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'House M.D.': Blogging might just save your life

March 9, 2010 | 10:48 am
After a monthlong hiatus, "House" returned with a bang last night. The episode, titled "Private Lives," guest-starred longtime television favorite Laura Prepon as Frankie, a blogger who obsessively reports the minutiae of her life to her online followers. 

Frankie is obsessed with being completely open and honest with her readers, so she blogs everything: from arguments with her boyfriend to the state of her sex drive.

Things grow more complicated when Frankie's heart valve needs to be replaced. She's faced with two options. A plastic valve would last but require drugs that cause birth defects, while a pig valve would allow for a healthy pregnancy but require replacement every 10 years. Frankie's husband, Taylor, has been hoping for children, but it's not him she consults about the dilemma, it's the blogosphere.

Though her blog may be destroying her marriage, it does help the doctors diagnose her condition. Over the years, Frankie developed a tendency to post in the middle of the night. Day-night reversal indicated liver failure. Ultimately, however, House found the cause of her liver failure (Whipple's disease) by examining the one part of her life she didn't blog about ... her bowel movements.

Note to the bloggers of the world: This was probably just a one-time fluke, OK? Don't start poop-blogging because you think it'll save your life one day.

Outside of the patient of the week's story, "House" writers really brought out the big guns in their humor department this week. Wilson, catching House watching porn one too many times, suggested that they go speed-dating. Chase is invited as well, and watching the three of them operate as a Single Boys' Club brought a lot of laughs. According to House, Chase's good looks gave him an unfair dating advantage. They made a bet that if Chase acted like a complete "tosser," he could still get phone numbers because of the height of his cheekbones.

In a hilarious scene, House was crudely analytical of his speed-dates while Wilson found himself counseling all of them about their loved ones' experiences with cancer. Chase, meanwhile, dropped his sexy Australian accent in favor of a bored frat-boy drawl.  "I play video games," he said, looking bored. His date asked if he played them professionally, and he scoffed, "I wish, bro."

At the end of the night, cheekbones won out, and Chase went home with a stack of phone numbers despite his stoned Chad Michael Murray act. Chase ultimately spends the rest of the episode navel-gazing, wondering if he's "just a pretty face." It was too melodramatic a reaction to the bet, but it did give us a great scene in which Chase sought reassurance from Thirteen. I mean, I have no idea what was actually said in the scene because I was too busy contemplating how beautiful Jesse Spencer and Olivia Wilde are, but I'm sure there was something substantial happening there. Maybe. Oh, the plight of the beautiful people...

Having given up on speed-dating, House returned his focus to ... no, not medicine. Porn. One movie in particular, "Feral Instincts," caught his eye, as it starred none other than a young Robert Wilson, clad in a burlap sack and wood nymph antlers.  "Be not afraid," 19-year-old Wilson tells his costar. "The forest nymphs have taught me how to please a woman!"

The film, in which Wilson plays "a wild love-god in a world grown too tame," started as a favor to his college roommate but ended up re-edited with a body double into something X rated.  Of course, House is unrelenting in his teasing. The movie posters on Wilson's wall, that Robert Sean Leonard loves so much, are replaced by "Feral Instincts" stills. "Maybe it was the forest nymphs," Wilson's assistant deadpans.  Even the cashier in the hospital cafeteria quotes classic lines from the movie back to him.

Wilson tries to get revenge by publicizing a secret of House's. Chase offers a tip: House has been reading a book, but he replaced the book's real dust jacket with that of "The Golden Bowl" by Henry James.  A little investigating leads Wilson to discover that House is actually reading "Step by Step: Sermons for Everyday Life," a book written by House's biological father, whom he never knew.  According to Wilson, House's curiosity about his father stems from a desire to know someone who thinks the way he does. Unfortunately, he doesn't find much commonality just by reading the book.

So, to recap: poop-blogging might just pay off, Wilson is "part stag, but all man," House feels misunderstood, and looking like a Disney Prince Charming makes poor Chase very, very sad.

Leave me a note about your thoughts in the comments below, and check back in next week for my recap of the next episode, "Black Hole."

— Carina MacKenzie (follow me on Twitter @cadlymack)

Photo: Laura Prepon as Frankie, with her beloved laptop. Credit: ABC.

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