Joss Whedon's done it again - created something geeky, cool and downright addicting, and which has completely sucked me into. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.
The premise is fun - a up and coming super villain in LA has a blog, where he answers reader mail, talks about his plots of world domination and the girl that he's too shy to talk to, Penny, whom he sees at the laundry. Intermixed with the dialogue is some catchy songs, turning this short miniseries into a sort of geek musical.
It's stripped down, simple, but very fun and interesting to watch. I predict that in the very near future, we'll see people put together the costumes and perform this as a fan musical at a convention somewhere. It's short and easy enough to do that it wouldn't be difficult. Whedon's not a stranger to musicals either, nor are some of the cast - Neil Patrick Harris is a Broadway alum, and Whedon's done at least one musical episode. The songs are light and catchy. I've had a bunch of them floating around in my head for the past couple of days now. Whedon's assembled a nice cast of albums from his shows, which is all the more entertaining to see fan favorites.
"With my freeze ray I will stop... the world."
Like many of Whedon's creations, there's a good mixture of well crafted characters. We've got the archetype good and bad guys, but the good guy has his darker sides and the bad guy has his good sides. Along the way we meet Moist, who can make things slightly damp, and Bad Horse, "Who rules the league with an Iron hoove." It's another fun foray into the superhero genre, which seems to be getting more and more popular outside of comics. I've been getting more and more interested in this sort of thing, and this really reminds me of Soon, I Will Be Invincible and to some extent, Heroes.
This comes at an interesting time, because NBC just released the first of a series of minisodes for the show Heroes, called Postal, following a mail man with a very loud voice. The first episode features him escaping from a doberman and a couple of company agents. Minisodes are an interesting thing that really doesn't seem to have caught on to a wider audience. Battlestar Galactica, Eureka and a couple of other shows have released these, and Heroes marks the latest in the intigration of mainstream media to user-generated content and viral marketing.
Thus far, Dr. Horrible is a success. The site crashed on the first day of the miniseries release, and has been brought back up again, and the second episode hasn't given me any issues. The first episode hit the #1 spot on iTunes as well, and I'm reasonably sure that the 2nd episode, whenever that it released via iTunes, will do the same thing. Then, on the 20th, the free content will be pulled, and a DVD release will follow. Will this experiment work? It seems to be. Hopefully it'll be successful enough for Whedon to continue to do this sort of thing, and according to at least one source, they've considered a sequel series.
This comes at an interesting time - the release of the Heroes minisode, and of course, this week is the one that marks the release of The Dark Knight, easily my most anticiapted film of 2008. I declare this week to be Superhero week. Next episode will be released on the 19th, this Saturday. I absolutely can't wait to see how they wrap this up. Will Dr. Horrible take over the world and get the girl? Or at least join the League? Will Captain Hammer have his way with Penny? Will there be more catchy songs and witty dialogue? Undoubtably.
Watch the episodes here.
- Captain Hammer, corporate tool. He dislocated my shoulder...again... last week. (Billy/Horrible)
- I received a letter of condemnation from the deputy mayor. That's gotta have some weight. (Billy/Horrible)
- I love your hair (Billy/Horrible)
No, I love the...air...(Billy/Horrible)
- Just a few weeks away from real, audible connection. (Billy/Horrible)
- Armored car? (Moist)
Courier van. Candy from a baby. (Billy/Horrible)
- Need anything dampened, made soggy?
- Why not cut off the head? (Billy/Horrible)
Of the human race? (Penny)
It's not a perfect metaphor. (Billy/Horrible)
It's curtains for you. Lacy, wafting curtains. (Captain Hammer)
- You're kidding, what a crazy, random happenstance. (Billy/Horrible)
- Billy? You're driving the spork into your leg. (Penny)
- I say successful that I archived my objective. It was less successful as I inadvertently introduced my arch nemesis to the girl of my dreams. (Billy/Horrible)
- Which it will, because I hold a PhD in horribleness. Peace. But not literally...(Billy/Horrible)
- I also need to be careful about what I say on this blog, because the LAPD and Captain America are among it's viewers. (Billy/Horrible)
- Captain Hammer threw a car at my head. (Billy/Horrible)
- At my most badass, I make people want to take a shower. (Moist)
- The only signature he needed was my fist. But with a pen in... that I was signing with... (Captain Hammer)
Freeze Ray (Audio Rip)- Neil Patrick Harris
Man's Gotta Do (Audio Rip)- Neil Patrick Harris & Nathan Fillion
Keep Your Head Up (Audio Rip)- Felicia Day