I recently read a comment online about House Season 3 (now available on DVD), and their complaint about the show was along the following lines: Who knows anyone in real life that is that smart but that socially inept, and has such a high-ranking position, let alone for that long? The commentator went on to say that "a-holes with a heart of gold" are a myth.
What? A myth, on television? Bite your tongue! ':P
Anyway, I guess I fail to see the point of his complaint. I'm not about to argue the plausibility of the premise behind "House". For that matter, I won't try to defend my second-favorite show "Monk", which is about a high-maintenance, dysfunctionally neurotic, but highly sought after crime detective. And the overly convoluted Femme Nikita homage "Alias" is beyond all arguability. (And we won't even touch "LOST".)
Have we become so entrenched in the modern-day habit of sticking ordinary people on TV and making them sing karaoke, backstab each other, or remodel their houses, that we've forgotten TV's fanciful roots? Remember, this is the medium that brought us identical cousins, talking horses, wise-cracking attic-dwelling aliens, and friends that constantly wander unannounced into each other's apartments.
As for "House", that's on the same channel that brought us "The X-Files", the show whose message was "The Truth Is Out There", which they emphasized by making stuff up. I mean, let's face it: there's plenty of "hard hitting realism" on TV as it is, to the point where PBS is confused as to what their angle's supposed to be any more. (Besides, they had "Fawlty Towers"; if ever a concept strained believability, it was that one. Granted, it's one of my favorite shows of all time, but I'm just sayin'...)
I know, most of the examples I've given are comedies, where as "House" is a drama. But is it, exclusively? After all, if House weren't the caustic, wise-cracking person that he is, I wouldn't watch the show. I'd watch CSI instead. (Actually, I wouldn't. But it would be as if I were.) And it's not as though the show ignores House's attitude. If anything, they address it a bit too much, if you ask me. Between the people lobbying to get him fired, thrown in jail, banned from practicing medicine, or put on anti-depressants, I would say the writers are doing a noble job of calling House on his behavior, at least for a television show.
And maybe there isn't anyone like House in the real world. (Or at least, not in his position.) But again, isn't that part of the point of TV? Escapism? If it weren't, we could just have The Discovery Channel and CNN, and be done with it. Variety is a spice of life, and I think "House" provides an off-beat twist on the standard dry medical procedure shows. It's fiction, plain and simple, that just happens to be grounded in medical knowledge.
If you want reality, go read news feeds and medical journals. Me, I'm stickin' with my 45-minute doses of Hugh Laurie and his bum leg.