Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: Act I

Joss Whedon's Supervillain Musical is online for a limited period. Here's what happens - Dr Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris best known as Dougie Houser, or possibly that psychic Colonel from Starship Troopers) has a video blog. This introduces the character, who intends to rule the world using his freeze gun (which freezes time) and then offer it at the feet of Penny, a girl he admires at the laundry. He also reads an email from Johnny Snow who claims to be his nemesis, but his nemesis is actually Captain Hammer[1] (Captain Hammer comic here).

He gets a letter from Bad Horse, leader of the Evil League of Evil, who is willing to let Horrible join if he proves himself with an especially spectacular crime. As it happens Horrible is going to steal the Wonderflonium he needs for his freeze gun. He runs into Penny who is collecting signatures for a homeless shelter and finally talks to her. As he attempts to steal the Wonderflonium by remote controlling the van it's on, Captain Hammer arrives and destroys the device controlling the van. The van careers out of control and nearly hits Penny; Hammer throws her out of the way into a pile of garbage just as Horrible manages to stop the van. "You nearly killed her," says Horrible. "I remember it differently," says Hammer. Penny and Hammer's eyes meet and to Horrible's dismay they "connect" and sing. The episode ends with Horrible running away with the Wonderflonium while they are distracted.

Well, it's all set up - comedy, songs that actually drive the story, a superhero[2] who causes at least as much damage as the villain he opposes, a love triangle, and of course Bad Horse lurking in the background. All in under 14 minutes. I for one will be watching this again and again (until Monday, obviously).

[1] I contend that one can have but one nemesis, and it is pleasing to see Dr Horrible agree.
[2] This covers some of the same ground as Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman, in a more comic fashion; Dr Impossible notes that although he's smarter than the heroes and his plans involve robots, high technology and out thinking people, somehow it always comes down to hitting each other.

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