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.And Harris and Fillion both invest the script with the intangible goofiness it deserves.
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.
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.