A new face showed up at Princeton-Plainsboro this week, but is she here to stay? Amber Tamblyn made her first appearance on “House” this week, as yet another new female candidate for the team. Playing Martha M. Masters, a brilliant but socially awkward 3rd-year medical school student, Tamblyn doesn’t stand out as the cure for what ails House’s team.
In addition to her appearance on the show, the 27-year-old actress is also starring in the just-released “127 Hours,” based on the story of mountain climber Aron Ralston. Like Masters, Amber Tamblyn is a talented young woman with a bright career ahead of her. But is she right for Dr. House?
Based on this episode, maybe not. So far Masters (already dubbed 3M by the LA Times’ Linda Whitmore) seems to embody the worst parts of her predecessors. She appears every bit as moralistic and doe-eyed as Cameron, evidenced by her refusal to help search the patient’s home for toxins and ethical compulsion to be open with him about his treatment options. On the other hand, 3M also features Thirteen’s standoffishness – which was never completely fleshed out in the former character, despite Thirteen (played by Olivia Wilde) having been on the show for 3 seasons.
There’s also the question of whether Masters belongs on the team, considering she’s still in medical school and therefore not licensed to practice medicine. Despite the potential risk, the normally insurance-phobic Cuddy is set on keeping 3M around as she’s certain the student will have a bright future. Considering 3M graduated high school at 15 and holds advanced degrees in mathematics and art history, this doesn’t seem such an unsure bet. Plus, she’s female – making her a welcome addition to House’s “sausagefest” in Dr. Cuddy’s eyes.
Perhaps most troubling is 3M’s social awkwardness. This is usually the forte of Dr. House himself, which is part of what makes him such an entertaining character. One socially awkward character is a party, but two? This combination could make for some pretty predictable dialogue: House gets mean, Masters gets quiet. Not exactly a formula for great TV. Something’s gotta give to make Masters worth watching.
Sources such as The Deadbolt refer to Tamblyn’s portrayal of Martha M. Masters as a “multi-episode guest role,” while Olivia Wilde works on film projects. Still, given the right circumstances, there’s no reason 3M couldn’t become a regular part of the show. If Masters does stick around, one can only hope the “love child of Einstein and Mary Poppins” shows a little spunk and becomes a more dynamic character.
“Amber Tamblyn.” IMDB.
“127 Hours.” IMDB.
Linda Whitmore. “‘House’ Recap: Enter the Tamblyn.” Los Angeles Times.
Troy Rogers. “Medical Perspective with House Guest Star Amber Tamblyn.” The Deadbolt.
A new face showed up atPrinceton-Plainsboro this week, but is she here to stay? AmberTamblyn made her first appearance on “House” this week, as yetanother new female candidate for the team. Playing Martha M.Masters, a brilliant but socially awkward 3rd-year medical schoolstudent, Tamblyn doesn’t stand out as the cure for what ails House’steam.