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House - The Complete Sixth Season (2010) Print E-mail
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
ImageBy the sixth season of the show, you all have either gotten deep into the show or have buried yourself into a different drama.  I won’t analyze each episode, as it would get a little redundant.  However, for those of you like me that just can’t get enough “House,” this package is going to be a must on your list.

For those of you don’t know much about the show but are curious, “House” is about an unorthodox doctor (Hugh Laurie) who specializes in discovering the causes of rare symptoms that normal doctors always attribute to standard issues.  I will tell you that the cases that House comes across are anything but normal.  He has built a very special team of brilliant doctors.  Shows like this generally get old within the first season or so.  However, “House” keeps us coming back.

The show is able to involve the audience with subplots and character developments that are intriguing and dramatic.  These subplots keep the show alive, always working nicely with the patient case of the hour.

House is ruthless, but for some reason is extremely interesting to watch.  His colleagues all contribute to making his sarcastic behavior work.  Cuddy (Lisa Edelman) the glue that keeps House together is better than ever.  Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison) is back, thankfully.  In addition it is nice to see Thirteen (Olivia Wilde) back.  Omar Epps and Jesse Spencer also return.  Dr. Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) stays with the cast to keep providing House with the answers to all his questions.  This ensemble works extremely well together, and certainly keeps me coming back.

The sixth primarily deals with House’s recovery from a vicodin addiction.  His colleagues, primarily Wilson and Cuddy try to restore humanity to House, as they have been for five seasons.  So, after six years the conclusion is that House still has something left to offer.  The drama is engaging and acting is superb.  The show’s writing still remains strong.  These are all the things you need for a show to remain successful.  Here’s to hoping that the streak continues.  Primetime television can’t afford to lose the few remaining good shows.
Watching HD broadcasts of primetime shows is horrible at best.  The cascading compression of the video by the time it reaches our screen is huge.  The picture breaks up every few seconds because of the lossy compression algorithm.  Black levels, brightness and contrast also suffer from compression.  Thankfully all that is resolved with the sixth season video transfer of “House.”  The black levels and contrast are spot on.  Shadow delineation is more revealing than in most feature films.  There is absolutely no artifacting whatsoever.  There is some occasional noise in the image, but that resolves back to the original production and not the transfer.  You may find some ringing on a couple of occasions, but you have to be really trained to notice it.  Colors are rich and lifelike.  Fleshtones are natural and convincing.  There is virtually nothing to complain about in this transfer.  Kudos to Universal.

As far as television shows go, this DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is quite pleasant.  This isn’t an action drama so the soundscape remains fairly subdued from episode to episode.  However, ambience is presence in the rear channels, bringing out all the sounds of the hospital.  Dialogue is intelligible in the center channel.  However, as well every television show, there are going to be some mistakes along the way.  Chalk it up to weekly television show turnover.  Dynamics are better than I would have expected.  The frequency response has also improved from the HD broadcast.  The LFE output is reserved but provides supple support when needed.  While there isn’t much sound design judge in this transfer it is far better than the original cable broadcast.

The sixth season of “House” comes with a decent supplemental package. The U-Control section features “A Beginner’s Guide To Diagnostic Medicine,” which I found to be a quite interesting picture-in-picture feature.  There are four audio commentaries in total.  The premiere episode, “Broken” receives two commentary tracks.  The first is with Katie Jacobs, Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner.  The other is with David Foster and actor Robert Sean Leonard.  The former is the better of the two.  It offers much more content.  The other two commentaries appear on the episodes “9 to 5” and “Help Me.”  “A Different POV: Hugh Laurie Directs” is a brief segment on Laurie’s directorial style.  “A New House For House” discusses the Mayfield Clinic that House checks into in the series opener.  “Before ‘Broken:’ An Exclusive Original Short” is an unscripted segment at the hospital before the filming of the sixth season.  “New Faces In A New House” introduces us to some of the new cast stars.  “Crazy Cool Episode: Epic Fail” takes a look at the visual effects of the episode.  Lastly, the package is equipped with pocketBLU and BD-Live technology.

“House” is still one of the best shows on television.  Thankfully the audio and video qualities of this Blu-ray package are far above average, creating a pleasant experience for re-watching the entire sixth season.  I highly recommend this boxset.

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