House Review: "Family Practice"

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Is it bad that I was rooting for Cuddy's mother to die on "Family Practice?"

She seems like a perfectly nice woman. Perhaps a bit strict with her daughter and not sure if I approve of that whole affair-with-the-help thing. But neither of those are fatal traits.

Still, I was hoping for something truly dramatic to come out of this episode. House often toes the line of significant changes, but stops short of abandoning its weekly format: patient comes in, team fights over treatment, patient almost dies, House saves the day.

An Important Patient

It's a patten that has made House one of the consistently top-rated show on TV, and it's kept me around since the beginning. But, every now and then, it would be nice to see a shake-up.

The possibility of killing off Cuddy's mother - someone vital to a character, but not vital to the show - offered that. Forget the contrived fights in which the writers have placed Huddy because they needed to forge some kind of tension in this relationship. This death, depending on how it was done, could have truly raised the stakes for the second half of the season.

Because the critical patient of the week was such a focus, I felt like Taub got a bit jipped. I've really enjoyed how the series has given a supporting character a chance to shine, as every iota of Taub's relationship with his wife has been more interesting than anything ever was between Foreman and Thirteen.

However, because Cuddy's mother's life was on the line, it felt like House was trying to do too much by featuring Taub's spiraling life as the B story. It had A story potential. So while I applaud the series for giving attention to a team's member's personal life, I would have preferred if it hadn't been overshadowed by more pressing events back in the hospital.

Same for Masters. She's been a fantastic addition, and it does make a lot of sense that House would recognize his need to have someone balance his ideas out on occasion. But it feels like we go here every week: House crosses a line, Masters objects to it, words ensure, she gets quasi fired.

That said, I liked House's admission that he was "kind of impressed" that Masters stood to her principles in the face of House's med school threat.

Overall, a perfectly solid episode, but one from which I expected more. There were opportunities with Taub and with Cuddy's mom that felt wasted. Do you agree? Or are you satisfied with the relatively safe direction of this series each week?

Family Practice Review

Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (35 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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House Season 7 Episode 11 Quotes

Arlene [to Cuddy]: If you're going to dress like an Italian hooker, at least let it be this year's Italian hooker.
Julia: She's not telling us we look fat. That's a major breakthrough.
Arlene: If you didn't want to be insulted, you wouldn't have invited me.

Arlene: You think I'm a hypochondriac?
House: Well, let me answer this way: maybe you're imagining that I think you're a hypochondriac.