Fearful Symmetry

Film. Books. Comics. TV. Music.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

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Cue manic laughter

Cue manic laughter

I don’t normally like musicals. The only exception that proves of the rule is Singin’ In The Rain (oh, and White Christmas… but then I’ve only ever seen that during the holiday season when my resistance is low). So I had avoided Dr Horrible for quite some time, but now I’ve finally got around to seeing it, I was pleasantly surprised to find I actually enjoyed it.

The brain behind Dr Horrible is Joss Whedon, famed for Buffy, The Vampire Slayer and Firefly. And this is very much in the style of his previous creations (of course Buffy famously did an all-singing episode once). I used to really enjoy Buffy (well until Whendon took his eye off the ball, and the characters started changing personality from week to week depending on each writer’s whim) and I very much liked Firefly and its follow-on film Serenity. So actually, despite it being a musical, it’s no real shock that Horrible, wasn’t for me, well, horrible. The songs integrate well into the plot and given it’s brief 40ish mins – tv episode length – running time, it doesn’t outstay its welcome.

Hammer time

Hammer time

Neil Patrick Harris stars as Billy who aspires to be a supervillain, the eponymous Dr. Horrible and get on the evil board with rest of the truely bad baddies led by Bad Horse. Billy is foiled at every turn by his nemesis, the cloddish Captain Hammer, a fine turn from Nathon Fillian (the captain in Firefly). Plus also, deep down, Billy is really not that evil…

He has fallen in love with Felicia Day’s Penny, who he meets while doing his washing at the laundromat. However he can’t quite express his feelings to her. Then, while he prevaricates, to Billy’s horror, the Hammer starts dating Penny. But perhaps Billy can use his villainy to not only get Penny back but to also destroy the Hammer once and for all. The ending is unexpected and bitter-sweet plus deeply ironic.

Laundry love

Laundry love

There’s a rough and ready cobbled-together feeling to the whole thing, put together during the writer’s strike with limited resources – some of it was very obviously filmed in Universal studio’s back lot – which gives the whole thing a lot of charm.

Hammer led me onto The Guild the web show that Felicia Day has written and stars in about a group of disparate on-line gamers. Now I’m not at all an online gamer and have only ever watched over someone shoulder as they played World Of Warcraft but this proved to be great, even to one not schooled in the minutia of gaming; hilarious in fact and I’d throughly recommend it. There’s a second season just come out which I’ve not seen yet. It’s not on Youtube with the first season but you can see it on the main website.

The first episode below:


Written by Fearful Symmetry

July 25, 2009 at 11:00 am

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