The “House” Effect

I watch a little TV, but I tend to do so in moderation.  I’d often rather play videogames, read, or write.  Marissa goes on binges.  It’s mostly background noise while she grades papers or engages in other teacherly activities, but she will watch the better part of 6 seasons of a single series in the course of a single week.  About 8 months ago her kick was House which means I ended up watching a lot of House with her.

It’s an ok show; I used to like it but now I find it too formulaic.  Anyway, in one episode they have a patient who is supposedly a ridiculously attractive model.  Spoiler: She turns out to be a he.  The girl who plays this model is fairly attractive, I suppose.  If I saw her on the street I might think, “Attractive,” but seeing her in a room with the House doctors is a different story.

I’m coining a new term, “The House Effect.”  This is when someone ordinarily attractive no longer appears attractive because they’re surrounded by more attractive people.  American TV is plagued with it.  How was the patient supposed to appear attractive when he doctors include Jesse Spencer, Omar Epps, and Jennifer Morrison?  She looks average.  Add the “I’m sick” makeup to her and she becomes slightly lower than average within the context of the show.

British TV is better.  Strangely enough, they hire an awful lot of ugly (read: average looking) actors and actresses.  At first I thought this was simply because British people are uglier so American average is British “Hollywood hot.”  You might get this impression from a conversation in the TV series Community where a British professor tells a student she is a “6” and that’s a British “8.”

The worst offender in American TV is CW.  Their shows play like live action Calvin Klein catalogs.  I watched Arrow for a time, but found it impossible to tell the female characters apart because they were all ridiculously attractive brunette girls with the same builds, hair, eyes, etc.  I wasn’t entirely convinced some of the actresses weren’t just appearing in multiple roles.

I imagine one day they’ll have a storyline about some super attractive super villainess with the ability to control men — there is a one in the DC Universe — and they won’t be able to find anyone believably attractive.  Oh well.

Posted in Media, Television.

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