‘HOUSE’ (LAST) CALL: DAVID SHORE TALKS ABOUT THE END
It’s a sad, sad thing to see. Here at the Fox lot, the oversized doors of Stage 15 were usually closed, with a security guard often stationed outside, helping keep safe the secrets of the institution that existed within: Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital.
But for the last few weeks, the doors have been open. Piece by piece, door by door, wall by wall, crews have been dismantling PPTH.
And now it is gone.
Just an empty soundstage remains… for now, at least. Soon, sets for a new project will be constructed within those walls, and the Hollywood circle of life goes on. “House” creator/executive producer David Shore is all too aware of that. He recalls how cool it seemed at the time when, back in the show’s second year, construction crews started creating what would become the exterior to Dr. House’s home.
Until he realized that the facade being torn down was the entrance to “NYPD Blue’s” 15th precinct. “I loved that show,” Shore told us. “And I just realized, well, that’s the future. That’s the nature of it. There’s not a lot of sentiment.”
Being just days away from the show’s finale, it’s certainly a time for “House” fans to get a little sentimental. One of the most popular TV dramas of the past decade, its loss gives fans plenty to mourn — no more House, no more Wilson, no more Foreman or Chase or Taub, no more of the dialogue that was written so expertly and performed so brilliantly, no more of the “a-ha” moments that often signaled House’s break in the case, no more of the music-backed montages that captured an episode’s emotions so perfectly.
With that in mind, we spoke with Shore about the end of “House” — and its beginning.
Did he have an “a-ha” moment of his own, when the seeds of the show were first planted? (Click on the media player to hear David Shore.)
Back when the show was conceived, did Shore have its ultimate ending in mind? And does the real finale come close to what he might have envisioned?
The annals of TV history are littered with series finales that haven’t lived up to viewers’ expectations. After all, when viewers become invested in a show, its characters take on a new life inside each viewer’s own imagination.
We all have different ideas about where we’d like those characters to wind up (Shore admits he’s had plenty of people tell him how they’d like to see the show end), and so it’s up to the show’s writers and producers to craft an ending that, well, feels right. An appropriate ending that equals — or surpasses — what we’ve come up with ourselves.
And in an age where “spoilers” has become part of our everyday TV vernacular, it’s not easy to deliver a finale that hits the right notes and packs the emotional punch that can only come with the element of surprise. Which is why Shore said he’s taken plenty of precautions to keep the ending secret until it airs — and why he’s refused to talk about anything that could be construed as a spoiler.
The series finale of “House” begins Monday night with a special one-hour retrospective at 8/7c on Fox, followed immediately by the cryptically titled episode, “Everybody Dies.”
Do you think the show can deliver a satisfying ending? What do you think will happen? Do you have your own ideas about how you’d end things? And do you think we’ll ever see another show like “House”?