House, M.D. is a show that uses stereotypes in a way that they ever so subtly enhance the personalities of each character. The stereotypes are not to be judged as fair or unfair in this particular television series and perhaps that is why the viewers continue to watch the show without getting irritated or offended by certain stereotypes. Although it is a challenging task to decide whether the stereotype is positive or negative, all the stereotypes are essential to the show because they make the show more unique.
Most distinctively portrayed stereotypes are expressed by Dr. Gregory House. In the show, he plays a worldly renowned doctor, and is also very famous for his caustic personality. House is addicted to narcotics for the physical and perhaps emotional pain that he has to deal with on a daily basis. However, his addiction counters the typical stereotypes about drug addicts. Normally, it is understood that all drug addicts are incapable of functioning properly in our society. He not only is able to function normally, but also diagnose his sick patients with mysterious diseases.
Dr. Eric Foreman plays a role that counters the typical stereotype of an African-American. African-American stereotypes typically include uneducated and lower-social class, and usually thought of some sort of delinquents. Foreman is nothing like these stereotypes, although he always becomes the butt of all of House’s stereotypical jokes about black people in general, ghettos, stealing and breaking and entering. Foreman counters the common stereotype about African-Americans and standing up against House gives Foreman richer and more dimensional personality which is very important for the success of the show.
In contrast, Allison Cameron portrays a lot of the stereotypes that are commonly thought about women. In America, although it is not often spoken out loud, there is an underlying stereotype against women. Although subtle, it can be picked up in pop culture and sly comments, and House, M.D. is no exception. Through these indicators, a stereotype against women develops. Cameron is very sympathetic, and has a relatively low self-esteem. She believes that the only reason she was chosen to be the member of House’s medical team is because of her appearance, even if she is a phenomenal doctor. Also, she is a bit of a pushover. Cameron always has a very hard time saying no to House and standing up for herself. These are some classic stereotypes about women that are not necessarily true or fair all the time.
After observing these patterns of stereotypes used in the show, it is fairly expected that the commercials showed during House, M.D. are somewhat related to the content of the show. For instance, different types of drugs for various uses are presented. Although these medications do not directly correlate to the ones that are used in the show, they do prove that House, M.D. is a medically related show.
Most recently, a drug used to reduce the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Enbrel, was advertised during the commercial section of the show. If seen without particular analysis, the commercial may seem like an old-fashioned medication advertisement, with 20 different side effects. However, it is apparent that the commercial is mainly casted by women. Not only there were more women on television, but also it was nearly impossible to find a picture of man at Enbrel’s website. The commercial seemed to appear as if women are more susceptible to the disease and that only women get Rheumatoid Arthritis. Men are just as equally susceptible to this painful autoimmune disease, and the commercial should not have portrayed as if only women are opened to it. Consequently, Enbrel’s advertisement only enhances one of the many stereotypes that are present in House, M.D. – sexism. House often makes jokes about women being the weaker one and consequently believes that Dr. Allison Cameron can’t perform as well as the other male doctors can. On top of House’s brutal jokes against women, Cameron, herself, can’t help but to be a pushover, especially in front of House. Enbrel’s commercial picked women out just as the television series ruled Cameron’s characteristic out.
Seeing the commercial that made a statement against women during a television series that often uses stereotypical sexism jokes, makes seem like the broadcasting company is strategically using the commercial to improve the effect of the show. The stereotypes that are used in the show are meant to be used to assist developing each individual’s characteristics and they should be used only for that matter, not any further just like instance with Enbrel’s advertisement did.