Question

May. 19th, 2011 10:38 pm
damelola: ([house] GOING TO HELL YES.)
[personal profile] damelola
For those of you who will continue to watch House next season:

WHY?

This is not intended as an attack, I swear.  You know I don't pick fights with my friends (random trolls and evil people on the other hand...).  But how are you justifying it to yourselves?  Is it just a case of 'I've started so I have to finish'?  I mean, I know some of y'all would watch snuff for to Hugh Laurie if you had to, and I can't claim I'm any different when it comes to my women.

But I'm genuinely interested to hear what the defence is to the blatant misogyny (and/or casual racism), sharp decline in writing and all-round character assassination (including, most importantly, that of House himself)?  What is it that makes you say that's not how it is or it doesn't matter because.  Like I say, not picking a fight but I feel like I've only seen one side of this so far and I really don't know how the people not speaking up about this are rationalising the showrunners' decisions.

I'm putting this public and enabling anon so you don't have to feel awkward about it all.  Look forward to hearing any and all sides of the arguments outside of the general comm hysteria.

on 2011-05-19 10:08 pm (UTC)
bell: a black and white photo of amber and thireen from house, m.d. (amber & thirteen in bw)
Posted by [personal profile] bell
If it was a question of quality/enjoyment levels.... I'd have stopped a long time ago, TBH. I wanted to at the end of s3, came back because of fandom and enjoyed many aspects of the next few seasons. But my reason now for keeping up at all is that I have to see where the series goes. It's hard to explain; I just have to know how low it goes.

on 2011-05-19 10:29 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] damelola.livejournal.com
I can see that, and I daresay I'll keep up on what's happening through Twitter, and I'll probably watch the finale if s8 turns out to be the end. I just feel sort of... betrayed? If that makes sense. Like, this is not in fact the show I used to watch, even though the characters have the same names and faces. But yeah, I still kinda want to know if they all get hit by an asteroid or whatever.

on 2011-05-19 10:39 pm (UTC)
bell: a black and white photo of amber and thireen from house, m.d. (amber & thirteen in bw)
Posted by [personal profile] bell
I can definitely understand feeling betrayed! I did at the end of s3, when I saw that all the foreshadowing/promises of change weren't going to happen (at least, not to degree I hoped for). I was also really bitter when they killed Amber....

Them letting LE go so easily after all that she's meant to the series is the biggest disappointment of all for me. I was suspicious of TPTB's priorities in general, but I didn't realize it was this bad.

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on 2011-05-19 10:14 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] chippers87.livejournal.com
Next fall, I will have a class on Monday nights from 6-9pm, so if I watch House at any point from September to December, it will have to be on purpose and not just out of force of habit.

If it was just a question of Lisa leaving, then it wouldn't even be in question whether or not I would keep watching because I've always defined myself as someone who watched House for the character of House and not because of a side character or a ship. But you raise some interesting points about how the show has treated women over the years and especially within the last three or four years. And I don't know right now whether or not I'm going to keep watching. I am still invested in the character of House and how his story ends, for better or for worse. It may be a week-to-week decision, and because of my schedule, I may be watching it in a way that won't get picked up in the ratings, so it's not like anyone will ever know. (God, that's horrible.)

More than anything, if I fall out of it, I just don't want to be one of those bitter fans that gets on forums and other online environments every week to rail on and on about how much the show sucks. Because that's just not worth my time or my energy, and I feel like it would be disrespectful to friends who still watch and still love it. (Not that I'm saying you would ever do that, Lola, but it's a mental line I have to draw and feel compelled to mention.)

on 2011-05-19 10:33 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] damelola.livejournal.com
That's a good point - and I'm conscious of not crossing that line myself. Like, I feel if something sells out or declines in quality, a fan is entitled to call it out as such. Slinking away in silence is accepting 'less than' and so yeah, to a point speak up and say this isn't good enough.

But personally, having reached this breaking point (having flirted with it throughout s7) I don't want to watch something just to be mean. If some people are still enjoying it fine, but I suppose my question here is how are people enjoying it in spite of certain issues - that's just pure curiosity on my part (and yes, a little sadness that I can't overlook some stuff and still enjoy it).

I hope that my criticism in recent days hasn't been taken personally by remaining fans though, amongst my friends at least. But I like to think I'm open to criticism of things I like without it ruining my own affection for it, so... :)

on 2011-05-19 11:00 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] chippers87.livejournal.com
Totally. I do think that someone should say their piece (or is it peace? I'm never sure), and your criticisms definitely play a role in how I perceive an episode. At some point, though, you just have to move on. I remember I saw Yaitanes say once that he can tell how well an episode was taken by how much feedback he got on Twitter, as opposed to what was being exactly said to him. Even when fans say horrible things to TPTB, they know that people care enough to have a reaction. I wonder, purely out of curiosity, what would happen if it became obvious that we just didn't care anymore?

I guess I'm just personally at a point where I don't know yet. I want to see how they handle Cuddy's departure, and the reasoning they give for that may determine how ardently I seek out episodes in the future.

I think part of it is just wanting to stay part of the conversation. Most of my friends on Twitter, for example, are still active viewers, so not to know what they're talking about would drive me nuts, I guess.

It would be interesting if someone more powerful than us were to call out the show on their shit. That would be entertainment.

on 2011-05-19 10:21 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] flippet.livejournal.com
Well, I think I've sort of come to the end, and it's mainly character assassination. And strangely, Cuddy's more than House's, even though I've never watched 'for' Cuddy. But I am sensitive to how she treats my boy, and when that started changing inexplicably, I started standing back. I wanted to give the writers time to straighten things out - I'm well aware that with anything literary, and especially with a 'mystery' bent, things aren't always what they seem, but will be explained later. I was waiting for the explanation. But the explanation seems to be 'nope, she's really like that, and what's the problem?'

Their view has become so widely divergent from mine that I can't reconcile them anymore.


As for misogyny...I don't see that like others do, I know. But then, I dont see 'staying home with the kids' as inherently anti-feministic either. I'm happy enough with many traditionally female roles...which is only to say that I don't have that knee-jerk reaction to these things, because they don't bother me, and I've never had a problem with them. You could call it a kind of blindness - I often don't even see it, or if I do, it just doesn't rile me, because I am not offended by ... sorry, lost my words ... I dunno, the idea of embodying traditional female roles. (I'm missing some nuance there, but I hope you understand.)

As to questioning misogyny on the show - to me, that's kind of like questioning violence and murder on Dexter. The character's a serial killer. It shouldn't surprise you to see murder and death abound on that show.

on 2011-05-19 10:41 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] damelola.livejournal.com
Well, to quote Cameron "Nice try, but you're a misanthrope, not a misogynist", re: House. He was quite capable of treating Stacy with love and respect. He has a healthy enough relationship with his mother. He never seemed to 'hate' women before, even though he mocked or made cruel remarks, there was always an underlying respect and curiosity (e.g. with Amber).

I'm all for House hating people. I'm not okay with him hating one group more because of which genitals they happen to have. I expect scathing comments and a sarcastic world view. I don't expect women in this show who have been strong and vibrant to be relegated to replaceable actor units. (Because Lisa needs a pay cut but god forbid RSL make any less from a job he sneers at, right? Who's done more work in terms of screentime in the past year? And we're supposed to write this snub off as coincidence?)

But the show itself is treating women as objects. Strippers and hookers and nurses as sex toys, oh my! Throwing 13 across a room? Yeah, she hit Chase first, but his response was disproportionate and a direct result of him exerting his physicality over her. Cuddy being slammed into a wall and other spoilery violations? Not fucking okay.

And I'd have been fine if the show had Cameron quit to have babies once she got married, or if Cuddy had decided to go part-time to spend more time with Rachel. Feminism is about choice - women should be free to do those things, but not compelled to.

I was very blind to these issues until the past couple of years, I must confess. Now that I've had my eyes open, I don't want to live in a world where the most popular show in the world (as was) is telling people that these attitudes are acceptable.

on 2011-05-19 11:24 pm (UTC)
bell: rory gilmore running in the snow in a fancy dress (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] bell
Along those same lines, I realized that most of the regular/temporary female characters were lot go after consummating a relationship.

Stacy - Sleeps with House and is willing to get back with him; she is then turned by him, ending her arc on the show.

Thirteen - The exception; even after breaking up with Foreman she's still around and having new storylines.

Amber - Returned expressly to become Wilson's girlfriend and die so that he could be heart broken.

Cameron - Shortly after marrying Chase, she leaves.

Masters - Don't know how her arc ended and I doubt there she had any romantic flings during her brief arc on the show, but she was brought in to be a temporary/disposable female character so that they'd still have the minimum of two while OW was away.

Cuddy - She's broken up with House, so I guess she's expendable now that the UST has been realized/carried out.

Coincides? Maybe, but I doubt it.

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on 2011-05-19 11:49 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] flippet.livejournal.com
where the most popular show in the world (as was) is telling people that these attitudes are acceptable

Well, and here's where I differ on that. I don't necessarily think that the show is saying it's acceptable, as saying that some of these characters may hold those views. Showing does not automatically equal condoning.

And no, the show isn't necessarily putting those attitudes down, either - but must everything be a moral lesson? I can remember growing up in a fundamental, denominational school (so, the prevailing belief is in a literal 6-day creation, etc), and we would occasionally reference science sources that would talk about 'six million years ago' yadda yadda, and I can remember my teachers falling over themselves to announce 'but children, you know that's not true, right?' And I remember being annoyed as fuck, because - yes, I know - I'm capable of seeing and hearing something that I don't believe in, without suddenly becoming contaminated and an automatic heathen. And so I kind of see it that way - I don't see the need for the show to go around saying, 'but viewers, you know that that's a shitty way to treat women, right?' Yes, most people don't go around purchasing sex from professionals. House does. I don't think it's honest to the show to suddenly have him going, 'gee, I've never thought about the hardships that these girls go through, and that they might not want to be doing this, but just need to pay the bills'.

As to Chase throwing Thirteen around - I guess I didn't see his reaction as disproportionate - she did hit him first, and she meant business - a 'please stop' wouldn't have cut it. And Chase looked fairly appropriately horrified at what it took to subdue her. I certainly didn't see it as misogyny, and I didn't look at it like - well, okay then, that's a good thing to do, everyone should! Of course not.


Because Lisa needs a pay cut but god forbid RSL make any less from a job he sneers at, right?

I don't think it's about the pay cut. I think the pay cut was the final insult, and intended to be insulting.

I *truly* think it's about her politics, her MoveOn ad, etc. And that gets into a whole 'nother level of misogyny.



Regardless, I separate fiction from whatever reality goes on behind the scenes. I haven't heard of b-t-s misogyny before now (and no, letting someone go because of a creative decision is not automatically misogynistic if the actor happens to be female).

So yeah - if that's what's happening to Lisa - I'm pretty determined to boycott Fox entirely.

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on 2011-05-19 11:17 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] copper-season.livejournal.com
I've decided that I'm going to stick to the older seasons and then see how I feel about next season. At this point I think that unless there are major changes, I won't watch next season... maybe the finale and that's about it.

on 2011-05-20 12:28 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] damelola.livejournal.com
Seems like a balanced way of looking at it! I'm willing for the show to prove me wrong, but I don't know how a show with one female (supporting) actress can paint a balanced picture. Since I don't care about Chase (character ruined), Foreman (character abandoned) or Taub (character pointless) I don't really need to watch just for House and Wilson. I'd watch Sherlock if I wanted that dynamic and not much else, I think?

on 2011-05-20 12:03 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] remydoodle.livejournal.com
Okay, here are my two cents.

First, I don't think you can ask people to defend their decision to watch a show such as you described above. I don't see this as defending why I watch a show. I'll tell you why I watch it, but I'm not going to "defend" my reasons for doing so.
I think everyone is a product of their environment. What you see a misogyny, horrible writing and character assassination might not be seen as the same to the person sitting next to you on a bus.

You love and care for the Cuddy character, you will defend her with all your might and see things that may not be perceive the way others see her. I personally can't stand her. Does that make me misogynic? You had strong words for RSL below in another comment, does that make you a man hater? Neither of us are wrong, we just see things differently. And that's okay, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Everyone sees and takes in things for different reasons, if not, the whole fandom would be signing petitions and promising to never watch the show again. But that is not the case. People have their favorite character and will see them differently than the person who doesn't like that character.

I remember in grade school they did this test or whatever. The teacher wrote down a sentence on a piece of paper then whispered and showed it to the first kid, he in turn had to just whisper it to the next kid and so on until it got to the last kid. The last kid then repeated the sentence and it was a totally different sentence than what the teacher started with. I forget the what the sentence was or why we were doing this "experiment" but that always stayed with me, not everyone sees and hears the same things as the next person.

As for why I watch the show, well, I could be wrong but I think a I'm like a lot of people. I watch the show because I like it, I like the House character, some of the stuff is funny and some of it is cringeworthy. I do not analyze it to death, and I don't over think about why they did this or why they did that. I watch the show for the pure entertainment value. Sometimes it's entertaining sometimes it's not. The writing is not great every episode and sometimes it is downright stupid. But its a tv show, it is not the best one is the world and it is not the worst. I have enough misogyny in my own life than to worry about how they may or may not be supporting it in a tv show.
And yes, I understand and know that opens a whole new can of worms in saying that this is learned behavior from the tv shows. A debate I don't really want to get into now.

But anyway, that is my two cents. No one is wrong for liking or not liking the show, it just affects us differently!

on 2011-05-20 12:26 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] damelola.livejournal.com
This is the side I haven't seen much of tbh, so I'm really grateful you took the time to comment.

I honestly think that if we let the mass media pass un-analysed then yes, we get into that learned behaviour argument. If the show wants to show strippers and prostitutes, I have no issue with that. If they show these characters as merely pawns to be manipulated by male characters, I have a problem with that. The thing about House for me was that it did a 'whole spectrum' view. So you would have Cameron's idealism vs House's cynicism, the prostitutes who House paid versus Stacy or Cuddy who he entered into relationships with. The balance of House and Wilson's friendship against relationships either of them were in.

I admit I have said bitchy things about RSL's acting prowess (because his performances on House in the last three years have borne no relation to his reputation -- a reputation he has no problem advertising when he deigns to promote the show that hundreds of peoples' jobs depend on). Outside of that, in terms of which actor has done more for the show, be it promotional work, actual heavy lifting in terms of acting and screentime, or just general commitment to the show, there's no contest in a Lisa vs RSL showdown. That he should be 'rewarded' and she be 'punished' (to simplify) is baffling to me.

Part of my militancy on this topic I think is because this is how I was raised. A newspaper lies about a group you consider yourself part of and refuses to apologise? Don't buy that paper. A shampoo company tests cruelly on animals? Don't buy that shampoo.

So by extension, a TV show turning their heroes into people who dismiss or degrade women (which for all House/Chase/whoever's faults, they didn't do in earlier seasons) is not something I will continue to support or promote. It might make virtually no difference, but I think writing off this kind of thing as 'harmless' or 'not my problem' is dangerous. It makes me feel icky, and differently about the people involved on the show and thus my enjoyment is ruined.

I think it's important for me to see that not everyone is affected in this way, though. I suppose I'm interested as to where the subjective and objective overlap here, and if there are absolutes that would turn people off.

Perhaps more than anything, House is a victim of its initial quality. It didn't used to be stupid, it didn't used to have every other episode be poorly written. It actually used the anti-hero and the biting sarcasm to deflate a lot of stupidity. Now it seems to be feeding it. And given that most of the staff is the same, it smacks of people not working as hard anymore -- there's no denying the talent involved. Personally, if they can't be arsed then neither can I.

Thank you though, genuinely. I don't mean to sound preachy or accusatory, and I hope I haven't offended you x

on 2011-05-20 12:55 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] flippet.livejournal.com
I honestly think that if we let the mass media pass un-analysed then yes, we get into that learned behaviour argument.

Hm...trying to gather my thoughts on this one.

I would never argue that what one sees (on television, in their personal environment) doesn't affect them, especially children. But how is going to be fairly individual and personal - and personal environment makes the lion's share of that.

Anyone who's using House as substitute parenting/morals development and a 'guide for life' isn't thinking straight to begin with.

And I'm trying to think - this may sound odd, but - the environment I grew up in (and continue to work in) was so 'clean' (being religious and all), that I don't know anybody (any guy) who's a right shithead. I really don't. I can't think of a single personal acquaintance who would fit that category. Because everyone had relatively decent families. Not perfect, but good. And because of that - what we all watched on TV didn't dictate our behavior. We had plenty of other models to look up to. I mean, my father loved Archie Bunker on All In the Family. I find him kind of nasty. My dad loved Benny Hill - I've always gotten an 'ick' factor from that. But my father was the kindest, gentlest man you could know, and most certainly nothing like the characters he liked to watch on tv.

Just because something may include triggers for one person doesn't mean that it should then be 'cleansed' of that trigger for everyone else for whom it's not a trigger to begin with.

I hate horror movies. I don't think they're good for the psyche of those who watch them. Should my local cinema refuse to show them until they bring down the level of gore and violence? Should I picket the theaters that do show them?

It starts getting into dicey territory, when you begin to want to censor what kinds of things 'should' be shown or not in any given program.

Which isn't to say that you shouldn't talk about it. That's how we all learn and grow.

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on 2011-05-20 01:18 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] remydoodle.livejournal.com
Don't worry, you have not offended me at all. You have a right to your opinion and I will fight for your right to express it. You reminded me of something else I had wanted to mention when you brought up the icky comment.

I don't know if you were familiar with this but years ago I always watched the Rosie O'Donnell show. One day she had on Tom Selleck, I think he had recently been made president or spokesperson for the NRA. They got on the discussion of guns and stuff. I forget exactly what was said, it was so long ago, but I felt he was attacking her. She was asking questions and stuff and he was ... he just wasn't nice. He had been on, I believe it was the Today show and Matt Lauer had interviewed him. Rosie was asking him pretty much the same questions but because she expressed a different opinion and tried to have a conversation about it, he got rather nasty. It was a very uncomfortable interview. She apologized to him at the end for making him uncomfortable because by then he had started to just ignore her. I went online to the forum after and was SHOCKED that some people were taking his side saying that Rosie was the nasty person! I wondered, did they watch the same show! It was on all the entertainment news shows later and he said Rosie was wrong and shouldn't have asked him the questions and then he said he was still waiting for an apology. She was on and apologized again and couldn't believe it was all being blown up the way it was.
But this was a perfect example of everyone seeing the same thing but coming away with a different perspective.
I personally never watched another Tom Selleck show or movie again!
And it's a shame TS is in Blue Bloods because I like Donnie Wahlberg and would definitely be watching if not for him!
That was just the example I forgot to mention.

on 2011-05-20 02:03 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] lesaubergines.livejournal.com
I don't get it either. I mean, at least earlier this season there were some cute and sweet moments with House and Cuddy, but now there's none of that, and no interesting cases. And the way people like Yaitanes treat the fans is incredibly disrespectful and awful. I know we're not "owed" anything, but at least don't turn the show into more of a piece of shit than it already has become.
I gave up watching when Cuddy broke up with House, though I actually missed that episode and when I found out what had happened, I decided, "Nope. I quit. There are awesome shows out there, and this is sadly not one of them anymore." I mean, shit, at least The Office is still a little funny, even without Steve Carell.

on 2011-05-20 03:59 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] spoggly.livejournal.com
i'm still surprised i stopped watching, in some ways, because i hate giving up halfway through stuff

but the endless feelings of "ugh" and "UGH," depending on whether it was actual t.v. quality (which i can waver quite a lot for, lol) and how angry it made me (which is less forgiving)...ughhhh

and tbh, i stopped watching at all, not just casually, when house went to inpatient treatment, and ~became happy~ because that's not what i wanted to see, idk

on 2011-05-20 05:40 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ohbilliejean.livejournal.com
Like Zulu said below, I really stopped watching properly after the whole 'white privileged boy saves an African nation and then has angst issues over whether his precious white skin will be flanked or not for the murder he committed (meanwhile, a whole nation of African people are still starving and facing no end of prejudice BUT THAT'S OKAY BECAUSE WHITE PRIVILEGE BOY FIXED THEIR NATION THROUGH KILLING THEIR DICTATOR, CHASE SOLVED RACIAL HATE CRIMES AND GENOCIDE WITH A SIMPLE FLICK OF HIS PRIVILEGE)'.

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on 2011-05-20 04:24 am (UTC)
zulu: Cookie Monster with text: Do I dare disturb the universe? (muppets - dare disturb)
Posted by [personal profile] zulu
I gave up in spirit when Chase "fixed an African nation" through first-degree murder and walked off completely scot-free except for his ~manpain~. Stopped watching at the end of that season.

on 2011-05-20 05:36 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ohbilliejean.livejournal.com
OMG THAT WAS JUST... THERE ARE NO WORDS.

That could have been a fucking BRILLIANT storyline. But no. White privileged boy saves an African nation through murder and then has angst issues. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT.

on 2011-05-20 08:18 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] katie087.livejournal.com
I was going to start watching House in the offseason... now I don't want to. I don't even know the show that well and I'm outraged.

on 2011-05-20 08:31 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ohbilliejean.livejournal.com
While I am forever going to be gutted that Lisa is gone, I am also incredibly glad she left of her own volition and left before any chauvinist executive had the pleasure of firing her. She stood up against whatever was really going on behind the curtain (which we'll never really fully know what WAS going on behind the curtain) and was the bigger person by leaving and refusing to be dealt any more devaluing, misogynist blows, which I'll bet my bottom dollar she was dealt plenty of over her time on that show.

I'd explain myself further about why I won't be watching the show but lol, I think I covered that pretty extensively in my conversation with spoggly, ahahahaha.

on 2011-05-20 08:33 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] spoggly.livejournal.com
hehehe, but yeah, I agree about being horrified, as a former fan, by the fact that LE felt she had to leave, but I will always hold that against the executives forcing her hand, and I'm so proud that such an outspoken, activist actress took a stand against the misogyny in her own negotiations.

on 2011-05-20 08:39 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] scandaloussteph.livejournal.com
It's not the same show as it was four years ago. I don't enjoy what it has become. It's not that I hate it, I have no real strong feelings about it anymore, and therefore, unless they have an Alien invasion/dinosaur storyline, I'm out.

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May 2012

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