Home > Dr. Horrible, Felicia Day, Firefly, Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Neil Patrick Harris, Serenity, The Guild > Now the Nightmare’s Real: Now Dr. Horrible Is Here….

Now the Nightmare’s Real: Now Dr. Horrible Is Here….

Today I would like to talk about the Internet sensation known as Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Most (if not all) of you reading this are now probably thinking: “What’s that, some kind of karaoke blog?” Well, I’m here to tell you that no, it’s not . . . at least, not really.

Dr. Horrible is a little project that Joss Whedon put together during the 2008 Writer’s Guild strike. Basically, he got a bunch of his friends (and family) together to work on a self-financed short film. The beauty of it was, since there was no big studio or distributor involved, everyone who worked on it would get a share in the profits. And even if they weren’t paid up front or upon completion of the project, it was certainly better than sitting on their duffs while writers hung out in picket lines and Hollywood lost millions. But I’m not interested in talking about the brilliant marketing campaign (which was further enhanced when Whedon’s insanely-large fan base started spreading the word) or the initial release strategy (it was free to watch on-line during its first week); rather, I’m interested in talking about the movie itself—or, more specifically, the cast.

Let’s begin with lead actor Neil Patrick Harris—portrayer of Dr. Horrible and newcomer to the stable of actors in the Whedonverse. Many of you will remember Neil from the classic television show Doogie Howser, M.D. and, currently, How I Met Your Mother. But, unless you are a serious Harris fans, most of you do not know he can sing. I mean REALLY sing. My wife was unaware of this particular talent, and immediately fell in love with him. When she asked if I knew, I told her that years ago I had seen him perform a song with the then-current Broadway cast of RENT on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. (Given her feelings towards RENT, she fell even more in love with Neil—if that were at all possible.) Oh, he happens to have excellent comedic chops as well. If you need any more encouragement, he just won the first Streamy award for Best Male Actor in a Comedy Web Series for his work on Dr. Horrible.

Next up is the relatively unknown supporting actress Felicia Day, who plays Penny—Dr. Horrible’s love interest. Some of you may recognize Felicia from a story arc in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but if you tell me that you remember seeing her in some recent SEARS commercial, then I’ll tell you that you watch too much television. She is no stranger to the web series format as she can be seen on The Guild, which just finished its second season. Coincidentally, she too just won a Streamy for her work on The Guild. Her excellent performance here should be the catalyst she needs for bigger roles.

Finally, we get to supporting actor (and Whedon veteran) Nathan Fillion, who plays Captain Hammer—Dr. Horrible’s arch nemesis. You may know Nathan from his (in my opinion) defining role of Captain Malcolm Reynolds on the Whedon-created series Firefly and its follow-up movie Serenity. Currently, he can be seen on the new and quite enjoyable Castle on ABC. As Captain Hammer, Fillion is perfectly cast and nearly steals the show. (Some might argue that there is no “nearly” about it.) Well-known for hamming it up, Fillion was surprised (and quite excited) by these instructions from Joss: “More cheese. Cheesier!” The result was like adding C4 to dynamite. It seems only fitting, then, that late in the second act Nathan gets to utter what is possibly the greatest one-liner of all time. I highly advise against eating or drinking while watching this portion as you may very well end up doing a spit take. It’s that good.

Getting back to the film, some of you may be wondering: “Why is it a sing-along?” Well, remember how I already mentioned that Neil Patrick Harris does some singing in this thing? Guess what? So do Felicia Day and Nathan Fillion! (I know! Forget about Neil. Who knew Nathan could sing?!) See, this is actually a musical about superheroes and super villains. And, while seemingly presumptuous, the title is completely truthful: the songs are so catchy that not only will you find yourself humming them shortly after watching the movie, but you will also be singing along with them upon subsequent viewings. (And there WILL be subsequent viewings!)

Back in December, when Dr. Horriblewas about to be released on DVD, I advised some of my friends to just buy it—it would be the best $10 they spent over the holiday season. And now, dear friends, I am advising you the same. (No, you don’t have to wait until the end of the year to make the purchase.) The DVD really is worth every bit (and more) of the $10, and its price makes it a great filler item if you wanted to get a book or two on Amazon but not pay shipping. In fact the only thing that I find lacking on the DVD is a karaoke feature. Quite a missed opportunity, if you ask me, but I suppose you could always just turn on the subtitles. Anyway, if after all my gushing you are still unsure, you can now once again watch it for free online. When you do, just be prepared to be entertained . . . and to part with $10 soon after.

  1. April 3, 2009 at 2:32 am


  2. April 3, 2009 at 3:34 am

    Ok, so in the Burger with Fries household we have combined two of the funniest movies (at least I think so) into one great line: “She may cry, but her tears will dry when I hand her the keys to a shiny new Chostralia.” I know, we are pathetic, but we like it that way!

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