It's not very often we have anything nice to say about Five, in fact we tend to give them a damn good kicking, but for once they've done something right in bringing an American television show to our screens.
Tomorrow night sees the first episode of House - Not the catchiest of titles to be sure, it's no CSI: Scunthorpe or Hey look! That woman is wanking a pig - but trust us on this one. House is the dog's bollocks.
For a start it's got a great theme tune (Teardrop by Massive Attack), but best of all it's got Hugh Laurie. Or as we now like to call him Hugh 'forget all that Blackadder stuff and watch me act my socks off with a limp and an American accent' Laurie. He's really bloody good in this.
When we first heard about this show it was pitched to us as sort of like CSI but with disease being the criminal... 'hmmm well that's stupid' we thought and thankfully it's nothing like the turgid CSI franchise. For a start it's got characters. Hugh Laurie plays Dr Gregory House - a kind of rogue specialist who only takes on the cases that interest him. That usually means that they're a) unusual b) challenging and c) fun to watch him solve. He's got a single friend in the form of cancer specialist Robert Sean Leonard, a boss who suffers his quirky style because of his results and best of all a small team of doctors that he gets to berate and generally give a hard time to. Although not as hard a time as he gives the actual patients.
So it may sound like the kind of thing you've seen before in E.R. but the writing here is first rate (the show is the brainchild of Bryan Singer) and while it often stretches the bounds of plausibility it's so much fun that you forgive it it's few weaknesses the way the rest of the cast forgive House his open addiction to pain killers.
Because here at Londonist we like to stay ahead of the pack we've already seen the first season and it's a cracker. Stay with it even if you feel it becomes a little formulaic towards the middle because the last two episodes take your familiarity with the show and bust it wide open. The penultimate 'Three Stories' episode is a writing tour de force that finally explains a lot about House and gives Laurie the chance to up his game even more. Great stuff.
Of course it wouldn't be Five if it wasn't sandwiched between Real Life Desperate Housewives and She Stole My Foetus so make sure to switch on dead at ten tomorrow and smash the TV or something as soon as it's finished. Those of you that like to live on the edge can always get around the lousy advertising by *cough* finding a torrent *cough* but of course we can't condone that kind of behaviour.