Question: I initially fell in love with House, but lately the show seems to have become routine. Someone gets sick, it takes 50 minutes for House and the team to figure it out, House berates everyone in his path, he's always right, they figure it out, and the patient goes home happy or dies happy. I'm a little tired of him being so much of a curmudgeon. Is there no other side to this man? Doesn't he ever soften? How about having a look at the other characters' situations? Why does his female boss tolerate him? And she's such a bitch. If this guy's so brilliant and infallible, then he should be in his own tower with the medical profession bowing to his expertise. If things don't change soon, I may just tune this one out. What are the chances they will?
Answer: House, like nearly every other show on TV, has a formula. And it's a successful formula, a medical-mystery formula, rooted in this instance in a fascinating, complex, exasperating and wonderfully played character who is in no danger (I hope) of softening, at least not yet. If you haven't noticed new sides to House lately, especially in the wake of his rekindled (though ill-fated, naturally) romance with Sela Ward, you haven't been looking. And while the ensemble has other fine actors and intriguing characters who occasionally get a juicy subplot, House is (by its title and its premise) a character-driven show dominated by the title character. On the occasions in which House breaks formula, it is amazing. But even when it sticks to the usual format (or as you call it, "routine"), it's one of the best shows on TV. If you've grown weary of it, that's understandable. Feel free to move on. But don't expect it to change, except maybe incrementally. It's a hit, and those are hard to come by these days.