House gets profound
There are moments in tonight’s season opener of House that are so exquisite, so pointed and quietly profound, that it’s hard to believe one is watching TV.
House, a show some fans complain has become formulaic and predictable in recent outings, bucks the early season trend of disappointments with tonight’s gripping season opener, Dying Changes Everything. The irony is intentional: Dr. Feelbad (Hugh Laurie), Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard), Thirteen (Olivia Wilde) and Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) are all suddenly and rudely confronted by their own mortality, and each reacts in his or her own unique way. The die is cast for the coming season: The season’s theme will be change. Change to the daily routine, change to deeply held beliefs — but not change to Dr. Feelbad’s generally dyspeptic view of the world.
Tonight’s story focuses on the continuing fallout from last May’s season ender, in which Dr. Feelbad inadvertently caused the death of his best friend’s girlfriend. It’s the intelligent, crisp snap of adult dialogue and the timely themes — work demands versus the need for a healthy home life, the role of gender equity in today’s workplace, the nature of guilt — that make it special.
Tonight’s season opener is so mature, so intelligent and so poignant that it’s almost enough to renew one’s faith in network TV. (8 p.m., Fox, channel 2, cable 7, and Global, channel 22, cable 3)
Less is more, they say — except when it isn’t. The Biggest Loser, the improbably popular reality-competition show about weight loss, is back with a new edition, The Biggest Loser: Families, featuring four husband-and-wife teams and four parent-adult child teams. Twice the heft, twice the entertainment. That’s the idea, anyway. (8 p.m., NBC, channel 4, cable 5, and E!, cable 59)
Peter Jennings is back — in a way — with the 90minute special UFOs: Seeing is Believing, an updated, expanded version of the late newsman’s 2005 special about scientists’ search for proof of life beyond our own planet, hosted by David Muir. Seeing is Believing hails from ABC’s news division, by the way, not the network’s entertainment division, so the odds are good it won’t be trash. (9:30 p.m., ABC, channel 7, cable 8)