*** Note: This post contains mild spoilers on last night’s episode of House.***
It’s always a joyous occasion when a scripted show which
doesn’t have much of a track record with gay subject matter manages to pull off a
"gay" storyline without a hitch. Usually these one-off "gay episodes"
fall into two traps: Either the story is well-intentioned but clichéd and
didactic, or the story is downright offensive.
Last night’s House
managed to sail between Scylla and Charybdis and offered up a pretty amusing
B story in which Dr. House (Hugh Laurie) and Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard), who have moved in together as roommates
in a new apartment building, are mistaken for a gay couple. Wilson
is upset about the situation because he has the hots for a pretty female
Everyone in our building thinks we’re gay.
We’re grown men over the age of 30 who moved in together.
We’re two tigers away from an act in Vegas. They’ll figure out we’re straight
Eventually could be a long time since House and Wilson’s
relationship does read sorta gay. (Immediately after this exchange Wilson
explains to a gruff drug dealer what "culottes" are.)
If you’re not familiar with the series, Dr.
House is pretty much a brilliant jerk. In between diagnosing rare diseases he takes great joy in screwing with his friends. This time out he decides to mess with Wilson
by further confusing the pretty female neighbor. He meets her in the hallway
at the mailboxes and, after protesting that he and Wilson are straight, rapturously
tears off the wrapping on a giant framed Chorus
(clapping his hands together) My God, that is beautiful! And we finally have
the room to display it the way it deserves!
Oh House, you are so evil. Now that he has Pretty Neighbor thoroughly confused, he asks her to
help him carry the poster up to his and Wilson’s
apartment – taking time to compliment her on her Louboutin pumps.
finds out and confronts him, House admits that at first he was just trying to
mess with him, but now he’s actually trying to hit on the pretty neighbor
himself – by pretending he and Wilson are closeted gay men in an unhappy
House’s ploy works like gangbusters, leading to picnics in
front of the television and back rubs. When the frustrated Wilson
tries to explain to Pretty Neighbor that House is faking she thinks he’s just
The whole plot climaxes at a romantic dinner between House
and Pretty Neighbor. He claims Wilson’s
jealousy is unbearable and he can’t face going back to the apartment again that night.
Come stay at my place tonight. It’ll be fun. Like a
House can barely contain his smirk, but he doesn’t have it
for long. Wilson shows up and draws
the attention of everyone in the restaurant by loudly proclaiming his love for
"this man." Then he gets down on one knee and proposes.
This prompts pretty neighbor to politely retreat "you two
obviously have some talking to do." And the capper – a little old lady
leans over to House and advises him to "say yes"
All in all the show managed this minor gay storyline really
well. It was funny, seemed true to the characters of Wilson and House, and
never fell into the typical gay panic trap. Wilson’s
problem with being perceived as gay was that it would interfere with his love
life. Other than that he didn’t care. House saw being perceived as gay as an
If you caught last night’s episode please share your thoughts in the comments. If you haven’t be sure and check it out. It’s worth a look. Here’s a clip…