Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris) has three main goals in his life: become a part of the Evil League of Evil, rule the world, and capture the attention of the cute little redhead (Felicia Day) at the laundromat. Unfortunately, Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion) is Dr. Horrible’s nemesis and keeps thwarting his plans, including making time with do-gooder redhead. Can Dr. Horrible defeat his enemy, impress the league, and get the girl all in one evil plan? Wait… who’s the hero again?
I specifically waited until after this past weekend to put up the review for this because I didn’t want to dilute the experience for fans of Joss Whedon or newcomers to the Whedonverse. That said, I enjoyed the tale of Dr. Horrible and his nemesis Captain Hammer (at DrHorrible.com), especially when coupled with the “Captain Hammer: Be Like Me!” childhood propaganda comic.
Just to get the comparisons out of the way, any fan of the series “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer” will recall the “Once More, With Feeling” mostly-all-singing, mostly-all-dancing episode. Better than? Maybe not. On par with? Certainly. Of course, “Buffy” had more money per episode (“Horrible” was reportedly shot and cut in the low six figures), but between donated time and talent, what made it on screen looks as good as any television episode, even the location shots. Happily, a few censurable bits of dialogue (and a good flip off or two) were sneaked in that might not have seen the light of broadcast television.
As for the sing-along part, I was almost disappointed that the lyrics weren’t printed out on the screen like a karaoke machine so we could really sing along. Why not, right? Maybe it’ll be a feature on the DVD, so there’s a suggestion. I once claimed to despise musicals in general, but I’ve since realized that it’s really the interpretive dance portions that make me cringe; a heartfelt soliloquy never hurt anyone on stage while going about their business or lurking behind scenery, and if you can sing it, why not belt it out?
With names like “The Evil League of Evil” and “Bad Horse, the Thoroughbred of Sin” and low-rent henchmen with the power to make things soggy, you know you’re in Joss Whedon territory, especially when no deed (good or bad) goes unpunished for long. It’s too bad that there doesn’t seem to be a big enough niche on broadcast television to do something this clever and entertaining as a series, so maybe the Internet really is the best venue for this kind of thing. Would it be so bad to watch a new episode every month, or even every couple of months? With the free preview now over, here’s hoping that enough people are willing to pay for whatever needs to be sold to make this a success, and bring on the packed-with-extras DVD, please.