The Writers’ Strike Wasn’t All Bad: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

I love musicals.

I mean, singing, dancing, people dropping what they’re doing to join in on the big numbers – what’s not to like?

Well, my good friend Monster knows this, and so she’s been insisting for months that I must watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

Neil Patrick Harris plays Dr. Horrible the villain/hero.

Neil Patrick Harris plays Dr. Horrible the villain/hero.

Written by Joss Whedon and his brothers, the musical web short stars Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible, Felicia Day as his love interest Penny, and Nathan Fillion (SQUEE!!) as his arch-nemesis Captain Hammer.

Having seen and been unimpressed by Whedon’s famous musical episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” ”Once More with Feeling” (I get that the idea was genius, but the execution and the music were awful), I wasn’t 100% sold on the greatness of Dr. Horrible. But because of the ossomness of Harris and, of course, The Fillion, I had to click the link that Monster so conveniently posted to my Facebook wall.

Needless to say, my expectations were more than met. The story was cute, the writing was hilarious, and the acting and singing were all superb. Harris really carried the day with his nuanced Dr. Horrible, but The Fillion certainly contributed with his perfectly smarmy Captain Hammer. Felicia Day made for a sweet Penny, too, but I was just absolutely blown away by the other two.

I was especially surprised by the catchiness of the tunes and complexity of the parts. There were several really skillfully written duets in there. I found myself humming the tunes the next day and wishing that my sister would watch and learn the songs or that Monster would learn to sing so that I would have someone with whom to sing the duets (in private, Monster. I promise).

And Whedon’s story was satisfyingly unique. A superhero spoof that makes the villain the protagonist? I’d expect nothing less from Whedon. A villainous protagonist who struggles with the tension between his attraction to a pretty do-gooder and desire to be recognized as the evil genius that he is? Classic Whedon yet again.

But the ending really threw me for a loop. For a web short that had me laughing, it sure left me with a knot at the pit of my stomach in the end. But I can respect Whedon for that – he never gives you just what you expect. Maybe I didn’t like the way it ended, but it certainly was intriguing.

And, in my opinion, a sequel wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Lord knows there have been sequels to crappier movies.

By the way, if anybody ever hears of a community theater trying to put on a stage version of this show, please alert me immediately. I so want in on that.

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