Friday, July 11, 2008
Dr. Horrible Rules the World
Teaser from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog on Vimeo.
I saw Joss Whedon's scripted musical internet series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog last night, and it's a must see for anyone who enjoys laughter, music, or frozen yogurt.
Joss has outdone himself on a low budget with this hilarious series starring Neil Patrick Harris as the eponymous (always wanted to use that word in a blog posting) Dr. Horrible, a villain struggling to qualify for entry into the Evil League of Evil. We can't help but root for Harris's feeble attempts at villainy even as he weakly flirts (and wonderfully sings!) with his cute crush Penny at the Laudromat, played with girl-geek awesomeness by Buffy alum Felicia Day. His arch-nemesis, the narcissistic superhero Captain Hammer (toothesome and shameless Nathan Fillion of fabulous Firefly and Serenity fame) clashes with him mortally (and with music!) when Captain Hammer wins Penny's heart.
Joss wrote the series during the writer's strike, since it was forbidden at that time for WGA types like him to write film or television scripts. You can see his letter explaining all here.
The first of three episodes will start airing at the Dr. Horrible website July 15, with the other two airing in subsequent weeks. After a brief stint airing thus for free, they will vanish and eventually be available for download somewhere at some kind of fee.
How did I get to see all three eps a few days before they officially air? My feeble Hollywood contacts got me into what constituted a cast and crew screening last night at the marble edifice where CAA now lurks. Joss himself was there. He's my writer-hero, and I was too frozen with shyness and admiration to approach him.
I sat way up high in the spiffy Ray Kurtzman screening room as everyone else circulated and smooched and reminisced about shooting the series. Joss and Nathan Fillion hugged, and kept hugging, and then started grabbing each other's asses as the room got quiet, then broke into laughter.
Joss spoke briefly beforehand, thanking everyone, and confessed he'd been nurturing this story for years because he saw himself as ineffectual and geeky (Geeky in the best way, yes. Ineffectual? Anything but, oh storytelling man!) and invited us all afterwards to join him at X-bar across the street.
Now of course, I wish I'd gone and introduced myself and told him how much his work has meant to me. But I was too shy and alone and felt all geeky and ineffectual. See why I love Joss? Did you know Joss did an uncredited rewrite on Iron Man? The dude is brilliant, but all his work has heart. And for all its laughs and clever lyrics, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog has a heart as well, albeit a broken one. Watch it and you'll see.