Transracial adoptee in tv series “House”

I'm not sure if any of you are House fans, but actor Kal Penn played a transracial Indian adoptee in the show. In the last episode, Penn's character, Kutner, commits suicide. According to the recap,

House, Thirteen and Foreman visit Kutner's adoptive parents, Julia and
Richard. They show photos of Kutner as a child and recall when he came
to live with them after going through a tragedy at such a young age.
House tells them that Kutner had no idea what his identity was supposed
to be. He was immersed in an Anglo world when he was born Lawrence
Choudhary. Julia explains that they tried to encourage him to retain
his heritage and that it was Kutner's idea to take their last name. Yet
House presses on, accusing the parents of shutting out their son's pain
and not understanding him. Julia begins to tear up and Richard's anger
rises. Foreman yells at House to leave, which jars House from his rant.

I don't watch the show, so I don't know if Kutner's status as a transracial adoptee has been a recurring theme in the show or not. But I thought it was interesting that there would even be any discussion about identity based on being "immersed in an Anglo world."

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5 thoughts on “Transracial adoptee in tv series “House”

  1. We do watch the show. Kutner’s status as a transracial adoptee has been touched upon a couple of times in past shows, but never the focus of the plot. Typically those references involved aside comments by House about Kutner’s cultural and racial confusion, with brief – if any – reactions by Kutner. I haven’t seen this episode yet. It’s sitting in our DVR folder.

  2. As an aside, Kal Penn’s character was written off the show with the suicide so because Penn is going to start working for the Obama administration.
    I don’t follow the show so I don’t know how the suicide fit in to the overall transracial identity picture shown by the program.
    I’ve followed him through the Namesake and Harold and Kumar. 😉

  3. The suicide on the show came out of left field.
    His adoption wasn’t a central theme, but like anything else House was going to be blunt and even crude about what he thought.
    A pretty in-depth look at the episode can be found here: http://www.fox.com/house/recaps/s5_e20.htm
    Here is the part folks here would be most interested in…
    “House, Thirteen and Foreman visit Kutner’s adoptive parents, Julia and Richard. They show photos of Kutner as a child and recall when he came to live with them after going through a tragedy at such a young age. House tells them that Kutner had no idea what his identity was supposed to be. He was immersed in an Anglo world when he was born Lawrence Choudhary. Julia explains that they tried to encourage him to retain his heritage and that it was Kutner’s idea to take their last name. Yet House presses on, accusing the parents of shutting out their son’s pain and not understanding him. Julia begins to tear up and Richard’s anger rises. Foreman yells at House to leave, which jars House from his rant. ”

  4. Wow, my brain totally froze and I posted the exact comment you started with.
    Oops. Please feel free to delete that entry since it served no purpose other than to show my attention span is zero.

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