HOUSE, M.D.: SEASON TWO
Dr. Robert Chase:
How'd you like it if I interfered in your personal life?
You want me to tell a man whose wife is about to die that she may have
cheated on him?
For my money HOUSE, M.D. is definitely one of the best medical dramas on television, if not one of the best shows on television, period. The series is basically a medical drama, but adds the element of mystery to its disease of the week format. Ultimately, HOUSE, M.D. can be thought of as a C.S.I. styled medical procedural for the living. The premise of the series doesn’t allow for an immediate diagnosis of the patient’s illness, instead, HOUSE, M.D. features a team of doctors that piece together the symptomatic clues to uncover and diagnose the unknown ailment threatening the life of a particular week’s patient. HOUSE, M.D. is a wonderfully well-written show, not only from a technical standpoint, but it also highly character driven, which offers the actors the richly layered material to convincingly bring to life their multifaceted characters.
HOUSE, M.D. stars Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House, a brilliant diagnostician, with a complete lack of social skills, whose bedside manner ranges from non-existent to caustic. House generally has little or no interaction with the patients whose cases are brought to his attention. Instead, House works through his underlings and regards each patient and their unusual malady as an intellectual puzzle that needs to be solved. The cast of HOUSE, M.D. also features Lisa Edelstein as hospital administrator Dr. Lisa Cuddy, Robert Sean Leonard as our title character’s best friend and colleague Dr. James Wilson. Comprising Dr. House’s three-member diagnostic team, one will find Omar Epps as Dr. Eric Foreman, Jennifer Morrison as Dr. Allison Cameron and Jesse Spencer as Dr. Robert Chase. Look for the lovely Sela Ward in the role of Stacy Warner, hospital legal Counsel and our title character’s former significant other.
HOUSE, M.D.: SEASON TWO ($60) comes to DVD in a single-sided six-disc set that features all twenty-four episodes that were aired in the show’s sophomore year. The twenty-four episodes are as follows: Acceptance, Autopsy, Humpty Dumpty, TB or Not TB, Daddy's Boy, Spin, Hunting, The Mistake, Deception, Failure To Communicate, Need To Know, Distractions, Skin Deep, Sex Kills, Clueless, Safe, All In, Sleeping Dogs Lie, House vs. God, Euphoria Part 1, Euphoria Part 2, Forever, Who's Your Daddy? and No Reason.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made all twenty-two episodes that comprise HOUSE, M.D.: SEASON TWO available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. As the season two episodes are 16:9 enhanced, the presentation of the episodes is a tremendous improvement over season one’s 4:3 Letterbox release. Sharpness and detail are pretty terrific for a television production. Sure an occasional shot looks a little softer than the others, but it’s hardly worth mentioning. Colors are pretty nicely saturated and the flesh tones are nicely rendered. Blacks are accurate and the whites are stable. Contrast is good for a television production, without any unnecessary "flatness" in the image. There are no defects in the source materials from which the episodes were transferred. Additionally, there is little apparent grain. Digital compression artifacts are generally well contained.
All the episodes that encompass HOUSE, M.D.: SEASON TWO come with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks. Sound quality for the episodes is very good, even for a talky medical drama, such as this. There are some nice channel separations across the front and some nice use of the rear channels for ambient sounds and musical fill. Fidelity is solid, and the music maintains a good sense of presence. Voices have a warm, natural quality, plus the dialogue is easy to understand. No other language tracks are provided, but English and Spanish subtitles have been included.
The basic interactive menus allow one access to the standard episode/scene selection and set up features, as well as some extras. Executive producers David Shore and Katie Jacobs are on hand to provide running audio commentaries for the episodes Autopsy and No Reason. An Evening With The Cast And Creators Of House offers an eighteen-minute panel discussion that features the cast and executive producers of the series at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Alternate Takes of scenes from the episodes Daddy's Boy and Sleeping Dogs Lie are presented in their Valley Girl versions. It Could Be Lupus... is a montage of clips featuring the show’s oft-cited, but usually incorrect catch all diagnosis. A Blooper Reel closes out the supplements.
HOUSE, M.D. is definitely amongst the best of what television presently has to offer. Universal’s DVD collection looks great and sounds just fine, not to mention being light-years ahead of the presentations on season one. Considering the quality of the show itself and the DVD presentations, HOUSE, M.D.: SEASON TWO is absolutely recommended.
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