To be honest, I feel bad. I was not as big of a geek as I claimed to be, at least not in the world of geek films. Until recently I had never seen Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.
After Bella showed me the first few minutes on youtube, I immediately knew I must see the rest! I’m glad I did. Despite the fact that it’s basically a passion project funded and filmed by a band of ridiculously talented geeks, it’s really well done. Joss Whedon said “The idea was to make it on the fly, on the cheap – but to make it. To turn out a really thrilling, professionalish piece of entertainment specifically for the internet. To show how much could be done with very little. To show the world there is another way.” Projects like this are, as they should be, an inspiration to all of us creative types that want to get our own dreams off the ground.
Neil Patrick Harris plays the title character “Dr. Horrible”. He finds himself in the unusual predicament of having to pull off the role of protagonist and antagonist simultaneously. Dr. Horrible is a likable, and laughable villain, love interest and evil genius with a heart of gold (complete with an evil laugh, he’s working on it and it’s really coming along). Neil executes the role beautifully, bringing his great voice and goofy physicality to a role that’s perfect for him.
Nathan Fillion is a lot of fun to watch in role of the heroic, anti-hero. The machismo of the character makes you love to hate him as the cheesy and misogynistic “Captain Hammer.” Though his songs are not as full and memorable as those that include NPH, he’s still fun to watch for all the jockish humor he brings to the screen. The Hammer is his… something… it’s funny, watch it.
Felicia Day plays the love interest of both the hero who “saved her life”, but couldn’t care less about the causes she champions, and the man who “endangered her life’ accidentally but really feels deeply for her even though he can’t tell her. Her voice is surprisingly good, and the songs are fun and catchy. The role is well paired to the actress who plays it with innocence and naivety, but in my opinion the writing of this character could have used a bit more strength and development.
The series of 3 episodes was directed (and cowritten) by Joss Whedon, and has a very 80’s television style to its cinematography, though it looks like a film. The musical numbers blend well into the storytelling and don’t have the distracting effect that they do in some movie musicals.
This campy, fun, and surprisingly dramatic geeky web series is filled with fun and memorable characters, one liners, songs that get stuck in your head, and some heavy but well delivered social commentary. As a first time viewer of this epic cult classic, just in time for it’s 10th anniversary on July 15th 2018, and just preceding the highly anticipated cast reunion this year at San Diego Comic Con, I must say that I was very impressed by the talent of the filmmakers and cast. I really hope they manage to find some success in the industry.