I have a confession to make. I am a Joss Whedon fan. No, that’s actually not the confession. The confession is this – I didn’t see Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog until I got this DVD. I know. I’m now on the outs with the club. Despite all my friends insisting that this was right up my alley, I just didn’t want to watch it online. I was stubborn in my old-school TV and DVD ways. After having seen this, however, I vow “no longer will I be tied to the tube.”
Dr. Horrible (or Billy in his non-villain guise) wants two things out of life. The first, he wants admission to the ELE, the Evil League of Evil. Second, he wants pretty Penny to notice and possibly fall for him. Penny is a purehearted soul and often crusading for the homeless. Unfortunately, Dr. Horrible has a nemesis – do-gooding ham-head Captain Hammer. Thwarting Horrible’s current scheme puts Hammer in a position to save Penny which, in turn, leads to those two dating. Penny thinks that Hammer is a good guy through and through. Only Horrible sees through Hammer’s public persona to see the douchebag underneath. When word comes down that Dr. Horrible will need to kill someone to get into the ELE, he discovers that Captain Hammer would make for the perfect victim. Of course, not everything works out as intended.
Neil Patrick Harris flexes both his Broadway muscles (Rent, The Tony Awards) as well as his comedic ones (How I Met Your Mother) to expertly bring Dr. Horrible to life. My fiancé had to remind me that Dr. Horrible was the bad guy when I began to really root for him to win. Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Slither) really chews up scenery as the ham Captain Hammer. You can believe why the people in town would like him but he also perfectly lets the cracks in that façade show. Felicia Day (The Guild, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) gives everygirl Penny an instant likeable charm. Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) has a memorable cameo as the villain Moist, a friend to Dr. Horrible. The real star of this piece is the catchy tunes that come out of these talented mouths.
The feature is presented in 5.1 Surround Sound with optional English, Spanish, French, German, Wiccan, Japanese and Chinese subtitles.
Don’t take this the wrong way, because I thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, but my favorite part of this DVD might actually be Commentary: The Musical. Sure, you could listen to one of those regular SPOKEN commentary tracks, but I suggest that instead you tune to this track. Each of the actors (and some of the smaller supporting actors as well as some creatives) take turns singing songs that are tenuously related to what’s going on on-screen. The connection, however, isn’t the important thing, it’s the characters they present solely through voice and lyrics. Song topics include how much Joss Whedon charges for a solo and how much Jed Whedon hates musicals as well as some well placed bickering between Nathan Fillion and Neil Patrick Harris. Yeah, if you wanted to, you could also actually watch with a standard audio commentary.
The Making of Dr. Horrible Featurettes – Three featurettes (“The Movie”, “The Music”, “What Just Happened?”) with play all functionality totalling about twenty minutes including interviews with the cast and the writers behind the web-mini.
Evil League of Evil Application Videos – a full half hour worth of ELE application videos submitted by fans of the Sing-Along Blog, varying degrees of goodness.
The only good thing to come out of the Writer’s Strike is Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. If you enjoy creativity, performance, singing or America, you will enjoy this fine work.
Final Grade – A+