Thursday, October 14, 2010

House vs Holmes

A few months ago my wife started recording and watching a new TV show.(New to our home anyway, we don't watch TV much). Anyway, she wanted me to sit down and watch it with her. The name of that show was House. I asked her what it was about.
"A doctor. It's really funny. You'll like it."
Hmm. Medical drama? Like E.R.? Ugh. My first inclination was to pass, but my wife, ever persistent, managed to get me to watch an episode.
I'm glad I did.
Since that time I've been on a marathon, watching the first five seasons. I love the snarky dialogue, the sarcasm, and hey, even the medical mystery stuff is pretty cool. I normally hate medical shows. But this was different. And after a while I realized why.
It wasn't just a medical drama.
It was Sherlock Holmes, re imagined.
You may have drawn the same conclusion, you may not have. But consider the following. First, let's start with House's name. House. Sherlock Holmes last name sounds like "homes". Another word for home is "house".
Next, of course, they are both extremely intelligent and can deduce much from just looking at a person. Both fight deadly villains, be they criminals in the night or diseases that hide in the body. Holmes was an opiate and cocaine user, if not an addict, and House of course loves his yummy yummy Vicodin. Both men are extremely arrogant, yet it is acceptable because they are also extremely competent.
Holmes always referred to Dr. John Watson(initials J.W) as Watson, and House calls Dr. James Wilson(initials also J.W.) by his last name as well. Both prefer to hold others at a distance, though they allow their best friend to come a little bit closer.
Holmes and House both are notoriously lazy when not involved with a case. Both escape through music, Holmes with the violin, House with his piano. Holmes read the agony columns in the paper. House watches his soaps. Both are loath to accept the authority they have over them. Holmes with Inspector Lestrade, House with Dr. Cuddy.
And, in case you're not yet convinced that I have too much time on my hands to have noticed all of these similarities, here's the kicker. Holmes lives at the fabled residence at 221 B Baker Street. And check out this picture of House's apartment as he talks to Wilson:

Anyway, both Holmes and House are great. I've read the Complete Sherlock Holmes, as well as seen the movies, and read short stories by other authors emulating Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's work, such as Stephen King. And House, through five seasons so far has held my attention and made me laugh in each episode.
So, here's the question.
Which of the two is the better character?
I'd honestly like to know what you think. I personally believe that House is a much more personable character, that we get inside his head more, and that makes him the character to whom I relate to more. Holmes is great, but it's House's shortcomings that really make him the better character for me. Oh, and his clinic hours. I can't forget those.
So let me know what you think. Let's see how many votes we get for each. Who will win? Holmes? Or has he met his match?


  1. In rock-paper-scissors, Castles beat Houses all the time.

    Seriously though, I'd never noticed all the similarities between the two before. After seeing the movie I was blown away, and ain't nothing like the real thing, so I'll have to give it to Holmes. House is still a winner though.

  2. Haha! For real. I love Castle too.

  3. I haven't seen House. *ashamed* My sister's tell me it rocks though.

    I love the new Holmes. But then again, I tend to like the actor, too. ;) But I love a smartie. Smarties always endear me.

  4. Holmes is a class act, no doubt about it. Thanks Laura!