Dave’s performance on House

We weren't sure what to expect from last night's episode of House. So, you can imagine our surprise when, in the course of the episode, Dave Matthews gets a breathing tube forced into his mouth, his head shaved, holes drilled through his skull, and half his brain removed.

Also, he played not so much a musician, as he had worried about publicly, but an "organ-grinding monkey," as House actually referred to Matthews' character at one point; his piano playing "gift" nothing more than the spasmodic tick of a diseased brain in a grown man with the mentality of a five-year old.

Matthews' acting consisted of repeating everything the other characters said–a result of his disease–making goofy faces, looking lovingly at his father, lying in bed or on an operating table, and playing a lovely piano duet with House. In one of the final scenes, Matthews buttons his shirt after half his brain is removed–something he couldn't do when he was a piano prodigy– while House and the father look on, a freakish gift traded in for a normal life...close up on Dave smiling like a happy five-year old.

Believe it or not, the story of Matthews' character was not the centerpiece of the show, as House led his staff to believe he had terminal brain cancer, only to reveal later that he was faking it to get a powerful and pleasurable drug injected into his brain. Those who know the show will understand. Also, the way House resisted the sympathies of his staff and superiors who thought he was dying was very funny.

In the end, Matthews' role as a lab experiment may not have allowed him to show off his acting chops, but kudos to the rock star for humbly playing a decidedly unglamorous part.

3 comments

He's been an actor since forever, so why the heck not?

He came across as remarkably genuine. Somehow the character reminded me the personality he shows on stage.

I found his performance touching, he is quite the man of many talents.