Houle TV Pyschoanalysis


Mary Rose Bernal, Reporter

Presentation students know Theater Director Jim Houle as the one that puts on fantastic plays featuring high school students both fall and spring semesters.  Or perhaps they know him as the teacher of Theater Productions I and II.  Either way, little is known about Houle’s life outside of the Valenzuela Theater…until now.  After learning about what he catches up on, much can be deciphered about the secret double life of Houle.

First up on the list is “Parenthood,” a coming-of-age drama about an older married couple and how they interact with their children and grandchildren.  This seems only natural for Houle to watch because he deals with that sort of environment on the daily: a large clan of high schoolers coming of age and their dysfunctional relationships.  While it must be hard to get everyone to coexist, at the end of the day the Pres theater group is a family with Houle as their patriarch.

Also watched is the popular AMC show “The Walking Dead.” About a motley group moving from place to place in an effort to survive the zombie-apocalyptic world, this series is dramatic, gruesome and thrilling.  But what does that mean for Houle?  Is he preparing himself for the inevitable future full of fleshless mongrels?  Or is he simply getting all the background information necessary to produce a full-length musical rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller?” Or maybe Houle is checking the symptoms on screen to ascertain the growing fear that he is a zombie himself?

Next is the HBO production “Six Feet Under.”  In this dark comedy, a family of independent funeral-runners deal with the death of their father.  Is this Houle’s secret dream job? It must be that he is fascinated by the ghouls that haunt graveyards and wants to become familiarized with the afterlife.  Perhaps Houle sees himself as Shakespeare’s Hamlet holding up the skull of the king’s jester in the famous gravedigger scene.

Another frequently watched show is “The Sopranos,” about an Italian mobster who struggles to balance his work and home life.  Wait, hold up.  Does that mean that the sopranos Houle commissions to sing for his plays are actually involved in after-hours mafia activity?  Just how qualified do these sopranos have to be?  Apart from directing plays, is Houle also a crime lord?

Last but not least is the widely popular “Game of Thrones” on HBO.  Featuring an array of power-thirsty medieval characters and thick with action, this series switches focus between characters throughout the episodes to slowly develop the plot.  As a theater director, this choice of viewing is natural.  Houle must watch the lives of each “Game of Thrones” character to see how they all fit together just as he directs his characters onstage.  In the back of his mind, Houle wants to see all of his actors and actresses battle it out to the death for that leading role.  Who has what it takes?  By watching these intense shows, Houle is training himself to be the best theater director ever.