Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Awesomeness that is Dr. Horrible

In a shameless plug for my new favorite webisode-series-slash-musical-slash-comedy, I present the GXC Blog readership with the gloriously tragicomic 42-minute manifestation that is currently sweeping the interwebs. Yes indeed, it's Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog. Set in three Acts, the entirety of Dr. Horrible is now available for $3.99 on iTunes or for free on Hulu.

Pretty much everything you need in life is included in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: awkwardness, humor, action, hope, love, passion, jealousy, rage, loss, bitterness, post-bitterness catharsis, post-catharsis self-actualization, kitschy but catchy songs, a chorus of cowboys, a high-tech iPhone app used to remotely control a van... Srsly, you couldn't ask for more.

Written and directed during the 2007-08 writers' strike, Dr. Horrible features Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible himself, a menacingly lovable yet bumbling super-villain, on his slightly-mismanaged quest to join the prestigious Evil League of Evil, win the girl of his affection, and defeat his arch-nemesis Captain Hammer. (I was a big fan of the low-budget, honest camp that was Firefly, and Captain Reynolds [Nathan Fillion] plays yet another Captain here). Because, you know, every miscreant mastermind deserves a video blog. So then, is Dr. Horrible successful in his odyssey? Come now, would I really give away? Go watch it for yourself.

(Oooh, slightly random tangent! As my friend Dara recently discovered, the great NPH can do no wrong. Check it out: Neil, on Sesame Street, singing a 1950s showstopper as the 'Shoe Fairy.' Dr. Horrible may or may not be starring in a cameo as my Facebook profile pic at the moment. Just saying.)

All in all, it's quite excellent how well Dr. Horrible is spreading around the internet. Whedon created the show as an experiment in new media -- creating a hit show without any major studios, production houses, or television networks involved. The content was only released online, intended to spread virally in a new form of grassroots media distribution. And spread virally it did. Indeed, Dr. Horrible is a promising opportunity for the creation, delivery and consumption of professional-quality content in a more cost-effective method than ever before.

Whedon is onto something here. Even Dr. Horrible himself is similarly enthused, in all his angst-fueled self-actualization, singing "It's a brand new me, I got no remorse, now the water's rising but I know the course! I'm gonna shock the world, gonna show Bad Horse, it's a brand new dayyy!"

Enjoy. (You can watch the whole thing below, if you're so inclined.) Just remember: Dr. Horrible has a Ph.D in horribleness...