A Very Special Episode: The procedural turned personal on a one-of-a-kind House episode

A single television episode can exemplify the spirit of its time. A Very Special Episode presents The A.V. Club‘s survey of TV at its most distinctive.

For one night in 2005, House was the best show on television. And I’ll go even further than that. For about three years, House was an example of network TV at its sharpest. A forward-thinking hybrid of the medical procedural and the “antihero” drama, the show delivered fiendishly difficult case-of-the-week mysteries, solved by a prickly, pill-popping diagnostician named Gregory House—a character modeled directly on Sherlock Holmes. (Get it? House? Holmes?) And then on May 17, 2005, toward the end of season one, Fox aired “Three Stories,” an episode written by creator David Shore and directed by Paris Barclay, which set such a high bar for what House could be that even though the show ran for seven more seasons—and …

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