I’ve been working my way through House MD over the last few months or so, mainly to have something vaguely interesting on while I do my really tedious data analysis. I’m finally on Season 6 and watched Episode 14 “9 to 5” yesterday and I loved it. It was great to have a day following Dr Cuddy around, seeing what she gets up to and how she manages to handle everything. During the course of the day she handles a sick baby, an errant boyfriend, a key meeting with a hospital Insurance company, a nurse who’s been stealing drugs from the pharmacy by doctoring the drugs orders, and multiple meetings with the Hospital Board who are counting on her to sort out the Insurance company debacle. She also had to deal with intractable clinic patients, someone attempting to sue the hospital and to top it all off, House’s usual pranks and on-going squabble with Dr Foreman and other members of the surgical team. I won’t tell you what happens but suffice it to say that she absolutely kicked ass in every way. It was fantastic!
She also dealt with a personal moment of career panic when it looked like things were about to go down the pan, and House actually gave her sensible advice, support and encouragement. Colour me shocked, but it was nice to see the caring, not-trying-to-get-in-each-other’s-pants, side of their friendship. It was also nice to see him validate how much the hospital means to her, as a place to work, and for her career and sense-of-self in general. He reminded her that her career as Dean of Medicine was the most important thing in her life and that it was completely okay for that to be the case.
On a side note, what was particularly interesting was how many times Cuddy was called a bitch during her work day, simply for doing the things that needed doing and making the hard decisions that were in the best interests of the hospital. A bloke would not have been called that for being a hard-nosed, astute decision-maker in a position of serious power. Sexism, misogyny and patriarchy et cetera. It worked though, because it felt like an actual point the show creators were trying to make, and it can only be a good thing for them to point to it and say “this is a thing that happens and it sucks”.
So yes, it was great to watch an episode that supported and uplifted career women who also have families, and that was realistic about how tough that can be but was hopeful nonetheless. And you know, Dr Cuddy, because Dr Cuddy. 🙂