Yes, ahem, the Word Nerd puts down her books sometimes watches TV.
"House" is one of Word Nerd's favorites, in large part because the character of Greg House is so well-written.
But, you say, he's abrasive, mean, condescending, a jerk even.
Bingo. In fact, Word Nerd doesn't even like him. But she tunes in, week after week.
The House character is an anti-hero, a man people love to hate.
Anti-heroes are outsiders. They make people nervous because they go against the grain, are often abrasive and have a deep-rooted flaw or personal failing.
For non-House fans, other anti-heroes include such notables as Han Solo, Don Quixote and to some extent, Batman. The anti-hero is one of the archetypes for characters in any kind of media -- film, literature, TV.
So why watch a show/read a book about such an individual? Because, anti-heroes change. The show isn't really about the medical mystery du jour, it's about how House and his team interact. As people.
Every so often, the audience is given a glimmer of hope that House really has feelings under his stony facade and that he can change. Remember in Star Wars Ep. IV, when Han Solo walks away from the Rebellion after getting his money? Remember how great it is when he comes back during the battle for the Death Star, that he changes his mind and does something altruistic?
Yep. Same kind of thing with House.
Minus the spaceships.