Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What We're Watching: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Fans of Joss Whedon, Musicals, Internet Sensations, Supervillains, and/or Neil Patrick Harris will want to check out this new rental DVD. Previously released in three separate acts on the Internet, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is now available on DVD, complete with extras like musical commentary...but more on that shortly.

Those familiar with Joss Whedon's other shows will know that this TV auteur has an ear for music. In "Once More, With Feeling", one of the more popular episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, characters were frequently breaking out into song. (It sounds odd, but it works.) He adopts this format for the whole of Dr. Horrible. The music ranges from upbeat to melancholy, but it is always catchy and tuneful. Neil Patrick Harris (you may know him as Doogie Howser MD) plays the part of Dr. Horrible, who is intent on his admission into the Evil League of Evil. He banks on his invention, the freeze ray, being his ticket into this group of super villains. Naturally, there are some hurdles. One is his growing attraction to fellow laundromat patron and do-gooder Penny (played by Felicia Day). Also, every villain needs an arch-nemesis, and Dr. Horrible finds his in the narcissistic hero Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion, AKA Mal from Firefly/Serenity). You get everything you have come to expect from a Whedon production - from the giddy highs to the heartbreaking lows - all packed into 43 minutes.

There are several extras, including two commentary tracks - one regular, spoken word and a special "Commentary! The Musical". This last idea seems better in theory than it is in reality. The regular commentary was both humorous and informative, though the audio wasn't always consistent and it was difficult to hear some of the participants. The musical commentary was well done, but overly clever and ultimately impossible to get through in its entirety. There will obviously be some who think it brilliant. You should definitely give it a try. Stay tuned for the making of featurettes to find out all about the evil Dead Bowie. All in all? Wonderful, and well worth your time.

1 comment:

Duedsml said...

Well, I guess you beat me to the post on Dr. Horrible! Must say that I agree wholeheartedly with your views including the fact that "Commentary - the musical" falls flat. I think that also has to do with not having visual images to specifically go with the commentary. Sort of like if you've never seen Oklahoma and watching it vs. listening to the soundtrack. Visual imagery is important to a musical. For NPH fans checkout his work on the Stephen Sondheim musical "Assassins". Felicia Day fans need to checkout her internet series "The Guild" and yes, everyone looking for fun should watch "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog"! Beware of Bad Horse!