The fourth season of FOX's hit medical drama has been playing out an unusual and chancy story gambit. Dr. House (Hugh Laurie), whose outer surfaces are dry, crusty and abrasive–the man is one big slice of cold, unbuttered toast–found himself without his old team. And so, episode by episode, he has been working through a batch of fellowship candidates in search of replacements. The surprising joke is that so many of these young doctors tend to mirror House's dysfunctional misanthropy, only without his saving irony or brilliance (although at least Olivia Wilde gives off the same quiet allure she brought to The Black Donnellys, and Kal Penn's performance has a loose, shaggy humor to it). You could argue that, in the manner of a David Cronenberg movie, they represent the unconscious spawn of House's anger. For the most part, though, it's more like a nuttily intense hospital reality show. Call it Doc Nation. In fact, episodes end with elimination ceremonies–one week House even handed out roses, a la ABC's Bachelor. How will this grim yet entertaining experiment end? With the worst candidates House-broken in spirit and sent to Private Practice, I hope.