Hobsonphile (hobsonphile) wrote,

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In defense of Dr. Cameron (House wankery)

Oh, wow, bitchy and heartless much? I so don't get the hate here. I mean, God forbid anyone should show a little human fragility. Let's try to separate the person from the doctor, shall we?

First, the point where we agree: Cameron strikes me as the youngest of the Ducklings, and with youth and inexperience, you do sometimes take things too personally. But I do think there's a possibility Cameron's heading for an emotional burn-out, and that medicine may not be the right match for her, not because she's incompetent, because she's clearly not on the basic skills level, but because she feels too much. That doesn't mean she's deserving of a hate-on. People are different. And I for one relate to that particular flaw. I was pre-med many years ago, but, looking ahead to what that life would entail for me physically and emotionally, I changed my mind, even though my interest in medicine and talent for biology remained.

But let's talk about her strengths, shall we? Cameron is a kind-hearted person. She remembers your birthday, even when you want to forget, and isn't repelled when you behave like a giant cranky-pants. Whether it's because of something of a crush, or because she's simply drawn to a person who's as broken as she is, Cameron is the one who brings out the human side of House. Every snarky anti-hero needs someone like that in his orbit for balance- to remind him that he's lovable, even when he remains unconvinced. For me, Cameron may be to House what Vir is to Londo.

And speaking of House, while I love the character and think his snark is, strangely, teh sex, let's get real: Deliberately slacking off during clinic duty? Playing Game Boy with your patients? Leering at a young woman's breasts and then calling in your closest male friend for a "consult"? Walking around the hospital in scruffy, casual clothes? House may be a brilliant diagnostician, but he's not exactly a paragon of medical professionalism either.

What we seem to have here is another example of the "he's a Genius, so he must be Forgiven All Things" meme, which seems to apply only to men, and which has bugged the hell out of me ever since I was forced to read Sinclair Lewis's dreadful Arrowsmith in my History of American Medicine class at William and Mary. I could not stand Dr. Martin Arrowsmith. He was a pompous blowhard who spent much of his life sneering down his nose at general practitioners, believing they had abandoned the "purity" of research medicine for stuffy noses and commercial success. He practically abandoned his wife to isolate himself in his lab. And he didn't seem to have any of that all important human consideration. But, because he was a Genius, Lewis expected us to Forgive Him All Things.

There are definitely some parallels between House and Arrowsmith, but House avoids the analogy because the writers do remind us in certain moments that he has not lost the human connection entirely- and Cameron plays a big role in this humanization. Scenes like the one last night with Cameron in front of the centrifuge (which I adored- the acting from both was incredible) tell us that House does care about that big, annoying, flawed, frequently dishonest mass of humanity that swims all around him. And we need to see that dimension to keep House a sympathetic, complex human being.

So, um, yeah: go Cameron! Cameron&House is my new OTF!
Tags: house md

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