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Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog Review

“Ahhhahahahahahaa… Ah-hahaAah! HahaAaAah… so that’s, y’know, coming along.”

Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog

The Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog webisodes were shot in the span of six days and funded by Joss Whedon (for a low six figures). On July 15th, Act 1 of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog launched and under a massive influx of traffic the site crashed (reportedly taking the Whedonesque website down with it). By July 19th the third and final Act was online and by July 20th the all three Acts were taken offline and made available for sale on iTunes (which may have brought Joss Whedon an estimated $2.6 million). A collectible DVD is currently in the works.

Written by Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jed Whedon, the story is as follows: Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris) up-and-coming mad scientist is looking for respect and the admission into The Evil League of Evil. All the while he pines for Penny (Felicia Day) and is plagued by his nemesis Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion). In a heist thwarted by Captain Hammer, Dr. Horrible inadvertently introduces Captain Hammer to Penny and they begin dating. This drives Dr. Horrible mad as he silently stalks the two (through the background of a musical number) and sets up Dr. Horrible’s decline into evil.

Felicia Day, Nathan Fillion, and Neil Patrick Harris

Dr. Horrible was stunningly boring. Psyche–I love it! Well-written, well-acted, and well-sung, it had me laughing literally three seconds into Act 1 (Ahhhahahahahahaa…). The entire serial was just plain outright fun that doesn’t follow the same old tired plot lines. Neil Patrick Harris made me care about Dr. Horrible. Nathan Fillion emanates the pure joy that Captain Hammer has just being Captain Hammer. Penny is perfectly sweet and cute (sort of a quiet, nerdy thing – not my usual, but nice). It was altogether very impressive.

Dr. Horrible's Freeze Ray

And just why do I care about Dr. Horrible? It’s hard not to get excited about the shift in the way that Dr. Horrible was produced. Hard not to blather on about how this is a defining moment in the way the video will be produced and distributed. It’s all been said before. We’ll let history be the judge about whether this is that moment.

But the main reason that I care is that if Joss Whedon can implement a successful proof-of-concept for creator-owned direct-to-Internet productions then it won’t be long before they become commonplace, and many niche productions that wouldn’t survive on broadcast or even find a place on cable television will be able to find a market. Dare I say: this could include the return of Joss Whedon’s Firefly?

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N.E. Lilly is the editor of SpaceWesterns.com. When he isn't reading submissions or indulging his love of the Space Western sub-genre, he's developing websites for Science Fiction professionals and organizations through GreenTentacles..

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