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Charlyne Yi Inexplicably Joins House

Charlyne Yi

TV shows do strange things in their final seasons. Freed from the yoke of expectations — and, very often, freed of the burden of all those viewers it used to have — producers have been known to try all sorts of off-the-wall, attention grabbing Hail Maries. Some have added future Oscar nominees, others have tossed core concepts — and reality! — out the window entirely, while still others have simply chosen to betray the hopes and faith of an entire nation. House, Fox’s aging, popular show about a hospital with glass walls, has chosen a different route: it’s going to get weird. At least that’s the only plausible takeaway from reports that the frisky Lisa Edelstein will be replaced by the freaky Charlyne Yi. Not directly, of course, as Yi will be playing a young doctor, not a potential love interest — though we can all dream of Hugh Laurie taking the Michael Cera role in an even more intolerable, slightly more British remake of Paper Heart — but the juxtaposition is remarkable. Yi is best known for being stoned in Knocked Up and her comedy shows which Wikipedia helpfully points out “do not always include joke-telling” and should inject a welcome element of skin-curdling strangeness as she injects patients with antibiotics. And, as always, we applaud unexpected Hollywood decision-making like this, even if it is the sort of bravery only possible from those with nothing to fear except monotonous decades of cashing outrageously large syndication checks.