I've always loved Joss Whedon stuff. I still think Buffy, the series, was one of the best things ever done for TV. What a fantastic ending, exploding the ridiculous limitations of a slayer. I laughed because it was just such an unexpected, such a duh solution. Genius. Way to go. And wasn't Spike the best vampire ever? Mommy's boy, slayer lover. Of course the only one out of the Scooby gang to never lose faith in Buffy. And then I heard Joss was doing sci fi with Firefly, and I was like "what?" But I loved that too. Now there's Dr. Horrible. And it's sing-along. You just never know what to expect from Joss.
Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is really funny, in a corny kinda way. I also found it endearing. Maybe because of its loving, amateur tone. Or maybe because Joss Whedon writes with so much heart about misfits.
Dr. Horrible is a wannabe super villain. He's on his way. He even has an arch enemy, the slimy, cheesy "hero", Captain Hammer. Of course they're both after the same girl. Dr. Horrible's love is the genuine heartsick of an adolescent. Captain Hammer is only interested in sex -- and getting Dr. Horrible all bent out of shape by screwing the girl. He's sort of like the obnoxious alpha male at your high school. Yes, there is singing. It's hard not to compare it to "Once More, With Feeling", the musical Buffy episode.
Here's what I like.
1. The female lead character is average. She's not super beautiful. She's not super smart. She doesn't have super powers. She doesn't say clever things. She is a real average girl. She's played by Felicia Day, who, thank the gods, can sing.
2. It's a classic musical. Almost operatic with three voices singing different lyrics.
3. Neil Patrick Harris. I've never liked him in any roles before, but as Dr. Horrible, he gives the show the heart it needs. The Middleman needs someone like him.
4. Nathan Fillion. It's always nice to see him. He and Eliza Dushku seem to alternate as Whedon's alter ego. He's fun in comedies, only I wish we could see him in as intense and as erotic a role as Caleb, the only real scary Buffy villain.
I can't say that there was anything I disliked. The beginning was real slow but it picks up beautifully and leaves you wanting more. I mean, that's the Holy Grail of writing, isn't it? Things start to slow again in Act III -- well, Act IIIs are hard. At times, I wish he'd break new ground with the dialog. Sometimes when Dr. Horrible was talking, I'd hear Mal from Firefly. And echoes of Xander from Buffy. I imagine he misses Mal. Firefly was canceled so abruptly. But maybe it's time to let go of Xander/Angel/Mal?
You can't watch Dr. Horrible on TV, not even on satellite. It's only available on the website and iTunes. But here's a trailer.