Wry Muse: "Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog"

Don't say that the Hollywood writer's strike of 07-08 was all bad.

I mean — don't say that for the usual good reasons.

Exhibit "B" on what some writers do in their spare time is Joss Whedon's "Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog," a serial three-part operetta starring Neil Patrick "Doogie Howser" Harris, and Nathan "Firefly" Fillion.

Although "starring" is probably ill-used here.

"Dr. Horrible" centers on a (sort of) villain, whose goal of joining the Evil League of Evil is compromised by a shy desire for a woman he sees in the neighborhood laundromat when he is living his normal life as his normal, un-evil alter ego.

Shot in about a week, with what is evidently $0 in budget, "Dr. Horrible" leans on Whedon's strong suit — wry, wise dialogue stuffed with asides, and odd little tunes that can get stuck in your head.
Moist:   (enters apartment suddenly) Hey Doc.
Dr. Horrible: (interrupted in a singing reverie) Moist! My ... evil moisture... buddy. What's going on?
Moist: Nothing, Frank. Got your mail. (The mail is drenched and flabby. Dr. H. takes it, gingerly)
Dr. H.: Hey — didn't you go on a date last night? Conflict Diamond told me you were doubling with Bait and Switch.
Moist: (unenthusiastically) Yeah...
Dr. H.: Yeah?
Moist: It was alright; I kinda thought I was supposed to end up with Bait? But  —
Dr. H.: I hear ya.
And Harris and Fillion both invest the script with the intangible goofiness it deserves.

I have a special affection for personal projects not done for profit, but for fun (the original Austin Powers movie, before Mike Myers realized he could be as scatological as he wanted, is another example). This is one of those, which may — although done, not for tv or movies, but specifically for the internet — end up yielding a profit and popularizing the internet-only frontier of entertainment. You can buy the series at iTunes, too!

Part 3 is due out July 19th.

*** UPDATE ***

Part 3? Wow... what a disappointment, in terms of execution, the last 2-3 minutes are. The Whedon clan opts for tragic melodrama after 2.5 episodes of comedic set-up. Interestingly, the slight tunes hold up well if this is comedy, but collapse if some "heavier" narrative is placed upon them.

From an 8/10 to a 6/10 just like that. I can only recommend part one whole-heartedly.

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  • 17 Jul 2008, 4:03 PM raymurgy wrote:
    I could be wrong, and often am, but as far as Mr Myers doing things for fun, I tend to think of "So I Married an Axe Murderer" as the best example.

    cf the original "Powers," "Axe Murderer" *is* a movie you can see with your grandmother and not be ashamed (check with Dr Rob Jr if you don't believer me...)
    Reply to this
    1. 17 Jul 2008, 8:22 PM WryMouth wrote:
      Well I didn't recommend it as a *family* film; and I'm willing to bet that S.I.M.A.A.M. has at least one prancing-around-in-underwear scene in it.

      Come to think on it, we know that Tom Cruise movies always feature Tom Cruise running, and Stanley Kubrick movies always feature a bathroom scene; I think Myers use to always include prancing-in-underwear until he discovered he could get away with prancing-in-the-altogether.

      Pity, because his humorousness (to me) turned out to be dependent on him being restrained in some way, even if it be only others involved in the projects he was working on. Since he was given carte blanche, the humor of his projects has dissipated more and more. It may be that a Little Mike Myers goes a Long Way?

      Oh well. At least I'm not losing any sleep over him. M. Night Shyamalan? Maybe. But not Myers.

      Reply to this
  • 21 Jul 2008, 2:13 AM Crystal wrote:
    Wow, I just downloaded Act III from iTunes because I was too late to see it online, and I don't know if you've watched it yet, but I am very confused.
    Reply to this
    1. 21 Jul 2008, 6:14 AM WryM wrote:
      That's not confusion -- that's wistful disappointment, I think. ;o/

      In baseball, it is called "warning track power" -- the ability to hit long fly balls that are [i]almost[/i] home runs, but then become merely outs.

      The Whedon clan just lost the tone on this one, at about the 80% mark, and then took a right turn into melodrama that -- in my opine -- kinda spoiled the first 2 parts-and-a-half.

      Oh, well. We should have a "better ending" contest sometime.

      Reply to this

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