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EZ Viewing: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

December 9th, 2010
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The fourth feature in my EZ Viewing movie marathon is Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog!  (Click here to read about film one: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), here to read about film two: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and here to read about film three: Tropic Thunder.)

This is one of my very favorite things ever.  It’s a super-villain musical!!  (Click here to read my original review.)

Only 45 minutes long (the series was originally created as three 15-minute-long internet shorts), Neil Patrick Harris (TV’s Doogie Howser, M.D. – and also now a lead on How I Met Your Mother) stars as the titular Dr. Horrible.  He’s a fairly pathetic loser, desperate to be taken seriously and accepted into the Evil League of Evil.  Unfortunately, his schemes keep getting foiled by the heroic and handsome Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion – Mal from Firefly).  In his personal life, the good doctor has an enormous crush on the pretty girl-next-door, Penny (Felicia Day) who he keeps bumping into at the Laundromat.  Will he ever be able to defeat Captain Hammer and speak to Penny???

The ridiculously-talented Joss Whedon created and Wrote Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog along with his brothers Jed and and Zack Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen during the WGA strike.  Mr. Whedon told NY Magazine: “I was in meetings with companies to make deals to create stuff for the Internet, in a cheaper fashion — but still on a grander scale than Dr. Horrible — but nothing was going. Nothing was going! So I did something I should’ve done a long time before — I took matters into my own hands.”

He elaborated to TV Guide’s Matt Roush: “”I was really sick of not doing things. I’d been writing movies nobody was making. I got tired of that. And even though I had this series (Fox’s Dollhouse) coming up, we were on strike—and well, I thought we were going to hold out a little bit longer—but it just felt right.”

Whedon funded the project himself.  He commented: “Freedom is glorious… The fact is, I’ve had very good relationships with studios, and I’ve worked with a lot of smart executives. But there is a difference when you can just go ahead and do something.” As a web show, there were fewer constraints imposed on the project, and Whedon had the “freedom to just let the dictates of the story say how long it’s gonna be. We didn’t have to cram everything in–there is a lot in there–but we put in the amount of story that we wanted to and let the time work around that. We aimed for thirty minutes, we came out at forty two, and that’s not a problem.”

No sirree it wasn’t.  Dr. Horrible is so good that it made Time Magazine’s list of the Top 10 TV Series of the year, even though it wasn’t a TV series at all!  (It also made their list of the Best Inventions of 2008.)

It’s difficult for me to describe the complete wonderfulness of this short film.  There’s such joy clearly present in every molecule of the production that one can’t help but be captivated by the effort.  The writing is snappy and very funny.  The music is dynamite.  And the ending… oh, that ending!!  We’ll speak no more of that here (for any Horrible newbies who might be reading this).  No more questions.  Just go watch it!

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