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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review:Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog

Premise:A supervillain aspires to join the Evil League of Evil, take over the world, and woo his crush from the laundromat.

Cast:Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible/Billy, Felicia 
Day as Penny, Nathan Fillion as Captain Hammer, Simon Helberg as Moist, Nick Towne, Robert Reins, and Jed Whedon as the Bad Horse Chorus, Maurissa Tancharoen, Stacy Shirk, and Steve Berg as the groupies, Richard Partlow as the mayor

Director:Joss Whedon

Genres:Musical, dramedy

Notes:Was released on the internet in three acts. Poster taken from the official site and belongs to Joss Whedon.

Pros:Catchy songs. Good acting.

Cons:Female lead isn't well-developed.

What if you wanted to take over the world? What if you could get into the Evil League of Evil if you played you cards right? What if you accidentally introduced your crush to your nemesis? So is the story of Dr. Horrible (aka Billy).

The story takes the usual good versus evil struggle and flips it on its head. Now the supervillain is the one with our sympathy and the "hero" is the one we deride. It makes for an interesting experience. In addition, there's plenty of good music here. Mood ranges from "aww!" to dark, even during the same songs. This alone makes it worth it to watch at least once.

Neil Patrick Harris does a good sympathetic villain, while Nathan Fillion is excellent as the cheesy and love-to-hate-him Captain Hammer. On the other hand, Penny is just okay as a character (though not because of Felicia Day's acting) and the doctor's buddy Moist is not a character I particularly want to see more of.

Overall, I would recommend this.

Sex:Dr. Horrible laments that his nemesis and the girl of his dreams are going on dates and probably French kissing. He's not far off. Onscreen, they kiss once. Offscreen, Captain Hammer has sex with Penny and brags about it in song. Apparently, he's never slept with the same woman twice. He thinks it will be better the second time because he'll get to do the weird stuff (prompting three groupies to appear and say they'd do the weird stuff). He holds up his fists and says "These are not the hammer." He comes back to say the hammer is his penis.

There's some stalking going on here. Dr. Horrible does this to Penny, and Captain Hammer's fans do this to him. The group that gets focus is a trio (two women and a man) who gather souvenirs including their idol's hair and say they have a problem with Penny (because she works with the homeless and is a vegetarian). A song mentions underthings. Moist goes on a double date with Bait and Switch, expecting to end up with Bait. A couple of women's tops are low-cut.

Violence:Penny nearly gets hit with a van. Captain Hammer saves her by shoving her into a pile of trash. He doesn't seem to see anything wrong with killing his villains. He chokes, shoots, punches, and wedgies Dr. Horrible. Offscreen, he dislocates the poor guy's shoulder and throws a car at his head.

Something explodes, sending what appears to be chunks of bloody flesh against the walls. (It's actually shrapnel.) But it does injure a bystander.
Trying to give his buddy suggestions on how to show he's evil, Moist proposes killing a kid who grows up to be president or smothering an old lady. A romantically frustrated Billy drives a spork into his leg. He imagines himself as a giant crushing someone and sings he brings pain you can't suffer quietly. He also shoots into the air to scare people.

Language:Three oh my G*ds. Also frigging, a**, tard, and balls. The bad doctor is warned to make Bad Horse happy "or he'll make you his mare."

Drugs/Alcohol:Hammer refers to the homeless as "a bunch of scary, alcoholic bums." Dr. Horrible wonders if poisoning the water would change the status quo. One scene shows people drinking.

Spiritual:Moist mentions a superhuman called Hourglass who can apparently see the future. There are some allusions to Christian concepts.

So what did you think? Was it horribly good? Or just plain horrible (much like these puns)?

For the soundtrack review, go here.

You can speculate here.

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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