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Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

Studio: New Video NYC

Aug 15, 2009 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

In the middle of 2008, when most of the country was caught up in presidential politics and new episodes of So You Think You Can Dance, Joss Whedon launched the year’s most inventive piece of televisionon the Internet.

Whedon, the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, among others, debuted Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog on Hulu, offering the three-act superhero musical comedy for free in one-act installments over the course of a week.

The 45-minute musical relates the tale of Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris) as he attempts to win the girl of his dreams (or at least work up the guts to speak to her) while striving to commit a wicked act heinous enough to win him admission into the Evil League of Evil, led by the legendary Bad Horse. Yet at every stepwhether romantic or evilhe’s one-upped by local hero Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion).

If it all sounds a little ridiculous…well, it is. But it’s all done with enough heart and backed by enough memorable songs to make up for anytime it goes over the top.

Whedon’s had a fair string of hits in his careerthough having a frighteningly rabid fan base can help propel even the weakest of projects to successand to date Dr. Horrible remains one of his best works. Granted, it’s funny as hell and the songs are genuinely good (try getting “Bad Horse” out of your head), but the secret to its success lies in its brevity. You’re in and out of the whole thing in less than 45 minutes; time enough to get to know the characters, get in a few good songs and crack some jokes, but not long enough to where the whole ordeal gets bogged down in its own mythologya trait that’s brought low as many Whedon projects (Firefly, Dollhouse) as its benefited (Buffy, Angel).

Sadly, the bonus features here leave something to be desiredCommentary!: The Musical is nearly as bad as the main feature is goodand the fan-submitted Evil League of Evil applications nearly all fall flat.

But the main course is well worth it, and still holds up even a year after its premiere. So well, in fact, that a sequel is already in the works. Better go practice those songs. (www.newvideo.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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