Blu-Ray Review: Seventh Season of ‘House’ Shows Symptoms of Series in Decline

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CHICAGO – There are reasons to worry about “House.” Let’s look at the symptoms. First, the temperature — the show’s ratings. They’re down nearly 50% from the season-three peak, averaging just under 10 million last year, down from closer to 13 million the year before. They’re still impressive numbers but when there were rumors of a network shift or even cancellation last year, no one was shocked. Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

What happened? Well, every drama starts to lose its footing at some point and the percentage chances of that happening increases exponentially with each passing year. The fact that the seventh season of “House” was just released on Blu-ray and DVD and the eighth is about to premiere is kind of remarkable. But I wonder if this season will be the one that people look back on as a major chunk of the very-slow shark-jumping that’s been done by the program.

House: Season Seven was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 30th, 2011
House: Season Seven was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 30th, 2011
Photo credit: Universal

Or will it be the fact that this season is the last for Lisa Edelstein (Cuddy)? How about the disappearance of Olivia Wilde (Thirteen) for a majority of this year? Repetitive plotlines? Episodes that simply felt like ones we’ve seen before? “House” is still a decent show but there’s no denying, despite the strong work by Hugh Laurie once again, that the show was at least spinning its wheels this year and has arguably come to a complete stop.

Given reader response to our reviews of the divisive season premieres of the sixth and seventh seasons, there may be some disagreement as to when the hit FOX show jumped the shark or if it has yet to do so. If you’re still on board with Dr. House, this is yet-another strong Blu-ray release from one of the most consistent HD studios out there — Universal. Some of the video transfers look a bit too muted for my tastes, but the wealth of special features, along with the excellent U-Control functionality, makes up for any perceived weaknesses.

“He’s sarcastic, incorrigible, bitter and in a relationship? Hugh Laurie returns in all 23 Season Seven episodes of House, the role that earned him 5 Primetime Emmy® Award nominations and 2 Golden Globe wins. Dr. Gregory House has spent his career taking on seemingly hopeless cases, but when his rapport with Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) changes, he finds himself facing new and very different challenges. His team at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital (Omar Epps, Jesse Spencer, Peter Jacobson, Robert Sean Leonard, Amber Tamblyn and Olivia Wilde) also continues to blaze trails as they investigate baffling medical cases involving a religious zealot, a professional bull rider and possibly even smallpox. Featuring phenomenal guest stars, including Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown), Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing), Jack Coleman (Heroes), Michael Gladis (Mad Men), and more, it’s the addictive hit series that continues to surprise and captivate audiences.”

Special Features:
o U-Control: A Beginner’s Guide To Diagnostic Medicine - Get the facts on House’s specialty in this informative and fun picture in picture feature
o Meet Martha Masters - Introducing Amber Tamblyn’s influential yet neurotic character
o Huddy Dissected - House and Cuddly, a behind-the-scenes look at the new couple
o Anatomy of an Episode: Bombshells
o Thirteen Returns - Olivia Wilde comes back as Dr. Remy “Thirteen” Hadley
o Episode Commentaries
o Pocket Blu
o BD Live Enabled content director Brian Tallerico

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