'House' Fan: Defending Thirteen


Now before you chase after me with pitchforks and torches, let me wave my white flag and explain myself. As a fan of the show House, I've been party to numerous intelligent discussions on the show's various themes, morals, and character arcs. What has been the most unpleasant part of being a House fan? When fans dislike something about the show.


It got me thinking about all of the Thirteen-bashing I've been hearing about from fans. Here's my take. My main goal as a House fan is to learn more about Dr. House through his relationships and interactions with others. This includes Thirteen. While I prefer watching House interact with Cuddy and Wilson, I agree with Wilson. House needs someone in his life who isn't sucked in by his games. We, and he, need a balance.


While Thirteen isn't my favorite character on House, I do think she plays a valuable role. Thirteen, similar to the POTW from "Brave Heart," actually does have an expiration date. We're watching her deal with a debilitating disease that has a ticking clock. It's an interesting idea that the writers ran with last season. With that being said, I think that the episodes last season that put her storyline on the "A" side instead of the "B" angered fans.


We watch the show for one reason: House. Whether people like the medical side or the relationship side, he's the one thing holding us fans together. What doesn't work for fans is when we don't get to see enough of House mirrored in these close examinations of Thirteen. We got plenty of Thirteen stories, and not much else (i.e. "Lucky Thirteen,"). Additionally, plenty of fans would love as much attention on Wilson and Cuddy as Thirteen has gotten in the last year or so.


I know there are many fans out there that have more reasons than I've addressed here for disliking her, but what's important is to embrace any kind of connection to House we're given. Any parallel, any conversation, any peeling away of his character. This man is not the easiest to interpret, so let's not throw away any chance of another sounding board for him to bounce from.


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Nov 4, 2009 1:51PM EST

I came across an interesting discussion on LiveJournal about the portrayal of Thirteen's bisexuality on <i>House</i>. The essential argument was that her attraction to women was a manifestation of destructive, self-destructive behavior, and that as soon as Thirteen began to put herself back together she got into a stable relationship with a strong male character. The only portrayal of her same-sex attraction since then was taking body shots off a stripper, clear exhibitionism, under Foreman's approving gaze. I agree with the original writer that this depiction of bisexuality and same-sex desire is problematic, as the message presented by <i>House</i> is that bisexuality is unhealthy and can be cured by attraction to a strong male figure. What do you guys think?

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Nov 4, 2009 4:28PM EST

I happen to love Thirteen's character, and could do a little less with Foreman as he irritates and bores me to no end.

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Nov 8, 2009 1:56PM EST

i love thirteen but hate her relationship with foreman. its just really boring. and she totally balances out house and won't let him manipulate her. the way her bisexual-ness is portrayed is okay but at the same time stereotypical and made to look self destructive. not all bisexual girls use women to be self destructive and need a "strong male" to keep their life even keeled.

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Nov 28, 2009 3:14PM EST

Besides House and Wilson, Thirteen is my favorite character. I would love to see her have a strong, female love interest that doesn't end after a few episodes like all same-sex TV relationships do. It would be nice if Thirteen had a partnership in which her girlfriend supports and loves her as she begins to decline in Huntington's hell. The only thing that made sense about her relationship with Foreman is that maybe she saw him as her savior from Huntington's during the drug trial. Just the way she was using women for one-night stands as a way of controlling her own fear. There was absolutely no chemistry between her and Foreman (who BTW is my least favorite character). He is so boring. I actually like Lucas and Cuddy together but being a big fan of the House character, I - of course - hope he gets her. What she did to him on T-Day was pretty mean but then, it's no meaner than anyting House has done. It was really out of character for her, though, which is what surprised me so much.

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