We are introduced to Dr. Horrible who tells us through musical numbers about his plan for world domination, his arch nemesis; Captain Hammer and his long-time crush on the girl from the laundromat; ...
Dr. Horrible still tries desperately to get Penny's attention, but unfortunately she seems to be smitten with Captain Hammer. Meanwhile Captain Hammer's true nature begins to reveal itself, he might ...
With America in a Captain Hammer frenzy Dr. Horrible invents a 'death ray' which he plans to use on the superhero at the unveiling of the new Captain Hammer statue. Penny is torn between the hero and...
Dr. Horrible, an aspiring supervillain with his own video blog, is attempting to join the prestigious Evil League of Evil (led by the legendary "thoroughbred of sin", Bad Horse), but his plans are usually foiled by the egotistical superhero Captain Hammer. Horrible's life is thrown for a loop when he falls in love with Penny, a beautiful and optimistic advocate for the homeless he meets at the laundromat, a situation which complicates itself even further when Penny begins dating the boorish, oafish Hammer after he apparently saves her life. Faced with the task of impressing the League, can Horrible overcome his own incompetence to ruin the day, kill the hero, and still get the girl? Written by
A quirky, inventive musical that does a lot with so little
When I first heard that science-fiction mastermind Joss Whedon was putting together an internet-launched serial that involved singing, low-budget superheroes, and Neil Patrick Harris, I was immediately intrigued at the strange prospect. As preposterous as it sounds, this thing actually works and I wouldn't be shocked at all to hear that Whedon's little experiment yields a profit on DVD revenues.
"Dr. Horrible" is about a man with that very name played by NPH who considers himself a villain and is only waiting to receive his official acceptance into a league of villains, though to do that he must succeed at an evil plan or most specifically, kill someone, neither of which he has been able to do. He also has a thing for Penny (Felicia Day), the girl at the laundromat he can never seem to talk to. It's a strange situation for a guy who considers himself evil to be in, but that's part of "Dr. Horrible's" uniqueness. In classic fashion, it is over-cocky hero Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion who worked with Whedon on "Firefly") who seems to always interfere with both of Dr. Horrible's objectives: being evil and Penny.
The music in this serial was probably the most surprising thing about it. The many Whedons that worked on this score really impressed me. I would consider owning a CD or downloading (legally of course) the songs. Though instrumentation was done entirely on electronic instruments, it's a good fit. While the songs and the plot don't always work seamlessly, there's a charm about the songs that makes them good anyway. They're modern songs in a sense, but they also are very structured like musical songs are.
NPH and Fillion are great talents in these roles. Fillion is hysterical in his first go around at a real comedic role (that I can recall). I've always been fond of him and he earns the most laughs I would say. NPH gets the quirkiness but the sincerity of a very strange character who is definitely difficult to believe, at least on pure premise.
This serial has a very interesting sense of humor too. It goes for a lot of subtlety jokes with people saying things that are absurd but that the other characters generally play dumb to. It's the right kind of humor for this kind of project though because the goal of the project is clearly to be unique.
I wouldn't say "Dr. Horrible" is genius and ground-breaking, but I would say it's really quite good for being something that clearly was intended to have a low-budget look and feel. I definitely wanted to know what was going to happen next each time a new segment was posted, which is a credit to the writing. While I wouldn't run and tell all my friends about "Dr. Horrible," I would definitely recommend it to the right people who have an appreciation for projects that play small ball and look to do something different. ~Steven C
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