Blu-Ray Review: Sixth Season of FOX Hit ‘House’ With Hugh Laurie

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CHICAGO – With the departure of Adrian Monk (“Monk”), Jack Bauer (“24”) and Jack Shephard (“Lost”) along with the stoppage of the revolving door of personalities at “Law & Order,” there are very few time-tested icons left on television. One of the remaining TV characters that will clearly have a chapter of his own in the history books of the medium is Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) and his stellar sixth season of the FOX medical drama was recently released in an excellent Universal set. Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0

Ratings have dropped for “House” over the years but it still remains one of the network’s most popular programs and the fact is that Nielsen numbers are down all over the dial as the modern tracking system has yet to truly account for DVRs, iTunes, On Demand, Hulu, and all the other ways that people watch television in 2010. “House” may not literally be a top ten show any more but it’s still one of the most popular on television and Universal Home Video treats their fans accordingly with a very well-mastered Blu-ray release with great special features. This time of year is always overcrowded with TV on DVD choices. “House: Season Six” is one of the best.

The season opens with one of the more controversial episodes in the history of “House,” the “Cuckoo’s Nest”-inspired “Broken,” a trip behind the walls of a mental hospital with Dr. House. Our critic Adam Fendelman and many other writers loved it but, as you’ll see by the comments on our original review, it was wildly divisive. It’s funny how people respond when a show breaks from its normal pattern — it’s usually heated in one direction or the other.

House: Season Six was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 31st, 2010
House: Season Six was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 31st, 2010
Photo credit: Universal

Naturally, with such a unique season premiere, a lot of the bonus material on the first disc of this five-disc Blu-ray set is devoted to “Broken.” The episode includes a commentary with Director/Executive Producer Katie Jacobs, Writer/Executive Producer Russel Friend, & Writer/Executive Producer Garrett Lerner along with three featurettes that relate directly to it — “New Faces in a Hew House” (8:45), “A New House for House” (22:40), and “Before “Broken”” (9:53). The final piece is footage that was shot after the season-five finale in which Laurie experimented on the hospital set, getting a feel for how they would begin season six. It’s interesting to watch Laurie improvise but did it really need to be scored to John Mayer’s “In Repair”? Isn’t that a bit on-the-nose? Finally, “Crazy Cool Episode: “Epic Fail”” (22:29) details the creation of the video game world for the second episode of the season in which a gamer ends up at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital.

Disc three includes a commentary on episode 6.9 (“Wilson”) by Series Star Robert Sean Leonard and Writer/Supervising Producer David Foster, M.D. and episode 6.13 (“5 to 9”) by Series Star Lisa Edelstein and Writer/Executive Producer Thomas L. Moran. Disc four features a documentary called “A Different POV: Hugh Laurie Directs” (7:22) about the making-of episode 6.16 (“Lockdown”), the first directed by Laurie in the history of the show. Finally, the fifth disc includes a commentary on the season-six finale (“Help Me”) by Director/Co-Executive Producer Greg Yaitanes and Technical Advisor Larry Collins. The set also includes Universal’s spectacular BD functions — U-Control, BD-Live, and Pocket Blu.

“House” returns for a seventh season on September 22nd, 2010. You have plenty of time to catch up. Get to work.

‘House: Season Six’ stars Hugh Laurie, Robert Sean Leonard, Omar Epps, Olivia Wilde, and Lisa Edelstein. The five-disc sixth-season set runs 967 minutes and was released on August 31st, 2010. content director Brian Tallerico

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