That series lasted from 2004 - 2012, but I started watching late in the game, while reruns were already showing. They still are on Tuesdays.
With the marvels of DVR, a few weeks ago I was able to record not only the very last episode, but also the first and second episodes which all ran back to back.
It was fascinating to watch the series setup, as well as the concluding episode. From that, I garnered a few tips which could also apply to setting up a book series. If you're thinking of setting up a series, here are three questions you might want to ask yourself:
- Are your characters unique? In the first episode, it was apparent to me that House was a lovable, intriguing curmudgeon, who liked to go his own way. His buddy, Dr. James Wilson, appeared to be his polar opposite. Their boss, Lisa Cuddy, was a rules stickler. Early on, it's obvious House was not only attracted to her, but also enjoyed rattling her cage. The cast included other great characters on House's team, but I can't go into them all here. Each, however, played a particular role not only as a doctor, but as a person in his or her own right.
- Are the characters sympathetic? It seems strange to be fascinated by a character who enjoyed flaunting the rules, but I couldn't help being intrigued by House. One reason was the script writers' inclusion of House's leg injury. How could I not feel sorry for a guy who carried on, despite a debilitating leg injury, which kept him dependent on pain-killers? His buddy, Dr. Wilson, came off as not only a caring, kind person, but also specialized in oncology, a noble profession. Then there was Dr. Lisa Cuddy, who had her hands full keeping order in the midst of chaos.
- Are the characters sustainable and plot worthy? Episodes for eight years featured House hard at work solving one after another medical puzzle. Patients exhibited strange and sometimes scary symptoms, many times resulting in a race against the clock to sustain life. Snippets about the personal lives of the main characters were interspersed with research about finding cures. Even in the most dire circumstances, it wasn't unusual for House to throw out a personal remark to catch another main character off guard. Dr. Wilson served as his conscience, yet had his own weaknesses. Dr. Cuddy fought an attraction to House. I won't tell you how the series ended, in case you want to find out for yourself.
Can you think of any other questions a series writer might consider? Or, maybe you'd like to mention a unique character from your book series, someone else's, or a TV series.
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