This time, we get to find out quite a bit more about House himself, as season five digs into the sides of his character that we’ve rarely seen before. Around him, others aren’t having the best of times either, and with that in mind, the comedic elements that have been a trademark of the show since it began are gradually turned down here. As it happens, that’s no bad thing, as instead House’s fifth season adds depth and development to the set-up, all the while trying to solve seemingly-impossible medical cases.
The evolution of House himself also gives a platform for Hugh Laurie to demonstrate just why he’s one of the most in-demand television actors on the planet. He’s just brilliant here, utterly owning the role and showing a real range to his performance. His supporting cast are fine too, but this is very much Laurie’s show.
While the plot and character developments may isolate one or two who look for an easier 40-odd minutes from a House episode, season five wins its gamble to shake things up, leaving you tantalised on a major cliffhanger that pretty much guarantees you watching the first episode of season six. It’s a real achievement from one of the best shows on American television right now, and with season five, it’s just got that little better.