Huddy fans, this is not a drill. House and Cuddy are getting together on House.
It's happening for real, it's happening tonight (Fox, 8 p.m.; be there), and it's quite simply the most rewarding union of a TV couple since Pam and Jim got married on The Office...
So what the hell convinced the House producers to finally go for it? And do they giveth only to taketh away by the end of the first hour?
As Huddy fans from way back (does everyone else remember the butt injection as fondly as we do?), we needed answers to these questions and more, so we asked House executive producer Katie Jacobs for the truth, and we think you'll want to hear what she has to say:
Despite one scene toward the end of the episode that will cause the fandom's pessimists to suspect that House and Cuddy are doomed before they begin, Jacobs assures us that is not the case; the fearful can rest easy.
Jacobs promises, "This is not something that ends right away. This is something that we play out because it's complicated and it's important. We are not giving this storyline short shrift. This would not be easy to wrap up by episode three. Not every story [in every episode] is focused on [the relationship], but it is a part of every episode. Given the complications—their history, where they find themselves in their lives—meaning their ages and the fact that she's a mother—the fact they work together, the fact that she's his boss...there's a lot to play."
But before the season dips into the complications of the Huddy pairing, the premiere practically revels in House-and-Cuddy-dom. If you like their chemistry and have been rooting for them all along, tonight's hour is going to make you positively delirious, and that was quite intentional on the part of the producers, thank you very much.
Jacobs says, "These are not two strangers who have met for the first time at a bar and decide to go home and have sex. There is so much history and there's so much that they just went through that we thought the most interesting thing to see was not to jump ahead to the morning after or the next morning at work. I wanted to actually know how it is that these two people got together. So that was the impetus for picking it right up. We wanted to stay away in the first episode from ‘reality'—reality in quotes—reality being the stuff that's kept them apart: the hospital, she's his boss, she's a mom. The first episode is just allowing those two people to be together before they deal with ‘Can this work in the real world?'"
So, after all these years, what the heck drove House to go where Bones fears to tread? Why aren't the producers trembling at the mere prospect of their leading man and leading lady doing the deed?
According to Jacobs, "To completely deny and avoid their attraction, because we're too afraid of it, I'm not sure I understand that. I know what you're talking about with other series and the threat of getting people together, but I think that's what makes a series interesting, hopefully, is trying the organic stories that haven't been told yet and seeing if it works. The reason why we continue to change or explore things we haven't explored is really because they engage us. We're like, ‘Let's talk about the reality of Cuddy and House getting together and working together,' and then we get excited and the stories start to present themselves." (Hear that, Bones?! Main-character hookups are not inherently narrative quicksand!)
From what we've seen, the beginning of House and Cuddy is the beginning of a fantastic new chapter in the story of House, M.D., one that opens the series up tremendously and reinvigorates a character who was threatening to become stagnant thanks to years of petty misanthropy and tiresome self-destruction. House isn't sunshine and rainbows yet (thank Jeebus), but just the glimmer of happiness and hopefulness is enough to transform the whole show. If you've been drifting away from this series, you must come back and see what happens this year!
Faced with the choice of fishing or cutting bait, the producers of House chose to fish, bless their hearts, and it was a wonderful decision. As Jacobs says, "We are definitely still fishing and I wouldn't see why you wouldn't. It's an embarrassment of riches over here."
Will you be tuning in for House's season premiere tonight? We can't recommend it enough, so ditch Dancing With the Stars for now and come back to one of the smartest and intellectually bravest shows on television. You'll be glad you did.