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Martha Masters


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#1

Wolf

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Posted Nov 8, 2010 @ 1:12 PM

As a great fan of the late, lamented "Joan of Arcadia," I was pleasantly surprised to see the description of tonight's episode, announcing in non-spoiler fashion that Amber Tamblyn would be joining the cast for a thirteen-episode arc. I believe her to be an extremely talented actress and I hope the writers give her material that she can really work with here.

Maybe they'll even find a part for her erstwhile co-star (God). The return of Evil Nurse Brenda, perhaps?

#2

Hormyga

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Posted Nov 18, 2010 @ 11:44 PM

I hope that they give her a better material than the one they gave her in her first to episodes, because the annoying know-it-all is really not working for me. Seriously, I think that Tamblyn can perfectly work with more interesting materia.

#3

michellems

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Posted Nov 19, 2010 @ 6:13 AM

She's a fine actress, but this is outrageously Mary Sue. If House falls in Luuurrve with her, I will be most put out.

Here she is, smarter than House, cuter than Cuddy, more idealistic than Cameron, ...able to leap PPTH in a single bound....what's next, is she going to out-Wilson Wilson, too?
What the??? Is the show suddenly being ghost-written by high school students?

#4

rileyjo

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Posted Nov 20, 2010 @ 10:14 AM

Please, make her go away. I take back everything I ever said that was negative about 13 and Cameron. Seriously, this character seems like she is part of some really bad, written by teens fan fiction. The writers were racking their brains for new ideas, so they come up with a teeny-bopper who is just sooo smart and can out diagnose the whole team because she's just so cool! Lot's of young new viewers will watch now!

Pisses me off that a third year student, who should be in the midst of mandatory rotations, is hanging with my boys in Princeton-Plainsboro. Go back and do all your med rotations and maybe throw in that psych rotation as well. And I saw a pic of her wearing a long white coat, NO WAY should that be happening. Short white ones for the students, please. Although if it covers up the horrific clothes they had her wear the first ep, I guess it's okay.

I'm thinking a third year med student who has heard all about House would be fearing as well as respecting the hell out of him. She's snarky and thinks she's his equal and I can't believe he hasn't squashed her yet. And from finally watching the two eps she was in, all I can say is that Chase, Foreman and Taub should be trying to find ways to get rid of her, if only so the actors can have their screen time back. And what the hell was that little aside with Foreman thinking Taub wasn't as smart as he is; wasn't it established when they got locked in the records room together last season that Foreman was really impressed with Taub's brains and abilities?

#5

Hormyga

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Posted Nov 20, 2010 @ 10:46 PM

all I can say is that Chase, Foreman and Taub should be trying to find ways to get rid of her, if only so the actors can have their screen time back.

LOL, I wholeheartedly agree. During the scene in which Masters tells House the solution, the other three look like her bodyguards just standing there behind her, instead of her coworkers. They even had her outsmart House himself in the diagnosis. I hated the grateful look he gave her at the end because of that. At least Thirteen was part of the team, and she was as right or wrong in her diagnosis as the rest. Not like Supergirl here, who is so brilliant and caring of House (because apparently the rest of the team doesn't care of House as much as she does) that she has to go away "to get more data" herself and be the one to save the day, because the others are just inconsequential to help House. And don't get me started on her random knowledge of life on board of a ship centuries-old ("captains did not have pets"? What the heck?).

Edited by Hormyga, Nov 20, 2010 @ 10:57 PM.


#6

narrativeaddict

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Posted Mar 28, 2011 @ 12:44 PM

I just watched my first House episode for this season, and I have to say, that if Martha Masters is a bad character, it isn't Amber Tamblyn's fault. She has so much chemistry with the other cast members; it made Olivia Wilde's flat affect even more apparent.

#7

SnarkySheep

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Posted Apr 1, 2011 @ 2:39 PM

I'm STILL waiting for 3M to get some kind of storyline...basically, a reason for her character to be there. I love Amber Tamblyn, but I honestly can't figure out why she's there. The only characteristic she's got to date is being really moral; but essentially, that was already done, with Cameron. The only thing is, Cameron had other storylines and personality traits, too...

#8

QueenofCups

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Posted Apr 1, 2011 @ 2:53 PM

For me, the main characteristic of Martha Masters is that she seems to be a child in an adult's body. She has the clearcut black and white morality of a child and she dresses like a child. She is social awkward and guileless when interacting with adults, just as a child is. Her haircut emphasized how round and chubby-cheeked her face is. It's as if she's a twelve year old someone magicked into the body of a medical student, so when they put her in adult situations it becomes a bit icky.

I don't have any complaints about Amber Tamblyn's performance. I think that Amber Tamblyn is a big improvement over the actress who plays 13. At least I notice her. Despite her model-like looks, Olivia Wilde is not compelling to watch and fades into the background. I think she could be replaced by a cardboard cut-out of herself without much being lost.

Edited by QueenofCups, Apr 1, 2011 @ 2:54 PM.


#9

Fable

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Posted Apr 1, 2011 @ 2:57 PM

I'm STILL waiting for 3M to get some kind of storyline...basically, a reason for her character to be there. I love Amber Tamblyn, but I honestly can't figure out why she's there. The only characteristic she's got to date is being really moral; but essentially, that was already done, with Cameron. The only thing is, Cameron had other storylines and personality traits, too...


It seems to me that the only reason for her character to be there is to fill the role of the token female until Thirteen comes back.

#10

statsgirl

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Posted Apr 2, 2011 @ 8:27 PM

Partly it's to fill the role of token female while OW is gone yet again.

But I think it's no coincidence that she's the moral standard bearer. There was a hole in the construct of the show when Cameron left because there was no one left to take the moral high ground and so they lost the effect of when House acted amorally.

What worked with the original ducklings is that Foreman did what he wanted to do without reference to whether it was ethical or not, Chase was amoral which is one of the things that made him interesting, and Cameron would argue the moral high ground so that we could see how superior House was when he did things that were unethical but for the good of the patient. (Wilson wanted whatever was best for House and Cuddy only cared about her hospital.) With the occasional exception for a partocular storyline, both Thirteen and Taub don't care about ethics either. They may note when House is behaving unethically (e.g. Taub in The Itch) but they go along with it. When Cameron left as a member of the team, there was no one to argue the ethical high ground with any degree of authenticy and the ethics thread on this board was dormant for two years, briefly resurrected at the time of Dibala. (I'm using the use of the ethics thread as an indicator whether there is an interest in the 'ethical dilemmas' on the show.) Enter Martha, who can't lie and doesn't think anyone should.

David Shore said that the ethical dilemmas were going to be back on the show now. I presume by that he means that unlike the other team members, Martha gets upset when House does something unethical. The problem for me has been that he has created Martha to have so little power in terms of the team (she's a medical student, she can't do procedures, and when she tells on House to Cuddy, Cuddy always sides with House) that her protestations are without effect and everyone knows it. It's there to say "Look, House is special because he cares so much he's going to break the law!" and then House does what he wants. The ethics thread has been dormant since Dibala which suggests to me that Martha isn't an effective character in terms of morality because she's not triggering the kind of ethics discussions the show used to. And Cameron knew that if she wanted to stop House and her arguments didn't work, she went to Wilson to get him to do it (e.g. Insensitive). Cuddy always gave in on those issues.

Cameron had other characteristics and storylines other than being the moral one but that was back when the show was written better.

Edited by statsgirl, Apr 2, 2011 @ 10:36 PM.


#11

QueenofCups

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Posted Apr 3, 2011 @ 11:18 AM

The problem for me has been that he has created Martha to have so little power in terms of the team (she's a medical student, she can't do procedures, and when she tells on House to Cuddy, Cuddy always sides with House) that her protestations are without effect and everyone knows it.


I think also that Martha Masters's concerns are also easy to dismiss because her perspective on life in stunted. She has an adult's intellect but is in every other way a child. Her moral reasoning, her emotional and social development, even her appearance are those of someone much younger than her years. The only person to call House out on his ethical lapses has all the authority and gravitas of a pig-tailed schoolgirl.

I agree that the writers are stacking the decks in favour of House, and I wish that TPTB would be brave enough to give House a real challenge. They've grown timid. They are too afraid to show House losing or to acknowledge that he can be in the wrong. Masters should not be the character to challenge House. He needs to be challenge by someone with real authority (which rules out Cuddy, who lost hers ages ago.) Makes me think (again) that the best thing the writers could do at this point to revitalize House is to give him a new boss. The program was at its best when House was being challenged by an authority figure against whom House felt compelled to rebel.