writes lots of other things, including technology (from a non-geek perspective), the movies, politics and all things Jewish. Based in the north shore suburbs of Chicago, Barnett is married with two brilliant children and a dog. Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D. is her first (commercial) book. She hopes it’s not her last.
Visit Barbara’s website at http://www.barbarabarnett.com/
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