Tonight: a little House on the prairie

Ran into David Shore last January at the Fox press tour party in Pasadena. Shore, who is from London, Ont., is the writer/creator/executive producer behind House. I said to him, “Geez, I couldn’t believe what you got away with last fall in the season premiere.” If you remember, that’s when House (Hugh Laurie) and Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) finally “do it.” Both actors appeared to be starkers half the episode. Seeing so much more of Edelstein was one of my personal high points so far this season.
“You’re welcome,” said Shore.
Edelstein took a conference call with critics Friday (along with executive producer Greg Yaitanes) and I prefaced my questions by passing along that story. She laughed and said she had fun shooting that episode. “I won best butt crack on television,” she says. “I wonder what that actual award would look like.”
It was a closed set, Edelstein reports, and she was wearing nothing more than a “tiny little nude G-string. It’s always weird to shoot when you’re basically not wearing anything.”
Laurie and the crew made it as comfortable as possible, she says. The two actors would rehearse with robes on and as cameras rolled and Edelstein prepared to dis-robe she would simple shout “private moment” and everybody would turn around until she got into place. “Hugh didn’t look anywhere that wasn’t in the script,” she says. “I didn’t feel like anybody was perving out.”
Well, unless you count those of us watching at home.
Tonight on “Bombshells” (8/7c on Fox and Global), House gets a little out there once again. Cuddy has to undergo a medical procedure that causes her to re-evaluate her relationship with her difficult doctor-lover. There are five fantasy dream scenes, including a goof on Two and a Half Men (with House and Wilson as the brothers and Cuddy as the kid), a ’50s movie musical number (choreographed by Mia Michaels) and a Wild West dream scene where Cuddy and House reenact Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid.

Yaitanes, who directs the episode, says Edelstein basically channels Robert Redford in the Sundance number. “For me, it was great just to be in different costumes,” says Edelstein. “It was like having a week off and just playing around.”
Edelstein has always been a fearless actress, standing out even in relatively small parts. She was in the first scene in The West Wing as a hooker caught with Rob Lowe’s character and was never seen there again. As far as I was concerned, The West Wing went downhill from there.

The House storyline this season was a risky one. Whenever the key couple finally gets together it’s usually the death of a series. Things were never the same with Major Nelson and Jeannie after the harem costume got hung up.
Shore, Yaitanes and the others have so far managed to keep things keen by allowing the relationship to stay edgy. There’s always the feeling that these two could call it a day tonight or any week. Edelstein says Cuddy is so self sufficient “that it’s really hard for her to find a partner that has an equal amount of  power.” She thinks she has found one in House, but more and more she is discovering that he is basically a child. Will they eventually split? What happens then? “I think these are two grown up people who love what they do,” says Edelstein, who thinks they’d both stick to their jobs after any split.
Contracts are up after this season and Fox has so far not announced if the series will be back. Laurie is already one of the highest paid actors on television (although he’s not making Sheen money). Shore seemed pretty confident, when I asked him in January, that a deal would be reached for an eighth season and beyond.

2 Responses to “Tonight: a little House on the prairie”

  1. She was in 5 West Wing episodes – kinda too bad they couldn’t find space for her hooker lawyer as a regular, though. Loved her in Felicity too even though the character came between the 2 leads, and Ally McBeal. She’s always had a way of making the most of a small-ish role.

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  2. “She was in the first scene in The West Wing as a hooker caught with Rob Lowe’s character and was never seen there again. As far as I was concerned, The West Wing went downhill from there.”

    Actually, she was in at least five episodes of “The West Wing”, sprinkled throughout the first season. Always a joy to watch. Also enjoyed her in Sorkin’s previous series, “Sports Night”, where she shone in 2 appearances.

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